Hoping for a happy new year for all.
Here we are at the end of an old year and the beginning of a new one. It was not that happy of a year that we're saying farewell to, and I think most of us are adding a quiet 'good riddance' under our breaths. With a little luck this upcoming year will be much better than its predecessor. A few new things for the new year include a recently added a character list segment to the maps page of this website, and it has been since renamed in the menu to reflect that. The list that has been posted is specifically for the second book in the Ellfaerran Diaries series, but it functions just as well for Escape to Ellse Where. SPOILER ALERT! Just to let you know some of the character descriptions for the Tuatha De Danann and Fomor characters include events that occur in the second volume of the series as these events are part of the pre-Christian religion of the Irish Celts, which I have integrated into the novel. Any mythology textbook will contain these pieces of information, so I felt it was necessary to include them in the descriptions. There is also a character mentioned in Secret Sorcerer who makes his first appearance in the Ellfs lives in this book.
I have seen a few proposed cover illustrations for the new book and chosen the one I like best. I should hopefully see the final version of the front cover some time in the next week or so. As for the text of the book it is undergoing the attention of a copyeditor to prepare it for publication prior to handing it over to a layout designer who will design the font and page layout for the final printed product. I look forward to seeing the sequel to Escape To Ellse Where finally in print after all this time editing and polishing the prose to get it ready for a professional editor's attention. Speaking of Escape to Ellse Where, I just posted an excerpt from chapter twelve on the excerpt page. I hope everyone enjoys it. Happy New Year
December: Very Busy month
Well This has been a very past few weeks. I apologize for not posting a chapter excerpt in November, I hope I have time to post one this month. I have been very busy with the preparations for the publication of the sequel to Escape To Ellse Where. The editing part of the preparations has just begun. I hope they won't take long. As for the rest I have managed to re-inflame an old injury from my adolescence, which I decided to share with one of my characters in the up-coming book. This means my mobility has been somewhat impaired this past month and shows no sign of departing for December. I hate injuries that pretend to be gone for a few years and then pop up again like sadistic jack-in-the-boxes. I've had this one since I was nine years old. I will be placing a map of Ellse Where in the book. It is very basic and does not show much detail as there is only so much you can fit on a page of the average novel. I hope everyone is preparing to have a happy and safe holiday season with the hope for a COVID-19 vaccine for the New Year. I hear they are getting close. Happy Holidays everyone.
Slow but steady
That's the way the publishing world works. On a bit of an update concerning the next Ellfaerran Diaries book, the manuscript is currently with the publisher, the interior maps have been sent as well as the author's photo (which the publisher may or may not use depending on the back cover design of the finished book.) Whether it turns out to be published by the beginning of December or end of January is up to the publisher, especially as every author wants their books out by the Christmas buying season. Unfortunately, COVID-19 has slowed the publishing industry up quite a bit as most publishing employees are either working in short shifts at a barely staffed office or they are working from home. A slight communication error between my camera's memory card and my computer has led to a temporary cancellation of my readings on my facebook page. That should be fixed as soon as I have a chance to concentrate on it instead of the pre-production work of taking Book Two of the Ellfaerran Diaries through the publishing process. As for the rest I continue to be as healthy as I've always been despite the current pandemic and I am collecting quite a few interesting masks. I may actually go out to wear them! One thing about being a recluse/ border-line hermit during this health crisis, it's my habit to rarely ever go out so I run a decidedly minimal risk. I also have flu shots every year at a pharmacy that sells both masks and filters to go in them, hence my mask collection. I also go into a small town store where masks are made by one of the employees out of beautiful prints. Large centers are just not my cup of tea, speaking of which I think I should put on the kettle for a nice cuppa and see what the publisher may have sent to me concerning the next pre-production step. By the way I posted a Remembrance day poem I wrote years ago on my facebook author's page if anyone is interested. It was the second piece of my writing to be published. It appeared in the Poetry Institute of Canada's 2001 Anthology of Verse: Shadows of the Dawn under S.D.E. Ragan, the name I use for poetry. The poem is called Eleventh Spell.
New Book Coming
As the title of this post indicates, I have recently contacted the publisher of my last three books about the sequel to Escape to Ellse Where. I hope to have it released sometime around the Christmas season, or possibly Valentine's Day, I'll let everyone know as it gets closer to release. We're just in the preliminary stages right now. I spent the last couple of months editing and polishing the text until I felt secure about contacting the publisher, I have also added a couple of my hand-drawn maps to the manuscript which will hopefully make it into the books as well. I am also considering breaking my rule about author's photos due to the readings I've been doing on my facebook page. The only question is how do I get a picture taken that doesn't make me look like I'm going "pop-eyed" or worse, cross-eyed? I guess it's obvious why I don't have my picture taken if I can help it. I will have more information about the second installment in the Ellfaerran Diaries series next month as we go into the preproduction steps from initial editor evaluation through copyediting and cover illustration. More on release date later.
Better late than never...
II know it's an old cliche, but it works. Sorry about how late this post is. Those who follow my facebook page know that I've been extremely busy preparing the sequel to Escape to Ellse Where for publication. It's just about ready to send to the publisher, so it should (hopefully) be available by Christmas. I'm still posting readings on the facebook page whenever the editing of the second Ellfaerran Diaries book allows me enough time, especially as I am also writing one of the books from Sapphire's series (currently unpublished) at the same time. I hope to have more to post next month. Until then.
SUmmer Catch Up
It's that time of year again when the summer days bring a sense of lazy heat and I spend a lot of time catching up on what slid past during the spring. In this case it was the excerpt that I never had the time to post over the past few months. It is now posted, albeit from my original manuscript and not the published one. Those who have read the published book may see where there were some editorial changes between the two. I am also trying to catch up on housework that managed to slide by while I was involved in re-education to change careers and while I was working extra hours during the whole Covid 19 stage one while several of my co-workers were away on medical leave of absence. The excerpt this month is from chapter 10 of Separated Soul. As for my facebook readings those are still being posted once a week with tiny 3 minute or so excerpts from one of the three published books. All in all, I have been extremely busy these past few months, but I think everything will start to calm down a little now that I am beginning to catch up with everything I have to do.
BUsy Days in Busy Times?
As strange as this may sound, the past few months have been exactly that, however things seem to be easing up a bit with my former day-off schedule looking more normal. This will hopefully mean that I will have the time to post a chapter segment this month. I'm sorry I ran out of time last month but I was a more than a bit over-tired due to my work schedule. This month I will definitely try to make sure it is posted. I am also posting small snippets of filmed readings I have done for chapters of my books on my author's facebook page for anyone who is interested.When I have had some time I have been rediscovering old television shows I loved, and still love, such as Space: 1999. You know, back in the eighties I thought that stood for 1999 A.D. but they never actually indicate that it is this era at all. For all I know it stands for A.E.A. (After Earth Amalgamation.) Something Commander Keonig says in one of the episodes I recently watched has given me the impression that they are NOT using our current Era calendar at all. Any reader of either Andre Norton or Alan Dean Foster will know that Science-Fiction dates vary from era to era even in a novel series. I guess that would mean the show is still based in the future. As a long time doll collector I cannot help noticing that there is no mention of any dolls from the series or action figures being made. Possibly this is because it pre-dates Star Wars, the film epic that began that form of merchandising. Pity, Martin Landau's face would have been perfect on a doll; it's so easily identifiable. Oh well, I have several things still to do at home before I go back to my job, so I will end this post. For all those who decide to check out the videos on my facebook I hope you enjoy them.
As some of you may have already discovered I recently posted a small reading on my facebook page. This was a decision I made due to the Coronovirus and the impossibility of holding public readings of my books at this time. What I posted was a small 3-4 minute reading from chapter one of Escape to Ellse Where. Sorry, no famous faces doing the reading, just me. As for the rest, I am more than just a bit busy and must apologize for how slow this post has been in coming. I am working at my job quite a bit right now, still doing re-training to switch careers, and yes I am preparing another book for publication. Specifically I am working on preparing the sequel to Escape to Ellse Where. I am also working on edits of a novel that cover's Feline's adventures in another galaxy and which fits in between Separated Soul and Secret Sorcerer. I am currently looking for an agent for that one. I sometimes wonder if anyone has yet made the connection between my spelling of Ellse where in the books and Ellesmere Island? There is one, but it may not be that noticeable until the third Ellfaerran Diaries book is published. It looks like I'm running out of time again. I will have an excerpt from chapter 10 of Separated Soul posted as soon as I have a chance. Stay Safe.
Busy Times and retrospection
I suppose I should explain that title for this post. As writing is primarily an alternate form of income for me, and not the primary I should state that I currently work in a place that has been deemed an essential service by the Canadian government, as such I am busier than a one armed paper hanger right now due to the fact that I did not request leave of absence during this time. I was raised with a very strong sense of duty and, yes, loyalty to my employers and people I am close to.
The retrospection comes in with the full moon shining in my window last night reminding me of why I became a writer in the first place. Those who read my books know that the moon, or specifically one lunar deity, is a recurring character in several novels. Added to this was my brother uncovering a large amount of photos from his youth that were taken at my parents house. He began saying "do you remember..." about the pictures, which I did not as I was never there when his friends came over.
I was always a story teller of the Hans Anderson variety from my youngest days, my mother has clear memories of me climbing on top of my doll house at the age of four and telling my assembled dolls and stuffed animals fairy tales of my own creation. This made me popular with my peers in elementary school but as soon as we moved into middle school and hormones kicked in for my peers there was a massive shift leaving me outside looking in. I picked up a pen, and never looked back. Being one of those people who lack the requisite hormones to feel any of the physical forms of attraction to others I felt alienated in a hormone driven group of teens. Yes, I can feel emotional attraction but I am content to let things be as the physical means nothing to me. Instead I use the emotion as fuel for my characters. My sense of alienation grew as I progressed through school and my brothers friends were careful to come over on days they knew I was at classes learning to make porcelain dolls, as such I possess no memories of the times that meant so much to my brother, but I have a wealth of imaginary worlds from which my books are created. Scratch the surface of any writer and you will find that sense of watching the world from the outside, without being one of the players.
Keep healthy everyone, and stay safe.
Mild case of Hermit
Sorry about how delayed this post is for March, but I've been dealing with a mild case of the Hermits. As a naturally reclusive person I am not the most social at the best of times, but every so often I develop an overwhelming desire to cut off all contact with my fellow humans except for necessary things such as going to work. My family calls this "a case of the hermits." Unfortunately I underwent a severe amount of emotional and verbal bullying in my adolescent years that lead to me turning inward. One benefit of that inward turn was the development of my need to write. I lived in a fantasy world of my creation, and later I became a spectator and reporter of that world. The downside was my tendency every time I was introduced to someone to ask myself "does this person hate me, loathe me, or just not care?" I always considered not caring to be the best I could expect. Never once did I consider "liking" to be in that list. I sometimes wonder if that lead to the reclusive nature I developed in my twenties. The last time I had a case of the hermits was in 2015, when I stayed at home for three months without going out once. Not bad, that was five years ago. Back in the early 2000's I had a case like that every year, once it even lasted for six months. I guess what I'm trying to say is that people should think about how they treat their peers, bullying is not just physical force and sometimes words can do more permanent damage than fists. I guess I've been fretting about this since February when the anti-bullying campaigns came into play, which could have set off this year's case of the Hermits. It seems to me that verbal and emotional bullying is actually on the rise, and no one truly seems to be aware of it. Even some of the people I saw wearing the anti-bully pink shirts this year were speaking to others in a verbally bullying way. People should be aware that there is more than one type of bully. Not everyone who suffers through that becomes a writer, some curl into a fetal ball as their minds become self destructive.
Hello, I am a writer of High Fantasy utilizing ancient myths mixed with modern anthropological discoveries to create the worlds in which my characters live. Please join me in my journey to uncover those mystical worlds of myth and pre-history.