3AM Random Thoughts

It’s 4:15am. I’ve been awake since 1:45, after getting to sleep around 11.

I don’t like being up early. I like saying good night to the rising sun as I shut my eyes, getting up in the afternoon and pounding caffeine, hitting work hard and switching to beer, whiskey or ice cream somewhere around 10pm. If I’m going to see 3am, I want it to be because I’ve been hanging with friends, closing down the local bar or on an all-night writing binge.

But here I am. Modestly full stomach, overfull head, sucking down an energy drink because the train’s running and I might as well blow the whistle. 3am is a shit time to be awake. To my mind, everything around me becomes hyper-real and I actually become the LEAST substantial thing in my world. It’s something like being a particularly potent ghost; I can still interact with the physical world, open and close doors, that sort of thing, but I can’t AFFECT anything.

And since my head is overly full, this is as good a place to empty it as anywhere. Since I’m not talking about Switter, kinky fuckery or #cockygate and #GETLOUD except in the most oblique possible ways, I rate the odds of anyone actually reading this somewhere around the chances of the Republican Party surviving November intact or Faleena Hopkins retaining her trademark on the word “cocky.”

In other words, it ain’t going to matter a damn to anyone but me, and I’m kind of okay with that. So, commencing brain dump now.

At 3am, I make the most hardened cynic look like a raving optimist.

Real talk: I’m sick to death of being the last person to get paid after being the first, and sometimes ONLY, person to do the damned work. The upside is I know I’m not alone in this; writers are starting to talk honestly about their income and the myriad ways we get screwed in this industry unless we’re REALLY lucky, which means there’s a good chance things are going to start changing. The downside is, drowning alongside a million other people IS STILL DROWNING! Ask anyone who died on the Titanic, if you have access to enough candles and a good guide to seances…

Dear Faleena, Chance, and all you other bookstuffers and people who think trademarks and scams are the way to secure your income: KNOCK IT OFF! You’re making real writers look bad and we’re tired of it. Extra-special minus points if you bully people and then play the victim card about how mean everyone is being to you.

Republicans: I used to believe in you and what you stood for. But I don’t like being played for a fool. Enjoy watching my ballots go to “the other guy.” Seriously, fuck you. Reagan would be deeply disgusted by what you’ve become. Anyone who promises to abolish ICE, NSA, DHS and start working toward sane domestic, healthcare and tax policy without being a racist/sexist/classist/fascist piece of shit along the way is going to get my vote.

I don’t write romance because it’s easy. I do it because it’s fun. I do it because I love it. I know there are too many guys out there who act like the romance genre is their own personal Tinder page. I’M NOT THEM.

At 3am the vampires are sated, the ghouls are gone and even the ghosts don’t care anymore. Every minute seems to pass five times slower than it should, and there’s nothing to do but wait for the daybreak your rational mind knows is coming.

But your heart isn’t convinced.

Dear Sparrow and Mouse: I’m trying. I’m doing absolutely everything I know to do. I know you see me flailing and it’s hard for you to watch. Please know it’s not your fault. Things will get better. I just don’t know how right now. But I’m still here, I still love you and I still have your backs, no matter what. 

Readers! Did you know that ONE BOOK SALE may be the difference between a writer being able to deliver more of the stories you love to read and having to do something else, which means less access to the stories you love? Yes, there’s a lot of dreck out there; but there are also a lot of gems hiding in the slop, if you only look. Take a chance on a new writer today.

There are few things more disheartening than seeing a sudden jump in views on your book and thinking the promo work you’ve been putting in is finally paying off, only to find out it was some search engine’s spider bots and 95% of your pageviews weren’t real. It’s like the worst April Fool’s prank ever coupled with a solid kick in the stones.

Dear kids in camps: There’s a whole country out there who hears your cries and your fears, and we’re fighting to get you back with the people who love you. You’re not forgotten, and you’re not alone. We won’t stop until you’re all with your families, safe and sound.

When did I stop believing in magic? And magick?

I think that’s enough for now. Those are the big ones on my mind. Everything else will just have to wait.

Maybe I can write something more fun now.

We’ll see.




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