Hatching Day Blues
So today it's here, release day for my eighth romantic thriller (fifteenth novel overall) Beneath Bone Lake. What's it like, a prepublished friend asks wistfully. Does it really feel like giving birth?
Well, yes, if you're one of my favorite creatures, the sea turtle. Every year, Mama Turtle, ever so graceful and gorgeous in the water, hauls her bulks onto the beach where she hatched, laboriously drags her heavy carcass up to the full moon, high water line with her flippers and slowly, painfully scoops out the hole to lay her eggs. After hours and hours of hard work, she pats the sand over her offspring and treks back to her element, the water, where she will swim and feed and mate so she can do it all again another year from now.
By hatching day, she's already immersed in these pursuits when her offspring dig themselves free and make the mad dash to the water. A host of predators try to destroy them, from crabs to fish and sharks to hungry gulls and stupid tourists ("Aw! How cute! Let's keep him as a pet and throw him in with our goldfish!")
Mama sea turtle has no more control over their survival. She's unaware of how many -- if any -- will make it to their destination, whether they will flourish or get caught up in a fisherman's net or plastic flotsam. The truth is, very few survive.
But it matters not. Next year, she'll still try again, because it's the way she's programmed. She can no more choose not to be a female sea turtle than a novelist by nature can choose to give up writing. And although we always want to hit the lists, win the acclaim, and be assured our creations have reached their audience, nothing will keep us from hitting the shore again until our minds or bodies or our spirits wear out.
Or at least that's how I feel today.
Beneath Bone Lake.