Life, the Universe, and Everything is both fascinating and entertaining. This is especially true when I stop focusing my attention on the “bad” things over which I have no control. I suffer emotionally, only when I am disgruntled over things I think should be different than they are. The state of “how things are right now” is called: “reality.” When I argue with reality, I accomplish two certain results: (1) I lose; and, (2) I become more disgruntled over losing an irrational dispute I had no hope of winning in the first place. My irrationality turns into clinical insanity anytime I repeat this behavior in hopes of a different outcome. This particular kind of crazy tends to take on a life of its own if left unchecked.
On the other hand, when I determine to give my attention to my own joy and peace of mind, and I focus instead on the people and events which stimulate peace and satisfaction, well, fortunately, that too tends to take on a life of its own.
Several years ago, I wrote a novel called The Ghostwalker File. After over thirty years as a freelance writer, this accomplishment was unique in at least two ways. First, the manuscript seemed to pour directly out of my subconscious. There was none of my usual “wrestling the words onto the page.” The second thing that was different from the past three decades of writing was the resulting “joy factor.” During the months I spent getting that book ready to publish, I found myself laughing and crying from the sheer joy of living the experience. It was nothing like work.
To be honest, it was so much fun, I experienced some emotional post-partum depression when I was finished. All my life, I had read or heard stories about folks who loved their jobs in that way, but I’d never experienced it before. It took a while for me to ask myself why this book affected me so positively, and a bit longer to ask how I might revisit that joyous experience. Shortly thereafter, I was happily writing a sequel called The I.M.P. Master.
I was revisiting a world that I loved. I had created characters who were, like me, peculiar. But I had also created community, a place where weird people like me could find acceptance and friendship. Novels, after all, are fiction. They are made up. Maybe they’re not all fantasy in the classic literary sense, but this series was my fantasy. I had created my “happy place.”
Book Three in the Ghostwalker Tribe Series will be published in the summer of 2017. It’s called The White Mouse. It was every bit as much fun for me to write as the first two volumes were, and I’ve already begun the fourth installment: The Sisterhood of the Rhinestone Eye. I am proving to myself that no matter how dysfunctional the world beyond my control might be, I get to choose joy in my own day-to-day. And, having found that joy, I love that it has taken on a life of its own.