‘Flu And The TBR Pile

Someone at the day job was kind enough to gift me with the ‘flu. I took it out and about with me yesterday in hopes of being able to regift it to someone else, but managed to return home with it in spite of myself. On the bright side, I did also return with medicine and a simply beautiful belated birthday present.

So today, with the exception of church, I’m staying home and coddling myself. I’ve got a couple of Richard Sibbes books for my Sunday reads (might even get back to Bunyan, if I get the time) and a nice warm cuppa, plus my trusty patchwork quilt wot me Ma made. Also, since Wolfskin is done and dusted (and available to buy as paperback and ebook) I have a greater amount of free time- which means my weekly TBR pile has again grown to a decent size.

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Raising Steam is because- well, Terry Pratchett. What else? Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell is because it sounded awfully interesting and it has a cover with one of my favourite actors on it. Backlash is because I’ll be doing another Favourite Authors post on Nicholas Fisk next week (plus I adore his books, and Backlash was one of the first I read and really loved) and Madeleine L’engle is there because this is one of hers that I haven’t read yet. Her A Wrinkle In Time is one of my all-time favourite sci-fi titles, and Charles Wallace and Meg are two of my all-time favourite characters, so I’m always willing to give her books a try. JRR Tolkien’s Children of Hurin is there, oddly enough,because someone gave it a negative review, and everything in that review reminded me of what I loved about Lord of the Rings, so I thought that there was a good chance I’d like this too. Also, I still have The Adventures of Tom Bombadil to read, even if it’s not on the pile.

What I’m not reading, but am looking forward to: A.F.E. Smith’s Darkhaven and Kate Stradling‘s newest book (which, alas, is probably still some time away.) Also the last Tiffany Aching book by Terry Pratchett, which will be published posthumously.

It won’t be all reading and cuppa tea-ing this week, of course. I’ve still got the tiniest bit of Spindle to finish, so there’s that: and since the first two new covers in my Time-Traveller’s Best Friend series are nearing completion, I’ve got to get cracking on the stories for Memento Mori also. Fortunately enough, all of the above can be done from where I am currently: snuggled in my patchwork quilt on a leather recliner, with my cup of tea right beside me, tissues at the ready. And the ‘flu means I have a very good excuse to stay exactly there.

So what are you guys reading?

All About Wolfskin

Just a quick note to let you all know that Wolfskin is Finished, Done, Kaputt, Uploaded, etc, etc. It will be available May 1st, and if any of you out there on the interwebs are interested in getting your hot little hands on a review copy of Wolfskin, send me a note via the comments, the Contact tab, or email (gingellwrites AT gmail.com). Reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, Blogs, and Kobo are very greatly appreciated 🙂

Wolfskin will be going on blog tour from July 6th, so reviews are welcome any time from May 1st through to July 26th. Later is fine, too, but I’d love to co-ordinate everything together if possible. If you’re interested in having me as a guest on your blog during this time (guest post, interview, excerpt, etc) feel free to contact me by the above methods.

I will also be setting up a Goodreads Giveaway mid-May.

See below for a blurb of Wolfskin, and if you’d like to check out an excerpt, click on the Excerpts tab.

Have a lovely week, all!

“If you want adventure, you have to march right up to it and kick it in the shins . . .”

At fourteen, barefoot and running wild, Rose is delighted to be apprenticed to Akiva, the witch of the forest.  She thinks it will be all enchantment and excitement, and not so much fuss about baths.  The reality is much more sober and practical- that is, until she meets a mysterious wolf in the forest and is tricked into stepping off the path . . .

In young, naive Rose, Bastian sees a way of escape.  Cursed to remain in the shape of a wolf after running afoul of a powerful enchantress, he has lived many decades under a spell, and now he is both desperate and ruthless.  But by breaking part of Bastian’s curse, Rose has caught the attention of Cassandra, the enchantress who cursed him: and Cassandra is by no means ready to forgive and forget.

Meanwhile, wardens have been disappearing from the forest, one by one.  Rose is certain that Cassandra is behind the disappearances, but can she and Bastian get to the bottom of the matter before Akiva disappears as well?  And are Bastian’s motives entirely to be trusted?

Sometimes the little girl in the red hood doesn’t get eaten, and sometimes the wolf isn’t the most frightening thing in the forest.

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Busy, Busy, Busy

It’s been a busy week. And now that I’ve written the word ‘busy’ five times, it’s looking really weird to me. Maybe I need a nap.

But I digress.

It’s been a busy week. My proofs for Wolfskin came in (finally!) but since they’re late arriving I have only a week and a half to check and correct. So there’s that. Then there’s the last 5000-odd words of Spindle that need to be done by next week if I want to keep on target with that particular deadline. And then there’s Memento Mori (the second volume in the Time-Traveller’s Best Friend series). I’ve only just begun it, and though I know roughly what the story arc for the collection will be, and have a few titles and ideas for a few of the stories, I still need to write the thing. By August at the latest.

With all these deadlines, you’d think I’d be madly at work on one or all of them. No such thing. I also got a new idea for a Short Thing for Weekly Fiction’s Open Call For Submissions. Naturally, I started work on that, with a little bit of editing and proof-reading around the edges. Fortunately, Wolfskin is proving much less complicated than Masque was. I seem to have caught most of the errors and inconsistencies and missed words before this point (does that mean I’ve advanced a level? New Power! Error-Free Gained!) and it’s really mostly a matter of a tiny change here and there.

Added to all the above is a busier-than-usual week at work, coupled with an annoying surge of my favourite companion, Meniere’s Disease.

I may just quietly go mad for a while. Don’t mind me. It’s a self-chosen madness after all.

What about you guys? Who else has a murder of deadlines? (Well, what is the group word for many deadlines, anyway?) And are you actually working on them?

Musings: Praying For World Peace

Image from 4THALUV's Blog

Image from 4THALUV’s Blog

It’s Easter, and a lot of my Catholic and Episcopalian friends are in church for the week, praying for world peace (along with other things, one presumes).

So I’m going to talk about peace today. Only since I’m Protestant, I’m going to talk about it slightly differently.

Essentially, Christmas (my favourite holiday) and Easter (2nd favourite- yup, I’m that predictable) are all about peace. It’s not, however, the sort of peace that you may be thinking about. Christmas and Easter are inextricably linked together: the one celebrating the birth of God in the form of a man, the other commemorating the death of Christ on the cross. The main link between the two is Christ. Well- obviously, I suppose. Christ is born (Christmas) and Christ is killed and rises again (Easter).

The other link between the two is the idea of peace.

When Adam sinned, both as a single man and as the head of the entire human race, we all fell with him- following our representative head. Thus, from then forward, every human born was born in sin, and at enmity with God: because how can a truly just and righteous God permit sin? If He did, He wouldn’t be righteous or just, nor would He be God. “For the wages of sin is death”¹ and somebody has to pay that price.

But because He is a God of mercy also, He made a way for  His justice to be satisfied; and in so doing, His mercy was shown as the great godlike quality that it is. Thus, when Christ is born, the angels sing: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”²

The angels aren’t talking about men loving their fellow men, here. That’s a good thing, but it’s not what they’re talking about. The angels are rejoicing that at last, on earth, there is “God in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself”.³ God becomes man, being born as a human; and as a human (and mankind’s other representative head), dies to pay the wages of sin. God’s justice is meted out on God himself, so that God can extend peace and forgiveness to sinners like me.

Since this is Resurrection Sunday, no Easter blog post would be complete without mentioning the resurrection. Christ rose again from the dead, alive and changed, because His sacrifice had proved acceptable and fully covered all of those for whom He died.

There’s peace to be had from Easter and Christmas, but it’s not the sort of peace that’s usually peddled this time of year. It’s a better peace. It’s “God in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself”. It’s the peace of knowing that the divine justice of an angry God has been appeased by that God Himself, and that if we accept “the gift of God, in Jesus Christ our Lord,”¹ we can be reconciled to God. His peace has been extended to us.

So, this Easter, I’ll be praying for peace on earth, goodwill toward men.

 

{1} Romans 6:23

{2} Luke 2:14

{3} 2 Corinthians 5:19

Housekeeping

Did you guys know that printed books should always be odd-numbered on the right page? Or that text should be right and left justified? Or, for a matter of fact, that when you shorten the front of a word with an apostrophe (ex. ‘leave ’em alone’) that the apostrophe must face the same way as one that shortens the end of a word (ex. ‘doin’ what comes naturally’).

I didn’t until I started self-publishing. Got any idea how long it takes to go over 300-odd pages of text, looking at every flamin’ apostrophe? Oh yeah, and MS Word just puts ’em through as regular apostrophes. You gotta think about every shortened word as you type it. (Well, there’s probably a function I can turn on somewhere in the recesses of the program, but beggared if I know where it is.)

Also on today’s housekeeping: both Masque and A Time-Traveller’s Best Friend: Volume One are on a Goodreads giveaway at the moment, until about mid-April. I’ve got three signed copies of each to give away, so if you’re interested, click through the link on either above, and enter to win. A handy little feature of Goodreads that I found out about just a few days ago, and that I’m very happy to make use of!

And as I announced on my Facebook and Twitter pages, Wolfskin is at present being sent out to bloggers and reviewers. If you’re interested in getting a free copy (either ecopy or paperback) for the purposes of a review, contact me at gingellwrites [AT] gmail.com, through the comment section, or from the form on my Contact page.

Fourthly and lastly, I’ve been bingewatching On The Up with the wonderful Dennis Waterman, delightful Sam Kelly, inimitable Joan Sims, and pot-stirring Jenna Russell. SO MUCH FUN. So many glorious one-liners. And I’m completely in love with the ending.

Well, that and the equally wonderful live-action version of Black Butler. I’ve watched it three times now. It’s become one of my all-time favourites along with Alice (mini-series version with Andrew-Lee Potts), The Fall (Lee Pace), and City of the Lost Children (Ron Perlman).

Seriously. Watch any of these.

Over and out.

(What? You didn’t think my housekeeping would include actual work, did you? Well, apart from all the apostrophes.)