Well, it’s the first week of March, which means spring isn’t quite officially here yet, but the daffodils and crocuses and pears are already blooming in my neck of the woods. I hope they don’t get nipped in next week’s predicted hard frost/winter storm.
Things have been pretty exciting for me recently, and only sort of in a good way. Remember how I’ve been trying to detox from toxic mold exposure? Well, I guess it’s been working, because I suddenly became WAY sensitive to all kinds of things that have even trace amounts of mold and mildew in them. Touching them or even being in the same room with them results in a nasty sensation of being poisoned. Alas, since this is the Southeast, “anything that has ever mildewed” means lots and lots of things. I’ve had to get rid of my bed, bedding, and most of my clothes, and am doing another aggressive purge of my books. I’m currently sleeping on a camping mattress on the floor and wearing a selection of hiking clothes hastily thrown together by my dad after several emergency trips to REI. Needless to say, I have not been feeling well, to put it mildly.
The animals are also pretty unhappy about the disturbances in the bed situation, but they’re making do. Sadly, the white comforter has since had to go. However, the replacement fleeces are proving to be popular.
But–BUT BUT BUT!–this morning I walked all the way to the end of the block! After losing more and more of my ability to walk over the past few years, and spending the past couple of years struggling even to make it across a room, that’s a HUGE deal. So while I’m not out of the woods yet by any stretch of the imagination, I am seeing improvement, which is encouraging.
Anyway, on to literature. As part of my book purge, I realized I have two more paperbacks of The Breathing Sea I, so the first two people who request them will get signed copies!
The Breathing Sea is a story about spring, and like any good springtime story, tells a tale of fear, and hope, and faith. Spring comes…and goes…and comes again, finally bringing summer with it. In the same way, Dasha, my most dualistic, Dostoevskyan heroine, goes back and forth between fear and faith. Her mother’s gift from the gods, Dasha is gifted–with premonitions of possible futures, frequently disastrous. Throughout the two-book mini-series she struggles to reconcile her fear of these terrible possible futures with the faith that something better will come to pass. In the end of The Breathing Sea II she manages to come to some kind of fluid, ever-changing balance:
The waves were blue-green up by the strand, but she could see a long line of darkness where the beach dropped away into the abyss. So close to the shore! The abyss and the beach were separated by no more than a few paces.
“What are you looking at, Tsarinovna?” asked Alik.
“My future,” she told him.
He grinned uncertainly. “I hope you only see good things,” he told her.
“No one will only see good things if they look their future square in the face,” she told him. “There will always be suffering, and terror, and all those things we seek to hide from. But there is wonder as well. The world is so full of wonder! And we are part of it! We are part of that wonder too! We just have to have faith in it!”
As Dasha discovers, that’s easy to say, but harder to do. In any case, spring is the time to go back and forth between those two states of fear and faith, and the sense that we are part of something larger than ourselves.
Spring is also a great time to check out some new books. Below are some giveaways currently running. These giveaways always instill equal parts fear and faith in me, since you never know when you’re going to pick up something terrible or something wonderful–but it’s all free, so you’re unlikely to be out much, and you just might find your next favorite series!
The Explore Science Fiction and Fantasy Giveaway includes the chance to win a $25 gift card to the ebook retailer of your choice!
The No Happy Endings Giveaway is full of fantasy and sci fi for lovers of dark, gritty tales
The March Fantasy Extravaganza is a giant blow-out giveaway of all subgenres of fantasy