dogwood & redbud

Winter has loosened its grip at last, white fingers melting back into the red clay of the foothills. Across the woods, a green mist rises from the earth, edging hard vines and brambles, working its way up the trunks of ancient oaks and walnuts. In the understory, beneath still-bare branches, bright splashes of redbud and dogwood burst like fireworks against the green.

The breeze today is balmy, the woods brimming with birdsong–chickadees, towhees, cardinals, bluejays, doves, titmice, finches, sparrows. A couple of male rose-breasted grosbeaks have begun visiting the birdfeeder, their stark black-and-white splashed with neon read punctuating the innumerable shades of brown and grey. Bleeding hearts have erupted and begun to drip blossoms, hostas spike from the soil, and peony stalks, still purpled with cold, push higher each day, promising a ridiculousness of heady, rain-heavy blooms in June. Now that May Day, Walpurgis Day, is here, June seems possible again–not only possible, but likely.

This month I will take a social media break. I’ve stopped using Facebook for anything but messaging, my sadly neglected writer page, and coordinating events. I need a break from the unending Twitter scroll.

This month I am also returning to a project I set aside years ago. I write YA fantasy–fantasy because I cannot conceive of a world without magic, and YA because that is what I know. I haven’t figured out how to write about adults yet–I haven’t figured out how to be one. I figure one day maybe I’ll learn how to write about grownups. This story is my exception. It’s a sort of quirky dark faerie tale for grown-ups. It needs work–mountains of work. But it is work that feels good. Indulgent, too, because it’s hard to imagine this story ever being marketable in any way. It’s a pure passion project, a story I need to shape because I can’t get it out of my head. In the throes of querying and submissions and rejections, it’s like surfacing and breathing again to work on something for the sheer pleasure of it. Infernal, annoying, irritating, frustrating pleasure–but pleasure nonetheless. This story feels like scratching a deep itch, like shedding a thick winter skin, emerging from the dark places to turn back and shine a light on them.

I’ll let you know how it goes. In the meantime, I hope spring finds you brimful of renewed hope and energy, showered with warm rain and blossoms, and burgeoning with stories that demand to be told.