Newsletter no.139, July 2019

We’re half way through the year already. Everything’s blooming in the garden but my desk is piled high with a To Do pile. I neglected my paperwork while I was struggling to the end of the first draft of the next book. When I finally got there, I felt like celebrating. Oh, that wonderful moment when I’ve given the baddy or baddies their comeuppance and my characters reach calmer waters and are able to look forward to the future with confidence!

So now I have to deal with the To Do pile. Do you have one of those hanging around? Sometimes I can steal ten minutes here and there to tackle this or that. Usually I manage to pay the bills straight away, but entering details in my account book takes longer, and making sure that all the different editions of my books are put on different websites is something I have to feel very strong to deal with. Every book, every audiobook, every short story, has a lo-o-ng reference number. Sometimes these have been written in groups of three figures at a time. I can read those with ease. But if they come out like this . . . 12345678901213, then I get cross-eyed . . . and cross!

Speaking of short stories, I have been asked to produce another one with a summery theme. Feeling gloomy as I considered the rain bouncing around on the road outside, I enquired if they meant a grey, overcast, rainy day, or did they required some sunshine. They opted for sunshine. So we’ll see what I can manage to think up.

Meantime my To Do list throws up a reminder that some years ago I turned some short stories into an e-book, and put it out independently. It hasn’t done particularly well, because I didn’t do anything to promote it. I was wondering if I might produce another one some time – there are certainly more than enough to fill a paperback, but I’m not sure it’s worth it. Have you any advice on this? These are stories originally written for the Methodist Recorder so they have a Christian background. There are a few Ellies there, and then I moved on to the characters I’m still writing about nowadays. Unsung Heroes is the title of the first book. As it turned out, that was a poor choice as there are many other books around with the same title. However . . . I’m stuck with it now.

I’ve had quite a bit of feedback about using words which seem to have fallen out of fashion, such as ‘puce.’ I am much encouraged, and will try to hold my nerve and fight for these rarities in future. So what words ought I to try next? I came up with ‘stultifying’ this morning. In context it’s understandable. Will it make it through the second draft? To be continued . . .

May we have a good balance of sun and rain in our lives as in our gardens. Remember we need both for growth.

Veronica Heley