June Update

In the Back Yard

Summer has finally arrived here in the Twin Cities after what seemed like a VERY long winter. The grass is green, dandelions are popping up all over, and the purple magnolia (Magnolia Ann) in our back yard survived its first Minnesota winter, no small feat. The picture above is from a month ago, mid-May, when the flower buds were just starting to emerge. (As to the yellow spots in the yard, well, if you have a dog you know what they are!)

Book Update

There’s now a complete first draft of Book 1 of the new series, best described as a mystery series with speculative elements. For now I’m still sticking to Dogwood as the title, though that might change later on. Luckily, unlike the rest of what goes into a novel, it’s the one thing that can be settled on at the last minute and mulled over and over in the meantime. I find that my brain likes to play with potential titles in the quest for a more catchy one or one that better captures the essence of the story or has some mysterious it factor.

At the very least, I’ll be adding a subtitle… A Peculiar Botanist Mystery, Book 1 is the front runner for now, though I’m not sure if it conveys enough of the speculative part of things.

Travel News

We have two family trips planned this summer, both of which I’m very much looking forward to, and then in September I’ve signed up for a writing retreat, something I’ve wanted to do for a while now but the timing never worked out before. It’s the Writing Excuses Workshop and Retreat 2022, which will take place on a cruise ship sailing the West Caribbean.

The plan is to take along a near-final draft of Dogwood to edit, along with a second goal of planning the structure of Book 2. And then goal three, which might be most important one, to hang out with and meet other writers! And four, enjoy the sightseeing and the ship and hopefully avoid getting seasick… I’ve been on short boat rides but never on a cruise, so I won’t know until then and there about the seasickness part, wish me luck : )