Some other titles I considered for this blog post were Reflections, Update, and 2017. This post is all of that, and more. For a lot of reasons, though, this moment in time feels like a crossroads. I’m still working out those reasons.

Let’s start with the easy stuff.

Because of my health (Chronic Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis), I’m still in quarantine and on sick leave even though Montana is partially open. Two months. Yikes.

All of the dead links on the website (still a WP site, for now) are down. That entailed trashing those blog posts, though they’re on my computer. Between poetry and blog posts that was well over 800 posts (I used to post poetry 2-3 times/week). Too, WordPress wasn’t helpful. After every so many deleted posts it’d send me error messages. Keep in mind, each post had to be deleted, then deleted permanently.

Regardless, it’s done. Thirty-two posts remain (33 when this one goes up).

I’m presently re-editing the poems worthy of being reposted, going back to 2014. I’ll begin returning them to the site one-at-a-time beginning this Saturday. Thus, Saturdays, into the foreseeable future, will be the best of the best poetry At least when I add them it won’t be much work.

The old blog posts, on the other hand, will be a lot more work.

How I’ve gone about my transition from the website wasn’t, perhaps, the most efficient way. Unfortunately, the technical knowhow required to transfer them whole from the old website is exactly why I don’t have it anymore.

I’m not sure if I’ll eventually double-up on blog posts to return them faster (similar to what I’m doing with the poems). I’ll have to see. I may do so on occasion. Many contain dated information and will have to be reworked. That was how I turned a dozen map posts into my five-blog post series.

It’s a reflective process, especially the old poetry, and revealed a significant change in the quality of my poems in mid 2017. I was puzzled. After deeming a mere 20% of the poems from 2014-17 to be above average, it rose to over 80%. It wasn’t a gradual change, either.

Photo: CA Hawthorne

What happened?

It was my health. In January of that year I received my long-requested referral to my exceptional pulmonologist. My health was a mess, as had been my 2016 NaNo novel (that’s a whole separate post). It took him almost six months to rehabilitate my lungs. I was grossly underweight and couldn’t maintain a safe oxygen saturation level.

Believe me, mental clarity is fleeting when you’re oxygen deprived.

In the spring of 2017 a writing renaissance began, just in time for drafting Torment Surfacing during CampNaNo. My poetry came to life the July after.

Speaking of novels…

My third attempt to bandage Essence Stone crashed. My frustration level soared, mushroomed, and I stopped writing/editing for a week. It was a week on the couch watching films.

Frustration plus reflection dropped me to my knees in the middle of a crossroads. Despite all the writing I’ve done, especially since 2016, I’m questioning my course. Where am I going? I have no [your expletive of choice here] idea.

It’s been over ten days. I finally crawled off the couch to work on the poems and keep up with the map series. For now, I’m setting Essence Stone, my problem child, aside. I think I know how to fix it, but it’ll require reimagining it and I can’t face that right now. I’d scrap it, but its events are crucial to Riparia’s Bk4, which I was to have written this coming November.

Will I write it? I have no idea.

This sounds grim, but that’s what a crossroads reflection is for. In truth, I’m not dissatisfied with my writing/editing, Essence Stone aside. It’s other aspects of my supposed writing career that I’m wrestling with. For my mental health, I’m taking a step back, though I’ll continue my website work and anything else I want to indulge.

See, it isn’t all so bad.


About Christina Anne Hawthorne

Alive and well in the Rocky Mountains. I'm a fantasy writer who also dabbles in poetry, short stories, and map making. My Ontyre tales are an alternative fantasy experience, the stories rich in mystery, adventure, and romance. Alternative fantasy? Not quite steampunk. Not quite gothic. In truth, the real magic is in those who discover what's within.
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