Loyal readers and fans, INDIVISIBLE is coming. It should've been here already, but life has been incredibly busy for me. I'm not only running behind on writing, I'm running behind on everything. I feel accomplished in what I've gotten done, and looking back over the past twelve months, I've published four books: Divided We Stand in July 2018 Until Nothing Remains (Gun Play 1) in October 2018 Worlds Apart in December 2018 and Everything I Die For (Gun Play 2) in April 2019 Compared to my first year as a self-published author, that's an increase in output by a factor of two. Not too shabby.
My daily grind has gotten the better of me in 2019. And while this isn't the first time it's happened, I can safely say that I have never before felt so overwhelmed in my life. Every aspect of my life whether it be personal, professional, recreational, or otherwise is filled to the brim. I find that I am busy all the time. Last year, I managed to write and publish three books and it nearly killed me. Okay, that’s an overstatement, but in referencing lack of sleep, it's pretty accurate.
I don’t talk about my day job often because it’s a highly technical field and requires a detailed explanation for most to understand exactly what it is I do. I work in building automation, mostly in large, commercial buildings; office buildings and the like, data centers, or any facility that requires inordinately massive HVAC systems.
I design, program and troubleshoot these systems and also build the user interface or 'front end' system, that allows end users to control their entire building from a computer, tablet, or phone, even remotely.
It requires a lot of brainwork and the majority of the work I do exists in the city, and that predicates an awful lot of driving and a lot of time spent away from home.
Alan Russell’s character was based a lot on myself in the regard, he spends his time working away from his family, in the city, mostly in Washington DC in the same field I do. I wrote him this way so that I could relate to him and build his character based upon first-hand knowledge of this demanding career.
A typical day for me begins when my alarm goes off around 3:50am. I get up and go about my morning routine and am usually out the door by 4:30. I arrive at job sites anywhere from 5:30 to six o’clock and start work right after unless I’m working in the office, which as of late has become something of a rarity. My day ends at 2:00pm and my commute home is roughly one and a half hours at the minimum; depending on traffic, road construction, and accidents, it can last over two hours.
So, to quantify, Monday through Friday I am away from home for half of each day. Fifty percent of my entire work week is spent either working or driving to and from work. But, such is life. To continue enjoying the life my family has now, it's just the way it is. The income I bring in from my day job provides us with what we need. A far cry in comparison to being self-employed, when my wife was a stay-at-home mom years ago. In those days we had to struggle with every penny.
After struggling for the first half of my daughter's life, I swore I'd never allow it to happen again. So, at least for now, the time away is worth it. The sacrifice is worth it. But lately, I have been busier than ever before and it's taken quite a toll on my ability to be productive outside of work.
Yes, the project I’m currently working on happens to be the most highly-involved one with which I’ve been tasked before. But my day job isn’t the only reason I’m behind. There are other matters closer to heart that I’m going to explain here, to you, my readers, because as readers, you’ve already had some insight into my life.
As busy as I’ve been with work and doing everything I can to maintain some semblance of a word count, it’s found that I'd been overlooking my other responsibilities, being that of a husband and a father.
Two of my children are adults, now and I don’t see them much due to living arrangements. But Emma, my third and youngest just graduated the fifth grade. She had a particularly difficult year in school both with her educators and with her peers. She’s different than a great deal of them in so many ways. She’s developing physically at a slower pace, while her mental development is off the charts. She reads on an eleventh grade level, held the A/B honor roll all year long and did so well in her class that other children made up their minds that they didn’t like her. So, they did what children do. Even though bullying is wrong and against the rules, they picked on her.
And I didn’t see it happening. I didn’t sit with her and talk to her like I should have. I didn’t provide her the time she needed from me. Instead, I played the part of the provider and left all the other parental things to my wife. I forgot about my responsibility to defend her. I failed her and though it feels shitty to be this far behind on a story I care so deeply about, Emma is more important to me than anything else in the world. The girl is my world and without her, these books would’ve never been written in the first place.
I dedicated What’s Left of my World to her for a reason. And I based Lauren’s character on a grown-up version of Emma, and it’s frightening watching her gradually become the character I write about. At eleven she's become brave and she’s interested in things she never was before, like shooting, building fires, fishing, survival tactics, and an overall understanding of the outdoors. She’s becoming a strong young woman and she has expressed to me her want to spend one-on-one time with me. And she’s never read a single word I’ve written.
Well, I intend to give her all the time she desires. What kind of father would I be if I didn’t?
My original intention was to have INDIVISIBLE ready for editing before July 1st. It was scheduled to be proofread the first week of July. The week following, it would’ve gone to formatting and to Kevin Pierce for narration.
But, I’m about two months behind. September 20th looks to be the day, so be on the lookout for a pre-order soon.
I do apologize for this and I promise I’m not going anywhere and neither will the story. But, just like Alan Russell, I have a little girl who needs her father. And I need her, too