Thursday, July 7, 2011

Spinning Plates

For some time now, (since the loss of the Tiny Dynamo Course Correction System, in fact) I've felt like that old vaudeville act where the guy spins plates on the ends of sticks. No sooner does he get one going than one at the end starts to slip.

(What can I tell you, in those days we thought we were having fun-- even if the most you got in a strip club was a glimpse of ankle. Those penny nickelodeons ruined everything. Now you kids get off my lawn.)

There's tattooing. There's running the shop, a seperate job in itself. There's writing first drafts and cleaning up older work for release. There's that unavoidable maintenance that keeps my life from falling apart. (You know, paying bills and doing dishes and bathing. Stuff like that. Now get off my lawn.) There's martial arts classes to keep my body from falling apart. (And yes, I do realize the irony that I am constantly bruised and sore in the name of good health.)

And of course there are sundry other plates that would love to be spun, if I can only keep the big ones from falling.

Well, last February the whole crazy act came crashing down around my ears. Which, it turns out, was a good thing. With fresh crockery and unbroken sticks I'm back on stage.

First, I went with a smaller tattoo shop. Lower overheads, easier management, fewer tattoos necessary to pay the bills: that side of my life spins a hell of a lot easier now.

My martial arts school moved way the hell out to the other side of town, so that one's a harder spin, but worth it.

The writing is a struggle. I've got a first draft (working title WRECKING BALL) almost finished, but it moves in fits and starts. Mainly because I decided this year I needed to focus on getting more stuff up on Kindle. Which means revisions and rewrites. A lot of them. Right now I'm focusing on the sequel to Poison Door, no idea when it'll be ready, but I'm working on it.

Of course, I've got the graphic novels too: three more of those I own the rights to, and fans old and new asking for them. Especially in print. Which isn't that much harder, but it ain't easy, either. Basically, I just need a whole bunch of hours parked in front of a screen tidying up my scans of the original art. A whole bunch of hours I don't have.

And self-promotion, don't even get me started. Every time I post a bit on the Kindle boards, or do a new review on Goodreads, or do anything whatsoever to let the world know I'm alive, my sales spike. I bet if I did that stuff regular-like, they'd stay up. But the fact is, I don't have the time right now.

Hell, my old tattoo shop's wreckage is in my garage and I haven't had time to cart it to the dump. My garden's more weeds than plants, and due to lack of vacuuming in order to walk across the lounge it's sometimes necessary to brave knee-high drifts of cat hair.

I'm trying to get some of those plates up and spinning, before I end up leaving f soap-carvings in a hollow tree for the neighbor's kids....

Ha, like I'd ever have the time to carve soap.

(Now get off my lawn.) :)


RK Sterling said...

Hey - I'm so glad to see you back!

Believe me, I understand all about those spinning plates. Just don't spin yourself right into the hospital like I did. Take care of yourself!

Charles Gramlich said...

Glad you've managed to simplify a few things. The promoting thing is a helluva choir. I spend a lot of hours without as much success as I'd like. But when I spend no time I go nowhere. I just finished a wip, although it'll set for a few days before I give it one more once over.

Steve Malley said...

Hey Kate, I'm glad to be back! And yeah, I'm hoping to keep hospitals and the like out of my future-- though I'm sure I'd find a way to write in there too! :)

Charles, I can't wait to read the new one... Ember Star, yes? :D

Angie said...

Missed this! Every now and then an RSS feed will fall off and I don't notice until I go poking through my blogroll and say, "Wait, I haven't seen anything from So-and-so in a while!" :/

Anyway, it sounds like you're getting things back together, even if you're still spinning plates. I remember seeing those guys on TV too. :) But it's better than having only broken sticks and crockery, right?

Best of luck keeping it all spinning,


Shauna Roberts said...

Your life's been unstable for such a long time; I was relieved to read this post and hear that things are finally getting better for you. I hope your life continues to improve.

And cat hair's not all bad. It means you've got cats, and every writer needs at least one, right?

Drizel said...

HOPE the the plates are spinning:)

Riss said...

Hey you! (c: I truly know how you feel. Plates are spinning out of control over here in their own way and it looks like lots of glass shards may be raining down in short order. Put the cat to work. Keep it up and poke your head out into the world every once in a while-and huzzah for being banged up all the time in the name of health! I'm doing this crazy outdoor challenge adventure race in like, 20 days...should be interesting (c: Good luck and remember to breath!

Steve Malley said...

Angie, Shauna, Drizel and Riss, thanks so much for the kind words and my apologies: for some reason, blogger stuck you guys in 'comments awaiting moderation' without telling me!

cs harris said...

Good to see you back! I guess I should figure out how to sign up for an RSS feed.

Depression seriously walloped me in those months/years after Katrina. To be frank, I'm not sure I'm quite over it yet. You lose the city and much of the life you love, and it's always hard. At least you're still exercising. I kept to my yoga for years then seriously fell off the wagon when my mom came to live with me. Only just starting to get into a regular practice again.

BTW, Blogger says you have comment moderation enabled.

Thinking of you.