Not Dead, Just Resting My Eyes – The Tardy Update, Part 1

by Brian on April 14, 2021

in Life & Stuff

So anyway — where were we?

“Life is what happens when you’re making other plans,” said John Lennon.

Not-Dead-Just-Resting-Tardy-1Shortly after my last post here, the first clouds of family crisis blackened the horizon. Priorities began to shift. Soon, exactly three years ago, I lost both parents at once. On the publication day for my most recent novel, The Immaculate Void, I woke up to the not-expected news that my mom had just died.

In the course of normal lifetimes, this is the way of it. You bury the people who brought you into the world. But this was still like ripping off the jumbo-size Band-Aid all at once.

I was appointed executor of their estate, and that was pretty much my life for the next year-plus. A few matters continued to drag on, from 2018 to 2019 to 2020 and beyond. The estate was only able to be closed several weeks ago. The Band-Aid was long off, but the scab took forever.

In the meantime, fresh works of mine — new books, new stories, new film and TV options — came and sometimes went. I had things in the pipeline that continued to pop out, but without much replenishment, the pipeline eventually emptied.

And I was strangely okay with that.

Lifequakes, I’ve recently seen them called: these seismic events that leave our lives forever changed, for better or for worse or neither, just different. Their aftershocks reach into places you wouldn’t think they would and shake things up, sometimes radically: career changes, ended relationships, new missions, old interests falling away as new interests rise to take their place. It’s surprisingly common, I’ve learned.

Just plain surprising, too. After many years of writing various forms of horror — not exclusively, but predominantly, from body horror to folk horror to industrial horror to cosmic horror, and more — I would never have expected to finally get clear of this gauntlet and realize horror no longer interested me.

It gets weirder. At this point, I may not even be a writer at all anymore. Not in the sense of retirement, but rather of negation. Nothing of the caterpillar remains in the butterfly. It dissolved and the soup reconstituted into its own separate thing.

But I’m still sorting that one out. With a good, epic lifequake, it can take three to five years for the dust to fully settle, for the integration of the aftershocks to be complete. I don’t want to write again, necessarily … but I’d like to want to, if that makes sense.

And that’s enough for now. More to come.

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