What I’m Reading
No change from the books I’ve reported in previous weeks.
What I’m Writing
Nothing really, just minor tweaks and edits in preparation for my June 20th release. Hoping that sells a bit better than my May release. It was pretty depressing to check sales and see only a handful. I failed at marketing myself, and apparently amn’t well-connected enough in the writing/book blogosphere to get 20-30 people to host me for a blog tour, do cover reveals, help with a giveaway or blogfest, etc.
God willing, my first Russian historical will be my third release this year, sometime in the fall. I’ll have to get down to final edits and revisions on that next. I began thinking about some things I could still change and rewrite, like when Lyuba recovers her senses a week after her difficult second birth. The way I wrote it was based too closely on how I envisioned it at 13, about a good seven years before I actually got to that point in the story.
How would the anti-immigrant doctor get into the tenement to take Lyuba off to some cemetery at a strange church, and why would he just leave her comatose body in an open casket overnight? Wouldn’t it be better if maybe someone carried Lyuba outside for some fresh air and sunshine, in the hopes that her deep fever might break, and then she went wandering off? Or maybe she recovered her senses while everyone was out, and went walking off to the graveyard because she believed Fedya died shortly after birth.
What Inspires Me
My computer is back to making loud fan noises, and will probably have to have the fan taken out and cleaned, if not replaced. I’m still committed to no longer using the computer on Friday night, and working on getting more to the level of Sabbath observance I used to have. Because of my background and personality, I probably won’t ever be 100% Orthodox or Conservadox, but 90% is good enough for me. I live within walking distance of so many shuls, with so many nice people, so there’s really no excuse for not taking advantage of all these resources.
Kind of sad the mitzvah of counting the Omer is coming to an end, since I love it so much. It’s so simple and takes like a minute of time, yet it’s so so special to me. I’m proud of how I never miss a night of counting, and can still say the blessing even on the 49th night, the night before Shavuot begins. One of the lessons of counting the Omer is to make every day count. I gave up in frustration in 2005 (surprisingly enough, on my Birthright trip), but a few years later I resumed the mitzvah, and don’t intend to ever stop again. When I gave up, I was just really depressed and frustrated at not living in the Jewish community and feeling so cut off from the things I’d loved so much my senior year of university.
What Else I’ve Been Up To
I’m really happy with all my beautiful new art supplies, though I’m itching to get a 60-count set of Faber-Castell Polychromos. They’re said to be the best, highest-quality coloured pencils outside of the expensive Caran d’Ache, and I’ve read too many complaints about how Prismacolor has totally jumped the shark since their company changed hands and moved to Mexico. Polychromos are also oil-based, not wax-based, and have excellent colour-fastness.
Pretty obvious which ones I’ve used the most so far!
Caran d’Ache wax pastels 10-count set, plus 5 extras I just had to have.
Derwent Inktense 24-count. This is the major British coloured pencil company.
Some of the drawings I’ve done:
The last one is based on the pattern of a Lincoln Log quilt, which I’ve done before with fabric. Obviously it looks a little different on a quilt than with pigment and paper.
What I’ve got so far for the bottom half of a potential cover for Little Ragdoll. I’m not feeling it so much, but I might feel differently as it takes on more shape. I may do an alternate design too, of Adicia alone, so she’ll be bigger and more of a focal point. Justine’s stuffed bunny looks horrible, not enough in the shape of a stuffed bunny.