Newsletter Volume 8: Slogging Through the Wilderness

From November 5, 2021

I know a beautiful place. Hilliard Falls is a little slice of Heaven where you can skinny dip in a clear pool at the bottom of a lovely waterfall with a near zero chance of being discovered. The reason the place remains idyllic and pristine is it's accessible only via a side excursion off the Cherokee Foothills Trail after slogging over twenty miles of wilderness to get to the trail access.

I'm not using the word slog lightly. Much of the hike is uphill where the only reward for reaching the top of the hill is ... you're no longer going uphill. And it's not a side excursion you can take on a whim. It requires some planning, choosing a nearby base camp, and adding an extra half-day to your backpacking trip itinerary.

But the effort is worth it.

It's a lot like the creative process in some ways. There are brief periods of inspiration, when you can skinny dip with your Muse, sandwiched between long periods of slogging through the wilderness of the mundane. Unlike an excursion to Hilliard Falls, you can't know when the inspiration will hit. But, if you don't do the planning and the slogging, you'll miss the inspiration.

Oh, the inspiration will still be there, just like Hilliard Falls isn't going anywhere. But without the work and planning, you won't be able to take advantage of it.

I'm doing a lot of slogging, right now. I've been immersed in the final edits of Half Human and will begin the tedious process of formatting the print book after I finish this newsletter. Next comes the preparation of review copies to be sent out to my ARC team. Strangely enough, although I don't necessarily enjoy this part of the process, I've found that some of my best ideas surface from this tedium. So, I'm ready with a document of ideas and an outline of the next book open in another window on my laptop.

This Month's Feedback Question: What do you do during those periods of time where inspiration or productivity is low? Do you have some planned slogging you do to be ready when the inspiration or energy hits?

Last Month's Giveaway: Congratulations to Gary F, who won a $100 Amazon gift card by identifying all the characters in my new web banner. Gary is a three-time winner, now. Amazing. As promised, here are the correct answers.

Characters, from left to right: Clifford Crane (the werewolf), Me (struggling author), Danielle Anderson, Heather Felton, Nicole Black, Sethmus (the demigod), Pieter (the dragon), and Abby Fly.

This Month's Giveaway: I'm giving away a Red Wolf Saga boxed set for Kindle ($7.99 value) to anyone referred by one of you to join the pack. Any current member who refers a new member gets a boxed set as well. Just email me at with the first name and email address of the individual you are referring. Refer as many new members as you can!

Until next time, Happy Reading!


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