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Newsletter: November Begins
What will this month bring us?
I wrote about my sister last time. Thank you for all the well-wishes you sent for her! She is doing really well. I was shocked when I spoke to her on the morning after her brain surgery and she was surprisingly cheery. I won’t share the photos she sends me of her stitches in the back of her head.
She is back home now; me and my mother are visiting her on Friday. Please keep your fingers crossed for our ten-hour train journey (multiple changes, with only a few minutes to make some connections) because last time I did that journey, it was hellish.
The weekend was busy. I had some friends stay and we had a wonderful musical session: I played electric guitar, others sang, played drums or bass guitar. It had been a long time since we played together so we were a bit rusty, but it was good fun. Making music with friends is a wonderful creative act.
I have left Facebook (well, closed my Facebook page which had nearly 800 followers). This is now my main communication channel. Hello! You can reply to emails. And if you create a Substack account you can join in chats, comments, notes and so on. Some people have a lot of fun with that.
And, of course, last night was Halloween! (Or, as we pagans call the celebration around this time, Samhain, pronounced “Sauw-in”.) It’s fun for me, and I mix the cultures and traditions up a bit. I had a dumb supper (meal in silence, by candle-light, when our dead ancestors who wish us well are invited to join us at the table - I set a place for them). Then I like to make things fun for trick-or-treaters, so they have to pick a joke from a bowl and read it out before they get anything.
Afterwards I rewatched Kubrick’s The Shining. I have always liked the film, even though Stephen King didn’t approve of the adaptation, and I admit to missing some elements that I think worked better in the book.
This Writing Life
Still on the theme of music (see, the header image has multiple references, just like the interconnected imagery of a satisfying novel), I am teaching my next WRITE! creative writing session tonight. And I have live musicians coming in to play while we write, so we can see if different types of background music affect the directions our imaginations go in. I’m looking forward to hearing the poems and prose people create, and the discussions we have around this topic.
There are a few bargains on my ebooks at the moment or in the near future:
Karl Drinkwater's Horror Collection is $3.99 Oct 22 - Nov 4, 2023 (normally $9.99)
2000 Tunes will be $0.99 Nov 1 - Dec 31, 2023 (normally $6.99)
Lost Solace Five Book Edition will be $5.99 Nov 5 - 15, 2023 (normally $9.99)
Turner will be $0.99 Nov 6 - 12, 2023 (normally $6.99)
Chasing Solace will be $0.99 Nov 20 - 30, 2023 (normally $6.99)
I’ll give the last word to someone who sent me an email recently as they read Raising Solace (LS4) for the first time.
“Did I mention Athene is cool? 'Cos she is! Both her actions, and the general banter with Opal. Athene is very much in control and it's interesting to see Opal carrying out assigned tasks rather than being her otherwise impulsive self. Opal was very alone for a lot of LS3, of course.”
It's a good observation, since it reveals part of my technique: in trying to achieve a balance I like to vary which way it swings. Sometimes Athene leads, sometimes Opal. It’s how partnerships and friendships work, perhaps. Despite the grim situation, for once Opal has a chance to make fewer decisions (though she still does get to take the lead a couple of times).
I’m always fascinated by what people enjoy when they read my books. Thanks to everyone who sends me their thoughts!