2016, I’m back.

It’s been awhile.

I’m not going to lie to you. That is entirely my fault. Quite frankly, I lost it. Not sure what it is, but I definitely left it in the parking lot. It is kind of painful to even think about, let alone purge from my system in this very public format. That said, I feel that is exactly what I need to do to free myself from its hold over me. Or, I could just be narcissistic and need your validation. Either way, here goes.

When I started doing this, I thought I’d know how to begin, but sitting here staring at the screen it’s all blocking up. Kind of sums up my 2015, so why shouldn’t my blog about it go the same way. Seriously though, I’m not writing this to seek your sympathy. I honestly do need to unburden myself of all this garbage that held me down last year. Part of me is hoping that in the process I might help someone else overcome the same stuff I’ve battled.

Where to begin?

2015 will forever be the year my mortality came crashing home. I began the year going to a funeral for a cousin. Not the best way to kick off a New Year. Sadly, my cousin wouldn’t be the only funeral on my plate for the year. It seemed like every three weeks I got news family or friends had passed away. Some pretty rough ones drove me to my knees over the course of the year. I can’t go into them all because I’m afraid it would take all night and my tears might short out my computer.

Still, a couple bear memorializing. My first writing partner, Deb Durham, passed away in a tragic car accident as she tried to help out a friend. Deb taught me so much about what it means to be a writer. She helped me by setting me on the path to become the writer I am today. So, even when my heart wanted to give up and hide under my bed, I didn’t. I just couldn’t, because when I write, a part of her will forever be out in the universe for all to see. What I wouldn’t give to hear her call me Goober one more time with her Texas twang.

Secondly, my good friend and comic book dealer, Clint Thomas passed away suddenly from a heart attack. Aside from feeding my comic addiction, Clint had long been a supportive friend, who would stock my books whenever I had a few to sell. He graciously became a sounding board on occasion, and a character in one of my books. We shared a love not only for comics but for the books we grew up reading. Those books inspired the stories of mine you have read and will continue to enjoy. Clint, himself, inspired so much more. He inspired me to become a writer by pushing me to be one. Clint, one day we will see each other again, and I can’t wait to hear the stories we will share.

Lastly, a week before Christmas, the world lost a shining smile that is warming heaven above. Linda Collins is the sister of my adopted sister of the heart, Susan White, who inspired the character Waterfall Woman in my Love Bites and Bite Marks novels. Linda soon became as close to me as a sister, and became a character in Bite Marks 2.  Now, the rest of my Vampire series will be dedicated to her memory. Because heaven got an angel in her, but she will forever be a muse my heart can’t deny.

I am certain that you can understand the sorrow that weighed heavy upon me. Losing one person is heart wrenching but losing nearly twelve in a year’s time would be enough to drive anyone to their knees. Trust me, I spent a good time on my knees asking why. The answer I got made perfect sense. Because we are all given a time to be born, a time to grow, a time shine, a time to live, and a time to die. But, as long as we keep love around us, our flesh may fade, but our hearts remain in those we leave behind. Sadly, this in no way takes away the pain of loss those of us left behind must deal with. That’s how I spent 2015. Dealing.

Some of that dealing was handling pain. For years I’ve suffered from neuropathy caused by a ruptured disk in my neck and from a birth defect I didn’t even know I had until ten years ago, Arnold Chiari Malformation. For those of you who have never heard of the condition, it is when the tonsils of the brain hang from the base of the skull. As you get older the condition gets worse, and is highlighted by migraines, and numbness in arms and legs. Some other nastier things happen but if you’re interested, I’ll try and remember to leave a link at the bottom, because sadly, this condition goes undiagnosed until it’s too late. A result of this, I am on more meds than I like to admit to being on. A side effect of all these meds is side effects. As my body adapted to the meds, I had been on, I had to adjust to higher doses or new meds altogether. If any of you have ever been on meds, you know they do strange and evil things that they aren’t meant to do.

Part of these side effects stopped my brain from talking to my creativity and hands. I spent a lot of restless nights staring at my laptop with words exploding in my head, but couldn’t get those words out. It drove me insane to see the movie playing but not being able to share the wonder of it with anyone. As 2016 bloomed on the horizon, my doctor and I seemed to have found a balance that is working for my creativity. I’m still not 100% but I’m getting there. Like a wise man or woman once said, anything worth having is worth fighting for. Last year a big part of me gave up. I won’t lie about it. I crawled into my hole and died. This year, I want to live.

I might have lost a lot of good people last year, but God has given me some more, not to replace them, but to complement their impact on my lives. Victor Nunely is just one. He hosts the weekly Comic Hero show on YouTube. Great stuff. Definitely check him out, if you have time. Sabrina Ruffin helped inspire a new character and book series that I hope to explore when I get caught up with my other series that fell to the side of the road last year. Lastly, Claire Chandler recently took over Clint’s Comics and is a hoot. She has made me laugh, and I can see a character with her name all over it. Along with these new voices, I have my old friends and my dear family to keep me on my toes. Let’s not forget God, who never let’s me wander from His defining love.

The point of this ramble is I’m back and if you’ll have me, I plan to be here for as long as you’ll let me come into your lives. Stock up on Oreos, the sugar free ones because apparently I’m a diabetic, too. Told you last year was a rough one, but this year…this year is going to be awesome.

Those links I promised

The Arnold Chiari Facebook page

https://www.facebook.com/pages/ArnoldChiari-malformation/119461628102885?fref=ts

Victor Nunely’s Comic Hero Channel on You Tube.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=etacPTgZwlk&feature=youtu.be

Claire Chandler, Clint’s Comics, because I need comics.

https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100010923228017

 

Til next time,

Happy Reading!

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Summer Time Blues

I’m going to be honest with you. I hate Summer. It’s way too hot and muggy. The whole project involves yard work, mowing, and sweating. I dislike all three, especially the last one. Now, when I was a kid I loved Summer. Mainly because, I didn’t have to go to school and could read all night. Yeah, even way back then it was all about books for me. As I sit here hiding from humidity next to a fan and air conditioning blowing on me, I can be truthful and say I miss those days.

 

Now, instead of wishing I could stay up all night reading books, I wish I could stay up writing them. I say that as someone with a deadline staring him habitually in the rearview mirror. Like a lot of people my age, I wish I could channel half the energy I had back then. If I could, maybe I could work a full time job and still manage to write into the wee hours of the morning. Okay, I’d like to work some reading in there somewhere. Hey, writers are readers first and foremost.

 

This may sound crazy, but I find it hard to write during the summer months. Maybe it’s the sunshine and a need to be outside. Though, if you remember from above, I hate heat and sweating. Seriously, I just seemed better able to create during the fall and winter. I don’t know why, but I just do. I also get a creative charge out of storms too. Yeah, I’m kinda weird.

 

But, weird defines authors. We have our times when the juices just seem to flow. Usually, mine hits just before it’s time to wrap things up and go to bed. Again, I think this goes back to when I was younger. I could stay up all night painting and do some of my best work. Growing up and becoming a productive member of society did away with all that. Up by dawn, go to work, come home, piddle around house, eat, shower and if I’m lucky, knock out a paragraph or three before bed. You guessed it. Rinse and repeat daily. All this monotony makes Jack a dull boy. Extra credit if you can get the literary reference there.

 

It’s true, though. The longer I write, the more it seems that instead of easier, the process has become harder. It isn’t that I am unable to form words. It’s just harder for me to get enthused by the project. Each word is a struggle. I see the scenes in my head, but squeezing them onto a screen is a chore worthy of Hercules.

 

To write, everything needs balance. Right now, my balance just isn’t what it used to be. I constantly find myself looking for my ‘Happy Place’. Wherever that is. Whatever that is. I seriously can’t remember either one of those things. And, summer isn’t helping. I won’t go into the episodes of LIFE that keeps cropping up and getting in the way. We all have them, so you get where I’m coming from. I don’t know if there’s an easy fix for this, or not.

 

More than likely, it’s just one of those things I have to work through myself. I know I’m not the only author who fights this particular demon. We all have those moments of frustration and self doubt. It’s not that I doubt I can write. I’ve done it before so know the ability resides within me. It’s more of a question of do I want to write. Since I’m so freaking messed up over not doing it, I must. Otherwise I wouldn’t be agonizing over it in a public setting like this.

 

Do I see myself just giving up? Not any time soon. But, I do feel like I need a recharge. Discover the feeling of joy I once felt turning on my computer and spilling my imagination across a document. It’s difficult to feel joy when you’re busy being a grown-up.

 

Because, let’s face it. I don’t write grownup books. Sure, they’re Romance, but they’re the Romance of youthful exuberance. They’re the adventures we dreamed we’d go on when we were kids looking at our futures with wide-eyed innocence. The innocence of the ignorant quite frankly. Ignorant of how the real world really works. Ignorant that one day summer won’t mean freedom. It’ll just be another part of the year where the day job gets in the way of you being that person you thought you’d be lying on the beach and hoping the day would never end.

 

So, before I fade into preparing myself for yet another Monday, I cordially invite you to take a trip back to those days when the world was yours to hold and you could be anything you wanted to be. I invite you to be a Vampire, a Werewolf, a Slayer. Anything you want to be, just as long as you’re having fun. How? Well, inside one of my books, of course. It’s where anything can define who you are and can always can be.

Just step through either of the two links below to start your adventure or find me on your favorite online bookseller.

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Desert Breeze Publishing

 

http://www.desertbreezepublishing.com/brands/J.-Morgan.html

 

Amazon

 

http://www.amazon.com/J.-Morgan/e/B0032R8BFE/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1403484497&sr=8-1