Where does the month go? One minute I'm clicking send for the September blog and now its the end of October.
This has been a busy month for me - as usual - I can hear you groan. Apart from my 'normal job' I've helped my niece by writing the clues for a Thanet-wide Halloween Treasure Hunt. The Gift Box is running this event, free of charge, for the entire week in an effort to support local businesses. You can spend the week seeking out the answers and the children are going to love it. There's a free prize draw for those who return their answers, plus a photo competition for the best photo with one of the surprise items found in store. You can obtain a clue sheet from the Gift Box FB page just click on the Gift Box link above.
October saw me undertaking lots of family functions and activities. Something I used to do with my sister's children, I've decided to innovate with her grandchildren. I took the first one of them to Gravity trampolining at Blue Water and had a brilliant day jumping around like a loon. I was so glad I'd lost a stone in weight before I went, I was exhausted anyway, but happy seeing a child so free.
After that, there was our Wedding anniversary which saw us off to Ashdown Forest, plenty of writing images for me to enthuse over. Then more anniversaries and birthday evenings with relatives. I'm surprised the weight hasn't piled back on. Fortunately I think the Karate is keeping it at bay.
I ran a session on writing for Young Adults during our Inspirations Writers Group Meeting Saturday. Yes, we are still meeting up via Zoom, which is really easy to attend if you have access to a smart phone, or tablet, or laptop etc. You don't need to be a member to attend meetings, come along and decide whether it's for you.
Joining costs £5 per year. That £5 gives you membership to the National Association of Writers Groups (which normally costs £25 per person, if you live in the UK). They are running on-line workshops, hold residential festivals and retreats and provide a regular newsletter. The £5 is worth that alone.
But there's more. You get access to our four private closed FB pages where we have a general group page, plus critiquing, notes and publishing pages.
And that's not all, IWG has its own website at inspirationswritersgroup.weebly.com You can find the monthly homework on there, and write your own Author's Biography to add to our list of members.
And there's still more. As a member you are entitled to submit work for consideration to be included in any/all of our Anthologies. We have a proved track record and have four publications already on the market. We publish every 12 - 18 months (Covid willing).
All this for £5? - unbelievable.
And that was just Saturday morning! The afternoon saw me supporting friend and fellow author, Faye Beerling, as she launched her first middle grade storybook, Twisty Tales, via Zoom. I was delighted to be asked to read an except from her delightful and imaginative book. I choose to read about the naughty Bored Brian. Joined by Reg Millison aka Reg E. Mental, we had a great time reading and laughing at the antics and the comeuppance of various individuals with Reg singing us out.
You haven't mentioned your own writing, you yell, for a change. No I haven't, I'm still reviewing the proof edited version of What If? I've been spinning between sending to more agents or publishing myself. I've organised my cover illustrator so we'll see. It'll probably be a 2021 publication either way. Likewise Quest for Courage.
I've organised and paid for (not cheap) the printing of Book One of Aquasapien. If it comes back okay it'll be Book Two next. Remember if you have the original, it'll be a limited edition as I'm not getting any more printed in full. You can still purchase the few remaining copies off my Estore found via this site. I deliver anywhere in the world. My mind is being drawn to Book Three Aquasapien Prodigy and finishing that next. However, I have another story, A Sackful of Dragons, calling me too and several more baying in my folders.
Until next time - Stay Safe and Well. And remember you can listen to Witch on the Warpath on my YouTube channel. This week's Chapter was thwart with bloopers and edits galore. My son in threatening to produce a Blooper Special. I replied "no one will want to see those." We will wait and see.
And so a new month flies in and I'm half way through it before I realise, "My blog! I haven't done October's blog yet!" Work has kept me very busy being the front-line key worker for my place of employment. Fortunately, things are going very well there and no problems we can't handle have materialised. Half-term is around the corner and thankfully I can breathe easy for a couple of weeks.
Sadly, like everyone else all my planned author signings and Comicon's got cancelled and shifted to 2021. Its a blow because it costs a fair amount of money to publish each book and not to have many sales except from on-line (which I receive less for) and hard copies sold by Page Turners via Facebook in Thanet and Quex Barn, Birchington. I know shameless plug, but I learnt long ago when I started this game, that selling your work also involves revising what level you consider your pride to be worth. Its taken several knocks over the years, not least from being turned down by the traditional publishing world up till now. I can tell you if you can survive that, promoting your own work is a breeze.
So, "what are you doing this month?" I hear you cry. I'm very happy because I've been asked to read for another author's book launch, via Zoom, on Saturday 24th October. Faye Beerling, is an internationally known author, who recently moved to Thanet and has had her first middle grade novel for children traditionally published. Faye is a member of the British Society of Literature and I have been considering joining the society myself for a short while. However, in this Covid climate I'm not sure whether now is the right time. If anyone has views on this please let me know.
In addition to Faye's launch, and hosting Inspirations writers group meeting on Young Adult Writing, on the same day in the morning, I've a month packed with family birthdays, anniversaries - including my own and other assorted celebrations. Originally we were going to Yorkshire, my husband doing a sponsored walk in aid of the Army BF, with a short trip to Scotland tacked on, but Covid has seen this cancelled, like my signings, to 2021.
Writing wise, What If? is with my proof editor. I'm reviewing the draft of Quest for Courage, Book three in the Witch on the Warpath series, which is weird because I never set out to do a series. I'm also in negotiations with my printing company Printing Book UK, regards getting my new Aquasapien cover designs sorted - and that's not cheap.
I just realised, an exciting month for me, doesn't necessarily make exciting reading to you the reader. Today, its the usual stuff we all have to do shopping, tip run - booked for 7 days time, ironing, feeding the brood and then back to writing.
Oh, and I've more reviews to add to Trip Adviser. Wonder if I can get my readership up to 100,000 before Christmas - challenge accepted. That is if Christmas is still allowed to go ahead this year. I can see that getting cancelled until 2021 as well. Except, I have noticed lots of Christmassy things in the shops. It would be ironic if we all purchased our stuff and then Boris announced, "No Christmas in 2020!" I'm guessing we'd all answer, "Humbug, Mr Scrooge."