Drawing a Squirrel

It’s been five years and more since I wrote anything here. Two Simple Lives started out as a blog about early retirement, about learning to live with a (little) less, about appreciating the small things in life after a life of extensive birding travel. When I started it, my first book had just been published. When I stopped writing it, my second had just come out. For the last five years, most of my life’s been taken up, one way or the other, with being an author.

The seventh book comes out in six weeks. I loved writing it, the challenge of a difficult voice, the interweaving of two very different stories. And during the height of the pandemic, writing kept me centred and purposeful. I’m not about to stop: there’s one more book in the current series to write, and the glimmers of an idea for at least one after that.

But this week I made a list of all the things I’d like to do. It’s an eclectic list:  draw squirrels and birds and leaves (why squirrels?); write poetry again; look at maps; read a lot more; cook creatively. All things I used to do. On top of that, there’s no denying we’re living in challenging, difficult, times: the climate crisis; the erosion of human rights in every country; increasing intolerance and division; soaring inflation.  I feel a need to respond to these, even if it will be in small and local ways. (And without preaching about it, don’t worry.)

I tend to get restless every five to six years, wanting a change. Most of this year’s been spent working out what that change needs to be. What it came down to (I think – only trying it out will tell) is that I don’t want to be a writer with a few snatched moments for other interests on the side: I want to be the birder/walker/biker/artist/landscape historian who also writes books. Which is who I was, before.

I make sense of my world through words (except when it’s maps, but that’s a different subject), so I must write – just less fiction for a while, and more observations and thought. For those of you who want that last book of Lena’s story – it’ll come. Just a bit more slowly, probably.

I hope some of you enjoy what ends up on this blog, although that’s not why I’m writing it. Book reviews and articles related to writing will remain over at marianlthorpe.com.  

And now, I’m going to go draw a squirrel.

Image by Peace,love,happiness from Pixabay 

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