#ROW80 check-ins,  A Life Most Magical,  Writer's Life,  Writing Updates

The Season of Seeds: May Writing Update

In my first post for Quarter 2, I said I wanted this to be a season of Quiet Magic.

And so far, it has been. Hubby and I have settled into a routine that feels one-hundred percent natural. It’s like we’ve each found our natural rhythm, the way we move about the world if left to our own devices.

For example, it turns out my husband has quite the green thumb and is enjoying transforming our yard into an enchanted oasis and taking the dog for long walks when he breaks for lunch. And it turns out I enjoy cooking, line-drying our clothes, and seeing how many different types of wildflowers I can identify (the answer might surprise you).

It reminds me of summer as a child.

I loved summer, not because I hated school but because you got to find your own way of being in the world. Ryan and I are both remembering. It’s not that there was anything wrong before, not precisely. We enjoy our jobs. It’s just we have space, time for examination now.

I’m writing more than ever while setting out vases of freshly cut flowers from my own garden and counting the days until the spinach we’re growing is ready to be harvested. He’s working from home, doing Zoom meetings from our upstairs office.

I can’t say things are perfect. Underneath it all, there’s a current of anxiety about the world, our community, our loved ones. I’m trying to remember to focus on what I can control, and that means a great deal of hearth-tending, storytelling, animal snuggles, hand-holding with hubby, and inner work.

Goals Progress Check-in:

That brings me to my May check-in. Some of my goals have changed. I replaced one major writing project with another, moving up the timeline on one project and postponing another. And some things are still on hold.

Book Launch: Tangled Fates:

Tangled Fates is out in the world! Thanks to Itsy Bitsy Book Bits for their hard work in helping me share this one with the world! They even made a book trailer! The paperback is still in the works, but the ebook is live on most major ebook retailers.

Series Relaunch and Continuation: Faerie Spells:

Reformat the first two books and relaunch with new covers. Write six more novelettes (roughly 15K each) for this series. I’d like to finish four additional books by the end of this round. On hold until autumn or next spring.

*NEW GOAL* Tangled Souls (Tangled Magic #3):

I want to make major progress on the first draft of Tangled Souls, the third book in the Tangled Magic Series. This goal replaces the Faerie Spells Series, which I’m going to hold until sometime next year, so I can launch all 8 short stories back to back.

Newsletter launch with free short story:

Working on the short story. I’m about 70% (6,166 of 8,800 words) finished with Fractured Moonlight, a stand-alone short story filled with moon magic, wolf shifters, and a bit of sweet romance.

Victoria Cooper designed an awesome cover for me, and I’m hoping to have the finished ebook ready to go this summer, depending on how long editing, proofreading, and formatting take. In the meantime, the newsletter is up (via Mailerlite), and any current subscribers will get a link when the book goes live.

Work in Progress: Fractured Moonlight.
Sage & Shadows Books Business Checklist:

I registered my “fictitious name” (Sage & Shadows Books) with the state of Virginia. More items pending.

Miscellaneous website updates:

Lots of these. Mostly tweaking things and updating links and info for Tangled Fates, but the mobile version looks a lot cleaner than before. Mostly ran updates, updated the home page, and added links and extras to the Tangled Magic Series page.

Blogging (Details pending.) On hold, Mostly because I can’t think of any formal goals to tie to this one. Honestly, if I can get back in the habit of posting a few times a month, I’ll be happy with that one.

Vlogging (Details pending.) On hold.

Bathroom remodel:

We bought most of the items we need, and are hoping to start this weekend. And the bathroom fan broke, so that kind of forces us to start this one (Uh, thanks, Universe, for the hint).

Clean/Reorganize Attic:

Made awesome progress in April, then started focusing on the garden. Need to take a couple days and finish this one.

Reorganize closets in guest room and study:

Nope. Nothing.

Help Ryan organize his tools in our shed:


Paint and Deepen Living Room:

I have the artwork ready to hang and a lot of plans, but this one is on hold until the bathroom remodel is complete.

My magical garden:

All the plants are in the ground, and the seeds are sprouting! I’ll do a gardening post soon once the rain stops pouring, but I’m really excited about the direction of things this year. We’ve got everything from squash to snapdragons, tomatoes to thyme, orange mint to oregano.

Salvia in my garden (the bees love it!).

What about you? What seeds have you sown this spring? As we move toward summer, are you seeing any seedlings sprouting? What have you most learned from these strange times?

Stay safe, be kind, and embrace your magic!

Fantasy & paranormal romance author. Witch. Tarot reader. Possibly a woodland faerie. Witches, magic, & romance await in the pages of my stories.


  • Shan Jeniah Burton

    Your updates are always lovely and magical fresh air, and I love them!

    We are purchasing some literal seeds tomorrow, as my 18-year-old son wants to plant a container garden in a space we’re clearing beside our garage.

    In less literal planting, I’ve been doing some learning on novel revision (with the hope of eventually getting the dozen or so first drafts in my hard drive out into the world) and building my virtual assistant business.

    And, as always, family connection!

    • denisedyoungbooks

      Thanks, Shan! Gardening is such a fun experiment. I get this burst of joy every time a flower blooms or a seedling bursts forth from the ground.

      I suspect you and I are similar in that we love the act of writing and getting words on the page, but we feel like we have to push ourselves to actually get those works out into the world (especially longer fiction, for me, for some reason). I am trying to work on this more as I start my indie author business. Coming up with an imprint name (Sage & Shadows Books) and treating it as a business helps give me some motivation to actually hit “publish!”

      Your work has so much heart and you’re so grounded and thoughtful, so I really can’t wait to see some of your longer works out there in the world, Shan. Good luck with your virtual assistant business. I bet there are some amazing opportunities in that arena at the moment.