Goodbye 2010

Some will be sad to see the year end. Not me. Admittedly, I’ve had worse years, but 2010 wasn’t what I’d hoped it would be – personally or writing wise. Hopefully next year will be better.

2010 in Review

In January (actually on the first day of the new year) I announced I was moving my website to a hosted site. I did it for financial reasons, but eventually realised that I didn’t want to lose my domain name to someone trying to sell underwear or DVD or useless gadgets nobody will ever use. I returned here in May but the hosted site is still in use. It’s now a useful archive site which will remain in place…forever!

Also in early January, I wrote the following goals:

1. Complete the planning for Whispering Caves by the end of summer (end of February).
2. Write the first draft by the end of the year.
3. Compile a list of publishers for Cat’s Eyes and submit, submit, submit.
4. Write a proposal for the children’s non-fiction and, again, submit, submit, submit.

Well, what can I say? I did finish the planning for Whispering Caves, but I didn’t come close to finishing the manuscript. What I wrote was good, but in the end it just didn’t come up to scratch. It was written in first person and that proved to be a problem. Besides, my focus was turned in another direction.

I did compile a list of publishers for “Cat’s Eyes” but that list was quickly discarded when I made the decision to start my own publishing company. I didn’t have to submit, submit, submit because the book was published by Kayelle Press and is doing moderately well.

The fourth point didn’t get done. I didn’t even give it a thought. Maybe next year.

I wrote a ton of reviews – mainly for books and DVD’s, but I also wrote a couple for Playstation games.

I shared my thoughts on e-publishing, much too often I think, I’m sure some people got sick of my harping on about it. Yet I have to say e-publishing is an exciting turn of events to the publishing world and a lot more people will be harping on about it in the future.

Even though I’ve started a publishing company, I still submitted short stories to publishers. So 2010 saw me in receipt of several rejection letters/emails. Luckily, I don’t cry in a corner anymore over those. I also received a copy of rejections that were more like encouragement with healthy feedback and lovely compliments.

2010 was also the year I discover ebooks. I read a couple of dozen books on my beautiful and handy iPod Touch this year. I absolutely adore my Touch and have used it practically every day since I purchased it. If you haven’t got one, then you should fix that soon!

On a more personal note, this year is when I discovered I had a rare blood disorder. The medication to help fix the disorder is so potent that I was sicker than I’ve ever been in my life for about 10 days in July. I certainly don’t want to return there any time soon. Right now, everything is under control and I’m as healthy as I can be.

Finally, I resigned from a job I loved in late November and have started a new job in mid-December. The training period proved to be intense and harrowing. I’m not sure I’m ready to face the real thing in the new year, but I’ll give it my best shot.

No, 2010 wasn’t what I expected. It wasn’t what I had planned for. But I think myself lucky that it wasn’t a terrible year filled with bad things. I am hopeful that 2011 will be a better year, filled with better things, and because of that I’m happy to say “Goodbye 2010”.

Book Review: Dragon Keeper

Dragon Keeper (Rain Wild Chronicles, #1)

Dragon Keeper by Robin Hobb

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The book started out slow and even a little boring. I almost turned it aside unfinished. However, Robin Hobb is known (to me) for slow beginning and brilliant endings so I persevered.

Once the place markers were set and the characters introduced, the pace picked up and I found myself entertained and thoroughly immersed in this world of dragons.

Thymara, touched by the Rain Wilds and born with claws and scales, should have been disposed of at birth, but her father could not allow that to happen and went against his wife’s wishes by keeping her. Alise, almost an old maid when she finally marries, had already set her mind to the study of dragons and refuses to let her new husband stop her studies. Lethrin, captain of a Live Ship, will do anything for money…and love. These three people are thrown together when the council are persuaded to move the young dragons to a place more suited to their needs. The problem is … none of them are expected to return to civilisation, as it’s a dangerous journey.

The three main characters are complimented by a great cast of secondary characters. Their individual stories are complex and real. This is compounded by external conflicts and danger. In my opinion, what the author lacks in being able to get straight into the story, she makes up for in character and world development.

This is a brilliant book, once you get past the first 50 or so pages. However, the story ended without resolution. Smack bang in the middle of the tension…it finished! To be continued in book 2. As my definition of a story is that it must have a beginning, a middle and an ending this was a great disappointment for me.

Reaching for the Future

Yesterday was the last day of the job I’ve had for almost ten years. It was a day filled with mixed emotions. I’m certainly glad the travelling (4 hours a day) is over, however, I will miss the reading time I had. I’m sad to leave behind a job I loved; working with people I respect and got on well with. I’m scared about my immediate future, but know deep down inside that I’ll do just fine.

Yesterday was also the day my book Cat’s Eyes was released. The anxiety of leaving a job mixed with the excitement of the book launch did not do me any favours. I was left feeling emotional wrought and unable to enjoy a very special event in my life, which is a huge shame. On top of that, I could not sleep due to the images continually flashing across my mind. I really do believe we should have an “off” button for such times.

Anyway, that was yesterday. Today is the beginning of a new chapter in my life. I now have an additional 40 hours a week to do with whatever I want. The thought of that will help me get through the next few days.

I look forward to writing regularly. It will be difficult, at first, to settle into a routine, but I’m determined to write every day. I will not allow myself to be overwhelmed by all I can now do…which often leads to doing nothing! I will keep my steps small to start with. I will work on a story for younger readers, that is about 45% completed. I will also “think” about the third book in The Land of Miu series. Most importantly, I will write.

I also look forward to reacquainting myself with old friends. Time restraints have not allowed me to “mingle” over the past 20 months or so. I feel as if I’m alone in this big world of writers, whereas there was a time when I felt surrounded by good friends, helpful and insightful people. I intend to be rid of that loneliness over coming days and weeks. I will be visiting friend’s websites more often and keeping up with their news. I will also be looking for new friends too.

*raise your glasses* To the future. May it be a good one for all of us.

Book Launch Starts at 8pm Tonight

The book launch for Cat’s Eyes will start in a few minutes and will continue all weekend. I invite you to join me and celebrate this special event. I will be online on and off during the entire weekend so please be sure to come say hello. You never know, you might even be one of the lucky people who will win a copy of the ebook.

The event is being held at Facebook. You will need to have an account and be logged in to participate.