The dead speak! Somehow, Rob returned.
Yes, Pull Followers, I’m back. I’d say I’ve finally woken up from a five year nap, but the truth is I’m still rubbing the sleep from my eyes and wondering if I won’t just conk out again within the next few seconds. Let’s hope not.
Let’s see, what happened…. Since you’re here for writing news, I’ll start with that. I wrote two novels not related to The Pull, released and got nominated for an award for one of them (Bubblegum Wasteland, coming soon!), in the midst of which I had a creative midlife crisis and wondered if I could create art while also working a full time job, oh and kind of lost my writing group after people and values drifted apart. RIP Athens Writers Association. May ye live on in spirit.
This sounds like a lot, but I’ll be honest: most of the last five years were filled with a kind of quiet, uneventful, existential depression; the kind of depression that tends to follow when one realizes they’re spending more time staring at spreadsheets and feeding into a capitalist dystopia than they are creating great art and building community with other dreamers.
Yeah, I was sad. Yeah, I didn’t like my life. In the past couple of years in particular, life hasn’t seemed to like me very much in return. I lost my grandmother, my cat, and nearly my father to cancer. Another friend was lost to suicide after a difficult battle with mental illness. Not one but two cars went kaput. A host of relatively minor but still alarming health nonsense got me thinking about my own mortality. More and more I realized I was unhappy
Depression is a negative energy vortex. The worse you feel, the harder it is to move through life with hopeful, optimistic energy. The less optimistic energy you put out, the more life seems to validate your pessimism as more and more bad things happen to and around you, which in turn feeds back into your depression and makes it stronger.
Did I forget there was also a global pandemic in the midst of all of this? Speaking of: a bright spot appeared when I was interviewed by a local radio station featuring authors during the pandemic. The dark spot of that interview was that the only soundbite they used of me essentially boiled down to, “It’s hard to be creative in the midst of all the gloom and doom” when every other interviewee they featured was all sunshine and rainbows and belligerent hopefulness. Not entirely inauthentic to what I was feeling at the time, I guess.
Anyway, guess who gave life the finger and decided to be belligerently hopeful, himself after all that?! This guy. I quit a job that was keeping a roof over my head but meanwhile sucking the life out of me (no offense, Phil). I started a new business (more on that below). I jumpstarted my creative output. I got back out there into the creative community and dusted off my old, dust-covered social muscles and discovered that they are sadly still reliant on a certain amount of caffeine.
Neighborhood Books was born! No, not the one in Maine. No, not the one in Pennsylvania (blame Google for failing me when I was researching business names, but hey, I own the URL now). Neighborhood Books Athens was born! My transition from sad former author to “local author guy” began last May as I brought not only my own books, but the books of over a dozen other Athens authors to my first craft fair.
That’s right, I not only hawk my own wares now. If you have a book and live within the North Georgia area, I’ll hawk yours too. http://www.neighborhoodbooks.com now showcases 50+ independent and small press authors as well as 100+ books of all genres and mediums. I sling the written word online and I sling it at farmer’s markets and my own hosted pop-ups. Come see me and buy a copy of The Pull…or a coloring book for the kiddies…or a four and a half pound tome on the history of East Athens.
So expect to hear from me a little more often than every five years now. Also expect to see some changes around here at followthepull.com, even some changes as I revisit the Pull series and release new editions of Books 1 and 2…as well as finally release Books 3 and beyond!
Thanks for remembering me. Thanks for having faith in me even when I didn’t have it in myself. Thanks for all that sappy stuff.
Next time on Rob Blog: a wild new book release appears!