I didn’t intend to take a year away from writing. Once upon a time, more than a decade ago, I had to keep myself from posting updates more than once a day. For a year to pass without giving this space any attention feels strange.
I have been writing, just not here. I’m working through the final edits of my fourth novel, “Desert Divide.” This is my least favorite part of the writing process. I’ve written and edited for the last several years and now am left with a stack of edits from friends and colleagues. Some of these edits are exceptionally helpful, namely those of the typo and grammar variety. Others are more complicated. Those edits that deal with pacing, tone, character aren’t simple to address. If you change a detail in the first chapter that is key to chapter 12, you’d better remember to connect all the dots.
And in writing novels, making sure to weave in all the necessary ends while leaving some to the audience’s imagination is tricky, magical, daunting work. That’s where I’m at — sitting and staring at a huge stack of edits. It feels like mile 20 of the marathon. There is still so much work to do before the celebration can begin.
This year of working from home during the pandemic has had some bright lights worth noting:
My niece Maxine was born in August, bringing the first grandbaby to the family. Watching my brother become a father is hard to describe. He is this amazing man, father, and husband. He’s also still my knucklehead little brother, but watching this transformation has been remarkable. I am so proud of him, my sister-in-law, and the beautiful family they’ve created. Max is one of the happiest babies I’ve ever been around. She’s just a doll, and I can’t wait to be a constant source of spoiling her rotten. My parents are over the moon, too.
We adopted Hello Dolly Parton in October. Dolly is a terrier/terror mix and is a constant source of amusement. She’s also in part responsible for a bit of weight loss, thanks to the daily distance we must walk to keep her from bouncing off the walls. We have walked every inch of this neighborhood and she would be happy to go again, right now. She’s a great source of love.
Our home has thrived with additional attention. We’ve committed to eating at home except for once a week. We’ve made many new recipes. The vegetable garden is thriving. I’ve made nearly weekly trips to Goodwill to drop off items we did not need. Things feel organized and simplified. (May this please carry forward as our post-pandemic life begins.)
I’m looking forward to returning to a regular writing routine here and otherwise. Many of my routines that I’d honed in the last two decades have fallen away during marriage, and certainly during a pandemic. I’m excited to get back to church, running, swimming distance, and reading actual books in lieu of leaning on podcasts.
If you’re here, you’re likely family or a dear friend. Thank you for continuing to be interested in my updates.