Apparently a month has flown by since my last post. I was truly baffled on how that managed to happen until I looked back at my calendar and went “Oh. That’s how.”

The photo I took of my rucksack was done when I was in Wick, Scotland. That photo was taken a few days before a wild mishap at the Wick train station before I left the town.

Weather created some issues in the UK that week, lots of rain, wind, and flooding was starting the day I was leaving. Wick hadn’t quite gotten the rain and flooding yet, but it was getting the wind. It’s easy to imagine this given the rugged (and gorgeous) coastline of a town situated very close to the far northernmost tip of mainland Scotland.

Wick, Scotland

While hanging out in the train station waiting for my train that would take me to Stirling, I started transcribing notes from my paper outline on Echoes #3 into my laptop. See, I scribble notes of the entire novel to one piece of paper. That gives me a high level outline and I carry that paper everywhere. I had the paper filled out finally and decided it was time to put the notes into my Scrivener software. Great plan.

Except…

The wind from the storm blew the station doors open and took the paper right out of my hand and blew it up over the wall between the waiting area and track area. My notes landed about 15 feet up on a net over the track area. While I was chuckling nervously about the absurdity of what just happened, I was also kinda losing my shit. I NEEDED THAT PAPER!

Wick, Scotland

The Wick station staff came to my rescue with a stick, a ladder, three station employees, and a cyclist that was also in the waiting area when my paper took flight. They were able to knock the paper off the net and back over the other side of the wall where I could reach it. I thanked them profusely and wrote a note to ScotRail to thank them again.

Stirling Scotland from the walls of Stirling Castle

Stirling was a beautiful visit for a few days, and from there I went back down to Glasgow before flying to Ireland. I spent a week there to attend WorldCon Dublin 2019 and was completely blown away with the volume of sci-fi and fantasy fans and big names at the convention. George R. R. Martin, yeah, saw him a few times. Naomi Novik, check. There were lady astronauts, artists, and so many other amazing people. But my author hero, Martha Wells, was the high point.

I got to attend her reading and got so starstruck that after the reading, when I had a chance to speak to her, I froze. My throat suddenly didn’t know how to work, nor did my lungs. I forgot how to swallow. I managed to bob my head and make incoherent noises though. Yep. It was beautiful.

Martha Wells

So while I kinda wanted to crawl into a hole after that mishap, I still managed to croak out a few words to her when I got her autograph.

Following that moment of brilliance, I saw her a few other times around the convention, but I didn’t try to go speak to her, knowing I would just clam up again. I worked as an ER and ICU nurse for 10 years. I have helped bring people back from the dead without breaking a sweat. But put me in the presence of Martha Wells, and I turned into a frickin puddle. Oh well.

Next time, right?

Sea Dogs

I made it back to the States after the convention, found and apartment in Augusta to move my stuff out of storage finally. In between shuffling boxes, I went to a Portland Sea Dogs game where they did a Field of Dreams throwback. Even though I’m not a baseball fan, this was really cool to see.

I’m using the apartment more as a glorified storage unit. I didn’t really bother to unpack too many things. I actually have only one plate, one bowl, and one cup in the kitchen cabinets. I’ll still be traveling for work though not as often as before. Still, this is a landing pad where I can enjoy being in Maine without being in a housing scramble in the winter when camping is a no-go.

And then THIS happened!

The book release was this week, and I’m slated for two interviews already, one podcast and one a TV show. Check the website for updates on those as they get closer. I’ve also been entering book festivals/contests and working on both Echoes #2 and Echoes #3 at the same time. It’s getting kinda crazy. So, yeah, I can see now how I lost an entire month without realizing how quickly the weeks were going by.

I have just under three more weeks left of my sabbatical. Part of me is ready to go back to work. I’m certainly not bored, but I miss my IT stuff and my IT friends. Just more proof that I wouldn’t do well as a full-time writer. I need to be moving in a few different directions to operate at my best level. It certainly helps keep my attention span issues from running amok. ๐Ÿ™‚

Images by me, 2019.

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