February’s nearly done and gone, which means it’s time to see what I’ve managed to accomplish this month in my reading and writing world…and what’s been a complete dud.
The Bad News
Let’s just get the February duds out of the way, so we can move on to the good stuff.
Okay, this one isn’t a dud, it’s just taking longer than I expected. Possibly because I’m overthinking it and possibly because I’m afraid to throw money into something that could be a completely pointless endeavor.
Yep, I’m talking about (again), the podcast I want to start. Ideas for episodes are rolling in, I’ve scripted a trailer, I’ve even written a couple episodes, I’ve got cover art, I’ve got a name, and I’ve been learning like crazy.
But I’m still yet to do anything with all that because 1) I’m having a nightmare of a time choosing hosting services for the podcast and website, 2) I am hesitant to invest money into the website and podcast hosting, 3) I’m utterly confused with some of the techie stuff, 4) I’m trying to figure out how I will schedule all this in to my writing, blogging, newslettering, and cat butlering schedule.
So, I’m dragging my heels. Every time I’m about to commit to a hosting service, I pull back my trigger finger and go on to do more research…meanwhile ideas for more podcasts and more episodes keep popping into my overly ambitious brain.
Dud # 2
From the books and blog content I’ve put out so far, you may have noticed I like myself some history. So the natural progression is for me to move into historical fiction (my dream genre). To get the ball rolling, I devoted this month to researching some ideas for the story I’d like to tackle.
I found the perfect one. Okay, I’ve found more than one, but there’s one that I REALLY like above the others.
And then my brain kicked into gear about the legalities of writing about someone who hasn’t been dead all that long (about forty years).
Unfortunately, the law is painfully confusing on this because every state has a different rule regarding Rights of Publicity and no one seems to quite agree on the rights of the dead versus a writer’s first amendment rights. One legal website says one thing, the next legal website says another thing….
I’m a little frustrated about this, so I may just set this story aside until the day I can actually afford legal advice (which may be never). Luckily, there’s another story that’s a close second to being my favorite and, since it revolves around made-up characters, wouldn’t step on anyone’s legal toes (I hope).
After getting the proof notes (aka “list of all my boo boos”) back from the latest reader (aka “Mr Husband”) of The Battle of Ares, I’m paranoid about the few typos he caught and feel I need to give this book one more read through before its release.
At this point, I can’t even remember how many times I’ve read over this book, but let me say, I kind of feel like this at the thought of reading it again…
The Good News
The best news of the month was finding out the Multnomah County Library system selected my novel Domna: The Complete Series to be included in their Library Writers Project for 2020!
Each fall they put out a call for Portland-area indie authors to submit their recently published work for the program. The books are vetted by the library staff and I believe 8 to 10 authors make the cut. Starting in March, each month one winner is featured front and center on the library’s ebook platform, which is AMAZING free publicity.
Even better, they bought 15 e-copies of Domna to meet demand! Nice :))
So, if you’re in the Multnomah County Library system, be sure to check out the book and read it for free! If you’re not in the system, just suggest the book to your library and hopefully they’ll soon have it on their virtual shelves.
Other highlights of the month…
- The Osteria Chronicles Box Set launched its three-book butt into the world.
- Sarah Angleton included my review as one of the Editorial Reviews for her new historical novel Smoke Rose to Heaven (seriously, check this one out, it’s good!!).
- Barbara Vitelli (aka “Book Club Mom“) posted another one of my book reviews on her blog.
- I researched, drafted, and mostly completed my article for Horticulture Magazine (due next month)
- I submitted stories to about 10 literary magazines and a handful of contests, including an artist’s residency in Hawaii (I’m not sure how much work I’d get done, but…). Wish me luck!!
- And I wrote the longest short story I’ve ever written. It’s for a contest that’s due in April and this thing took on a life of its own! I’m currently editing it, but it’s mostly complete.
Numbers, Always the Numbers…
There’s still a few more days left in the month, but thanks to that big sale to Multnomah County, I’ve already passed my sales numbers for last February…a huge relief because the month started out painfully slow.
So far, 2020 has seen twice as many book sales as 2019. Hopefully, I can keep it up!
As mentioned at the start of the year, I’m trying to reward myself for my efforts. There were a couple setbacks this month, but overall, I think the month was a win. So, here’s the newest secondhand additions to my Asterix & Obelix collection :))
This area of my life saw a couple duds as well, including a couple from some very popular authors. But the books I read and did enjoy included…
- I Loved Rogues by George Lewis & Byron Fish – I read it for research, but I LOVED it!
- The Cat Who Series by Lillian Jackson Braun – I’m fully hooked at this point. This month I read books 11 & 12
- Murder by the Roadside by Colin Conway – A short novella, but super intriguing…and it’s free.
- Christmas on the Anvil by Michale Penmore – Another free novella that was a fun read.
- The Sherlockian by Graham Moore – This was okay, but a bit lame in parts.
- Portland’s Lost Waterfront by Barney Blalock – Another research book, but really interesting.
Note: Those titles are affiliate links. They won’t cost you any extra, but they do provide me a few pennies if you make a purchase.
How was your February. Any set backs? Any annoyances? Anything to celebrate? Any good reads to recommend? Share your highs and lows in a comment below!