Lea Wait, here. For anyone who doesn’t know, I live on the coast of Maine. This winter has been one of the coldest and snowiest in recorded Maine history. (I don’t have all the numbers, but February 2014 was the 3rd coldest February since 1945.)
Of course, I write historicals, and I know the early 19th century was a lot colder than it is now … I’ve seen records, letters, newspaper accounts of rivers freezing hard enough that people walked across them. Rivers than no one now alive remembers freezing.
But, still, it’s been a long winter. I’m looking forward to the day the thermometer hits 50. March boasted a couple of day in the 40s, so I know there’s hope.
And yesterday I was excited to see the first crocus of the year, near the house, in an area that gets enough sun that the snow has melted. I was so excited I dragged my husband out to appreciate it, and immortalized it in a picture.
But, despite the harsh winter, and maybe even because of it, the first quarter of 2014 (I spent years in strategic planning, and my brain seems to plan tasks in three month intervals) was a productive one. One book completed. Joined Goodreads. Two books revised and sent out (one to an editor, one to my agent.) Another book outlined and approved. Plus lots of promotional work done for my just-published historical for ages 8 and up, Uncertain Glory. The launch party my publisher gave me was two days ago, and later this week I’ll be speaking at a conference for children’s librarians in Maine (Reading Roundup), and signing books at a children’s book festival (Cape Author Festival) in Cape Elizabeth, Maine.
When on April 1 I looked at the list of first quarter goals I’d written January 1, only two things were incomplete. My diet (Ah, yes. That diet.) And I’d planned to clean out/dust the mysteries in a guest room in my house we call the “mystery and suspense room” because the bookcases there hold just … guess what?
So those two tasks are now on my list of my Second Quarter Goals, which I made out last week. Promotion for Uncertain Glory and my other books will continue … I have quite a few event commitments. I’ll be visiting one (maybe two) of my daughters and their families. I hope to finish the first draft of a mystery I haven’t yet started (although I have written that approved outline,) but which is due September 1. Plus, I’ll clean out some more bookcases. Do a spring clean up of the yard. And polish brass and copper and silver than is now dull from winter neglect and smoke from our woodstove. My husband says those cleaning tasks aren’t necessary … that we can live with dusty books and tarnished copper. But I feel more comfortable and, yes, productive, in a clean house. Plus, writing a book takes months. When you clean something you can see what you’ve done. It feels as though you’ve accomplished something. Plus, as Agatha Christie once said, “Sometimes I get my best ideas while I’m washing the dishes.”
So — onward! I hope by July 1, when I’ll revisit my lists and plan for my third quarter, I’ll have been able to cross off a lot of tasks. And I hope it will also be time to add “wash the porch furniture,” and “trim the bushes.” I hope I’ll even be able to add to my list, “spend a day at the beach.”
Because by July 1 …. I’ll no doubt be complaining about the heat.
And so it goes. Happy spring to everyone!
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