Jendia Gammon's legs and coffee cup, with Venice Beach and the Pacific Ocean in the background

Originally, I was going to get my hair done this morning for an event this afternoon at Barnes & Noble in Los Angeles. But they wrote to me last night to tell me that they didn’t get any of my books in for the event and would need to postpone until next month.

This didn’t sit right by me, because they had done this to me before, last year. It honestly made no sense because they are the biggest bookseller in the United States in a brick and mortar store. And yet somehow, much, much smaller booksellers have been able to get my books with no problem. Makes a lot of sense, right?

So what’s a gal to do? I’ll tell you what I did today. I drove out to Venice Beach. And it was absolutely sublime. It wasn’t at all crowded. I got myself a cup of coffee and a raspberry swirl croissant, and I planted myself down and enjoyed those for a few minutes while a seagull paid very close attention to where the crumbs went. (This gull was able to reap some rewards eventually.)

After that, I walked down to the beach and just sort of stared at that water for a while. I have to admit that I had reached a level of frustration related to this industry that I work part time in. And I just let all of that go into the sea. I knew the weather was about to change and become far less pleasant, so I just sat down on the sand in my jeans and enjoyed the sun and the surf.

I’m glad I did.

Sometimes you just have to chill out for a while.

And then I took side roads back home, which took longer, but was more rewarding because I got to see a lot of local places that you would miss on the interstate. I drove past my old digs in Santa Monica. So it was a good day.

I told Barnes & Noble not to reschedule the signing. I decided I’m done with that particular branch. Other stores in the chain have been far more accommodating for me, in terms of stocking my books, at least.

It’s a strange business , writing books, and having them traditionally published. There is a bizarre pecking order for how you are viewed as an author. Most of it doesn’t make any sense. But it is there.

I decided I’m tired of thinking about the nebulous aspect of this gig. I’m just writing books and short stories. I’ve decided to step away from any of the continual drama. Focus on things that are far more important to me. And then, hopefully, eventually publishers will release more of my work into the world.

For now it’s good to idle and recalibrate in the new year before I start any new projects in seriousness. Idling is good for the mind and the body sometimes. Especially with that kind of view.

Wherever you are, I hope you’re having a safe and calm weekend, and that you can reset in a manner that works for you this year.

Write on!

Jendia Gammon at Venice Beach, California.