Great galloping greetings to you! Don’t be fooled by my chipper demeanor–everything is crap at the moment. I’m just in a good mood, which goes a long way to making things be a little less crap. Let’s cover the facts, shall we?

I went to my mother-in-law’s house yesterday to help with a bit of work Kyle was doing for her and, let’s be real, to see her horse. Kyle worked on The Broken Thing while I fed Mo mints and scritch-scratched his face. All was well until about five minutes before we left to come home, when I was suddenly pummeled in the face by allergies. Turns out, friends, that I am more allergic to horses than I am to cats, and that’s saying something. It has been close to 24 hours since we were there, and I’m still struggling to get my lungs to remember how this crazy “In with the good air, out with the bad air” thing is supposed to work.

And this, dear readers, is why everything is crap. The possibility of helping take care of Mo was dangled in front of me by fate, and swiftly taken away. I’m already heartbroken and I didn’t even have enough time to really bond with him. After learning I couldn’t foster kittens because of my allergies, I was really looking forward to taking care of another animal.

Okay, let’s admit this is a bit of a temper-tantrum on my behalf. Everything is most decidedly NOT crap. In fact, aside from the horse business, everything in life is (dare I say it?) going really well.

My children (who are no longer children) are both doing well with their adultish lives. I just get to sit back and nod approvingly when they do things now and offer hugs or high-fives. No more quizzing them for details, or making sure everything is kosher. It’s none of my business anymore, and I am a huge fan of minding my own business.

Kyle is on a temporary detail at work that has him working from home for the next six months. While those words would make a lot of married couples cringe, we surprisingly really enjoy each other’s company and are looking forward to that time under the same roof. He has an office on the second floor of Quill Cottage, complete with his own bathroom, coffee station, and a seating area for visitors. This means I have the whole first floor to myself, with my own bathroom, coffee station, an entire living room worth of seating area. Plus, we both have fridges! It’s a win-win. When we want to see each other’s faces, we just take the stairs. If I get lonely working by myself in my office, I just lug my laptop to his and BLAMMO, I have a super-sexy office mate whose butt I can pinch at will without having HR called. And so does he.

Shall we discuss my writing? I have opted to give Moonlight Market to Kindle Vella. If you’re not familiar with the platform (and no one is–it’s brand spankin’ new) that simply means each short story in the theme is broken up to read like serial fiction. While I have been emphatically told short stories are not serial fiction, I stubbornly disagree. Because these short stories all happen in the same supernatural market, the plots aren’t what is serial. It’s the setting. It is my humble (but I’m right) opinion that there is more possibility this way. Plots eventually run their course. The setting never needs to run its course.

I’d be pleased to report that Moonlight Market is moving swiftly up the charts, garnering critical acclaim and winning awards and thumbs up, but that’s not the case. Amazon, ahem, screwed the pooch on releasing Kindle Vella and so far it’s a complete sausage fest, if writers were sausages. Without reaching readers to come do The Thing, there is nothing lucrative about Kindle Vella. Considering you cannot even access Vella on Kindles, well, I have to question someone’s judgment, here. Observing the launch of Vella has been kinda like watching a 1950s reel-to-reel movie on how NOT to do something. I swear I go to my dashboard and hear lovely, upbeat orchestral music only to have it turn into sad trombones when I actually try to accomplish something.

I’m staying the course for a few more months, though. *cue sad trombones* If Amazon can un-fizzle its shizzle here, Vella could be something great. That’s a big “if” though, so I’m putting Moonlight Market on hiatus until I can see some signs of life.

In the meantime, I am starting my first draft of The Chariot, book 3 in the Spellbound series. I’m not doing anything foolish like setting deadlines or pressuring myself to get it published this year, though, because I’d like to not be experiencing burn-out through what is bound to be a very exciting and joyous autumn. The purpose of going on a year-long sabbatical was to remove pressure to free up my ability to just BE. So, this first draft will be written with a lot of grace given to the ups and downs of the process.

That’s it, friends. That’s the update. Almost halfway through my sabbatical and in no rush to get back to the harried, frenetic social life I had before. Life is too good to go back. Except the horse thing; that’s pure horseshit.