How Very Strange

By Holly Lisle

libra: libra is at the threshold of new thought, new identity, new new new. Lauds to you for taking the risks and venturing into the unknown to find a sweet, profitable,transformed you. No plastic surgery, this isn’t TV. — from Astrology for Writers, Editors, and Filmmakers

It’s funny. I’ve finished my last contract. Haven’t sold anything new, nor am I trying to at the moment. I have money due me from two publishers now, and assume that some of it will be coming in shortly, and that will be enough to live on for a while.

We live on what I make from writing. Only. So I should be in a complete panic at the absence of contracts and the absence of striving, not because I have to fear for this month or next month (assuming my publishers do pay me), but because without contracts now, I’ll have problems four months or six months or a year down the road.

But I’m not panicking.

I’m trying to figure out what I want to do next. Where I want to go. At the moment, I have no clue where that is.

For this moment, I feel weightless, timeless, suspended in a radiant bubble that protects me from stress, panic, fear, worry, and uncertainty. I sit in my office, and the light flows through the window and illuminates the dustmotes that the heating vent blows upward, and the words flow into my little personal writing project, and I am oddly and blissfully content.

I’m writing the e-book. I’m putting together my e-book store. Planning on offering my own writing e-books, and when it’s finished, a wonderful piece of writing software, plus e-books from other writers (names withheld for the moment, when they start mentioning the projects on their own weblogs, I’ll link up here). I’m putting together an affiliate program that will pay between 15% and 20% on gross products sales (and 13% on second-tier sales), and monthly on any amount earned over $10 (because I know I’m not the only one who’s had a crappy year financially, and I figure I’m not the only one who could use extra income.) I’m considering doing a very inexpensive e-book version of Hunting the Corrigan’s Blood, and considering writing the follow-up series, whether I find a publisher for it or not. I loved Cadence Drake, and I want to know what happens to her, dammit.

I have some books that I want to write for professional publication, of course. I have what I’d planned intially as a four-book light-hearted fantasy series on ghost-hunters (Ghosts and Gremlins, Inc.) that I’m considering reconfiguring into a single, much heftier, book. I have the Seven Accursed books that are pinging at me to be written. And all those paranormal suspense proposals that I did for Claire that I’d still like to write, albeit for the fantasy market.

Maybe it’s the post-book decompression. Maybe it’s that this time off (and even though I’m writing, somehow it feels exactly like time off) is something that I’ve desperately needed, and my mind is refusing to look at the future. Maybe it’s that I’m hoping the e-books will do well enough that I’ll have a buffer when the pro publishers don’t pay.

But whatever it is, I’m back to reinventing myself again. Breathing in this little space of moments that I have before the bubble bursts and I’m back in the thick of struggling to survive. Maybe hoping that this time, finally, the bubble won’t burst.

And I’m enjoying the light. The dustmotes. The silence.

The weightlessness. Especially that.

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