Sunday, November 8, 2015

a hiatus

I've finally cobbled together enough spare minutes to type all this out, and now I'm scared to begin. So let's just rip the bandaid off and say it outright: Book III is going to come out much later than anticipated. Possibly a year or two late. As in, like, 2017.

I know. I KNOW.

I love writing Vessel. Like I've said before, I can't even conceive of not finishing it, and I won't stop until the series is done. These characters have been an enormous part of my inner life for so long now. The story itself is a trusted friend at this point, a refuge, a place to go instantly when I am bored or angry or elated, to tinker around and work my shit out, and feel the thrill of conveying a scene exactly as I see it in my head. And best of all, publishing it, sharing it, has forged an instant and incredible link with a sprinkling of people across the continent, people who love this story as much as I do, people who move me to make it the best it can be.

One thing Vessel doesn't do, however, is generate income. I write it because I love to, because, as Elizabeth Reyes put it, I must. And for five years or more, I was fortunate enough to find jobs that allowed me plenty of writing time, knowing all the while that one day this holiday would end. That a more viable career, or another trip to school, would one day become a necessity I could no longer put off. Well, that day came along in the middle of September, in the form of an opportunity I couldn't pass up: namely, the rare chance to apprentice under a master tattoo artist.

Tattooing has long topped the list of careers I give enough fucks to actually strive toward. Drawing was always my first love, not to mention the thing I happen to be best at; tattoos, my vice whenever I have the extra cash. I love the artwork, the styles, the people, the culture, the intimacy, the challenge of pain, the ritual and tradition, the colorful balance between reverence and irreverence. Given a totally unexpected shot at breaking into this notoriously difficult-to-enter industry, to learn skills that will allow me to one day earn a better living (and hopefully more time for Vessel) doing something that satisfies me every bit as much as writing . . . well, I hope you can understand why I couldn't walk away from that.

Obviously my heart is over the moon for this new opportunity, but it also breaks that Vessel has to take a back seat for a while. If it were humanly possible, you know I'd claw out the time to write. Between the apprenticeship and my day job, however, I'm now working 75-90 hours a week. That is not a typo. Most days I consider it an honest to god miracle if I'm able to take a shower. And this madness will go on for some time. A year or more, easily. You can appreciate, then, the agonizing Sophie's choice I now make. This might be the only chance I ever have to claim a more secure and enjoyable future for myself, but it comes at the cost of setting aside that which I hold fiercely dear, that which I have poured myself into for nearly a decade. I feel like I'm leaving my children at an orphanage. I feel . . . like this is the hardest thing I've ever done, and it's only beginning. This is the fight of my life, friends.

Just know this. Know that I mean it when I say that for as long as I am able to compose words, Vessel will remain a major priority in my life. The series will be completed. All five books. Maybe more. You'll see. Double-pinky kiss-kiss.

Boys. Jordan. Hang in there. I'm coming back for you.


  1. How unfortunate that Book III will be so delayed, but I completely get where you're coming from. I've been unable to work on my own book while forging a career as a legitimate writer. Sacrifice, by nature, is not easy, but there's comfort in knowing that there will be payoff sooner or later.

    Good luck with you apprenticeship!