This is one of those catch-all posts. I don’t really have much to say about any one thing, so I’m going to say a few short things and make a post of the melting pot.
1. The “Novel Experiment” is officially over. With encouragement from a few loyal readers, I managed to pound out “Blood and Brine” in about five months. Insofar as the experiment produced results, it was successful. Not as encouraging were the number of people who said they would participate, who then dropped out without explanation. The experiment didn’t manage to make writing original feel the same as writing fanfic, but perhaps that goal was flawed.
Two critiquers are done with the second draft and one more is about halfway done. I have reconciled all of Kat’s critiques and all that Susan has given me so far. Robynn’s very thorough edits are going to take a little longer, but I have started on those in earnest after an initial false start. (I didn’t have enough distance the first time.)
Of all the changes being made, the most exciting one so far is a suggestion from Susan that I take that secret night raid (the massacre at Phaehad ITC) and SHOW it in chapter one rather than just get a dry letter about it in chapter five. Actually, she thought it would be a good prologue, but I already have “translation notes” and “cultural explanations” before the story opens. I think another pre-story thing would just get skipped. I haven’t decided whether to do it from the point-of-view of General Nazzar or to just make it a chaotic cinematic scene where no one can figure out what is happening. But it will definitely make for MUCH more drama in the opening and also ties in nicely with the title. Thank you, Susan, for that idea. I’m going to run with it.
2. I just found out that grandchild #2 will be arriving in 2012. Probably in late July. My daughter put a picture of Noah (grandchild #1) in our Christmas card, wearing a t-shirt that said, “I’m Going to be a Big Brother.” But I didn’t have reading glasses with me and couldn’t see the tiny writing on a PICTURE of a 9-month-old-sized shirt, so I didn’t catch it. My daughter found this fact utterly hilarious. I got a Kindle for Christmas and was planning to throw away those darned reading glasses permanently, but now I think maybe I have to keep them. Drat. I guess grandmas are expected to have bad eyesight.
cute one on Zazzle (I would be getting the budget model), but I didn’t buy it yet. If anyone sees a good summery/reading themed one somewhere for around ten bucks or less, let me know. I’d also like to have something with the Splashdown logo on it and maybe one item with the new book cover. However, I want the prizes to be useful and reading-related in themselves and not simply advertising gimmicks (e.g. REAL bookmarks, not those silly 1x3 inch “skinny business card” things Zazzle calls bookmarks). I’m starting shopping now so I can budget this out because I expect it will cost some moulah.
4. I don’t make New Years resolutions. My goals are things like hoping the dishwasher lasts the year so we don’t have to replace it or live without it, and praying hard that the price of food doesn’t get any higher. I have little to no control over the vast majority of circumstances that affect my life. All I can do is keep paddling fast enough to keep my head above water, or get gills. I keep checking the science news. So far, no one has succeeded with artificial gill implants yet. I could say I want to sell 500 books, but I have no idea how to make that happen without a MUCH bigger advertising budget. So resolving to sell 500 books is setting myself up to fail. Yes, I will try to sell as many books as I can. But I cannot MAKE people buy books. It’s out of my hands. “...neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.” (I Cor. 3:7)*
*NIV Busy Mom's Bible: Daily Inspiration Even If You Only Have One Minute (Kindle Locations 70713-70714). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.