FROM INDIANA JONES TO BABY BIRDS
Half way through July and almost half way through reading Witch on the Warpath on YouTube (Carol M. Salter channel) Had some interesting feedback so far, the last one I mentioned in the intro for Chapter 16 - Crogg. Also managed to put a blooper into Chapter 15 to those who read until the end. Did another blooper today, but that definitely won't be making its way on to YouTube. Can't believe I made the same mistake twice. My son/IT guru has decided to keep it for his own personal amusement. I'd like it deleted since its X-rated. Its not the only one but the full weight of my frustration comes through in just the one word expletive. That wasn't my first, but its thankfully the only one saved.
On the disappointing news front. The August Craft fair in Folkestone I was due to do an author's signing at has been cancelled, and today I learnt the short story Figures, that I wrote and entered into the Thanet Writers competition didn't get Long-listed. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for my next submission, Life After Covid, written for the Faversham Eye competition, but my positivity is slightly dented. Its at times like this I wish I could have a few glasses of wine to soak in my misery. All this and a Sulphate allergy too double Pah!. Finding wine I can drink is like an adventure for Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, or should that be Doombar because I can't drink beer either - or cider.
Moving on from my self-pity. I'm deep into my re-write of What If, re-working the story, plot, geography and characters. Struggling to find a printing company, I can afford, to print my new books for Aquasapien. I'd like the title to be in metallic but my current printer don't do metallic. My previous printers are way too expensive and another I was recommended went out of business in 2018. Others recommended only do leaflets and brochures, not book printing. Any ideas welcome. Comment below.
Cute news alert. I picked up a baby blackbird yesterday being chased around my garden by the cat. I have two and despite wanting to leave it as I'm supposed to, it didn't stand a chance. My cat had eyed it up as a mid-evening snack. The local RSPCA centre is also closed or I would have whipped it up there. Lots of research on Google. Definiately a blackbird.
Apparently they fall out of the nest at 9 days old and live under bushes and trees until day 13/14 when they are supposed to be able to fly. I don't think this one is 9 days yet. Its a bolshi character, and loud? my goodness how it didn't get eaten days ago I'll never know. Fortunately I keep chick food for just such an occasion. The last chick I reared was a green finch who wouldn't fly and we had for two years. You can also soak cat or dog kibble to feed them, but NEVER give them anything with milk in it. It can be fatal. (cute photo curtesy of Yorkshire Times)
So, here I am half hourly feeding for the next few days. I've transferred him into a bigger cage since he survived the night. The first day is always the one when you know if they are going to make it. At least its taken my mind off my failure. I did hope to make the long list. (no it hasn't!) It must be fate because I've also just finished volunteering at the local hospital and the school has closed for two weeks. It was meant to be.
A quick thank you to the Linen Room Team for making me feel so welcome. I loved being part of your team.
It was weird being there. Thank you to management for their support and the new bin. And also Thank you for all the cards, gifts and flowers. I got more stuff, feedback and praise in those few months than I ever remember whilst working in the NHS for 40 years.
I began nursing in 1975 as a Cadet Nurse and my first ever placement was the Linen room at the then Isle of Thanet Hospital (aka QEQM Hospital). Forty six years later, and where does the Volunteer Co-Ordinator send me to work? You guess it - The Linen Room. It made me humble, excited and reflective. They say what goes around, comes around. Lets hope its only true for my work and not Covid 19.
Got to celebrate this week as finished my first draft of Quest for Courage at 87,000 words. Thank you to everyone who sent me congratulations on FB, that made my day. Have set that aside now. My methodology for writing always involves putting completed work away for several weeks and working on something different. This means I can come back to the 2nd draft without a emotional head tied up with the awesome story, but a logical head ready to review, critique and refine.
Picked up the draft of What If, to commence revising that came back from the editor a while back. Must admit I'd been putting it off, but with Q4C finished I'd no excuse any more. Somewhat emotional beginning. Lots to think about, lots to amend/adapt. When I started writing the inital first pages in 2017 it was set in England, the characters English. Somewhere along the way I ended up using places in the USA I know well because it gave me the landscape and city structures I needed. Unfortunately, those type of places are rare in England so those reading in England would know there wasn't any place like those here. That in turn leads to credibility dropping on the plot and story.
So, while you lot have been enjoying lockdown I've been to Ontario, Canada. Sounds good? It would have been if I'd was able to travel there, but due to Covid I've had to make do with my best friend, Google. Now my story, originally set in the imaginary town of Hewell in South East England is set in Sudbury. Still sounds like its an English town right? But this one isn't.
Interesting to view Canada on the map, didn't really appreicate the layout of the land, nor the amount of English towns like London, Chatham, Kent etc there are. Spent one afternoon exploring the sewer system of Greater Sudbury and getting to know the road layout around the town and surrounding areas. I feel like I've been on a field trip, especially using the walking icon to stroll down streets and check out names. It was weird like I'd written it for Sudbury. I found the apartment block in my story, situated right across the road from the church too, also in this story. The garage and other places exist, making it feel slightly spooky. Maybe I flew there in one of my larger-than-life dreams rather than on a Boeing 747?
So, I'm adapting the geography as I re-write and taking in the comments and suggestions from my editor too. I was hoping to publish this year, but realistically its likely to be 2021. Maybe 1st April like previously, or May Day (1st May). So far I've used Halloween, (31st Oct) World Aids Day (1st December) and April Fools Day (1st April) Ideas welcome.
My next booked event selling my work is the Craft Fair on 31st August at the Leas Folkestone. I'm waiting to hear if that goes ahead. Then there's the possibility of Wyntercon 2020 in Eastbourne in September. Another craft Fair in Dover at the Town Hall on 10th October, Reading Comicon in November which I have paid for and booked my hotel. Then a final Xmas Fair in Sandwich in December. Fingers crossed on all of these. A lot less sadly than originally booked, thanks Covid. Actually It might be a good idea to list my events on a separate page so folk can see where and when I am. I'd love folk to drop by even if its just to say hello. Next job.
Stay safe and well everyone.