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!

 

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.

Back up and loping

I’m gradually restoring my site after the fire at my domain host’s. They lost their main data array as well as their backups. Not good for me. I had my site backed up, but not my database. So if they manage to restore my data. Excellent. Otherwise, I’m almost beginning from scratch again. (Thank you, Google cache!) And yes, I have set up an auto backup for my data. Yeesh.

Big strides on new book!

Pretty Ballerina, which will be out later this year, is just leaping along under David Anderson’s pencils and paints. All the drawing work has been done and he’s concentrating on colouring everything in right now. I tell ya, I can’t wait for this book to be finished and out into the world – which should be this fall. Here’s a little preview of what is to come!

Pretty Ballerina - Detail

Pretty Ballerina - Detail

Pretty Ballerina - Detail

Pretty Ballerina - Detail

A little update

Things are going really well on the sequel to Kana. I’m at the end of the book with this edit and adding a whole new final chapter. I know this sounds boring. I can’t really show you anything the way a painter could. Just know that I am doing all the right writer things to make it awesome. Including resting my chin on my hand, surfing the web for pictures of coconut macaroons, and blowing peanuts across my office with my left nostril. Hey, ya gotta get inspiration from somewhere.

The image above is from Jules Verne’s first scifi novel, From the Earth to the Moon.

Progress!

Progress

 

Well, now that I’ve finished the Seven Tales, I was seriously reluctant to leave that world. I wanted to write another fairy tale book immediately. But I’ve got other literary children that have been sitting patiently by the wayside waiting for me to get back to them and I couldn’t put them off any longer.

I have a kids’ humorous science fiction novel called Kana and the Red Pilot that I am dying to get out into the world. I have done test readings with junior high kids. I’ve let my family read it. I’ve even read excerpts in schools to grade six kids. Everyone wants to know when they can get a copy of it. Well, the big plan is to get the next illustrated book, Pretty Ballerina done. Then I’ll get Seven Talesout and then Kana . As far as a timeline goes, I’m hoping to get the three done before the end of the year, or not long after.

So that leaves me free to work on the sequel to Kana. Right now, it has a very lame title, so I’m not sure it’s going to stay. I’m currently reading over the book and making notes, then I’ll give it another serious edit. The first 80% is nearly perfect. The last bit just needs a little more work. But I can tell you, the first book was my ten-year-old brain’s dream book. That is, if I were ten years old, I would be hard-pressed to find a book that was more fun or exciting. And the sequel is better. I had to take breaks in reading it because I was afraid my little brain was going to explode. (Writers get to be the first readers and it’s awesome.)

So now the big plan is to spiff up Kana 2 and write Kana 3, which will finish up the series. I hope to do that by the end of the year, too. 2013, here I come!

(The image, BTW, is from Project Gutenberg eBook of Punch, Vol. 153, November 7, 1917)