January 13th, 2017

My life is still bizarre

One thing I can say about my life is that it's not dull.

I'll just stick to the most life-changing of the news today, for I don't want to write a three thousand word update. I'm telling everyone that right now, every single cent I get through Patreon (except the bits that go to the tax office, obviously) will go towards me getting to Helsinki, for I really, really need to spend quality time with my friends. I also have a paper to deliver there. I'll need to find other finance as well, as well, because a few hundred dollars is not going to get me even close, but if I have to, I'll borrow. Alas, for it not being a major birthday year for I can't say "Give me money instead of presents" Anyhow, Helsinki is how I"m going to get through everything else. And Continuum. I've already paid most things that need paying for Continumm. My everyday is very parsimonious for I'm determined to do these things.

The two bits of everything else you most need to know are:

1) Satalyte has closed, very suddenly. Four of my novels are out of print and several others are no longer safely contracted. This includes the novel I have been writing so frenetically this last month and the one that was going to be released next month. I'm going to give Patreon supporters a taste of the latter, because I can and because it will make me happy to. Thank you, friends who pushed me into Patreon, because it's really nice to be able to say "You can't buy the novel yet due to forces beyond my control, but look, meet the heroine and her pet pirate." Every woman above a certain age should have a pet pirate who can cook.

I was going to put together short stories and find a publisher for a collection and, of course, do something about my strange novel (I now have 50% of beta readers reporting back and it is indeed, strange, but potentially very good) but my focus for the immediate future has to be with those other eight novels. I do have a nibble of possible interest in the strange novel, but the nibble is for later in the year. This actually suits me, for the strange novel needs a break and an edit and, of course, I have the various crises to solve.

If someone had a secret desire to put out a collection of my short fiction and confided it to me, I'd smile at them sweetly and talk terms, but otherwise, the short stories will wait. Except, me being me, they won't entirely wait. I'll look at what I get in the mail next week and computerise them and let everyone who guessed the number of survivals correctly see a couple. If any of them are particularly amusing or appalling I might share them elsewhere, for early fiction has its own joys and I wrote the missing fiction between my seventeenth and twenty-fifth birthdays. And if it turns out that none of the stories Mum found is the missing fiction, then I shall laugh, ironically, for forty-one of my stories will be gone, which is what I thought happened years ago. Next week I get the surviving old short stories in the mail. Mysteriously, some of them turned out to be financial records from a decade ago. These will not be in the mail.

The world of publishing is full of good people. I'm already under serious consideration by a couple of places I would be very proud to be part of. This means that, two days after hearing the news about my novel, I'm up to the waiting game. If I was taken in/on/up by either or both those places, I would be very, very happy for they're such good people.

So, nine novels and a bunch of short stories... so much stuff. Thank goodness for the generosity of people in our industry - for at least I'm not having to tear my hair out. (I may still have to, but the big thing is having my work seen - if it or I doesn't quite work for the organisations in question, that's just normal and I move on.)

So many people have asked about buying the novels they'd intended to buy that were pulled under with Satalyte. I checked online this morning and a very few print books are still available, but the ebooks aren't. Everyone's selling the last of their stock and then that's that. I've emailed Satalyte to ask if there are any copies I can buy, for I sold almost everything over the Christmas period (still need to get paid for that by the host bookshop!) but I haven't heard back from them. If I end up with copies to sell, I'll let people know. Getting those four novels back into print is my goal, though. I'd settle for three of them, to be honest. The Art of Effective Dreaming may well be cursed...

2) I had an urgent check up for my left eye this morning, for it was showing wispy blood, but it's a perfectly normal detachment of the viscous layer. As long as it doesn't turn into retinal detachment, I'm fine, but I'll be a bit tired for the next few days. That's the good news.

The better news is that it's just as well that this happened for (and this is where the bad news comes in) my right eye is being clever again. I have the beginnings of glaucoma. I also have a brand new blind spot, which means I need to be a bit careful walking down stairs and try to avoid walking into things, which I'd already discovered.

What does all this mean for my life? 2017 isn't going to be any easier than 2016. Hard work doesn't always get rewarded. And my friends are wonderful. In other words, life as usual. New problems in all the old spheres. Still no permanent job, but, hopefully, a bit more paid work this year than the disaster that was last year. The uni has already advertised two very cool courses for me (a novel-writing one and a food history one).

I'm happy to answer what I can if you have questions about any of this news. I will not, however, talk in public about what Satalyte did right or wrong. This helps no-one. There are over forty authors who need to find new homes for books - to me this is what we should be focussing on. I'm the one with the most books affected, but I'm not the only author who had more than one book with them. I'm hoping we all find new homes, quickly.

I'm very happy to have a cuppa or a chat with other Satalyte authors and share options and sympathy.

And, for any friend who wants to check up on me personally, given the challenge that this week has been, I have the most amazing coffee that a friend brought back for me from Bali and I have such a big chocolate stash and if I get the right fruit today I might make a cake. Let me know you're coming though - I'm juggling a lot of things right now and will make the time to see friends, but I do need to know when they're coming.