Hello, Dear Readers. I’ve missed you.
Only two more weeks until we can drag the crumbling skeleton of 2020 out to the curb like a denuded, six-weeks-dead Christmas tree. But first we have to actually get through Christmas. Just . . . a little bit . . . longer . . .
Today I want to update you on a few writing-related matters. (And if you’ve read the newsletter that went out to everyone on Wednesday the 16th, there is only a little duplication in this blog post.) First, there’s good progress to report on Book 3 in the Space Between fantasy series. After setting aside the manuscript for several months, I finally took advantage of being mostly homebound and got back to work on it in late May. By mid-November I’d written another 50,000+ words, which means I'm about two-thirds of the way done. I’m taking another break—just a short one—over the holidays.
Next, ManyBooks, a website with an extensive library of classic and modern e-books, featured me as their Author of the Day on October 1st. The feature came with an interview, and I had great fun answering the questions posed by Content Editor Naomi Bolton. You can read the Q. & A. here. Her question about what to say to people who dismiss fantasy as pure escapism was especially welcome. It’s a matter about which I have strong feelings.
Last, I’m honored that a poem of mine appeared a few days ago on the wonderful site Your Daily Poem. Editor Jayne Jaudon Ferrer had published several of my poems a few years ago, and when she reached out and invited me to submit again, I was thrilled. It’s my first poetry submission anywhere in quite a while, and without her kind invitation, I wouldn’t be there now. You can read it here. (Another of my poems is scheduled to appear there in April.) While you’re on the site, be sure to browse the “Archives” page. Jayne has given a good home to a lot of fine poetry over the years.
The things mentioned above are fairly recent developments. That’s because in the first few months of the lockdown, my activities were limited to reading, sleeping and spending loads of time in the kitchen. Glen, however, was much more productive. As soon as we went into self-isolation, he returned to his creative first love, which is hand engraving. Take a look at the gorgeous work he did on this 1873 Winchester:
It’s just one of the pieces he turned out over the many hours I spent juicing yet another bag of lemons for cocktails (which I might argue was not really wasted time). He also produced a number of handsome money clips and stunning silver cuff bracelets. He seems to think it’s no big deal, but it always boggles my mind that I’m married to an artist.
And now, here we are at December 17th. So much water has swirled away under the bridge. Once we ring in 2021, maybe we can look forward to a shot (or two) in the arm so we can put—if nothing else—this virus behind us. I hope so. But for some of us who were held close in this intimate circle of readers, it’s too late for hope—and was too late even before March of 2020. For some time now there has been a widespread pattern of ill fortune and sadness. It shows no sign of ending yet. But those left behind keep going without their loved ones. Every day I think about you all, the living and the remembered. I marvel at your strength. I am blessed to have known you then, to know you today. Knowing you is what truly gives me hope.
Have a safe holiday season, everyone. And remember to keep your arms and legs inside the ride at all times. Seriously.
See you in 2021 . . .