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"Roundheads and Ramblings"

Happy New Year!





Yes, I'm one of that weird bunch of people for whom September 1st means the start of a new year. We're mostly academics, i suppose, our lives tuned to the start of a school year. There are a few witches among us--those for whom harvest festivals and Halloween have special significance. And maybe some of us fall into both categories. (No one I know, of course!)

I have been known to argue that a September start is the only one that makes sense. Why would  we want to start a year in January? It's cold, nasty, and after the holidays there's nothing left except for those leftover pine needles that poke holes in  your socks. The Romans made a case for March. The weather is getting better, I admit, but their month of Martius had nothing to do with baby birds and daffodils and everything to do with time to worship Mars (God of War) by setting out on a march to conquer somebody.  Not my favorite pastime. So what's left? July and the start of summer? Nope, not in Memphis, where by July we're sweltering and sweating and swatting mosquitoes. Nothing attractive there, either. No. Give me September, when there's just a touch of crispness to the morning air, when trees start to put on their red and gold show, when gardens no longer need tending, and harvests load us up with delicious and healthy crops.

I can lollygag my way through summer. I certainly did this year. Looking back, now, I can't tell you much of anything i accomplished.  My lone tomato plant put out a grand total of one tomato, and a great green hornworm had part of that one. After May we did no real traveling. I didn't get a tan. I sold a bunch of books, but Amazon was much more responsible for that than I was. I created some Pinterest boards, but that involved nothing more than looking through some old travel pictures. I did serve my Jury Duty time -- and perhaps I helped keep a nice kid-- one who did something really stupid while trying to be helpful-- from paying for it by spending the rest of his life in prison. But if I wanted to make a case for calling myself a writer, this past summer offers no real evidence of any ability to put words on paper.

Then I turned the page on the calendar, and this first week of September has been a very different story. I've published a children's book, written four chapters (approximately 10% of my next novel,) put out feelers to find narrators for two more audio books, and come  up with ideas for a new publishing venture. Looking ahead, I have plans for at least four trips in the next six weeks. and those trips will involve a writer's conference, a couple of book award ceremonies in which I have a least a fighting chance to see something good come down for one of my books, and a visit to a new location that may one day be the setting for a new book.

I'll fill you on some of the details in the coming days as I get myself back into a blogging routine. Stay tuned!