Friday, June 30, 2023

June 2023 - Update #5

I've finished the first draft of The Old Gods Endure and shared it with a few "first readers" for feedback. I've asked for general comments about the story, plus any parts that are unclear or confusing, and any continuity problems. I've asked for feedback by the end of August, at which time I'll proofread it myself again and make any needed corrections. Then on to preparing the final version for uploads to Lulu and Smashwords for paperback and ebook versions respectively, with a planned publication date of Samhain.

In the meantime, I'm currently finishing up the editing and layout work on the autumn issue of Oak Leaves magazine. When that's done, I will be working on a presentation for Chokecherry Grove's October Retreat, which will also be published in the winter issue of Oak Leaves (and therefore needs to be finished by the end of September). 

After all that, on to the next book, The Well of Wisdom. This will take Gwernin and friends back to Ireland, and complete the second trilogy of the Storyteller series!

Friday, June 23, 2023

June 2023 - Update #4


I've about finished my list of things to fix in the manuscript. I'm considering now whether to edit the Prologue, let it go as is, or remove it. I think for now I'll just edit it a bit today. That will give me the first reading draft for everyone who is volunteered, and I'll send out the pdfs either later today, or Sunday (we're having out Midsummer ritual Saturday).

It's continued to be a rather wet June, which has been good for the roses. The weather is now supposed to dry up a bit and warm up, which will be better for the tomatoes. Always a balance.

Thursday, June 15, 2023

June 2023 - Update #3

 This week I have been proofreading and editing the manuscript. I have about another day's work on that; then I will have to turn my attention to ADF's quarterly magazine Oak Leaves, which I edit. However, I should have a suitable review PDF ready for first readers by next week!

In other news, the tomatoes and basil have survived the thunderstorms so far, although the beans are being attacked by slugs -- grow faster, beans! The pink rose is in full bloom -- pictures soon. Due to the cool weather so far this summer, everything is a little later than usual, but that's not bad.

Thursday, June 8, 2023

June 2023 - Update #2

 I finished chapter 31 on Monday - a short one, with lots of hints about what happens next, and another unexpected gift for Gwernin from his prince. That completes the manuscript's first draft. In the intervening two days I've created a map, updated the appendices, and started the initial proofreading (I've already found one minor error where someone's name changed from "Ieuan mab Iago" to "Ieuan mab Pawl" between chapters, but this was an easy fix, and the chapters were after all written two or three weeks apart). The book should be ready for the "first readers" by the end of the month. I've set up a preorder page for the ebook version on Smashwords, and will be uploading a rough version to Lulu soon to check for problems there. This is only part of the work involved in producing a book like this as a self-publisher!

I also spent much of yesterday updating this website. Considering I started it sixteen years ago, and didn't really use it for a couple of years until I started this regular blogging, I found that a lot of links were broken or outdated. There are still some things I need to fix, but I think most of the stuff on the right sidebar is in better shape now.

In other news, the garden is growing, and as we had a couple of days without rain, I finally got the grass mowed. And the roses have started blooming. Summer at last!

Thursday, June 1, 2023

June 2023 - Update #1

 I finally finished chapter 30 ("An Unexpected Gift") yesterday, and started chapter 31 ("Llys Tyn Wynnan"), the last chapter in the book, which takes Gwernin home again after his summer of traveling. This chapter includes a hint of things to come in the next book, The Well of Wisdom. Chapter 30 also had hints of future plot developments in the shape of intentionally loose ends.

I've also been keeping another outline of things Taliesin has told us about his life in the books so far. I think this will eventually be another spin-off prequel, provisionally titled King Arthur's Bards, but unlike The King's Druid, it won't overlap the Storyteller books.

Celtic things come in threes. In the case of the Storyteller books, three trilogies. The first, the "Young
Gwernin" trilogy
, consists of Storyteller, Flight of the Hawk, and The Ash Spear. The second trilogy, "Gwernin's Quests", consists of The Fallen Stones, The Old Gods Endure, and The Well of Wisdom. The third trilogy will be "The Fall of the North", and will consist of The Last True King, Three Hundred Spears, and The Fall of the North.Yes, I have had all this planned out for a long time.

I didn't quite finish the first draft of The Old Gods Endure by the end of May, but I came very close - I only need another 2,000-3,000 words to finish the last chapter, and that will be easy writing. I will be looking for first readers / proofreaders in a month or two.

In other news, the tomatoes are all planted, and I really should mow the grass again this week. No new reference books this week, as I'm just tying things up in places I've already been.