Catching Up

“Retirement” still seems to involve twelve-hour days.

Posts have been few and far between recently….my apologies.  Here’s why.  I’ve just finished printing and framing twelve new versions of graphic prints, to be included in atepsave1 cutout351 display of eighteen of my works that I’m hanging next Wednesday.  I also completed Empire’s Hostage, Book II of the Empire’s Legacy Series, this week, prepped the files for printing, and sent them off – just waiting now to get the first proof edition. cover ebook under 2MB smaller This was also the last week of the on-line university course I’ve been taking, on the landscape archaeology of Britain…and then there’s been the community newsletter, the community herb garden, retirement parties to attend, books to edit, the kitchen cabinets to prep for painting (next week!), and all those little things – like grocery shopping and meal prep and time with friends – in-between.

“Retirement” still seems to involve twelve-hour days – I’m usually started on the day’s work a bit after 7 a.m…..and it generally continues on to about 7 p.m.  I’m still fairly reliant on my on-line calendar to remind me what’s next to be done. The huge difference is that I’m doing exactly what I want to, most of the time, and an hour-long bike ride to pick up my library books and a liter of paint is multi-tasking – exercise and errands in one – but it’s FUN.  And if I feel like taking a day (or more) off, there’s no-one to tell me I can’t, or shouldn’t…hence our week in Cape Cod and the White Mountains at the beginning of the month, a fairly last-minute decision. (But if we were ever going to see Bicknell’s Thrush, it had to be done. I’m pleased to say we were successful.)

I’m going to drop the pace for a few weeks, though: it is, after all, summer.  There are outdoor concerts to attend (weather permitting, in  changeable and stormy Ontario this year), books to read….and cupboards to paint. I need a break before I start writing Empire’s Exile, Book III, plus there are a few other projects that have been on the back burner…and in the fall I start a new university course that will help with the background for Exile.  I will, of course, keep everyone updated on the release and promotions for Empire’s Hostage, but also, I hope, some other posts…I miss it!

To my Canadian readers, have a safe and fun Canada Day weekend, remembering that Canada 150 is also Turtle Island 15,000. We have a lot to celebrate, some things not to, and a lot of work to do.  Happy July 4th to my US readers: stay safe:  Nolite te bastardes carborundorum; and to the rest of the world, whatever season it is, enjoy!

 

 

 

Empire’s Daughter and LGBTQIA Rights

I have added LGBT to the Amazon description (that’s all they offer), because I feel that I need to let young readers know there is a fictional world (another fictional world – there are plenty of others) here where they may see themselves, while the world around them may become more discriminatory and more hateful.

I’ve been meditating since early Wednesday morning…about 3 a.m., when I woke up, looked at the news feed on my ipad, said something unprintable, and went back to sleep, what my personal response to Donald Trump’s victory should be. First off, I’m Canadian, and some will think I have no right having any response.  But the election of a U.S. President resonates around the globe, and has implications for all countries…and all life, human and otherwise, on this planet.

I have enormous concerns, about environmental issues, about military responses, and most immediately about human rights.  I am straight, of Angle-Saxon heritage, and past reproductive age, but that doesn’t mean I can’t to some extent empathize with the experiences and the fears of those who are not.  I’m a writer, and that’s what we do, to the best of our ability.

When I wrote Empire’s Daughter, the fact that it was set in a world where sexuality is fluid and to some extent context-driven wasn’t even a conscious decision.  The structure of the society, based as it is loosely on the structures of Rome and Sparta, indicated to me that this would be the most likely evolution of sexuality in the world that offered itself to me. Love is love, and when my protagonist Lena loses her partner Maya to exile, her grief is as honest and deep and painful as it would have been for a male partner. Empire’s Daughter is a coming of age story, a story of discovery and loss of innocence, of mistakes and attempted redemption.  It is a human story, not a story unique to those who identify as LGBTQIA.

But now I have added LGBT to the Amazon description (that’s all they offer), because I feel that I need to let young readers know there is a fictional world (another fictional world – there are plenty of others) here where they may see themselves, while the world around them may become more discriminatory and more hateful.  “Do small things with great love,” Mother Theresa may or may not have said….this is one small thing from me, one tiny spark of light, I hope, offered with love.

.