Happy SealI am at the pinnacle of exhaustion.

I stayed up after 3 am last night, putting the final checks and proofs on the novel draft. After that I penned a letter explaining some of the changes as well as presenting some ideas for the sequel, and fired them both off to the stakeholders.

And yes, I still have work today.

But even as I laid down in bed last night, I couldn’t help but feel ambivalence, a sense of both incredible elation and odd restless. On one hand, I was ecstatic my efforts had finished. But at the same time, it was only partial closure. There are unfinished stories. Sure, they’re at a great stopping point, but the tale isn’t complete.

And I know that trying to conclude them is going to open more threads. More characters to meet, more adventures to explore. If the sequel is given the green light, I already have enough material for a book no less the size of the first… and a tense plot that could overtake the quality of the earlier installment.

Is this what drives professional authors? The Zeigarnik Effect of “what happens next?” It wasn’t even just another novel. As I walked into the office, an idea for a short story popped into my head. Returning to shorts would be a fantastic break from crafting another book.

But first I have promises to myself I have to keep. My health has not been my priority as of late, and I have a few extra pounds I need to shuck. I need to start hitting the gym again and getting more sleep. I also have a horror anthology to finish putting together, though with three or four months and the manuscripts already written, that won’t be as demanding.

One way or the other, time for a mental vacation.

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