You have probably noticed that I haven’t posted any updates on my own writing work lately. No? Well, who needs you anyway. For those of you who have been paying attention, I haven’t been giving any updates because there’s essentially been nothing to update. I haven’t really been writing since the beginning of the year. It’s not that I’m blocked, but rather there just hasn’t been room in my head for stories with everything else that’s been going on. I have, almost literally, been turning my life upside-down, and it’s been a long process. Fortunately, it now seems to be almost complete and I’m happy to report I’m back to writing again.
Before I get to what I’m working on, let me explain what has happened and why. As you probably know, I have lived and worked in Thailand for a little more than 20 years. If you had asked me just two years ago, as people often did, if I planned to stay in Thailand, the answer would have been ‘yes.’ I had made a home there, had a life and a business that was in large part integral to being there.
About a year ago, things began to change. The business went into a bit of decline that went on for months, and in fact still continues. All efforts to revive it had no effect. The hobby I had turned into a career was starting to look more and more like work, without any payoff. While I still love Southeast Asia and all I achieved there, the shine had definitely begun to wear off. As last year dragged on, I began to seriously consider returning to the US for the first time.
And then the other shoe dropped. Only it was more like concrete galoshes. My 89 year-old mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer. It was like the universe was sending me a message, with all the subtlety of a two-by-four upside the head. Although my mother and the rest of my family were telling me there was no reason to rush home, as the year drew to a close, it was clear that I needed to make plans to come back to the USA, at least for a while.
So, as soon as I could after the end-of-year holidays, I packed up my home in Bangkok, putting what I didn’t need with me in storage there, and headed back to Portland, Oregon. I figured I would need to be here for at least three months or so, which would give me time to look around and decide if I really wanted to stay. However, life, the universe, and particularly mothers have a way of throwing a wrench into even the best-laid plans. Mom went downhill fast as I was packing up to come home. She went into hospice a week before I arrived, and the first day I went to visit her was her last lucid day. She apologized to my brother and I for the way she raised us - something that both of us will probably puzzle over for the rest of our lives - and then she shut down. She was gone a week later.
The whole reason I had planned to stay in Portland for a while was now moot. I thought about just heading back to Thailand and picking my life back up there, but that just didn’t appeal. Despite being cold, wet and miserable in mid-February, Portland was already growing on me. I wanted to stay. I found a place of my own and began looking for work, which isn’t easy in the US these days, but I made progress as time went on.
By mid-May I decided there was no point in maintaining the illusion that I would ever go back to Thailand to live, so I used my return ticket to go back to Bangkok, clean out my storage locker as well as my bank account, and send what I wanted to keep to Portland. You know that saying, “When one door closes, another one opens”? Well, my trip to Bangkok must have been one big slam of the door. Much to my own surprise, I didn’t have a single second thought about my decision while I was there, and as soon as I got back I had my first job interview the next day. I didn’t get that job, but more interviews followed, and within a couple weeks of getting back to Portland I had not one, but two job offers.
As you can probably appreciate, with so much going on, I didn’t really have the urge to write, even though I had a lot of time on my hands. I couldn’t even be bothered to edit “World’s Apart” and get it ready for release. I’ve always felt that I never wanted my fiction writing to be something I had to do. That’s one reason I self-publish. If I don’t feel like writing, I don’t, and there’s nobody pressuring me to do it. But, as I began to settle in, even before I was confident of finding work, an idea began to form. At first I thought it was just an idle fantasy, something to fire my own imagination. Then, on the long flight to Bangkok, the story began to fill out and expand. By the time I had landed, I was resigned to the idea that I would have to write the story down, even though it covers old ground for me, and for that matter, familiar ground in the D/s genre.
My working title for the story is “Good Dawg”. It is told in the first person by Kevin, a ‘late-blooming’ kinkster who is having a hard time finding a Dom to help him explore his submissive desires. As the story opens, Kevin is on his way to meet Ted, whom his friends tell him might be able to help Kevin on his quest. Ted isn’t what Kevin expected, but he is one of the most handsome men Kevin has ever seen, and, as it turns out, a Dom with his own attraction to Kevin. I think I’m well past the halfway point in the rough draft, but I probably won’t rush to edit and publish it right away. I may set it aside for a while.
Once I am done with the first draft, I’ll most likely pick up the edits to “World’s Apart” and either get it back out for another beta read or publish it, depending on how the edits go.