"The secret to change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new." -SocratesThe weather has been schizophrenic this week, bouncing between almost 70s and low 20s so my lungs have been complaining to me. Odd news, like the fact that a) labiaplasties are a THING and b) that they’re one of the fastest-growing forms of plastic surgery in the English-speaking western world makes me respond with a SRSLY?? WTF?? and ARE YOU SICK?? But then there’s news that my most recent home is now recognized as the most segregated city in the U.S. Or that Michigan tried to save money by changing Flint’s source of drinking water to one recognized as having been toxic. Or that there’s a lawyer who’s uncovered evidence of serious culpability by Du Pont and is stuck in decades of legalese as that corporation tries to weasel out of its responsibility for having inflicted terrible suffering on humans and animals alike by spewing its effluvia across multiple states.

Of course we’re sick.

Several of these things have now made their way into my latest WIP because this news is all at once not surprising, horrifying, and self-explanatory. No wonder so many suffer depression, PTSD, and their related issues. So it also makes sense for my latest protagonist to be aware of them as she tries to put her personal suffering into some greater context.

I’ve reached the point in the book where the blurb has crystallized for me too, so I’ll share it with you now:

Earth’s alien progenitors have returned. For Tara Shifflet, abuse survivor and meeting planner, that wouldn’t be as big a deal as getting home to her therapy cat, except that getting anywhere in the U.S. is dicey in the wake of public uproar about first contact. For Navenah, a short-term assignment with vague directions to find generators to save her dying race leads to frustration and misunderstanding. The two women find unexpected pleasure together, but will that solve the galactic die-off?

I’ve also been digging through stock photography looking for images that might rightfully represent these two characters on the cover, so I feel like I’ve been making progress with the story. Revisiting the beginning of it after a few months and some critique feedback and I can see it’s not bad… it’s just not your classic first contact/scifi tale. Nonetheless, I managed to beat my weekly goal and added 1,135 words to the story. This feels like a crazy slow pace to me, but for the moment appears to be what I can manage. I really hope this picks up soon, because I’m now tentatively planning for a July release… which means I need to finish both the writing AND revision processes well before then so I have a well-edited document at the end.

Luckily, I have hubs, who offers both unstinting support and some very nice distractions. We finally went to see Star Wars this week. (My semi-spoilery review: It was great–though just a better redo of episode 4 with new characters… And I appreciated the debunking of the 40 plot holes story that had run in the Huffington Post, too.) He also created a new, burning desire in me for a unique art form: Lamps made out of African gourds but carved to create amazing light shows. (Though… the day I have $5K to spend on a lamp… well… My books will have to be selling MUCH better to make that possible.) 😀 And a reminder to watch the skies for all the planets that are now visible.

We also kept up with the walking goal. We’re definitely still shying away from the long ones we used to take, but that feels appropriate to me with my breathing challenges and the uncertain weather. I still owe a blog post to Kait for ROW80, but otherwise managed my commenting duties, and continue to blog.

I’m pretty happy with my progress so far, and am challenging myself to follow Socrates’ advice: Focus on what I want rather than fighting the status quo. I’m liking how that’s working out for me. Until next week, then, check out how my fellow ROWers are doing.

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