That is a question I am getting a lot. That and...
Where is the old Tara?
Where is the Tara who puts out 8 books a year and comments on her FB page and has giveaways?
Or my favourite, fuck Tara. She's taking WAY too long to put out books now so I'm done with her.
There are a lot of answers to those questions. Some I'm not even allowed to tell you.
When I started 7 years ago, I worked full time and wrote full time. I worked all night on books and worked all day at my job and spent the afternoon and evenings with my kids.
Slowly the job faded out and the kids started to get older and do more for themselves and the books took over.
Then a kid got sick.
Then a move happened.
Then I was a single parent with two girls who needed more from me than I think I gave them but I lived near family who helped.
And then another move happened.
Then my husband came home after a year away with his work.
I forgot what he smelled like and how much space he took up.
I forgot that he needed me too.
I almost got a divorce, between us friends, it was a bad time.
But the writing deadlines were still there, only now I had traditional publishing and indie.
It was actually good to finally agree to a traditional publishing contract. I learned what my standards for writing should have been.
I knew I had to bring my old work up to that standard.
I was pretty stressed and getting fatter from eating candy to stay up late to write new books and try to clean up old ones. I have 48 books out in the world and most were written the first 3 years, all subpar editing on my part and my editor's. So, it was a daunting task.
My health took a little dive, nothing to worry over but the doctor was like, bro, you're husky. Time to lose weight.
Which totally made sense. I'd gained 60 pounds in 5 years of writing.
That was two years ago.
But instead of losing weight something happened with my husband's work, the part I can't discuss, and my kids moved away. I should have used the time to work but everything was up in the air. I was stressed. I was planning another move, but this one had no time frame and no firm location and my kids lived with my mom and dad so they were safe. My husband's work is kinda sucky when it comes to taking care of its members. But who doesn't have bullshit in their work environment? We all push on even when it sucks.
And through all of that, I still put out 9 books that year.
Then we moved into the house we bought in the location we were finally given.
In the 5 years I had been publishing at the time, we'd moved 5 times. We spent time apart as a family, sometimes for safety and sometimes for health of kids.
We thought this house would work for the 5 years we have left with kids home while my husband is stationed here, but soon realized it needed far more work than we thought.
Eighteen months later, we still aren't fully done renovating, we're mostly done, and the house still isn't the right fit for us.
I could cry as I write this.
I honestly don't know that I have another fucking move in me, but I don't have an office. Something I believed I could work around, I'd done it before. I'd worked in my living room loads. And this is the best school for our girls and the neighbourhood is awesome. I could sacrifice an office for that, right?
Apparently, I need an office.
Only I won't make my kids move schools again so we have to buy in our neighbourhood, a location that rarely has a house for sale. Hence the reason we bought a fixer upper.
The decision to sell hasn't been made yet, as I don't actually have time right now. I am about a year behind, actually three years but who's counting? Not you guys, right?
And on top of all of this, as I'm writing this very post, I'm also eating a protein pancake because I still have 50-60 pounds left to lose of my 100-110.
Last year I went to Ireland for a fabulous signing. I had a blast. The Irish are amazing and Game of Thrones is filmed there in many locations. So off we went in a Jag, touring Ireland and hiking through all the different GOT locations. Being 100-110 pounds overweight made the hike hard and I hurt myself. I literally hurt myself from fatness. I ripped open my foot because it wasn't ready for a lot of hiking, it was accustomed to sitting and typing, or renovating. I had to cancel my other signings for the rest of the year and rest my foot. That started me on my Ideal Protein journey.
I have had a hard time writing on this diet. I actually left the diet for a bit to finish Lost in La La Land and The Last Hour. My writing has always had candy and coffee and pudding cups involved.
And without them I am having a tough time.
No office, no candy, and no pudding makes Tara a fairly sad, still kinda fat, writer.
I'm Homer Simpson with no beer in the episode where they did The Shining.
So needless to say, while my life has been a little insane, I have slowed down publishing. Last year I only put out 5 novels and this year I have only put out 3 so far.
I have hopes to put out another 5 before New Year's Eve, dear sweet baby Jesus let that happen.
But I can't promise that right now. I can't publish a book until I love it.
Right now, I don't have anything where I feel like I love it.
My creativity is stalled out.
I don't have an answer on when it will return.
I don't know when I will like The Last Hour enough to publish it. I hope the next two weeks but I can't make that promise.
Until I have it perfect, I can't say when it will publish. Right now, I don't love it.
I might move on from it, even though we voted on the order of publishing and it is next.
I don't know what else to do. This has never actually happened to me before so I haven't got an answer as to how to fix it.
I do know you need answers.
I'm sorry is all I have.
Hope we can still be homies and you will forgive my absent year.