Happy Valentine’s Day!  I was going to say Happy February, but… is anyone ever really happy about February?  Annnd of course, the moment I wrote the previous sentence, it occurred to me that it’s summer in the southern hemisphere, and perhaps yes, there are a multitude of places in which February is a perfectly delightful month.  On a whim, I Googled “Bora Bora,” which seemed like the kind of place that might very well be delightful in February and learned that yes, the temperature is a balmy 80ºF or higher pretty much all year around, with gentle South Pacific breezes to caress your skin lest the heat become oppressive.

Oh, and the crystalline waters of the lagoons also remain at 80ºF or better, ensuring that you can swim no matter what the month.  Meanwhile here in Michigan… well, you actually can see open water past the ice on the horizon, so there’s that.  Swimming is not advised.

Last year, Valentine’s Day also marked the hardcover release of MIRANDA AND CALIBAN, my retelling of Shakespeare’s The Tempest, and I’m happy to say it’s now available in trade paperback.  They’ve tweaked the cover and heightened the contrast, and I think it’s more effective, while just as beautiful.  A number of readers have asked if I plan to write a sequel because – spoiler alert! – this does end in aching poignancy.  The answer is no, no, I meant to break your hearts a little.

And of course, STARLESS will be out in mid-June, which still seems awfully far away!  But the way time is flying, it will be here before I know it, and then it will be autumn and I’ll be wondering where the summer went, and why I don’t live in Bora Bora, where it’s summer all year long.

As for what’s next, I can’t say yet.  I’m taking a little more time between projects right now; in part to let the creative wells refill, and in part because we’ve had a major home renovation project ongoing for the past several months.  Technically, it’s a garage, but that’s kind of like saying that technically, the Taj Mahal is just a mausoleum.  This is one fancy-ass garage, built to echo a 19th century barn to complement our 19th century farmhouse, with storage and studio space above, connecting to the house with a brand new indoor breezeway on the ground floor and a roof deck on the second floor.

It’s going to be awesome, but it’s a disruption for sure.  Having never built anything before, I didn’t realize how much went into it, how many different teams executing different aspects of the process there were.  Tree removal!  Excavation!  Concrete guys!  Other concrete guys! Electricians!  Framers!  Plumbers!  Roofers!  Insulators!  It’s a constant parade.  In my younger days, I could work through almost any distraction, but that kind of single-minded focus doesn’t come as easily anymore.  So I’m cutting myself some slack, and trusting that my lovely readers will understand.

And next year when the snow flies, for the first time in my entire life, I will experience the blissful indulgence of having a roof over my car.