Put your heart into it (and hold your breath if necessary)

When the old year turned over to the new, we had a big cold snap in Arizona—that is, we actually had a hard freeze for a night or two, which is laughable warm for most places midwinter but quite chilly here. I saw snow in the mountains; I touched frost. It has since warmed back up again, at least a bit, but I enjoy the small unfurling of weather. Hard winds at night, howling against the windows.

Now it is 2022 (no, but really) and that means my book is coming out in just a few months—you can pre-order it from many places, which of course I would appreciate because the witchcraft of publication is uncanny and loves foresight. (I.e., it helps.) And, delightfully, END OF THE WORLD HOUSE has shown up on quite a few Most Anticipated Books of 2022 lists including from Glamour, Book Riot, Harper’s Bazaar, and Lit Hub along with a lot of other incredible-looking books which I myself am dying to read.

It is so strange to see something you worked on silently, for years, suddenly out in the world as public property; this never gets less weird. Exciting, of course! But will it be visible in the book’s pages how many hours I spent lying on the floor in my studio listening to Philip Glass and trying to figure out plot or character points? Will the entire day I spent writing and re-writing an important description—5 or six pages of cascading options, which ultimately collapsed into two simple words—make itself felt somehow? I mean, they were the right words, the ones I ended up with, so I hope so. But I also know that most of that stuff is just for me, always present when I pick up a copy of the novel or read a line. Each book is a stage of life, a moment in time. It contains that whole period of time for me just as truly as my own body.

My garden, meanwhile, survived the frost beautifully and I am already counting down the days until the ranunculuses hopefully start sending up stems. Each spring’s garden is also a moment in time, and also part of a cycle. Paul loves to be let into the garden once a day or so (he’d go in more, but if I let him he’d eat my micro greens and puke them up again, so, sorry Paul) to sniff around and make sure everything is going well. Once the birds zoom in, he will be apoplectic.

Happy new year, everybody. Let’s see what this one will be like.