April hath put a spirit of youth in everything – William Shakespeare
Happy Spring everyone!
In New England, we’ve finally emerged from our snowy tombs after getting slammed all winter with the cursed stuff. Mountains of snow survived into April, and 20 degree days made us wonder if there really was such a thing as spring. We did walk outside in short sleeves and flip flops once upon a time, right? Just last week, we were still in our winter jackets. Thankfully, May brought the sun back to stay, and our hyacinths and tulips are blossoming in celebration.
Being holed up this winter did have its benefits. I did a ton of research and finished a bunch of Great Courses lectures: The Peloponnesian War by Kenneth Harl; Ancient Greek Civilization by Jeremy McInerney; Religion in the Ancient Mediterranean World by Glenn Holland; Alexander the Great and the Macedonian Empire by Kenneth Harl; Greece and Rome: An Integrated History of the Ancient Mediterranean by Robert Garland; and The Aeneid of Virgil by Elizabeth Vandiver. Right now, I’m finishing up The History of Ancient Rome by Garrett Fagan, and then I’m onto my next adventure: The Aeneid by Virgil. Elizabeth Vandiver’s course on the Aeneid was awesome, and I’m so excited to dive into the epic itself (after falling in love with the Odyssey last year).
All my research goes to good use. I’m plugging away on Book II and having lots of fun with character development, plot twists, metaphoric parallelism, and all the stuff that makes writing so addictive. Ancient Greece and Rome is fertile ground, and my favorite place to spread my seeds of creativity.
In other news, I learned in March that Strega Book I was chosen as a finalist in Chanticleer’s Dante Rossetti Awards 2014 for Young Adult Novels. I’m so excited and honored to be among such a talented group of finalists. Now that Book I is out there in the world, I’m even more excited to finish Book II and share it with everyone! Stay tuned.
Also, don’t forget to enter this month’s Goodreads Giveaway for a chance to win a free, signed copy of Strega Book I.
Happy reading (and spring frolicking)!
Photo courtesy of Gary J. Wood/Flickr.