January Jig

Usually, January is a bit of a downer for everyone after the celebrations around Christmas and New Years. Not for me. I love a good lull to dive back into story-writing, reading stacks of books, and doing much-needed catch-up around the house. The only downside has been a case of the flu kicking my butt.

This January, the weather has been warm for weeks in the Rocky Mountain Foothills. What a treat! But I can’t help thinking that this will mean a dry summer. There is a lot of hype about climate change in the news along with reactions to these reports. Most people seem to be at one end or the other: either super worried about climate-change, or believing it’s a hoax so the government can literally tax the air we breathe (carbon tax). In case you’re wondering, I’m somewhere in the middle.

Just think, there were several ice ages in Earth’s past. In between them, there was warming. So, on the one hand, climate change is a natural process. However, according to scientists, people contribute to Earth’s warming by burning fossil fuels for example, which release more carbon than Earth can deal with. One way to think about carbon output is simply pollution. Pollution is never good. Less polluting is always good. Recycling isn’t enough.

I think we need to rethink farming and forestry, for example. There’s a great little film about rebuilding soils to aid with carbon sequestering. It’s called Kiss the Ground Film. When I watch how my farmer neighbours go about tilling, they already practice the low-disturbance method, which is great. The film also makes a good case for ranching cattle.

I find biodiversity to be a fascinating subject, closely related to climate. So does my secondary character, Tess, in my book, Escape from the Wildfire.

Here is an article written by Gregory McNamee, at Kirkus Reviews, on my new YA novel, Escape from the Wildfire, which was released in January in the USA. He did a great job of capturing the complexities which I tried to weave into the story: natural causes of Earth’s changes and people’s affect on the environment.

The main theme, is that people can adapt.


I’m on the upswing from the flu now, so hopefully there will be more story-writing soon. I’ve lost a week and a half, which feels like forever, but considering it’s still January, my progress isn’t too bad. It may sound like I’m pushing myself too hard even, but this is me being a “full-time” writer.

In the Works

A publisher asked for a “full” (manuscript) last December.

I finished editing my MG boy and dog story, which I’ve sent out to several publishers

I finished editing a collection of poetry which I’ve submitted to publishers.

I’m editing a MG girl story, playing around with whimsical fantastical elements.

I will tweak my school presentation to prepare for upcoming school visits.

I will build a presentation for writers about novel structure, and another on on writing query letters.

Whew! Happy January to you. I hope your goals and dreams are coming true, too!

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