The Scent of Lemon and Rosemary: Turning in the Book

“I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.” Those words, written by Douglas Adams, pop into my head whenever I’m given a date to turn in a manuscript. It is comforting to know that even great authors can struggle with deadlines.

With my second book, now titled The Scent of Lemon and Rosemary: Working Domestic Magick with Hestia, the struggle wasn’t as great as it had been with Sew Witchy, where I stayed up forty-eight hours straight taking photos to meet the deadline.

In May I turned the second manuscript in technically on time thanks to time zone differences between me and my editor. This week brought a new deadline: manuscript edits. And this time I was able to turn in my edits a day early. That’s progress as far as I am concerned. It helped that the edits were easy to make.

Sew Witchy was a weird idea that I had expected to maybe self-publish once it had been rejected by every Pagan publisher out there. That didn’t happen and I was launched into a nearly two year long journey through aspects of publishing I had no experience with: taking photos, drafting patterns, learning how to insert call outs in a manuscript.

This time around was easier in some ways, more difficult in others. I found formatting citations to be a pain in the butt, and of course I had to cite things like Twitter threads and NPRs tiny desk concert. (It makes sense in the book.)

The only great trouble was providing photos as guides for the illustrations. I was told my photos didn’t have to be perfect and pretty much given free rein over what should be illustrated. You would think that kind of freedom would make taking the photos easier. It did not. I ended up putting tremendous, unnecessary pressure on myself to get it right.

I’m trying not to dwell on that stress, though. Instead, I am focusing on the fact that I have finished my second book and the process was easier this time around. The next book should be a piece of cake.

Per my editor, The Scent of Lemon and Rosemary, will be published May 2021.

Take Off & Nuke It From Orbit

Sometime over the last forty-eight hours this site got hacked. Sometime in the last four hours I realized I have never backed up my site. Not even once.

This comes on the tail end of a six day battle to get my computer back up and running after I decided to fix how slow it had become by restoring it to factory settings. Reader, it did not fix anything. In fact it made things worse. My computer is a slight machine, a Lenovo Thinkpad 2 named Ada, purchased in 2013 to replace my previous laptop which had literally started melting.

My previous laptop, Caliban, which started leaking goo from various spots. There was also bubbling in the monitor.

After days of wrestling with failed updates, failed restores, failed refreshes and failed downloads, I was facing the grim prospect that I would be without a computer. I don’t have the funds to get a replacement.

All of this came on the heels of making the decision to focus on my writing. I have Sew Witchy coming out in December. I have an agent interested in reading my fantasy novel (which I foolishly queried before it was finished). I was just invited to submit an article for Llewellyn’s Witch Almanac. All of this put me in need of an actual computer. I was seriously facing the prospect of trying to type, write and edit on my phone. And as cool as my phone is, and as much as I depend on it for a variety of tasks, I didn’t relish the idea.

On the sixth day, however, I managed to get my Ada, to a point that would work. I have Windows 8.1 installed. The only programs it is running are paint.net, KG-Chart Pro, and an antivirus program. I’ll be using Google Docs for my word processing. I really don’t need any more than that.

Which leads me back to this site and the sudden dearth of posts. My hosting company told me that the hack to my site was one that required professional servicing. I realize that might just be a come-on to get me to shell out money to the company they suggested. I considered for a hot minute trying to dig out the malicious code myself. The prospect didn’t excite me and I found myself strangely non-bothered by this turn of events. Maybe I had been worn down by six days of fighting my computer. Whatever the reason, I looked at the whole mess and realized I was okay with saying goodbye to six years posts.

I decided that it was best to just take off and nuke the whole thing from orbit. It was the only way to be sure.

So that’s where we are now. I might try to salvage past posts. But since I can’t know if malicious coding has infected them, it won’t be a fast or easy processes. I’m just going to move forward. Start posting regularly. Work on the novel and articles. Update my Patreon. Close the door on that chapter of life.