I’m excited about my writing work in the last six months! It’s been fun, positive, and with opportunities for learning and growth. My health continues to be a challenge, especially dealing with fatigue on a daily basis, but I’m able to pace myself well. I’ve amazed myself by how much I’ve accomplished! Especially in light of my old laptop dying on August 15, and being without a computer or printer for a couple weeks. The new computer is fabulous, and I’m finally getting used to the printer. Now if I can just convince Windows 8.1 that it really doesn’t need to be password protected on my machine….(smile)
Perceval Novels: My work on the e-publication project began in earnest after meeting with a writer friend who has several novels selling as e-books at Kindle. He gave me recommendations for an editor, book cover designer, and e-formatting company, and lots of great ideas for marketing. I set up a fund-raising project at Kickstarter to help me pay for production costs. Unfortunately, my fundraising fell short of the goal and I wasn’t able to take any of the money I’d raised per Kickstarter’s rules. I decided to proceed with the e-publication anyway and go into debt if necessary. I worked with a local editor, Patricia Weaver Francisco, who totally understood what I was doing with Perceval’s Secret and gave me lots to think about in terms of revision. I worked with the book cover designer, Christopher Bohnet, and now have a cover I’m really happy with. At the moment, I’m working on the novel revisions, more slowly than originally planned in order to insure the novel is the best I can make it. Once the revisions are done, I’ll need to finish the front pages, back pages, and the book club discussion guide before sending the manuscript to the e-formatting company. I’m still focused on e-publication in January or February. It will be announced here.
For financial reasons, I did not renew my membership in ITW for another year.
Short Stories: I submitted The Negligee to a contest but it didn’t make the finals. I’m currently researching more contests and other markets. Don’t know yet if I’ll publish it through Kindle Publishing. I’ve continued marketing The Light Chamber. Work continues on the sci fi story Light the Way and I think I’ve finally figured out how to tell this story the way it needs to be told.
Essays: I continue my monthly Word Power column in Minnesota Mensa’s Mensagenda. Otherwise, essays have not been a priority the last six months.
The Successful Patient: I’m writing this nonfiction book/memoir under my pen name, Gina Hunter. Work stopped when the e-publication project took flight. I plan to return to work on it in 2014.
Presentations/The Successful Patient: I gave another presentation in November based on material from The Successful Patient to the local CCFA support group. So pleased that it resonated with attendees and provoked discussion. The CCFA rep at the support group suggested I do a similar presentation in breakout sessions at the annual IBD Education Conference that they put on each spring. Patient advocacy is an element of chronic illness management that has yet to be addressed at this conference. I’m looking forward to presenting at the conference and for other opportunities to do this presentation.
Foreword at The Loft in 2014: This past August I noticed that The Loft had not updated its information on Foreword at its website, so I sent them an e-mail inquiring about the program. To my surprise and disappointment, The Loft had decided not to continue with the program. They would finish up with the last class but not start a new one in January. This seemed to underscore the need to work on the novel right now instead of the memoir, so I’ve put it on the back burner until the e-publication project is done. The Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative grant I applied for to help pay for it also didn’t pan out for me, but I was more relieved than disappointed. I may consider at some point in the future working with a creative nonfiction mentor online through The Loft.
Marketing: I have been thinking and writing notes already about what I’ll need to do for the e-publication project. I’ll contract with AuthorBuzz I think to do a book launch campaign for me. But I’ll also need to set up an author page at Facebook, and perhaps join GoodReads.
The Eyes on Life Commentary Blog: Coming up on the 2-year birthday for this blog and it continues a steady build in audience. Popular posts in the last six months involved the Minnesota Orchestral Association governance, and working with the ACA. I posted about my experiences changing medical insurance through my state’s online exchange. As with the memoir, The Successful Patient, I write this blog under the pen name Gina Hunter, and it can be found here.
The Anatomy of Perceval Blog: I continue to write here once a week about fiction, the Perceval novels, classical music, movies and book reviews, and anything else related to writing, especially fiction. Watch for updates here about the Perceval’s Secret e-publishing project.
Job Search: I set up a couple work opportunities online in the last six months, but the pay is not life-supporting. Still, it helps. I will need to find a part-time job, perhaps 20-25 hours a week, in 2014 and plan to plunge into the search after the e-publication project is done.
Reading: I continue to alternate science fiction/fantasy with other novels, and I’m also reading about conductors again. Bought my first Kindle novel but have not read it yet. I’m finding it difficult to get used to reading a book on my computer.
This past year has been a full and busy one! I certainly have more than enough writing work to fill my days. My hope is that in 2014 that work will begin earning an income for me — it is truly needed now….