Adventuring in a Summer of Sameness

Still here, still in a place of luck and gratitude, still on a rollercoaster of anger and grief, still stepping into the chaos, and still pulling back when I need self-care.

And still striving to add new things to make daily life feel like it includes change and some kind of forward progress. In June, I made my first batch of (delicious) gluten-free scones AND a batch of gluten-free bread that actually worked for sandwiches. Next up: more scones, hamburger buns, and then I think it’s a toss-up between soft pretzels and donut muffins. Writing-wise, I decided I needed some possibility in my life, so I submitted two applications to Justin Colón’s #pbchat mentorship program. Announcements come at the end of the month–crossed fingers are appreciated!

And then July. With all the sheltering in place, virtual opportunities have been popping up everywhere I look. And I decided it was time to take advantage of that. So I signed up for my first Highlights workshop: Developing a Series in Chapter Books, with Debbi Michiko Florence and Kashmira Sheth.

Did I have a chapter book manuscript? Nope. Outline? Nope. Idea? Well, yes, but when I went back to look at it, I fell instantly out of like with it. So I came up with another idea for which I felt a much stronger affection. And with nothing but that idea, I registered. Which pretty much tells you how much I need an adventure right now, how much I need a shot of adrenaline that isn’t riding along on a wave of fear or hate or anger.

And the adrenaline worked. I’ve been reading piles of mentor texts.

The idea has stretched into a character, a problem, and a world. I’ve gone a few rounds with an outline. And I still have six weeks to draft a first chapter. As with everything, I have no idea where this will lead, whether I’ll end up with a first draft, whether I’ll work through any revisions.

Whether I’ll end up with anything I would want to show an agent.

But right now my brain is craving change. It wants some hours and days that feel different than all the others. It wants to learn. And, this summer, that means giving myself a Highlights retreat right here at home.


  1. Carol Federlin Baldwin says:

    Sounds like just what the doctor ordered! ENjoy!


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