A Maverick Year, or my book comes out tomorrow, but I’m writing about something else entirely.

I’m pretty sure that on the day before your book comes out you’re not supposed to be blogging about a work-in-progress, but I’m having what I like to call a maverick year over here, so I’ll just do what I want.

(A maverick year, for the record, means I have blogged once in a year’s time. That’s my story and I’m sticking with it.)

I was in Portland, Maine, this weekend, for about 24 hours. Unremarkable, really, since I live about two hours from Portland, and have dear friends there who feed me and let me sleep in their house. These same friends own Rising Tide Brewing Company, which is the relevant (and remarkable–because how awesome is that?) part.

I’ve probably mentioned this before, but some years ago on a similar visit to Portland, it was suggested to me by someone that brewing wasn’t sexy in the romance novel kind of way. I like gauntlets, so I pick up the shiny ones and take them home to mull over. Sometimes, shiny gauntlets get turned over so often, they end up resembling drafts of novels about a brewer and an actress, and they are set in Portland.

Now I find myself, on the eve of SWEET PEASE’s publication, pondering a delicious Pilsner I tasted over the weekend, one I completely coincidentally named my story after. Or one they completely coincidentally named after my yet-to-be published book. Either way.

I can’t wait to hear what everyone thinks of my return to Thornton and Kate Pease, but know that I’ve been hard at work on book three there, and this new thing, too.

I hope y’all are ready for more words, because I’m ready to give them to you.

And if you haven’t already: Click the image below to get your copy (print or Kindle!) of Sweet Pease, available Tuesday, November 14, 2017.

 

Five True Things

Yes. This again. What can I say? I enjoy it. Five true things, as of this very moment:

  • I am up to my ears in packing lists.
  • So far, my small boy doesn’t know about his surprise Disney vacation on Wednesday.
  • My parents are incredibly generous.
  • The previous three things are connected.
  • I really, really enjoyed working the Rising Tide booth at the American Craft Beer Fest on Friday night. I’m maybe still happy from the experience. Of course, the company didn’t suck, either. 
Rising Tide Brewing, ACBF
We the volunteers with Rising Tide co-owner Heather (second from right).

What five things are true for you right now?

It’s Good To Be Seen

Heather showered second, and then offered to take Felix with her when she and her son left for the family’s growing business in downtown Portland, Maine. Her husband was already gone ahead. Alone, I jumped into the shower myself before following her.

The drive in to the industrial space just off 295 took all of ten minutes, but they were ten minutes scented with salt air and sunshine. When I got to Rising Tide, the boys were building a fort out of Rubbermaid containers while Heather and her husband labeled bottles of American pale ale. Felix was particularly fascinated by the labeling machine.

It was good to be seen. Good to be supportive of my friends. Good to lavish a little love on my godson.

I’ve been increasingly depressed lately. Jobs are scarce, and getting a reply from a résumé even more so. It gets harder and harder to justify not doing what work I have in my pajamas. It gets easier to stay in bed, to let the chores go an extra day. After all, money is tight. We don’t often stray far from home because gas is prohibitively expensive, there’s no cash for camps or summer activities. Our family vacation this year is again being made possible through the generosity of our families, and I’m trying really hard not to feel like I’m taking advantage.

I don’t blog about it because it feels like whining. We have each other, a roof over our heads, our health (Now I knock on wood.).

Without a ton of close friends in the area, it gets lonely around here. Reaching out to my frankly amazing online circle of friends helps. A lot. But it can be done in those pesky jammies. And it begins to feel like reality is on my computer screen and not in the air around me. Life slips by quietly. Not good.

Biting the bullet and driving the 140 miles to Portland felt a lot like an indulgence. It may have, in retrospect, been a necessity.

This morning, on the advice of a wise friend, I got up and got dressed. And yes, it took someone else telling me. I’ve applied for some jobs, I’ve done some work. I feel better. And that hope that’s blooming in my gut smells a lot like the salt air in Portland.

It was very good to be seen.