We’re not quite there yet, but it’s coming. Darker days, colder at night, cold breezes, and the leaves are giving up the ghost left, right, and in the middle. Winter’s on the way.
It’s been almost six years since we relocated, and frankly I’m still adjusting. As I’ve stated before, I was born and grew up in the Deep South. Any deeper and we’d have been in the Gulf of Mexico. And…we didn’t have seasons there. Not like here in NY State, with a distinguishable spring, fall, winter, and summer. Growing up I only knew two seasons: Summer with a capital S because anything less wouldn’t do it justice. We’re talking major macho Summer. And also “winterish.” Seldom got below the +40’s Farenheit, except at night. We’d even get snow now and again. Usually only once per winterish, and then maybe an inch of accumulation, leading to panic in the grocery stores because we’re all going to starve and die and in the streets because everyone immediately forgot how to drive. Even those of us who already knew.
Now I have winter boots, shovels and a snow-blower.
Tomorrow I go to have my winter tires installed because, well, I might forget again. For old time’s sake.
This morning I spent a couple hours at a nearby auto shop doing the spring ritual—swapping out the winter tires for the summer tires. So now my wheels are studless and the winter tires are bedding down in the garage until next November. I look around at all the snow remaining and wonder if this was a good idea, but the rules are “no studded snow tires after March,” so we do what we have to. Come winter, though, you can bet I’ll have the snow tires back on. I’m a southern boy. I KNOW I do not yet grasp how to drive on ice, so I need all the help I can get.
Last night I finished the rewrite of the second story in the new series and sent it out. No idea yet what the third will be, but it’s out there. I’ll find it. It would be good for the series if I can place them all with the same publisher, but time will tell. There’s a limit to how many stories by the same author any given market can absorb in a year, and if I get on a tear I could easily overwhelm it. I remind myself there are other projects that need attention. None of which will mean a darn if these are the stories that want to be written now; I’ve learned to just go with it when that happens, even if, professionally, it may not be the wisest course.
Regardless, now that the first is written and sold and the second is complete, I feel confident enough in its reality to say this much about it: Set in China (or rather, what will one day be China) during the early Warring States period, about 500 BCE. I’d been thinking about these characters for a while, but never got a good handle on how to tell their story until now. I’m a little excited. Once the first has been scheduled I’ll say more, and more to the point, where to find it.