I know that many of you are sick of snow and wish it would go away so you can get on with your everyday lives. But snow falls seldom in the Hill Country (the last serious snowfall here occurred on Valentine's Day, 2004) and it's a treat for us--especially when it's a soft, fluffy snow, like the three inches that arrived yesterday, courtesy of El Nino. No blowing, no drifting, just soft, gentle snow. A blessing for the bluebonnets, a delight for the dogs, and a pleasure for Bill and me. Even the garden enjoys a generous helping of snow, melting moisture into the seedbeds.
But the storm has passed, the sun is shining and the snow will be gone by noon, and Bill (who delayed his trip because of the weather) is on his way to our place in New Mexico for a few weeks of late-winter alone time. Alone time for me, too--we're both looking forward to it.
I finished the galley of AN EXTRAORDINARY YEAR and mailed it off to the University of Texas Press on Monday. This wasn't an easy book to lay out, and my decision to use margin quotations has caused extra work for everyone. But one more pass should see all the problems cleaned up, and the book is on track for publication in September. I love the helpful, make-it-happen attitude of the team there. Meanwhile, still waiting for the copy-edit of the first in the DARLING DAHLIAS series. The book's schedule was shortened by a couple of months, and various events have conspired to slow the project down. Still hoping for publication in July, though--I'll keep you posted. This is a busy year for books, and a record for me: HOLLY BLUES in April, THE DARLING DAHLIAS AND THE CUCUMBER TREE in July, and THE TALE OF OAT CAKE CRAG and AN EXTRAORDINARY YEAR OF ORDINARY DAYS in September.
Several people have asked about the paperback publication of WORMWOOD. In case you're wondering too, the paperbacks in most mystery series appear a year after the hardcover publication. China's hardcover this year is HOLLY BLUES (April 6); the paperback of WORMWOOD will appear the same day. Oh, yes--wanted to remind you that the first chapter of HOLLY is posted on the website for you to read.
Some Story Circle news: If you're buying books from Amazon through my website, please know that a portion of your purchase goes to support the Story Circle Network. Also, we've just posted the online class offerings for our Spring 1 term. You'll find them here. We have an especially strong list of classes this term--maybe there's one just right for you! (Personally, I'd love to take Lorraine's poetry class, if I had a little extra time.)
Now, for a hot cup of tea and a few moments of quiet snow-gazing out the window...Reading note: Being alone gives me back myself. When I’m alone, apart, I’m not tempted to construct the self I think others would like to see. I can listen to myself and what’s inside and around me. And listening – whether I’m listening through journaling, serious reading, silent meditation, or simply renewing my wonderment at the world – has become my most important spiritual practice.--Together, Alone: A Memoir of Marriage and Place, by Susan Wittig Albert