Happy new year!
The new year has brought mixed feelings down here in Australia. Bushfires are still burning. Friends have been evacuated, here in South Australia, Victoria and NSW. We wait to hear if they have a home to return to. I don’t think there’s anyone in Australia not either affected directly or knows someone devastated by this firestorm. We’re safe (ish) on our side of the Adelaide Hills. If you wish to help the relief effort, please donate to
Red Cross or
Salvation Army (Salvos) Australia who will ensure people get what they need.
For wildlife: donate to Wires Wildlife Rescue. Please be wary of scammers (unfortunately there have been many recently).
To help those in the South Australian bushfires:
- SERF (State Emergency Relief Fund): https://dhs.sa.gov.au/services/disaster-recovery/accordion-11
- KI Mayoral Relief and Recovery Bushfire Fund: https://www.kangarooisland.sa.gov.au/notice-board/latest-news/ki-mayoral-relief-and-recovery-bushfire-fund
Christmas was also dampened as we knew the Adelaide family who died in the New Zealand volcano eruption. So it’s been a tough emotional month, culminating in a hospital visit (I managed to avoid them last year). Anxiety and smoke are an unfortunate combination.
Upside? I wrote a short story and a poem (which I don’t do very often) in one day. The short story has been submitted to the Furious Fiction competition. Hey, if I win, that’s the airfare for Brisbane Supanova paid for. The poem was shared with my Patreon supporters and my newsletter subscribers last week. The words were cathartic. It seems I only write poems after distasters.
This is not how I wanted to herald the new year.
As I write this, it’s a much cooler day. Finally, some respite for the firefighters. We all hope the fires can be controlled before the next predicted heatwave (third this month!).
I’ve taken to the time to gather my thoughts and channel them in a more positive direction. I’ve spent a few days eating chocolate, reading a book, looking at kitten pictures, designing book covers and writing. (It was still too hot to garden.)
Another positive: I did get asked to be on the Words Out Loud panel for their Christmas Eve radio show on PBA FM. You can hear it here on SoundCloud (and it’s linked on my Interviews and In the Media pages on my webpage).
I’ve been thinking about New Year resolutions. So many are made. So many are broken. My only resolution this year is to stay healthy, write and be kind. The first part is out of my control, but I’ll try my best. For the second, I have many plans. (I just wish I could write faster):
A Fey Tale is a work-in-progress. When the first draft is done, there’s rewrites, edits and beta reading. The plan is have it ready for publication in the first half of this year. The cover for A Fey Tale is done (Cover reveal to come). The blurb is done:
A deal with fairies… to solve a mystery… and prevent a war.
Fairies and magic: It’s all real!
Enid Turner is invited to a picnic in honour of the creator of the world’s most famous detective, currently on a lecture tour in Adelaide, where they are caught in a web of treachery and betrayal from the Otherworlds.
It’s up to Aunt Enid and the Protectors, with a little help from the self-appointed Fairy Hunter, to solve the mystery, return the kidnapped heir and save the humans from Otherworldly retribution. It’s now a race to save the Earth from becoming a battleground for a magical war.
Artwork: I have five pieces of internal inked artwork to finish for A Fey Tale.
Against the Empire (book two in The Department of Curiosities series): After A Fey Tale is published, I’m diving into more reserach, with a small road trip to experience one of the local settings first-hand (get the smells and bells as a friend calls it). Humbug Scrub is only a short drive away, but I have to wait until the area is re-opened after the bushfires (and hope the wildlife sanctuary and history info has survived). I then need to organise a meeting with local historians and Elders, chase up photos and history of a few Adelaide buildings.
I’ve got version one of the Against the Empire cover.
I’ll need to do a new photoshoot and book trailer – for both Against the Empire and A Fey Tale .
Anthology short stories:
Mrs Hudson has found a new mystery to investigate. This time she enlists Mary Watson. This is for submission to the next Where’s Holmes? anthology.
I’ll delve into the darker side, with another short to submit to the Deadsteam II anthololgy. Wish me luck!
As usual, I’ve had a few new story inspirations over the holidays (this is both squee! and argh at the same time), so there’s at least one more short story/novella (I’m not sure how long it will be) to add to my growing list. I think that’s twenty-two now. At least.
Next on my list is an interview on world building by Phoebe Darqueling‘s blog . It’ll be posted on Thursday 16th January at 11:30 AM East Coast time (US). That’s Friday, here in Australia. I’ll be revealing some information about my third steampunk series, The Wizard of St Giles, which I will be working on after The Department of Curiosities is finished. I also give a few hints on background story shenanigans, and where all three steampunk series sits in my alternate history world.
Patreon supporters were given a sneak peek of this post on 8th January.