News and a New Story

Rook

I am so behind on blogging — obviously I’ve been doing a lot of other things! Late May and June is gardening season, so I’ve been doing a great deal of that. It’s wonderful to get outside and active, and work with plants. I love doing the clean-up jobs, where you take an overgrown mess and make it lovely. I enjoy doing regular maintenance too, and what little planning and planting I’ve been responsible for (something I’m looking forward to doing more of as time goes on, in my own gardens and others’), but clean-ups are a delight.

Only in the garden, or on paper (for I suppose editing is a similar process). My apartment is not in the spectacularly untidy range, but it is far less tidy and organised than it could or ought, to be. I definitely work better in a cleaner and more organised space, which it definitely isn’t at the moment. That’s a goal for the next twenty-four hours, before I leave for a long weekend in Baltimore to go to my cousin’s wedding. When I come back I have a lot and a lot to do — several gardening jobs, someone’s dissertation to edit, hopefully two short stories to finish, and … my novel to lay out and get ready for publication. Till Human Voices Wake Us has come back from my editor (I think I can call the writer friend with whom I’m exchanging editing/copy-editing work that), and it’s now up to me to do the lay-out, formatting, and proofreading.

I am super excited about this process. I have finally solved part one of my InDesign learning woes, which indeed was as easy as I suspected it would be; I needed to hold down the shift key while pressing another one (seriously, this held me up for hours until I finally found someone who explicitly stated it…), but merely revealed how many other basic things there are to learn before I have a print-worthy text. Nevertheless, it is a tremendously fun process and I have high hopes the novel will be out soon. Maybe even by the end of June if I’m particularly quick at learning InDesign! Don’t worry, I shall be sure to tell you all once it is actually available.

In other news, I have finally got this month’s short story up. The story itself was ready to go on time (Sunday), but I got hung up on the cover. This teaches me not to leave that till the last minute. I am not so good an artist, nor so good at GIMP, that I can rush through the process. My desired picture really should not have been all that difficult to draw, even for me, but I couldn’t find a good photograph to model it off of and my ability to go from my imagination is limited, alas. I’m working on it … and instead did the chestnut leaves rather than the crow strutting along.

I also ended up changing the title of the story, but that was because the original one — which I still like — was too long for my typographical skills and time constraints. (“The Night in which All Cows are Black” may just have to wait for another incarnation. Perhaps one that draws a bit more obviously on the Hegelian and Romantic undertones to the phrase.) So, the much shorter and punchier “Rook” it is. Now available for the month of June over on my author website (click on the picture, or you can go from here.)

Also available, in case you missed it when it was up for free, or if you wish to support my writing habits, is “Inkebarrow” — a short story about Shakespeare — which is now available from Amazon, Kobo, Smashwords, and hopefully iTunes (it goes through a distributor, and I am still a bit baffled by how it works. Baby steps …). Next month will be either the next Scheherezade or the next Will Shakespeare story — it depends on which I finish first. Or indeed which cover I finish first, if that ends up being the limiting factor again …

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