Thursday, January 20, 2011

Shaman in Exile finished!

On January 16th I finished my magical realism novel, Shaman in Exile, which is a follow up to the novel Shaman Circus which was released by ATTM Press last January. I think the anniversary release date was what influenced me to settle down and finish the book. 
Here's the stats
Took 4 1/2 years to write
106,000 words
61 chapters
Music I listened to: Ten Years, Apocalyptica, Temple of Thieves, IAMX
Writing influences:  John Fowles, Carl Jung, the journals of Anais Nin, Doris Lessing, A.S. Byatt, Heraclitus, Nietzsche, Brian K.Ladd, B. Miller, j.m. Niotta, Poppy Z. Brite, Neil Gaiman.

It takes place in  a variety of locales, New Hampshire, the Alsace region of France and Folly Island, SC with flashbacks to Africa, Haiti and New Orleans. 
When I cam back to Greenville, South Carolina, I had to move into my art studio at the Village Studios and Gallery, in the Pendleton St,. Arts District.when pipes burst at my home requiring a lot of renovations. I lived there eight months.  Then I returned to my home near downtown Greenville. During that time, my mother passed away, my daughter was married, and two years later divorced, she was also very ill for three years, I went full time with my small press, Shadow Archer Press and after publishing,      books, was forced to almost completely shut down the press due to the recession.  It is now limping along to the dismal point of producing only one issue of Fissure magazine last year.  Also during that time, I had many good friends move away, some who have been friends for over 20 years. These included my main writing buddy, Brian K. Ladd, my great friend and art mentor, Donna, my Shadow Archer Press technical advisor, Shaggy Randall, my ex-lover and friend, Kevin, and my confidant and dear friend from the music industry, also a talented artist, Cindy Woods. Some moved quite far away, which was very difficult. All of these comprised my support system and served as inspiration for both writing and art.  Perhaps it's why I focused on the concept of "exile" in this book, even though I remained in my own town much of the time. Perhaps a sense of "home" is not a physical place but a state of mind.
I had book signings and art openings, and started a new job as a Rehab Support Specialist and art facilitator for individuals with traumatic brain injuries.  I spent many hours with my granddaughter, now 7 years old, since her mother was ill and works nights.  I have become much more of a hermit than I was when I wrote Shaman Circus to the point I no longer hold parties or fire pit gatherings, writers groups or staff meetings at my house.   

  There's always a few down days following my ending of a project.  Now that I've finished Shaman in Exile and will wait a week or so to being the editing process, I find myself at a crossroads.  There are tow projects I have deadlines for one a bio for the band Temple of Thieves and another an article on the psychology of steampunk.  Both of these are kind of twisting my brain right now.  And then there's the temptation to do art with Tim Holtz and Graphic 45 coming out with new amazing product lines.  What to do, what to do.   I plan to complete at least the two writing projects this weekend, try and spend some time with friends I didn't get to see over the holidays and let my subconscious figure it all out.

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