Monday, 2 September 2019



It counts.

     Before heading into the post: I've set up a monthly author newsletter which includes a free 7-page short story for subscribers, and I wrote a post recently on my author website which summarises my mistakes in self-publishing and what I've learned from them - and, subsequently, what other soon-to-be self-published authors need to keep in mind.
   Now, onwards...

    I spent the first day of autumn at the North Somerset Bird of Prey Centre's open day, outlining my month's book plans. It's nice to get out of the house, into some fresh air and around lots of animals I wouldn't usually get the chance to get so close to. I also admit that, while I hate people - I really hate people - it's a great opportunity to observe lots of different age groups, enthusiasm levels and general behaviour, which is something I seriously miss out on when I'm home all the time as a carer (though that in turn gives me plenty of opportunity to write). I also held a 3-week-old baby rat which made my month already, held a peregrine/aplomado falcon who did a great job in the flying display, and flew a barn owl. It was the best open day of theirs that I've been to. Sadly, also the last of the year, but they'll be open again on the first Sunday of March (I think - check out their facebook page for up to date into and thousands of amazing pictures).

   Otherwise, I admit, I'm struggling. I'm grounded in the trilogy, after a few weeks of doubt and feeling like I'd lost sight of things after 2 long books already, but now it's Salus who is causing problems for me. He's exhausting. And while his circumstances change in book two, they change again in book three and he should be more enjoyable to write, but he just seems to trail exhaustion behind him. Whenever I have to write him, I completely deflate. I love him, I do, but the shadows around him are thick and stifling, and that means I'm a lot slower to get anything done when he comes around. But, better that than plowing through. I want to portray him in the best way I can, and if it's not coming naturally because of all of that, I have to slow down. Sub-par villains are unacceptable and I refuse to do less than my best.

   Other than that, I'm pretty happy with how it's progressing, and I've been reading The Fantasy Fiction Formula ('cause now I'm not ascared of learnin') and discovering a few ways to improve my work, but also that, otherwise, I'm doing a surprising amount right. My confidence in my skill is rising, and even further after a recent talk with an editor. I've started up an author newsletter, my Instagram is surprisingly alive (with bookish things), and my website is updated occasionally, but only with worth-while things (free short stories, writing tips and book promos, all of which are rare as it is, simply because of the work required to do them - it isn't neglect!)

   I have a few other exciting things lined up for this month, and a few things in the pipelines for possible reveal next year, but nothing I want to talk about until I have a solid foundation. As the old duck said: don't tell people your plans, show them your results.

   Also, I am, of course, working on Etsy. I only plan to keep the shop open for two more years, three at most if my other plans are delayed, but I'd like to go out with a bang, and I have Christmas this year to prepare for anyway. But, rather than do what I'd prefer and make animals that appeal to me, I've opted to make some that might actually sell, so I have lots of domestic dogs and cats to paint! And remember: custom orders, including the custom korok listing, are only taken until mid-November due to the amount of general orders. If there's anything you'd like, get in touch in October, because I may have to stop accepting them as soon as November 1st if business is higher than anticipated.

   That's all for now. I will be back.


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