So after Substack decided to be like 'nah, nazis are cool actually', I immediately deleted my account and set about looking for a newsletter replacement. I won't lie, a lot of what's kept me from getting a regular newsletter started has been difficulties integrating options like mail chimp and mailerlite with my site. If I've learned one thing working with websites over the years, is that if the integration is hard, the updates will be too.
The solution for me is to create this little blog, a corner of the internet that I mostly own where I can share updates. Readers can subscribe for notifications of new posts or dust off an old RSS feed system. (God, I miss those).
So here we are!
2023 In Review
Important! The following contains discussion of death.
I'm still not sure how I published a novel, novella, and short story with everything that happened this year, but I did! I'm deeply proud of all three, even if I got stuck on the short story for a month or two.
A long-time neighbour finally succumbed to cancer this past August, and when her family arrived to clear out her apartment, it took two weeks because she'd become a hoarder over the last decade. Then in October the police arrived for a wellness check on my other long-time neighbour. The short story is that he passed in his apartment a day or two after the first neighbour's funeral. Since then, my remaining neighbour in the building tries to be here as little as possible. The poor guy is in law school and this happened before the final crunch of the semester.
There's been a veritable army of cleaners coming into the building, and neither of the two apartments are ready for new tenants yet. I also found a man dead on the sidewalk a few weeks ago, which did not help, let me tell you. Someone had already called emergency, so there wasn't much to be done. Still unsettling, though. Yesterday one of the cleaning people asked if I was scared to live here, and I kind of just laughed because what else could I do? It's not the building that's caused any of these deaths, and even if my heart goes boom, it won't be responsible for mine either.
It's been a lot to deal with. Add in some difficulties with work, and I've been struggling to write for the last few months. It's only in the last couple of weeks that I've felt eager to get back at my stories. This delay means some of my projected publishing dates may change, but the general plan remains the same. Publish a new novel by June, then focus on wrapping up Millie's trilogy for the end of the year with No Hero Lives Forever.
After waffling between projects, I've settled on working on the cosy adventure story Strange and Sundry Magics, though I may toss in a novella between the two big projects as a palette cleanser. See there's this lingering idea from Shattered Spirits that won't leave me alone...
To end things on a positive note, please enjoy this picture of Bird the cat while I sign off to go spend time with my family. It's important to enjoy the good things in life, even if there's a storm happening around us.
Cal & Bird