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Out of the Shadows

I admit I've been pretty absent from social media lately--this fantabulous blog included. Since sending Hidden off to my beta readers for an initial round of feedback, I have not done terribly much by way of *technically* writing, although I have already started working on more detailed outlines of future stories and have even sketched the dialogue for my next novella, Frosted. I had planned for this one to be called Frozen (have I mentioned my tendency to plan books and books in advance? Yeah...all these stories have been in the works for over a decade now) but then that whole movie franchise happened so I had to change the title. Legally, I suppose, I could have gotten away with still calling my novella Frozen--you can't copyright a title, after all--but I'm pretty sure I've got nothing on Disney's army of lawyers. Besides, the title Frosted has grown on me. As one of my wonderful beta readers pointed out, it evokes the image of frost on metal. Which, considering the events of that forthcoming novella--probably some time in 2021; Hidden remains my focus for this year--that image is rather apt. Anywho, the cover art for the novella is already complete, because again, I play the long game here. I would not put it past me to finish the cover art for the rest of the series this summer...but I'll try to refrain from overdoing it. No promises.

As for everything else I've been up to while (im)patiently waiting for my beta readers to send me feedback (Jess, the little tidbits we have discussed are keeping me sane right now), there has been a heckuva lot of gardening. Despite the ants and aphids wrecking havoc on some of my leafier greens, our apocalypse garden seems to be doing pretty well. Having never tended more than a small herb garden (and poorly tended, I might add...I have a terrible track record of *not* remembering to bring my cold intolerant potted plants inside before the first frost kills them) and then last year's cucumbers (and let's be real, the cucumbers did all the work there), this much larger plot with lots of veggies and herbs and even some fruits is turning out to be way more work than anticipated. Weeds grow SO fast. Fortunately, so do my squashes and, apparently, sunflowers. Fortunately this week it has rained just about every day, so I haven't had to water, at least. Just weeding. And admiring the tiny little flowers. ANd wondering how the heck I'm supposed to tell when the peas are ready to pick? And discovering that, now that I've weeded everything, we actually have a blueberry bush and the white sage sprang to life. Those two have fruited and flowered respectively for the first time since we moved to our little farm in the woods, so that's exciting.

But as for writing? Mostly just planning, and then arting. I've sketched some scenes from the first chapter of Hidden, as well as a few scenes from the following novella. Ordered another printing of my Slavic Tarot cards, so hopefully I'll be able to re-list those on my Etsy shop soon. Other than that...I've been reading. And in general, hiding from the world, because the world sucks right now, and apart from continued donations to organizations that know how better to fix things than I do--or at least have a plan to that effect--I am feeling likely as angry and helpless as everyone else. So here's to solidarity...stay safe, my friends. Stay sane. Play in the dirt a little--it helps me, at least. If you don't have a garden in which to wallow, find somewhere else you can ground yourself and reconnect to who you are, and who you want to be.

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