Not Surprisingly

Blog No. 382

giphy-1This is not going to come as a shock to you now, but it was not quite as obvious last week. The Oshawa event was cancelled. I’m not going to go on an on about how the outbreak of COVID is affecting me. It’s affecting everyone and I’m not that special. Businesses are going to suffer, and people who work in the service industry are in for a hard few weeks. I’m still not sure what’s going on with the day job (as I work in a city run facility and news is coming fast and changing often). For now, I’m safe and as healthy as a person with a chronic illness can be.

I get that this whole experience can be scary for some people, and I also understand that measures have to be taken to keep the virus from spreading, but the extremes of people vilifying anyone who leaves their house and those pushing to keep everything going as normal is as ridiculous as any other extremes. Pop Culture Canada, the group that organized the Oshawa event (and many more in central Ontario) has offered to transfer the registration to an upcoming event. Christian and I decided to try out the Stratford ComiCon on May 17th. It’ll be the second time we’re in the city this year. Hopefully things will be a little more back to normal by then.

giphy-2In the meantime, it’s writing and editing at home. Since the dining rooms at both Anchor and Tim’s are closed, the usual writing sessions are on hold. I live close enough to Christian’s that I can go there, so we may try that. He has an “office” in the basement where we’ve worked before. I got back one of the last two beta reads for Broadcast Wasteland, so that’s priority number one. I have to get the book completely laid out, cover template finished, and submitted to the printer by March 31st to take advantage of a massive discount. There aren’t any events to get it finished by, but I can really use that discount.

I should be able to have this beta read done relatively quickly (I’m shooting for Friday as a personal deadline). By then, I hope to have the last one in hand. When that one’s finished, I’m going to read the whole thing to myself out-loud as a final once over (a tedious task if there ever was one) then hammer out the layout. Since the layout is the same (almost to the same word count) as Neon, that shouldn’t take more than a day. Add another day for the cover and I’m finished. The book will be in the hands of the printers, then I’ll find some mistake I missed, freak out, then pay the money I’d hoped to save on uploading a new file.

giphy-3Even though I don’t have an event as a deadline for having the book in hand, I am eager to have it released. I don’t like to lock down a specific day as a release day until the books are in my hand (been there more than once already) but early April is the general deadline I give myself. I’ll try to get the books out to a couple of places, assuming any of them are open, and may do a delivery day, dropping them off to the people who are excited for it.

I’ve been picking away at the novel and a couple of short stories while waiting for the beta reads to come in, but I’ve had a hard time staying focused with the weight of the novella on my shoulders. It’s going to be nice to get it finished and move forward. I’m already pumped for the next one and I haven’t even started it yet. There was a local grant that’s due at the end of the month that I started to put together, but I haven’t been able to focus on it at all. I definitely won’t get all the minutia done in time for that. Getting started on it will hopefully mean I’ll have less to do the next time a grant comes along. Grants, ebooks, story submissions, and the novel are things I’d like to progress this year. The novel comes next, but growth sometimes means moving in multiple directions.

Okay. I think that’s it. Stay safe. Read books!

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