Year of Gratitude 2021

Eolyn introduces young Briana to the power, abundance, and magic of the forest. Detail from Daughter of Aithne. Artwork by Tom Vandenberg.

Even as we continue deep inside the pandemic, 2021 has brought signs of hope. As of this post, new case numbers have dropped dramatically. Campaigns for vaccination are gathering momentum. D.C. politics, despite the continued rants of certain extremists, have calmed. The White House is at last turning away from a personal aggrandizement and toward working for the American people. Though I’m still tied to a remote existence, I do have a job, and now can expect my job to continue for the foreseeable future. (Yay!) I feel more relaxed than I have in a long time. Confident there’s a real chance things are getting better. Grateful I and my loved ones made it through the last 12 months, and then some.

Out of a desire to express the gratitude I feel in my heart, I’ve decided to give something back this year. As part of this effort, I’ll be donating my 2021 royalties, in their entirety, to organizations that support conservation and sustainability; women’s education and leadership; and peace and nonviolence.

I’ve chosen these themes because all of them play heavily into Eolyn’s journey. Eolyn is born into a world where girls are barred from education, and women are kept from power. This is true in every aspect of life, but most importantly for Eolyn, in the practice of magic. For Eolyn and her sisters, nature is the source of all magic. The destruction of wild spaces therefore undermines the very fabric of their craft. While drawn or forced into battle time and again, Eolyn abhors the sword and all the violence it symbolizes. Throughout the saga, she struggles to move her war-faring society toward becoming a people of peace and nonviolence.

Recipient organizations are under consideration. I have many colleagues involved in the kind of work I want to support who are helping me evaluate options. I’d be more than happy to receive suggestions from my readers and followers. Final decisions regarding donation amounts and destinations will be made toward the end of this year or early next. The goal is to spread the love as much as possible, depending on available funds. Because much of Eolyn’s story was inspired by the highland forests of Costa Rica, conservation foundations in Costa Rica are of special interest.

You can find out more in my statement about donating royalties, linked to the page that describes the novels in my trilogy. I’ll also post occasional updates, as time allows, here on my journal.

May you find many reasons for gratitude and hope in the weeks and months to come, and may abundance bless your life and the lives of those you love.

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