November Update

And so another month rolls by… In some ways, it felt long, and in other ways it (as so often happens) has zoomed by.

News

Sadly, there has been very little progress on WARRIOR’S TOUCH’s road to publication in the last month. Grimbold Books are busy with multiple books to sort, along with submissions to read, etc, etc. They’re a small team, and they’re doing the best they can. But it means we do have to be patient. I’m hoping that by my next update I will have more of an idea of what’s on the cards.

So… last month, I mentioned that Matt Donnici, the cover artist for HEALER’S TOUCH, was on board for the WARRIOR’S TOUCH cover, too. Well, progress is also slow for that… but it might just be for the best possible reason. He’s working on prop design for the 5th Pirates of the Caribbean movie (due out in 2017… WT will beat that, at least!). So {rubs knuckles up and down shirt}, you know, I guess I need to make concessions to allow my cover designer to work on these projects… sigh.

In case you missed it (it was waaaay down the bottom of last month’s post), I did an interview over on The Time Warrior’s website that went up last month. I consider it my best interview to date simply because I think I’m starting to get a bit more comfortable with all this stuff, so I was very “me” in it… and I guess I’m learning to be comfortable with me.

On with the show…

Writing Progress

So, after a strong start, the end of October saw writing grind to a virtual halt… then a complete one. You may recall in previous updates that I was fully dedicated to helping my city, Dunedin, win the Gigatown competition run by the company nominated to roll-out fibre throughout New Zealand. Well, after holding a strong lead for much of the final round of the Social Media part of the competition, we found ourselves challenged by one of the other finalists. And so, our volume of tweets and Facebook comments had to increase to keep ahead. I was one of the bigger tweeters from the first round (Oct 2013 – Sept 2014!), but thankfully was well and truly outdone by some new blood… because I was getting tired. Still, I upped my output considerably (from maybe 20-50 original tweets a day to 150-300+ per day… and I wasn’t a top tweeter!). And all these tweets had to reference Dunedun, gigabit fibre, or the competition directly… that’s not a lot of material to work with… still, we persevered. And… we’ll find out how we did next week.

The Social Media part of the competition came to an end on the 11th November. Since then, I have been catching up on all the things I had put on hold: grocery shopping, housework, emails, website design, family time… etc etc as well as trying to get back in the writing groove. This is a process. For the first couple of days, I couldn’t shake the feeling that something was missing. Thankfully, several of the big tweeters have found ways to keep in touch, so I haven’t had to go cold turkey… yeah… totally addictive. As for writing, I find that each day I can write a little more as I get back into the rhythm of normal life.

I would probably have MAGICIAN’S TOUCH over the 7,000-8,000 word mark, but I have, once again, removed my opening chapter. I liked it for its opening line… but that’s no reason to keep it! I strongly suspect what was “Chapter 2” is the better start.

Never fear. I don’t delete anything, so if the opening chapter proves useful later (free “short story”?), it can be reinstated…

I completed an old Character Interview with Braph that had been sitting half-done for a very, very long time. It is now available on this website, as is the one with Jonas that used to be here… it’s back!

So, to sum up… not much progress has been made, but I am now free to get on with much more.

 

Non-writing Progress

Thanks to my wonderful Graphic Designer friend, Kura Carpenter, and my new found “free” time, I have completed my website design! It is designed so it looks exactly how I planned it on my Surface Pro 3 screen (ner ner ner ner ner :P) . Smaller screens won’t get the added depth from the foreground trees (on Home page, Author page, etc) because they would have overlapped the content too much, and wider screens will see the foreground trees out further to the sides, making the otherwise dull black edges a little more interesting… Basically, I found a compromise that worked for me. Also, the foreground trees only show up on pages without side columns… this is partly due to my limited HTML/CSS skills and partly due to me thinking, well, they may was well stay out of the way, anyway… although, I would quite like to bring the right-hand one forward, if I can figure it out one day… We shall see!

NB: If you do have a large screen, you can play with your browser window size to check out the possibilities of my layout… fun times.

As part of the re-design, I have reinstated the Image Gallery for the AENUK CHRONICLES series, as well as the Prequel Chapter starring Braph and Orinia, and I’ve started posting Character Interviews (just Jonas and Braph, at this stage).

Anyway…. ta-da! Here is is, folks… Ticker-tape parade, anybody?

Drawing Progress:

I found some time to “finish” my Braph profile drawing:

Braph sitting as a bar enjoying a whisky

I say “finish” because I’m one of those people who has an image in their mind’s eye and simply cannot achieve it on paper/screen… so, I “gave up” at this point. I still plan to get better so my output more closely resembles my vision… One day, perhaps.

The plan is for me to draw each character and create a page on this website with an image and description for everybody… or, at least the main players. I have started work on Llew, too:

Small partially complete drawing of Llew

… but clearly I have a LOT more work to do on it! (Hmm… and perhaps her eyes look funny… better work on that).

But, of course, my writing of MT is the number one priority…

What I’ve Been Reading

So, I finished reading Ripley Patton‘s Ghost Heart (Book 3 in the PSS Chronicles series). As expected, I enjoyed it and am looking forward to Book 4… I have been supporting this series since Ripley first did a Kickstarter to publish Ghost Hand (cover designed by Kura Carpenter).

And… I haven’t finished anything else…

I got back into reading The Golden Compass for a bit there, as I really must return these books to my friend. I struggle a bit because my reading time is at bed time, and my husband doesn’t like the bed lamp on when he’s trying to get to sleep… hence the convenience of a back-lit e-reader… But, I can’t find these books digitally, so I only have the loaned paperbacks available… Hence, I can only read if I am in bed before hubby, and, as I tend to try to write right up to bed time (and passed), that doesn’t happen very often. I’m enjoying it well enough…

I began reading Patrick Rothfuss’s The Name of the Wind because it’s been on my Kobo and to-read list for ages. Sadly, I suspect I’m going to be in the “a book that is all backstory doesn’t interest me” camp… but we shall see. So far, I have taken a break from reading it as I wanted to go to something slightly faster paced.

And what better way to guarantee a fast pace than to return to the HUNGER GAMES series and get on with reading Catching Fire (about time, too, you might be saying). Yeah, well…
While I find myself kind of wishing I could be in Peeta’s head because he is a character I can really support, I find myself in Team Gale simply because Katniss likes him more. And fair enough, too. They’ve known each other longer, and clearly have heaps in common. As a reader, the only difficulty I have with that is that we don’t know Gale. But it would be hard to show us Gale without slowing the action down, so I get it. What can I say? I am a bit of a sucker when it comes to a good attraction-triangle.
Otherwise, the action is continuing and there’s definitely things afoot that Katniss has (and I have) yet to figure out.
I think my only problem with this book comes to my natural aversion to first-person. As a person who is traditionally an empath (nothing mystical), I tend to gather a lot of information about a person from watching their actions and catching clues in their body language. First-person books can be very internally analytic, and I find it can take the soul out of some of the story… not sure… all I know is I’m just not quite “feeling” it, and I always, always want to.

Coming Up

Writing, drawing…

Family.

All the rest of life.

Well, that’s me for now. I promise to keep writing MT and get it to the world as soon as I can (quality guaranteed, of course)…

Be well!

2 thoughts on “November Update

  1. Can’t wait to see what Llew ends up looking like! I know I’ve seen a few other pictures with her, but still 🙂 Love the eyes! Hope you get back to writing soon… but rest and health is important so your mind is chipper and up to creating wonderful things 😀

  2. Thanks. I’ll try to keep working on her as time permits. I’ve got a beta read to finish, too…
    After a super hectic week, I learned that a great deal of my fatigue & exhaustion very likely comes from simply being an overly social introvert, which , as a mother, you can’t really help! Hopefully this will lead to a little more help from Hubby when I’ve had a long mother-child day. Because, as much as I love my little boy, he sure knows how to drain me!
    And with a little more help, hopefully more fruitful computer hours will come, too…

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