I realized when I started writing full time, that I was spending too much time at home, alone in my Warriorverse, with nothing but my own soul to keep me company. If you know me, or have read my books, you know that can be a pretty dark place.
I quickly realized that while I love my solitude, I also need to get away from it regularly. Well, that's not quite true. I don't need to take breaks from my solitude, but I should. Otherwise, I fall into its abyss.
As a result, most days I try, for a little while at least, to trade my personal hells for a place called public. Those of you who know or follow me, also know that I hate visiting public. It's an ugly place full of petty, vain people. And traffic. If I'm vulnerable to my own demons when I am alone, I'm more vulnerable to the world when I am not.
Most of my life I have worn armor of one sort or another, either to protect my body, or to protect my spirit. Again, if you know me or you have followed me for any length of time, you know my scars. There is a two-inch one on my right hand. Under it, there is wire and metal and mended bone. On my side, there are two large ones that are so close together they almost, almost, appear to be one.
There are others, too. My scalp, my fingers, my ankle, my thigh, my thumb, even an ear. That one is my favorite. A puppy whose eyes were barely open, clawed its way up my body and playfully bit me there, tearing part of my earlobe off. Three stitches later, I went home and played with the puppy some more, properly scolding it by wagging my finger in its face. Only to have it bite my finger.
The internal scars are less obvious until you get to know me or my writing. I've fought abandonment issues for as long as I've been alive. My birth mother didn't think I was worth fighting for, and the mother that raised me, while a wonderful woman, had her own mother. She was bitter, evil, woman who didn't even call me by my name. Being a bastard, she always called me, "Dub's son," alluding to the fact that Dad's eye had wandered once, and Mom, the mom who raised his bastard son as her own, forgave him.
Both of my parents died when I was young, leaving me alone again. Without the woman who accepted me to keep them in check, most of the rest of my 'family' turned their backs on me. I still talk to one of my four half-brothers once a month, and my half-sister a few times a year, but beyond that, the only people in my life are the ones I have chosen. Lorelle, Alex, and a daughter I don't see nearly enough, except on a screen.
And so I don armor. It's no longer armor that protects my body. Now it protects my soul. No one else will hurt me. No one else will see me. No one else will know the scars that make my writing what it is; a testament to my own survival.
Now it's time to put it on again, and go back to posting about bacon, booze, and boobs; the three food groups for a broken man.