Richard Paolinelli

Good February/ Bad February

I’ve been trying to remember if I have ever had a month like February 2021 turned out to be. To be honest, I really don’t think I have.

On the plus side its been a pretty good month professionally. We got the last book of the Planetary Anthology Series out on the 16th when Saturn released and it has had the best opening month of all 11 books in the series. Plus, a lot of people who were waiting for the complete series to come out have started buying the series as well.

A week later, Galen’s Way, the first official novel set in John C. Wright’s Starquest universe released and it too is off to a very good beginning. Not only is it the first of many books I’m planning to write and release in the Starquest universe over the next few years, but John himself has many planned and I know of at least one other author who will be writing in it too. I’m thrilled to be a part of this epic saga.

I’ve started another project, with the help of my local library, to obtain digital copies of all of my old newspaper articles. I used to have all of the original clippings stored in a box. Then a couple of the neighbors cats got into our garage and somehow got into the box, which they decided was an excellent litter box. I have the first half of my stint at the Gallup Independent saved to disk and will do the second half as soon as the microfilms arrive in the mail.

And finally, one of my books has drawn interest in a possible adaptation to film. They asked me to put together a first draft screenplay, which I wrapped up this week and sent over. I’m excited to see how this progresses. I actually wrote a screenplay back in the late 1990s and we actually had a producer looking at it. But it never went anywhere. So I’m tempering expectations for now until, as a writer friend of mine remarked the other day when we were discussing it, the check clears the bank.

So professionally, its been a great month.

But it has been a trying one. My father was diagnosed with cancer and began chemo, then was promptly rushed to emergency surgery when a complication from the chemo rears its ugly head. Because of COVID I wasn’t able to head down there and sweated out some very bad days. The doctors are cautiously optimistic but still, he has a long road ahead of him.

But February 2021 will remain the month that we lost my writing wingman, our 15-year-old dog, Waldo. I have to admit, losing him threw me into a funk for about two weeks. Its still hard to believe even now that he’s not lying in his bed, or walking around the house or barking whenever the UPS truck drove by. (He really hated those guys for some reason. He never barked at the FedEx trucks.) But at least he’s no longer suffering from the seizures and whatever pain the tumor was causing him. The picture below is the memory of him I keep in my head. He was able to run free on a beach near Half Moon Bay and he had a blast that day.

I’ll be glad when this month is officially in the books and I’ll hope that March 2021 is a better month for me, for my family and for all of us.

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