My life over the past couple months has been taken unexpected turns. It’s not all bad, I don’t even know if, in retrospect, any of it has been ‘bad’, actually.
I stopped writing, not so much by choice or even lack of motivation / creativity, but because of ‘real’ life interfering. I was too busy cutting wood to keep the house warm, and working on making the truck run to really have time to sit and write. When I did find time, I was too worn out to actually do so.
Then my wife said that we were going to be active again in the Society for Creative Anachronism. I wasn’t necessarily being bitten my the bug to do so, though I had been on and off for the past decade. I didn’t complain because is was clearly a good thing for her. I knew, once we started playing, I’d be swept up in the life and that has proved true.
When this decision was made, I was already getting to the point where less time was being taken up by wood cutting, due to warmer weather. I had more free time, but wasn’t quite in the zone to write. Instead, I threw my creative energy into what I used to do last time we played SCA – jewelry making. By jewelry making, I mean carving / shaping bronze, and brass, bone and wood, into ornaments, decorated my hand shaped glass ‘gems’ all in the style of 1500’s venetian period. It is an exacting, creatively challenging, hobby that is very rewarding.
So, in one way, I’m glad I wasn’t writing when this life change happened, because I would have found it harder to adjust and slip back into the life. I have plan on stopping writing. I honestly don’t think I could, even with the ‘new’ distraction. In point of fact, my mind is percolating, starting to work on a short story I started months back. working a short story is a good way to get back into the rhythm, I find. From there, delving back into the novel will be easier to accomplish.
When will this start? Saturday. How can I know? Because tomorrow, I go to Windsor for my twice annual cat sitting job which is always a writing retreat – a stimulus for getting the words out and onto the screen. I’m looking forward to it, the zen of writing, the enjoyment of submersing myself into another world. I am also packing the equipment needed to work on jewelry, so that I can have both creative outlets available to me. I will have the time, and the desire, and plan on indulging.
If I have any doubt about getting back to writing – or the value of completing another short story – all I have to do is look at the reviews coming in for my second released book, Blondes, Books, & Bourbon. The anthology has been getting some very encouraging things said about it :
5* – “I loved this book even more than Mr. Ridley’s previous one, Tomorrow Wendell, which BTW is also about Jonathan Alvey and is super awesome! I absolutely loved all the stories and will re-read them very soon (yes, it’s that good!) All the stories are unique and adventurous… Mr. Ridley has created something more than just a likeable character, he’s created a character sensation. Jonathan Alvey is an extremely well developed and an amazingly crafted character”
5* – “Ridley opened this anthology with an interview that will make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up and an even bigger reaction in your brain to continue on reading.
If you haven’t read the first book in the series, Tomorrow Wendell, you’ll still enjoy this collection and get to know Jonathan Alvey, as well as a few other recurring characters”
5* – “Ok so I want to start out by saying I have a strong dislike for short stories in general. But I really enjoyed the time I spent with each one of these. Alvey is an awesome main protagonist that is easy to get along with and root for… I never felt lost reading these stories, and I was never just wanting to get onto the next one either. I can honestly say I like each and every one of them. Even if you haven’t read Tomorrow Wendell you’ll have no problem keeping up or getting to know Alvey…If you like magic and the supernatural in your stories, then Blondes, Books, and Bourbon: A White Dragon Black Anthology is for you. If you’ve never really tried out a detective story, then this is the one I would recommend finding out with. Great writing, amazing characters and fun yet creepy new monsters you don’t normally run into.”
5* – “This is an amazing read, although short stories, all the stories are linked through Mr. Jonathan Alvey and this is a unique collection that reads like an amazing novel. The reader follows Private investigator Alvey as he takes on paranormal cases. I won’t go into each one but just know they are interesting and compelling cases that will have the reader glued to this amazing anthology… This is an amazing book and the author has done a wonderful job creating a special story. Believe me this is a do not miss story!”
5* – “Alvey is a fantastic homage to the hardboiled detective fiction of old with a fresh insertion of the mystical and arcane. Conjuring images of rot-gut bourbon, duplicitous dames and dangerous foes, Ridley manages to channel some of the best traditions left over from the old school of detective fiction… Full of intrigue, danger and bleak humour – the stories in Blondes, Books and Bourbon not only expand on the world Ridley introduced us to in his debut novel Tomorrow Wendell, but rather supersede it.”