Createspace – it’s finally happened!

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coa-post-its

Anyone who’s been following my attempts to create a paperback from my eBook will know that I’ve been so very close for such a long, long time. 

But last night, I got confirmation that my first paperback had been despatched by Amazon.

All right, I was the one who’d purchased it, but it was for a friend and voluntary beta-reader in Canada. Thanks Michelle!

Perhaps I ought to call her an omega-reader, because this (he says) is going to be the very last set of changes I will apply to the MS. Discussions with my editor (hello Tara!) place the industry-acceptable rate of errors at 0.015%. Mine is currently averaging 0.005% but typos still get under my skin and I hate them and zey vill.not.be.tolerated!!

Not that I’m obsessive or CDO or anything… >.<

(For those that haven’t seen CDO before, it’s like OCD, but the letters are.in.the.correct.order. As they ought to be. :D )

Aaaaanyway, my first paperback has taken flight and ought to arrive within the week. I wait with baited breath for Michelle’s appraisal before I fix the dratted MS for one final time and close the chapter on the first book. Any remaining errors will have to be flagged up by particularly CDO-inclined readers of the future. I will simply smile quietly and say ‘I left that one in there especially for you, you clever thing.’

.

acern270ginger write on

Oh, PS… I clicked ‘order’ on Tuesday evening (GMT), received a shipping notification the following evening and by Thursday afternoon, the book had arrived in Ontario! This was well inside Createspace’s ‘within 7 days’ estimate. Impressive!

 

 

 

Does a second book imply greater determination?

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image courtesy of Miklav at Stock Xchng

The first week my debut novel was listed on Amazon, back in 2012, I was buzzing with excitement – and personal pride. However, that feeling settled after a wee while and I began thinking about the sequel, which has now been over a year in the making. As the First, and then the Second Drafts dragged on, a mild sense of panic began to rise within me.

What if I can’t do this again?

What if the first book was all I had inside me?

And so, a renewed determination to finish the sequel arose. I would NOT be a one-book wonder. I wouldn’t end my days thinking ‘What a shame I only ever wrote the one…’ *croaks*

Sure, I’ve written many, many stories in my time. A lot of them have even begun paying me back for the time I spent on them. But a novel is something else, isn’t it? It’s the obelisk of the publishing world, the menhir of our career, the monolith…

Well, you know what I’m getting at. To me, the magazine articles I’ve written are fine, if a little thin, like single sheets of paper in a breezy doorway. My short stories (especially electronically-published ones) can feel like leaves in the wind, but in comparison, the novel is a bit of a cast-iron doorstep.  To have published one feels like a serious achievement; to publish a second means it wasn’t a one-off event and I really, really can do it.

And then, of course, there’s the pressure to sustain the output until the end of days. Once that begins, there’s no getting off the roundabout.

Can anyone else relate to this feeling?

.

acern270ginger write on 

 

CreateSpace – Part V of my anticlockwise journey towards a paperback

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CoA post its

Well, my second proof copy has arrived from the USA and despite my best hopes, I’m still finding errors in the text. :(

I asked my significant other if she’d read through it for me… a fresh pair of eyes, and all that.  However, after five weeks of gathering dust (the book, not me!), I realised I’d have to undertake the task myself. *sigh*

After hundreds of read-throughs, I’m having real trouble concentrating on the text and find myself drifting along with the narrative instead.

Why, I keep wondering, do these text errors continue to plague my MS? I like to think I’m meticulous with my grammer and, speeling. I can only imagine the errors are typos I’ve somehow missed.

True, my typing isn’t perfect. As It gets faster, mistakes begin to appear, so I temper my speed to keep the typos down. However, impatience can sometimes bite and my fingers will get carried away, often typing faster than my brain (that only takes eight words a minute, usually!).

So this week finds me ploughing (yes, that’s how it feels after 500+ reads) through the paperback, hoping to upload and receive a corrected version before the end of July.

I have to – a couple of Floridian friends are keen to see a paperback copy in early August.

Anyway, back to reading…

In the meantime:

acern270ginger write on

It’s okay to be Geek

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image courtesy of Morrhigan at StockXchng

Does it still trouble you that you didn’t fit in well at school?  Were you outside the circle of ‘cool kids,’ bullied, ridiculed and cast aside because you were bright?

Well, a recent report now casts doubt and shines light on those of us who suffered through our teenage years.

Read this and feel better about yourself. I did! If the link goes down, try here instead.

I was single-minded in my desire to learn as much as I could during my school years, to the extent that I was banned from the Chemistry, Physics and Engineering Science labs during lunch hours because I was ‘reading too far ahead’ (two years too far, to be precise).

My life at school was hell because I was surrounded by wannabe rebels and pseudo anarchists (this was at the beginning of the punk era in Britain) and learning wasn’t anti-establishment enough for these guys.

Still, I managed to cram in some secret learning along the way, a desire that continues to this day… although I have more trouble remembering stuff than I used to.

I remain, yours, a veritable information sponge.

acern270ginger write on

Books viewed in the mirror may appear smaller…

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 smallest book2

As I near the half-way point in the editing of my sequel to ‘A Construct of Angels’, I realise the MS is going to fall well short of the 164k achieved by CoA.

Whilst this is not a bad thing in itself, the current 50k of VoA (A Vengeance of Angels) is looking a bit lost. The additional material I added in the early part of the story didn’t improve the word count as much as I’d hoped.

I’ve since debated several ways to correct this problem, including weaving in a new sub-plot to boost the word count or continuing the story straight into FoA (A Fury of Angels – book three) territory and living with a duology rather than a trilogy.

However, neither of these appeal because

A) An additional sub-plot can only detract from the main storyline, plus:

B) VoA ends with a definite cliffhanger. This would not work if the story was to continue immediately. 

A third option, that of ‘padding out’ the exisiting MS doesn’t appeal either. It would dilute the story… plus I’d feel as if I was cheating the reader.

My other sneaky plan, that of hoping for an inspirational bolt of lightning from my Muse as I typed this (waits for several heartbeats with ears cocked), also fell flat. :( 

I know many writers would say ‘don’t obsess over word count,’ but it remains the gauge of a novel, as does page count. Every Kindle book I’ve seen includes a page count… which is odd, because that will change with every reading device, depending on the reader’s preferences for text size.  

Has anybody else encountered this problem with their sequel? If so, how did you solve it?

I’m open to suggestions.

Otherwise, out comes the bicycle pump and I’m just gonna push up the pressure until I can make that sucker bigger!

Like this:

 biggest tyre

In the meantime:

 acern270ginger write on

Thank you everybody!!

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Today, I received this notification from WordPress:

1000 likes

Thank You

Thank you everyone, for your support, comments, likes and encouragement!

I look forward to following your wit, wisdom, tips and pics in the future.

.

acern270ginger write on

When inspiration strikes…

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WP_20140503_012

Recently, an opportunity arose for a Saturday visit to York, the setting for ‘The Angels of York’ trilogy.

Well, it follows, doesn’t it? :D I had to go.

At the time, the final chapter and Big Battle scene was quietly pushing open the door, ready to peer into the room. I was happy with the way my characters had used the church I’d researched last year (as detailed in ‘Angels Week‘), but I didn’t want to stage an unholy battle between the denizens of Heaven and Hell inside a church. Too much damage. So as I headed into York on the city bus, I perused the city centre map in the hope that inspiration might strike – and it DID!

A diagram of the ancient (rebuilt many times) city wall leapt out at me, particularly the acute angle of the North-West corner. I decided to investigate – and found myself here:

WP_20140503_001

Very photogenic – and a distinct possibility for the site of an unholy battle.

Unfortunately, I’d taken a wrong turn in my attempts to find it. I was on the wrong street. York is a medieval maze of narrow twists and turns. I’d been steered away from my goal.

So I began again, paying closer attention to the street names, and finally found myself in this place:

WP_20140503_010

This is the outer section of the corner keep. Quite imposing to an attacking force, you might think.

Inside, it looked like this:

WP_20140503_030

Rather difficult to defend unless you were on your knees – or you happened to be called Tyrion Lannister.

Seems the Victorians who refurbished this part of the wall had little use for its defensive capabilities, preferring instead to reconstruct it into a viewing platform.

Still, I could envisage the possibilities of the battle in this setting and was satisfied that I needed to look no further. I took a few photographs and returned home to research the history of this section of wall.

I was able to make use of the new outdoor location almost immediately. Once my characters had finished with the church, the story picked up at the corner section of the wall in dramatic (I hope) style.

Apologies to English Heritage for all the damage I’m about to cause in the narrative. It IS necessary for artistic reasons – honest.

In other news, I am now typing furiously on my replacement Netbook, a Windows 7 version of my poorly Acer Aspire One.

Unfortunately, Acer issued this model with a set of flat keys, rather than the earlier chamfered type, which has led to an increased number of typo.

I’m struggling to get used to it and wish they hadn’t changed something that worked perfectly well for the sake of asthetics. :(

So, first draft now has its dramatic climax. On with the read-through.

Hope your writing is marching along too!

Introducing, for the first time… Ginger:

Be nice and say hi. He has rather large (virtual) shoes to fill.

.

acern270ginger write on

 

Aunty Acid jokes

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Andrew Toynbee:

Yes, please!

Originally posted on Joke for today:

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The tribble with Technology (*trouble*)

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ttwt

image source: therussianrevolver.tumblr.com

The last week has seen the end of my trusty Acer Netbook… :’(

Technology comes and technology goes, but when so much time has been spent with a single device, the experience can be pretty disarming for a writer.

You may recognise this as the unit I used to create my ‘Keep Calm and Write On’ logo (see bottom of the page).

I have no real way of calculating this for sure, but I must have written close to a million words on this faithful (wipes away a small tear) little device.

Fortunately, almost everything on the little hard drive had been backed up and is in no danger of being lost. However, the times spend pounding the pint-sized keyboard will always remain with me, a considerable number of years in the 1999 to 2014 span of my ‘real’ writing.

Acer  N270 in Blue

The Netbook wasn’t my first writing device.

It followed the clunky Acer Notebook (Laptop) which was heavy and sucked the life from its battery in under sixty minutes.

Acer Travelmate

Then there was the quirky, palm-sized HP Jordana. Tiny (like peering through a letterbox at a billboard) but with almost infinite battery capacity.

HP Jornada

Sure, I could let the poor thing slip quietly away to Silicon Heaven (where all the pocket calculators go), but I’m strangely reluctant to put this significant episode of my fledgling writing career behind me.

mccoy_hockey_stick_its_dead_jim

I know, but technology can be revived, right? I mean, it’s had a new screen, two new batteries, some extra memory and a replacement modem. What’s a little more TLC?

mouse

image credit funny-pictures.picphotos.net

Am I alone in not wanting to move on? Has anyone else found themselves stymied when their favourite piece of technology has shuffled off its coil? Have you successfully divested yourself of it, or does it still languish in a cupboard somewhere, a reminder of happy times?

Or am I just being over semi-mental?

.

And so, for possibly the last time,

signature plus n270

Write On…

So long and thanks for all the memory,

(all 2048Mb of it)

krtyen

 

Apologies – been busy *tries to get breath back*

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exhausted

Image courtesy of YelloShine at StockXchng

Hello everyone. I have finally emerged from my writing cave after an obsessive recheck of my MS for ‘A Construct of Angels.’

Following the re-launch on February 28th, I spotted a typo in the first chapter whilst posting a sample of the story onto Wattpad (yes, I’ve managed to stretch myself even thinner!).  Anxious as to why I’d missed something so basic, I felt compelled to re-read the whole story (again) – and I’m very glad I did. Scores of silly mistakes scuttled around in the daylight once that particular rock had been lifted, mistakes that should never have happened. I can only blame the way I used Word (in ‘show all changes’ mode) to enter the edit suggestions from Tara, my editor and ‘Words with Friends’ buddy.

I will be applying the lessons from this latest faux-pas to my next MS and sequel to CoA, ‘A Vengeance of Angels.’

So, I finally completed the read-through and Sonya Loveday has kindly offered to read it through for me, because if I have to read that story one. more. time. I might go a wee bit crazy. *sigh* Does everyone get to this love-hate stage with their MS, where they cannot bear to plough through it yet again?

If Sonya gives it the all-clear, I will finally be able to revisit the CreateSpace site and upload the finished MS, before I order a second proof copy. It’s been a long time coming…

In the meantime, Write On!

signature plus n270

 

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