emerging from my cocoon

It’s been a while, dear old blog and sorely neglected readers. My pandemic anxiety sent me into survival mode for a long stretch of blocks, walls, and other things toxic to writers like myself. Ironically, now that things are worse in Canada than ever before, I’m feeling the spark come back. I promise I wrote stories last year and even submitted them! But it felt like a Herculean effort and the rejections shattered me. So far this year I’ve finished a story, started plotting a new book, received four rejections that did not trigger any sort of depression, and made three fresh submissions.

In that bleak stretch, I did take up poetry again. I’d forgotten how poetry somehow ends up on the page when I’m struggling to write. In keeping with that, I’ve started submitting poems as well as fiction. I’m not sure what will come of this, but there’s something inside me that is very happy about this.

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I’m also planning things! It’s been a while since planning felt like a safe thing to do without angering the pandemic gods. My youngest will be starting kindergarten in the fall which may offer me a few hours of uninterrupted writing time (gasp!) for the first time in a decade. I’m almost afraid to write that for fear those precious hours might evaporate. I’d like to use that time to write books. Publishing companies haven’t fared well the past few years and I’m seeing more and more of my favourite writers self-publishing to great success. I’d still like to leave behind a few shelves of books when I’m gone and if I wait for publishing to recover I might never get started. That said, the marketing aspect is daunting.

My good friend and Beta-buddy/crit partner Peter Foote has given me six months to set up a newsletter. That was three weeks ago, mind. I’ve been resistant to starting a newsletter, but it’s time. Over the past year I’ve been receiving newsletters I truly look forward to, such as Amal El-Mohtar’s musings that leave me feeling lovely and peaceful; Christopher Brown’s Field Notes that give this rural nature-loving lady a glimpse in the urban nature of Austin, TX. Plus, heron rookeries! My heart. Another newsletter I enjoy is my aforementioned friend Peter’s, wherein there’s an advice column from a prickly gargoyle named Grump. In short, I enjoy newsletters that are more than just an ad in my inbox: I want an experience.

All this to say that I’ve come to the conclusion that my newsletter-to-be needs to be an experience too. And, um, that’s all I’ve got so far. I still have five months and one week to go, after all!

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Are there any newsletters you love? Should I be reading yours? Drop me a link in the comments!