The Eclipse, The Tower, and Ploughing On

solar eclipse portland

Today is the day of the Solar Eclipse, the only total eclipse I know of until my generation is expected to die.

The week preceding the eclipse has been a challenging one personally, with health issues in my family and the end of a potential relationship before it got off the ground.

All that retrograde sh^%.

Professionally, it’s been booming: a book fair event in West Linn, a tarot card event at the day job in Lake Oswego, and an author panel at my favorite bookstore, discussing YA markets and HistFic trends.

instagram costume west linn book fair ren fair costume gypsy tarot tea

Tarot is an interesting practice. Or art, I should say.

I am a dabbler in many things, and this year, tarot is one of them.

I don’t believe a certain card can predict your future but I do believe we often hold the key to fixing our own issues, it just lies buried deep beneath a whole lot of emotional gunk. Tarot cards are simply one way to reflect on what we need, what we want, and how we are going to go about getting it.

The Tower is the card that sums up this week for me.

tower tarot card

“The Tower shows a tall tower pitched atop a craggy mountain. Lightning strikes and flames burst from the building’s windows. People are seen to be leaping from the tower in desperation, wanting to flee such destruction and turmoil. The Tower signifies darkness and destruction on a physical scale, as opposed to a spiritual scale. The Tower itself represents ambitions built on false premises. The lightning bolt breaks down existing forms in order to make room for new ones. It represents a sudden, momentary glimpse of truth, a flash of inspiration that breaks down structures of ignorance and false reasoning. Notice the lightning bolt is oriented left to right (from the perspective of the card), from heaven to earth, and from Spirit to material. The falling figures correspond to the chained prisoners in the Devil card. They fall headfirst, because the sudden influx of spiritual consciousness represented by the lightning flash completely upsets all our old notions about the relations between subconsciousness and self-consciousness.”

(from Biddy Tarot, a great site for beginners)

As you’ve read in my previous two posts, I am ratcheting up the Launch Trebuchet at the same time I’m madly scurrying to finish edits for The Grasping Root. I am delayed in getting out copies to my Early Reviewers, and alternately cavalier and crazy about the amount of time left before my Launch Party at Another Read Through on October 12th.

Does this sound at all like ‘ambition built on false premises’ to you, dear readers?

And yet. The silver lining to the Tower is that this shake-up of all my boundaries and certainties makes me more resilient. The proof lies in the list of hours logged in the chair, at the computer, rehashing those developmental edits.

Forty-four hours and counting.

john guthrie plough sunset song

My series Remnants involves people scratching a living from the soil, much like Chris Guthrie in Lewis Grassic Gibbons’ Sunset Song. I watched the first half of this beautiful movie last week before needing to return the DVD.

I read the books when I was first falling in love with Scotland, and had to go into a sort of trance to understand the meaning behind the dense Aberdonian lilt.

But the image of the plough, returning to the earth, carving it up–I think that fits pretty well with this week.

Thanks for hanging in there with me.
Images via Author, Biddy Tarot, and BBC

I Will Never Go on a Freefall Rollercoaster, Plus: EVENTS!

First, the TL;DR details:

IMG_3159

#1

Sunday, August 13th, 10 AM – 3 PM

Come one, come all to Veronica’s West Linn, OR Book Festival!

She started the NW Book Festival, which got a little complicated, so now she’s back in West Linn where it all started.

I’ll be selling books under a tent, maybe in costume, ya never know!

Find me at 21860 Willamette Drive, West Linn OR 97068

#2

I will be joined by two other brilliant local authors to talk about writing YA-Histfic Mashup fiction on Saturday, August 19, 130-3 PM at Another Read Through Bookstore:

Kate Ristau (aka blue-haired pixie), Author of Shadow Girl and Clockbreakers

Maud Powell, Author of City of Grit and Gold

We will be talking shop, so both writers and curious readers very welcome! RSVP on Facebook.

Now, for the rest of the story…

top rollercoaster flag

This shot of a roller coaster inches us a little closer to the top. Rides like this I can handle. But you know those new death-defying rides, where you are actually in free-fall, and feel like you’re going to die?

Yeah. Some people enjoy that.

Some people also enjoy the editing process, but you will NOT find me getting a Fast Pass for that ride unless I absolutely must.

All the moving deadlines! All the self-flagellation to get every thing done as soon as possible! And the inevitable heartbreaking decisions about what gets first priority.

As per my usual, I try to do everything.

And as usual, something will get missed. But eventually the story will get out there, and start to put down roots

grasping root peek

See what I did there? Here’s a peek of the cover! (so excited)

I’ve got a handful of Early Reviewers–Thank you, Valerie, George & Gayle, Kim, Kindra, and Deb!! And because I am still editing, the door is still open…check my last post for details.

I am still editing…yes, up to page 92, and there is a LOT of new written material, which makes me a little nervous… but I’ve saved the old version and can always compare the two, scrap the new one…

This is where the Terror of Indecision/ Uncertainty tends to set in…

But that is where your attendance at events helps!

I’m excited to have a few events leading up to my Book Launch (Thursday, Oct. 12, 7 PM).

Someone asked me if they had to reread The Keening to get ready for The Grasping Root...what a grand idea! Come find me in West Linn this Sunday or at Another Read Through next Saturday, and let’s get the party started!

The cover will be revealed next…

glove hand red curtain reveal

In the meantime, I’ll be singing, dancing, making tea, selling books, and–of course–EDITING.

Thanks for all the good thoughts and wishes, everyone–it helps!

 

Images via Dreamstime and SmarterServices