A Long Road

The end of July, when I published my last update, seems like such a long time ago. And, in so many ways, it really is. I have travelled a difficult road—one I actually never could have imagined would work its way into my realitybut, now, I find myself in February of a new year and, although the harsh twists and turns are nowhere near over, I can see a beautiful landscape waiting at the horizon.

My work has suffered, without question. Writing not only has been placed on the back-burner, but has ceased completely with the exception of one short story (a form of expression I have never before considered). My day-to-day work, notably in the editing and publishing arena, has been a struggle as an understatement; mental exhaustion has taken a huge toll on my ability to focus. Hobbies and reading have become a thing of the past when, once upon a time, they were what kept me feeling most alive. However, with that said, the days are not nearly as difficult as once they were, and I find myself better able to focus on other things—things that used to bring me happiness. Writing. Reading. Working. Setting and achieving goals. The fundamentals that underpin my personality and nature. The sun now seems to shine for longer each day.

With this renewed positivity and ambition—something I used to have in abundance!—comes the recognition that, although I am sad to have wasted time being counterproductive and doing nothing more than focusing on putting one foot in front of another, the present is all that matters, and to continue where I left off is a case of better late than never. I can’t afford to give myself a hard time for not achieving goals when life hit me out of the blue and demanded that I direct my attention to weathering the storm; there was no other option. Now, however, there is a choice.

So, onwards and upwards. Back to adopting the usual work drive and passion, back to writing, back to reading, back to pursuing more than the bog-standard. Back to me.

A Book’s Words

There is so much more to a book than mere words. Of course, the pages and the ink, the individual characters and their profiles, the twists and turns, and plot overall, are some of the most obvious elements, but, essentially, each one of these needs to be written. In terms of more tangible aspects, there is cover design. Then there is the inclusion, fashioning of and consideration to countless other factors, such as marketing and advertising, and the overall brand image of the author. Today, however, I have directed my attention towards one of the more obvious aspects of book writing and publication—that of cover design.

The decision to halt work on my up-and-coming work was a difficult one, but ultimately it was necessary—although, in some way, I had no choice: at this time, at this point on my path, there is no way forward; it’s almost like there is a barrier, with no access granted either side, nor above or beneath. But sometimes, the best thing is not to fight against what can’t be or what isn’t possible in that moment, but rather accept it and direct attention to another sphere.

This afternoon, I have asked my graphics designer—whom I have worked alongside for several years—to begin work on the cover for the G72 project. Terminating all progress on this work was painful—is painful—and so it makes sense perhaps to continue with the elements that require attention but that don’t conflict with where I am in my life. Cover design and other more marketing- and PR-related elements all deserve to be a focus. Just because writing can’t be a part of my world for now, that doesn’t mean I should neglect my writing career completely.

And so today brings me to a brighter place—a place where G72 is still a part of my immediate future, and not so far away it sits in darkness. Hopefully soon I will see my work take on a more tangible, real-life form through cover design, and even if it does little more than reassure me that all of my efforts up until this point weren’t in vain, maybe that’s enough. A little progress in one small aspect of the whole picture surely is better than nothing, and so I’ll try, from now, to adopt that perspective, rather than thinking that G72 has had so much of my love, heart, passion and dedication, only to be discarded.

The G72 Project will sit in a little cupboard, filed away in a secret compartment in my Writer’s Mind. There is a light on, so I won’t forget it’s there. And my wonderful, amazingly talented graphics designer will keep me on this rocky path towards G72, steering me back in the right direction with each design he devises and each tweak he implements. It is my hope that, as these snippets of wonder reach me—and, in turn, are communicated to my social media audience—that we’ll gain more momentum and more companions on our journey. G72, without question, will become a reality. It isn’t even a question of When? because already I know: When the right time presents itself.

Months In Ink

The past three months have passed by in a blur of professional tasks and activities, centred on my everyday roles as editor and publishing consultant, whilst also devising and filming courses in my new role as a lecturer for one of the world’s largest learning organisations. Beyond this busyness in my schedule, however, I also have been directing my efforts towards the latest in my literary works.

This in-progress musing—which is all it qualifies as, so far!—will be released for pre-order at the height of Summer 2016, with publication to follow late-Autumn, and is, without question, one of my most exciting works so far in that it is an entirely new genre, and therefore carries an altogether different tone when compared with my past publications. I find myself treading an unfamiliar path that is both exhilarating and frightening, yet I find myself strangely at home with something so far away from the fantastical work of Alice. Perhaps I love to mix my two worlds; to dip my toes in and out of reality and fantasy, and then back to reality once again; to take differently coloured droplets of oil and add them to a globe of water, and rock them back and forth like a hypnotising self-made lava lamp.

The details of my next publication are bursting to be shared, but the secrecy must remain—at least for now. I do, however, very much look forward to releasing details of its title, the cover and blurb, and receiving feedback from my reading audience. This is always one of the most exciting processes!

For now, however, it is back to the profiling of characters and the tying up of loose ends and the unweaving of woven tapestries. Soon, I am sure, all will become clear…

P.S. Wishing those of my readers who celebrate a very Happy Easter! Who doesn’t love to see a bunny hatching from an egg?!

A Book Without Pictures

The writing of a book is one of the most complex, colourful, brimming-with-twists-and-turns projects a person can undertake, but the many different challenges and obstacles encountered during the writing period—which, in some cases, can span years—are quickly forgotten when the time comes for publication. At this stage begins an exhilarating, indescribable journey towards that pivotal end moment of holding the book, in its physical form, in your hands. The tangible outcome of intangible investment; emotions, time, ideas and imaginative scenarios. Flicking through the finished book, skim-reading page after page of black letters on white pages, is such a humbling moment.

Next time, however, I want more. I want pictures; not only printed words. Pictures. I want to flick through the complete book and see flashes of difference, a break in the text, something else to further separate this book from countless millions of others.

This is one element that sets aside the AQH project from anything else I have tackled and considered so far.

The AQH project is something that has been close to my heart, burning deep in my soul, for years, and is a work I still find daunting to tackle. My desperation to make it something memorable and inspiring, distinct from others of its kind, weighs on my shoulders every time I try to pick up the metaphorical pen. The weight emphasises the fear of not making this book as special as I need it to be. But I know my fears will subside when this part of the journey is complete. Until then, a welcome distraction from my reservations and contemplations is pictures. After all, what is the use of a book without pictures?

I have a friend who I first met 18 years ago, who is so much of an inspiration to me in the way she lives her life and how she approaches all goals in her life. She has recognised my love for all things related to my AQH project, and often surprises me with little gifts and thoughts to brighten my day. She is also a talented illustrator (I prefer doodler!), her imagination pulling little sketchings from a place I could never dream of accessing! And so, with all of this in mind, I have asked for her expertise and input with the AQH project.

The third little snippet for the project arrived in my Inbox last night, and, as with any time I receive an email from her, I opened it up with excitement and anticipation, and was not disappointed when I saw the beginnings of her latest creation. She is incredible, and I feel her parchment inkings will give this huge project an additional little sparkle; something special and magical to give this work that extra definition.

The daunting weight of writing seems to lighten when, as an author, I gain a little bit of insight, a glimmer of perspective, into the finished article; how it will unfold, how it will look, the emotions it will inspire. All of this keeps me motivated and focused on maintaining momentum in fulfilling what is one of my biggest ever goals. I only hope that the outcome will create the reaction I am hoping to garner, and that I can feel I have done justice to the many years and countless imaginings directed towards achieving this dream.

The Colours of Me

Sometimes I feel that my life is passing by in a swirling whirl of colourful chaos, with so many projects, responsibilities and activities to squeeze into my routine that, by the end of the day, when the quiet descends and the house is still and the moon shines down, I feel like I have barely taken a breath in the preceding 24 hours.

The busyness of my life is not a bad thing; it makes for interesting, full-to-the-brim days, and I’m blessed to have so much going on that I am happy and smiling for a million different reasons each and every day.

At the moment, my days are spent tackling a number of different projects. Not only do I have my more-than-full-time roles of copy editor and publisher to fulfil, but I am now also home-schooling my eldest, very bright daughter (also an author herself), marketing and promoting the recently published first book in The Book Creatives series, writing the second book in this same series (to be published August 24, 2015), penning various extracts and segments for my two upcoming fictions (the first of which has me very excited—the AQH project, due for publication in November, 2015; whilst the second is very much in its early stages, and will be available in 2016), completing my author website, making changes to my businesses—oh, and not to forget playing full-time single mummy to two little girls! I’m pretty confident this list is non-exhaustive…!

Nevertheless, all of this (relatively organised) chaos allows me to watch in wonder as loose ends get tied up and projects come to fruition. The excitement induced as a result of the publication of The Book Creatives No. 1 has been overwhelming and humbling. I am so very blessed and so so grateful to be fulfilling my dreams.

A number of twists and turns in my life’s path have brought me to this point; to a point I never would have reached had some of my previously held hopes and dreams become reality. As much as I can’t ever be thankful for the pains and damages inflicted upon me in recent times, it remains that I am now in the very best position to be making the most of the life, opportunities and skills made available to me. I am very much focused on making the very best of what I hold in my heart at this present time. Everything happens for a reason, and there is method in every form of madness. I look forward to watching as the dreams I have for my life—which are so different to those I held even 12 months ago—slowly transform into something more tangible.

Until then, there are pages awaiting decoration!