Archive for October, 2017

October 10th, 2017

Interlude

Radar is the black cat at top center, Liam is the brown dog, Chloe is the black dog, and Lilac is the kitty at bottom left.

I’ve been largely absent from blogging, and more absent than I’d like to be from writing, for about the past year and a half. This post will, I hope, represent a segue back into both.

In early 2016, I bought my first house. A few weeks later (after the painting and wallpapering and carpet-cleaning were done), I added to my family of my two cats and me two sibling (and very fearful/shy) puppies from the no-kill shelter where I was volunteering. Everybody is pictured above. :)

Thus began what seemed like a year straight of furniture assembly, unpacking, and decorating, all amidst training, watching, and taking care of puppies—with the latter seeming to make the former almost unimaginably slower! (“The puppies” were actually nine months old when they arrived at the shelter, over a year when I adopted them, and just turned three last month, but I started referring to them as “the puppies” shortly after I first met them and have not felt inclined to stop yet.)

I had a six-foot privacy fence built around my awesome and sizable yard so the puppies could play together to their hearts’ content. Unplanned complication number one emerged when the puppies proved themselves (easily) able to jump/climb over the fence a few weeks later. What seems like a substantial part of the last year and a half has been focusing on, devising, and implementing reinforcements to add to the fence to keep them contained. (Town ordinance dictates six feet is the maximum height for fences.)

They haven’t worked yet. When people have asked me lately if I’ve “been writing,” I have felt a temptation (to which I’ve sometimes seceded) to say, “No, I’ve been too busy trying to keep my puppies contained in my yard.” This feels closer to accurate than to an offhand joke!

Anyway, I am hoping I finally have things on the way to being in order now, freeing me up to refocus on writing. My house is mostly the way I want it (even the seeming perpetual pile of stuff in the unfinished basement has finally been organized and put away into storage), and I hope my latest fence reinforcement plan will soon allow me to let the puppies outside unsupervised again (please, please, please…).

I should soon have writing news to share (for what seems like the first time in so long!!). In the meantime, over the last eighteen months or so, here are a few things I missed/was neglectful about announcing here:

1) Steve Cline, whom I have invariably experienced as lovely, interviewed me last year on his blog, The Dirty Scribe. I enjoyed the interview, which focused on my short story collections, If… Then and Safe, very much and found his questions flattering, perceptive, and stimulating to answer. Thank you, Steve!

2) I have a story in the anthology The One Who Got Away, published by Cleis Press and also released last year (ugh, I cannot believe how behind I am…). My story, “Sunshine,” was an interesting one as far as the writing experience for me. It started with a single image that entered my consciousness, followed quickly by the reason for the image (image: an intricate analog clock tattoo; reason: it indicates the time a significant event occurred in the character’s experience). It was one of those stories that simply seemed to come out as I wrote it; I largely had no idea what was imminent in it until I typed it. The One Who Got Away is edited by the awesome Kristina Wright, whom I have always found it a pleasure and honor to work with.

3) In case you missed it, I was delighted to be a guest on Kay Phoenix’s “Midweek Escapes” blog feature back in May. (I do love opportunities to talk about Niagara Falls!)

Thank you for reading, and be well!

Love,
Emerald

She nodded and casually hooked her fingers over the edge of the lavender fabric, pulling it to the side so he could see the tattoo fully. It was positioned high enough above her left breast that showing it was not inappropriate.

The design was a round clock face, intricate with its twelve Roman numerals and solid black hands positioned at just after seven o’clock. Sean studied the precise numerals and tiny black indicators between each one, struck by their meticulous resemblance to those of a genuine clock. Each hand blossomed from its respective black arm into an elaborate tangle of swirls and then back to a pristine point. The ink around the border gave the impression of a shiny casing, and the entire thing was about the size of a silver dollar.
-from “Sunshine”