Coming out of my cave (and I’ve been doing just fine)

Y’all. Somehow I haven’t written to you on this blog in over six months. With every passing day, it didn’t feel like I had much new to say or anything special going on. Besides being at home to survive a global pandemic and explosive political turmoil and Zoom Brain and all those things. Someone threw an open bottle of Coke at my car the other day, so that was exciting. Also I got my vaccines. They knocked me OUT and they sucked and I’m so very grateful I got to receive them and protect myself/others. 😀

And now I look back at all these nebulous, time-bending months at home and realize all those maddeningly repetitive, seemingly uneventful days added up to a LOT that I need to share with you in my creative life! So, here are three big things that are happening:

  1. Every Rose has its Thorns!

    ROSES IN THE DRAGON’S DEN is getting a sequel, and if you only know me through this blog then I can’t remember if you knew this already! At the very least, you probably haven’t seen the shiny new cover, so check it out! BRAMBLES IN THE WISHING WELL is currently projected for a release sometime this summer, and it will tie up all the loose ends of the first book. Carver fans, you’ll get some treats as well. 😀

2. A THOUSAND DREADFUL CURSES

BRAMBLES is the first of TWO releases I have coming this year! To be perfectly honest, writing has been incredibly difficult for me since the pandemic began, and I know I’m not the only writer in this boat. But I did have a loose idea in my head for about five years. I think I spent those years collecting “bones” for it. Personal experiences, consuming media, sorting out my values, and developing a greater understanding of myself. (I know I’m not the only person in that boat! What a year for soul-searching, lol.) I think around the time I turned 30, I didn’t realize it, but I’d collected the last bone I needed to build a skeleton. And then lightning struck and animated that skeleton! The full idea started dancing around in front of me, spewing all the words I’d been trying to find for 5 years. About a month later, I had poured out an entire novel. It was the fastest I’ve ever written anything, because I was terrified that the story would escape me if I didn’t seize it on time.

And so, I’m excited to be preparing an upper middle grade fantasy called A THOUSAND DREADFUL CURSES for Halloween 2021. It’s rooted in three things:

  • a “spooky-lite” aesthetic that fascinated me in my tween years. (Think Halloweentown or Hocus Pocus. If that was before your time, then you need to go watch those because you’re missing out!)
  • a Florentine folk tale recorded by Italo Calvino: LA RAGAZZA MELA or APPLE GIRL. It’s just about the weirdest fairy tale I can think of off the top of my head. Vengeance. Jealousy. A tiny bit of blood. Nutritious fruit!
  • above all: the fact that love is love. Family love will remain a theme as it has in all my books, AND it will lean into other understandings of love as well. Oh and to be abundantly clear, the protagonists are gonna be GAY! *shouts from the top of a hill and listens to the echo* Did I clear out the haters yet? Good. Everyone else, expect some Easter eggs! This will be entirely its own story in an different world than Florindale, and yet if you’ve been with me since CARVER or even ROSES, you will be rewarded and see some hidden connections. 😀

So, that’s A THOUSAND DREADFUL CURSES in a snack-sized intro. I can’t wait for Halloween!!!

3. When the words won’t flow 😦

CURSES was a fluke. As soon as I finished the story, my writing brain shut off again. I can edit things. I can come up with ideas. But I can’t string stories together right now. A lot of the creative energy is going into a new hobby I picked up last summer: drawing! I’ve had a lot of fun with digital art and the “minimalist” style, so on Procreate I’ve been creating some things. A lot of it is fandom-based: Marvel, video games, and what-not. But I’ve also tried to recreate some of the characters from my books! Here’s Hansel, for example:

It’s brought me a surprising amount of joy and taps into my need to create, especially when the words won’t come. I’ve started having certain images made into prints, and I’m really excited about how they’re turning out! If you’re interested in one or just want to support, consider donating a cup of joe on my Buy Me a Coffee website. I try to update this every couple of days or so!

Hokay! I think that captures what’s been going on in the right side of my brain these last 6 months… I continue to wish you all wellness, health, joy, and creativity! The world needs an abundance of those things in these times, and if you’re still following me, I know you’re one of the folx who is putting all those good vibes in the world right now! Just make sure to receive some for yourself too. 🙂 *flings good vibes at you*

Be well!

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