What a busy and sometimes vastly difficult week it's been. Really, I'm astonished we've got to the end of it and are still standing. Just. Not that it's been all bad news as it hasn't, as there's been lots of nice future publication activity, which has acted as a bit of a boost.
I've received and completed the contract for Rosie by Name from Bluewood Publishing and hope to post that back to them tomorrow, although I've also sent a copy by email. And I have a lovely new publication date for the new edition of A Dangerous Man from Cheyenne Publishing - it will be 15 October 2010, so it's great to have something to look forward to after the inevitable exhaustion of the University's Freshers' Week.
At a less distant perspective, I've sent back the galley proofs of Martin and The Wolf, which now has a page at Amber Allure Press (NB: that page contains erotic content so be warned!). It will be published on Sunday 13 June, so not long to go now, hurrah.
And there's a new interview with me for your delectation at Shae Connor's Journal - thanks so much to Shae for allowing me to take over her journal for a day. It's much appreciated.
However, on the slightly minus side, I've been giving some thought to my novel-writing vocation (I hesitate to say career!) over the last few weeks on and off, and I've decided that when I've finished The Executioner's Cane, then I won't be writing any more novels for the foreseeable future. When I started writing novels in the year 2000, I gave myself ten years to make some kind of go of it and, in all honesty, that hasn't worked, and is causing me on the whole more grief than joy. So I think it's time to call it a day, as they say, and move on. In any case, finishing Executioner will without doubt take me well into 2011 so I've given it my best shot. Yes, I'm sad to have to take this decision, but not taking it will I fear be even more detrimental to my mental/emotional health so I'd be stupid to do anything else.
On the other hand, that doesn't mean I won't be continuing writing the short stories and, perhaps, the odd novella or two. The short story career (and there, I do dare say that word, though with tongue very much in cheek of course!) has been doing surprisingly well recently, particularly with my new gay and literary fiction publishers (special thanks for this to Amber Allure, Torquere Press and Untreed Reads), and bringing in more royalties than anything else put together, so I think it's best to concentrate on that. Plus it's more fun. In terms of novellas, I'd like to finish The Prayer Seeker's Journal at about 40,000 words or so, and then I've got an idea about a gay romance novella, but I won't start that until the last novel is done. Onward and sideways for sanity then, as they say ...
Talking of health matters, which we are sort of, I'm disappointed to note that my second CA125 blood test results weren't great, though almost identical to the first one - so, hell, at least I'm consistent! And the scan I had at the same time wasn't perfect either, though that's probably my usual and there's nothing horrible to worry about there. Which I hope is true on all counts, but I'm seeing the specialist on Wednesday, so I'll wait to hear what she has to say. Ho hum. Thank you hugely to all the people who've sent very kind messages - I'm very grateful indeed. While I'm at the hospital, I think I'm also going to ask her if I can change my current HRT doses in some way - I haven't really been very happy at all over the last couple of months, and have been positively weepy on many occasions and furiously angry on others, though I think I've kept that out of the public domain on the whole (poor, poor Lord H - what a lot he's had to put up with since March or so, and how much of a Superhero he really is!!). We think it might be the hormones, sigh. But, honestly, I really really can't bear a summer of this as I have no clue at all as to how I'm going to feel from one moment to the next or even how I'm going to act. God preserve Surrey! Is it premenopausal, I wonder??
Which brings me (though I trust the link is only coincidental) somehow back to the Cumbria Question. Not on the matter of what happened this time, but on the matter of what's happening now. I would like to nail my colours to the proverbial mast and say that if I live in a society where the press can without any qualms at all interview a 9-year-old boy about his reactions to the killings he witnessed, then we are in all honesty no longer living in either a civilised society or a humane one. The press deserve a hefty fine for this kind of child abuse, and the parents a hefty warning. God preserve us all indeed. Enough said. As I fear that in this age of celebrity-at-any-price and news-at-any-price, then people will do anything and my views are meaningless.
Anyway, here's some poetry to calm us all down:
There will always be ways
of putting your point across
but what matters most
is the listening.
This week's haiku, because getting up yesterday morning was just sooo tricky! -
Sunlight pierces air,
calls me to the crystal day.
The Prayer Seeker's Journal