Beautiful Trees Pre-Order

I was very excited this morning to see in my inbox, news of the up-coming release of Nik Perring’s new book Beautiful Trees

BeautifulTreesCoverRoast Books has this to say about the up-coming release:

Combining brevity with an overarching narrative, Nik Perring’s unusual storytelling is touching and captivating. His Beautiful series follow the lives of Lucy, Lily, and Alexander through words, trees and shapes.

In the second edition of the series, Beautiful Trees, the narrative continues to unravel amidst the branches of some of our greatest trees, brought to life by the rich and playful illustrations of Miranda Sofroniou.

You can read my review of Beautiful Words here for an appreciation of what is to come in Beautiful Trees.

Pre-order are available now via the Roast Books website. Release date is 5th November. I’m happy, because that’s Christmas taken care of for at least two dear friends who were recipients of the first book for birthday presents last year!

At Arm’s Length

Huzzah!! ‘At Arm’s Length’ (affectionately known to those close as ‘The Arm Story’) is out today in the latest Tincture Literary Journal.

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The feelings engendered by Publication Day never get old. And it’s been a while (for a variety of reasons) since I had a story published in a journal or anthology, thus today is extra sparkly and a beverage or two may be consumed in celebration.

A LONG ROAD

The first words were put down New Years Eve 2013/14 but it took a really long time to find the final form. The premise (a woman wakes up one morning to discover her arm is missing) is a pretty unbelievable scenario. Because the story asks the reader to suspend their disbelief, I had to absolutely nail all the other real-life details and motivations, and that took a while. The story is pretty indicative of how I was feeling at the time: slowly disappearing into invisibility, losing parts of myself along the way, lost in suburban obscurity.

It was also my first experimentation with the metaphysical side of magical realism which perhaps accounts for the length of time it took to hone and home it.

THANK YOU

Many thanks go to my beta readers: Dan Powell, Ben Payne and S.G. Larner. Special thanks to the editors of Urban Fantasy Magazine who provided amazing feedback with their rejection. And last of all, thank you to Daniel for again believing in my work and giving it a home at Tincture.

TO TINCTURE, AND BEYOND

You can read Daniel’s editorial, peruse the table of contents, add it to Goodreads or more importantly, buy a copy of Tincture Issue 11.

Clouds See Nothing

  
Better late than never, a birthday present for my glorious friend Rowena. Rather than weave the paper, I chose to tear the beautiful handmade Japanese sheets for a soft, bleeding, vein-like finish.

This started out as a present for a different friend, the passage from Six Memos about the sky appeared perfect. But the words refused to cooperate and when I surrendered to the fact, perhaps this was not the gift I set out to create, the poem organised itself.

Another lesson in surrender.

Another lesson in letting go of perfection.

Another lesson in trusting that everything comes in its own good time.

Coming Soon… Tincture 11

A sneak preview of what lingers in the wings as the release of the next Tincture draws closer.
Screen Shot 2015-08-24 at 7.33.57 pm At Arm’s Length is a magical realism slice of domestic obscurity and invisible love with nods of the head to the work of Dan Powell and Nik Perring.

Tincture Literary Journal’s 11th issue is released September 1st.

Virgo Reset

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There’s a standing joke in our house that the only time I clean the bathroom is during the moon in Virgo. While not entirely untrue, Virgo moon is always excellent energy to get stuff done – especially tedious, boring, detail-driven administriva. I love it when the Virgo moon falls at the start of the month or the end. It’s always a welcomed burst of highly-focused  work-related energy.

Today, with the waxing moon in Virgo, I did up a lunar calendar so I can see the next two months at a glance. With that done I got distracted digging the details on the Pluto transit of my 9th and 10th houses, charting the rise and fall of eMergent. Was illuminating in ways I didn’t expect.

Tomorrow, will be the monthly to do list and hopefully back into editing (if I manage to finally sleep again).

What micro-managing, high-detailed tasks (you’d usually avoid like plague) found their way to your desk/bench/work area/life today? 

Dark Moon Declutter

Welcome to chez chaos!

It’s the dark moon and it’s time to bring order to the room that hosts my creativity. I said to Helen and Stacey today, I wondered how long I’d go between tidies if there wasn’t a dark moon every month. 

The fact I have a penchant for fire probably means I would want to do it more often than not. I collect up all my print outs, old drafts, etc for the month and burn them in my fire pit on the dark moon. It’s my way of bringing closure and of sending my thanks out into the universe. 

I’m looking forward to having a clear and clean space to create in again because Monday it’s back to the ‘day shaping’* I started after holidays: writing first thing in the morning, journaling while The Boy does school and editing in the afternoon before the domesticities (which autocorrect turned into demon erotica?!) encroach. 

May there be plenty for you to give thanks for this dark moon. (And perhaps less clutter and mess to sort through).

* Whatever you do, don’t mention the word routine! I did once and only just got away without being scarred for life. 

Maybe I Was Only Then Becoming

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“You know you need to think of it as giving folk the opportunity of doing something that will make them feel good. You are doing them a favour really!”

~ Kim Roberts

Yesterday, I did two things that pushed me so far out of my comfort zone I’ll need a telescope to try and ascertain the faint smudge of its boundary if I ever choose to return there. I could say that launching my first ever mentoring program was the scariest thing I’ve done all year (maybe for the last three or four years) but it’s only the second scariest thing.

DO IT YOURSELF

In The Art of Asking Amanda Palmer says there’s two ways to do DIY.

The first is “Minimal DIY” where you literally try to do it yourself. Where the emphasis is on total self-reliance and individuation.

The second is “Maximal DIY” which is about expansion and asking. The emphasis is on collectivism; you throw your problem out to your circles to see what solutions might arise. (Page 100)

GO YOUR OWN WAY

I have always been a Minimal DIY when it comes to business. For most of eP’s life there was me at the forefront editing, designing, launching, financing and dealing with the day-to-day challenges that arise in a left-of-centre publishing model. I was terrible at delegating. I had no money for help, so I couldn’t source additional paid help if I wanted to. I didn’t feel I could ever ask anyone for help for the love of it. It was one thing for me to do it, but another thing for others to give it. (The few months when Laura Meyer helped me with admin  — because she refused to take no for an answer — was heaven and I sorely missed her when she couldn’t offer that help any longer!)

The irony of it is that all of eP’s publications exist because of collectivism. But for whatever reason (okay I could list them all but I wont), I would never allow the collectivist approach to encroach beyond the creative stage of storytelling.

TIME FOR A CHANGE

Amanda refers to a problem in her references to DIY. My problem was: right now I am in the middle of my 105 day social media sabbatical.

To promote For the Asking I was faced with two options:

  1. break my social media sabbatical (the minimal DIY approach and my fall back) — take sole responsibility for the promotion of For the Asking at the expense of something that is equally as important, or
  2. contact people, explain my situation, and ask for their help in spreading the word.

I opted for number two, the Maximal DIY approach, and spent an entire day wound up and feeling sick at the idea of emailing every close friend, every old friend, every person I have ever worked in publishing with to ask them to help me promote my new program. But I did it, because I had no other option. In reality, number one never existed.

AND IT PAYS BOTH WAYS

Years ago, my friend and colleague, Janette Dalgliesh, said I had a responsibility as the head of my business to lead by example, to be a role model for those who worked with me. At the time it was in regards to ensuring I was completely honest with the people I worked with about how I was coping and for me to care and put myself  first (especially with my mental health), get plenty of rest and to pause projects when I needed periods of down time to get well.

If this was the expectation I set for myself, if this was how I treated myself then not only did it encourage others to treat themselves the same way, it instilled confidence that they would receive the same understanding and allowances if they found themselves in a similar position while working for me.

Yesterday I thought of her again. I knew that by stepping out and asking, I was giving other friends, other writers, other creatives ‘permission’ to ask too. The confidence to say: could you lend a hand? If I could do it, then they could do it too. I don’t just want to be be part of a culture of generosity, of always being willing to help, and giving where I can, I want to be part of a culture brave enough, and stubborn enough (to get over themselves) to ask.

It’s something I know I have to learn to do. This is the beginning. Not the end.

Maybe now I am starting to ‘become’. I hope so.

What is one thing you want to ask help with but are scared to?