I knew the “Pandemic Be Damned!” advertising for Blood Ties would bite me.
Things have been a real struggle at Chez Skyla. Not really due to the pandemic, but because on top of everything I deal with pretty debilitating mental illness. I’ve been stable for quite a while, but around the time of the last post, I felt it tugging at me. I thought I was just a little off, but last week I pretty drastically went down hill. A combination of factors–including Shawn injuring himself, and some tough death anniversaries (April is always a very bad month for me)–on top of my naturally weird brain chemistry, and I had a major nervous breakdown that lasted several days, to the point I could barely function and was crying all the time with a lot of intrusive, irrational thoughts (that I at least still retained the awareness to know they were irrational–so, progress!). Oh yeah, I’m real fun at parties!
It’s been bad. (This was not a joke tweet.)
I managed to find short-term coping mechanisms that would give me a few hours of relief–staying offline helped my focus a lot so there wasn’t the constant stream of bad apocalyptic news, and when I kept getting that build up of tension or anxiety, I’d take an hour and play a difficult survival horror game. Anxiety is basically your brain screaming BEAR BEAR BEAR but because it hasn’t evolved past the point when threats were bears for our ancestors, it’s sort of useless in common situations now–so a video game where a zombie could pop out and potentially kill me gave my brain an actual BEAR to deal with, and when the threat was dispatched, it calmed my anxiety down.
It didn’t last, but it was something. Ultimately, one has to wait it out, I think, so the brain can reset itself.
So all this is to say there’s going to be a bit of a delay with Blood Ties. Because it took a while to finally look at, then I had a breakdown, which left me questioning every aspect of the book (except the murder), and it was a week before I could go back to it. It’s set for June 2 and KDP gives me up to thirty days to delay it without penalty. I’m hoping for mid-June but I’ll officially settle on the date next month. I’m done my second revision pass and sent it for copyediting, and I’m putting it out of my head now that I can focus better on other (paid!) work and not lying in bed thinking everyone hates me.
Everything is really difficult right now, I feel like I’m slogging through a swamp–both physically and mentally–but I’m marginally better than last week or even the weekend, and staying offline definitely helps. Hoping in a week I’ll be back to normal–which is still pretty fucking stressed, but not sobbing-in-the-corner-all-day stressed.
If you preordered Blood Ties, you’ll get a notice when the date changes. I apologize and promise it’s still coming. Thank you for your patience.