The Spider and the Squirrel: When Best Laid Plans Pay Off…and When They Don’t.

Since obtaining a small dog minion who must be walked every hour and a half, I’ve discovered something surprising. I live in the woods. Yeah, you’d think I would’ve noticed that, wouldn’t you? But when you’re “walking” a Yorkie, you see things a little differently, mainly because there are a lot of starts and stops and while he’s sniffing around for a good place to go the bathroom, you actually get a chance to look around a little bit. Yesterday I spotted something very cool. It was a spider web. Being a romance writer, I’m probably a little more, well, romantic about this sort of thing, but I was very impressed with that spiderweb, which was perfectly circular in the middle but had long strands stretching from trees on one side of my driveway to the other, a span of about twenty feet.

I started thinking about the planning that no doubt went into that web. Did ever an architect plan a skyscraper more intricately? And what about that perfect circle in the middle of it? Just looking at it took my breath away.

That’s when I decided I need a plan. I’ve got so much going on in my life right now. Wonderful stuff, but it does distract from my writing projects a bit. I have three books in various stages of being ready for reader consumption. I need a schedule. So I made one, and I’ll share it with you in just a sec. But first I have to tell you about the other little lesson nature taught me.

It was a squirrel this time. We have a lot of those and at this time of year, they go a little crazy hopping from one treetop to another. They can practically fly, or at least they appear to…ahem, most of the time. This morning, I watched as one jumped from one tree to the next, ran up a branch and jumped again…and fell flat on his face. That fall must have been forty or fifty feet. I actually felt the earth tremble as its little body hit the ground. Imagine my amazement when that squirrel not only got up (after a stunned second) but raced back up that tree, pausing to scold me on the way for seeing his embarrassing slip.

So plans don’t always work out. You don’t always end up with a glimmering gossamer masterpiece. Sometimes you fall flat on your face. The important thing is to get back up and keep trying. With that in mind, I’m announcing a tentative publishing schedule for my next few books:

October 31: Escape Magic (book 2 in the Sleight of Hand Series)
January 1: Saturday Love (sequel of Ducks in a Row)
March?: Island Magic (book 3 in the Sleight of Hand Series)
June/July: Agapi Mou (sequel of Saturday Love)

Please don’t judge me too harshly if this schedule is adjusted over the coming months. Agapi Mou (which is Greek for My Love) isn’t even written yet, although it is an extension of a short story by the same title. Looking at this schedule now, I’m fairly confident I can manage it. But then, I’m pretty sure that squirrel thought he could make it to that next tree, too.

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