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Posts Tagged ‘Writing’

Time really speeds up when you’re are busy with life. It’s been a bit of this and that.

On the writing front I went to the ARRA awards in Sydney and it was great to catch up with people and feel like a writer again. I got all inspired and borrowed ideas for ways to promote me and my books at places like Gammacon in Canberra in July and Geek Markets later in the year and the ARRA signing in February in Sydney and Melbourne.

I’ve also been working on getting books out. I have the edit back of The Changeling Curse (that’s under the Dani Kristoff name) and I’ve got comments on Awakenings so that’s next in the chute for edit. I did manage to sneak away for a few days to write. I started the first chapter of Lightning Strike, which is a sequel to The Changeling Curse. Let’s hope that doesn’t take years! And I started a short SF story. However, since being back there’s just too much going on at home.

I’ve finally put in an order for a pull up banner and a banner for the back part of my table. I’m just in the middle of trying to get a table runner set up too. Meanwhile I’m getting these custom book marks made (Thanks Keri) as well. This means that my table and books will be presented at least.

There has been a change of government here in Australia, with a few more independents, which will make things interesting. There’s still heaps of Covid around and a war in the Ukraine.

On the weekend though we went to Sydney and to Luna Park. I tried the new Big Dipper. I went twice but you know I didn’t want to have a stroke so I didn’t go a third time. Also, the girl who looks you in said “Back again?” possibly because I’m old! Lol. We were so luck to have such a great day sandwiched between two rainy days. I also got to try out Sydney’s public transport, buses, trains, light rail and ferries. We stayed on Coogee Beach at the Coogee Sands and I highly recommend it. They had free parking and it was just a step outside to the promenade. Anyway, here are some shots.

As you can see great day
Great view under the bridge from Milsons Point
Through the bus stop windows
Caught the sea gull taking off
From the roof of the Coogee Bay Sands

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It’s been a year since my last post. That’s totally unforgivable, even in these trying times. A lot has happened. None of it writing fiction. I hang my head. However, I am writing again or trying to. Perhaps I’m just too precious but I am affected emotionally and mentally by world events. Like a number of author friends I’m finding it hard to be creative.

A short recap of the last year. My partner lost his job in April (made redundant) but it’s not as bad as it sounds. He inherited a farm and if we could sell that between his superannuation pension and the sale of the farm he could be a full time writer (Me Too!). This meant cleaning out the farm, doing some renovations to make it habitable and selling it. Of course, pandemics don’t help much there and we were locked down for nearly three months when we could have been selling. As well as painting, flooring etc, I started a job to keep us ticking over. I’m still working but now I’m only three days a week and that’s pretty good so far. Working and renovations did take it out of me and I had to put aside the sourdough baking.

We also took a couple of trips to NZ on family business mid year. (when the country was open and just made it back before the borders slammed shut). That did not turn out how we thought it would. Counseling and recovery later, we are getting there. Without going into too much detail, this really changed everything, our house, what we thought our lives would be and we were left going on okay but slightly damaged. Sorry I can’t be more explicit.

Locked down with my daughter and granddaughter in August/September and into October. That was so hard. Both my daughter and I working from home. Child care of a two year old. My partner was amazing. My younger son was here too. Lockdown was damn hard. The news is damn hard. I agree with mask mandates, lockdowns and staying safe and even then I found it very, very hard. I had to have more counseling to cope with it, particularly after lockdown when Omicron started spreading. I was beginning to doubt we would have Christmas. Then, dealing with ‘living with COVID’ was also another change. I felt as if we had been tossed to the wind to fend for ourselves.

It isn’t all bad you know. I managed somehow to submit my PhD thesis in December. Although it didn’t go out to markers until March, due to COVID, missing forms and I don’t know what else. I believe this is something to be happy about but emotionally I’m just drained. We had a great Christmas. We survived lock down and we are all still speaking to each other.

We sold the farm and are just waiting on settlement.

One of my daughters was able to move into a brand new townhouse which was delayed. She loves it. And it’s not too far away.

We bough an electric car (KONA EV) and we love it. At first we couldn’t go anywhere much but we are doing a little bit now.

Meet Ruby Red

My partner had two books come out in hardback and audible. We think the paperbacks will be out soon. He’s starting to get his writing mojo happening again. Those two books took him about five years while looking after two elderly parents, then losing them a year apart. Then you know, smoke, hail, fire, pandemic and things really haven’t let up.

Here they are. The paperback of The Serpent and the Saint comes out April 12.

Link to Amazon (for Kindle version or preorder paperback)https://www.amazon.com/Urdesh-Serpent-Saint-Warhammer-000-ebook/dp/B096BFVK6X/ref=donna00-20
Link to Amazon (for kindle version or preorder paperback) https://www.amazon.com/Urdesh-Magister-Martyr-Warhammer-000-ebook/dp/B09KVF2PLJ/ref=donna00-20

I’ve been quilting. Two examples below.

Crafting has been a godsend. I just totally lose myself. I’m still learning. I haven’t been weaving because we moved my floor loom into the garage as part of the house changes mid year and we haven’t sorted that out yet. My craftroom is being used as a bedroom. I was doing a lot of crochet and other craft until I gave myself RSI. It’s better now but I’m limiting myself to a row of Matthew’s blanket a night.

Front side of French Braid pattern.
Reverse side has a Maori inspired design

The pink quilt was for my sister. Both quilts used Jelly Rolls by Moda. The pink one had to be completely unpicked and re-sewn. It is an easy quilt in theory but YouTube tutorials don’t always give you all the technique

In progress shot

Also, while we didn’t garden this year due to renovation on the farm, I did manage to buy in tomatoes to make passata earlier in the month. A year’s supply and tomato ketchup too.

The results and the mess

There is more obviously to be grateful for. My grandkids and kids are safe. So are my family and friends as far as I know.

What’s changed though for me is my attitude to socialising. I also wonder will we ever be the same again. We went out for my son’s birthday to a restaurant, inside, with other people. First time in a long time and it felt transgressive. We had been socialising two on two on our deck or in cafe’s without outdoor seating until then. There is still so much COVID around. Then again, I’ve been at the pool recently and that’s just asking for it I suppose. However, I have prepaid and the pool have been very good all year stretching my visits out but once the government opens things up, the clock starts ticking again. I have such big lock down belly. I swear we drank two gins and ate three bags of chips a night in lock down. We also ate a lot of takeaways and chocolate. All my hard work in losing kilos. I got down to 65 kilos in July and I’ve put 10 back on. That’s not good for my health or knees. We are trying to get some kind of routine going, walking in the evenings, the pool and eating healthily. (I just ate dahl and a pork bun not sure how good that is).

Writing encompasses a number of tasks and projects and plans. As I manage my own ebooks on market places and do my own marketing, that’s all slid in a heap. Books are still selling here and there but I’ve not done anything much at all to help things along. The only thing I’ve managed is to do my BAS and my taxes. So when I start to think about writing, it’s not just the writing part, it’s the whole, newsletter and promotions as well. I’m totally out of the game and things change in one year…I wasn’t doing much before then either. Two years is a better estimate.

To get books published, I have to write them, revise them, get them edited etc. I have a couple that are getting close. To be honest they have been close for two years. One is a Dani Kristoff title, called The Changeling Curse, an ex rated paranormal fantasy. I received two beta reader comments on this and one lot of comments requires me to think. So that’s in the too hard basket. I have an editor lined up. Have had for a year. Next cab waiting is Awakenings which is a SF kind of romance. It was very much a romance but my beta reader (thanks Nicole) convinced me to ditch the sex scenes and concentrate on the SF side of things. That’s getting close to being sent out again to beta readers.

I started a kids book for NaNoWriMo in 2020. (I don’t think NaNoWriMo registered in 2021 with work and pandemic). I’ve been tinkering with that so I can finish the draft and send it out to beta readers.

These are only a fraction of what I have in the way of projects in progress or on the to be written list. But if I did happen to knuckle down I could achieve quite a bit. Having a backlog makes concentrating hard because you know…choice!

I hope I’m over this slump. I will try to blog again to update on my progress. I can’t say I’ll be the same as before because I don’t think I am or will be. Cheers from me and Matthew from our High Tea at the Hyatt last Monday. (Don’t know why he’s focussing on the glass!)

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It is not possible to fight change. you have to roll with the punches. One minute you think you are heading this way and the next something alters, a new path arises and whammo, your future looks different.

I can’t really talk specifically about this change because while it affects me it’s not my news. We were going to refiniance and borrow heaps of $$$$ to renovate our house. We were almost there to signing when something changed and now we aren’t going through with it. I’m not upset or annoyed. We will be fine, but it does mean some short term stress to effect a positive change in our lives.

My partner is a writer. He gets paid and he has been writing while I’ve been slacking off doing this Phd gig. Although the Phd thing is getting closer, and closer to completion soon I’ll be wondering what I’m going to do with myself. Anyway, I think by the end of the year there will be lots more writing going on from both of us. That’s all the hint you are going to get. No I have not sold a novel…but I might finish one or two or maybe three.

I did something weird and extraordinary last night though. Instead of vegging in front of Netflix, I came upstairs and started revising a novel I last looked at in November 2019. I am 31 pages in. Yay me. I thought it might shock Matthew to know that while he was in his office diligently working on his revisions, I was in mine next door. It was thrilling and exciting. This is a paranormal romance I’m working on for my Dani Kristoff name and is the sequel to The Sorcerer’s Spell, featuring werewolves and sorcerers set in Canberra (mostly).Anyway, I was excited because I deleted words, trimmed and crafted sentences and otherwise behaved in a writierly fashion. Sigh.

It felt so good.

In other news, we had a craftanoon here on Sunday and I got out the tiered platter for some high tea shenanigans. Yes, there were scones, jam and cream. I finished my first ever embroidery kit after maybe seven years…cough. We had loads of fun. It is the second one I have hosted and it was relaxed and lovely. I have had to slow down on the crochet due to elbow issues. Today though I felt the call of the garden and attacked the forest that is the yard with the weed trimmer and now I’ve crawled up here to my office to do some real work. Cough.

We don’t have rampant covid here so we can almost lead a normal life and do things like socialise carefully. I am very grateful for that. I probably won’t get vaccinated until later in the year when it’s my turn. Australia is only now rolling out the vaccines. I’m so pleased that people I care about in the UK and the USA are getting vaccinated.

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It’s the time of the pandemic. I’m not the only one to be swiped sideways with fear, with forced solitude and a mind that switches from baking to apocalyptic thoughts with each breath.

I try (am trying, will continue to try and tried) to be positive, to switch this situation into an opportunity. I managed to focus and work hard for weeks on my second draft of my PHD exegesis. Yay me! And then I decided to go on a short break for August an possibly into September. And that’s the snag. Freedom!

So from previous posts you can see I haven’t wasted my time completely (although that remains to be seen) as I’ve been querying agents in a time of turmoil, economic disruption and so on…Just so we are clear about the odds of success. This is not my issue. It’s being able to switch between tasks. Can I query an agent, work an hour on a WIP, do a bit of family history research and weave for an hour in a day? No!

I get into a groove so it’s only querying agents for hours…or going down a family history research wormhole. I bake bread but that’s about it. Why can’t I be focussed on other things too? I’m going to say here that I should do a schedule because I’m pretty good at sticking to them when I’m committed. But there’s the hitch. Commitment!

But maybe I’m being to hard on myself because I’ve got ideas. Ideas for new projects and they are good ones. One I’ve drafted an outline for, another is an idea I’ve had for years and suddenly got more ideas for so it’s actually starting to be a plot.

Why don’t I write the damn things? Give myself permission?

And that’s my issue. I’ve got excuses.

I’ve other projects in various states of progress. A first draft that needs a revision from scratch, a revision that I nearly finished last year that I started again, another novel that needs to be restructured into a duology, another project waiting to be revised. All these are novel length.

I used the excuse before that I must focus on the PhD until it’s done but you know I waste a lot of time not doing things. I’m not tutoring this semester and I’m probably not likely to get any more in future so the excuse that I’m brain dead or exhausted isn’t there. I’m home most of the time. What is my damn problem?

I feel I can’t go forward until I get this backlog addressed. But that’s probably not the right attitude. If I am thinking of selling then I should write the book that I think is the most commercial, the one most likely to succeed.

I was just chatting to my son about this and he was right in pointing out that it is the finishing that’s important. I like drafting novels but the hard part is the revision, the thinking, the reworking. And the more your write, the better you become.

I think this calls for a bit of soul searching. A bit of tapping into my passion and enthusiasm. I think I’m looking for hope as we all are. Maybe instead of a schedule I should set a number of time based goals. One hour of this, one hour of that and see how that goes. Yeah. I’m going to do that and see how it goes.

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Apologies for my absence. I’ve been head down working on the second draft of my exegesis to a deadline. The deadline was my supervisor going on long service leave until early 2021 and so if I wanted his feedback I had to get the damn thing drafted by mid-July. Phew! I made it.

The novel for my Phd was mostly done before, but I had a sensitivity read by a non-binary person and managed to make some changes while checking over the manuscript. For the purpose of the PhD that novel is done. It’s parked until it’s time to submit and copy edit etc. This means I am now free to try to shop it around. If it sells there will be two versions. The one I’ve parked won’t change and there will be a published version.

I’ve started the ball rolling on selling the novel. I have to mentally prepare for rejections and silence. On the bright side, I have a bit more time to work at a slower pace on the third draft of the exegesis so I’m taking a short break to work on other projects. I’ve been dabbling in family history and that’s so addictive. It’s like a puzzle game. I’ve had to stop now or so I tell myself. And I’m working on a science fiction romance I drafted years ago and I hope to get that into shape for submitting or publishing before I have to get serious with the PhD again. I have a few novels in progress and one I should be drafting but I can’t do it all with a PhD on the boil.

I’ve started the intermittent diet because wow social isolation, iso baking and sitting on my arse! Oh dear. I may not succeed but as I’m getting older, the weight just goes on quickly.

My son has been staying with us and hopefully will be able to return home to China soon. He works and lives there. It has been lovely to have him around and he cooks too so ‘oh dear’.

I’m hoping that y’all are coping okay with the pandemic restrictions. I feel like I don’t have friends anymore. It’s weird. There’s Facebook and stuff but it still feels distant and strange. The restrictions in Canberra are easing but with the outbreak in Victoria and New South Wales I can’t help but be fearful and careful about exposure. It is also gut wrenching when I come up against the Covid-19 conspiracy stuff. I’ll just not start on that.

I chose not to participate in the New Zealand World con, mostly because I was head down and busy but I anticipated stress so bowed out. I was a member but I didn’t attend. I’m sad for New Zealand. What a blow!

This time last year I was at David Farland’s fantasy workshop in Dublin the week before Worldcon.

Anyway, I’ll leave you with a picture of this bread I made. I sort of made up the recipe and the method. I used a biga (preferment) but only a part day but man did it get big. Bigger than my head.

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It’s been a long time between posts and I really don’t have an excuse. Life if just hectic at times. I’ve also decided that my daughter and her new baby will come first this year. That decision requires refoccusing. And I’ve been baking bread, particularly sour dough. It’s therapeutic!

Still on the writing front things have been plodding on. At times, I do not understand this industry. I love writing and making up stories but at times it is hard to be positive about the longer term. Selling a book a day is not sustainable. I will try though to keep positive!

Emerald Fire, Cry Havoc Book Two was free on Amazon for five days and people downloaded a lot of it (635). I was shocked. Ruby Heart , Cry Havoc Book One, hardly had any downloads in comparison and that was the book one (about 120). I umed and ahed about putting a book 2 on for free but I did and I’m not sure what it all means. I think my newsletter subscribers are waiting for Ruby Heart to be discounted again so they can have the set. I love writing this series so much. So much fun and research. I will be discounting Ruby Heart in May, which Emerald Fire goes wide.

Meanwhile, Argenterra, Silverlands Book one, has been 99 cents on all platforms for the whole of April. The sale ends on April 30. I even had a paid promotion and I’ve only shifted like 25 copies all up. That’s with newsletter shares and so on. The weird thing is the sell through on Argenterra appears pretty good. People do buy the next books in the series. I love the new covers. I’ll put links below in case you are tempted to sample.

I love the Silverlands series. Argenterra was the first fantasy I tried to write. My second novel ever, rewritten many times before it was ever published. I love the Argenterra world and the characters and the stories of the history.

You have until April 30 to get your 99 cent copy.

Buy links

amazon ibooks Kobo Google Nook

I have a collection of stories from Argenterra planned, ostensibly told from Kushlan Silvertongue’s point of view as commissioned by King Oakheart. A bit of a literary conceit there, having a story teller tell the story.

I’ll be releasing the stories one by one, at first, to introduce readers to the world of Argenterra and an extra for fans of the series. When they are done I will release them as a collection in one volume. They will be free or 99 cents.

The first one of these will be released in a couple of weeks as it is with the proofreader right now. That tale is Vorn and the First Comers, an appropriate place to start. I have thought about writing Vorn’s story as a prequel novel so the novella doesn’t cover the war, just the trip to Argenterra and early settlement. Here is the cover below. It’s from Patty Jansen’s premade cover store and I’ve been eyeing it off for ages.

It is stunning. It is a generic fantasy cover, I know, but evocative and beautiful.

Over the Easter break I did some writing, well technically revision as this novel was drafted years ago and I’m still working on it. I had feedback that meant I needed to change the title and confirmation of my thoughts on this SF romance of mine.

It’s a story that wants to be just SF without the romance, or it’s an SF romance that wants to be romance. In the end, I’ve decided to make it SF with romance on the side. You might think there is no difference, but there is.

Anyway I spied this cover on Patty’s site and I had been eyeing it off. My partner, Matthew, thinks Deleen’s pose is too sexy, but I think the cover is deliciously retro looking and reminds me some 80s’ covers of books say from Lois McMaster Bujold.

My great author buddy, Nicole Murphy, asked for the draft and she read it in one day. I’m gobsmacked! She gave me some great feedback and came up with the new title. The old one was ‘Cold Soldier’.

Patty was really good about retitling this cover many times. I haven’t got a blurb for this yet. They usually come last. I’m still working on the story too. This book having an identity crisis borked me from getting very far into the rewrites over the years. Now, I’m two thirds in and I’ll need to revise it again, but I feel I have better direction. It is also part of a planned series but not a trilogy. The stories should work on their own. Awakening should come out later this year. After I’ve done a few things like this blog post, I will return to it today.

No blurb as I said, but a bit of a teaser.

On peaceful Colony Five there is a coup in progress. The administrator is mysteriously replaced and security advisor, Deleen is sent on forced leave.  Previously unknown cryo soldiers are being taken out of people’s basements and burned in the city parks. People hiding the cold soldiers are being taken away and charged with treason. Disturbing as this is for Deleen, she senses danger as a kind of martial law is being enforced in the city. Then she starts having dreams of a man asleep in a glass case-a suppressed memory that is forcing its way out. She escapes the city her abandoned homestead to confront the past and save the present.

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Well you can tell that I’m not busy and stressed as I was as here is my next post, really soon after the last one.

Today, I started the polish of Moonfall. Normally, I’d wait a few weeks between the tidy up and a polish to get beta reader feedback. However, as the MS is booked in with the editor I can’t really wait.

Because I have RSI and arthritis and so on, I have to be careful how long I spend on the computer. The longer I spend on the computer the more attention I have to pay to ergonomics. One of the ways I tackle this is that I print out the MS in bits, read them, edit them and then key in changes later. On the weekend, this was proving a bit difficult so I went to Office Works and bought a copy stand. This allows me to have the MS held up at screen height, next to the screen and made the transcribing of the corrections so much more quicker, but also less demanding on my neck. I have a small space to work in and that meant holding the print out and trying to type stuff in. With the copy stand I have both hands free.

Here is a picture of it here. I was quite lucky because it was only around $50. I was expecting it to be more.

Today I started on the polish, now that I have sent Moonfall to beta readers. I’ve been having problems with the beginning of the book from the start. Not only because a mad woman wrote it. I fixed up the continuity stuff but then found I went on a bit. I was downstairs washing dishes and thinking about the problem when a solution came to me. I was so pleased. I managed to cut about 2000 words out of the first couple of chapters and reorganise it a bit better. I am pleased with the day’s work. I think the rest of the story is going along nicely so we will see how it goes tomorrow.

Writing books can be hard work. I think I drove myself to the very edge on the weekend. I’m surprised my brain is even working at the moment.

I believe going to see the new Solo moving probably helped me wind down. I loved it. Then again I loved the old Solo tie in novels, Han Solo at Stars End and so on. Matthew and I are both geeks and love Solo so we enjoyed the film. We saw Deadpool 2 last week. What a ripper! So funny and in your face. I like how it is so meta…aware of itself, Deadpool speaking to the audience as well as the other characters. Next one we are looking forward to is Ant Man and The Wasp.

Meanwhile…back at the book farm…I have uploaded Dragon Wine Volume Two. This is the third and fourth book in one volume and at a price that is cheaper than buying them separately. I intend to do a box set of the final two books too, maybe early next year and then the complete box set. Right now Dragon Wine Volume Two is only up on Amazon, but it will go up at other retailers soon. I just have to update Calibre before I can convert the file.

And once I have had a peek at the edit of Skyfire (due today) and work out how much work I have to do, I will put Skyfire up for pre-order. That’s my big news. I’ll come back here and let you know when it’s up.

So as a tease, here is the cover of Skyfire, coming soon to preorder status. The cover is from Frauke at http://www.crocodesigns.com

 

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It is interesting that sometimes you can’t tell that you are suffering from stress, or if you do how much it affects you, until the stress is gone. I feel so much better today.

The tutoring is over until semester two and the marking. That’s one big thing.

I had a paper to write for a presentation. I was stressed about that. I’ve drafted something. It’s pretty crap but at least it’s on paper and can be edited into sense.

The tidy up of Moonfall is done and it’s gone to beta readers. Phew! That was way behind schedule. The delay is related to the teaching and marking mentioned above and that some crazy woman wrote it and tidying it up was a huge think drain. Luckily, once I got past the beginning of the novel, it got easier. However, I’m still behind and will have to start polishing it now, rather than waiting for beta reader comments. Moonfall is booked in with the editor and I hate to not meet that deadline.

This morning I realised that I don’t have to be stressed about that. I should just take the time I need as I’m not tutoring and I can play around with my own timetable with the PhD. Once I have Moonfall out, all I have to do is focus on revising my novel and my exegesis (which I have not finished yet!!!).

All in all, I’m travelling okay!

Here is a peak at the cover for Moonfall. It is coming soon!

Moonfall-highres(1)

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This blog post is brought to you by systems failure. I have marking to do but the Uni’s website is down and all marking is in the computer system so damn…I also have face to face marking from 12 but that has a work around. I can’t even access my schedule. So either I’m going to sit there or the system is coming back on line and I’ll know when it is over.

This blog post is brought to you by a glitch…I think that would make an excellent short story title for the domino effect of a glitch and the end of the world. I’m sure someone has already written that. But there would be on evil overlord because the necessary spreadsheets for world domination would be inaccessible.

This post is going to be about writing. If that bores you look away now.

I’m currently revising or tidying up the first draft of Moonfall, which is the last part of the Dragon Wine series. This is a daunting task. You see the draft was written by a mad woman who obviously had no idea of continuity. I was suffering from RSI and some sort of brain fugue at the time of drafting and I wrote it in half hour sessions…and it shows.

I am up to chapter four. Oh man I want to kill this MS. I want to stab it in the heart. I want to pull my hair out. I wail into the darkness – why am I doing this?!

It’s painful. I can’t tell you why apart from the above. I have to think to fix the ms just to get it to beta readers. Then when they tell me what’s shit about the draft I have to think again and fix it. Then I send it to the editor who will no doubt tell me how completely shit it is again and I’ll have to take vitamin pills and think up some more stuff.

Why? Why am I doing this? Writing fiction? Writing any goddamn thing? I must be completely mad. I could be sewing or vegging in front of the tele or reading a book or drinking tea with friends.

If this sounds familiar to you then I am not alone. If you haven’t been through this then maybe you’ll recognise the signs at some stage. If you write perfect drafts without pain and are marvellous and gorgeous I could hate you.

I have to face the music. I was happy with the draft when I drafted it. It was the final instalment and I thought it kicked ass (arse!) but in the cold light of revising I can see so much wrong with it I want to cry. I don’t cry though, I get ranty.

Here I am ranting!

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I always forget all the things you have to do when you travel and all the costs involved that you don’t think about when you book that fateful ticket!

I had a big score today. My travel insurance is through my credit card and I don’t have to pay extra for coverage. Big win. I did, however, need to pay for a new passport.

I am not quite excited yet. I leave on Thursday morning from Canberra, fly to Sydney, then Sydney to Dallas and a late fright from Dallas to Indianapolis. I leave and arrive on the same day. It’s a weird kind of time travel. On my way home, I lose two days.

The other weird thing is that I booked to go earlier  so I could get a cheap flight. Hahahaha! Then I spend $1000 for accommodation for that week that I’m there earlier. That’s just stupid. I put up my hand. Yes, I’m stupid.

Being a writer, however, I can make use of that week, exploring the city, observing the culture, the food, putting all that experience to good use.

The reason I’m going is for the PCA conference where I’m giving a paper on my research. This is the first foray into the research results from the romance writers and readers. A good test run because when I get back I must start on the exegesis, which is an in depth look at the research. Even then, I probably won’t cover all of it as there’s just so much. People are talking about a book. Oh well, if I get funding I suppose I can write the book. I can relax a bit better now that I have the first cut of the presentation done.

I wanted to try to catch an SF convention while I was in the US but the PCA runs into Easter so I can’t. I have a couple of days after and they are hard to fill, mostly because I’m finding it hard to decide. Should I go to Chicago and check that place out. I have some stories set there so I could research the location. Or should I hang around Indiana and go up north to check out the Amish museum and stuff. Should I go or should I stay??? Argh. Then I had a thought to go to Nashville, or just fly to Dallas early and check out that city. Man oh man. Decisions. Decisions. DECISIONS!

I’ve sent Skyfire off to a beta reader for comments. My other beta readers are reading Sihe, my phd novel. I might have mentioned my editor for Dragon Wine Series went back to work at Pan Macmillan so I had to find someone else. That was good. All booked in for early May. That means a lot of hard work in April to get it ready. Yesterday I started on the tidy up of Moonfall, as that has to go to beta readers by the end of April if it’s to get to the editor in June. Who says there aren’t deadlines when you indy publish? You can’t muck people about. If you book something in it has to be ready. If the editor smashes it and tells me it needs more work that’s on me.

Also, while I’m away the Aurealis Awards will be announced. I have finally got Beneath the Floating City in Print. Here is a link to Amazon.

 

 

So the upshot is that I can safely say that Skyfire, Dragon Wine Part Five and Moonfall, Dragon Wine Part Six are coming soon.

A stay tuned for Donna’s travel blogs from Indianapolis, Indiana, USA>

 

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