I’m a hard worker. I’m not bragging, more confessing. I am a workaholic. I’d go to meetings to try to find a cure, but who has time for that, right?

Then this last weekend I took off to Garibaldi, Oregon to share a booth with a friend and fellow author at their sole annual festival, Garibaldi Days.

Be quiet. I know how physical book signings go in the digital age for thriller authors. I’ve done several, with varying degrees of success, but all coming with valuable lessons, and in this case another added value: time off and brainstorming with a couple of brilliant minds.

I took my full Samuel Elijah Johnson series, Redemption, Temptation, and Confession. A few copies of Broken Bones. Happily Ever Afterlife and Dragonthology. Sherry Briscoe wrote a book of short stories titled Mists of the Garibaldi (it is pretty good. You should check it out). A local read it, and e-mailed her with an invitation, which she kindly shared. Rochelle Cunningham came with us, the co-author of Crash Landing in a Field of Outhouses, several memoir style vignettes by Ken Bauer, an entrepreneur and pilot with some interesting stories. She brought her first non-fiction piece, Codependency: The “Normie” User Guide: How the Non-Addict learns to Love when Love Hurts with her as well. She is currently working on a short series of children’s books and the beginning of a romance series. We sold some books, not as many as we hoped. But overall we did well.

My intention was to write a novella while we were there, but my mind changed as we sped toward the coast. Perhaps to truly reset, I needed a few days without writing. This was a total change of pace for me.

The results were astounding. My creativity flowed, but toward business. How do you sell more books? How do you leverage projects you were going to do anyway toward more sales? What do I really want to write anyway? And what do I really want to do with my new-found author freedom?

Answers flooded into my mind. I looked at a house worth half a million dollars, and seriously considered that while I might not buy that one, in a few years I could if I wanted to. I started to see my writing life in a whole new light: the errors of the past, and the way forward.

This morning, I started another story. Worked on two projects in progress, reassessing their direction. Ordered a book on marketing, and determined to apply the principles to every project I do.

More announcements coming soon. I’ll be releasing a new book soon, a short story collection with Marlie Harris, titled Ridge Falls: Into the Darkness. The sequel to Stray Ally is nearing completion. I’ve started the first in another series, and have plans for several more.

But my mind is clear. My path set. My feet and legs ready to run. All because I took just a little time off.