dogs

Rain, Ideas & More

Hello from rainy central Alabama. It’s been busy since I last wrote an update but that’s good!

The mower deck repairs were completed just in time to mow the yard before the current weather arrived. The grass was really high and thick but the mower performed very well. We’ve had rain most every day so getting the yard done was timely. In case you’ve missed the weather reports, Tropical Storm Cindy is landing in the gulf which brings rain to central Alabama both before and after landfall. Rain will continue throughout the rest of the week. Thankfully, we were able to purchase a new cover for the mower to protect the old mower deck. Otherwise, I’ve completed all the small maintenance tasks on the mower. This thing has really taken a lot of my time!

Our new edition to the family, the kitten named Minou, had a new round of standard shots last Friday. By Monday, he had developed a reaction to the shots with a fever. He slept all day but did eat and drink though which was good. He’s slowly bouncing back to his energetic ways after his fever broke Tuesday night.

One of the dogs likes to get on my daughter’s bed when it thunders which she did while Minou was feeling ill. The cat got up and laid down right next to the dog and she didn’t know what to do about that. The Dog let it ride and got comfortable until her dinner-time arrived. It was quite humorous to see the dog’s confused reaction to the cat sleeping so closely with her.

At any rate, I continue working on The White Arrow though I’m progressing a little slower than I’ve planned. However, I do intend to finish the rough draft very soon and begin all the marketing and editing phases during July and August.

I did come up with what I think is a good cover idea for The White Arrow. I emailed my artist and he likes it too. I’m working with him now to complete the cover so maybe it will be here next week at which time I’ll schedule a cover reveal. However, it may have a few versions with differing color-schemes so I may have time for a quick survey for response on which version is best.

I’m also working on scheduling an online event for An Arrow Against the Wind right at the end of the month. I haven’t decided where I’ll host it yet but I do plan on a few giveaways, fielding questions and even offering some digital autographs (using Authorgraph) for anyone attending the event. If it goes well, I’ll schedule a few more over the next several months.

I’m working on a few other online appearances as I have time so check my News page for more about those as well as the online events I’m scheduling. Additionally, a few opportunities may come my way that I’ll announce on that page too. I may land an interview with a local radio station which sounds like a lot of fun. I don’t know if it will work out just yet but the thought of it is exciting. Also, I might land an interview on a local, independent bookstore website. Again, nothing final on it but the opportunity would be nice.

That’s all for today! Thanks for reading and please feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments section. I’ll respond as soon as I can.

PHS

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Spark’s Corner Vol. 1

The real Spark has kindly agreed to help out with my newsletter and here was his first effort from a few weeks ago (with a bit of assistance from me):

Hello! I’m really excited about recent developments. As many readers know, I talk with my tail wags and I’ve let it be know for a long time that I want a pet cat. My old cat was named Becky and she was with the family when I arrived but she died several years ago.

Well, just a few weeks ago a little stray kitten showed up near the house and I convinced everyone to keep him. He’s really small just now and I’m not allowed to play with him yet since I might hurt him without meaning to – I’m so big compared to him. But I’m really friendly and have introduced myself.

The kitten’s name is Minou and he’s very playful – I can hardly contain my excitement. I wish he’d grow faster. And what’s more is that I love babies and small children. The family has to pull me away from them because I get so excited around them – I’m just friendly that way (I’d take a job as a greeter somewhere if I could since I’m such a people-dog).

Anyway, that’s all I wanted to say today. I’ll be back next month with more about what I’ve been doing. Maybe I’ll get a treat for this. I love treats!

Spark will be back next month after the next newsletter edition. Hopefully, he won’t be so fixated on the kitten and he’ll share a few more tidbits.

Life, Writing and Scattered Ruminations

It’s been rather busy the last few weeks with lots of different activities and events to distract and occupy my mind. Last weekend, I attended a writer’s conference where I picked up a few good tips and networked with some other writers. Along the way, I aggravated my neck and shoulder so that I had trouble sleeping several nights after the conference due to pain. I finally cleared that all up so I could think to work on writing.

Since I lost my job back in February, I’ve been looking for replacement income and working to ramp up a variety of projects. Unfortunately, I’ve stumbled with consistently working on The White Arrow so that I’m up against some deadlines on a couple of peripheral projects.

These projects have a bit of back-story to them; ideas I had shelved until I could complete The Bow of Hart Saga this year. However, an opportunity to work with a literary agent came my way back in December. I had to provide her some content about these two projects several months ago and she liked them well enough that I now have representation. So I’m juggling three projects at the moment with the possibility that one or all three of them might end up under contract with a publisher later in the year.

As such, this week I switched to these projects and have made a lot more progress. I guess the proposals weighed heavier on my mind than I thought. I probably should have worked on them first since they are shorter (for the moment) and needed my attention well ahead of The White Arrow’s ultimate timeline requirements.

But now that I’ve concentrated on the side projects, I’m moving them out of my way so I can get back to The White Arrow with some renewed creativity. I’ll continue pushing forward with the rough draft next week with a bit clearer focus than the past several weeks and hope to finish it by the end of the month if not before that date.

It’s been a little busy around the house too. One of the dogs needed a minor surgery. We’ve taken in a stray kitten who’s a playful ball of fur. We’ve been careful to socialize the dogs and the kitten but they are getting along well with each other. However, there’s still a bit of curiosity on the part of the dogs.

My riding mower is quite old and the deck was far more rusted than I had thought when the mowing season started. Having a good swath of grass to mow and living in central Alabama, a good riding mower is very handy to have lest I spend most of a day exhausting myself with a push mower. It’s good exercise but I’m good for nothing else the rest of the day after three hours work in the heat. However, there is no replacement deck available for my old mower so a friend offered to repair it by cutting out the rusted spots and welding in replacement metal. Hopefully, repair will be completed soon and I can get back to work on the yard.

Along the way, I began repairing a couple of chairs around the house too. One, being a simple re-glue after cleaning off the old glue, is completed. The second one is a bit more complex since the dowel is broken. I’ll fiddle with it and make the repair so it should be in one piece soon.

Until then, I’ll keep working on my various writing projects and looking for a new job. Otherwise, I’ll keep expanding my writing career the best I can. With three projects, I certainly don’t have time to fret since there’s plenty of writing opportunity regardless of my job status.

Thanks for reading today and please leave any thoughts you may have in the comments section.

Keeping my fingers dancing on the keyboard for now,

PHS