I seem to only be able to find the energy and focus to write my blog when I'm on holiday. Day to day life with the kids and a full-time job is exhausting. I've also taken on a small editing job which requires focus when I just want to relax, but we're getting there. I'm waiting on my final grades for my course and considering starting a new one in the autumn, but at the moment that feels like a big ask. But my job is only until the end of this school year, so I might have more time on my hands next year. Or maybe not.
I'm writing, here and there, editing pieces that have been hanging around 'in progress' for the last year or longer. My Scottish collection is up in the air. The publisher is struggling with the changes Brexit has brought to the publishing industry as well as personal issues and everything has been delayed and delayed again. I'm just trying not to think about it because I'm sure my living in the EU is going to throw up new problems when my book is considered.
My writing group went through a rough patch and has re-emerged a bit bruised, but hopefully stronger. I am grateful that we're managing to reshape the group into something of which we can be proud. They have been a lifeline over the past year, even if only virtual and I would have hated if it broke apart.
Spring is coming, I'm sure. I can see it, patches of dead grass reappearing in the garden, but find it hard to put much faith in it's promise. Covid is getting a stronger foothold here in Finland and while we're trying to get the vaccine out, it's a slow, painful wait. There is that chink of light slowing expanding.
I've had a few poems published while I've been dormant here. I'm very grateful to all the time and hard work all these editors and their staff have put in to produce these issues. I know it's not easy. I've been wallowing in memories of my experiences in publishing in Edinburgh and though it's very rose-coloured at the moment, I do remember it being very difficult and rarely rewarding from the day-to-day perspective.
Severine has published my poem 'Fever'.
Poetry and Covid have published three of my poems that resonate my feelings about, you guessed it, Covid.
Literati Magazine has published three of my American poems.
I appeared in the inaugural issue of Tír na nÓg and joined in with an online launch which was a lot of fun.
Sideways Magazine has also shared one of my poems.
Writer's Block Magazine published two of my poems and were a great help in bringing one to fruition.
Mooky Chick published my piece 'The Cailleach Wakes in Finland' and it has found the perfect home.
And Porridge has published one of the poems closest to my heart 'To Be Six in Your First Italian Gelateria'.
I've dipped in and out of most of these issues and am amazed to see so many people still writing, still working away amidst all this uncertainty, myself included. It reminds me that though the present is exhausting and time-consuming it will bring fruit, maybe not not, but soon.