Out of the Abyss

Welcome to Author Next Door!

This last year I’ve crawled out of the gaping sinkhole I’ve lived in for several years.

Highlights only:

My mother died after a long fight with ovarian cancer, softened only by the birth of another family member the following year. I attended grief counseling sessions along with a sibling.

Around then, my second novel failed to gain traction when pitched at a national conference with partial submitted as requested. Queries weren’t answered or acknowledged. Beta readers and published friends gave divergent opinions on revising, including ditching parts I thought crucial to the premise of my novel. Despair set in: who was I kidding thinking I could be a writer? I must be an imposter!

If that weren’t enough, I suffered Frozen Shoulder—yes, that’s a thing—where I lost the ability to perform some of the most basic tasks with my dominant arm. Only after shots, physical therapy and months and months and MONTHS of exercises could I gradually resume regular early morning exercise with my neighbor buddy/writer and life as I had known it.

Like Joe Pesci’s character in My Cousin Vinny, I had begun to wonder what, if anything else, could possibly be piled on top of all of this?

Fortunately, things got better again, as they do with time, and throughout it all there were pinpoints of light, such as travel with my husband on a river cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest. I read fiction and non-fiction. Friends encouraged. I did a spiritual reset to learn that Surprise! my factory setting turned out to be different from the way I was raised, so I’ve learned different choices and habits.

Darkness receded. Pulling up and out of the abyss, I propel forward, energized. Bits and pieces of writing and notes/research eked out during that time now can be revised, enlarged. New research has fueled novel number three.

Thank you, thank you to everyone who kept asking how things were, who gave me great hugs, and who encouraged me to keep going.

I appreciate you more than you know.

Karen Taylor Saunders