The last time I posted here, the world was a different place. It's strange, now, to look back at the goals I listed for this year - the conferences I planned to attend, the presentations and meetings I was supposed to prepare for, all the things I thought I should/would/could do.
And now? Those things have all been cancelled. My kids are home from college - a blessing, certainly, because we love their company and it's a comfort to know they're here with us, safe, but also a sorrow because they had such high hopes for this semester and now they're struggling with the limitations of rural internet access too inadequate for the demands of high-data-transfer files and engineering software. They're trying to stay connected to friends across the country and keeping up with classes through video chats, but it's not the same as being on campus, working in labs, doing field camp and research.
I worry for my friends in Seattle, New York, Boston, San Francisco, and across the world. I worry for my family. I worry for our whole country, and I wonder what things will look like this time next year.
But life on the farm goes on. I've been harvesting my spinach and lettuce, and waiting for my peas to finally get some sunshine. My radishes and beets have sprouted. When it warms up, I'll plant squash and tomatoes and green beans, melons and herbs. When the weather is nice we go kayaking on our lake or hike with our dog. The barn is open again so I'm back to riding. (Although Trinity dumped me in the dirt and left me with a badly bruised tailbone, I'm too desperate for saddle time to let that stop me!)
The publishing industry goes on, too. Things in New York have slowed down and publication dates are shifting all the time, but THE LAST WINDWITCH has its final cover (it is *gorgeous* and I'll be sharing it soon!) and an expected date of publication. I'll make the announcement after I talk to my publicist and see how things go. In the meantime, my second book, LARK AND THE WILD HUNT, has been delivered to my agent. It is still rough and jagged around the edges, but I can see the shape it wants to take and feel the magic hiding behind the mess. We'll do some structural edits to smooth it out and polish it up, and then we'll send it to my editor for the next round of revisions. (This is the first book I've ever written on deadline and now I totally understand why authors moan about Book Two.)
While I wait for my agent's feedback, I'm diving into a project I've been thinking about and researching for nearly a decade. I taught myself two ancient languages so I could do my own translations, filled over a dozen notebooks with literary analysis and historical documentation, and basically earned a self-directed graduate degree in classical studies just to prepare. :P I am SO EXCITED to write it. Here's a hint:
I'm also in the early development stages of another pet project and once LARK AND THE WILD HUNT is turned in to my editor I'll need to work on a proposal for another middle grade fantasy.
It's strange and lonely to stay home writing when the bookstores and coffee shops are closed, my friends are locked down, and so many of our conferences have been cancelled. But I have great company. There's a new kitten in the house - she's a brown patch tabby Maine Coon named Minerva (I call her Mina, since she's still a baby and needs to grow into her name :D). She's sweet and loves hanging over the back of my chair while I write, and Mog (my orange tabby) is patient with her. In a few weeks another kitten will arrive - assuming travel restrictions are lifted - so I'll do a separate post.
I've become a crazy cat lady in my middle age. :)
I hope you all are staying safe and well.
Mog and Mina peeking out my office window: