I hope the title isn't misleading. This post is personal, not topical.
It's been a little while. Some of you have reached out to see how I've been doing and it's heartwarming to be so cared for. I can't say things have been easy--and how can they be, during tumultuous times like these? But I'm still here, doing what I do.
I took some quiet time away from social media for healing (see previous post) and I'm happy to announce that I'm feeling physically healthier than I have in years. I've been laying low, in avoidance of COVID, because I'm not willing to risk my only recently regained health (or the health of those around me). And I'm not entirely sure my immune system is strong enough to battle it and win without taking some serious damage.
I took even more quiet time throughout the summer and fall to absorb and process the losses of some dear friends and family members. 2020 has been one hungry monster, that's for sure. In addition to the passing of irreplaceable human loved-ones, our dear, sweet Luna crossed the rainbow bridge as well. You might know her as the Dalmatian-Heeler from my bio, my Instagram, or every book acknowledgement I've written. Our Tennessee feral rescue kitty Tucker was lost in the same week (though, I hadn't updated pictures on this website to include him or any of our Tennessee rescues).
I don't want to tug too hard on your heartstrings on my behalf. Things are difficult right now for just about everybody around the world. Like most people, I work daily to keep my chin up, be productive and find positivity in the little things.
One of those "little things" is, Echo! She's a 3 1/2 month old miniature Texas Heeler and our very first puppy. She keeps us on our toes, to put it mildly (herding dogs, amIrite?). Now that she has all of her shots, we can't wait to hit the trails and take her canoeing. I'll probably do a photo-dump on Insta soon. Just you wait.
In writing news, I have an awesome group of beta readers going over my YA fantasy manuscript as I pour over edits using my newly rekindled brain-power. lol Not a lot to give you as of yet, though you deserve medals for your patience.
One bonus: I've been working on a conlang to accompany this book. Yes, that would be an invented language. As a kid inspired by Pern and Middle Earth, I would hand-write dictionaries for my fantasy worlds, but it was a slow-going process. Now, I've hit the ground running, studied up and have done my best to deliver something truly immersive. I built it to flow parallel to English (aside from certain particles), so it wouldn't be too hard to deconstruct. Mostly, I wanted readers to have fun with it.
Would you like a sample?
"Sutkai thur bōmen! Ōhä Ritkäni nōssiv. Thur änjiess rōti dimuti aet ōm vär, aeré thur taoti ké jiss ōhä mä mōtti, aet haem lubumti vé maissi dinuti."
"Hello my friends! This is the Ritkani language. I still work on it every day, but I hope that when this book is done, it will take your breath away."
When everything is finished, I'll have a dictionary, a web translator and some other fun goodies to play with.
Anyway, back to work I go! I hope all of you are keeping safe, staying healthy and finding some cheer in this wild, wild world.
A. R. Ivanovich is likely typing away at her desk, with a cup of heavily caffeinated tea and a cat on her lap.