A Lot Going On…

Over the coming weeks, I might be blogging less often. I have a lot of things happening in my personal life that are going to be taking time and attention, and since I have a finite amount of time and attention, I have to pull it from somewhere. Blogging is one of the things that might get less while I put more into the other stuff that’s happening. In related news, because of the other things happening as well as having paid attention to comments and thoughts from readers, I am likely to drop my newsletter back to once a month rather than the current twice-monthly mailing; I will still have two newsletters this month as I’ve agreed to host another author in the second August newsletter, but beginning in September I will probably do one newsletter per month plus a “bonus” issue for preorders.

In the next few months, I have to find a “day job,” which is a process I’ve been in for several months already with no results. All the people who say “No one wants to work anymore!” don’t seem to count those of us who *do* want to work but are physically and/or mentally unable to do certain jobs. (For example, I literally pass out if I’m on my feet for more than 30 minutes at a stretch, and sometimes 30 minutes is more than I can handle, which means any jobs that require me to stand without breaks–i.e. most retail and food service jobs–are out of the question for me.) But I’m continuing to job hunt and narrow things down to the junction of my skills/education and the jobs I’m physically and mentally capable of doing.

I’m also very likely to be moving to a new home within the next few months. There are a few factors behind this that I’d rather not go into right now, but let’s just say that while I do want to move to a quieter location (I live about 15 miles from Boston, Massachusetts, so a very urban area), *needing* to move and the timeline for moving are not entirely my choice or within my control. There are going to be a number of smaller changes involved in this big one, and in addition to the time and attention it will take, it’s going to take a lot of my mental/emotional bandwidth to handle everything. If you’ve ever moved, particularly from one state (U.S.) to another, you know that it isn’t always a simple process.

Through all of this, I am continuing to write and revise/re-edit and plan releases. I’m currently working on a novel with the working title of A Fighting Chance, which is the sequel to Chance Met (released in March of this year), and hope to have the first draft of that finished within the next couple of weeks; the book is tentatively planned for release in March 2024. I’m also at work on another round of edits for Fill the Empty Spaces, my new novel that is planned for release on October 12 of this year. I’m looking ahead to what I’ll be writing (or rewriting, or at least revising and re-editing) going forward into 2024, and I’ll make announcements about upcoming books as I firm up those plans.

I plan to still *try* to blog weekly, but life–and my mental and physical health–are my top priority. So if a week goes by without a blog post, that’s why.

And for something positive to end this post on, here’s a pair of cats.

I’m Traveling…

Last week, I journeyed to Canada to visit my kid, who is in veterinary school up here. Since I’m traveling and spending time with my kid, I’m not doing a long blog post this week. But I did want to share a picture I took on my drive up: The world’s longest covered bridge, which is in Hartland, New Brunswick. The bridge is part of a road, so people actually drive through it; I was able to drive through twice (once on my way to the bridge-side restaurant I’d chosen for lunch, and again on the way back to the highway). This bridge will quite likely show up in a book at some point!

May be an image of covered bridge

Birthday Fundraiser

June is my birthday month, and this year I’m doing something a little different.

One of the things I do when I’m not writing is volunteering at a cat cafe near where I live in Massachusetts. This experience found its way into my novel Fill the Empty Spaces; in fact, in that book, the cats who are mentioned at the cafe where main character Del volunteers are all real-life cats who reside (or at least resided when I wrote the scenes that mention them) at the real-life cat cafe. The humans in Fill the Empty Spaces, however, do not have any real-life equivalents, just to be clear.

Anyway, I’ve been volunteering at that cafe since January. It’s a nonprofit, and most of the cats there are available for adoption, though we have a few who, due to medical concerns, will probably live out the rest of their lives at the cafe, where they can receive constant monitoring and the care they need. We have anywhere from 8-12 cats most of the time; several have been adopted since I’ve been volunteering there, but there are always others to take their place. The cafe partners with two rescue organizations in the area to bring in cats.

For my birthday this year, I’m doing a Facebook fundraiser for the cafe. If you’re inclined to provide help to feed the cats, buy them toys, and contribute to their general care, please make a donation at https://www.facebook.com/donate/654773599828408/. You can find out more about the cafe, schedule a visit, and make a direct donation to them (if you aren’t a Facebooky person) at https://www.kittycatcafema.com/.

And here’s my favorite resident of the cafe, Charlie the Sweater Cat (I am the only one who calls him that, but I’m totally trying to make it a thing), who has become a character in Fill the Empty Spaces: