New Free Short Story

I have another short story available on Smashwords. It’s on sale for the next month, ending on October 26. So go get it and give me a review 😛

From the Mountain is sci-fi YA and revolves around a quarantine, this was pre-covid btw. The story is 6.5k words and can be read in a hour or two. Here is the synopsis:

Having been quarantined since the age of thirteen after the death of her family and many others, Serrah lives as a carrier of a deadly alien born virus. Those responsible have not been found and tensions in the region have led to war. The skies have been quiet since the arrival of the spaceship that carried the contagion. Left mostly to her own devices Serrah scans the skies hoping that something happens to shed some light on what she went. She might just get what she wants.

Results and what next …

The month long free promo is over and the results are in. Fourteen copies of The Witch Room were downloaded and I’m happy with the results. Below is a picture of the Smashwords daily sales graph.

Because I liked how things went, I’ve decided to put another short story of mine up for free download. I published From the Mountain in ’17 and I hadn’t touched it until recently. But with the improvements I made with The Witch Room, I see the need to continue improving all my stories.

Monthly overview of sales from Smashwords

The witch Room on sale

Since buying Grammarly I’ve seen how much it improves my writing. It made me think that I should go back and go over my old stories. This is the first story I’ve gone over. I figured a short story would be perfect. I found that I have a lot of issue with commas. Like where to put them or that I need to add them. Anyway, I went through the story and fixed many things. And I figured that since I was updating the manuscript, I should update the book cover. So I hop onto Canva and create a free cover by just adding the sketch drawing of the seaside cliff, the circle and adding a transparent vignette over the teal background. I’m surprised that I was able to put something together so quickly.

I also changed the name from The Witch’s Room to The Witch Room as I thought it sounded better. I updated the blurb and decided to celebrate this event I’ll make the short story free on Smashwords for a month. The coupon code is XG79P. I would really appreciate it if anyone who downloaded a copy would leave a review.

Grammarly, showing you that you’re a shit writer

So I went and bought the premium version of Grammarly last night. I figured that since I want to go over all my work and revamp it, I should invest in some quality help (but on a budget). Well, if I had any inkling that there were parts I should improve on, I now have confirmation. Red and blue underlines everywhere. Makes me wonder how I managed to string two words together, let alone two sentences without sounding like a mess.

Here’s a joke. How do you show an impressionable writer with 10 years of writing experience that thinks they are somewhat decent, they’re actually still just a novice?

I’m dreading going back over Feet or Fins. Anyway, this one novella I’m working on, I can’t go a paragraph without at least three issues. Well the only way to fix them is to fix them. After my initial shock, I started going through the suggestions and saw that they kind of made sense. Sentence fragments, commas and the need the re-write bits and pieces.

Just goes to show that thinking up a story isn’t the same as expressing it well in the written form.

One Month In

Been in the UK for a full month now. In the meantime we got a new place, I got a new job and just had my first covid jab. In the next few days we’ll be moving our stuff into the new place and settling in. It’s hard to believe that in just under a month how much life has changed and not changed at the same time. I’m not sure where we’ll be in 6 or 12 months, maybe we’ll still be in Edinburgh, maybe we’ll be back in Australia.

I have a few goals that I want to compete by the 6 month mark. I want to:

  • Finish a new first draft.
  • I want to publish that story.
  • I want to build up savings of over a thousand pounds.
  • I want to hit the gym and get down to my goal of 55kg.

I am hoping to have all that done by January 1st 2022.

Shiny new idea

Every once in a while I get an email about this one book cover designer creating new designs. So of course, I rush over and check it all out. There was this one image that captured me, but I didn’t buy it in time so it got snapped up by another. It was just a picture of blood dripping down a woman’s face. I loved the image so much I had to think of a story to go with it. And I did. I’ve got a nugget of an idea and slowly expanding it.

Anyhow I still wanted to use the image and found it on iStock. I downloaded the watermarked image and experimented with some minor effects on Pixlr.com and I think I got it just right. Does that mean I’m copying the designer? Anyway, the story is only one chapter complete so it’ll be awhile before you see it.

Whirlwind few days

Not even a week into living in Edinburgh I have a job trial and fingers crossed I think it might be a deal. So the other night I was laying in bed thinking about how I’ve been a bit burnt out with writing. I had gone and looked at a website that creates pre-made book cover images and got anxious about not writing. So as I laid there I kept thinking about this one image that wouldn’t leave my mind. It was a striking and it got me thinking what story I could create around it. And then BOOM! I got a story forming. It’s a combined vampire/possession story. So I wrote down some of the starting scenes and I’m feeling good 🙂 I might go and continue with it today 🙂

10 days of isolation: Day 10

Woke up in Edinburgh and spent the first part applying for jobs online through Indeed. I got emails from 3 places requesting a second round so I did some online tests. Then I went walking along Princes Street looking for a planner (I’ve developed an obsession with getting one lately). I didn’t find one I liked, so I got nothing. Then we met up with an old friend for drinks and then had dinner with him at my old workplace. It was good to see them 🙂

10 days of isolation: day 9

Went on a day trip to Newcastle. We went to the castle, took a walk along the river, went to this restaurant called The Alchemist. I got a fancy green drink that had this swirly effect in it, Chris got a drink that had dry ice in it. Later that day, our friend picked us up and drove us to Edinburgh 🙂 We arrived at middnight. I keep thinking about how our cats are handling the constant change. But that’s what Feliway is for.