I plan to get some more of the bonus content I've written into audio, as soon as Gabrielle's schedule permits. It's actually quite a lot, because I wrote a little novellette for the Patreon recently.
Everyone over there voted, and The Honeymoon Suite idea won. The basic premise is:
"When a local hotel employee tries to blackmail Titus (Damien’s older brother), he
finds out about the “honeymoon suite” misunderstanding involving
Sebastien and Damien. Worried, Titus decides to dig deeper to keep his
brother safe from Sebastien, suspected seductive conman.
Super fun, 7 chapters, and you can read it here if you're a patron at any level: https://www.azaleaellis.com/bo...
In Other News:
I've got exclusive story content coming for everyone here in the Inner Circle, whether or not you're a patron.
I want everyone here to get free content!
If you'd like a sneak peek about that, you can check out the premise here: The Catastrophe Collector
What's up with me:
If you know me, you know that I'm addicted to that workahol. I'm a high achiever, and I spend a lot of time working. I like to set goals and achieve them.
(This doesn't mean I'm a particularly fast writer, because I also spend a lot of time thinking and learning about what I'm going to write.)
But these last few months I've been lacking my usual energy and focus. Fatigue, brain fog, and low motivation.
I'm used to the occasional short burnout where I get tired and need a break, or the occasional obsession where I need to play games, binge-watch a series, or research some new idea from morning to night. For days straight.
(Guys, this is why I don't do drugs. I have an obsessive, addictive personality and if I liked them too much, I would get hooked.)
Usually, those breaks from the main gig will last for a week on the long end, and maybe 2 weeks if it's really serious. But I had been struggling to find the mental energy for my normal productivity levels for months.
I don't know what was wrong with me.
Long COVID? I caught it for the 2nd time in November.
Seasonal Affective Disorder? I live in Idaho where I believe winter lasts an unfair 5 months out of the year.
(My partner says that's not how seasons work, technically.)
It snowed here again just a couple weeks ago. I have sun lamps, and many ultra-bright bulbs throughout the house, but nothing is really a replacement for sunlight.
Vitamin deficiency of some sort?
It felt like depression without me actually feeling depressed, if you can understand.
It was like burnout without the creative apathy that normally accompanies burnout for me.
Anyway, as I started to realize something was wrong, and that I wasn't just being lazy (high Achiever self-talk), I began trying various things to get my energy levels up. If it didn't get better, I resolved to go get some blood work done.
But before I had to force myself to go to the doctor, I did start feeling better again.
I can't say I'm 100%, but I'm definitely on the mend. And I am being cautious to continue managing my energy levels so I don't relapse.
But if this happens again next year, I've gotta move. If not to a different state, then at least to a different house where sunlight can actually get inside.
If you've been struggling, feeling fatigued, demotivated, unhappy, or just generally "blah," maybe take a moment to consider if you just need a break, or maybe some help.
Be kind to yourself. If you don't like where you're at, remember that you don't have to stay there. Things can get better. Small things like what I was dealing with, and big things too.