A Happy Little Progress Report

HJFord

I can’t believe it’s almost May.  I spent from the middle of January to the middle of April writing a 7300 word poem, the funniest thing I’ve ever written, and completely not for kids. I had so much fun doing it, I can’t even tell you. So far, only my darling wife has had the pleasure of hearing it read to her and she loved every bit of it. (Not to exaggerate, but she’s pretty much coo-coo about it and thinks it’s one of the best things I’ve ever written.) Since she’s an award-winning writer and editor, that bodes well. I don’t know how or where to read this thing in public in it’s entirety, but I am determined. It would make a ridiculously entertaining Fringe play, so who knows…

I am now going great guns on preparing my fairy tales for publication. The plan is to polish the heck out them, get them off to my editor and release individual ebooks of the stories for Kindle. The first out will be The Seven Sisters, and I’ve just finished a wonderful buff & shine of it. I also have a really inspired concept for the cover of each and work on those has already begun, so stay tuned. Once all seven are out, I’ll release them in print as The Seven Tales.

I’m currently working on polishing The Boy Smith and the Giant of the North. I tell ya, it’s so satisfying knowing these will be out in the world soon, being read as bedtime stories to kids and adults alike. If I could do nothing but fairy tales till I drop dead of old age, I’d be very happy.

Spring has Springed!

My Piper

Last week it was -44°C with the wind chill. This week it’s +10°C. Virtually overnight, I went from hiding inside and worrying about the animals to wanting to spend all my time out in the yard. Yesterday, it was all about my big horse, Piper. Brushing, combing, teaching her to let me do some rudimentary farrier work on her hooves. Now I’ve got the smell of horse in my nostrils and I can’t stand to be inside!

I have put all my usual fiction writing on hold for the last couple of months to write something wonderful, outrageous and ridiculously funny. I’m 2/3 of the way through and progress is so steady, I should be done within the month. I love having a secret project.

Happy News

Well, my lovely little website was down for a few days. I think the guys who hosted my web stuff must have robbed a bank and flown the country. Even their own site is still down and they are incommunicado. I wish them well and hope they don’t choke on their mai tais (much).

So I have a new host and I’m very happy with them. It means taking some time and getting everything back up to speed. But as you can see, it’s going pretty well.

On the book front, Dianna is working hard on Kana and the Red Pilot. She’s done the interior and is working on the front and back covers right now. I’ve set the release date to be in March, 2014. But I’ll likely have pre-release copies long before that. I’ve been reading bits of the book to kids in schools in Edmonton and if I can’t get a copies into their hands in the next month, they will not be very happy (to say the least).

On the biz front, I have an awesome new logo for my publishing company, MacDonald Warne Media. It’s was designed by the extremely talented Cheryl McCartney. Both Kana and the Seven Tales will be under the MWM banner.

Winter’s here!

The Tooth - pup

We had our first big dump of snow yesterday so all our critters are feeling it. The chickens are glad to be inside. The calves have a new shed and a deep heap of bedding to snuggle into. The turkeys are still wandering around looking for their pants. (There’s nothing you can do about that.) And I’m building the most awesome shelter for the horses.

Things are progressing on the writing front quite well, thank you very much. I just finished writing a story that has taken me since August to get on paper. It’s called The Sneaking Girl and the Other Queen. (Yeah, I know, weird title.) After completing Seven Tales, it was a bit of a challenge to see if I still had the chops write another book of fairy tales. Confidence is everything in this game. And I’m happy to report that this is one of the best tales I’ve ever written. So, onward from here.

Pretty Ballerina went to the printer last week and I expect a proof in the next day or so. And Dianna Little, my extraordinary designer, has already started work on Kana and the Red Pilot.

I’m still on a bit of a high after finishing that new fairy tale, so I’m not even thinking about my next project. OK, that’s not entirely true. I’m just taking a snow day to laze on my laurels.

A Great Night in Tofield

Tofield Mercury - Oct30-2013-sm

The picture kind of speaks for itself. This is seriously one of the coolest literary events I’ve ever been to. Kids, parents, books, cookies and milk. What more do you need?

I had a wonderful time reading to everyone. Many thanks to C.W.Sears School and especially to librarian, Cheryl McCartney for inviting me to this wonderful event!

 

Kana and the Red Pilot… Out Now!

Kana-01-Header

Kana is now out in the world! 

Big thanks to my wonderful editor, Marg Gilks; to the fabulous artist, Mads Hindhede, who designed and drew the cover; and Dianna Little who (despite all the wrenches I threw into the works, did an extraordinary job on the design and layout of the book.

Here’s a link to Kana on Amazon.com.

Pretty Ballerina

Pretty Ballerina

Pretty Ballerina is finally published!

Among other places, check it out here.

 

Pretty Ballerina cover and other important matters

Pretty Ballerina Cover Drawing

Well, David is working on the cover for Pretty Ballerina. And it’s looking really sharp. I expect it’ll be done in the next couple of weeks. Then it will go straight into layout and be released before September is out.

In other happy news, I have found an extraordinary illustrator for the cover for Kana and the Red Pilot. (Yes, I commissioned a cover from Ron and Joe some time ago. But I have decided not to use it. Awesome as it is, after finishing the sequel, I realised the book needs a whole other style.)

The artist I found, Mads Hindhede Svanegaard, was able to start immediately on it, so if all goes well, the book will be out in November of this year.

Also, I have found a cover image for Seven Tales. Nora flipped out when she saw it and my daughter lost her mind over it, saying she’d buy the book just for the cover – even if, and I quote, “it was called Freddy’s Crap Collection”. So again, if all doesn’t go badly, you can expect that one early in the new year.

And that’s not all the happy news. I don’t want to wait to get Kana 2 out into the world. Barring the unexpected, I’m planning for June, 2014. It hasn’t seen an editor yet and no one has read it but me. I’m pretty confident that it doesn’t need a lot of work. (Cross your fingers and toes for me.)

Lastly, Nora and I have started a blog on our farmstead mayhem. It’s called SmilingHouse.ca. We haven’t got tons up there quite yet, but we’re working on it daily.

Kana 2 is Done!

KanaUFO

Well, I’ve finally finished the revamp of the sequel to Kana and the Red Pilot.  As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I was unsatisfied with the ending of this book and started in February of this year to rework it. It’s now July, five months later, and it’s done. I still don’t have a satisfactory title for the dang thing.  But I can tell you, it’s a pretty awesome book.

The first book is a lunatic (i.e., a 12 year old’s) romp through all the clichés of an alien invasion in a farm setting. The second book is a straightforward story of the same kid’s innocent attempt to fly a secret alien ship without getting caught. Needless to say, everything goes wrong. And I mean everything.

So far only my wife and I have read the second book, and even she hasn’t seen the much better revamp yet. But we both agree it’s pretty insane. I tell ya, I cannot wait for people to read this thing.