Saturday Situation Report

reportMy gracious, but it’s been a long time since I’ve visited my own blog! Time to give all two or three of my loyal fans an update on what’s going on in the life of their favorite Christian sci-fi writer.

In a word, plenty.

In several words: we listed our house for sale earlier this month. It generated a lot of interest, resulting in an offer being made (and accepted) contingent on the sale of the buyer’s home. Because it’s not a sure thing (who knows when or if the buyer will succeed in selling his place? and if he doesn’t do it in 90 days, the contract will expire), the Realtor is continuing to market it.

Photo of my office taken by Broker Craig Barnett for the real estate listing.
Photo of my office taken by Broker Craig Barnett for the real estate listing.

In fact, they’ve scheduled an Open House for tomorrow. So if you’re a local fan and have nothing to do on Sunday afternoon, come on over and gawk. We won’t be here, but you’ll be able to see where I live and where all this creative wonderfulness originates.

For obvious reasons, we’ve been house hunting ourselves. And since Craig wants to live somewhere other than Ohio, that involves some traveling. We’ve narrowed the search to the Morgantown, WV and Cumberland, MD areas (though in Cumberland, the properties we’re most interested in are in WV as well, just across the Potomac river from Cumberland) and have another trip scheduled for both places early next week.

Also, our youngest daughter, Rustie (whose duck, Maxmafur, is featured in one of the photos the Realtor took of our house), came home in 2010 after being away for five years (college, then another year on her own). She hadn’t been able to find a full-time job in the Columbus area but did find one here — in little Sugarcreek, of all places — which is why she came back. She’s been living here and working in Sugarcreek ever since.

Too bad Maxmafur won’t have a room of his own in Rustie’s new place (this photo is also by Craig Barnett).

When we started talking about moving, though, she advised us to not consider her in our deliberations about where to go, because wherever we went, she didn’t plan on going with us; she was ready to go back out on her own. We figured she’d look for work in the Columbus area again because she likes it there. But Wednesday she surprised us by telling us she had an apartment lined up in Shaker Heights (the Cleveland area) and she’d given her current employer notice.

So we get to help move our dearly beloved Rustie to her new digs before our own move takes place. It’s sad that she’s leaving, and we’re not wild about the idea of her moving to the Cleveland area. But she has family nearby (all Craig’s and mine), and I pray she’ll find a job she loves, one that offers benefits and will provide for her well. (Not the best time or place to look for such a thing, but that’s my prayer anyway!)

Speaking of babies all grown up, let’s not forget about the garden. Remember the pic of the little baby onions I included in an earlier post about grass? They look a little different now, as you can see from the before-and-after pictures below.

baby onions
Before: Little onions nestled in their bed of grass clippings.
The yellow onions are ready to pull and white ones are almost ready
After #1: The yellow onions are ready to pull and white ones are almost ready
The reds (in the back rows) are still growing nicely
After #2: The reds (in the back rows) are still growing nicely


Though the onions are fabulous, most of my garden isn’t doing so well. There’s good drainage where the onions grow, but some of the other crops are suffering from a surfeit of rain. My parsley drowned altogether, my first batch of carrots rotted in the ground, and most other things are a bit delayed in their ripening. This might be our worst gardening ever — but at least it won’t be a total wash-out (pun intended).

Meanwhile, on the writing front: I finished my first draft of the fourth and last book in the Gannah series (yippee!). I love the way it ends (more yippee!). I’m currently revising, trimming some fat and tightening up the whole thing. Not sure yet what I’ll do with it, but I want it to be ready once I decide.

Earlier, I made plans to attend the first-ever Realm Makers conference in St. Louis, a gathering for creators of Christian speculative fiction and art. (Currently it’s just for writers, but they plan to expand to include other arts as well.) As it turned out, though, it comes at an inconvenient time, and I had to bow out. Though I’d already registered, I was able to find someone to transfer the registration to. It’s a relief not to have to take off halfway across the country while we’re in the midst of house-hunting; and I’m delighted to be able to help a fellow-writer get there who wouldn’t have been able to do it otherwise. So I’m pleased with the situation’s resolution.

Fly through the Gateway to Gannah for some serious sci-fi adventure!
Fly through the Gateway to Gannah for some serious sci-fi adventure!

As far as sales of the two titles currently available? Not so pleasing. Basically dead in the water, in fact. Not sure at this point what I’ll do about it, but for now, the move is absorbing most of my time and attention. Once we get settled in our new home (wherever that may be), I plan to regroup.

If you still haven’t read The Story in the Stars and/or Words in the Wind, they’re available for sale on Amazon or Barnes & Noble in both print and e-book formats. If you’re’ local, you can also buy print copies at the Christian bookstore in New Philly. While you’re doing that, I’ll be doing some cleaning in preparation for the Open House tomorrow.

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