Spring, 2020

I walked out into the wet garden this morning in my bare feet because it all smelled so good. First warm 8 AM in what feels like forever.

Last year I bought my 2 acres some carefully sourced, not wild harvested, native seeds, and a few rightfully expensive bare root native plants. This is the lone white trillium I bought. The woods a mile uphill from me, on private property, are full of them, so I knew they’d grow. But they’re delicate, and I didn’t want to disturb happy wild populations, so I bought one, planted it where it would be safe from deer, and hoped it would live until spring. I in no way expected three buds! Excuse the focus, I went out with my phone, but without my glasses.

First trillium

It was a long winter. So much going on offline, all the way through, plus the holidays– and then the pandemic put a complete stop to all my reading and writing for almost three months? Even when my mother died, I still read. But somehow this past week or two I’m starting to feel refreshed. I’m not sure why.  It may not last.

I joined the online book group for War and Peace with A Public Space and Yiyun Li (#Tolstoytogether) which jump started my reading brain. I struggled at first, fell behind the 15 pages a day, spent a few days reading over 100 pages to catch up. Once I did, I found myself looking around for more once the 15 were done, and picking up books from the large stack I impulse bought as we raced to close Buffalo Street Books after Cuomo announced he would lock down New York State.

Then I remembered that I was trying to sell a novel, and it was past time to research another batch of agents. Admin, I can always do. It’s a near future speculative novel, set in what is now southern Minnesota. Near future is a dangerous realm. While I’ve been revising it and sending it out, the world keeps catching up. I sketched a map for it a few years ago, that looks an awful lot like this one:

I’m circling the biography I’ve started to research, doing whatever I can without travel. I’ve also been working three days a week making surgical masks for a workshop organized by our local hospital, and have rediscovered the joy of industrial sewing machines. We got an email yesterday, saying the workshop has produced over 75,000 masks. And then my husband saw a health department alert, and realized he was at a local store on one of the wrong days. So, just as our area moves to the first stage of reopening, we can’t go out at all for a week. Probably for the best.

In any case: hi. I’m still here.


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