Books, launches and variants

I know I’m not alone in feeling a bit depressed as news circulates about the newest, especially contagious, COVID-19 variant, omicron. If the whole thing weren’t so darn serious one might make some science fiction inspired joke about its name. I know that the existence of variants isn’t surprising to infectious disease experts who understand this is what viruses do when given the opportunity. Yet, we still feel this emotional upheaval as we vacillate toward excitement to move toward social normalcy while continuing to worry about exposure, especially for those with health vulnerabilities and in consideration of health inequity. To adapt, today’s word is: flexibility.

With that being said, I am flexibly excited for my launch next month of Humanity’s Grace. (I encourage you to visit my webpage with more details about this book.) I admit to you, that as I meticulously studied my publisher’s final edits last week– nerve-wracking to authors as we realize we are approving the exact text readers will soon read– I bawled at the end of one of the short stories. Yes, I wrote it, reread and edited it so many times: and yet remain emotionally connected to its plot and storyline. I’ve been trading notes with other authors about this rollercoaster we ride: some days excited about our accomplishment, others feeling disappointed to have so few readers familiar with our works. And as if on cue, this morning I received a beautiful new review of My Music Man. I also had a lengthy Indie Spotlight Interview shared by Sue Bavey. I try to channel my dad as he might remind me, “oh Deeder, good work” and adopt Mom’s “identified but never perfected” life lesson to not let achievement be my “end all be all.”

I will launch Humanity’s Grace sometime late next month. The pandemic supply chain issues seem to be affecting everything, including book publishing, and so – yes, being flexible. I plan to have an official in person (ahem, ….Zoom is always there) launch party on the late afternoon of Sunday, February 6 at the Willamette Ale and Cider House. If you haven’t visited this favorite spot recently, you should stop in, if for nothing else, to see their (new in the pandemic) additional outdoor spaces. So while we were in the front part of the pub for my launch of Beyond the Ripples, I’ve reserved the (heated) back space. (Bonus points right now if you need a Christmas tree: Nichole, has put up a partial lot of freshly cut trees ready for your buying. Russ found one to be a real beauty and in fewer than 5 minutes, which if you know our Tree-Finding-Story, has never before happened (if not, check out: The Ritual of the Tree Blog).) So, mark your calendar for the official launch of Humanity’s Grace on Sunday, February 6 from 4-6 pm at the Willamette Ale and Cider House. If you happen to pick up a copy before then do bring it and I’m happy to sign.

If you’re already booked on that date, stay tuned for a possible spring author panel at the West Linn Public Library with two other local authors who have also recently released short story collections. (See Jeff Fearnside and Evan Morgan Williams, both who will also be at Jolabokaflod PDX.)

In the meantime, pick up a copy of Beyond the Ripples, if you haven’t read it – you can find it in several Oregon libraries, a few special Little Libraries, a number of independent bookstores and online. As I drove home the other day from Astoria via Highway 30, I couldn’t help but think about Ernest living out there on Ferry Road and the day he pulled the bottle out of the Columbia. We don’t meet up with Ernest in Humanity’s Grace, but Annie, Frank and Monica join us again. Amazing how fictional characters become people we know and love.

Also, don’t forget to join me with other local authors this upcoming Sunday, December 14, 2021 at Urbanite PDX for Jolabokaflod PDX from 11 AM to 3 PM. COVID precautions will be followed. This is a terrific opportunity to support local authors and pick up books for seasonal gifts, or to add to your own library. Hope to see you soon.

Stay healthy, enjoy the good around you, be kind and make a positive difference to others.

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