Yes, it’s been a long, unconscionable time since I posted a writing update. If I thought 2019 was a bad writing year, 2020 handed off a beer.

I’ve been told my lack of posts and unresponsiveness to queries has led some people to wonder if I’m dead … I’m really sorry about that. It’s a little new to me to have people following like this … those who aren’t friends and family, I mean … so it wasn’t something I’d considered. So I am sorry about that and I’ll try to have more frequent posts and updates.

Back around this time a year ago, covid was just a shadow on the horizon, it was out there, but we had no real idea.

It was about this time last year, maybe a couple weeks earlier, that I decided there was a chance it would be bad and stocked up on supplies: rice, beans, canned goods, etc. Basically my annual hurricane supplies a bit earlier and more. I never wait until the last minute to stock up on disaster supplies, having been through nearly half a century of Florida hurricanes. Buy early, hold through the season, donate to food banks in the Fall.

It was also about this time last year that we got two new dogs.

Kenya, the fawn one on the right, otherwise referred to as Scooby. came in as a foster through the bullmastiff rescue we work with. It was a divorce situation – husband moved out with one of their dogs, wife had to move in with her parents who were allergic.

She’s a 120# neurotic, clingy freak. Scared of thunder and wants to sit in my lap at the first rumbles … we live in Florida. We decided to go ahead and keep her to avoid her having to go through another change in housing.

Bosa’s the brindle on the left. He came in as a candidate for our service dog training. Someone gave him to a guy as a gift, but he already had an older dog and a young bullmastiff likes to play hard.

In between my last post and February of last year, we also fostered Tulie, who went to the fiance of someone we trained a service dog for.

She had a really sad story – she came into the rescue twice. First she was part of a backyard breeding thing where 20 dogs were rescued. Then she was adopted out and the guy died a few years later, which she and another dog were abandoned in the backyard for several months. Then she was rescued and fostered from that, but she killed some neighbors chickens, so had to be moved.

I, frankly, don’t believe the chicken bit. This is a very tubby dog and I find the claim she could catch a chicken somewhat dubious.

Luckily she’s got a good home now with good people and no chickens nearby.

So then March comes along, and covid really became a thing.

My day-job changed changed us to work-from-home early on. I thought one bright-side of that would be more time to write, right? No commute = more time. Lockdowns = more time.

I think a lot of writers thought that. We were wrong.

There’s time, but something’s … missing.

A lot of writers have commented that they’re having trouble writing this last year. With no, or significantly less, chance to get out, there’s no opportunity to, what we call, fill the creative well.

For me, that was always going to museums, or walking through cities, or hiking in the woods.

All Days Are the Same Now, as I say to my work colleagues.

Anyway, we’ve come through the last year better than many, I think. My friends and family are all healthy and doing well, so can’t complain. A lot of people have been facing a lot worse than being unable to write books.

Now, this isn’t to say that there’s been no progress on writing at all — there’s been some. Dribs and drabs, bits here and there. I have a good outline for Alexis Carew #7 and maybe 25% of the words, a decent start on a sequel to Of Dubious Intent, tentatively titled A Profound Realization, and a good plot idea for the next Dark Runs book, Running on Empty.

I did manage to get the site’s store working again. I had issues with Square and had to switch to a self-hosted solution. Anyway, paperback and hardcover copies are now available from the site again, so if you want autographed copies you can order here. (Shipping out of the US is ridiculous – I’m looking at options, but for now it’s probably too much.)

So the bottom line is, I’m alive, I’m still working on new books, it’s slow, but happening.

I hope you’re all well and happy, and I’ll try to keep you updated more often.