Tag Archives: manuscript

Current Work-in-Progress – The Aunt Enid Mysteries

Good morning everyone.
Now we have all settled into the new year, I can announce my current work-in-progress is a modern fantasy set in Adelaide.
This was an unexpected detour but is proving to be a pleasant one.
‘Aunt Enid: Protector Extraordinaire’ is a new genre for me – a cosy paranormal mystery (I found out this was a thing after I started writing…)
Blurb:
Daemons, fairies, magic: it’s all real.
The Otherworld is bleeding through the cracks in its shell.
And Adelaide is ground zero.
Something is coming. Something dark – trading souls for passage. And only one person stands between the Dark and the fate of the world.
Aunt Enid is just your average seventy-something year old. She loves to cook, is a regular at bingo and spends hours in her garden, talking to her arm of garden gnomes and fussing over the colour of her hydrangeas…

When people start disappearing, her great niece, Sally, is drawn into a secret world and soon discovers her great aunt is a Protector Extraordinaire.’
Then I am back to work on a new steampunk adventure series, ‘The Department of Curiosities’ – a steampunk tale of adventure, a heroine, mad scientists, traitors and secrets.
All for the good of the Empire.
A new information page on The Aunt Enid mysteries has been added to my webpage. This will be a duology, and the first of four books in The Otherworlds fantasy series.

The Year That Was

It’s inevitable. With the end of each year, comes the long lists of achievements, the dissertations of regret,  the (sometimes even longer) and lists of resolutions for the upcoming year.
I promise I’ll stop this. I promise to do that. I promise…
I promise I won’t go on forever.

Regrets?

I have a few – mostly related to a desire to have spent more time with family, less time procrastinating instead of writing, not being rich enough to visit (or help bail out) friends and family interstate and overseas, wishing my health was better and I could wrangle my anxiety more efficiently.

Memories…

This year we farewelled John Hurt (I will always remember him as the War Doctor), Carrie Fisher (It’s going to hurt when I finally get to see the new Star Wars movie)  and Bill Paxton (in so many of my ‘go to movies’, he almost felt like part of the family).

This both broke my heart and filled it up again:

Sometimes it’s harder to remember the good things (I think the bad seems to overwhelm us – living with anxiety can do that, particularly this year – but I  promised myself I wouldn’t get political in this post)…

I highly recommend creating your own ‘Thankful Jar’.  Though I’ve forgotten to add some things during the year, it still served it’s purpose. Spending the time, at the year’s close, unfolding each note and re-living the happy moments is worth the wait. Most of the best memories involve family, friends and unexpected kindness. To all those involved: thank you for making my year a better one.

Acheivments

This year was mainly consumed with writing.

Work completed:

I managed to publish my third book in time to sell at Supanova Adelaide. ‘The Illusioneer & Other Tales’ was also a significant milestone – the final in my first ever trilogy series. (available from Amazon, Book Depository, Bookworld, other online stores and direct sales from the author (me).) I also did the photography and cover design.

My short story, Mrs Hudson Investigates, was accepted into ‘Where’s Holmes’ anthology. This was published on 1st December and is available from Amazon and Book Depository. Hardback and eBook should be published in early 2018.

I’ve also submitted a dreadpunk/gaslamp short story to another anthology. (Wish me luck. I should find out early 2018).

Work in Progress:

I’ve almost completed the first draft of ‘The Department of Curiosities’ – a steampunk adventure with a heroine, mad scientists, traitors and secrets.  But I’ve been sidetracked with a new project (in a new genre – cosy paranormal mystery, set here in Adelaide). I’ve finished designing the cover and am working on internal artwork .

I attended some conventions and events:

This is a huge achievement for me. I get anxious each time I prepare for an event – braving the crowds and dealing with people is a constant battle between wanting to socialise and the urge to run away and hide in a blankie fort. Anxiety sucks!
It is exhausting, even when it is with the people I love, and takes me a few days to recover after each event. This year I attended:

  • Salisbury Secret Garden
  • Oz Comic Con (the final one in Adelaide)
  • Nullus Anxietas (Discworld Convention, Adelaide)
  • Steampunk Festival at the National Railways Museum in Adelaide, where ‘The Illusioneer & Other Tales’ was launched.
  • LibCon at Burnside Library
  • Supanova Adelaide
  • Christmas Gift Market at Tea Tree Gully Library
  • and a talk on Steampunk  for the Aus Sci Fi group.

I made some stuff:

I love creating (including writing). It both bares and replenishes my soul. This year managed to make some costumes and took more photos.

My favourtie costume was my TARDIS corset and skirt. I had help with toiling the pattern at the ACG corset workshop. Other favourites were my steampunk Wiked Witch of the West (Oz) with my flying monkey and my tea cup holder for belt – made with some construction help (hammering) by my Dearheart (as my wrists were playing up again.)

  

Steampunk also featured prominently this year (not surprising at all, really). This year saw the Scribblers’ Den (steampunk writing forum) move twice, with the sudden shut down of ‘The Steampunk Empire’. Thankfully we are now ensconced at ‘Welcome to Steampunk‘. This is an amazing group of writers, from all over the world, who support each others’ work. Love you guys! If you are a steampunk writer, come say hello!

Upcoming in 2018

2018 is full of all things new – I’ve got a new look banner and business cards and have already updated the look of my webpage. It was feeling ‘old’, making me feel dowdy and less professional. Now I feel invigorated each time I add something new.

I’ve started two new book series (as mentioned above) and will be attending my first interstate convention (as an author). Look out for me (and the Adelaide indie author group) in the Artists’ Alley at Melbourne Supanova. I’ve already booked for Supanova Adelaide and plan to launch a new book at Steampunk Festival next year.

One thing that has been lacking this year is work on my garden. So I declare one of my resolutions is to re-connect to the earth, tend my garden and reap the benefits of the endorphins.

Happy new year to you all.
“Laugh hard. Run fast. Be kind.”

photos and costumes ©2017 Karen Carlisle
Ball photo ©2017 Steamkittens
Quote from Doctor Who:Twice Upon a Time.


If I have to read that one more time…

Edits. I hates them. But not why you think.

Yes, they take for… ever. Hours scribbling on paper, crossing out words, adding others, checking references. My back burns, my eyes ache and that niggly tickling pain creeps down my leg. (Sciatica sucks.)

I’ve lost count of how many times I sift through my thesaurus looking for that one word – the perfect one – to describe a character’s mood, to show how they feel; stomping down the hallway conjures up a completely different image to inching down the hallway. (In this case: her footsteps padded on the carpet runner…)

But rewrites and edits are one of the most important steps in writing. They can take longer the first draft (depending on the quality of the first draft). Some of my stories have three rewrites; others – such has Tomorrow, When I Die – take up to eight or nine rewrites. It depends on how well the story was planned out, how much research was done (or needed doing), whether the story had taken a left turn and wandered off into uncharted territory or, in my case, how ill I was when scratching out the first draft.

There is nothing more annoying – or disappointing – as reading a story with dangling plot lines, sloppy writing or bad grammar. I’ve seen whole sentences repeated on occasion. I just don’t understand how such stories get published – even by the big publishers. It seems to be an acceptable way of cost-cutting for some. <Insert heavy sigh and enormous sad face here.>

But what’s the real reason I hate editing?

When I’ve read through a story for the umpteenth time, the fun and games seem to lose their gloss. It would be different if I could just enjoy the adventure – but no – I have to examine, judge, decide. I have to keep count of how many times a character has ‘raised an eyebrow’, whether they are sitting down or standing up and ask myself: ‘can she really see that if she’s hiding under the desk?’

It gets to a point where the manuscript gets slapped on the table and the house shudders with: “I can’t take this any more!”

And that’s when I know. It is done. It is time for my editor to check for commas and spelling mistakes. I press send and await her report.

I pour myself a cup of tea, nibble on a piece of chocolate and catch up on that series I missed… but not for long.

There’s still one more story to finish. A new story. One last adventure for Viola and her friends. I’ll miss them. They’ve taught me a lot. (The good news is the editing funk is not permanent; when I go back and read the stories next year, it will be all new again.)

Now, where are my notebooks for The Illusioneer?