This year, huh?

I have, once again been very bad at updating this website. This time it’s due to a global pandemic, which is more than enough of an excuse, frankly.

There has been more news on my latest book, The Magpie’s Library, which was nominated for a 2021 Northern Lights Award and named one of the Ontario Library Association’s Best Bets for 2019, which all made me very happy back in a time that feels impossibly long ago.

Since then I have been trying to continue to write, mostly using the same tricks I talk about here, but with both children home for most of the year, homeschooling, continuing to work full time and no nights off or lunchtimes to myself, it’s been going agonizingly slowly.

I’m far from alone in this, and time is not the only issue, as this excellent article spells out. For the first few months I was reeling, then in a shocked daze, and had trouble even reading. I miss seeing people, and tucking mental notes away. I miss getting out into the city and sitting in a cafe where I’m alone but exposed to the world around me, filled with those serendipitous little observations that bring a character into focus. I miss seeing people to whom I am someone other than a mother and an employee.

I tried not writing. That was worse. I had trouble dragging myself back to the computer after a long day in front of the computer, but on the days (and occasional weeks) where I didn’t, it made the work-bed-work monotony starker.

We are starting to see signs of the end of all this. It’s still a way off here in Canada. I sit here on a cold grey day with cases rising again, anticipating the schools closing once more, but yesterday the AstraZeneca vaccine was approved. My parents and step-parents in the UK have all received their first dose. There have been many times when it felt like this wouldn’t end, especially as we head into March again, but summer is coming.

I just wish it would hurry up.

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