“Whatever you are, try to be a good one.” – attr. William Makepeace Thackeray
Today is the first day I feel okayish after battling an ass-blasting case of food poisoning or some sort of stomach bug since Tuesday. I think I still need to take it slow today, but I can see the (non-poopy) future looming on the horizon.
Dave and I went to tour a house this past week. It was a strange experience. I shuffled through it, worried that I’d set off my sensitive gut. It was advertised as a fixer, and that was an understatement. It was thickly curtained and crowded with furniture and piles of old family photos. In the kitchen there was a wooden “Bless this Mess” sign and a picture of the Obamas taped on the wall. The back of the house was a bizarre warren of paths up and down to the shoddy addition, and an empty dog’s kennel.
What got me was the signs of life here. The house’s inhabitant was clearly old. He had died recently, and his heirs wanted to be quickly rid of the property–so much so that they wanted to get rid of the house as-is, with all the furniture and photos and dishes. There were broken eggshells in a little cup on the counter. The fridge was still humming, and there was food inside. An open bag of dog treats and a bottle of wine sat on the dining table. But–it was quiet, and no one lived here anymore.
After we left I told Dave that if I died first, he should hie over to a nursing home and sleep with as many women as he could. The odds are quite favorable for male seniors. Anyway, it was sad to think of a widower (I figured, based on the artifacts left scattered around the place) shuffling around the house and missing his wife. Her presence was everywhere, although as far as I could tell she’d died at least 3 years ago.
It’s been haunting me at night even before this but I think a lot these days about the kind of legacy I’ll leave. What kind of family we’ll raise, and what matters to me and us. I want to raise happy, whole people. Who will hold hands with me for a little while. Who will make me see things differently.
I want to write stories that will bring people satisfaction and happiness. A bit of escapism in the day–a pair of borrowed wings. I’ll glue the feathers to the frame.
By the numbers, for both pen names:
Royalties earned to date: $3395 (approx, including those owed)
Sales: 803 for sci-fi pen name only (I’ve stopped tracking romance)
Kindle Unlimited page reads: 186,880
I’ve broken even and a bit more! Now, if I can hit $5k by the end of the year, I’ll be chuffed. I’ve been accepted to a short-story anthology that involves some good number of well-known sci-fi Indies; and I’ve committed to writing a prequel with some other ranked sci-fi authors. I’m hopeful that this will be good exposure and link my books to bigger names. Substantial profit is not really in the cards for a year yet, I suspect.
Nothing like a memento mori to give one a real kick in the rear.