I was invited to be one of the contributors to this book, Navigating the Pandemic, now available everywhere. ALL proceeds go to: Society for Refugee Healthcare Providers (refugeesociety.org). The book includes thoughtful essays, poetry, and insights, and it affirms that we can survive the challenges we continue to face, also emphasizing that we can–and must–do better. I believe it’s a hopeful and honest record of these strange, sad, and blessed times. And it’s crammed with beautiful writing. https://www.dandelionbook.com/
I also want to share that my second picture book, The Rare, Tiny Flower, will be published by Tra Publishing in the spring of 2022, and they’ve most kindly purchased my third, Oliver and the Night Giants, for publication in fall, 2022. Each of these requires several meetings with my gifted editor, and co-creative sessions with a wonderful team of artisans. The entire process makes my heart merry.
My posting here has been reduced somewhat, I know, but my writing time has been as full and productive as ever. I’m currently working on a middle grade novel and several other picture books as well. These projects both feed my creative joy and keep my spirit centered.
Our weather has been either stifling hot and burdened with drought, or, as with last week, drenched in rain (yay) and terrorized by tornado warnings (antithesis of yay). I now have a routine for quickly packing and transporting electronics, matches, flashlights, dog treats, masks, spare clothes and etc., down to the lower level bathroom, where we corral and herd the 4-leggeds and ourselves to remain for the duration., while thunder booms and winds swirl without. This week, we are grateful for cooler weather and are back to having no storms on the horizon. Can’t have everything.
Our town and county are currently listed at the “high alert” stage for the Covid-19 Delta variant, so we’re not venturing out too often, given that our second vaccines were in mid-February, and our local population is only 50% vaccinated. (Because, why avail yourself of a free vaccine that will save your life and protect others?) We had to cancel eagerly-anticipated plans for a friend’s long stay at the end of the month and for attendance at a family wedding, also in a high-alert region. I was so looking forward to hugging my brothers, sisters-in-law, and everyone else I could, so it’s been quite a challenge to be tossed again into the space of “not-knowing,” and consigning future reunions to hopes, dreams, and possible-maybe’s.
Like everyone, I’m tired of non-compliance with scientific advice and lack of personal protection and where it’s led us, but I cannot wallow: there’s too much to do and grow and tend, too many better ways to be, and far too many blessings that deserve my gratitude, for me to be another misery agent in the world.
It seems that at no other time in my life have we collectively been so challenged to tend our spirits and grow into the versions of ourselves we’ve “always aspired” to be. There’s no room left for “someday.” This moment asks us to be present, compassionate, focused, creative, hopeful, and centered. Every moment always has, but I think we like to indulge and divert ourselves with other tasks, pleasures, and experiences, and put off the truly hard work of “becoming” until we’re jettisoned into suffering and loss, when transformation is the only way through.
So let us hone and shine our lovely gifts now, my dear friends, because now is when they’re needed. Let’s heal ourselves and heal our world, in hope and joy…and for goodness’ sake, may we seek several opportunities to laugh every day.
Also: Read good books. 🙂
Be safe, and well, and gentle peace to your heart and beloveds.
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