Returned From Afar – Happy Memorial Day!

Hello readers! Guess who’s back?

Well, you don’t really have to. After all, this is a new post, not scheduled in any way! So it’s not much of a guess that I am back from my vacation.

And hoo-boy did I need it. I hadn’t realized exactly how stressed and overworked I’d become in the last few years of working with very few breaks. The first few days of my trip, I felt like my mind was one of those crazy metal puzzles with all the rings, but one that had been handed to someone after being passed to an overactive toddler and really bent into an odd shape. Over the last week, it’s gradually relaxed and fallen back into shape, unclenching into something a bit more recognizable.

Basically, five years without a real vacation was a little too much. Even during Christmas and other breaks I spent a lot of days running the site, writing other projects, planning … This vacation was the first time in years were I made a point of not even thinking about writing for the first few days. Complete disconnect.

Sands and storms did I need that.

Now I’m back! Relaxed, rejuvenated, and ready to once again to get back to work. Step one? Finishing Starforge. The last quarter is ready to explode into the finale, and I’m ready to write it.

Now, normally this would be the point were I dive into Being a Better Writer, since this is Monday. However, today is also a big holiday in the United States. Memorial Day, when we honor and remember all the fallen warriors that have given their lives in defense of this country. As in keeping with tradition, there will not be an installment of Being a Better Writer today.

However, as I have just come back from an extended break, I will be posting a shorter one tomorrow. So there’s that to look forward to.

Well, that and this awesome picture I took on my vacation. Are you ready? Check this out:

You see it? Right in the upper left-hand corner of the display? That is Axtara – Banking and Finance, proudly on display in my hometown’s library next to Dave Pilkey and a Wings of Fire book.

And yes, I signed it.

Actually, I did a bit more than that. I left a little message to the library in it. I also signed their copy of A Dragon and Her Girl as well, which was also on their shelves. The whole experience? Awesome. I walked in and the eyes of the librarian on duty lit up, because she knew exactly who I was, and why I was there.

I mean, it’s my home-town’s library. ALL of the librarians there still remember me. I’d check out stacks of books and read them all. But this time I wasn’t there to check anything out. I was just there to see my own books on those same shelves.

And it felt good. I spent so long browsing those shelves as a kid, having my own work on them felt like a mark of passage.

Time to get that Shadow of an Empire paperback out. This summer. That’s the goal!

Let me see … other news from my trip home. Well, on the book-related side of things the local radio station interviewed me to talk about my writing and book publishing in general. That story will be live later this week, and I’ll be sure to drop you all a link once it shows up!

Outside of the book-related sides of things, which was what a large portion of the trip was about … things were fantastic. I got to spend time with my nephew and niece (and spoil them rotten) in the process. Spent time with my parents. Even pulled up a crab pot with my bare hands, just like I used to as a kid (it felt good).

Even being out on the water felt fantastic. It’d been five years since I’d smelled the ocean and … Wow, did I miss that salty, windy air.

Sands, I even got lucky, with rain only occurring on two of the days I was there. I got sunlight. Beautiful, wholesome sunlight.

Speaking of rain, a resident of my hometown took issue with the description in my bio noting my hometown as a place with one of the highest rainfalls not desired by humanity. They told me that an average of 85 inches a year wasn’t that bad.

Given that it’s just shy of three times the US average, I’d say differently myself. It holds.

Anyway, I had a great trip. Time spent with family. Time spent with parents. Sibling. Nephew and niece, may they long be spoiled.

But best of all? I gave myself time to unwind. Badly needed time to unwind. And I feel … like me again.

And with that, I wish you all a happy Memorial Day regardless of where you are in the world right now. I’ll be back tomorrow with a new installment of Being a Better Writer, and from there …

Well, I’ve got a trip to the stars planned.

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