Hey! Remember me? You know, Kristie Cook, author, chocoholic, Supernatural and Gilmore Girls addict, night owl, needs-coffee-to-make-coffee, owner of this blog? Yeah, that’s right! I know, I know. It’s been a while, I apologize for the disappearing act. It’s just been one of those weeks months years.

I had to take a step back from everything online for a while, but I have been working on all kinds of projects, both personal and business. Mostly, this has involved saying good-bye to a 25-year relationship, trying not to drown under unexpected debt, and prepping my home for market and putting it up for sale. So yeah, to say it’s been a rough year is kind of downplaying it. It’s been a really sucky year, the worst for me in over a decade. And, unfortunately, I don’t know when it will end. I just have to believe that it will get better.

Until my house sells and the dust settles a bit, I don’t really know what the rest of my life looks like, or what I even want. And that’s a very weird place for me to be in. Usually when people ask, “How do you see yourself in 3, 5 or 10 years?” I’d get all excited and gush out my answers. I could write pages and pages about it and create detailed dream boards. I’ve always known what I wanted. The visions may have been outlandish dreams, but they gave me something to work toward. Now, for the first time in probably ever for me, I draw a total blank when I think about this question. I just can’t see past the next month at any given time, let alone a year or more from now. Planning anything has become nearly impossible, which is weird for this control-freak who likes to plan how to plan. (Seriously – it’s a sickness.) Sometimes I wonder if this inability to envision the future is because the election’s going to end the world as we all know it anyway. Ha! All I really know is that my keyword lately has been “downsize” – downsize my home, my belongings, my obligations, my body…pretty much everything that can benefit from being smaller.

I’m not, however, downsizing my writing. At least, not permanently. I have had to step back from it, though, but that’s temporary. When I’m able to, I’m still working on Age of Angels, which has morphed into something exciting yet a little frightening to me. They say if your writing doesn’t scare you, you’re doing it wrong. So I guess I’m doing it right. Part of what frightens me is that it’s turned into a monster of a book. I don’t know yet what the final word count will be or how it will compare to my other books. I just know that it’s a big story – an all-encompassing one that spans more than just this one book…and more than any of us probably ever expected when I first announced that there would be an Age of Angels (series or book). All of this to say that I still don’t know when it will release. I won’t be able to meet the deadlines for the pre-orders that were previously up, so I’ve taken those down. I apologize to those who had already pre-ordered (don’t worry, you haven’t been nor will you be charged until there’s an actual book release). And I apologize to all of you who have been waiting for it.

I’m not short in the idea department – whether for writing or for other aspects in my life. In fact, I’m overflowing with ideas. I just don’t know yet what will make it beyond that stage into a reality. Only time will tell. I’m looking forward to what’s coming. I have faith that it will be amazing. I know that I will be happy. My other keyword for this year is “freedom” – freedom from social norms, from others’ expectations, from commitments that don’t make me or the people I care about happy. Whatever the future holds, I want to be free to be me. I’m just trying to figure out who that is.

In the meantime, thank you so much, friends, for your patience and understanding.