Today I wrapped up my 200th book, which happened to be a house-name Western, like #100 (although in a different series from that earlier milestone). When I started out in this business, I didn't know how many books I'd be able to write, of course, let alone how many I could sell. I thought fifty would be a lot. That goal got revised upward to 100, then 150. Now I don't really worry about things like that anymore. I'm just going to write until I can't anymore. Included in that 200-book total are a few that I wrote, sold, and got paid for, but which were never published for one reason or another. I didn't include the adventure novel that I wrote on spec but failed to sell, or the fantasy novel I ghosted for a fairly well-known author in that genre who never paid me for it. That one was never published, either. I looked back in my records and discovered that it took me seventeen and a half years to write my first hundred books. The second hundred took ten and a half years. No wonder it seems like I've been busy lately.
Some of this book was written under difficult circumstances. On January 3rd, my mother suddenly developed a heart problem (atrial fibrillation, for those of you who know about such things). She had to spend that night in the local hospital, but she responded well to the medication she was given and her heart rate got back to normal pretty quickly. I took her back to the assisted living center where she lives the next day. Then, on the morning of January 5th, she had a massive stroke and was taken by ambulance to one of the hospitals in Fort Worth. She was there until yesterday, when she was moved to a rehab center/nursing home, where she'll be for the foreseeable future. Her left side is mostly paralyzed, but each day since the stroke she's showed signs of getting back a little feeling and movement on that side. Of course, we don't know how she's going to do in the long run. She's 90 years old, so recovering fully from such a serious incident is going to be very hard, but at the same time, she's pretty stubborn. I've been going back and forth between the computer and the hospital, grabbing writing time whenever I could. Sitting in the hospital room, I've been able to get more reading done than usual, but that's not quite the way I would have picked to get more reading time.
I finished David Goodis's novel BLACK FRIDAY. Comments on it tomorrow, maybe.
Food For Thought
2 hours ago