Book Four

A Slight Hiccup

A little over a week ago, I was on a bike ride, just up the street in the center of town. The light at the intersection was red, so I did what I always do. I rode up as far as I could, alongside the cars, in the space between the car and the curb.

Normally I can get up to the light and wait for it to turn green with the first car in line.

This time, the light turned green when I was about five or six cars back. I had just approached the rear passenger door of — what I think I correctly call as — a dark green Grand Cherokee. As they sped up, for some reason, the drive moved slightly to the right and clipped my front tire with their rear bumper.

I fell headfirst onto the pavement, landing partly on my head, partly on my shoulder.

I was stunned, literally, for a minute, before I could stand up. I shook it off, but I knew I was hurt. The guys in the work van behind me asked if I needed a ride, but I thought I was okay.

Once I got off the road, I called my wife, but couldn’t get in touch with her. Then I called my sister-in-law, who works for the fire department in our town, which was just up the road. She came and got me and brought me back to the fire station, where the EMTs gave me a once over. I filed a report with them, then went over to the police station and filed a report there, as well.

Sister-in-law drove me home, and the pain got worse, so I went for x-rays with my wife.

I fractured my collarbone and a rib. Which, if you’ve ever done yourself, you know is one of those “we can’t do anything, just wait for it to heal, here’s some Tylenol” injuries.

This happens on Tuesday the 16th. Until today, I could not raise my left arm above my shoulder without blinding pain. It’s prevented me from being able to write anything in the last week and a half.

But, that said, I’m typing this, now. So there’s no excuse to not get back at it and finish up this first draft. I’ll be a little behind the completely arbitrary schedule I made up for myself, but that’s fine. And, hopefully, I’ll feel back to 100% soon. And also, hopefully, won’t be terrified to go back out on my bike again.

On to the Next!

I’ve found myself with an abundance of free time, so what else to do other than start my next book, right?

Dudley Road has been selling better than I imagined it would, the reviews are mostly very positive, and it’s helped the sales of my other two books, as well. Overall I’ve been very happy with how that’s all going. Could I be marketing better? Sure. But that’s not something I’m good at.

With that said, I’ve started my next book today. I had the idea for it a couple of months ago — which trumped all of my other existing “new book ideas” notes — and decided today was the day to get started on it.

I wrote for about 3 hours this morning and knocked out the first five scenes, clocking in at a first-day writing total of 5,465 words. Not too shabby for the first day.

I didn’t set myself any specific goals around word count, timelines, etc. I just want to write and see where the story takes me. I told myself that this time I’d plan it out and be organized with character backstories and plot summaries and everything that organized writers do. But I can’t. I’m what they call a pantser (as in “fly by the seat of your pants”) and I love that I write that way. It’s how my brain works best.

As I get further into the book, I’ll disclose more about it via my blog here, as well as my social media. But so far, so good.

Thanks to all of you who picked up a copy of Dudley Road. It means the world to me to have the support of people who’ve been with me since A Sour Chord came out nine years ago. Hopefully there isn’t as big of a delay between Dudley Road and the next book as there was between A Sour Chord and My Last Days. But that’s a story for another time. Thanks again!