I come right out and hit this on the nose in Sweet Bytes. Ophelia, the heroine, catches her hyperactive twin sister, Bianca, throwing out all her vampire books, including Twilight, because suddenly vampires are *real* to her. And it's not so much fun to think about sparkly, romantic ones anymore. Suddenly, they really are monsters out to eat her. Ophelia digs the books out of the garbage can and puts them back on her shelves, also very upset, and says-*
“So what? The way I see it great stories let you try out life without getting hurt, you know, like falling in love or battling bad guys.”
And Bianca replies: “But, the bad guys are real!”
“Yeah, and if you let them take this joy away from you, then they win!” Ophelia crammed the last book in.
So, you may never need to battle Lord Voldermort like Harry Potter or sacrifice your boyfriend to hell to save the world, like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but you will have really tough choices to make. Like, what if you find your true love in high school and he gets into an awesome college on the East coast of the United States and you get into an awesome college on the West coast? That's an easy one compared to others. Some of the kids you sit with in class right now might be shipped off to war and shot and killed.
What if your elderly grandmother is raped and murdered and dumped like so much garbage? Evil does exist and you've got to be ready for it..
I'm battling Tendonitis, which makes my hands and arms hurt and go numb, while at the same time I'm getting out my first adult short story, Drive By Valentine, on February 6th. (It's a contemporary romance, but rated Sweet so it's okay for me to share it with my younger friends.) I have to face the harsh reality that if I keep writing like I am, I may develop carpal tunnel syndrome (if I haven't already) and eventually become permanently disabled. This is the dragon I'm fighting right now. I know it's trite compared to what others must deal with, but it's still no fun at all.
I've come to the heartwrenching decision that, once my short story's out, I need to stay off the computer until I've spent a lot of quality time with my physical therapist, completely reorganized how I work, and she's given me the green light. This may delay the next novel in the Ophelia Dawson series. From the start, my goal was to put out a new book every six months. I really thought I'd be all right taking off time during Christmas vacation, but that didn't work. Will keep you posted. Yes, it's making me crazy because, even though I don't make much money, this is still the best job ever, second only to being a mom.
In the meantime, I'll be reading a lot, since I can't write, and that always brings me joy and clarity and courage. Of course, I want to write about what I'm reading! And I can't. And that's maddening.
But, at least I don't have to worry about zombies crashing through my front door.