As you may know, I’ve had a lot of downtime over the past three weeks and that gave me tons of time to think.

Now, that isn’t always a good thing. Sometimes it can be creative and sometimes it can be depressing. During this slow healing process, I’ve taken a good long look at myself.

Some call this “Shadow work.” I call it being honest with myself about every aspect that makes up my being.

Yes, I have gone through every one of the emotions shown. I’ve gone from telling myself that I’m stumbling through life pretending, to realizing I have a gift that is only mine and I must share it.

Introspection is not always pleasant. I’m not a fan of facing my fears, my insecurities, or my failings. It’s much easier to float through life without much thought.

But, I realized something through these bouts of self-micro inspection. All of us are complex creatures. We are multi-dimensional beings. We are connected by an invisible thread of common energy and we’re all on this crazy little whirling rock together. And, we all suffer varying degrees of pain and despair from time-to-time.

Image Via Pixabay

So, I share this with you and for you.

Taking a break?


Or is it? Are you like me and feel that you have to work like a Trojan workhorse every day, day in and day out?

But what happens when we do? I can only speak from my own personal experience.

  1. Creativity all but comes to a screeching halt
  2. I find it hard to shut my brain off at night for sleep
  3. I feel exhausted all the time
  4. I get grouchy when I am not creating
  5. I get tunnel vision

Here’s the truth of it. Most of us are ambitious and anxious to write great books and get them into the hands of readers. But, no matter how much we do, there is always more to do: more writing, more marketing, more admin. A writer’s work is never done.

Writer's Work

I have one novel already written and two more in the series vaguely outlined and waiting. I fear I have failed miserably, as an author, this year. Yes, I put out several short stories and maintained my blog, but have not given much more than a glance toward my next full-length book. There’s a couple of reasons for that. I have been in this state of limbo since last year, waiting with bated breath to see if a publisher will take the first book of The White Rune Series. Guess what? I’m still waiting.

So, why couldn’t I force myself to work on the next one while I’m waiting? That would be the smart thing to do. I guess the truthful answer is I need to feel like it is worthwhile. Yes, I know. Everything we are inspired to do is worthwhile in some way or another. Maybe the better word for it is validation.

In telling Rick’s and my stories, I had passion. I was driven to get the story down and out into the hands of readers. I need to feel that burning passion again.

burning passion

I’m open to any advice. My sister tells me that if you don’t write a story, you lose it. I don’t want to lose them because they are good stories. Such a dilemma.

Then I have to ask myself this question. If the publisher that currently has the manuscript passes on it, what then?

Yes, I know I can self-publish, but I don’t have another $2,000 to $3,000 to invest with little hope of ever recouping. Since I suck at cover design and formatting, I’d have to pay for both of those services plus editing. If anyone ever said writing and publishing books is easy, they told a big lie.

So, the bottom line to all of this is that I took a break from working on the novels. Is that good? I suppose only time will tell.

How about you? Do you take breaks? Do you have books waiting to be published? Please tell me I’m not in this boat alone.


Everyone who leaves a comment will be entered into a drawing for my latest collection of short stories, “Two Shorts and a Snort.” I’m giving away three eBooks.


This book consists of two short stories and one poem from award-winning author, Jan Sikes, in response to a writing challenge from the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB.


How far will one man go to satisfy an obsession? The price could cost him his life.


It is possible to pray up a baby? Frank and Mary Pyburn are convinced that is what they’ve done.

Friends Instead of Lovers:

Sometimes it’s better to remain friends instead of giving in to desires and crossing a line.


It’s uncanny how I can feel him before he walks into the room. My heart lurches and my pulse quickens.

Then, I see him. The center of attention, hugging the ladies, shaking hands with and giving slaps on the back to the men. Everyone wants to touch him…to have him turn his golden-brown eyes and flashing smile their direction.



I wait. He will eventually see me. I will get my turn to touch the golden one. His entourage follows in a flurry. They all know their jobs. It’s been practiced and honed over the years. The short man with long hair and eagle eyes stays close to him, ever watchful. As if anyone would want to hurt this gorgeous being. Not in a million years. Not in this crowd.

He’s making his way around the room. Flashing his pearly white smile, hugging, kissing and posing.

Then in front of me, there she is. The perfect specimen of a woman. Beautiful blonde hair falling around her slim shoulders, the perfect body,  and perfect poise. Her spun silk tunic, rare jewels draped around her neck, and soft leather sandals leave no doubt she is a woman with money accustomed to the finest things it can buy.

Roman Woman

He sees her. Everyone else is forgotten. It’s all about her.  I watch the exchange and feel a gnawing jealousy start to grow. I want to be that woman. I want to be the one that is capturing his attention.

A part of me wants to run, but I am glued to my seat.

Here he comes!

He hugs this beautiful woman and they chat for a minute. Then he turns to make his way to the stage and there I am.

He reaches out for me. “How are you?”

“I’m well, Thank you.” I savor the embrace and my breasts tingle and harden against the rough fabric of my tunic.

He kisses me on the cheek. “It’s good to see you.” He continues on his way.

Inside, I scream. “Don’t you remember? Did it mean nothing to you?”

Outwardly, I smile and nod to the rest of the entourage.

What was that one night all about? But, before I ask the question, I know the answer. For me, it was the chance to have this beautiful specimen of a man all to myself for a few hours.

For him, convenience.

I should be ashamed of my shallowness, but I’m not. I should be ashamed of his shallowness, but I’m not.

He picks up his Lute and strums. Everything else fades away and the music takes over.

He works the crowd like he always does. He smiles and points to individuals in the audience as he is performing. It’s a well-rehearsed show that he’s done hundreds of times. Everyone feels like they are a part of him, happy to bask in his glow.

I look around the filled room. All eyes are on the golden god. Women sit slack-mouthed. Men smile and chug their ale. The magical dance of entertainer and audience has begun. Shadows deepen around the stone walls as merriment rises to a crescendo.

Every woman grows wet just fantasizing about one moment alone with him. The men wait, knowing their reward awaits…knowing they’ll be the ones to try and fill the ladies’ fantasies at the end of the night.

All know their parts to play in the dance.

And me? I’m the observer. I can see it all unfold, almost as if watching a play. Disconnected, I sway to the sensual notes that flow from the golden one’s Lute, caught in his spell.

My breath hitches in my throat when he flashes a smile in my direction. But in an instant, that breath turns to a choking lump when I realize it isn’t me he’s smiling at. It’s her.

I let horrid scenarios form in my mind. I could follow her and kill her. I could push her from a ledge and pretend it was an accident. I want with all of my being to destroy her.

I want him with all of my being.

It’s never to be, foolish one. You are not worthy. You are not good enough.

I feel a tap on my shoulder and glance up to see a handsome young man extending his hand asking for a dance. I smile and stand. Floating across the room in his arms, I watch the golden one. Will he notice? Will he care?

“You are the most beautiful woman here tonight,” the handsome young man whispers in my ear.

“Are you an Angel?” I ask.

A smile turns up the corners of his full mouth. “That is for you to find out.”

I melt into his strong arms. Perhaps he is an Angel. Perhaps divine intervention has seen fit to soothe my ragged and worn soul, to boost my self-worth.

Whatever it is, I will take it. I cast one last glance at the golden one and suddenly I see him for what he is. A frightened insecure man in a beautiful body with that being his only attribute. Now, I’m sad for him, for her, and for all the ladies dreaming of him between their legs. I see it for the emptiness that it is.

I’m dancing. Jealousy has flown, and I am beautiful. I am desirable. Thank you, my saving Angel!

**I dedicate this short story to every woman in the world who has ever suffered insecurity or self-doubt. May a beautiful Angel always come to your rescue!**