Monday, November 30, 2020

Blowing my own horn


So, this happened.

I'm still a bit over the moon at Songbird being declared anyone's Book of the Year, but The Coffee Pot Book Club is a seriously good book review blog, and an award from them carries weight in the author and reader community.

It also carries some weight in helping to promote A Wider World when the time comes, because one of the prizes is a blog tour, which can be scheduled for early spring, just before the new book comes out. It will coincide with my publisher dropping the price on Songbird to celebrate the pre-order status of the second book.

2020 is still a year I'd rather not repeat, but this makes a lot of it better.

Wednesday, November 11, 2020


I don't know about you, but the first ten days of November have been a long year. And let's not talk about how long the year has actually been; I feel myself aging as I type.

Things have been moving along. Despite - or maybe because of - the oddness of the year, I've almost completed the first draft of my third book. This is good, because I've promised the publisher a readable draft by the end of the year (which would be 11:59 p.m. on December 31, and not a minute sooner), and while it's readable by me right now, I'm not so sure anyone else could make heads or tails of it.

My cover designer has just completed a stunning cover for A Wider World - as beautiful in its own way as the new cover for Songbird. I can't show it off yet, but I'd like to. It's another period-appropriate ceiling, and it's gorgeous.

Despite the fact that it's November and the leaves have turned and mostly fallen, it's been in the 70s here, so it's hard to feel convinced of that. I just finally tore out the last of the pepper plants from the back yard and got the beds ready for winter. My next-door-neighbor gave me a few cinderblocks and an old recycle tub, so I've also set up a new composting system by the back fence, because my dinky little tumbling composter can't keep up. A few of my neighbors who don't compost deliver their food scraps to me, and a chicken-owning neighbor gives me the mucky straw from her coop. (Manure and fresh eggs are what I miss most about having chickens. The chickens...not so much).

Thanksgiving is coming. It's going to be strange this year, because of Covid. We've had Thanksgiving dinner in NJ with Mario's family every year since 2005, but his mom's in a nursing home now, mostly on lockdown (we visit at her window like she's a puppy in a pet store) and his sister works in a hospital, so her hours are inconsistent, and we couldn't sit down together indoors, anyway. Having his mom isolated is difficult, but even Mario is glad we got her placed in February, before all this happened - since she's got severe memory issues, it would have been really hard to feel that she was safe living on her own during quarantine and beyond.

It will get better, eventually. It has to, right? The news of a potential vaccine this week was cheering, as was the end of all the election ads, if not - completely - the election itself.

I just keep thinking, "It's history. I'm living through history." And it's not always fun.