An Update at the end of October 2015

I started writing this on my Facebook Page, and then I remembered that I really, really needed to post something here. So… here’s the goss:

Quiet me…

I’ve been full up with a cold over the last month (actually 2 colds… I was nearly over the first when the second struck) and, of course, I’m still full up with baby. And so, when I haven’t been doing the things I need to do in life (office job, house work, childcare, midwife appointments, scans, obstetrician appointments…), I have been sleeping (or coughing).

Somewhere in there, I strained an abdominal muscle (better now), and now I’m just working on clearing the last of the gunk from my lungs.

Our house is on the market… Not sold yet, sadly, but neither has anyone whisked the other house out from under us (the vendors have a “cash out” clause, so if they get a better offer than ours they can take it… unless we can pay right then), so all fingers still crossed. The vendors for the house we want were planning to restart an advertising campaign around now, though, so… eep! Nervous times.

An image from the lifestyle block we hope to buy
Give me land, lots of land, under starry skies above…

The struggle we have is that even though we’d love a swift sale (therefore, a low price would be ideal), we are constrained because we simply can’t afford to grow our mortgage by too much… We’re already taking a financial risk just contemplating moving. But… mental health vs. financial health… Hopefully we can achieve both. And I need more space around me. And horses.

Aaaand… my baby has a mid-November due date… and tomorrow (NZ time) is November… And the pressure is on. My first son was born via c-section after several days of labour, so, of course, another c-section is very much on the cards. For the sake of quicker healing after, though, I’m aiming for VBAC (vaginal birth after c-sec). However, the hospital is watching me closely. I have another large baby in me, and if he goes past due date + 10 days, the hospital won’t risk artificially inducing me (which I don’t like the sound of anyway) because the added stresses introduced would put me at risk of rupturing my scar, so they would be pressing for an “elective” c-section at that point. Hence, pressure: on. Come on, baby. Feel free to come early (I have had to make peace with still being in this house when he arrives).

Needless to say, the creative juices are not flowing. This happened in my last pregnancy. I wrote very little of Healer’s Touch in the year I was pregnant with my first son. But I got back into it the following year, as I was up at interesting hours with a silently feeding baby, which allowed my mind to wonder, and then  that baby slept for two decent chunks of the day, which allowed me to write. Obviously, things will be different this time, with an older child already, but he is 5 now, so he has school (o:

Both Warrior’s Touch and Magician’s Touch are in limbo at the moment. I have ideas floating in my head for how to tackle my editorial letter for Warrior’s Touch, but I won’t likely be actioning those until the new year. My apologies. Of course I want to get these stories out to you (which would help me a–very–little financially while I’m not working, at the very least… but, come on… I’ve created something and I can’t wait to share it and–hopefully–you’ll love it, but I don’t know until you guys have it in your hot hands…).  I can’t wait… but I have to. I have to get it right.

And, then I’ve been a little bit naughty as I simmer ideas for a whole new project to come after Magician’s Touch. Which, I guess is a good thing. If you like my writing, hopefully you’ll like more stories by me. But, if you just want to conclude this series, that might make you a tad grumpy. Don’t worry. The next project is very much just a collection of jotted thoughts for now. I won’t allow myself to actually write any of it until a decent 2nd or 3rd draft of Magician’s Touch is winging it’s way to Kristell Ink. So, never fear, I’m doing what I can.

At least next year, while I’ll have a new baby and (hopefully) a lifestyle block to get my head around, I’ll have some breathing space from the office job. More of my headspace, while I do the not overly mentally stimulating work I need to do, can go to my fiction. Woo!

Right. Well, that’s a bout it from my brain today.

Time to get on with nibbling dates and pineapple.

April Update

So, Easter has come and gone and the year marches on.

Rememberance Poppy
Attribution: Wikimedia Commons (click on image for original)

New Zealand also commemorates Anzac Day in April (25th). It’s a day when we remember not only the day Anzac troops landed at a beach in Gallipoli during WWI, but our armed forces in general. Fact is, those guys do what the rest of us are so glad we don’t have to. But, sadly, we do live in a world where, I believe, some force is necessary sometimes. To quote one of my favourite movies (How to train your Dragon 2): “Men without reason cannot be reasoned with.”

I’m grateful to my uncle who popped up a little post on Facebook giving a run down of what he’d learned about my great grandfathers’ involvements (his grandfathers). I knew they must have been involved somehow, but I hadn’t managed to do any investigation so far myself. It’s nice to have a few details to add to the family tree I’ve been slowly filling in.

News

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March Update

Here I am a couple of days late. But, here I am.

It’s always a toss-up for me whether I should prepare these posts early if I know I’m likely to get busy when they’re due, but I also want them to capture the month, and where I’m at at a particular time. So I prefer to keep them live as much as possible.

This month, the 20th happened to land on a day when it was just me and Mr4 alone for an entire day, followed by an anniversary dinner in the evening (also with Mr4 as we are short on babysitters at the moment), so by the time I had the time to sit at my computer to type anything, I didn’t have the energy. And then the next day was Saturday, so that was much the same. Here I am on a Sunday morning, eating my breakfast in front of my PC while Mr4 watches some Dinosaur Train with his dad.

Anyway, what I wanted to say first up was: Thanks.

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February Update

February 2015, eh? It has certainly been a month. A month of what? I’m struggling to keep track of it all myself!

News

Sad news in our house this week as we said goodbye to our eldest cat, Kitty (Yeah … we tried a few names on him in the early days, but that was the only one that gelled!). 

I've written the story, but it's up to you if you'd like to read it (click here).

On with the show …

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January Update

Welcome to my first post of 2015.

It doesn’t feel like there’s much to tell … so I’ll just get on with it.

News

Well, some a-little-bit-sad news, actually. Matt Donnici, who did the cover art for HEALER’S TOUCH, is deeply caught up in his work for the next Pirates movie, and so my publisher and I have opted to seek another cover artist. I’ve identified some possibilities from Deviant Art, so now we wait to find out if any are up for a commission …

Feel free to let me know if you know (or are) someone interested. We’d be looking for a similar drawing style to Matt (strong realism).

 

Writing Progress

Wow. Holiday Season, eh? It’s a strange one. In theory, you have all this time that you don’t have during the rest of the year … Yeah. Not so much. I worked through to Christmas, and my son’s kindy/daycare was open till Christmas Eve, then I couldn’t work on the non-statutory days because I had a child at home, but neither could I write because I had a child at home and my husband was working the non-stat days … Long days, too. So, it has been a very tiring time all round. However,

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December Update

And where did December come from, eh? Every year it just seems to come from out of nowhere, pounce on our backs, dig its incisors into our necks and shake us like a terrier to a rat?

No? Just me, then?
That’s right. I see you shrugging meekly over there. Takes you by surprise, too, doesn’t it?

Well, here we are now, barely more than a week from a whole new year and all that it will bring.

Roll on 2015? I think so.

News

Right, news.

Not a lot, other than that I now have an approximate release date for WARRIOR’S TOUCH, which is Spring (that’s Autumn for us Southern Hemisphere-ites) 2015. Before you get too excited (I saw you), I feel a need to caution that it will probably be late Spring/Autumn, especially when we consider that my cover artist won’t be available until March as it is. But at least we have something to aim for. And between now and then there will be cover reveals and other marketing ploys to get us all excited and stuff …

 

Writing Progress

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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

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October Update

Wah! It’s the 20th October already. Where did the time go?

News

Well, not long after last month’s post, I signed a contract with Kristell Ink (Grimbold Books) for them to publish WARRIOR’S TOUCH (look, it’s on their Future Releases page).

Matt Donnici, the cover artist for HEALER’S TOUCH, has given us the nod for also doing the WARRIOR’S TOUCH cover. Hope to get started on discussing ideas soon.

Ooh, yeah… I wrote a guest blog post last month for A Woman’s Wisdom. After attending the talks by the marketing manager from Smashwords, I decided to write a post about doing it your way. If you’re a(n aspiring) writer, the amount of advice online can seem overwhelming, and some of it can come from such a convincing voice of reason it may truly seem like the best/only way to do things. But, if there is one thing I have learnt on my short journey, there is no ONE right way to do any of it. Outline/don’t outline, Self-publish/seek representation, publish as you write/amass a back-catalogue first… Half the time, you won’t know what’s right until you’re doing it/have done it. And that’s OK! So, yeah… I wrote a POST.

And… that’s about it!

Writing Progress

October has been the first month of real progress on MAGICIAN’S TOUCH. After a very busy September

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September Update

News

First up, the Grimbold Books Kickstarter project “From Dream to Team” surpassed its target and, I believe, reached its stretch goal. Thank you so much to everyone who backed it.

The fact is that not all of us authors are ready to self-publish right out of the gate, but neither may we be prepared to sign our lives over to a large publisher. But good small publishers are hard to find and be confident in. Oh yes, they’re out there, but you just never know.

I took a punt on Kristell Ink, just as they took a chance on me. They were new, I was new, but both sides felt each had a future.

It’s hard to get a brand new book from a brand new author noticed. It’s not a lot easier when it’s pushed by a brand new publisher. Kristell Ink, and Grimbold Books as a whole, have done their darnedest to give each of their books a good shot, but it’s been a slow road for us all (well, except for the success of February’s HT BookBub promo). Sammy and Zoë have funded the book productions themselves, so far, with, I imagine, little reward to date. This Kickstarter will help them fund the next round of books, and get them under the kinds of noses that other people listen to. Yes, this may mean that WARRIOR’S TOUCH will have something of a delay in coming out (it takes time to get books onto NetGalley and the like, but that’s what the big players do, to help their authors make a big splash come release day). If WARRIOR’S TOUCH is as good a book as I think it is (and, in my opinion, it is significantly better than HEALER’S TOUCH), then I want to make sure it has the best chance of being noticed by the many when it launches onto the world’s stage. I want to please my already keen readers and get it to them as soon as possible. But my “career” (she says with a day job still to go to) is still very much a fledgling. I’d love to see it make inroads to taking off.

So we wait.

Writing Progress

About a week after my August Update I penned a new opening to MAGICIAN’S TOUCH that I feel is a keeper… for now. It’s enough

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Mechanical Spider Logo

August Update

Mechanical Spider Logo

Hello again. Back for another monthly update, eh?

This one will be particularly telling, because it will let me know how well I’ve transferred everything to my new website host…

…and it’s long.

News

My publisher, Grimbold Books (the parent company to Kristell Ink, the imprint that published Healer’s Touch) is currently running a Kickstarter to help them grow their brand and publish more quality books. This post they shared yesterday explains why it might be important to you:

For reasons why the Kickstarter is important to Grimbold Books, go check out the listing. There’s a video. I sung…

Writing Progress

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