LeafLove4x6ACSFirst of all, I apologize for posting this blog on Wednesday instead of its regular scheduled debut on Monday. Between travel and internet crashes, I am finding it next to impossible to meet deadlines this week. All that being said, Happy Valentine’s Day early! I have two special surprises as my Valentine’s Day gifts to you all: the first is a short story recently published as part of the 3000 Weeks festival, the second is more information about my top secret project for you all.

This weekend saw me participating in an outdoor arts and crafts show in the small town of Boerne just northwest of San Antonio, Texas. The weekend before that my husband and I went to Abilene, Texas to check on my granddaddy (Mom’s dad) after his surgery. As of this post, Granddaddy is in good health and better spirits after undergoing a risky procedure and passing through that gauntlet with flying colors. The last weekend of January found me in Austin, Texas, for the 3000 Weeks Festival hosted by my dear friend Robert Stikmanz. I have also traveled to and from Midland twice and expect to make another trip early next week. There was the possibility that I would have to go to California for a funeral, but that trip has since been cancelled with the family’s consent due to monetary constraints.

The 3000 Weeks Festival was a special time for me because it included over 50 different artists, authors, and musicians whose lives have all brushed paths with Robert’s. While some of the experimental music and art was not my cup of tea, I found the company inspiring nonetheless. Likewise, even though Boerne Market Days proved a poor show for me in terms of sales, I learned much from the other booth vendors. I am grateful that I learned so much at both venues.

For those of you interested in reading a brand-new short story created especially for the 3000 Weeks event, you can find it here at the confabule.com website. The piece is called “Raven’s Fall” and it is a bit of an an ode to certain Native American creation myths. You can find it be going to http://www.confabule.com/alycia-christine-sears and scrolling to the bottom of the page.

Oh, and speaking of stories, my Dreamdrifter novel has caused me no end of grief for the past fortnight. While driving home from Austin, I spent several hours trying to determine why I was having writer’s block during the previous week. It finally dawned on me that I had solved a problem between two characters too early in the book and thus destroyed the underlying tension that had helped propel the plot. The solution for this, of course, was to play story plot shuffle with chapters 13 through 16. I absolutely did not want to do that, but it was the only way to solve the problem of relieving tension within the story a little too quickly. So I spent most of the next week reorganizing book scenes in chapters 13 through 21 and followed it up with lots of rewriting to fill the gaps in between those reorganized scenes last week and this week. While the work has been difficult, I think the end result will be worth all of the sweat and tears.

In other news, I continue work on the “Zoo Tales” short story and hope to add it as part of my top-secret project for you guys, which I am proud to announce is an all new e-book! This e-book will be a special collection of short stories, photographs, drawings, and poetry exclusively available for FREE to my most loyal fans. I am pleased to unveil the title of this new body of work; it will be called Musings. I am asking all of you for your help with this project. To make it truly special, I would like you to tell me what type of stories you would like to read within this collection. Your feedback will help me create the tone of this project, so please email, tweet, and/or post your comments and help me make this collection the best body of work I can.

Thank you all so much for your help and dedication. Until we meet again, may your ink blots be liberal and your tea stains tiny.

[~]D Alycia