Well, it’s been a year.

Almost, anyway.

Hi there, loves. Remember me?

In November I wrote a post explaining that I didn’t know what you could expect from me because I didn’t know what I could expect from myself. Once I wrote that particular post, I put all of this away. I very rarely check anything except my DMs on Twitter. I took down my website, I didn’t even look at my blog. Facebook? Hahaha, I didn’t even use that when I was writing fiction all the time.

But, it’s been almost a year now since things went sideways and a lot has changed since then. I’ve changed in a few ways, the world has changed in many ways, and yet I feel more things need to change. Hopefully for the better this time, eh 2020?

When the world stopped for COVID-19, and both my then current-place of employment shut down (eventually permanently) at the same time my former place of employment shut down, I had a moment where I thought how at one point I would’ve used that as an opportunity to really crank out some words. It was the first time I opened my files for Harlot and read what I’d started a year ago. But I still wasn’t quite sure if I should pick it back up.

It’s been too long, I told myself. No one is watching.

Truth be told, though, hordes of people weren’t watching before either and I didn’t let that stop me.

This little book baby had its first birthday on August 14, 2019.

So, I figured the worst thing that could happen was if I reemerged out of this pitiful cocoon and I’d completely lost my friends and readers, I’d just be starting out finding new ones. Except that wouldn’t be the worst thing… not even trying again would be the worst thing.

So, what have I been up to?

Writing. Which I know sounds weird since I haven’t published a word since August 2018.

I started a travel+leisure website in November, just shortly after my last blog post here. I figured I’d test the waters so to speak, find a little bit of footing over the winter and then hit the ground running with the travel site come Spring. Ha! That plan was dead in the water, huh? Thanks, Covid.

But, despite my abysmal timing for that venture, a dear sweet friend of mine who is a fiction author and a freelance journalist gave my (real) name and phone number to a magazine editor who took a look at my travel site and promptly gave me an assignment for his magazine. I’ve regularly gotten assignments from that magazine ever since.

It’s an interesting line of work, this freelancing thing. I’ve enjoyed every moment of it, from meeting restaurant owners and chefs for interviews (and great food!) to having some really heart-wrenching conversations with the director of a local search+rescue group. Honestly, I make more money doing this than I have ever made with fiction, by a long shot.

So, my goal is to keep doing the articles because money is nice. And I really, really want to get back to writing fiction because dreams are also nice.

L>R: Banana+Chocolate Chip Bread, Bell Peppers, Lemon+Blackberry Cake, Cucumbers, Blueberry+Orange Jam, and finally Cherry Tomatoes

Also, I’ve been gardening as much as one can garden on an apartment patio and also rediscovering some of my lost passion for cooking and baking. (Once upon a time I was actually a chef.) Gardening is cheaper than therapy, they say. And I am pretty sure you can’t eat therapy. It’s nice to go out and snip herbs for dinner or pick some cherry tomatoes and a cucumber for a salad. I’m about to harvest a dozen heatless jalapenos for some poppers, and in a few weeks make my own Tabasco sauce.

That’s it. That’s pretty much my world. COVID-19 has pretty much isolated us from the rest of society, but I’ve got my words and my plants and now I feel like I’m getting myself back, too.

Tell me what you’ve been up to since quarantine!

4 thoughts on “Well, it’s been a year.

  1. Vania Margene Rheault says:

    Hey, Aila, it’s good to see you again! DMs don’t prove it (never know if I’m bothering you or not LOL), but I have been thinking about you a lot, and it’s nice to see a familiar face. So much has changed, and good God, the world feels like a lonely place nowadays. Welcome back! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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