Saturday, 15 November 2014

Saturday and the house is quiet.

My first week of November challenges went really well. I had 12,ooo words written for my NaNoWriMo thriller/futuristic novel and 7,500 of the second novel, a paranormal fiction with romantic elements for RWA 50/30. I had an idea a day for PiBoIdMo and a few spare and I was sketching something every day for SkaDaMo and the flow on from Inktober31 and I was also keeping up with my 52 week challenge art pieces. A fantastic first week of November. I even had the dishes done. Wonder Woman would barely keep up.

insert some dramatic music here....

Then came week two and guess what. My 4 month old grandson came to visit without his parents. I forgot how often babies cry and how little they sleep. I know a four month old sleeps sixteen to twenty hours a day, it says so in the user manual. What it failed to mention is that they do so in twenty second bursts and want to be fed, changed, cuddled and put down for their next twenty seconds. I am seventeen years out of practice at babies. My giant 29 year old actually deigned to entertain the baby on one occasion if you can imagine a six foot four -and-a-bit, pale as a ghost games programmer with sandy red hair and bushy mutton chops, dangling a rattling toy a metre above the baby's head as the baby wriggled and kicked on the bed gooing and gurgling and thoroughly mesmerised by the giant at the edge of his focus ability. My daughter(teenage angsty girl), who has had virtually no experience with babies was curled in a foetal position weeping because I had left her with the baby for seventeen seconds longer than I promised. The other lad, also six foot fourish and also without baby experience looked like I had handed him an unpinned grenade when I plopped the baby in his arms. It has been a very interesting week. I adored having the little one with me but I surely missed sleep while he was here. He is the cutest, sweetest little person with a happy disposition and a delightful chuckle. His smile melts hearts. I shall miss him now that his Mumma has collected him though I am going to reacquaint myself with sleep.

Of course, during his visit my writing counts dropped to zilch, nada, nix, none, zip, not any, naught, nothing what so ever. Next week I will have to do double time to catch up. That equals around 7,000 words a day for a week if I wish to get back on target. Wish me luck.

I did manage to squeeze some art into the twenty second windows of opportunity so I shall share that.

 I tried out my new ink markers on this piece.
I have been making art daily for over a year now and I can see the growth in my work. I have said this before but I am finally seeing the benefits of constant practice. This is for week 46 of the 52 week challenge. The theme this week is Circus.
 My young friend Laura gifted me with a box of metallic pencils and I felt that they would be perfect for this week's theme. The card is only A6(about the size of a post card) so these pieces are quite small. I was delighted with the affect the metallic pencils have on the black background.
This was my favourite of the three pieces in metallic pencil. I love the bronze and silver and the lines of the body. I looked at a lot of images of circus performers to get a feel for the eventual picture I had in mind and made preliminary pencil sketches in grey on white paper. I am in awe of the health and beauty of performers who can do the most amazing things with their bodies.

My Little Circus
woman on balance pole
So did I do more art than that? Yes I did. I decorated several calico panels for a memory quilt for a one year old and I did many quick sketches of circus things and animals, leaves and fairies and things a child might like. I am putting most of them on my Pinterest page which can be reached via my gallery button on the right. 

I attended a book launch on Monday evening. This was for the Warrnambool Writers Group anthology. This was my final anthology as I made myself a promise I would not longer contribute to anthologies. (This was also the occasion in which I asked my daughter to mind the baby.) The anthology is filled with delightful stories and is of a high standard. I am quite pleased that my last anthology is filled with good quality writing. The title 'Flotsam and Jetsam" was the suggestion I anonymously tendered for the group to vote on. It was one of several suggestions and I am quite pleased that mine was selected. The working title was 'mixed grill' which did not suit the eventual maritime and semi historical theme of the collection. 

The nicest thing about this anthology is that I received a free copy. No other anthology of the thirty I have contributed to has given me a free  hard copy. I have two PDF versions. Unfortunately I do not own copies of several anthologies simply because I have not been able to afford to purchase them. I did win a three volume set in a writing competition which was wonderful. The costliest part is the postage from outside Australia. It is usually much more than the price of the actual book. Several anthologies I have contributed to are ranking quite high in their categories even months after release so I am supposing that they are selling. With some anthologies the expectation is that the contributors purchase dozens or hundreds of copies at a reduced price and then sell them on to friends and families and their local book store on commission. I am happy if I can purchase one for my own shelf. I am not keen on the idea of self publishing simply because I don't have the energy of a nuclear power plant to be able to do all the business side of publishing by myself. The people I am seeing succeed in self publishing are dynamos and power houses and I am sleep deprived enough as it is. So no more anthologies. 
Which reminds me, I should pop over to my Goodreads author shelf and add two more books. One as a contributing author and one as a contributing illustrator.

Keep warm, keep well, keep reading.