While Michaeline’s away dealing with family matters (check out this post for more information), I’m borrowing her Saturday slot to ask: what good experiences did you find to alleviate the grimdark this week?
Whatever your circumstances, if you found joy in a burst of birdsong, or the spring sunshine, or an unexpected message… if you found something—anything—that lightened your heart, please share it in the comments and give somebody else a much-needed moment of feelgood.
I took a little while to make my list for this post, and to my surprise just searching for the good moments in another stressful week left me feeling uplifted.
Of course the most important thing is that all my family and friends are still home and well. Everything else pales beside that. I’m deeply thankful, and I hope that you have all been equally fortunate.
I’ve had another week of no new writing. I’m supposed to be working on the my new Elan Intrigues novel, but the opening scene is really intense. The heroine loses everything she cares about in one candid exchange, and I simply haven’t had the emotional bandwidth to do it justice. I plan to do better this week. Hopefully that scene will be next week’s silver lining.
I did, however, go back and forth with Deranged Doctor Design on the cover for my new novella, The Seeds of Exile. I mentioned last week that I found a stock photo of a cool urban dude that I hoped DDD could turn into a historical fantasy prince. No spoilers but…they did, and he looks amazing. I’m thrilled. I should get the finished file on Monday or Tuesday. I’ll share next weekend, and I hope you like it as much as I do.
Also writing-related: Draft2Digital and Overdrive (library ebook distributor) have created a promotion whereby D2D authors can opt to make their novels available to libraries at a seriously discounted price, initially through April 30th, potentially longer. Given that the world is suddenly full of people with time to read and no money to spare for book buying I think this is an excellent idea. I’ve signed up to offer The Seeds of Power. I hope Overdrive decides to include it in the promotion. If they do I’ll stay in for as long as the promotion runs.
On the home front, I noticed something different. Our house is on the outskirts of London, and for years our street has been a cut-through to one of the main roads into town. The traffic noise has never bothered me particularly. It’s at most an hour in the morning and again in the evening, and as we’ve lived here for more than 20 years I’ve internalized it. Suddenly though, people aren’t driving into the city and the absence of noise has disoriented me. Subconsciously, it seems, I’ve been using the rat-run as an alarm clock.
The days are getting noticeably lighter, and I’ve been relishing the unexpectedly clean air on my daily walks. I’ve been keeping to the streets rather than following my usual routes over Hampstead Heath, but the signs of spring are all around my neighbourhood. Daffodils, tulips, camellias, crocuses, blossom, scents. Lovely.
And on the subject of spring, did you see that David Hockney published a series of images created recently at his home in Normandy, offered to the public as a respite from current events? The images are beautiful, and I am awestruck and inspired that he is capable of such work at 83 years young. There’s hope, right? Check them out and absorb the wonder of man’s talent and nature’s glory. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-52109901
So. Those are the good bits of my week. How about yours?
My silver lining is that my audio book narrator finished the “proof” of His Lady to Protect. I’ve been listening to it all week, proofing it for the final version. While it’s been difficult for me to concentrate on anything for more than an hour, I’m incredibly happy with his reading of HLTP and I can’t wait until the final version is available to listeners (although I’ve heard it’s taking upwards of 3+ weeks for ACX to approve books and publish them).
We’re also healthy. The weather in AZ has been fabulous (I’ve been outside most days). And my husband and I are tied 1-1 in our ping pong Championship. 😀
The good things here are much like yours: warmer weather, cleaner air, quieter surroundings and so many things coming into bloom.
My kids/grandkids/friends are doing well and I have a safe, comfortable place to be.
It’s not the world I expected to be living in, but it’s a good one.
One silver lining was those Hockney paintings. Those greens! Talk about a burst of color.
My life and house have been taken over by a mouse infestation, which is beyond gross, and so I’m having trouble finding bright spots in the universe. One bright spot, however, is the exterminator company I found, which never sleeps after you shovel money at them. They come Wednesday. The inspection guy said that if you’ve never had a mouse and then you have an infestation, it’s because they’ve been displaced, often from construction. There’s a lot of construction going on around here. So I guess that’s it. I’ll be really, really happy when these guys come Wednesday. In the meantime, it’s been like living in the movie “Ben.” Ack.
On the upside, I still don’t have Covid-19, and neither does any of my close acquaintances. Knock wood. I had a fun chat with a wrong number yesterday, a woman working at a local hospital who was trying to reach a patient and was one digit off. I was able to thank her and her colleagues for their work, and she thanked me for staying home. Unlike so many writers these days, I am able to write, and things are going fairly well overall. Except for the current scene, but that kind of periodic stall is typical. I want to get a lot done with my books this year, so I’m happy that I can still sit down and focus on what I want to do. And finally, I will be making banana bread this afternoon.
Best wishes, everyone! Here’s waving at you from six feet away. 🙂
Sorry to hear about the mice, Kay. Here’s hoping your Wednesday-guy is able to redirect them to more hospitable surroundings.
My silver linining is that I was able to harvest one last vase-full of lilacs today. They are my favorite flower and bloom for far too short a time in this area.
Things here really aren’t much different from pre-COVID times, with the exception of slower internet, no commuting, and the inability to roam about in the outside world like a free-range chicken. If I could only break the habit of too-frequently checking the COVID statistics on the WorldOMeter site—and if I could find a store with toilet paper back in stock—things would seem pretty normal.
Earlier this year I went to a sustainability conference where one of vendors was giving away a mask in a little ziploc bag (rather than the usual pens and cups and USB drives). It was amusing at the time, but was perfect for today’s jaunt to the grocery store for milk. I also have a new appreciation for anyone who has to wear a mask in their typical job—it felt awkward and my glasses kept fogging up.
Also on the mask front, my company (healthcare) sent out instructions for how to make masks either for personal use or to donate. Since I have a rather robust fabric stash (much of it came from my mom’s house), this seems like the perfect task. A rummage through my sewing notions box also uncovered a variety of elastics, so I’ll be doing some mask-making this weekend.
It has been raining here on and off all day, so I’m I’m very happy that I did all of my yard work yesterday while it was still sunny and dry. It’s a perfect day to putter around inside—and maybe make some dessert.
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