I had a dream last night that I visited the house where I grew up. My parents sold it several years ago to move into a senior community, and its changed hands a few times since then. I think it's a bank/rental property now. Anyway, in this dream I'm walking up and down the front entryway outside and checking through the picture window into the living room. The house is supposed to be unoccupied, but I see a woman sitting in a rocking chair. Every time I glance, the woman's appearance changes. At first I think it's my mother based on her hair color and build, but as the woman changes every few seconds I'm not sure who it is.
A little later in the dream I manage to get inside the house to find much of the living room is gutted and the two rooms my parents had added on to the house are gone, as is the den. The house has more of an L shape as a result and a larger backyard which is transformed into a lush garden. From a design standpoint the house is beautiful, yet I'm furious. I don't know this place anymore, and I'm yelling at people to change everything back the way it was.
Put my room back!
I used to dabble in dream interpretation, so after some time contemplating this one I'm wondering about a few things. I didn't consult the usual dream websites on this one, because I've applied the imagery to things happening in my life right now.
I'm wondering if the woman in the house was me. The changing features - face, hair, body - perhaps signify changes to come. Gray hair. Fading eyesight. Forgetfulness. Granted the woman in the dream didn't necessarily age, but maybe she symbolizes my need to be more flexible.
I think my discomfort in the changes to my house symbolize my discomfort with change in general. Change hasn't always meant good news for me, but when it happens it's usually a door closes, window opens kind of deal. It's always a struggle, too. I never transition from a huge debt to falling into a mattress stuffed with money.
Nonetheless, change is inevitable. It's not always pretty, but sometimes you don't have a choice.
More than once I've hinted at the future here at Chez Ellwood. I've published stories under this name since 2004, and to be quite honest I still feel as though I'm spinning my wheels. I never thought I'd be a millionaire by now, but I had hoped to be further along than I am. To be honest, I could be happier. Then again, I'm not a happy person in general. I could be selling crud-tons of books right now and still find a reason to despair.
Do I suffer depression? It's possible. Am I writing this to get attention? Well, authors do need to promote their works, right? Seriously, I'm not writing this to gain sympathy or to inspire people to write me and say "Oh no, don't quit writing," and then I come back five hours after posting this and say "Okay, I won't. Yay for being popular!"
I don't plan to stop writing. In the future, my work will be published one way or another, just not under Leigh's name. These are my goals for 2016:
1) Write longer works in non-erotic romance and other genres.
2) Focus on my real name and perhaps a new pen name.
3) As contracts expire, reclaim older Leigh works and revise/re-release with new covers.
4) Figure out the rest.
Right now I have two more Home to Dareville works I need to put out, plus one Coming Together volume:
At best, Leigh Ellwood may continue to appear, depending on the project. Leigh will continue to promote books where applicable and possible. Right now, I require change to keep up my spirits and hopefully make some headway.
You might ask, why not keep writing as Leigh since she's somewhat established? Leigh, I think, had a good run. There are issues attached to the name, I believe, which haven't helped. Leigh wrote anything and everything, and I realize that readers who enjoy M/M romance won't necessarily buy F/F or M/F from the same author. If readers have expected a certain type of story and Leigh didn't deliver, I'm sorry for that.
With a new name and new hope comes the promise to focus. I will write romance, hopefully something readers will enjoy. If you have enjoyed a story by Leigh in the past, I'm happy for that. Thank you for giving Leigh a chance. This isn't necessarily goodbye, but a see you later.