Dusting off the cobwebs

So, it’s been a while… Been a few changes in my life, etc., but mostly I’ve not been posting here because I’ve felt rather ‘stuck’ in terms of my writing the last couple of years.

In summary though:

  • Dayjob is now full time again (late 2014 – April 2020 I worked Mon-Thurs, originally for reasons which became obsolete in 2016 but since they weren’t clamouring for me to increase my hours I kept Fridays as my writing day. Or at least I tried to) and I’ve had a fairly sizeable change of responsibilities there, all of which leads to more energy going there & more of the evenings & weekends going to simple resting.
  • Manifold Press closed, meaning my books are out of print & rights have been returned to me. More on my plans for them below.
  • I dropped out of involvement with Monty Lit Fest at the start of this year (though I did go along to most sessions this year & live-tweeted from their account).
  • Cats, husband, house & garden are still here. We still have chickens, though they’re different hens to the flocks we had a couple of years back & they live in a different part of the garden.

Yep, that’s about enough of a summary I reckon. I’ve been rather active on Twitter the last few years though with recent changes I set up a Mastodon account early this month & have pretty much moved there – I’ll add details to my ‘About’ page on here but I’m on the toot.wales server & it’s filled as much with gorgeous photos as it is with interesting people to chat to so rather a lovely place to hang out online.

What about the stories then?

Under Leaden Skies – I’d like to get this re-released. As it stands though, it’s under most publishers’ minimum word count. Despite my increased knowledge of wordcraft since it was published in 2016, I can’t add more without changing it from being just Teddy’s voice/memoir. Ideally – and partly because it’s not been working for me trying to write it as a separate book – I want to get Cheeks’s story in there too. I *think* I’ve finally hit on how to do that (it’s an idea I’ve had before but couldn’t work out how to make it make sense & I think I’ve figured this out now, the one clue I’m going to give being: Epilogue). As it will be quite a substantial revision, I’m planning for the re-release to be under a different title. I’ve got one in mind, but not saying what yet as I’ve still got to write the thing then hawk it round before it gets anywhere near being published.

Men of War – this was my story in the Austen-themed anthology ‘A Certain Persuasion’ featuring William Price from Mansfield Park. I’m planning to re-write & expand this. Not sure what I’ll do with it after that, but it’s not at the top of my list of projects

A Cup of Tea – one of my stories in the WW2 themed charity anthology ‘Call to Arms’. I wrote about the inspiration for this story here, and I’m planning to post it at this site once I’ve reviewed & possibly re-edited it.

At the moment I’m not planning to do anything with any of my other published stories. Shelter From Storms, which was my first dead-tree anthology publication way back in 2012, I revised a few years ago & is available here.

I have many other new story ideas! I’m currently developing various ideas, mostly queer historical romance. They seem to fall into that weird length of too long to be properly a short story, but too short for a publisher to accept as a stand-alone. I’m currently thinking of self-publishing these, but that would be sometime in the future when I have the energy to get my head around the marketing side of that sort of endeavour.

And then there’s the sequels. Of course there’s the sequels. I’ve been rattling on about sequels to Under Leaden Skies for years, after all. I even drafted Alex’s story back in 2019. Although as soon as I picked it up again to edit, I realised I was no longer happy with a very major plot point so I’ve pretty much got to re-write the whole thing. Never mind! There’s also another sequel I’d like to write about the Garston family, featuring characters who aren’t even a twinkles in their parents’ eyes in Under Leaden Skies, but I need to learn rather a lot about horse riding & equestrian competition to write that one.

So – that’s about it really. There’s been a lot of change, some of which has taken a lot longer than I expected for me to get used to, but it does feel good to get back to typing words over here even if no one ever reads them. Finding a happy medium where I’m not over-thinking things or trying to push myself to be something I’m not has taken time & I’m hopeful I can find my way back to figuring out who ‘Sandra Lindsey’ is & what it is I want to shout into the void of the internet.

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