Oh, my stars. Is it really mid-July? I can’t believe it’s been two whole months since I last posted anything here.

The trouble is that I’m juggling altogether too many things – publicity for Chantress, the last edits for Chantress Alchemy, and the start of the third Chantress book. And that’s just the writing part! When I do get a bit of online time, it’s measured in moments, so you’re more likely to find me tweeting than blogging these days.

All things considered, I’ve been fairly productive juggler. This summer I’ve done various guest posts for other blogs, including a fun one about the touchstone images for Chantress, where you can see the Tower of London at night and a chained book and one of the most amazing clockwork pictures ever. I’ve worked on flap copy and other odds and ends for Chantress Alchemy. And I’ve got Book 3 (still untitled) off to a great start. I even squeezed in a radio interview and a short writing retreat in deepest Oxfordshire.

But all the same, I have my issues with juggling. It’s a necessary skill, but you can do too much of it. After one too many nights up in the wee hours, mind racing, I’ve begun looking for ways to center myself and slow down.

I started last month with something I’ve neglected for a long time: meditation. It’s amazing how even five minutes of essentially doing nothing can somehow change everything. I’m starting to say “no” to a whole bunch of things that were wearing me out. Although I still have a heavy workload, I now have a little more time to say “yes” to the things that really make me happy: walks and talks with my daughter, playing the piano, concocting a new flavor of ice cream…

I’ve also been spending more time in my garden. Poor garden! At one point this spring, it was almost as neglected as this blog. But it’s holding its own now, despite this month’s brutal heat-wave. You still couldn’t call it a show garden, but every day it brings me pleasure.

The motto I chose for 2013 is “Fill the well” — and little by little, I’m working out how to do that.

How do you fill the well? I’d love to hear.

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A walk around the garden…

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…with the friendly neighborhood cat (who is especially interested in the catnip)

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Lots of purples this month…

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And pinks galore.

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