Okay, it's time to liven up this blog once more with a Doings at Drakenheath post! So here we are, folks, with this month's doings, and I hope you find them entertaining.
For starters, we've got the Fan Fiction Contest bearing down upon us . . .
The deadline for this contest is coming up VERY SOON NOW. August 28. So be certain to check out the rules once more if you are interested in participating. I know many of you have been hard at work on submissions this last month, and I've had quite a few come in for posting! So far we've received lot more poetry this year than we've seen in previous years, and fewer prose pieces . . . though the prose pieces that have come in have been fantastic. And some of them quite epic! One clocked in at 11,000 words, which I thought would be our longest . . . until another came in at 30,000 words! So those of you looking for some entertaining Goldstone Wood reading will have some short novel-length works to delve into this September.
Submissions are to be emailed to me (firstname.lastname@example.org). Don't be shy! We're all very friendly around here, and your story will get lots of nice feedback from readers.
I cannot let a Doings at Drakenheath post go by without mentioning the Five Enchanted Roses launch . . .
Seriously, it still feels surreal to me that this event has come and gone. That this mountainous project is actually published and behind me! While I won't say that Five Enchanted Roses was more difficult than Five Glass Slippers, I will say that so far, each year I've been surprised by just how much work goes into these launches. Lots of little, last-minute, scrambling details. And lots of large, last-minute scrambling details as well! But the project is OUT, and readers are buying and enjoying the five stories by these five wonderful novelists, and I could not be better pleased. All five authors gave wonderful interviews here on my blog for the launch week, and four of the five undertook the craziness that is a Facebook Chat Party . . . and did absolutely awesome jobs!
Of course, the work goes on with this project as well as Five Glass Slippers as my team and I continue to study the market and research new ways to get our product out to more and more readers. Currently Five Enchanted Roses is being recorded for audiobook by brilliant narrator Becky Doughty at BraveHeart Audiobooks. I have only heard one short clip so far and . . . oh, my! It's so gorgeous! Becky really does stunning work with her audiobooks and is the perfect voice for these fairy tales. I had the fun of selecting the music to go with this particular audio production as well, and I can hardly wait to hear how it all sounds together! It'll be many months yet before we launch for all of you, but be on the look out! It's coming . . .
Oh, and can I just take a moment to mention a small landmark for Five Glass Slippers? It's not a terribly big deal, but I was pleased to see that our bestselling collection has officially reached 100 reviews on Amazon. While not enormous by any means, it is quite a satisfyingly round number to see up there on our Amazon page.
"Okay, okay," you're saying. "It's one thing to hear about the Rooglewood Press Doings--they're all well and good. But what are you actually writing these days?"
Well, as most of you know, I've had to take a step back from Poison Crown for the time being. While not my preference and not a decision I came by lightly, it's the right decision. We decided this about a month ago (within a day or two after posted my last Doings at Drakenheath post, actually), and the moment I finally come to terms with this new course of action, I immediately jumped into a new project . . . a project which I am going to refer to for the time being as:
That's right. The Ridiculously Huge Project is commenced. It's a brand new series set in a brand new world, not even remotely connected to Goldstone Wood. It's bold and different and, simultaneously, classic and familiar. And it's huge.
By huge I mean ambitious. Ambitious in the writing goals I am setting for myself, the amount of work I am trying to produce in given time restraints. After approximately a month of planning and world-building, I dived into the first manuscript last Wednesday and have produced 20,000 words. Which is actually a little shy of what I was aiming for by this time, but I am going to scramble to catch up the rest of this week. The goal is to finish a rough draft in another two weeks then let it sit for a while as I move on to the second manuscript.
I'm not going to give away much about this project just yet, especially while it's still in such early stages. However, I've decided to give you a little glimpse into the development of these stories in each of my Doings posts . . . a little something to heighten your curiosity, hopefully . . .
So this month's glimpse of The Ridiculously Huge Project is a tidbit of research I sniffed around after a few weeks ago. I found myself looking into the history of the Christmas hymn, "Lo, How a Rose Ere Blooming." Many of you probably already knew this, but I did not realize that the original hymn was a German piece called "Es ist ein Ros entsprungen," and first appeared in the 16th century. The English translation with which I am familiar didn't appear until the late 1800s and wasn't the only translation. A woman named Catherine Winkworth translated the first two verses into English in her version, "The Spotless Rose," which I had never before heard. And it is absolutely beautiful! While the original German version is closer to the time period in which I am writing, I currently plan to use "The Spotless Rose" or a variation of that hymn as an ongoing plot thread in The Ridiculously Huge Project.
Of course, this is all still early stages and subject to change! Anything I tell you about this project over the next several months could very easily alter within a few days or weeks. But one way or the other, this gives you the first hint of the direction this project is leaning . . .
Last time someone commented that I hadn't mentioned any of my beasties in the Doings at Drakenheath post! So I wanted to make certain I gave special attention to all the beloved fluffies this time. Here is a picture of Monster and Makoose, fondly known hereabouts as the Fluffy Brothers.
Most of our kitties don't care for each other, so we were quite delighted when the Fluffy Brothers bonded. It allows for lots of photogenic moments like what you see above.
I believe I have mentioned that Makoose and Milly have a bit of a Romeo and Juliet affair going on. They are completely in love with one another and won't let any star-crossed species differentiation get in the way of their passion. Here you see them curled up on the rug by our back door. Right before we took this picture, he was grooming her shoulder and face
Here's another angle on their romance.
Milly doesn't care for the other kitties at all. But she wuves her Makoosie-Moosie!
And here's a completely dignified picture of Marmaduke and the Evil One.
Yesterday, Minerva--my beloved Evil One--leaped into the water bowl. I mean, all four paws, KER-SPLASH, water flying everywhere. It's a pretty big water bowl, and she enjoys sitting by it for long periods at a time, staring at the ripples and occasionally batting it with her paw to make it move. (She also likes to dip her paw in the water then pat the wall so that she can chase the water droplets running down). I have never before seen her go four-feet-in, however. She seemed quite pleased with herself and traipsed about the house with little wet paw-prints until I caught her and wiped her down with a towel. To this she protested with loud squawkings. O! The indignity! Such a wretched Anne Elisabeth!
Sadly I have no new pictures of Mutti-Bear for you. She's actually quite frightened of the camera, so it's tough to snap a picture of her. But rest assured, she is doing well! Ever since her mouth surgery, she has been my sweetest little lap-baby, always ready for a cuddle session. She also likes to play headrest on the back of the couch for either me or Rohan. If we're sitting watching a movie, she'll pick one or the other of us to lie behind, her front paws on one shoulder, her back paws on the other. Technically her body is still on the back of the couch, but she turns herself into one of those wrap-around airline pillows. Such a sweet girlie-cat! We adore her and her fluffiness and her toothless gnawings on our fingers.
And, of course, I can't let a Doings post go by without at least mentioning the Five Magic Spindles contest.
Other than that, the Doings are pretty quiet this month. I am enjoying an opportunity to focus almost exclusively on my own writing. And while it's strange to be writing something other than Goldstone Wood, I have to say, it's been awesome to stretch my imagination in new and fascinating directions.
How about YOU? What have your Doings been this last month? I'm sure many of you are gearing up for school again or have already begun. Some of the rest of you are working hard at jobs and projects and just daily life. Do tell! Particularly if you're working on any cool creative projects . . .