An Update

I got the edits back from Runaway and besides the fact they made me want to curl up in a ball and cry, because seriously that was a lot of red, I can see how the story will be better for it. Sandra Sookoo is definitely a editor I will use again. So what have I been doing this week?

I’ve been scouring stock photo places for new cover art. Most of the prices of cover artists are out of my price range and I’m far from a professional. I have at least one artist in mind but it might take a couple of months to get the money together. The story will be going up  but I’m not sure when.

The publisher of The Dark of the Moon is closing, which means I’ve got the rights back. Now ignore everything I said about not doing my own cover art.  For this one I have found the perfect picture, seriously I love it.  I’m thinking of rebranding,  so the theme of this cover will carry onto the rest of the series. It will also have a new title.

It’s always a shame when a publisher closes it’s doors for whatever reason. I had my own reasons for wanting the rights back but it has left a lot of writers unsure about what to do next. I will be self publishing the titles. That really isn’t even a question for me. My more adult titles are also being put up under my pen name and I have a plan for those as well. When left hands you lemons or a mean left hook, sometimes it’s best to roll with the punches and then deliver one of your own.

Happy Wednesday.

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Howl’s Moving Castle: Rewatch List

Howl’s Moving Castle

howl's moving castle

Recently Film Four showed Studio Ghibli’s movies over the spring half term. I immediately set up the sky box to record them. I didn’t even have to think about it. I just knew that I didn’t want to miss them. I also knew that I wanted my son to see them. He’s five and his taste usually vary considerably. Minecraft, Mario and Pac-man are the things he likes to currently watch. The thing I like about Studio Ghibli’s movies is that they are suitable for all ages. They have a sense of wonder that I think can get missed or gets lost as a child gets older. So I turned it on and Nathan and I sat down to watch it together. It isn’t the first time I’ve watched it but I still enjoyed it. It held Nathan’s attention and frankly he fidgeted a lot less. My son just doesn’t seem to want to sit still but I think that’s a trait most five year olds share.

So what do I love about the movie?

The Story

It opens on Sophie, a hat maker, who meets Howl, a wizard, by chance. She is then cursed by the jealous Witch of the Wilds to become an old woman. Sophie heads out into the wilds and after helping a scarecrow with the head of a turnip, is lead to the moving castle and meets Calcifer, the fire spirit/demon who shares a bond with Howl and keeps the castle together, Markl, Howl’s apprentice and eventually Howl, who doesn’t recognizes her as the girl he met at the beginning of the movie, until later.

Two countries are at war over a missing prince. The Kings’ want all of the wizards and witches to join up to their armies which has created odd, twisted monsters like oily ink as they’ve lost their humanity. Howl is being hounded to join both armies, as he is living under two identities and the door to the castle can be accessed from four places in the world. Sophie makes a deal with Calcifer that will break the spell over her but the solution to her problem lies with her. She just needs to believe.

The Characters

All of these characters have their faults. They aren’t cardboard cut outs. It makes the viewer more invested in their journey. We want to see them grow. Sophie finds freedom in being old, she speaks her mind and become stronger for it. It’s her who brings the group together, sure they’d been living together in the castle before she got there but she made the castle a home. She became the heart. Howl discovers something that he wants to protect and that makes him stronger. She wins over Calcifer, which surprises Markl since the fire spirit only listens and obeys orders from Howl. The Witch of the Wilds, the one who curses her, also grows as Sophie shows her kindness. In the end it didn’t matter that the witch cursed her. When the witch needed help, Sophie gave it to her. The castle itself can also be considered a character, it’s a living extension to Calcifer and Howl, with chicken like legs it moves across the wilds with an unsteady gait. When Sophie cleans it, it reveals rich, warm colours, character.

This is a movie that inspires. It gives the viewer a sense of wonder. You become caught up in the story, so it doesn’t matter if this is the first time you’ve watched it, the third or the sixth. That isn’t something you loss with this movie.

Add this movie to your watch list 🙂

Runaways Update

Evening from the UK.

I’m writing this on a tablet so excuse me for any spelling mistakes, I really need to buy a keyboard for this thing. Any way back to the point. Runaways is no longer up on Amazon, it’s currently with Sandra Sookoo,  who besides being a kick butt writer also runs her own editing service. http://www.sandrasookoo.com/EditingServices.aspx. It’s being polished and expanded. I promise that it’ll be back up soon with a shiny new cover. Now why am I redoing the story after its already been released? It’s simple. I’m working on the sequel and since it has been such a long time, I figured I owned it to my readers, old and possibly new to give them something extra. Runaways will go up for free for a couple of weeks, not Kindle Unlimited free but completely free for everyone. In June I will be releasing  The Mischief Paradox, the continuing adventures of my telekinetic assassin.

The next step is to have some covers made up.

The idea is to update this site more regularly. The last few months haven’t been great and I’ve let things slip. New day job. Bugs. Not getting off my butt to do it. I really can’t blame anyone else but me. So I plan on taking the tablet out with me. It should make blogging easier.

Now I just need to think of blog post ideas (goes off to ponder)

Put Some Magic In Your Gears

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My story ‘Broken Wings’ is featuring in Steamworks Ink’s anthology ‘Tales of the Fairy’. The cover reveal is on the 15th, I hope to see you there. There will be prizes and it’ll be a great time to get to know the writers on a more personal setting. It’ll be an event not to be missed.

https://www.facebook.com/events/353722668163834/

Blurb

Never before have magic and machines come together in such a way as brought to you by the sixteen authors, poets, and artists of this collaboration. When the world of the Fae meets Steampunk, all things are possible and there are no limits to the places you will visit, the creatures you will meet, and the technology that you will discover. Put a little magic in your gears and open up your minds and hearts as you enter the world of Steampunk Fairies.

Contributing Authors

Lexi Ostrow-Author

Samantha Allard

Andrea L. Staum- Author

Kristin Snyder

Emma Michaels

Michael Cross

Beth Patterson

Michelle Cornwell-Jordan

Author – Nicole L Daffurn

Audrey Gibson

Author/Editor Stephen T. De Marino

KC Finn

CL McCollum

Catherine Stovall

Author Samantha Ketteman

Jeannette Joyal

I hope to see you there 🙂