Literally, the dust has settled. On my white tile floors. On my windowsills. For three days, I’ve been sweeping enough to be able to tolerate the floor, but there was no keeping up with the way the desert was leaking in. By day three of the wind event, the sky was looking a bit brown. This is spring in New Mexico. I think positive thoughts about wind energy so the constant whooshing won’t drive me crazy.
Then—it stops. The stillness is special. Soothing. I can clean, and the results will last a few days until the next big blow. Cycles. Order, disorder, storms, peace. A neighbor who loves the wind says it’s the breath of the Creator. When the tree branches are tossing and dirt is flying, she sees the sacred breathing of life. I feel I may have said this before. Perhaps I have. If so, it’s a lesson I need to repeat.
Image: A desert juniper pollinating in the wind.
I’ve completed multiple rounds of revision on Chloride Canyon, the eighth Mae Martin mystery. Since I’ve been working on it for years, I can’t give you a number, but the most recent are: the revisions based on feedback from critique partners and beta readers; another pass through the book focused on what the antagonist characters were up to offstage; and the “cut revision,” pruning restatements, over-statements, overused words, and filler words.
Now I’m into the read-aloud revision, acting the story as if I were an audiobook narrator, which helps with pace and dialogue. This stage gets it ready for editing. It’s due with my editor in late March. Look for it to be published in time for summer reading.
One of these pictures of the canyon will end up on the cover. Special thanks to Donna Catterick for her photography.