Saturday, January 25, 2014

I have a web site

Wow! Things are flying along now. Since my last update a few days ago, I've had a call from the Municipal Hall to say my business license is ready for collection, I've officially engaged my chosen book designer, and...

I have a web site

Yes, it's very simple right now, but it's a start. I signed up with It doesn't have the range of features offered by sites like Wordpress, but at this stage I think that's not such a bad thing. Keeps me from getting distracted by too many toys and gadgets, and focused on content.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Baby steps forward

January 2014 is the month of positive action on the book front. The month of commitment, and no going back.

Positive steps this month...
  • Submitted application for business license. Waiting for that to be processed before I start registering for tax etc.
  • Met book designers and discussed the project, what I'm looking for, and what services they can offer. I've decided who I want to use, just need to confirm with them and commit hard $$.
  • Shopped around for photographers for author headshot and got some recommendations. There seems to be a fairly consistent "going rate" for a session, so it will likely boil down to who I feel comfortable talking to.
  • Researched web site hosting and domain name registration. Again, it looks like I've made my choice, now need to set aside time to sign up and start putting together a simple site.
I mentioned in an earlier post that there's a psychological watershed involved in laying out hard cash for the first time. You'll notice that, although all of these steps involve expense, nothing has actually been paid out yet.

But today I made my first legitimate business expense.

In getting a book ready for publication, especially a first book, there are many strands of activity going on all at the same time. For a while now, I've been trying to guess which of these many strands would lead to that first tangible expenditure.

And the winner is ...

Art materials!

Now, off to do that cover art...

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Too good to eat?

Megan wasn't feeling too good earlier today and had to come home from school. I guess she's feeling better, because she just surprised me with a special creation - an apple swan.

It looked too good to eat, but in the end I decided that was better than letting it go all brown and yucky :)

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Q & A time

Early this week, Jenny at Pearson Report posed a few year-end questions, and I thought I'd have a go at it...

Did you accomplish what you had set out to do in 2013?

Partly. I set out to finish the draft of Tiamat's Nest and put it through a round of critiques, then crack on with self-publishing Ghosts of Innocence. I've accomplished enough of that to make me happy. Draft and critiques sitting to stew now, and concrete steps towards publication taken.

After a slow and late start, I managed to get out on my bike more than the previous year.

On the other hand, I thought I was handling stress and work/life balance reasonably well, but I think recent events have shown otherwise. I've tried to maintain an even keel at work, but the stress of working in an impoverished public service takes its toll no matter how well you manage it. I suspect that the simple act of constantly having to actively manage stress responses is itself becoming unmanageable.

Are you happy with your journey so far?

On the whole, yes.

I just wish I'd abandoned the traditional publication lottery and taken things into my own hands a couple of years ago. Where it will lead is anyone's guess, but it's been a big relief to say that I'm not playing somebody else's waiting game any longer. Life's too short.

Will 2014 be “the year”? What does that even mean to you?

For me, it means having a paying publication to my name, and I intend to make it happen!

Did you make any resolutions? Have you made the same ones before?

No. I'm not a "resolution" person. I make plans as and when they make sense to me, and set myself goals accordingly.

Why is the first of January different than the first of any other month? Or is it?

The human mind likes to classify, partition, and pigeon-hole. It's what we do to make sense of the universe, and it's only natural to do the same thing to time. Each division - weeks, months, years - is only arbitrary, but it is psychologically significant to the human mind. So, yes, January first is different for me because I perceive time in cycles and this represents a renewal to me. A mental intake of breath ready to clear out some cobwebs and attack life with new vigor.

And… last but not least…

If you could change one thing about “you” what would it be?

I'm highly risk-averse, which is why I've been dithering so long about self-publication. If I were to change anything, I would like to be more proactive and less timid about risks.

Thanks for the idea, Jenny.

Happy New Year!
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