On the Brink of a New Year

Posted by:
Susan Rooke
December 17, 2020

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 . . .

10 comments on “On the Brink of a New Year”

  1. Wow! I so love to see you and Glen turning to your creative endeavors...writing, food, and art!

    It really is the only way to find a sense of purpose during these crazy times.

    A very happy 2021 to you and Glen,

    1. Thank you so much, Danielle! Glen and I both agree with you about how to stay grounded at times like these. And then you have something great to show for it afterwards! I hope y’all have a wonderful 2021, too! ❤️❤️

  2. two artists in the family!! good job you two.
    Glad to see a blog again. missed them.
    Hope you have a good Christmas and next year will be better for the whole world!!!

    1. Thank you, Susan, and may Christmas bring all good things to you. I certainly hope you're right about next year!

      <3 <3

  3. Oh Susan, what a refreshment you provide with your heart and wit-filled words! I always enjoy their flavors and messages! And feel less alone and am uplifted!! Thank you, dear friend! And of course seeing Glen's art and hearing about his words to you are a delight. This year 2020 was full to bursting while contradictorally (? madeup word?) a year in which we were shut in. Hopefully nothing else will go awry in the remaining days of 2020, and 2021 will bring substantiated hope. I have so missed seeing you, our JSG, and living without fear, or being unaware of, the bogey things -- covid, cyber threats, politics on ALL sides which is focused on personal gain, personal losses, etc. So wishing you and Glen and yours (with all number of legs!) a happy Christmas and ecstatic new year 2021! Hugs and love to you all, Claire and Frank and Sophie and ... the red poinsettia on my table <3 <3

    1. Thank you, Claire! I've very much missed you too, and our times together! I keep telling myself it won't last for that much longer, but what a grueling year it's been. You've aptly summed up everything that's made me fearful, too. I pray we're past the worst of it. But Glen and I and Lucy and Phoebe hope that you and Frank and Sophie (and . . . your red poinsettia ;-)) have a merry Christmas and a blessed start to the new year! Hugs and love to all of y'all!

      <3 <3

      1. Thank you so much. Susan! Your blog post, and especially showing it today with invitation to join in, was/is really helpful, fun, and nurturing on a difficult few days. Your ability and heart to reach out and connect is a treasure! Love and all the best to you and Glen, Lucy and Phoebe! ..And your other critters. With any number of legs!! 🌲💞

        1. I’m so sorry to hear these last few days have been difficult, Claire, and glad I helped in some way. Love to all of y’all, too, and here’s to a better new year! ❤️❤️

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