Yesterday was Imbolc. To be honest, I wasn’t even sure what it was outside of an old Celtic holiday. I did a little research, and while I’m no Wiccan (I don’t follow any religion), I like the idea of a celebration between the winter solstice and the spring equinox, a time to be grateful that the days are growing longer. This is the time of year when I actually check the sunrise/sunset data each night in order to track the sun’s return, to get confirmation that yes, there actually was an extra minute of sunshine yesterday. I live for the long, warm summer, when I can work every evening planting gardens, tending to animals, and growing vegetables. I can imagine that for the ancient Celts in Northern Europe, the lambing time was kind of the same – that first hint that the long, hard winter was waning, and the sun would indeed return. So, on Imbolc Eve I lit a small fire in the firepit, and my kids roasted hot dogs while I gave a little thanks to the universe that we’re all still here.
On a related note, the first batch of summer veggies have sprouted, along with a flat of companion marigolds. We’ve got seven varieties of tomato, four peppers, and two types of zucchini growing on warming mats in the garage, getting ready for the first wave of planting in March. In the old refrigerator we keep out there, I’ve also got another flat of three different varieties of milkweed, 70 plants in all, cooling their heels in the refrigerator (cold stratification) before going under the full spectrum bulbs in a couple of weeks.
Work on the novel continues as well. For the past few weeks I’ve been participating in a writing challenge put together by some of the members at Codex, the writer’s website I belong to. This particular challenge is geared around really short pieces, <750 words, but it’s done wonders for getting me back into the writing habit after the crazy-hectic holidays. So now, on days I don’t work on those stories, I work on the novel, which will hopefully be done (in first draft at least) by the end of the summer.
A few updates:
I’m pleased and excited to report that my poem, “Changeling,” which appeared in Liminality’s Winter 2015 issue, has been nominated for a Rhysling award in the Long Poem category.
My poem, “Spell,” has just gone up over at Stone Telling, a really gorgeous online poetry ‘zine. After this issue the editors plan on going on hiatus for the rest of 2016, so this is your last chance for a while to catch some of the best speculative poets working today.
This morning, SF Signal went live with this week’s “Mind Meld” titled, “Graphic Novels We’re Loving Right Now.” I weigh in on The New 52’s Wonder Woman reboot, but there are some fantastic reviews of other great graphic novels as well, so check it out.