The next chapter weekly: March 19-25, 2023


It’s week 12 already?! Holy cow! Spring has sprung and I’m feeling good 🙂

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From the tarot this week, I drew the eight of cups, which represents abandonment, withdrawal, and escapism. It’s kind of a negative card, but I’m thinking of it in a positive way. Specifically, this is about my purposeful and temporary abandonment of my writing while Phil recovers.

My creativity will out in weird ways, though. I’m working on grant applications and still playing around with my presentation for the SF Canada & Canadian Authors webinar.

From the Shaman’s pack, I drew The Inworld, which is the Third Circle, or Anwwn, the underworld. If you remember, I drew the Circle of Nine, or the Second Circle last week, and Arawn, the Lord of the Underworld the week before. It seems to be a thematic sequence. The Inworld represents accessing the wisdom of the ancestors.

This is interesting, because the third grant I’m applying for will be for a new project which will involve research into Finnish pre-Christian spirituality and history. Maybe my Finnish ancestors will have some wisdom for me.

The week also saw the spring equinox on Monday. I lit up my altar to welcome spring.

On Tuesday, it was the new moon, and I took some time to set my intentions for the next lunar cycle.

The week in writing

Once again, it’s just blogging. I’m not tracking the grant applications or the presentation.

I blogged 1,824 words for the week and 6,359 words for the month to date.

Work on the grant applications is going slow. I think I’m just intimidated. But … the CSFFA grant application is sent, for better or worse. One down. Two to go!

The presentation has taken a back seat while I focus on grants.

Another piece of excellent news: I was accepted into the SFWA as an associate member! Whee!

Thinking of something radical: a blogging and social media sabbatical while I work on revisions for my poetry collection and on Reality Bomb. It might mean several months (like five or six) incommunicado, but I think it’s what I have to do if I really want to get some work done.

Will keep you apprised as things develop.

Filling the well

This week, I registered for a Tiffany Yates Martin webinar through Jane Friedman on mastering point of view. I watched the replay. Tiffany is an amazing instructor and I always learn a lot from her.

I also signed up for an Authors Publish webinar with Book Publicist Isabella Nugent on setting yourself up for success. Again, I watched the replay.

Finally, I signed up for Daniel David Wallace event about perfecting your process. It runs from the 24th to the 27th, so I’ll be mentioning it again next week.

I took the week off work (vacation planned, prior to Phil’s accident) so I could rest and observe both the equinox and the new moon as my pagan heart desires.

I also wanted to accomplish a couple of things, just for me, this week. I wanted to gather all our tax info and send it to our accountant (done!). And I wanted to spring clean my office (also done!). It’s been a while and I decided I wanted to reorganize my bookshelves, cull some outdated filing, and generally tidy up the space. It’s been good for me, getting ready to dive back into writing in a more serious way when Phil’s shoulder is healed.

I had a blissful massage on Tuesday. My parasympathetic nervous system activated, and I got into “rest and digest” mode 🙂 And yes, that means my stomach was growling like ten.

Phil’s also feeling recovered enough that he’s cooking again! Physio is going well, and he’s found a position to sleep in that allows him to get a full night’s rest. He still can’t lift or push anything, though, so I’m still doing the groceries (with him, though, for the most part), laundry, clearing the steps of snow, taking the dog out (she pulls), etc., but progress is being made 🙂

On Wednesday, he went for a walk. On Thursday, he went for a drive. There’s still some awkwardness associated with that activity. He can’t reach with his left arm to turn on the headlights or the turn signal, but he can reach over with his right to flip the switches. He has an appointment with the doctor next Friday (March 31st), so we’ll find out more then.

What I’m watching and reading

I didn’t finish watching any series or watch any movies this week. Well, I started watching RRR, but the three hour and five minute run time meant I couldn’t finish it in a single sitting.

I read Ada Hoffman’s The Outside. I’ve had Ada’s work on my radar for a while because she’s another #actuallyautistic author. Her novel features autistic characters in a world that, while not built for them, willingly makes accommodations for them, and accepts them as part of society. There are still misunderstandings, but it’s a better world than the one we have.

The story’s good, too. Humanity has colonized the galaxy, but AI has become sentient, and something called the Morlock War has Ais installed as gods with cyborg angels doing their bidding. Outside the galaxy, the titular Outside, is heretical, and the god Nemesis has chosen to bring all heretics to justice.

In this milieu, Yasira Shien, a highly intelligent autistic, has completed her doctorate and created a revolutionary reactor that promises to provide for all the energy needs of a new space station, the Pride of Jai, which orbits her homeworld. But something goes wrong, and the reactor sets off some Outside cascade, which consumes the Pride of Jai and 100 of its crew. Yasira is now a heretic and at the mercy of Nemesis and her angels. If she’ll help them track down her mentor, Dr. Evianna Talirr, an even worse heretic, she might be shown mercy.

And that was the week in this writer’s life.

Until next tipsday, be well and stay safe; be kind and stay strong. The world needs your stories!