I’ve been giving thought to many things recently. Jobs done, the sometimes unpleasant responses to doing work well, despite it being unpopular. Amid all the negativity and spite that has tried to attach itself to me, several things have become clear–professionals admire other professionals, and amateurs find reasons to turn their issues into yours. I wear many hats, a result of working in a number of areas related to, but not exclusive to publishing. With two talented and dedicated partners and friends, I own and run an internationally read magazine that’s hosted some of the top talents in many entertainment fields. I’ve held the #1 best-seller position for over two years with one of my publishers, and achieved best-seller status with several others. In the past year, three of my books have reached the top ten best-seller lists on Amazon, with one of them landing at the #2 spot for a couple of days. Things to be proud of, to be sure.
Pride is a funny thing, just like popularity. Too much and you lose your perspective. Too little and you lose your ability to strand up straight and control your life. Popularity is a two-sided weapon–too little and you feel like all you’re doing means nothing and is reaching no one–too much and all you see is your small universe, not the bigger picture that is life. Pride can help you shine, or choke your potential to grow and learn.
I’ve gotten weary of people in this business who scream and shout down the walls when things don’t go the way they want them to. Those who congregate on sites to snipe, bitch, and lay waste to their peers for whatever reasons, need to take a closer look at what is motivating their rage, because “the people have a right to know” is a cover for a thousand sins in any business. The people do not have the right to know everything because some aspect of a person’s life is public. There truly is a right way and a wrong way to conduct your business, and public floggings are not conducive to impressing anyone with your real or imagined cause.
Like many of my peers, I’ve had issues with bad publishers, other authors, even over-zealous readers a couple of times. Unlike some, I don’t take the issues public. Nothing taints your credibility worse than “scandal” or attacking other business people. When asked about certain publishers, I will explain my experience, but I have never told anyone they shouldn’t publish with a company because I don’t like them, or any other reason. We each have only our experiences to draw from, and one man’s joy is another man’s sorrow as we all know.
Recently, something has happened that has made me look very closely at motivation, response, and honest emotional reactions to attacks made against me. It doesn’t seem to matter a damn to anyone that some people just aren’t interested in “mud-wrestling” with anyone who happens to have a bug up their butt about someone else. Frankly, I have enough on my own plate without looking for more to add to it that doesn’t involve me in any way! Shit-storms never really blow over, they just change shape and focus, moving on to gobble up any new fuel that people feed into it. Any doubts about that? Look at how many times a day any given social media is filled with virulent attacks and blasts to perceived enemies. For some it’s the only way they can get anyone’s attention, so they don the mantle of “defender” of some ideal that is then perverted and twisted to serve the immediate need of our modern Joan of Arc types.
Martyrdom aside, I have no great ambition to battle the publishing world I want to one day conquer. My dragons have been slain, my fears acknowledged and tamed, hopes embraced and put in the light so they can grow into real dreams attained, not simply aspired to. Until we know ourselves, we can’t really grow into all we want to become. And success should never be clawed at and clutched because it’s been stolen from someone else through manipulation and demeaning. If you think you can win your goals and dreams by tearing apart someone else, you’ll lose everything you think you’ve secured for yourself. Fact of life. Learn it well.
SOMETHING MOOR: An unexpected trip to Ireland takes Caragh McCarthy back to her ancestral home, and the past collides with the present when car trouble strands her on the moors of Country Tyrone. When Kelan O’Shea comes to her rescue, a 300 year old injustice might yet be set right, and a promised future can be fulfilled.
“Where are you heading on a night like this?”
Kelan O’Shea tucked a flashlight into his backpack and smiled. “I’ve got to get home, Maeve,” he replied. “You know that.”
She pouted and shook her head before coming to stand at his side. “They can manage without you for a night, Kel.”
“And here was me thinking I was indispensible.” He grinned and held up a hand when she would have tried to dissuade him. “I have to go.” He ignored her glare and headed out the door. Maeve was getting a little too clingy for his liking, and despite a lifelong friendship, he would soon stop visiting her. She ran a wonderful stable with excellent horses, and he enjoyed his hours spent on the trails. But… he laughed at his own thoughts, always a but to ruin things.
He reached the stable and led his horse out into the damp evening air. The storm had been torrential, holding him up longer than he intended. He mounted and nudged the gelding into an easy cantor. The animal was familiar with the route, and required little guidance.
He was only a mile or so from home when the horse deviated from their usual trail. A minute or two later, Kel spotted why. He reined in his horse and slid from the saddle in an easy motion. The ground beneath his feet was slippery. He paused just long enough to be sure he wouldn’t end up on his arse with his next step, then he crossed carefully to the figure lying in the rain-soaked grass. He dropped his pack and hauled out the flashlight. A quick once over twisted something unnameable deep in his bones and he swallowed the reaction.
The unconscious woman he’d found was a stranger. Her dark hair was soaking wet and tangled strings clung to her ashen features. Blood stained one shoulder of her lightweight jacket. He carefully picked her up and took her to the patient horse. It took him a few minutes, but he got her positioned in front of him and he touched heels to the sides of the gelding.
“Come on now, boy, we need to get home in a hurry.”
The horse agreed, he picked up his pace.
* * * * *
“How is she Doc?”
Seamus Payne was an old family friend, and he eyed Kel for a few seconds.
“Why was she out there on the moor? Even a stranger should have known better than to attempt that.” He closed his medical bag before adding, “Why in hell were you out there?”
Kel shrugged. “I got delayed by the storm.”
“Know who she is?”
“Caragh McCarthy,” Kelan said. “She was headed here, but wasn’t due for another day.”
“She the one you’ve been waiting for?”
Kel hesitated, then looked at the woman lying unconscious in the bed. “She might be. Is she going to be all right?”
“Keep an eye on her, she may have a slight concussion. She hit that rock pretty soundly. The bleeding’s stopped, and the few stitches won’t need to be in long.”
“I’ll keep an eye on her.”
Payne had just reached the door when Kelan stopped him with a question. “Did you see an abandoned car on your way in?”
“Half a mile from where you found her.”
“Can Robbie tow it here in the morning?”
“I’ll ask him when I get home, but I’d say yes,” the doctor said. “I want to see her at the clinic, Kel. It would be a good idea to get a CT scan. I don’t think she’s incurred a serious head injury, but I’d rather be cautious.”
“I’ll bring her in as soon as possible,” he promised.
When the door closed, Kelan pulled up a chair and sat a short distance from the bed. Leaning back in his chair he shook his head. “What the hell were you thinking?” he mused.