She Lives

Well, it’s been two weeks, hasn’t it? Perhaps the time has flown by for you, but I’ve felt every second of it. Being an archaeologist, after all, is sometimes very hard work.

To wit: I’ve spent the last 14 days troweling through soil that was either a muddy, clay-like soup or sun-baked cement, depending on the weather. In a very cruel and unobliging turn, that soil flatly refused to yield up anything of interest or cultural value (save a handful of pot sherds, a few stone tools, and a very sad remnant of a post hole). Sometimes that’s just how the cookie crumbles. And it wasn’t a total waste. I have muscles now. Also, I’ve been introduced to a staggering variety of ticks, spiders, beetles, and ants. Perhaps the real win, though, was the company we kept. From the volunteers who joined us ad hoc to the Army Corps folks we worked with day in and day out, we came up aces. And good company makes up for a lot.

One of the (many) nice things about being finished with our excavations is that I can get back to writing again. There was only energy enough for my body or my brain to be working out in that hot sun, so I didn’t accomplish much on the creativity front. Now, though, I’m ready to dive into revising Project Awesome before sending it to Beta readers. I’ve also got a short story ready for revisions.

First, though, I’ve still got a few days left in Kansas City. We may not have found much, but we do have to wash, process, and analyze the artifacts we turned up. There’s also a report to be written for the Army Corps. So, there’s that to be done. Soon, though, its home to Brooklyn, back to my husband and my cat and the start of a proper summer.

In the meantime, here are some photos from the dig to give you an idea of what archaeology in Missouri in June looks like 😉




In which there will be camping

Come Monday morning, I’ll be putting on my archaeology hat (and, no, it isn’t an Indiana Jones fedora but a very sensible ball cap) and heading out into the wilds of Missouri on a hunt for prehistory!

I’ve posted about this upcoming project on my archaeology blog, but in brief I’ll be excavating a small native American homestead located along the margins of the Plains Village and Mississippian worlds and dating roughly AD 950-1400.

Most of my work up until now (save some stints working in New Mexico and Washington) has been in Latin America, and specifically Honduras. So this is a pretty major change of pace. No big buildings, no stone architecture, no temples, and so on. Also no cushy house with electricity and running (albeit cold) water. We’ll be camping at the site for several weeks, making friends with all the local ticks and chiggers. Yay!

There is a nearby RV park, so we’re hoping to be able to keep our mobile devices charged up and ready to go and thus provide amusing updates from the field. So, stay tuned for that 😉

Anyway, long story short…I’m off! Bum babumbum, bum, babum! Bum babumbum, bumbabumbumbum! (well, you know how it goes).

The words! They will not be stopped!

Since returning from my writing retreat in Philadelphia last weekend I have been on freaking fire. Not literally, of course, but you know!

While at the retreat I drafted a new short story that I’m kind of totally enamored with. Since getting back, I’ve revised it, written a new piece of flash fiction, reworked an older short that needed some love, and FINALLY finished the editing pass I was slogging through on one of my novels. All in one week! (and believe me, there was plenty of loafing around and watching crap on Hulu and such mixed in there for good measure). I’m feeling mighty.

It’s always stimulating to produce new work, and I really think getting the fresh material flowing provided a necessary break from editing and revising, enabling me to to return to that reinvigorated. Productive Writer is productive!

Plus, in a week I’m leaving town for two and a half weeks to camp and excavate at an archaeological site in Missouri, during which (let’s be honest) not a lick of writing is getting done. So, nice to be killing it now.

So, back to work!

Over and out.