Tuesday, 1 January 2013


Thank you for your continued support.
2012 has been a funny old year. The Highs have been life-affirming, the Lows disappointing, yet enlightening. Still, if Chinese astrology is anything to go by, it's still Year of The Dragon until 10th February, so most of 2012's energies are still with us for a bit. Fine by me.
However, as January 1st signals a turning point for many, a round-up of my year seems appropriate.
At the start of the year* I lost the last of my grandparents, which sparked in change in my thinking that I can only describe as a watershed. As a teen things seemed as black and white as pages in a book. The way I saw it, from my twenties until this point I'd been able to not only to read between the lines, I saw grey areas too.  However, at this junction I saw that there was even more to the book of life. I found new meanings, new ideals and saw the myriad of colour the book contained. I also began to fully realise that in terms of understanding, I had much of this book to experience yet.  I decided to take new approaches to life, pursue goals fervently, and stay open to possibilities I'd disregarded in the past. Yes, it was upsetting to say goodbye to a relative, but born of the sadness was new hope and determination. I considered myself an open and tolerant person, but now I welcome all that this book of life is willing to teach. With this new insight, I plunged ahead into 2012.

March arrived as I finished my first ever novel, The Ferryman's Wife.  After months of forcing myself to get the book posted on here, a chapter at a time, I'd finally reached the conclusion.  However, the end was rushed and I vowed to add to it. Even so, I received some fantastic feedback from a number of dedicated followers. They may not follow this blog as a face on a numbered list => but they had tuned in with such regularity that I'd found it encouraging. It was their support and appreciation of my writing that gave me the impetus to approach publishers. I did not think to submit the peice as a manuscript. I simply contacted them and asked them if I could publish a blogged story.  After all, what did I know? I had been taking pointers from Silvia Paoletta of Darkest Sins and Dark World Books,  whose sage advice had brought me that far. But being published? Sure, she'd told me it would happen if I blogged, but I'd never for a moment thought of submitting my first ever online book to a publisher. However, I was taking new approaches, and so I sent emails to a few small publishing houses. One got back to me quickly, read my work, and offered me a contract. I was over the moon! A publisher thought that my little fantasy adventure was worthy of investing in. March 22nd saw me signing that contract and ultimately changing my life.

Over the following months I adapted the ending of The Ferryman's Wife and submitted it for a final edit with the publisher. I was still riding the high wave, thrilled that I'd had such a wonderful opportunity, and looked forward to my launch date in August.   Things appeared to be going well.  The launch party was fun, for what it was: a Facebook event where a small group (mostly my friends) joined in with games and quizes related to my book. I invited the majority of them over for vino and hilarity. With laptops on the dining room table, we had an altogether different kind of launch party. Sadly, I hadn't received any proofs of my books in time for the event, in fact I hadn't seen the finished article at all, but I didn't let it dampen my spirits.

After the event had past, more problems began to occur, but again I tried to see things from a different perspective. Everyone makes mistakes, right? Sadly, it soon became apparent I was the one who had made the mistake. Although I remained hopeful, overlooked issues, and tried to stay positive, certain things started to niggle at me. I plodded onwards, and tried to be as understanding as I could. Then, one day I was given a wonderful surprise! My blog had a makeover from Silvia Paoletta! The new look gave my blog a professional edge. This woman inspired hope in me, and this surprise put wind in my sails which spurred me onwards.

Another wonderful occurance this year, connected to my book, was getting back in touch with John Clarkson, the librarian at Trinity Academy. His willingness to help me promote The Ferryman's Wife to the pupils was a blessing. It was also good to get reaquainted with someone I'd  got along well with in the past. In September  this wonderful event at my old school went ahead. It was a valuable experience, speaking with those youngsters. It certainly opened up different ways of promoting my book.  I also got married that month, something I'd swore I'd never do. It had taken me nine years of being with my partner, and the death of my grandmother in January, to come to the decision of marriage.  Unfortunately, I'd been too hasty in my decision to sign with this paticular publisher.

There were problems which I will not go into on this blog, as I have resolved to not cover old ground. If you do not know what this is in reference to, I apologize, as I wont be giving an explantion. By October I'd decided to continue with my contract, but not sign with them again. I wanted to make the best of the situation, with the aim of finding another publisher once this contract terminated. Then, in November, the publishing company closed. I was free! Or so I thought. As it turned out there were more problems in store for me from these people. Yet I refused to let it hold me back. Seizing the oppoortunity to have my book properly edited, and put out to a standard I was happy with, I took the plunge. In December I self-published my story. Again, thanks to Dark World Books for a truly fabulous editing job. I now feel that I'm able to promote my story with confidence.

And here we are. Yes, there have been problems, but this year has brought me new friends, business accosiates, opportunities, and harsh lessons learned. That, to me, is a good year.

New years resoloutions? I don't do them often, but I've decided to limit my time on Facebook. It is a wonderful way of keeping in touch with friends and promoting ones wares. What I discovered this year is that it can also be used in such a way as to create a false sense of importance. I will continue to connect with people, uphold friendships and such like. What I will not do is take stock in any person or business that does the bulk of their practise through Facebook, and that includes me.  It seems there are many who would use Facebook as a means to cause trouble. While it's wonderful for getting messages out there, I dislike how easy it is to create false identities and in turn, false situations that can blow up out of all proportion. Still, ever the one to see the silver lining on a mushroom-cloud; I take what this experience has taught me and now hold it in my arsenal. I remain a tolerant person, but when it comes to business I now refuse to compromise my standards. If this past year has taught me anything, in the future I'll act on warning signs instead of giving the benefit of the doubt.

So to you all, I wish you happy reading, writing, listening or whatever it is you do that makes your life satisfying, (so long as it hurts no one but yourselves). I see this year as bringing me an opportunity to forge ahead with my career. After all, it is only just the beginning.
*Still the old Chinese year, Year of the Rabbit. I know far too much of this stuff not to use it when it seems relevant. Myths and Legend are of great influence and inspiration to me. 

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