It’s been an eventful behind the scenes September, and it’s not quite finished yet.
First: I am going to be doing a library Zoom call. Back in the non-pandemic age, the Friends of the East Gwillimbury library invited me to speak to library readers. In theory this was going to happen on the 20th of April. This did not happen for obvious reasons.
I will be doing a Zoom library call, instead. From their email:
This ZOOM on-line event is limited to 100 people and will feature Friends board member and Sagara fan, Michelle Cowan, as moderator in conversation with the author.
How do I get a ticket?
- If you bought a ticket in 2020, we will honour it and send the link after verification. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- To receive the link only, send $10 via our secure Square Up site: https://checkout.square.site/merchant/RJ9HWHNCPRKJE/checkout/EFNTDTRYDDEWZPFO3QTX2CVW
- To receive the link and one of her signed books, send $30 to this Square Up link: https://checkout.square.site/merchant/RJ9HWHNCPRKJE/checkout/N2NCM5WLSUUL24ARCPSI6BQL
You will need to select your copy in person from four available titles (while supplies last) at the Holland Landing Library.
That’s this coming Thursday.
I spent the end of August and the first third of September revising Sword and Shadow, the second Severn novel, and sent that back to the editor. I’m not sure when it will return to me, but it will, because it has to be copy-edited. So I’ll be reading it again, with bonus marks for things Michelle Got Wrong all the other times I read it.
I am currently in the process of everyone’s favorite activity: proof-reading pages for the forthcoming Queen of the Dead omnibus. As the title suggests, it’s a collection of the three novels that comprise that series. The book page doesn’t have the usual audiobook links because the audiobooks exist for the three separate books.
I have started the new, and as yet untitled, Cast novel (Cast 17, as it’s currently called in this household). That’s going well. It’s not exactly going where I thought it was going to go, but that’s pretty much normal. It’s far more surprising when a book does exactly what I thought it would do >.<
I have also started – again! – the first of the new West series. That’s going well as well. Oddly enough, the events that start the prior attempt(s) are the same; it’s the viewpoint that’s radically shifted.
Our fully vaccinated household continues in good health. I’d promised the kids — my two and godparent’s two — that we could resume normal household dinners when each and everyone one of us is fully vaccinated, so all four kids were jump-out-of-bed to go stand in line for a few hours eager to get that done.
As a result, the household is a lot noisier than it had been for 2020 and most of 2021. But oldest son missed that particular noise — because it was “good” noise or “happy” noise. When he was in elementary school, he could be riotously noisy. On the rare occasions he had friends come over, it was more than doubled.
But I tend to be able to background happy noise. It’s a noise that doesn’t actually require my intervention. It’s the other kind of noise – fighting, arguing, things that end in tears – that immediately break anything I’m doing, because I do have to intervene there.
He found 2020 too quiet.
As for the godparents’ two children (and the parents themselves), they’ve come to our house for dinner every week (twice) pretty much since birth, so for them it was like half of their household had suddenly been shuttered and locked up.
Our bookstore has had its first “in-person” event, very cautiously attended. In Ontario, mask mandates are still in force, and we’re not fully open in Ontario; we’re “mostly” open, in that capacity requirements still require the ability for everyone in an indoor setting to be able o stand 2 meters apart. This is a lot more hand-waving than it might sound because most retail people are not going to stand over the shoulders of customers telling them they’re standing too close to someone else >.<. But… Toronto’s vaccine uptake has been good.
Things aren’t normal yet, and we don’t know when – or if – normal will arrive. But they’re better now then they were a year ago.
But my heart breaks for the medical professionals in Alberta. An author I know from an email list is an ICU nurse in her non-writing life. And because I follow her, I’ve seen a lot of nurse Twitter (US), and it’s catastrophic. I wasn’t expecting Alberta to join nurse/medical twitter, but Alberta is in terrible shape – the worst shape it’s been in since the pandemic started.
This was due, in large part, to the governor of the province, who decided that Alberta would be like the UK: it could open up and drop all restrictions, all masking, all testing and contact tracing. Best Summer Ever. This… did not go well. Delta is not like the first Covid variant; it’s far more contagious, for one, and it seems to hit all age groups harder. Alberta is or was the province with the lowest vaccine uptake in Canada.
Ontario numbers are otherwise holding steady: hospitalizations have risen, but not asymptotically, the way they have in Alberta (tracked cases have gone up). We are not yet swamped, and we are not therefore asserting the triage protocols that no nurse or doctor should ever have to enact outside of an actual battlefield in an actual war.
So our part in this is: observe social distancing, wear masks when people are near, and mostly stay home. My sister, who visited for the first time since 2019, was a bit surprised at just how much we stay home. For our own reasons, we’d like to stay out of hospitals. But we’d also like to not swamp very burned out doctors and nurses, who’ve been dealing with pandemic patients since the early stages of 2019.
Edit: So. Many. Typos today.