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Life is Fluid...

Well, what a year it’s turning out to be. For some of us, everything has changed. For some, very little. A famous line comes to mind…

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”

Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

Well, if that doesn’t sum things up perfectly, I don’t know what does! For myself, I’d have to say that very little has changed – most days are still spent in front of my computer, either putting words down or editing them, with coffee, cats, and most of the usual daily humdrum of life carrying on around me.

Probably the thing I miss the most is going to the local events in my region. Not just for the opportunity to wear some fantastic costuming, but also as P.R. and marketing opportunities. It’s particularly bad timing, considering my publishing schedule. Which means I have to push things more online.

Still, one can make plans for next year. By the time all three books in my current trilogy are out, things will hopefully be back to normal, and all our events reinstated. I plan to put the trilogy out as a boxed set and do a big launch for them then (‘then’ is yet to be defined. I had planned my publishing schedule around one or two particular local events this year, so my early thoughts on ‘then’ are focussed roughly about mid-2021.)

And by then, the joyride (or should I say rollercoaster ride!) of working out the ins and outs of self-publishing will hopefully have settled into more easily do-able routines. I started preparing myself for this two years ago, reading and learning all I could about the self-publishing journey, all the technical whats and whys and whens and how-tos I could find.

Despite the best made plans, it has still been an eye-opening (and teeth-gritting and fist-clenching) experience, not for the faint-hearted! My careful preparations were no match for some of the unexpected roadblocks that popped up – and are still popping up to greet me with the grim regularity of the clock striking midnight every night.

Needless to say, I’m still working on getting some platforms sorted out, and as for Print-On-Demand – I’ll let you know when that’s sorted, too, some time in the hopefully near but still rather indefinite future.

The real fun will be recording the audiobooks – that’s something I’ve been looking forward to, with the joy of the creator who is also an actor and has long experience on local radio. (I’m sure my naivety is about to be exposed big time… oh bliss!)

And now another famous line comes to mind. According to the wise old adage, ‘This too shall pass’. A reminder that life is ever-changing, never standing still, like a restless current in a river, or the tides pulling in and out under the influence of the moon. Life is fluid, and never rests for too long in one place, lest it stagnates. We start in a state of ignorance, and then we learn. It is a simple, yet powerful truth that we sometimes forget.

So it is with this year, 2020. Not just for me, but for the whole world, and for every individual on it. We’ve all been on a powerful learning journey in one way or another this year, and hopefully we will reap the rewards in the months and years to come.

For me, that may be as simple as getting to grips with the publishing process until the ride is less bumpy. It may mean learning to look for opportunities where I may never have looked before. It might also simply teach me the extra patience and forbearance needed to deal with the problems this journey throws at me, which I hadn’t even realised I might be lacking.

Whatever this year means for the world, whether good or bad, I remind myself that perception is in the eye of the beholder. I am aware that there are lessons in everything that has been thrown at me, and that no experience is completely wasted if I learn from it and make use of that knowledge.

And with that knowledge will come confidence, and the certainty that yes, I can do it all again, and it will get easier next time, and the time after, and every time after that. And in my book, that’s got to be good.

Keep a smile on your dial until next time, and peace and love in your heart

From Lana Lea and her time-travelling muse

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