Monday, August 18, 2014

Wrapping Things Up

I had the sheer bliss of a whole Saturday with nothing specific I had to do -- no meetings, no appointments, no plans, no obligations. I haven't had that in about six weeks. I would say that I wasted the day, but I think I needed a day for wasting. I did some laundry, cleaned the top of the stove and wiped down the outside of the refrigerator, but otherwise I played on the Internet, caught up on Orphan Black OnDemand, shed a few tears during the Disney Channel's tribute showing of Aladdin and read a little. And did some knitting that ended up having to be undone, but I'm currently working on a project that's just for the sake of having something to knit, so undoing a lot was more of a feature than a bug because it delays the time before I have to think of something else to knit. I also did a lot of sniffling and sneezing, which was concerning because I had to sing a duet Sunday morning.

That duet may have been one of my more interesting performances, and the things making it interesting had nothing to do with me. A big storm hit right after I got to the church, so there was thunder and lightning and a torrential downpour that could be heard on the church roof while I was singing (that town got more than three inches of rain during the service). It was enough rain that we discovered that there are some serious leaks in one part of the roof, so there was a waterfall cascading from the ceiling into a big trash bin in the sanctuary. Then I had to stand back from the microphone at the lectern so I didn't drown out my duet partner, since my part was rather high so it carried well and it was at the sweet spot of my range, so it's right at the part of my voice where it just flows easily, and the other person was singing alto, so it didn't carry as well. But standing that far back but still in range put me right on top of the air vent. Fortunately, my skirt had a lot of beading on it and was rather heavy, so there were no Marilyn Monroe moments in front of the church, but I did have a constant breeze. And to top it off, they showed a slide show from the music and art camp while we were singing. That could explain why I had almost no nerves. There were so many other things to be distracted by that I forgot to be nervous and just sang. I think it went pretty well. I had fun doing it. It's a song I love, John Rutter's "For the Beauty of the Earth," and the soprano part is tricky, but like all his music, once you learn it, it's really fun to sing.

The storm died down just before it was time for me to drive home, and the flash-flooding seemed to have eased, too. I would have been okay if the rain had stuck around because it would have made it a perfect afternoon for tea and a book.

Today I need to re-read the parts of the book I did the most rewriting on and do a global search for this book's pet words that I started to notice, then I'll ship that one off to my agent and I will have all my writing work temporarily off my plate. Then I need to look at the illustrator's concept sketches for the covers and give her some feedback.

So, for a quick summary of projects I've been juggling this year:
The YA steampunk book has been copyedited and is being typeset. I've seen the cover concept (and yowza!) but still don't have a firm release date other than spring 2015.

Tomorrow (though it may take some time to propagate through all the various retailer systems), I'll be releasing digital versions of the English editions of the first four books in the Enchanted, Inc. series outside North America. Random House only bought North American rights, which meant that people in the UK, Ireland, Australia, etc., couldn't get legal e-books. I'm rectifying that. The cover art is mostly the same, though the cover layout is a bit different and the book descriptions are different (because I couldn't steal those from Random House). The typesetting inside is different, but the content is very close to identical (unless something was changed in the galley phase that didn't make it into my files). So, if you know English speakers outside North America you think would like these books, they should be able to get them starting this week, and that makes the whole series available in English everywhere in the world. If you're in North America (US, Canada, Mexico), you get the Random House version. If you're outside the US, you get my version. We tried to keep the prices the same everywhere, but exchange rates, local taxes, retailer policies, etc., may affect prices.

And I'm wrapping up book two and working on covers for my new series. I'll know more about release dates when we wrap up the covers. I just (like a few minutes ago) got concept sketches from the artist. I'm working with a new, up-and-coming illustrator I met at Detcon. I saw her work in a slideshow and it just clicked that this was what I needed for these books.

I'm going to take a little bit of a break from novel writing to clear the palate. There's a story I want to write just for fun and to give myself something new to read at conventions. Then I have to decide whether to write another book in the new series or the second book in the steampunk series.

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