Sunday, December 27, 2020

Heading into the home stretch

There are only a few days left in the year 2020, and boy what a year it has been. I don't know anyone who had a clue just how crazy it would be, and I honestly hope that next year doesn't repeat, and that it isn't worse. We've all certainly been hit hard and I hope we all get a bit of smooth sailing for a little while.
My year in review:
I started doing events at Kroger grocery stores, which was an interesting change for me, especially with the whole mask thing once COVID hit. But, I think I met a lot of great people because of this, and was able to sell a decent amount of books, which was nice. The biggest take away from that is that my stories got out to a new audience, hopefully bringing hope and joy in an otherwise bleak year.
I was able to participate in a regional conference as a presenter, something I hadn't thought possible, especially as an invited speaker instead of someone who just suggested a class and got randomly picked. Chalk that one up on my resume, I guess. But it has led me to want to get more serious about creating more online content in the form of classes and presentations on writing and publishing, which I hope to work on in 20201.
Despite lock downs, I was able to  write, illustrate, and publish a new children's picture book, The Cookies Are Missing!, dedicating that to my paternal grandmother, who always had a cookie for her grandkids every time we visited, and, who, sadly, passed away last year.

In February, I was able to kick off the release of the Tarragon Trilogy Audio Drama, which is still in the process of being released, and will continue through September of next year. While it may not have as my views/listens as I would like, it has helped give so many a creative outlet, and I just want you all to know how much I appreciate working with my cast and crew on this. They are all amazingly talented.

I have also had several ideas for new books, both novel and children's picture book, pop into my head over this past year, and will be working on them throughout the coming year or so, pending on how things go with all of my projects.

There as been some progress on the all in one version of the Tarragon Trilogy book, with a new short story joining the mix, and a few new illustrations. I plan on trying to get a few more illustrations, and a new cover, before I release it, hopefully by early summer 2021.
I have also been able to organize my work space a bit, with a newer computer, which is nice. My desktop has finally bitten the dust and had to be retired, but the laptop that is replacing it has turned out to be incredibly nice.
Did I mention that I'm also working on some promotional items for the whole dragon series? I've got some new jewelry going on, and am working on some 3D models of the signature jewelry from the book, mainly the dragon pendant, the mage ring, and hopefully the bone knife. We'll see how far I get on that one.
All in all, despite the craziness of a global pandemic, health concerns with extended family, job issues from lock downs and related... it's not been a horrible year. I've certainly had worse, though I hope 2021 doesn't take that as a challenge! I would love to be able to settle into a routine again, get some of the projects currently on my whiteboard finished, and take some time to simply enjoy life again.
So, from Dallas, TX, I hope you all have at least a decent rest of the year, and that your 2021 is a heck a lot better than 2020 was.


Wednesday, December 2, 2020

A poem for Fall/Winter

 I just wanted to share this poem I wrote back in 2016.


The wind rustles through the trees, sending leaves scattering to the ground. I stare at patterns of fallen souls as they lay on the ground. Between the falling leaves, I spy a squirrel or two. And between them, water that trickles like blood from a cut. A mallard drifts lazily by in the clear yet muddy colored water. Shorn stone leads down to the water in layers of packed sediment. I want to lean towards the water, to look over the edge, but hesitate. What if I should fall? The water looks deep in places, far deeper than I can swim. But the beauty of the moment is easy to take in. With the sky overcast, the clouds waiting to cry, I can't help but feel at one with the world. The brisk breeze teases my hair, leaving fallen debris in its wake. If only I could reach up to the treetops and let the breeze carry me away.