So, yes. This blog. What happened to it? Life happened, that’s what. I tell you, if you ever think, “Hey, I can build a house and run a business and publish a blog 3 times a week. Sure thing! Easy as!” then I urge you to reconsider. I mean, you can do it, but you will be grumpy and have no social life, and I don’t like being grumpy or having no social life, hence the lack of updates.
I’m not saying I’m back to a regular posting schedule just yet, and I don’t want every post I write from now on being a “sorry I haven’t posted” post, because I know you all have an infinite number of better things to do than listen to me ramble on. So let’s just say I’m on a “woefully irregular” posting schedule right now, and leave it at that.
What’s new in my life? We now have some sheeps on our land. I’ve called the ram Rameses, and his harem are Hathor, Iset and Merut. We’ve had two baby lambs born, and they are the cutest things EVER. It’s hard to keep reminding yourself that you’re going to eat them soon.
I just purchased 12kgs of honey. That’s a lot of honey. New years party is gonna be SUH-WEET. (strawberry mead + pear mead making next week – I’d like to write a post about it but we’ll see how motivated I am).
Building has been stalled for a week due to weather, so I don’t have much progress shots to share, but here are the foundation trenches.
And here’s me driving a digger. I was the only one who didn’t get it stuck that day. Blind power!
So, this happened today:
It’s an ebook, and I published it.
Why? Well, I’ve been trying to get a book published for, oh, about 8 years now. It hasn’t happened yet, but what did happen was ebooks, and the self-publishing revolution, and authors making a buttload of money on their own instead of waiting to get the OK from a publishing gatekeeper.
Over the course of the last couple of years I’ve been slowly turned from a skeptic into a believer. I’ve got a few novels lying around on my computer, just waiting for some publisher to recognize my genius. It dawned on me earlier this year that perhaps if what I really, truly want to do in life is write fiction, then there is absolutely no better time to just go ahead and write it, and if I sell one copy to my mom, well, that’s one more copy than I’ll have sold with it just lying around doing nothing.
I have a novel that I wrote a couple of years ago, called At War With Satan. It’s a tale of love and redemption, blastbeats and singalongs, apocalypses (yes, more than one) and gourd juice. It’s part Dante’s Inferno, part Wayne’s World. Publishers have enjoyed it, but ultimately refuse to publish it because it’s a bit too “bizarre”. So I decided earlier this year that I was going to publish it myself.
But first, I need a roof over my head. So the “turn my manuscript into a properly-edited novel and publish it as an ebook” project has been put on hold while “build myself a castle so I can defend my land against the zombie apocalypse. And also so I can throw a party and drink all the mead” project is completed.
So I wasn’t going to publish anything this year. Enter Joe Konrath, one of Amazon’s best-selling indie authors, and a hell of a funny guy to boot, who writes a fantastic blog called The Newbie’s Guide to Publishing that any writer should check out. Last week, Joe wrote a post encouraging writers to take the plunge and get something published on Kindle. He wrote a silly story in an hour, and published it on Amazon, and it’s sold a few copies. He then issued a challenge: can you write, edit, and publish an ebook in 8 hours?
I’ve been pretty ill over the last couple of days, so I took four hours to dig out some old short stories of mine, add to and edit them to oblivion, and combine them into a single document of unsurpassed awesome. Then I found some stock art on FreeDigitalPhotos.net and sandwiched that with some poor font choices from Illustrator (a designer I am not). Then I figured out how to use Amazon. Soooooo much easier than I thought. I hit publish last night and, 12 hours later, I have a book in the world’s biggest (online) bookstore!
Here’s the blurb for my collection:
“Amelia jumps at the chance to go to Antarctica to study male emperor penguins. But her research takes a dangerous turn when she ends up trapped in a cabin with a man who doesn’t seem to be quite human any more. Larry is going on a road trip across Australia … with only a pistol and a postcard from the Vatican for company. Elisa and Stuart were star-crossed lovers, but a light-night tragedy leaves them in a very odd predicament.
Enjoy 5 stories of weird woe and delightful disaster in this short story collection by New Zealand blogger Steff Metal (www.steffmetal.com), along with an excerpt from her upcoming novel, At War With Satan – a tale of love, redemption, and heavy metal that is part Paradise Lost, part Wayne’s World.”
I warn you right now, these stories are pretty silly. I’ve listed The Good, The Bad, and The Utterly Screwed for US$0.99c. So if you’d like to have a nosy, it’s not going to break the bank. I’m pretty excited about this little project – and am especially keen to hear what people think of the At War With Satan excerpt, so I will be sending out epic metal virtual fist bumps to anyone who downloads it, writes a review (even a bad one), or tells some other awesome people about it.
Coming up soon(ish) on the blog – I review Music Journalism 101 by Leticia Supple (biodagar), check out an awesome new album by a local band The Shepherds of Cassini, show you some more in-progress castle pics and wax lyrical about mead.
Cheers, and how have YOU been?