I’m sorry; I didn’t mean to drop off the face of the earth for over two months.

In book news, Celestial Chaos is now in the proofreading stages, so I’m expecting to release it this summer. It would have been earlier, but a major family event occurred in the spring, and I was derailed. I still am, sort of.

I don’t write much about my personal life and rarely about my family (and never about Le Day Job), and I debated for quite a while about whether or not to write about this in a public forum. I decided to acknowledge it, although I won’t be divulging too many details.

My grandmother passed away in April. She had been admitted to the hospital a month earlier and after a brief period where we all thought her illness was manageable, she quickly declined. It was very sudden and unexpected, and it’s devastated all of us.

Since then, I’ve been sort of drifting. She was one of my biggest fans; she read everything I wrote from the time I could pick up a pencil. She taught me to type on a noisy blue and black Smith-Corona typewriter that reeked of oil, so I could write my stories down faster (it was awesome, I got to skip typing classes from Grade 4 onward). Years later I picked up a nearly identical typewriter at a thrift store (beige instead of blue) that I still have; the sounds of clacking keys, the growl of the machine, and the distinctive smell electric typewriters give off is still very comforting to me. I called her at least once a week from the time I moved out of my mother’s home and visited whenever I could.

I turned 30 last month, and it was the first birthday in my life where I didn’t pick up the phone to hear her singing to me, accompanied by my grandfather on piano. It was another reminder of what we’ve lost, someone completely irreplaceable. To the credit of friends and acquaintances in the know, no one has said any well-meaning but insensitive platitudes like, “Well, at least you got to have her in your life for 30 years…” and have acknowledged my right to grieve.

I wasn’t writing much over the spring, just a few chapters of the final novel in The Commons universe and notes for a new standalone project, because I just didn’t have it in me to rip through a new book like I did with the last two. I haven’t been active on social media that much either (not that my Twitter account is often hopping, but you get the idea). It’s only been in the last couple of weeks that I’ve felt up to working creatively again and getting back in the swing of things.

Well, kind of. It’s different now.

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