Just checking in

Thought it might be time to do a general update for my readers. I’m not very good at that, I’m afraid, so apologies. Often just feels sort of intrusive on my part, the concept that I should just blurt out to the world what I’m up to, but I suppose that’s more a part of being a private person than anything else.

But on to what I’m up to, if you’re interested.

audiobooks

This is me in the deep end, deciding I can produce audiobooks all on my wee lonesome. It’s been nearly a year in the making so far. My dear husband indulged me and purchased an awesome mic and screen, even headphones he’s been jealously eyeing. I keep demurring. This is a whole new process and I’m not sure I’m capable.

Caliban cover

Recently, however, I figured if I can manage InDesign and Photoshop, I can probably wrap my head around Audacity and production standards. So, this week I have begun laying down recordings of the first chapters of CalibanWhy Caliban? Well, because that dear husband said it was more to his taste, a novel he thought readers would really like. I figured, why not? Caliban is as good a place as any to start. And truth be told, I’ve always thought I should have pushed that novel more, marketed it better.

It’s a strange story, about two very strange aliens, one what would be considered a horror to look at, even dangerous, a hunter who lives on a quarantined planet; the other something out of dreams, in fact known as a dreamweaver, beautiful, aloof, part of a race of beings who can alter reality. It’s also a story about indigenous people trying to make themselves known to the rest of civilization, to assert their very existence before their existence is jeopardized. There’s subterfuge and alien sex, mind-shattering pilgrimage and revolutionary beginnings.

When will the audiobook of Caliban be available?

Not quite sure. I’m aiming to have the raw recordings finished by close of year. Then I have to run all those files through editing, and have them vetted by various distribution channels. So, loosely speaking, I’m thinking probably by March I should have Caliban finalized, uploaded, and available through Audible, Amazon, Kobo, and wherever else I can find decent channels.

I thought you were working in a new novel?

Well, yes, I am: Hekja’s Lament. Just to refresh your memory, the novel is based around the settlement of L’Anse aux Meadows, Newfoundland, around the year 1021CE, and draws heavily upon a section from the Vinland Sagas which deals with Thorfinn Karslfenni’s occupation of the trading settlement at L’Anse aux Meadows, and a couple he’d captured as slaves, Hekja and Haki.

Right now I’m wading through a staggering amount of research and information. I feel like a kid in a candy shop. Research has always been a joy for me; it’s just so damned much fun. However, the result of some of that research has made me realize I have to completely rewrite the first the chapters I have, and revise some of my plot elements rather significantly. It’s also become very clear to me Hekja and her husband were very likely Thules, captured at Baffin Island. That is just so utterly fascinating.

I’m very excited about writing this novel, and despite the fact it has nothing whatsoever to do with anything fantastical, or even science fiction, there is somehow a fantastical element to it in that what the Norse, and all the people involved in that Viking Age, accomplished is nothing short of stunning, albeit usually rapacious, avaricious, and politically motivated.

And what else?

I’m absolutely thrilled to announce I’ve sold a short story, Would We Had Time, to Pulp Literature. The story is tentatively scheduled for the spring 2022 issue. Once again I draw upon my love of history and things nautical; in this story I examine what might have happened to the fated, and now legendary, chronometer aboard the HMS Terror from the Franklin Expedition. And that’s about all I can tell you for the nonce about that story, else I will give it all away.

Don’t forget about the book-bundle permanent deal I’ve set up on each and every page of my book catalogue. The short of it is if you purchase all six of my novels, you get a discount and free shipping. Might not be a bad idea for a gift for this coming festive season, or just for yourself. If you add a note to your order, I’ll even have each book digitally personalized for you for free.

Beyond that, I’ve been looking at TikToc’s #BookToc as a marketing avenue. But I really don’t know. It’s just one more media platform that will suck all the joy and time out of my life. Surely there has to be a better, more effective way to gain readership than some of this huckster-style marketing.

Life at the Old Stone House

Other than that, life at the Old Stone House continues pretty much as it always does. We took delivery of two implement sheds, which we’ve quickly filled with all the implements for our Kubota tractor. The vegetable garden has been cleaned, and the garlic planted for next year. The perennial gardens are all quietly retiring, and now with the addition of another 200 daffodil bulbs. There are likely around 1000 daffodils planted across the property over the past 20 years.

The remaining pots of annuals have to be cleared and composted this coming weekend, and all the windchimes housed for the winter, along with the fountains and pumps. There’s some brush needs clearing.

Birds will be fed. Thoughts will be thunked under the apple tree one last time before the snow flies in earnest.

Inside there are begonias and ivies potted up and awaiting slipping come January. My wee bog plants are thriving under the grow lights. And I dream of spring.

Thanks for reading. Watch for the audiobook release of CalibanGo have a look at my book bundle. Drop me a line. Leave a comment. Always glad to hear from you.

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