Okay, so on the 21st of January I predicted that I didn’t know what I’d be doing, just that I’d be writing. And I was right. But I was also wrong.
You see I saw a future of writing, not of writing and drawing. Yet that is the place I inhabit at the moment. My days are split between writing and drawing and I love it. I have quiet times where I live in a world of stories and characters, and then I draw surrounded by light and music. And throughout it all I laugh and smile.
My life is better than I predicted.
Saying that though I am still pushing boundaries as next week I have a course. Run by Go Wales I am due to go onto the Freelance Academy, which will give me the business tools to be… well… a freelancer.
But you already know about business! I hear you cry.
I do. I know about emails and planning manufacturing and making things efficient. But that isn’t what I am doing. I am making a business out of what I love. I sit down at a keyboard and pour out my heart, good and bad. How do you make that a business? How do you become objective?
Also I have avoided face to face contact. I used to work via emails. Now everyone wants to meet and talk on the phone. The two things that scare me.
So that is what the course is for. I am off to find out how to market myself, how to network and how not to hide in corners but smile and seem bubbly. People who know me may think that I’m like that anyway, but it is a mask. And I can only do it when I’m not stressed. When I’m stressed I become quiet and withdrawn. Not a good thing when you are trying to discuss a book or talk to a gallery owner. Hopefully, by the end of next week I will have ‘skills’, and feel a little less like I am floundering through a business swamp that seems determined to suck me under, leaving no trace but a few debts floating on the surface.
This post was inspired by the daily prompt – 190 days later.
Sorry about the wait for the next bit of ‘The Gone’ but I have been ill. Getting back on my feet now so here it is – the next installment. Will Max hold the answers Bitsy and Colin are looking for?
Originally posted on The Gone:
As I step away from Max, I need to get away. The girl is gone and…
My foot bumps into something.
“Bitsy, don’t move,” Colin says with one hand outstretched as if wanting to catch me. He is too far away though.
Whatever I have hit is soft but firm and it seems to be moving. I let out a small whimper. Max looks to his right and I follow his gaze. Another pile of sheets is moving. Max meets my eyes and he looks panicked. He nudges Colin and he points. We all start to look around. Everywhere there is movement.
The thing I am near moves and I feel something try to grasp my ankle through the sheets. It is hindered by the cloth. Involuntarily I let out a yelp and jump forward. The creature under the sheet screams. It is a horrifyingly loud sound that reminds me…
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Well, okay I didn’t lose a year… I accidentally gained a year for ten years! Does that make any sense?
Okay… I thought I was a year older than I was for about ten years. That age went on everything; documents, banks, everyone knew me as a year older than I am.
It was an accident. I had a dyslexic slip and counted wrong. It is fairly easy to do. At least for me it is. So, about a year ago the doctor said…
“How old are you?”
“39,” I said.
“Um… yes. Why?”
“Because you aren’t,” he said.
“What?” I squeaked.
“You are 38.”
And that was that. I had to contact everyone and say I was a year younger than I thought I was. The worst of it was that most companies had worked it out and changed it. They had gone from my date of birth and not the random number I’d given them. Only trouble was that I was used to my age.
I mean, it wasn’t a massive difference but I thought this year was a BIG birthday, and it isn’t. The trouble is that I have ignored my age… I just get on with life. So whether I am 38 or 40, it doesn’t matter. All that does is that I’m happy and enjoying life.
This post was inspired by the daily prompt – Age-old question.
You see I have had to work on the unit over the last few days. It happened because I was exhibited at Aberglasney Gardens. I realised that I was losing out because of prints – basically I didn’t have any. So I came back and looked at ‘the monster’. The monster has sat in the corner of the unit ever since it was built. I turn it on every 6 months to make sure it is working fine, but that is it.
In the early 2000’s I opened an art business and I got a grant for some computer equipment. I bought a designjet… And A1 designjet.
Well, it is a large printer that prints A1. The ink is not light sensitive and the print quality is damn good. Oh, and more importantly, it is easy to use. But my first art business failed.
Well, sales dropped off. I mean they started to disappear and I found it difficult to make a living. So I drew more. That’s good right?
I drew everything to an alright standard. Nothing like I now. Sure there were some that beautiful but most were not. They were fine but not great. So there I am making prints – lots of them.
I still have masses (which I am selling off half price), but they weren’t selling. And I had lost my passion. I was tired and didn’t want to do it anymore. The toys came along and I stopped drawing. And the monster sat. It’s motor suddenly quiet.
We moved. The monster moved.
The unit was built and the monster moved in, but was stored in a corner. Then I realised I needed prints.
The monster is easily four foot long so he needs his own table.
Yesterday, I tore apart the unit so that the monster could work. And now he sits next to the computer. New ink has been installed and I am awaiting paper and card. Once that arrives he will spit out prints and blank greeting cards.
The monster is back and he isn’t angry at his absence. Instead yesterday he turned on accepted the ink and asked – what is it you require?
I am hoping to get back to the writing now. But I am sorry about the break – especially with ‘The Gone’ – everything should be back to normal soon. Except now the monster is up and working…
I might even produce this one… Not sure yet. :-)
No – really…
Even in this heat!
When I say snowflakes I mean writing snowflakes. You see, because of the dyslexia I have real problems with planning of novels. I have eight all started and all hitting about 20k words. But going no further.
Well, I can’t sequence and I can’t plan. Have a look at what is wrong with me HERE. So you see I can’t really do any complicated plots or subplots, but that is about to change…
I have found the snowflake!
Basically you don’t plan linearly – something I can’t do – instead you go out in concentric rings. Now I’m only having a go for the first time but so far it is working! I am shocked… I could describe it here but the process is done in 10 steps and has been written about by others, so please go HERE to check it out.
The good news is that if this works then I should be able to work through my backlog and get a fair number of novels out fairly fast. Some of which will be self-published and others will find themselves in different slush piles.
I’m even using it with the blog novel – The Gone – and it is working there too. So wish me luck and if you have problems with linear sequencing give it a go. I must admit though I do seem to be changing it so I will do a post to let you know what I found good about it and what I found bad. All I am at the moment is relieved that I have finally found something that works.
Now – back to the WIP and my snowflake before it melts. :D
The next part of Chapter 4. Has Bitsy found the reason everyone has gone?
Originally posted on The Gone:
The sheets move and I take a step back, bumping into a bed behind me. Briefly it wobbles and then falls. The noise echoes around the front of the hospital. More sheets are moving.
I watch, horrified. Then reason asserts itself and I step forward. Colin stops me with a hand.
I push him away. “They might be hurt.”
Max shakes his head. “They were never meant to get hurt. Two outcomes, you live or you die.”
“Well, they did get hurt,” I say, moving toward the nearest sheet. Why are they not uncovering themselves?
I reach down, noticing that this sheet is stained brown with blood. There appears to be a handprint on the middle of it, as though someone had used the body to push themselves up, or they had shoved the body away from them. Oddly there is no other blood, not on the ground. Grasping…
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The next installment of ‘The Gone’.
Originally posted on The Gone:
“Here,” Colin hands me a handkerchief. A real one. It is slightly rumpled but clean. I mumble a thank you and dab at my eyes.
“I wasn’t expecting this,” Max says.
I agree, although I think it is an odd way to say it.
“We have to go down,” I say. It is more of a statement rather than a question. I am trying to talk myself into being brave, but both of the guys nod. It is me who takes the first step though.
The road is clear until you get to the aftermath, I am guessing that the police had kept it clear. It is a guess though as there are no police cars or any sign of cars. It is as if everyone ran out of here at once, taking every available vehicle. I can’t think what that would mean… What were they running from and do…
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