Yes, yes, I know. I haven’t blogged in a good long while despite my avowals of keeping to a more regular schedule. I do have good excuses reasons for my negligence.
I wrote in an earlier blog that I had started a freelance editing and formatting business, titled Arucadi Enterprises, to edit and format manuscripts for people who want to self-publish and need help with the process. That business has kept me busier than I’d anticipated.
I’ve also mentioned that I wanted to learn to use a digital art program so that I could produce my own book covers. A friend introduced me to DAZ3D, a program that allows me to do just that. “You can learn it,” she assured me. “It’s not that hard.” She probably regretted those words, as I’ve had to call on her for help more times than I care to admit. But she’s been patient and helped me over many a stumbling block, and I have now produced book covers for two of my books, one just out and one under review. But the learning curve has been steep. A younger person could probably learn it much more quickly, but I am at an age where, while it is important to keep learning new things, it is no longer easy to do so. However, I have always been stubborn, and I refused to give up.
And of course, I’m still writing new novels while trying to get completed ones into print. I have three currently under way and three others completed in first draft but needing major editing. Following that editing I will have them read by my critiquing partner, whose help I find invaluable, plus other beta readers. These readers will catch errors I’ve overlooked as well as point out ways to improve the overall writing. Then I go back and re-edit the manuscript, incorporating the readers’ suggestions and corrections. So it is not a speedy process. I’ve just gone through that with my upcoming young adult fantasy, To the Far Side of the Forest.
So I really have been busy. Now I have to concentrate on promotion—getting the word out about Were House, the novel that has just come out and the one that will be coming out, I hope, by the end of October.
And, you know what? I love all this busyness. Yes, I do get frustrated at times, but I keep plowing through the difficult rows, and eventually things calm down and I’m pleased with the results. I get a great deal of satisfaction from overcoming the problems I’ve refused to give up on.
Here’s what I’ve learned from all this activity:
- Failing at something isn’t the end of the world. Rather, it’s a learning experience. If I apply what I learned from that failure and then try again—and again and again, if necessary—I’ll eventually figure out the right way of doing whatever it is I’m trying to accomplish.
- There’s no disgrace in not getting something right the first time and having to do it over. An eventual success that comes after many failed attempts is all the sweeter for having come after a difficult struggle.
- If I give up on something I thought I wanted to accomplish, I didn’t want it badly enough in the first place.
- Persistence is more productive than talent. Or perhaps it’s more correct to say, Persistence produces and hones talent.
- I may not be able to move a metaphoric mountain, but I can find a way around it. It may take longer to get to the other side that way, but I will get there.
Now I want to proudly announce the publication of my adult urban fantasy novel Were House, now available from Amazon in trade paperback and e-book editions. Here’s the cover flat. Pictures on front and back were my first efforts using DAZ3D and putting on finishing touches in Paint Shop Pro. You may wonder why I used so much of the cover for the title and author and left the cover picture rather small. The answer is that I had no choice. The picture is necessarily wide, and to get the full width, I had to sacrifice height. That wasn’t necessary on my second cover.
Were House is available from Amazon as a trade paperback and in electronic editions. Take a look.
And now a bonus: the first look at the cover flat for my upcoming teen novel, To the Far Side of the Forest, my second effort at producing my own cover art.
This may require a bit of lightening, but it is basically the way it will appear when the book comes out in late October.