I did a short interview with one of the local TV stations at the Local Author Fair back in October. Click here to watch it!
Oof! Apologies for the radio silence. I’ve been picking away at writing things, mostly Alexei’s backstory novella, and then I spent the last week skiing in Montana. That didn’t help me get much writing done, but on the other hand it provided a lot of great inspiration:
Much of Land of Winds book two is set up in Suomen’s Northern Mountains, so it was great to spend a week in the Rockies, getting a feel for them again.
It is difficult to know where to begin sometimes, with reflecting on what I am grateful for; I am fortunate that there is so much of that in my life. While family members have been going through some rough times lately, overall we are all well, and I am at least able to provide some support, even if it only emotional support and comfort.
I have a good home, and a day job that I love. I have family who love and support me, and many good friends, even if we are sometimes separated by long miles. My snake is healthy and just as inquisitive as ever.
And yet, as fundamentally important as all those things are, that barely seems to scratch the surface.
It was my great good fortune to be born into a time and a place that makes a thriving life possible: clean water, plentiful food, and advanced medical care are readily available to me. We have sturdy, well-heated homes to get through Minnesota’s frequently long winters, and air-conditioning to protect against the also sometimes-dangerous heat of the summer. More than that, we have amazing technology that allows me to talk to and see my friends, even though they are distant in place.
I had the freedom to choose what I wanted to do with my life, and to continue to choose that every day.
I know more than enough history to understand how rare and precious a thing all of this good fortune is.
And I get to write.
Writing is my first love, I think, though history is a very close second. There are so many stories in my head, I’m not sure I’ll ever get them all written.
But I get to try. Not only can I write stories with relative ease and speed on a computer, it’s now possible for me to get them polished into something good enough to share, and then put them out to the world myself, in case anyone else might enjoy them too. That’s an option that only barely existed a decade ago, and didn’t exist at all when I was little and just starting to understand all the stories in my head.
There aren’t really words to express how thankful I am to have all of this. The best I can do is stop and think about it from time to time, to put my life in perspective, and continue to work hard at all the things that matter to me.
I hope you all have things to be thankful for too, even if you are going through tough times right now. I hope that things get better for you, and for all of us.
I had a good time at the Local Author Fair I attended yesterday, my first ever book event! I sold two print copies of The Wizard of Suomen (exactly as many as I was expecting/hoping for), handed out many bookmarks for the ebook which is on sale this week, and had a poster up for The Witch release.
It was fun to talk to people about the book, and to see what some other local authors are writing. I bought a beautifully illustrated book of Vietnamese fairy tales from one of the other authors! I think I might try having a table at a small sci-fi/fantasy convention in my area in the spring, and see how that goes as well.
Exciting announcement #2: I’ve been accepted to be part of the Local Author Fair hosted by my library!
This will be in a couple of weeks (eep), and I’m working hard to get everything ready in time. I’m looking forward to meeting some other authors in my area too! Might even sell a couple of books while I’m at it. 🙂
Those are the exciting updates for now, but I hope to have more in the near future.
Before today is quite over, I do want to wish my mother a Happy Mother’s Day one more time! She has given me so much support for my writing; not just encouragement, but also her own considerable English skills, as she read several drafts of The Wizard of Suomen to find problems for me. It is definitely a better story because of her help.
So, Happy Mother’s Day, and thank you so much for your help, Mom. ❤
While I don’t post as often as I’d like to anyway, I’m going to be especially busy for the next couple of months (mostly with fun things, fortunately!), so posts may be even leaner than usual. But I’ll still try and get in a couple of reviews and some writing updates.
Things are getting nice and green outside, though, and it is finally spring! It’s nice to listen to the birds and the frogs calling while I work on things.
I will say that print copies of The Wizard of Suomen will be available soon! The ebook is $2.99 on Amazon, if you are looking for a good sword-and-sorcery.
While I will admit that I thought it might be nice to get snowed in once this year, I was thinking something like late January or early February rather than…mid-April. Midwest weather being what it is, however, we don’t really get to pick the timing of our blizzards.
So, I spent a nice day inside, watching the snow pile up on my balcony and watching more of Dragons: Defenders of Berk. I’ve really been enjoying all of the How To Train Your Dragon spin-off TV episodes, and will probably write something up about them later. It would have been hard to go wrong with another 100+ episodes of Toothless, of course, but they’ve been genuinely enjoyable apart from that.
And of course, a snowed-in evening is a great time to get some more writing done! More Land of Winds stories in the pipeline, and I should be starting Book 2 soon (I do at least have a rough outline done, and have been letting that stew for a bit).
I’ll probably be mostly snowed in tomorrow too, so hopefully I can make some good progress. 🙂
As my second post of 2017 (although it’s coming a bit later than I intended), I thought I would talk about my New-Books-Read list.
Back in 2000, somewhat on a whim, I decided to start keeping a list of the new books that I read that year in this small, cheerfully-psychedelic Lisa Frank notepad:
(I can hear you all crying “Oh god, the nineties!” and shielding your eyes.)
The list is just titles, no author names or any other information. My only criteria for adding things were that it had to be an actual book of some sort or another, that I had not read it before (I am an inveterate re-reader of books, sometimes, so I decided not to count those), and that I read all of it. At the end of that first year, I counted up how many titles were on the list (109!), and then flipped the page over to make a “New Books Read Since January 1, 2001,” and continued on.
I kept this up for the next 16 years. At the end of 2016, I finally reached the last page of the notebook.
(As you can see, my handwriting has not notably improved. Be glad that you get to read only typed things from me, my handwritten fiction drafts are awful. XD)
Looking through it since then, I ran a few numbers just for kicks:
-694 new books in 16 years
-Average of 43.375 books per year
-Best year: 2000 (109)
-Worst year: 2007 (13)
For those interested, the 2000 list includes all of both the Dragonriders of Pern series (Anne McCaffrey) and all of the Lord Peter Wimsey series (Dorothy Sayers), among other things. I was prone in middle and high school to spending my summer vacations discovering a new series of books (or two) and then devouring them all in one steady go. (I really miss being able to do that sometimes.) After 2007, I vowed to never read fewer than 15 new books per year again, and so far I’ve managed to hold to that. (To be fair, 2007 was in the middle of college, and I was pretty swamped with work, but still.)
So, the psychedelic 90s teddy bear will now be retired to a shelf, and I have a plainer (less eye-smarting) little purple notebook in which to continue these annual lists. This one has more pages than the previous one, so it will probably take me longer than 16 years to fill it up (unless I get back to reading 100+ new books every year!) Hopefully, I’ll be able to make a post about that one when I finish it too. 🙂
Happy Reading, everyone!