The January cold and darkness make me think of gardens. From lush tropical chaos to artfully symmetrical formality, all gardens come from seeds. Seeds that need time to grow. In most places the ground isn’t ready yet, frozen over and unreceptive but in my mind, January is the time when we plant the seeds.

I spent a lot of my January deciding what to grow in my life this year. I’d gone back to Romance Writers of America recently, hoping the homophobic response I’d gotten to a bisexual main character was just the voice of a single misguided member in a sea of open, diversity loving writers. Events proved I was very wrong. In January, I cut RWA out of my life leaving more space for me to plant new things.

Seeds take up room, and you don’t know immediately if they’ll grow. You can’t dig them up every few days to see if they’ve sprouted. I’ve been trying new things in my writing, and I’m hopeful those seeds will bear fruit. I’ve gathered a great group of professionals to help me begin self-publishing. I’m scared, excited, worried, afraid, and delighted to move forward.

Those self-published books are barely seedlings in my mind for now, but I have high hopes. I waffle between wanting to tell the world, and wanting to keep those seedlings safely hidden. Because even if they do manage to make it through the cold winter months, they may sizzle under too much sun or drown in too much rain.  A million things could happen to stop my dreams from becoming a reality, but that doesn’t mean I’ll stop trying.

Today is Imbolc, St. Bridget’s day, a holiday centered around bright blessings for new beginnings. Imbolc reminds us that even in the deepest winter, with layers of ice on the ground and no sun for days, seeds manage to start. We work in the winter dark where no one can see us, hoping to get results that are impossible to ignore. I hope my work will turn into great reading for you soon, and I hope all your work blossoms into a beauty.