Howdy, my friends. It’s been a while! Summer is flying by here – which may be a good thing because I’m now scraping the bottom of a pathetically empty barrel for activities to keep young folk entertained on rainy days – and although I’ve been quiet online, I have been keeping busy with lots of projects. After publishing The Dawning in April, I ordered myself to step away from the laptop and reconnect with the real world again, but I’m already itching to get back to writing my next book. I did solemnly swear that there would be no writing over the Summer – a promise to my daughter who deserves all my attention after the publishing of 2 books in six months – but, I have to hold up my hands and admit that there have been a few pages written. In my defense, Abby was away when I did write, so it doesn’t count as breaking a promise. Ahem. . .
I’m very excited to tell you that I’ve been busy formatting each of my four books for print publishing through CreateSpace. I’m waiting on the first proof-copy to slide through my letterbox in the next couple of weeks, and once I’m happy with the results I’ll add the links for buying the books in print onto my website. I’ve already had a few comments about ‘vanity publishing’ and ‘it just draws attention to the fact you haven’t got a publishing deal yet’, but, you know what, folks – I don’t care. I write for people to read. I’m not publishing in print because I think I’m super awesome and am appalled that Simon & Schuster aren’t stalking me. I’m making my books available in print for the simple reason that I love to hold a book in my hands, smell the print, turn down the corners and write on the pages, and my favourite books all reflect this in their cracked spines and dog-eared pages. I’ve read books on my Kindle that I’ve ended up buying in print because I want to physically own the book as opposed to the device it’s on – and I know that there are some of you out there who feel the same. So, the availability of print copies are for you guys to enjoy and for no other reason.
Despite this giddiness, there is some sad news. I had to put my aged laptop into semi-retirement after she decided that anything besides working on a Word document was too tiresome for her failing mechanical bits, bits that I’m aware I should know the proper terms for, so I’ll just throw in some techie words like, driver, motherboard and interior hyper-link collateral zip file to make me sound intelligent. A shiny new purple HP laptop now sits on my desk in all her sleek, lighter and faster glory. Polly is a wonderful and sparkly laptop, but Edna holds a special place in my heart – and my interior hyper-link collateral zip file. (If such a thing exists, please let me know.)
I also took a course in Tarot reading a few months ago, something that’s been on my bucket list for a long time, so the Summer has been jam-packed with doing readings and having crazy dreams filled with knights on horses chasing after Pentacles and runaway Cups. I’ll tell you what, though; if I thought my head was already full of inspiration for new story-lines, it’s even fuller now. I may need to get an external brain drive to fit in all this new nonsense. (Again – if such a thing exists, please let me know. How handy would that be?)
So, with Summer trickling by, my mind is already busy with the quandary of which book I should start working on next; The Veiling, which is the sequel to The Dawning, or Hunted – the final book in the Turning Moon series. Answers/suggestions on a post card please!
My final word today is on the tragedy of Cecil the Lion. If you’re not aware, although, it’s unlikely you’re not, as the entire internet has gone into meltdown over this, Cecil has been killed. Renowned for his friendly nature and distinctive black mane, he was lured out of his game reserve in Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe by a hunter who tied a carcass to the bumper of a jeep. Cecil was shot and injured by a bow, but it was 40 hours later before he was tracked down – 40 hours. He was then shot dead, skinned and beheaded. Cecil was 13 years old and led a pride consisting of 6 lionesses, 12 cubs and one other lion called Jericho. Natural order now means that Jericho will most likely kill Cecil’s cubs in order for him to take Cecil’s place as leader of the pride. Another aspect of this devastating loss is that Cecil was being monitored by Oxford University as part of a lion conservation study.
The responsible person has gone into hiding, but images of him posing with other animals he has hunted and killed are popping up on social media feeds everywhere. I could spark a very heated debate about hunting for sport, and let me reiterate the word ‘sport’ here, but when I see this guy’s happy smiley head with his perfect white teeth posing like he’s some sort of virile, super-powerful, uber-male, I want to vomit. Has the human race not evolved enough to come to the understanding that there is nothing powerful about hunting an innocent animal down, killing it and then hanging its severed head above a fire-place to serve as a bragging piece? Killing for sport is not sport. Sport implies competition. Where is the competition in shooting a defenseless animal with a bow and then leaving it to wander injured for nearly two whole days? There isn’t. Therefore, it’s not sport. It’s murder.
I’m sure that, over the next while, change.org and other similar groups are going to start asking for signatures on petitions. We each have our own beliefs, but if you agree with me about the tragedy of this inhumane act I would ask you to sign whatever petitions come your way, and at least then, something good may come from all of this.
That’s it for now. Hope you’re all having a lovely weekend. Stay giddy!