How it goes.

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I always start my days with writing.

I’m working on a new project, one I will tell you about soon. It’s a new series of books and at first I thought I would write under a pen name, but I have decided to accept the tangle of genres that I write, and publish these books as myself.

My plan is to finish the first draft of the book I am working on and then jump right into the first draft of World Whisperer Book 5. It’s helpful to work on something different in between, actually. It’s like the ginger in between bites of sushi.

After I write new words in the morning, I move into writing blog posts or newsletters. I’m working on a couple doozies of blog posts now, so I go into those documents and fix a few things, add a few lines, try to make them live a little more, then write a few lines of a newsletter. I am easily overwhelmed. I do my best writing little bits. 

Then Isaac waltzes into the studio and it’s time to get up and shift gears, to get him some breakfast and make sure the clothes he’s wearing are somewhat suitable. To make sure the other kids are getting ready for the day, eating, drinking tea, finding their school books. Isaac goes off to school and other kids come over for readalouds and English class. Or maybe Chinua handles that and I go off to guide meditation. Or it is a gardening day at Shekina, so I buy some plants and drive around the hill to plant them.

The day is in full swing. It careens around until bedtime, when I lie flat on my back staring at the ceiling, or when I fall asleep lying next to Isaac, his warm little arm around my neck. 

Often, these days, when I’m driving on the motorbike, I get lured away. After I bring Isaac to school, I might find that I need to see the sky from a different direction, or the view from the next hill. The sky is so perfectly blue. The branches so jagged and they reach, reach as far as they can. The road bakes in the sun and the breezes lift my hair off my neck, and I am reminded of beautiful days and years from the past, and all of it is almost too much. 

Eventually I come back home, to joke and puns and boys with springs in their legs. We comb through tangly bits of offenses and hurt feelings from siblings. We dance. We make a lot of messes. I can be grumpy and easily overwhelmed. And there is so much love. Love and words and blue skies. I am thankful.

Demon's Arrow, World Whisperer Book 4 in stores today!

A poison arrow. A prophecy of two sisters. A journey into the heart of the resistance.

While Isika is preparing for her future role with the Maweel, members of the Karee tribe come to ask for help with the problem of masses of disappearing people. Meanwhile, Aria grows weaker daily from the poison arrow lodged inside her, and time seems to be growing short.

A disturbing Karee prophecy might contain more answers, and as Aria is pulled deeper into the Desert King's trap, Isika races to find a healer who might be able to save her sister. In the most dangerous places, she finds more help than she expected, and the group of friends grows and changes as the Resistance enfolds them all.

Isika has resisted the power of the Desert King, but will Aria fall under his sway?

Buy it here.

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This book has a great big part of my heart in its lines. I’ve loved following Isika, Ben, Aria, Jabari and Gavi along. I really hope you enjoy it!

Thank you for being so supportive as I continue to put books into the world. I’m so thankful for this space: you have taught me to write over these years. You’re the best readers who ever existed.

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Some patrons at Patreon get this ebook for free. Dolphins and higher, you can find your ebook here.

Life is so interesting.

The weather is growing cooler and the nights are lovely. I’ve started lighting a candle by my bed in the evenings, so I can sit and journal in a tiny pool of light. I’m trying to be kind and hopeful. I’m trying to learn to rest. 

Today there is an unseasonal rain, which is annoying and beautiful. Annoying because we have just come out of the rainy season and were excited about the sun, beautiful because no rain is wasted on this earth, especially if the river is not too full. A few more rains in the garden are more effective than our pitiful hoses can ever be. 

My heart is full. There is so much fear and worry, so much happiness and excitement about the future. So much love I can barely stand it. So much sorrow for the world and all our old systems and institutions that are steeped in selfishness and fear. I think it’s okay to walk through the world with a heart that is full like this. It is not comfortable, but in a way I don’t have to change anything. I can feel all those feelings, one after another, all day long. (“No feeling is final,” as Rilke says.) 

I offer them to God like stones, as I come across them. “Here,” I say, holding my hand out. “I found another one.”

We’re back at school and I have new kids coming to read and write together. They are welcome. To have the peers we need for our kids, we basically just have to throw our doors open. Right now we’re doing a workshop, writing a story together. It’s so fun. These kids are creative and quirky, so brainstorming sessions are the absolute best. 

I’m busy, so these quiet moments in the morning and night are the most important ones. Soon Isaac will trip into my studio and ask me to make him a cup of tea. I’ll get up and do it, and then I’ll find that the kitchen is messier than I like and I’ll clean up. I’ll make a smoothie and remember that I need to make the kids’ homeschool charts. Then I’ll think about dinner and what to buy for that. And we’ll roll into the day and a thousand conversations. Surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses. Somewhere right now, the city of the Living God, thousands of angels in joyful gathering. A consuming fire.

And a bowl of cereal, little boy, cup of tea, dog who needs to be fed. Life is so interesting.

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Have you checked out the Shekina blog and podcast? I have a post up there today. And the podcast is buzzing along.

Demon’s Arrow is coming out on Thursday! 

Some patrons (Narwhals and Blue Whales) on Patreon already have their advanced copies, and Dolphins will get their copies on launch day. I ordered the print copies to send to the Narwhal patrons today. I’m so excited to share this book with you.

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Now you can support my writing on Patreon. Patrons can give as little as $1 a month, and get extra vlogs and posts. I really really appreciate your support, it helps me to keep going with writing and publishing my work. Thank you to this month’s new patrons, Jemma Allen and Julie Wells. The patron extras from last month are up. Here are last month’s extra blog post, Thoughts after 17 years of marriage, and the September Creative Update Video.

Canada Day Sale of A Traveler's Guide to Belonging

Right now, A Traveler's Guide to Belonging is on sale for $1.99 on all major ebook retailers. Hooray! Get it here. 

Also, have I ever been in such mud with a book as I am right now? Yes, yes I have. I am SO CLOSE to writing The End on the fourth World Whisperer book, but this book might kill me. And then I'll need to be resurrected to write Book 5. I think it's worth it though. 

And Chinua is in Sweden playing music. He's been gone for about two weeks and will be back on Friday. Send help. And chocolate. And noodle salad. We miss each other badly. Thankfully I have these great kids to hang out with.

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Now you can support my writing on Patreon. Patrons can give as little as $1 a month, and get extra vlogs and posts. A special thanks to new patron, Teresa Q. I really really appreciate your support, it helps me to keep going with writing and publishing my work.

This and that.

This morning is heavy and humid already, with a hint of cooling rain on the horizon. In a few minutes we will get into the car to drive to Mae Hong Son, about 2 and a half hours away, to renew our visas at immigration. The drive is very beautiful, though immigration days are long. 

I have a few business-y things. Kenya and I are opening our new website soon... with little starts and stops. We're selling our own art, as well as some collaborative pieces. It's a fun, interesting process as we get used to working with each other. Anyhow, I've been painting up a storm and I have a couple of new paintings in my shop.

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This brown bear.

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And these quail. You can find them here.

Also I'm putting a call out for reviews on my World Whisperer Boxset. If you have read the books, will you consider reviewing here? Thank you, reviews help so much with getting the books out to the world.

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This week will be full of writing and painting and teaching. I'm still hard at work on World Whisperer 4 and it's going to be worth the wait. It's a hard book to write, though! Oh my goodness. Every day is so full of the best things. Kissing and hugging and helping kids sort through conflict, deep discussions of faith and love with the kids and friends who drop over, or friends at the garden. All these things are worth it on this Monday morning. I know it is still Sunday for some of you. (Happy Father's Day!) But how is your week shaping up? What things are there to look forward to? To be curious about?

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Now you can support my writing on Patreon. Patrons can give as little as $1 a month, and get extra vlogs and posts.  I really really appreciate your support, it helps me to keep going with writing and publishing my work.