Ah. 2020. Can I use the word “shitshow” on my own site? Well, I am.

kayla-speid-Xkeczu4lvfc-unsplashIn March, I had packed up all of my (paid for) vacation stuff, reserved a wonderful house in Paso Robles for the week, had rented a car, arranged for the pet/house sitter, and was good to go. I planned to take the WSET III exam in Buellton on Sunday and then spend the rest of the week in Paso, writing, photographing, and chilling. All of this was supposed to happen the third week of March. And then California closed. Everything.

Shortly afterward, Nevada closed.

As with most folks, I spent the next several months in the house. I gained the requisite weight, and for a while, watched more TV than I ever have before in my entire life. And then a few things happened.

A few months earlier, I’d started a book (a romance novel), and I continued to work on the one chapter I’d begun. I also took up my (very) old art hobby and found that I still had the chops. Magically, my book began to take shape and I’ve been able to do a few small frameable watercolors and mixed media. Who knew.

I did grocery runs for my aunt and cousin, both of whom were high-risk, and only twice stood in line for a ridiculous amount of time for stuff. Usually pet stuff. I have an Amazon subscription for paper towels and toilet paper, so I always had a good stash. I probably could have sold some on the black market, but people be crazy!

For three months, my family – despite following all of the protocols – came down with Covid. Just about everyone from my 86-year-old uncle to my 7-year-old granddaughter got the bug. My uncle was visiting and I found him collapsed in my hallway. That was scarring, to say the least.

There were ten of us altogether in Nevada, California, with one in Virginia, and NO ONE DIED. Due to his age, my uncle had it the worst and required the most medical intervention and a hospital stay of several weeks. Everyone else just stayed home and followed doctors’ orders.

While our family remained relatively unscathed, I realize, of course, that we were pretty fortunate. Several friends and acquaintances passed during 2020 and early 21, which piled on to the shitshow that the year had already become.

So What Now?

trent-erwin-UgA3Xvi3SkA-unsplashWill I take the WSET III exam? I don’t know. My senses of taste and smell have mostly returned, and I’m ready to tentatively restart “practicing.” Because I want to pass with Distinction again, I don’t want to take any chances of my senses being less than top-notch.

I’m reconsidering the CSW because it’s been on my “to-do” list from just about day one. I took it some time ago and missed passing by two points. Extenuating circumstances. Embarrassing story!

My book is complete, and as of this date, it is in the intensive editing stage. That’s when you find out that every precious word may not be as important as you thought. That paragraph B really needs to be paragraph G. That you end up arguing about the rules of quotation marks and commas. Who needs semi-colons anyway?

Despite the work, it’s worth it!

Photo by Caroline Attwood on UnsplashAfter completing the exhaustive editing and submitting it for review and publication, I’ll be back to my primary focus on wine. Now that I know what to do, I will be able to do both concurrently as I complete my other novels in progress and wine studies. At least in theory.

So along with Sommelier, WSET award holder (currently II with Distinction), DTM (Distinguished Toastmaster, the highest achievement in Toastmasters International), and California Wine Appellation Specialist, you can add Author to the list.

Beginning next week, I’ll be making about two posts a week to start. I’ll be doing more once the book editing is done and the holidays are on the horizon. I’ll be sharing wine reviews, restaurant reviews, and Vegas news in general. And any other news that I think is fun and shareable.

Thanks for returning. Here’s hoping for a regular normal by the end of the year. The “New Normal” is a pain in the butt.



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