I’ve shelved Up the River for now because I feel that the 2nd part of my Wild Mountain series should come first. The 1st part, Back to the Garden, got some good reviews and is still being mentioned in academic studies and books that talk about fiction that addresses climate change. I think that a lot of fiction these days that addresses either local or planetary environments is becoming more popular overall, though I’ve read some novels that really blow me away while others just aren’t my style. It’s okay. We all have our reading appetites. My tastes are all over the board, from the weird to heartfelt family type novels. Anyway, I’ve gotten over 15,000 words on the 2nd part of Wild Mountain, The Stolen Child, and the biggest issue for me was to make some organizational changes, which I’ve now done. I’ve got the three main parts of the book started and have outlined them enough to keep me going.
It really helps to have the support of our Rewilding Our Stories Discord, which began late last year with Lovis Geier and me, and has grown to over 70 members. We talk about everything there: the various genres and categories useful for talking about climate and ecological literature, books we read and love, characters in fiction we are inspired by or take issue with, news articles, and so on. We also run Sunday word sprints, and it is very helpful to me for those times I need to just tack down and write. The people in the Discord are very supportive. Anyone’s invited to join.
So sometimes I take on a lot of writing projects, and as I build my resume, I am volunteering quite a bit here and there. I have a piece coming out in the winter/spring magazine at Ecology Action Centre (which I’m also a copy editor of), wrote a book recommendation article at Chicago Review of Books right before Christmas, am volunteering to be social media outreach for the Climate Fiction Writers League, am running the Discord I mentioned above, and am taking part in an exciting panel this summer, which I’ll talk about soon after it’s announced. It’s the first time I’ve been invited to a panel as an author (more so than as a subject matter guest). Meanwhile, I’m keeping up Dragonfly.eco and also trying to get my novel completed. I feel like this work (some of it paid, some volunteer) puts me in the position that I’ve always dreamed about, to be a voice in fiction that relates to our natural world. It’s an area I feel I want to grow old doing as a profession and a hobby.
Other writing I’m dabbling with is some nonfiction. I’ve been writing a memoir about my mother. Some of it stems from her family history as well as where she’s at now, at age 80. I have some other book ideas, too, but they would involve bigger time investments and probably working with others. One would be a nonfiction about the history and evolution of ecofiction. Another might be an anthology of ecological weird stories. So many ideas. And now it’s getting closer to spring where I will be much busier outdoors.
Anyway, I figured I’d write a brief blog post since I haven’t written in over a month! But now, you know the drill, it’s back to working on my novel.