As all of the world knows, it has been a long and difficult year. The virus has changed everything. While we wait for vaccine, we ponder what this year has meant. There has been so much hardship and grief for so many people. My heart goes out to us all.
While the disruption is less for writers (we are used to being solitary and working from home), it has meant that the part of our job that involves speaking to the public, hosting book launches for new releases, and visits to children in schools and libraries have become almost non-existent. Meanwhile, many publishers are not accepting new submissions. So we haven’t exactly ground to a halt, but we have slowed down dramatically.
It would be very easy to dwell on the doom and gloom of the times (and who hasn’t done so over the past year???) but I am trying to see this as a time to be quiet, to contemplate, to consider and to use these days as a fallow time — something that those of us with farm family roots understand. It means letting a field rest for a season, without sowing or planting, so that it can recover and rejuvenate. To this end, I have been reading a lot and working on small projects but at a reduced pace, and believing (hoping desperately!) that we will once again return to a time when we can be more productive.
Spring is just around the corner. To me, it has always been a season of hope. And in the spirit of hope, I wish you good health and happier days to come.
This lovely winter photo of snow-covered apples in a fallow field was taken by Brian Harris and is from our book Up We Grow: A Year in the Life of a Small Local Farm.