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Shore Lines

What Happened to February?


Bloggers normally post new material consistently—every week or two, ideally—but there's nothing normal about the past twelve months. I last posted on February 1, just a day before I started to have symptoms that lasted for three weeks: chills, fever, headaches, body aches, cough. I've had three tests for Covid-19 and all came back negative, but my doctor is fairly sure I had it, and judging by how exhausted I've been since Groundhog Day, I tend to believe her.


I'm quite lucky that I didn't get nearly as sick as many people have, but even six weeks later I don't have anything close to the energy level I had before I got sick. It's frustrating because this is the time of year when I most want to get outside to prepare the garden for springtime. While all the plants are perennials that come back all by themselves, I need to pull the chickweed before it sets seed, and I may need to transplant some seedlings generously dropped by the grown plants last summer. The process is akin to editing a manuscript.


I do have a manuscript in progress, a new novel that I'm only a third of the way through, but the sustained concentration that requires has been impossible over the past weeks. I can write in short spurts, though, so I've written a lot of poetry instead, some of which I may actually revise and send out into the world one of these days. I'm also putting the finishing touches on my presentation for this year's virtual Bay to Ocean Conference, sponsored by the Eastern Shore Writers Association (ESWA). My session for fiction writers explores the many uses of description, with some do's and don'ts and a writing exercise (two if we have time). This is always a fun conference, and great value for writers at all experience levels. Hope to see you there!

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