August has arrived here Ohio, and with it – some warm, dry glorious weather. The birches have begun shedding their leaves. The ground hogs are foolishly invading the yard to eat the heads off my sunflowers (and losing their heads to the dogs), the hornets and I continue our chemical warfare, and the frogs are getting fat (mostly on hornets – bonus!).
I’ve recently returned from my first overnight trip among humans since January of 2020, when I went to ConFusion. A lifetime ago. Literally another timeline ago.
My romp in the woods was a private con that is hosted by friends of friends every year. This year there were about 45 people there, with a vaccination requirement for entry. The staff where we were at were either all vaxxed or had to wear masks (only two staff members weren’t vaxxed). The couple who organize this jaunt are a space engineer and an infectious disease specialist, respectively, so I felt fairly good about my chances of coming away from there alive.
At this point it’s not a matter of if I’ll get COVID, but when, and how badly. My job is to just mitigate my chances and my chances of giving it to people around me. I’m loaded up with the Pfizer vaccine, and even with Delta, my risk of death from this particular disease is still super low. I just keep repeating that.
As I’ve discovered now that everyone close to me is vaccinated, I need to start doing mental health vs. COVID risk when determining what I do and with whom. I don’t think I’ll be going to a massive convention with folks whose vax status is unknown anytime soon, but small gatherings with hard vax rules? I can and should do more of those, because let me tell you: my mental health is so much more improved after just five days away from the house. I didn’t realize how much I missed just eavesdropping on other people while writing, either. ?
Spouse and I arrived home more relaxed that we’ve been in 18 months. I can also say that it was a relief to just enjoy time out and about with my spouse again. 18 months of “did you feed the dogs and who’s mowing the lawn?” definitely got tedious. We enjoy each other’s company. As I said to some friends at the event, any couple who’s made it through the pandemic should be able to add 25 years to their marriage.
“Yes, we’ve been married 12 + 25 years, thanks!”
And, speaking of the woods….
This month’s story for Hurley’s Heroes is “The Wood of Wicked Choices.” When a young girl attempts to leave her village, her mother shares a story about what she learned in the wicked woods when she, too, attempted to defy her fate.
Also, for those who missed out on the Light Brigade patches at the Etsy store – we have a new version in stock! These ones glow in the dark!
I’ve stalled at about the 30k mark on LOSING GRAVITY, and spent much of my time IN THE WOODS working on line edits and reshaping the opening structure. Still aiming for my December 15th due date.
I CAN MAKE IT!!!
I also did some writing on both THE WOMEN IN THE CITADEL and THE BODY GARDEN, just to help shake out some cobwebs. And I’ve recently ordered like 30 nonfiction books from the library about fungi and biology, which I’m picking up this week. Should help refill the bucket.
Around the Garden
And here are some snaps from around the August garden. Spooky season is NIGH!
See you next month!