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Friday, 27 May 2016

Release date announcement, and other jazz

Here I am, returning to write another post after some time away. This post will be part news, part promotion, part general chatter. It's a marvelous outlet, this blog.

The first piece of major news/promotion is that "Crystal and Sin, Vol. 2", the second volume of my adult science fiction story anthology (basically an anime turned into prose), is going to release on June 7, 2016. I've also got a release date for the third and final volume has also been pinned down. Just waiting for my sister Daisy to finish the cover art for the third volume. It's a tricky one, and she's preoccupied with writing tone poems and getting ready for university.

The second piece is the chatter relating to my recent visit to the dentist. Not good at the best of times, and when your head's a little gone with toxic cheese, it's even worse. Not that I knew the cheese was toxic at the time. Thankfully, the visit was over in a flash: complements about my prefect teeth, and being sent away with three extra months over most people. Due to the dentist appointment, this week appears to have gone by very slowly. Probably also the fact that I'm starting a new book, and I'm writing an opera libretto for my sister to work on. Along with all the other things I do around the house and garden.

Things are generally rosy for me, barring the chemical imbalances prompted by cheese and wheat and such. I've even got a little miniature garden to work on, with some Sempervivum, Artemisia, and Arenaria (don't know whether I've gotten the spelling right on all of them).

Friday, 20 May 2016

This Week: From Under the Pall

This week was a strange week for me. After two weeks of being a jittery, uncomfortable wreck due to worrying about whether my book will be a success or not, I came out from under the pall with renewed vigor. This also means that my writing is getting back to normal. I really can't write properly when I'm stressed, or when I've been unbalanced by something silly like the wrong thing in my diet. Thankfully, most of the time I keep myself fit for writing, and fit for plenty of other things when I'm away from my desk.

Something else that preoccupied me was working on a Wikipedia article....from scratch....with a byte count of 85,844.....expanding from my initial estimation to be three times its size and gather together 131 references for it. Thankfully, other editors are handling it now. I have no further obligation to the article, and I've left it into a state that's going to make it easy for them.

Watched the 1990 film adaptation of "Cyrano de Bergerac" yesterday. I'd forgotten how emotionally powerful it was. Also listened to a radio adaptation of "Virgin in the Ice". Books I'm reading at the moment include a borrowed translation of Sakuteiki, and a book on the history and evolution of Biblical scripture by Karen Armstrong. The latter book is part of my research for my in-progress dark fantasy novel (with the emphasis on fantasy being quite low).

That's all really. It's been a fairly peaceful week, barring yesterday when I set out for some AONB work (unfortunately, rough terrain, poor weather and other circumstances stopped play).

Friday, 13 May 2016

My Week of Tension and Relaxation

Sitting here, writing this, watching an episode of Time Team, I'm fully aware of how much I've been in a state of tension since I published the first volume of "Crystal and Sin". After a couple of days feverishly looking over everything I could do to help promote it.

Basically, I ran myself ragged and didn't stop to take a break. I was on the brink: I even managed to give myself bloodshot eyes, something that's a relative rarity for me. It took my sister insisting that I stop for me to reconsider. I'm taking some time off normal writing for the sake of my health, but I'm still not giving up. I'll push forward, no matter what. I'm determined.

At the moment, alongside preparing for the eventual publication of Crystal and Sin's second volume, I'm working on what I can only describe as a sci-fi picaresque. My daring and independent heroine fills the role of a picaro. I'm also working slowly and carefully on a dark fantasy epic that will shock and awe.

I've done other things to stop myself from getting bored. I've created a miniature garden for myself that ended up thematically representing the Chinese concept of Wu Xing. I'm even helping in the family garden, which has become far more appealing than in earlier years for some reason. Wikipedia work helps me keep my writing muscles flexing.

To finish off, here's something I found very relaxing. Enjoy.

Monday, 9 May 2016

DRM woes

The terrible thing about not having this huge official network is that you can forget to check up on things like "should I enable DRM (Digital Rights Management)".

The terrible thing is, I should have remembered the whole business surrounding Ubisoft's use of it. It's a bit late to worry now. I've put out the first volume of my book... with DRM enabled. Goodness knowns what that's done to my potential readership. Maybe cut it in half or something silly like that.

I don't know whether my chosen sites are going to apply those settings to every book I publish (they'd better not!). If I have the option, I'll probably not use DRM for any more of my books in the future.

Sunday, 8 May 2016

My first post: Pressure and sales

Hi there. This is my new blog, where I'll be pushing out random thoughts, giving you some access to my work as an author, and generally letting off some civilised steam.

First, I'll say this. Self-publishing is a lot of work. I mean, they tell you these things on advice sites and such, but it still doesn't prepare you for the admin involved. Sank about two days normal admin work into a few hours, and pretty much crashed for the rest of the day. Mind you, last time I tried, I was horribly blase about it. It's not even my one route, as I've got to keep my options open if I'm ever going to be a success. That's the world we live in, for better or worse.

Oh, and before I forget, best get promoting. If you're interested in mature, episodic sci-fi, then check out the first volume of my new novel "Crystal and Sin" (links below). The next two volumes are coming out over the next couple of months, with a complete edition following. I'm also planning on releasing stand-alone short stories.




UPDATE: Oh yes, the artwork. That was done by my sister, Daisy Wrightson. Mostly focusing on becoming an established composer and performer, she's also a very good artist. Mind you, the briefs I gave her weren't very helpful. The first draft of Volume 1's cover art had a giant humanoid robot rather than the mech you see now. The difficulty is that she can't draw people, so there's the necessity of finding non-people based scenes that she can adapt into cover art. Still, she's very good. She's hitting the atmosphere I want: Western sci-fi, with a touch of anime.