Books Magazine

Me and Uhtred

By Akklemm @AnakaliaKlemm

I’ve been away from the blogosphere for awhile. I went back to working in the bookstore full time and between homeschooling my kiddo and working 40 hours a week, even though the reading didn’t stop, my reviewing slowed greatly.

However, last spring I was head over heels into the Saxon Tales by Bernard Cornwell.

It was a time of hope for me.  I had finally moved out of my mother-in-law’s house and into a rent house. We lost our home in 2014 and a year and a half of paying off debt and trying to start over at my in-law’s, my husband and I were on our own again at last. The previous five years had been beyond rocky. My husband was struggling, I struggled to deal with his struggling, my daughter was becoming more aware of the situation; but finally, there was light at the end of the tunnel. My husband was on probation for his second DUI, but there was nowhere to go but up, right? We’d all hit rock bottom together and it was time to grow.

I binge read the Saxon Tales (I’m still reading them, but I read the first four or five all in a row that season), and while smitten with the character and the author, and the entire idea of the era (we homeschool chronologically through history and were studying a lot that coincided with the books), I found the energy to write a novelette.

The novelette is called Nancy & Uhtred, and it’s about one of my favorite characters from my imaginary small town, Lily Hollow, falling in love with the Saxon Tales.  It’s hopeful and funny. It’s evidence that, though I don’t write autobiographical fiction by a long shot, elements of my mood can be found in my writing. It’s my shortest published work in the series, but possibly my best. I love it, I love the time period it represents in my life… before everything finally came crashing down once and for all.

The other shoe dropped – again. The proverbial rug got ripped out from underneath me.

My husband was out of work, drunk while on probation for another DUI, screaming at us, and as my daughter barricaded the door – again – I thought, “This won’t end.” My hope and my funny left me.

So I kicked him out, obtained a restraining order, begged him to get help, and  waited.

Seven months later, we are not legally divorced, but he has public online dating profile, attempting to woo women with what a great guy he is.  I’ve loved him for more than half my life.  I’m devastated.  I am grieving.  I don’t know what the future holds. But whatever it is, it’s in God’s hands.

All this to say, Nancy & Uhtred is published, and reminds me of what I can accomplish when I am focusing on God, focusing on hope, digging deep and taking inventory of my life and who I am, and making an effort to be the best version of myself I can be.  It is my best writing and I hope to write more like it in the future.  Nancy speaks to the me I used to know and encourages me to wake up, pray hard, and try new things without abandoning the old things that I’ve always loved.  I hope others find something good in it, too.

Currently, back in my parent’s home, I am catching up on all the reviews I meant to do in what I thought would be our glorious recovery and reconciliation phase that has not happened.  He’s apparently sober now, thank God, but has no interest in being my husband.  I pray for him daily and hope my readers who pray will too.

So as well as an awkward announcement of my latest book release, this is also a shout out to the many patient indie authors awaiting reviews for copies they sent me. We are almost finished reading Jorie and the Magic Stones, I’ve been reading it aloud to the kiddo and we’re having so much fun with it. I’m also slowly plucking through High Flier by Susan Kotch, but I admit I’m having a hard time caring about teen romance when the man I’ve loved since I was fourteen is discarding the promises we made to each other.  This is not Kotch’s fault, it’s a good book, like the first in her series, I’m just not interested in romantic love in the slightest right now. The very thought of it starts to nauseate me.

I’ve been Anakalian Whims for a long, long time, and though my posts have been rapid at times and nonexistent at others, I will continue to write. I will continue to process my life through the pursuit of God, and the reading of more and more books.

I am not looking for sympathy, I do not need comments or messages, please if you read this and feel anything at all, just take a moment to pray.  Goodnight, world.

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