I’ve been silent on this site for quite a while. That wasn’t really my intention with the new year, but the old saw about good intentions is almost a cliche for a reason.

I’ve mentioned before that a close family member has faced health challenges. That close family member was my mom, and she died on Thursday (June 23rd). She was 76.

Mom was also my first reader, and one of her major concerns these past months was that she was keeping me from writing, as I’ve not published anything since Consular Times and have not written much at all since then (a chapter here or 250 words there, etc.). Her concern could not be further from the truth.

I have kept me from writing, because my concern for her was foremost in my mind. To be the kind of person I want to be, I needed to make sure she had everything she needed, and that was a lot of mental bandwidth from me. I moved back home in 2018 after leaving Information Technology (IT) to help my parents and focus on my stories, and I would not trade the last four years for anything in the entire world.

I honestly thought we’d have about ten to twelve more years together, because her parents died in their late 80s. I would absolutely give a lot (probably more than she would be happy with me giving) to have those ten to twelve years with her… but only if she could enjoy them.

There is only one more thing that I can do for Mom, and I will do that next Wednesday when I act as one of her pallbearers. I’ve spent the last four years taking her wherever she needed or wanted to go, and I’m not about to stop now.

After all, this is the last thing I’ll ever be able to do for her.

So, what does this mean for The Fall of Skullkeep?

Well, it’s a tad delayed. More than I ever thought it would be, honestly.

I have written eighteen chapters, and I feel it needs about sixteen more (plus or minus). I am itching to write those chapters. I already know what I want to write. I realized I knew how this part of Gavin’s story would end weeks ago, during one of Mom’s hospital visits.

And this morning, I woke up with the feeling that it was okay to write now, that it was okay because I can’t miss any more time with Mom.

I feel like there is a mass of words (eight or nine months’ worth) settled around my shoulders, similar in some ways to the Ancient Mariner’s albatross… but not with the same negative or harsh connotation as the albatross.

I am incredibly excited to write those words, and I can’t wait to share them with the world.