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Well, hello there.

grayscale photo of chair inside the establishment

My website since May. Photo from Pexels.com

It’s been a hot minute since I last posted. And by minute, I mean months. Three of them. Three months since I’ve put up anything new on my blog, which might not seem like that long of a time gap to some (I mean, there are blogs out there that have been silent for years…) But for me, it feels like forever and a day. I look at the date on my last post—in which I warned you that I was taking time off from the blog—and I cringe.

Bad writer! 

I’m not calling myself out as a bad writer because I took time away from my blog to work on my book. That’d be a great reason to let my site go stale. No, I’m a bad writer because I haven’t actually worked on that book. Sure, I said I was going to, but—other than typing up an edit map and finagling the first chapter a bit—I haven’t touched it.  So, my last post about beating writing distractions wasn’t about the reason I was taking a leave of absence from the blog so much as it was a prescient post about why I STILL wasn’t going to work on my book while I was away.

I SUCK.

In my defense, I have reasons (*cough* excuses *cough*) that include both authorly and non-authorly stuffs for not focusing on Colossa and the Big Kids (CATBK, in shorthand).  Allow me to lay them out for you to soothe my guilty conscience:

Two Virtual Sandy Paws Events:

Sandy Paws Author Zoom Meetup

We forgot to take this until half the authors dropped off the Zoom call at the end. Oops.

Eons ago (March, in social media standards), I posted about a book launch event for Sandy Paws in April that never happened. I’m sure you can guess why. The publisher, Cat & Mouse Press, hoped they might be able to push the event to summer. They did not. You can guess why. Instead, they held two virtual Zoom events—a Sandy Paws author “meet & greet” in May, and a Sandy Paws author reading, hosted by the Eastern Shore Writers Association, in July. Both were great fun!  Truth be told, virtual book events aren’t nearly as energizing or productive as live events, but they are more inclusive in allowing those who can’t easily travel to attend, so it’s a trade-off.

Publication of In the Shadow of the Spires:

ShadowSpiresEBookCover

Cover by Sunny Duran

In that same blog post, I teased about the work in progress on my local writing group’s third anthology, the noir-inspired In the Shadow of the Spires. Serving as the book’s publication manager was time-consuming but rewarding, and now…NOW…we have a beautiful, fully-published and finally-available book to show for it! We haven’t been able to promote it as much as I’d like (again…you can guess why), but we DO have an upcoming live reading at Sky Stage in Frederick, Maryland on 12 August.  Yes, you read that right…a LIVE—as in, in-person—reading. Sky Stage is an open-air venue, so with mask requirements and proper distancing enforcement in place, they’ve been able to re-open and continue their scheduled events. It’s no exaggeration to say that I’m looking forward to this small bit of normalcy and the chance to let our work shine. I might even see if we can do a live feed on Instagram for it.

Upcycling and Refinishing Projects:

projects

Time to tackle some upcycling projects.

If you happen to follow my Instagram account, you already know about this one. Early in July, I realized I wasn’t going to properly concentrate on my book so long as I had upcycling and refurbishing projects battling for a place on my plate…and I’ve got LOTS of them. Projects, not plates. Fifteen by my last count, though two are already done and two more are in the home stretch. So, I made the conscious decision to officially put my CATBK edits on the backburner through the rest of the summer so that I could concentrate on completing those large projects. I’m working on a blog post about my productivity pivot, but I’m also chronicling the process on my IG account, if you’re at all curious. The goal is to get a majority—if not all—of those projects (many of which have been languishing for a year or more) complete so they’re not haunting me, compelling me to work on them instead of CATBK.

Life in General:

pergola2

Outdoor escapes don’t just make themselves, you know.

This is my last reason (*cough* excuse *cough*) for not getting CATBK done: things like a minor bathroom remodel, resealing our deck and putting up a pergola, tending to our community garden plot, conducting interviews for my Luna Station Quarterly column, COVID-19-era self-care in the form of TV show binging, and—last but not least, and actually the most important—working on social justice initiatives like signing petitions, writing emails, attending a rally, and reading & reposting relevant information about how to be an effective and genuine ally.  These are all labors of love and necessity that take time and energy, and at the end of the day, zap me of the will to turn to books edits. Yet, I regret none of them.

Ironically enough, I’d posted about dedication to writing this time last year, and one might say I’ve not followed my own points about being consistent with writing in the pursuit of “Writer” credentials. I’ve also spent a lot of time the last few months thinking about what I want out of my writing career and how I wish to even define that, which is something else I wrote about this past spring. What I do know is that getting CATBK published is important to me, but it’s not the “end-all be-all” of my life. Not even of my writing life. It’s a project that ebbs and flows with all of the other projects—creative or otherwise—that I’m juggling these days.

On that note, I’ll wrap this up by saying that I have more posts planned in the coming weeks, so I’ll be returning to this with some regularity-ish. Dare I say, I’ve actually missed it.  Still, I’m leaving you with this one caveat from the Gin Blossoms: “If you don’t expect too much from me, you might not be let down.”