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 : )


Twin Cities Book Festival, Writing Update, and a New Puppy

Twin Cities Book Festival

If you’re looking for something to do this upcoming Saturday, come to this year’s Twin Cities Book Festival. The day, according to my weather app, is slated to be gray, cold and overcast – perfect for writerly events and book browsing! The festival is being held at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds, from 10:00am to 5:00pm. Admission is free. 

Here’s some festival info from the organizer’s website:

Rain Taxi’s TWIN CITIES BOOK FESTIVAL is not only the largest, most adventurous literary event in the Upper Midwest; it is THE annual get together for devoted book lovers from the Twin Cities and beyond!

The single-day TCBF will feature hundreds of exhibitors, dozens of presenting authors from near and far, special children’s programming and endless curiosities for all ages, all in a massive celebration of our vibrant Minnesota literary culture. 

FREE parking • FREE Metro Transit rides to the Fairgrounds

You can find me at the Book Fair portion of the festival, which is being held in the Progress Center of the Minnesota State Fairgrounds, located at 1265 Snelling Ave., Saint Paul, MN (directions here). I’ll have a table somewhere in the hall, though I’m not sure yet where (edit: I’ll be at table 409 in the middle of the hall). Stop by to get a book signed or just to say hi! This is my first year attending and it promises to be interesting.

Book Update

In other news, the novel I’ve been working on for quite a while has come back from my editor Kristen Weber and… it needs more work. I’ve enjoyed writing this one but it’s turned out to be somewhat of a beast to wrestle into a coherent story. No one is as impatient as I am to get this book on the road as soon as possible. This is one of those instances of It’s better to do it well than to do it fast. I am very much looking forward to holding the finished book one of these days.

On the plus side, we finally have a title. Ta, da, here we go: THE PEOPLE LIST, a standalone near-future novel! 

Stay tuned for the cover reveal and back-page description.

Grif the Dog

On the personal side of things, and what might be putting a slight damper on my available editing time this fall, is the newcomer to the household, Grif the mini goldendoodle. He’s a fast-growing bundle of energy. 

The picture was taken a couple of weeks after he came to live with us. What an adorable face!