Moments of Azure Hue

We began our visit home to Chicago by flying into subzero temps and snow on the ground, and we returned to snow on the ground in Frankfurt during a particularly icy cold European winter. It seems there’s no escaping the cold this year.

My oldest daughter brought a nasty German virus to Chicago that swept though the family (including my parents) and devoured a large chunk of our time. We spent the holidays at home, in self-prescribed quarantine. After a week and half, the family was on the mend, and we started squeezing in visits.

The trips home are always too short, but this one felt even more so than usual. Still, I was grateful for the time, for the coffee and laughter, the pizza and hugs, the time spent in the company of loved ones—blood-related and chosen family. Those moments are always a gift.

Throughout my visit I found myself wanting to write, but at night I went to sleep early (for me) and exhausted (from jetlag), so I haven’t really written in weeks. Instead I have notes and images in my moleskine for the book I hope to finish up this month.

I hope that you all had lovely holidays, be they Christmas, Hanukkah, Solstice, Kwanzaa, New Year’s Eve, or whatever it is you celebrate. I hope that you and your loved ones are warm and healthy, safe and happy.

Published by Valya

Valya Dudycz Lupescu has been making magic with food and words for more than 20 years, incorporating folklore from her Ukrainian heritage with practices that honor the Earth. She’s a writer, content developer, instructor, and mother of three teenagers. Valya is the author of MOTHER CHRISTMAS, THE SILENCE OF TREES, and the founding editor of CONCLAVE: A Journal of Character. Along with Stephen H. Segal, she is the co-author of FORKING GOOD: An Unofficial Cookbook for Fans of The Good Place and GEEK PARENTING: What Joffrey, Jor-El, Maleficent, and the McFlys Teach Us about Raising a Family (Quirk Books), and co-founder of the Wyrd Words storytelling laboratory. Valya earned her MFA in Writing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and her poetry and prose have been published in anthologies and magazines that include, The Year's Best Dark Fantasy & Horror, Kenyon Review, Culture, Gargoyle Magazine, Gone Lawn, Strange Horizons, Mythic Delirium. You can find her on Twitter @valya and on @valya

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