The title is kind of tentative, I think. But I have started a new project, which will be a bit of shorter work, I believe...I can't really know how far I'll take this idea right now. But the original goal was that it would be a much shorter work than my novel.
A Harrowing Path is set in a post-apocalyptic society, but not so ravaged as some other portrayals of such a society could be. It begins in Pennsylvania (I would say...Birdsboro maybe, but I didn't specify, since their world is falling to bits and I personally haven't been there technically speaking...) -- in the woods outside of Lancaster. The more rural area suffered the poison later than the cities would -- and the reader would know from context that the poison is a result of nuclear fallout in the air and water -- and many people with compromised immune systems couldn't survive for extended periods of time exposed to dense concentrations of it.
We focus on the remnants of a witch's coven. As the society falls apart, and the Earth dies beneath their feet -- their leader returns, unable to travel again. As she dies, she implores that the remaining three take her son and go north -- for the farther north they went, the less the Earth has died.
The trick here is that they are witches, all of them -- including the leader's son. Along the way, they encounter brutal situations, horrible greed and evil, and face death, disease and injury in the most vile ways possible. But while this realm waits to die, the Other Side -- a realm where real magic is law -- grows more powerful. Having been taught that magic is of the earth and found in earth-based materials, the witches believed that any grandiose show of magic was just part of fairytales -- but they alone discover the truth -- that it is all part of the same force. They cross into the Other Side at different points in the journey, changing perspectives forever. Can their realm even be saved? Is it worth the struggle to stay there where they technically belong?
I won't give away the ending or anything about the characters -- but that is the new project and I am happily putting pen to paper (in a beautiful floral journal, ironically) to get these words out in a rough sketch. Wish me luck!