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!

Thursday, July 13, 2023

July 2023 - Update #2


So it's on to the next book... 

The first stage has involved a little text file of people and some expected plot elements. Example:

The Well of Wisdom: 565
Gwernin (29+)
Llacheu (21) dark red hair... pale eyes. He'll take Gwernin's role while Gwernin is gone.

Ieuan, called Ianto (12+) dark curly hair, blue eyes. He'll go w/ Gwernin to Ireland.

 I've set up the word document and the chapter tracking spreadsheet. And I've started the first chapter - 1,162 words so far. It mirrors the beginning of the previous book, and also establishes what's happened since the end of that one. This has involved some checking back to The Old Gods Endure, which is turning into another slow proof-read of that one, with minor corrections. It's unusual to do this before the previous book is actually published, but an excellent opportunity to fix anything in that one which needs it!

In other news, the garden is going well. Most of the tomato plants have started setting tomatoes, and the beans are mostly higher than the slugs climb. And yesterday my first sunflower bloomed. On the other hand, the rose beetles are here...

Thursday, July 6, 2023

July 2023 - Update #1


I've finished the current issue of Oak Leaves (about 40-60 hours work, assuming I don't have to write a major article myself). I've mostly been letting The Old Gods Endure sit at the moment, while hoping to hear initial comments from some of the "first readers" by the end of the month (well, I did say "by the end of August"...) I haven't started the next book yet, The Well of Wisdom, but I've also been thinking about one that I'll write after it--picture to the left. This will be another third-person spinoff, and will cover Taliesin's life up to Camlann and a bit later, partly based on things he told Gwernin about in The Old Gods Endure.

I've also started working on a presentation for Chokecherry Grove's October Retreat, which will also be an article in the Winter issue of Oak Leaves (which means it has to be ready by the end of September). The title is "The Ogam and the Coelbren: Authenticity and Validity".

The tomatoes are doing well, due to the rain we've been having. Unfortunately all the rest of the vegetation is also growing rapidly...