This summer is shaping itself into a natural wonder! We’re getting daily visits from Groundhog Jones, the local groundhog, which glues my kids to the window like some kind of magic tablet. A slate junco (it’s a little grey bird) made a nest in our shed and we’ve been on tenterhooks waiting for the eggs to hatch – which they finally have! I’m not sure who’s more excited at this point, their mom, my daughters, or me.
There’s also been a few adventures with snakes. Not everyone likes snakes so I hesitate to post pictures, but let’s just say, 15 km into a drive is not the time you expect a garter snake to pop their head up from the little wiper well on the far side of the windshield. The wee snake looked at me like “Are we there yet?” Did I teach the girls a naughty word when that happened? Yes. Yes, I did. Fortunately we were on a lonely road, so I was able to stop and usher the snake into a more snake-appropriate situation.
This, on top of biking, gardening, swimming and generally making the best of summer before my youngest starts kindergarten, should be killing my wordcount, but somehow I’ve been managing to get up a few hours before the kids to get some writing in. I’m fairly useless until the coffee kicks in so I’m not as efficient with that quiet time as I’d like, but I’ve been consistently writing over a thousand words a day. Most of that has been short fiction for various anthologies opening this summer (including this one and that one), but this past week I’ve been plotting a cozy fantasy trilogy (gulp!).
I’ve also set a deadline of the end of September to get a newsletter off the ground. That will give me a few weeks of quiet time to figure out the technical mechanics, pin down how I want it to be, and polish my reader magnet, which IS written… the only thing keeping me from feeling completely in over my head with this project.
I think a newsletter is a terrifying beast for introverts like me – listen, I will talk to you about anything except myself. Take this blog, which was a showcase for short fiction openings for the longest time. But a friend pointed out that I can also talk about the things in my life which inspire me – like weird photography, nature (see the start of this post), and the amazing things I’ve been reading (speaking of which, I loved this short story in Lightspeed – you should absolutely check it out). I also highly recommend Jarod K Anderson’s second book of poetry, Love Notes From the Hollow Tree.