Had a rough day yesterday with our multiple-issue dog. We’ve been battling a few problems since she was two, and we are at the stage where her meds are beginning to take a toll on her body. Things are threatening to shut down, which means more meds, more trips to the vet, more thought of the end game and when to let her rest and when to keep fighting. She’s a tough little dog, and it’s hard to say “done” when she gets up the next morning, eager to get to her dog bowl, even if you have to hold her up so she can eat. She’s surprised Tim three times over the last two years, but this was the first time she surprised me. She’s sleeping comfortably at my feet right now, and her lease, if you will, has been extended once more.
All of which might be why my last few manuscripts, the ones you haven’t seen and likely won’t, deal with people overcoming their body saying no when their mind says yes, people being unexpectedly sidelined for things out of their control, their plans jerked out from under them as their bodies betray them–even as they are the ones with the failing skills that can get the job done.
They aren’t fun books, though I think there’s some dark humor in them. There’s no big finish where everything gets accomplished with smiles and tied up with a sparkly bow because the failing is still there. NY publishing is blessedly full of young, aggressive women who are at the top of their game or fighting to get there, and I get that the ugliness of failure is not attractive. At all. So I turned back to the Hollows and its sister series, rEvolution, even as my heart beats to Grace, and Joe, and Peri. There’s a soft strength in these unseen books, the success being in the journey, not the end. Books of strong spirit, I guess I’d call them, because my dog has a strong spirit, and she smiles at me as she rolls in the sun-warmed grass and comes up happy.
“Not done yet,” she says without saying a word, and so I help her continue.