Howdy all! I’ve been Hecate busy—you know, that whole single mom/fibromyalgia patient/writer/artist/activist thing. Most of my time seems to have been taken up by the Younger Cub and pain management logistics, but I did find time to write in solidarity with NaNoWriMo, coming up with a rough draft of a new version of Demon Catchers: In Plain Sight. The book has taken a weird but powerful turn. If the new material doesn’t make it into the final version I’ll consider putting it on here.
(I decided to say Hecate instead of hella or hecka because I thought it was funny and I’m pagan AF—As Freya, in case you were wondering if I did a swear. Usually my editor gets to remove my especially obscure humor so I indulge it on here.)
I hoped to finish a new full draft of the novel before the planting season, and before the producers who optioned the first two books for film finish chatting with my agent’s lawyers, because apparently new stuff is happening on the movie end. But no. I’ll keep working, I promise.
Why is the planting season important? Because the other thing that’s been interrupting my writing life has been my work for climate justice and Native food sovereignty.
That makes it sound like I’ve been doing giant stuff but actually I’ve just been trying to learn about both these concepts and what they look like when you get right down to the real people and the real dirt. I’ve also been finding this hard to write about, because it’s too, too darn easy to sound like a sanctimonious white-savior-complex-owning idiot when you’d rather be learning how to be an actual real ally to folks your ancestors colonized and generally screwed up and who still live with the battering of conquest culture.
First, I made sure I was welcome, got to know folks, listened hard to what needed to be done, and then I just did my best.
I’ve gotten filthy and sweaty and sunburnt, messed up my first season of hand pollination, helped plant the wrong corn, consistently misplaced the plural in the Ho Chunk phrase for “Hi! Nice to see you,” been unable to pronounce the word for the number nine for an entire year, misidentified at least five herbs, and come darn close to attending a Native-only conference (good thing I checked ahead).
I’ve made new friends, eaten amazing food, given away maybe a hundred books, made headway learning four new languages (Ho Chunk, Spanish, Dakota and Ojibwe), given hours and hours of my time and resources, and made the painful discovery that no matter how much I give, I am always given back more. I have finally stopped worrying about that and just do my best to keep the cycle of giving going.
Somewhere in there I think we sequestered some carbon but there’s so very much more to do.
But that’s the thing, my dears.
As with parenting, so with reversing global warming and healing the wounds of centuries of genocide and colonization. You can’t expect perfection, but you really have to do something.