Happy New Year!
I hope your holidays were everything holidays are supposed to be. I know mine were. December was a whirlwind of Christmas symphonies, tree-decorating, cookies, cocktails, and overall goodwill. While I did manage to squeeze a few words in, writing had to take a knee much of the time (I’m back at it now, I promise!)
For indie authors like me, writing is only part of the job description. Case in point: last month, I hunkered down and did my year-end business review. Writing is my passion, but it’s also my job; a job I would like to sustain long-term, ideally while making enough money to keep my kid in swim lessons. Things get so crazy over the course of the year, it’s crucial to step back at the end and take a hard, honest look at what worked, what didn’t, and what I want to do in the future.
It’s a lot more fun than it sounds. 😉
I charted some amazing progress last year (thank you, fabulous readers!), as well as identified things I can do better- for myself, and the lovely people reading my books. Expect to see some changes trickling down the line in the coming months, including more frequent blog posts and newsletters, streamlined updates (like this one!), and bite-sized content you can grab on the go. Let me know what you think!
Bring it, 2018.
MacMillian stared at the place where John had stood.
His mouth felt dry. “What happened to him inside the elevator?”
Dr. Fakih shook his head. “He never said. It doesn’t really matter, I suppose. It was my fault.” He sighed again, and leaned heavily against the bannister. “Ephraim, John, and I conceived of the idea of the elevator together, back in the eighties. It was almost a decade before we were able to actually build it. We were so proud. It was—is—the only device of its kind. It’s the place where all our disciplines intersect: magic, alchemy, science.”
Cyrus didn’t speak. MacMillian waited.
Dr. Fakih’s mouth twisted. “We were younger then. Irresponsible. More than a little arrogant. We assumed just because we’d managed to create the elevator, that meant we knew how to use it.” His eyes clouded. “We were wrong, of course. Poor John paid the price.”
MacMillian cleared his throat. “What happened?”
“The first time we turned it on, there was a power surge. There were four of us there: John, myself, Ephraim, and Corrine,” Dr. Fakih turned to Cyrus, “your mother.”
Cyrus’ forehead furrowed. “She never mentioned that.”
“It’s not something any of us like to talk about.” Dr. Fakih rubbed the back of his neck. “The oculus became the focal point for an intense electrical charge, just like we’d designed. But something went wrong. It released a storm of electricity down the staircase, directly at Corinne. John was the only one of us who reacted in time. He jumped in, and pushed her out of the way. The next instant, he was simply…gone.”
Cyrus stared. “He saved my mother.”
“And it cost him. Dearly.” Dr. Fakih’s jaw flexed. “After his disappearance, I worked night and day to figure out how to stabilize the elevator. I succeeded. Six months later, he reappeared in this very hallway. We were able to keep from losing him again, but it was too late. The damage had been done.” He stared at a blank spot in the air. “He’s never been the same.”
MacMillian studied the other man’s face. “He said he’d lost a lifetime. What did he mean by that?”
“I couldn’t tell you.” Dr. Fakih took a deep breath, and focused on him again. “Time is different in the wormhole, at least, according to current quantum theory. We still don’t fully understand how it works. A second could be a second or a decade or a thousand years.”
Cyrus spoke up, his voice low. “So what does that mean for Lena?”
“That’s just it. I don’t know.” Dr. Fakih winced. “For all we know, Lena could be an old woman by the time we get to her.” He hesitated. “There’s a possibility she might never have existed at all.”
“She existed.” MacMillian straightened. Something burned, white hot, deep inside him. “She still exists. And we’re going to get her back.”