Stillness in the Heart of Chaos

By Holly Lisle

After a gruelling two years in which I’ve written very little fiction but have:

  • Built a stellar team of folks to help me run my writing site:
     
    Dan Allen – Developer
    Kirsten Bolda – Site Designer
    Cat Gerlach & Amy Padgett, Forum Head Moderators
    Carol Englehaupt – moderator
    Karen Lynn – moderator
    Chris Makowski – moderator
    Tom Vetter – moderator
    Rez Zircon – moderator
    Rebecca Galardo – help desk
     
  • Completely overhauled one of my Big Three writing classes, How to Think Sideways
     
  • Built two new writing workshops: Title. Cover. Copy. Fiction Marketing Workshop and 24-Hour Intensive: Find Your Writing Voice

     
  • Threw out the first version of How to Write a Series, and am now writing an all-new Version 2 that everyone who owned the original Expansion Version already owns
     
  • Worked with the head of my team, Dan Allen, my site developer, to get a new website built on HollysWritingClasses.com and all the classes broken by WordPress nearly three years ago up and running
     
  • Worked with my designer, Kirsten Bolda, who is making my designs beautiful (you haven’t seen any of her work yet except for the headers on the new HollysWritingClasses.com blog
     
  • Designed the internal and external interfaces for the new site software Dan is building me, using online paper-testing, feedback from my writers
     
  • Designed a couple of additional software projects Dan and I will be building together over the next couple of years
     
  • Wrote the third and fourth (still unpublished) stories for the Longview Series
     
  • And got through a bunch of surgeries with one less parathyroid gland and minus pretty close to half a tongue, but healthier and with a lot more energy and focus than I’ve had in quite a few years
     
  • And I’ve drunk approximately 2190 cups of unsweetened plain green tea. Three cups per day, every day, without missing one cup or one day, since the day after I was diagnosed with dysplasia, which was the day I went home, searched the Internet, found the book Anticancer, and read it straight through. The amount I’m drinking is just enough to keep me perpetually a little bit queasy. Which tells me it’s enough to be of benefit.

The last two years plus have been rough. But worthwhile.

The definition of LIFE is: Shit goes wrong. Deal with it. Shit goes right. Enjoy it. Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

So I’m not going to say, “Hey I’m getting to an easy stretch!”

Because the definition of STUPID is: Thinking that when life gets better, it will stay better.

I’ve been stupid. I’m getting smarter.

There’s been a lot of chaos the past couple of years. A lot of times when I felt like I’d been ground into the dirt, when I was scared for my life, when I was scared about money, when I could not see my way clear to a time when anything was ever going to be okay again.

But every morning when I step into the shower, I close my eyes and breathe deep and let the water pounding on my head become the sound of the rain, and the silence of solitude, and I embrace whatever the day might bring, and my resolution to get through it.

And so far, every day I have gotten through it.

Sometimes that brief stillness, that brief respite, gives me a gift.

Which it did today.

As soon as I post this, I’m writing a story, the title of which is “Freebie,” which made me cry and made me happy at the same time when I thought it up, and which is going to be included in the anthology my HWC writers and I are putting together right now.

More on that in another post. Right now, I have a story to write.

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