Thursday, September 21, 2023

September 2023 - Update #3


No progress on The Well of Wisdom this week as I've been occupied with the next issue of Oak Leaves - working on my Coelbren article and on layout and contents of the issue. There have also been a few blips in my life in general - dental work and vehicle problems, among other things - and a good bit of yard work to get my back yard ready for our Autumn Equinox ritual Saturday 23rd. This is a public Zoomed ritual, by the way, and if you're interested in joining us it starts around 6:30 p.m. MDT.

After I finish with Oak Leaves, I'll be involved with Chokecherry Grove's annual Rocky Mountain Retreat, managing the Zoom sessions by our presenters and giving a presentation myself. For more information on that, see our blog. I figure I might get back to working on Well of Wisdom seriously sometime in mid-October!

Thursday, September 14, 2023

September 2023 - Update #2


Another mixed week. I received my proof copy of The Old Gods Endure Thursday afternoon, and after looking through it, I approved it for publication on Lulu on Monday and ordered 9 more copies so as to have some on hand for Chokecherry Grove's annual Rocky Mountain Retreat in October. I'm not 100% happy with the cover design, but it's good enough for a first edition since my sales are either person to person or on-line. I also set up a pre-release link at Smashwords for the ebook versions. The print version should show up on Amazon by and by, but if people buy it at Lulu, I'll get more of the money <grin> and you can avoid Amazon, which some people prefer.

No real progress on the next book so far - I'm still half way through Chapter 2, although I've tinkered a bit with Chapter 1 and the manuscript generally. I also need to finish my Oak Leaves article on the Coelbren Alphabet, although that's more than half done now. Having only two balls in the air at once rather than three should be helpful.

We are finally getting cooler weather, with some overnight lows in the 40s F in my back yard. As a result, I've finally got some yard work done, although there's plenty left to do. And the nasty Japanese rose beetles have pretty much disappeared, thank the Gods! Autumn at last!

Thursday, September 7, 2023

September 2023 - Update #1


It's been a mixed week. After making what I hope were final corrections in The Old Gods Endure, I uploaded the Lulu version and ordered my first proof copy. After that I transferred all my corrections to the Smashwords version -- less trouble than making a new Smashwords version from the Lulu one -- and uploaded that as well. Lulu shipped my proof copy yesterday, so with luck I should have it in a week. Then, if it looks good, I can order a few pre-publication copies to have on hand at Chokecherry's Rocky Mountain Retreat next month.  

After that I turned my attention to the next book for a day or so, before moving on to work on my paper on Coelbren alphabet for the next issue of Oak Leaves for a couple of days. The tricky part there was getting all my illustrations into the correct format to fit them into Office Publisher. This involved something I'd never done before -- removing a table from a Word document and running it through Photoshop to produce a .png file. Having done this, I moved on to do layout for the next issue of Oak Leaves with the other submissions I had on hand. I should finally get back to The Well of Wisdom today or tomorrow!

In other news, we are having pleasantly autumnal weather, and are finally running out of Japanese rose beetles!

Thursday, August 31, 2023

August 2023 - Update #5


Having got some good feedback from one of my first readers (thanks, Nathan!), I've been working on The Old Gods Endure again. After correcting some typos and making minor edits in a few spots, I spent yesterday dealing with layout issues. That's almost finished, although I saw one more thing I need to fix when I looked at the pdf last night. After that, it will be time to upload this new version to Lulu and order my first proof copy. While I'm waiting for it to arrive, I can go back to my work on the next book <grin> and on my article and presentation on the Coelbren alphabet.

After some cool weather over the weekend, we're back to highs in the 90s again, but at least the nights are cooler, and longer now as well. The change in the morning sunrise position has become very noticeable - 3 more weeks until the autumn equinox... And suddenly all the tomatoes have got ripe!

Thursday, August 24, 2023

August 2023 - Update #4


Not much writing progress this week, partly due to the hot weather (Denver had record highs a couple of days), partly due to another project. I am hoping for feedback from my first-readers on The Old Gods Endure sometime in the next week, because I want to make any corrections and order the first proof copy by September 7th. That will give me time to do any last minute changes and have copies on hand by our October Rocky Mountain Retreat

The other project, by the way, is an Oak Leaves article and a Retreat presentation on the Coelbren alphabet, a Welsh bardic thing attributed to Iolo Morganwg. But that, my friends, is a story for another day.

On the gardening front, things are much the same - beans, tomatoes, and nasty beetles. I'm ready for September.

Thursday, August 17, 2023

August 2023 - Update #3


Working on chapter 2 of the next book while waiting for feedback from the early readers, but it's going slowly - only 1,646 words so far. I've also tinkered a bit more with chapter 1. A lot of things to set up, checking back to previous books to maintain consistency, etc. For example, has Gwernin ever stayed with Taliesin in his house in Pengwern before? Only once, it seems, in The Ash Spear, when it was clear there was only one bed in the second bedroom. Other times he's stayed in the Prince's guest house... So how would this work, if he has Ianto along, who is twelve years old, has had a long day's ride, has never been away from home before, and is falling asleep, while Gwernin still needs to discuss plans with Taliesin that evening... Thinking is required <grin>.

After a couple of days of mild weather, this week is hot again. A few tomatoes are finally getting ripe - the sweet 100s and the currents - and the beetles are still eating the bean flowers, and sometimes the bean leaves as well. I'm ready for September.

Thursday, August 10, 2023

August 2023 - Update #2


The current versions of The Old Gods Endure have been uploaded to Lulu and Smashwords--there are two separate ones because creating the Smashwords version requires several format changes in the manuscript. I'm currently waiting for feedback from my first readers, and will make any necessary changes in both versions separately, since that will be less work than creating a new Smashwords version. 

This week I've been working on the next book again, finishing the first chapter (more or less) and starting the second one. Gwernin's elder son Ieuan (mostly called Ianto, the diminutive of Ieuan) will be an important character in this book. At this point he's twelve years old, and already becoming a good poet. He'll be traveling with Gwernin this time while Llacheu remains behind to entertain the folk at Llys-Tyn-Wynnan in their absence. 

As an introduction to the series, I've also created a coupon code (RQ33P) at Smashwords for the e-book version of The Druid's Son, good for the rest of August. Just use it at checkout for a free copy!

In other news, after a nice cool break, the weather is warming up again. Maybe the tomatoes will finally start getting ripe...

Thursday, August 3, 2023

August 2023 - Update #1


I've finished my proofread of The Old Gods Endure, making a few small corrections or changes here and there. I'm still waiting for any feedback from my first readers, although I did say "by the end of August". However, I'm going to upload my current version to Lulu, and then start on the Smashwords version, which will require some different formatting. If I make more corrections at the end of the month, I can just edit the two versions, which will be less trouble than redoing the Smashwords version after editing the Lulu one. Technical stuff <grin>.

In the meantime, I have to do some other stuff regarding an article for the next Oak Leaves and my presentation for our October Rocky Mountain Retreat. And maybe find a morning that's cool enough and dry enough to mow the back yard - this morning is cool but not dry, thanks to last night's thunderstorms.

My war on Japanese rose beetles continues...

Thursday, July 27, 2023

July 2023 - Update #4


I've mostly been continuing to proofread The Old Gods Endure for the last week, making small corrections here and there. I found trying to work on two books at once was a bit confusing, so I've reverted to working on the earlier one. I'm hoping the first-readers don't find much that needs fixing, as I need to keep the page count the same since I've already created the Lulu cover. An updated blurb from the back cover: 

"In this fifth book of the "Storyteller" series, Gwernin Storyteller and his bardic student Llacheu travel through sixth century southwestern Britain with the famous bard Taliesin Ben Beirdd, visiting ancient sacred sites and learning their lore, before participating in three bardic competitions which may finally allow Gwernin to reach the coveted status of a Master Bard. Along the way they both meet threats from their past, Gwernin discovers that some of the Old Gods of Britain are still present, and Taliesin shares some of his memories of his time as King Arthur's youngest bard."

The weather has been hot lately - 90s and almost 100 one day - but next week looks cooler and damper.  The tomatoes are covered w/ little green fruits, the beans are growing like crazy and starting to produce beans, and one of the lemon cucumbers has a couple of cukes already, the larger one almost walnut sized. Unfortunately the Japanese beetles are eating the scarlet bean flowers, the raspberry leaves, and any rose which ventures to bloom. That's summer.

Thursday, July 20, 2023

July 2023 - Update #3


Two balls in the air at once, so to speak - or two books. I've got a good start on chapter 1 for The Well of Wisdom, pulling in information from the previous book and setting up the situation, which will have Gwernin traveling again - first to Ynys Mon for an initiation, and then to Ireland. He also has a puzzle to solve before the end of the book.

I've also been doing a slow proof read of The Old Gods Endure, with minor corrections, mostly grammatical. And I spent a day designing the Lulu cover for the paperback edition of that book in Photoshop, and uploading it to Lulu. I'll have to make sure the final text has the same page count so that the cover will fit, but that shouldn't be hard--if necessary I can cull some of the references at the end.

A welcome break from the summer heat today, with thunderstorms starting at dawn and continuing as I write. I may not have to water the garden today!