Dear Friends of Aviario,
I have been resisting this decision tooth and nail for longer than I'd probably like to admit. I know it's been a long time since my last blog post, and a while since I've been on my social media platforms, as well. Life outside of Aviario has been difficult, and as much as I had hoped to be able to balance being an author with my current struggles, it has fallen by the wayside. I owe it to myself and to all of you to step back, to address the things which are currently causing me stress and strain, and to focus completely on them. I have managed to write about half of the first draft of Adjustments, but my previous first drafts were all completed by this point in the year. Trust me when I say: this one is too good and too important to turn into a rush job. "A book a year" was a promise I made to myself, first and foremost, and while there's a little rush that comes with being that prolific, it's not worth sacrificing the quality of something I hold so dear ... or the possibility of burning myself out.
I haven't decided how long this hiatus will last ... perhaps, at least, through the summer. Quite a few things that are causing me strain and exhaustion are beyond my control, and I need to dig deep and find the sort of patience and resilience required to weather them. I appreciate the messages of concern and support I've received from some of you over the last month or so, and want to apologize for my "radio silence". There have been days when just thinking about how long I've been away has made me anxious: that spiral of avoidance stops now. I miss all my Twitter and Instagram friends, and I promise you, I'll check in when I can.
To those I've received book review requests or proof copies from: I do still completely intend to review your books! Part of my time away will be spent preparing for my return, and this includes reading and writing those reviews. I will be emailing you all separately for personal, private conversations. The same goes for anyone I may have scheduled guest blog posts with.
I know that in the culture of the internet, we expect things to come quickly, at a constant, breakneck pace. We click, we scan, we move on. But books are different animals: meant to be savored. I need to treat their creative process in much the same vein, especially this time around. I have complete faith and trust that this break will, in the long run, bring us all closer together, not create a rift of absence. In the meantime, be well, read good indie books, support one another, and - hmm - maybe reread the first three Aviario novels? This one ties them all together. You might want to refresh your memory ... wink, wink.
Until next time, I remain your fond concierge,
Just a brief update, this week, with my apologies: life still refuses to calm down around my little Burrow ... I'm heading south to Connecticut tomorrow. Normally, I'd be ecstatic to see the area which inspired Aviario again, but this trip is for the memorial service of a dear, loving, and wonderful cousin who lost a long, hard, fight with cancer. Being able to be with family, even for a day or two, should help ... and of course, a few pictures of the area for the Aviario Travel Guide might come back with me, too. I'm discovering more and more that I have to make my own happy moments.
I have my first Indie Book Review of the year lined up: the first book of The Letter Mage, by Alexandra Penn! It looks like an amazing read, and I have a review copy in hand which I'm looking forward to digging into. Fantasy, magic, space, and some wonderful LGBTQ representation? It sounds like everything I enjoy reading, and more. I can't wait to let you all know how it is!
My final note for this week is a bit of a somber one, as well ... normally, I only promote my books here on my website, and am more apt to nudge you toward my Patreon for crowdfunding, but two days ago, one of our lovely cats got suddenly ill. I've set up a YouCaring fundraiser for her ER vet bills and any procedures she may require ... Even if you can't afford to chip in, I would appreciate it very much if you could help spread the word. The kindness of strangers over the last 24 hours since I opened the fundraiser is astounding: a person I don't know from Adam donated $200. Knowing that there are other kind hearts out there in the world gives me so much hope: not just for Bella, but for our world and our future.
You can see the fundraiser, share, or donate @ YouCaring: Help Us Fix Bella's Belly.
Next week, I will have better news: good news, and progress, and wonderful things to share with you all... even though I'm admittedly saying so under sheer force of will. I can't give up on any of this: it's not even close to a choice. I love you all, and I'll see you next week.
Is this thing on?
Hi! Welcome to my first blog entry of 2018... I know, I'm seriously behind. But this is the Year of the Earth Dog, which means that it's my year, and I've been planning some things that are going to knock your socks off!
The first big thing is one I hope you've already noticed: my site's gotten a lovely new makeover in Aviario's signature colors (Go, Eagles!), and things are generally a lot more streamlined. The About Aviario page is front-and-center in my navigation, now, because I'm going to start rolling out some fun information and pictures about the characters and their favorite places to hang out. My goal is for your Aviario experience to be as immersive as possible, before you've even picked up a book: if the novels are the trip, consider my website the brochure.
The second piece of great news that I have for you? I'm opening up Between The Lines for indie author book reviews again! If you're interested in getting a review from me, please hop on over to fill out this form. It's only a few questions long, and extremely user-friendly.
I've also started sharing excerpts and art over on my Pinterest boards ... if you're a fan of Pinterest like I am, please head on over and follow me there! I also curate boards for Druidry, Bullet Journaling, and Arts & Crafts ... let's share ideas with each other!
Until next week,
Despite how busy and strange this month has been, I still managed to cross the Camp NaNoWriMo finish line for the fourth straight year in a row! It's hard to believe I've been at this, in a constant and dedicated fashion, long enough for it to theoretically be a college degree. This is, by no means, to say that I feel like I know everything about How To Be A Self-Published Author: that'd be impossible. I will say that there are probably a few secrets lurking in the practice of surrounding yourself with people and experiences which make you happy and/or inspired. (For the curious: those current experiences, for me, include watching the entirety of Twin Peaks, attending a community theatre performance of The Hound of the Baskervilles, helping a friend move, picking blueberries while there's still dew on them, and stepping up my artistic noodling away from the written word.)
Those of you with a sharp eye may notice that I've changed the Arts & Crafts section of my website and removed my link to my DeviantArt gallery, replacing it with an onsite one. Not only does it make it easier for you all to see my art, but it helps pave the way for my secondary creative venture: an arts and crafts storefront called Gifts of Awen. Some of it is related to Aviario, but a good deal of it will be more inspirational and metaphysical in nature, focusing on the intent of creating magical and/or peaceful art for small spaces. My first project for Gifts of Awen is a series of artist cards dedicated to the seven chakras. Here's a peek at the first two, which I completed last night:
My goal is to also create postcards and other prints of these, along with other small art designed to help people find insight, inspiration, and a moment of peace in a busy, cluttered world. Commisssions will also be available through the site: I have several slots currently open. If you would like to see what else I have up at the moment, I'd be honored if you'd join me over at the storefront. Those of you who follow me on Instagram will also see pictures of new pieces as they're completed and posted! This may also mean the return of The Author's Oracle ... only time will tell. For now, I'm headed back to my creative corner to chip away at The Proper Bearing and work on some more illustrations. I hope you all have a lovely week!
I'm not sure about the rest of you, but for me, the new year is the start of a new cycle: a time to refresh, take stock of what's ahead, and change anything that wasn't quite working for the best. This year, I'm not only applying that strategy to my home life (I spent the weekend rearranging my living room, to great success), but to my life as an author - if you haven't yet, please have a look around at the changes I've made to my website! It's now even easier to order both of my novels in the format you prefer.
Since change moves in ripples, and things elsewhere in my life are shifting, my writing schedule has changed, as well. Here's where you'll be able to find me during any given week:
Mondays: I post the theme for #2bitTues on Twitter, and do rounds of my other social media: Patreon, LinkedIn, Google+, Goodreads, Facebook, etc. (Links to follow me can be found on the home page!)
Tuesdays: It's #2bitTues, which means I encourage fellow independent authors to share lines from their current work-in-progress (WIP) on Twitter! I'll also do most of my catching up with other folks there.
Wednesdays: Updates to this blog will still happen on Wednesdays. It's also a writing day!
Thursdays: I participate in another Twitter game, #Thurds, do some writing, and kick back with a fellow indie author's book.
Fridays: Writing day again! The biggest change is that my newsletter, Friday at Charlie's, will only be going out on the last Friday of every month. This way, I can provide more content and take up less space in the mailboxes of my Friends of Aviario.
Weekends are for writing, and much-needed time off. I have loved ones to spend time with and a world to enjoy and be inspired by, after all!
That's all for now, friends! Until next week, I hope you all find reasons to smile!
Wondering when to expect certain content from me, or what #2bitTues is? You're in the right place!
Monday: I post the week's #2bitTues theme on Twitter for participants who like to choose & schedule their tweets in advance. This is also the day I do most of my promotional legwork for my debut novel, From the Desk of Buster Heywood.
Tuesday: I spend most of Tuesday on Twitter because it's 2-Bit Tuesday! This is a sharing exercise similar to #1lineWed with one big difference: the weekly theme is completely optional. Writers are encouraged to share lines from their WIP (work-in-progress), as long as there are no promotional links in their tweets. I started this weekly tradition six months ago, and it's grown into a community of supportive authors that I'm proud to be part of. Come and join us: even if you aren't an author, you might discover a new favorite!
Wednesday: Mornings are for Welcome Wednesday, when I greet my new followers on Twitter.
Thursday: I update this here blog and share links to Twitter and Facebook.
Friday: I send out my weekly newsletter, Friday's At Charlie's Bar, to all my Friends of Aviario! You can sign up for it here: I share little tidbits and news that you won't see on my blog, Facebook, or Twitter.
Of course, there will be links and other amusements on my Facebook page on any given day of the week... please be sure you're following me there, too, so you don't miss anything!
It's already beginning. As I sit here, this blog post is being fueled by a mixed bowl of Cocoa Puffs and Fruit Loops. I am still in my pajamas. My fiancee, the Super Ferret, is on a mad dash to the store to buy Doritos, Mountain Dew, and quick frozen food that we can eat on our already-existing stockpile of paper plates and other "fine china" so that we might exist on minimal food preparation. My sister calls this NoNutNo (No Nutrition November), and aside from setting the lofty goal of one home-cooked meal a day, I may have to admit, she's on to something.
Welcome to National Novel Writing Month. Only the words matter. I should be noveling right now, but there may or may not be posts for Between The Lines. There will likely not be any Friends of Aviario emails. #2bitTues will be happening with a vengeance.
I'll see you all on the other side. With most of a novel.
Now that you all have that lovely little earworm in your minds, hello, readers! I hope you've all enjoyed your last few weeks as much as I have. From The Desk of Buster Heywood is officially a week old, tomorrow, and I have to say, I'm very proud of our protagonist. I had said previously on Facebook and in my newsletter that the novel would be available in print by tomorrow, but I have a few tweaks that I want to make before I submit the file to Lulu.com. I'm hoping that you'll be able to buy it in ink-and-paper and enjoy that lovely new book smell sometime next week.
This week, however, I would like to talk to you about desks, since that's a word you've been seeing a lot...
so that I could work on the novel wherever I happened to be. Handwriting became my preferred method, and having to work without a desk turned out to give me a brand new, far more effective system of writing and editing. You can be sure, though, that as soon as we moved into our current apartment, the desk was returned to its former glory. I'm sitting at it as I type this, surrounded by books which inspire me, pictures of loved ones to encourage me, and a few of my other creations to remind me why I'm here. (Look closely: there's a clay maquette of Buster perched on the right side of the second shelf. He needs paint, but he's paying attention and making sure I look out for typos.)
As far as what's in my desk, per Cameron's theory? Inside its drawers, you'll find a copious amount of office supplies and organizing doodads ... because Staples and I have a very co-dependent relationship. My fiancee may stage an intervention if it gets any worse. There are also scrapbooking supplies, a few photo albums, sketchbooks both full and blank, and of course, a few small items that are too precious to keep anywhere else. My desk holds one, long love letter to creativity, with just enough organization and discipline to keep it all from exploding into chaos. If you ask me, that sounds just about right for a writer.
What's your creative space like? Or, if you can't have one right now, what would the perfect one be?
Hi, everyone! I apologize for the lack of post this past Thursday ... not only has life been hectic, but I am trying to push and get 30 Days of Aviario ready, so that I can build my mailing list. I am behind in my short story deadlines, but that's something I can work with ... I am still hoping to have From the Desk of Buster Heywood published on Smashwords by September 18th. In order to get things moving, however, I am going to have to put this blog on a hiatus until the book is out.
In the meantime, I encourage you to still follow me on Twitter, where I will be continuing to help #2bitTuesday grow: this week's optional theme is "Temperature". To keep myself sane, I've been taking short breaks by indulging in the following things. Feel free to check them out, if any strike your fancy!
As a follow-up to last week's post, long story short: I'm starting a new Twitter hashtag. If you want more details, read on ....
inAs of last week, I was still waiting to see the Romance Writers of America's response to the open letters and other feedback regarding their poor choice in RITA finalists. Last Friday, they posted their official response.... and missed the mark, entirely. RWA chose to say it was a matter of censorship, when in my opinion (and the opinion of many others who commented), the issue was one of taste and ethics. It has also been pointed out that the current nomination guidelines do not have a single thing to say about the content of submissions.
I'm not a romance writer, so it is far easier for me to say that I am done associating with the RWA, even in so small a manner as participating in a hashtag every Wednesday. I do, however, still love the thought of authors being able to collectively share their content, so I am starting up an alternative for those who are like-minded. I will be officially "kicking off" this hashtag on August 18th, and anyone who wishes to join in is most decidedly welcome.
Here are the guidelines!
Yep. That's it. Share and share alike! I also like to round off my day by posting a piece here on my blog that's a bit larger than Twitter will allow ... so feel free to adopt the practice yourself, as well! The aim of #2bitTues is to build a supportive online writing community where authors can share what they're proud of, and help others get the word out about their own projects. We're just in this for the love of the written word.
See you on Tuesday!
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