Concerning Website, Sale, and Regaining Creativity

Welcome to my newly updated website! We have changed some of the background colors, making it easier to read and to find the previous blogposts you might be looking for. To celebrate this, (and in these time, I am always looking for new things to celebrate!) I have put the Kindle version of Valeria & The Enemy of Time on sale for $2.99. That’s a dollar off the previous price, and is as low as Amazon will let me go. You will find that the hours your imagination spends in Valeria’s world will be more than worth the cost! (And if you like it, I’d love a review/rating on Amazon!)

I’m going to keep it on sale for several days, and then it will go back to $3.99, still a bargain. The paperback remains at $9.99 for now. 

It hasn’t been easy to focus on my projects. All the normal schedules, routines, plans, and news have been upended, keeping me a little off-balanced. But I’m feeling excited and anxious to get back to writing now. Before all this happened with the coronavirus, I had a good start on the 2nd Valeria book, and I’m going to get back on that. I’m also going to be thinking about another novella in the “Sweet Danger” Jessie McConnell stories. My local writing group is gathering short stories from the members for a contest, trying to keep that connection we all had when we met once a month. When I get a short story together for this, I’ll publish it here, and you can tell me what you think!

From the beginning of the “stay at home” orders, I knew that to stay mentally happy and healthy, I would have to continually bring new things into my days, have some things that stick to a schedule, and have long and short term creative projects that I am actively working on, even if my progress is just making lists about doing them!

For “new things each day,” there is nothing like a package in the mail! Or UPS, or FedEx. Random trips to the hardware, grocery and variety stores just aren’t happening. So there are some things I just NEED, and I order them. Usually by the time the package arrives, I have forgotten what is supposed to be coming, so I’m surprised. It’s like my birthday, even if it is just a box of my favorite mustard and decaf tea bags. My recent delivery was a box of nuts and dried fruit from Nuts.com. They have a wonderful product, and I’ve never been disappointed. This time, I decided I deserved something extra, so I threw in a box of chocolate walnut fudge. It was the best fudge I’ve ever had! (Next time, it’s two boxes.)

Unless a person is blessed with good self-discipline, it’s hard to keep a schedule, to impose one on yourself when no one else is demanding that. We make a lot of jokes about changing from our night pajamas to our day pajamas, and wonder, Why even bother? But with the good weather now, I’m spending time working on the yard and my garden projects. Can’t do those as well in pajamas! I’ve made a point of keeping my “going to bed time,” and my “getting up time.” That feels like good mental self-help. Also, at 3pm every day, my extended family enjoys a “Happy (Half) Hour” Zoom visit. That has become a nice little anchor point for my day. 

My creative projects have mostly been in the bread baking category lately. I made bagels this morning, and a sourdough loaf is going in the oven this evening. (My baby sourdough starter, pictured above, says, “Hi.”) I’ve done a few small sewing projects too. But then I started playing my banjo again. And I actually picked up the fiddle to see if I still remembered how to manage the bow. I thought about the Milliner-Koken collection of tunes book, and whether I might want to buy one with some of my economic stimulus money. I can feel my mind going, “What if?…” again, the beginning of new story ideas. 

It’s taken a couple months, but I’m feeling happy and excited again to live in my favorite kind of creativity. Not that I’ll give up baking though. I’m thinking about making hand pies…