The time since my last blog (musings and update) has been fraught with anxiety and worry. As many of you already know, Australia has been wracked with bushfires. So much of our country has been burning, all at the same time, there has been little respite. When one area settled, another flared. I sat in my safe suburban home in Adelaide watching reports on my TV screen filled with red skies, dark daytimes, fleeing wildlife and stock, and people in stress. Our wonderful volunteer force of firefighters saved lives and property, some losing their own homes while protecting those of others. They lost pay, time with their families and risked their lives in situations I can't even imagine. As you probably also know our Prime Minister (and the NSW Emergency Minister and others) chose to go on holidays overseas and left the job of managing the crisis to the States. There has been much anger at the slowness, and almost unwillingness, of our PM and Federal government to act. They and the Murdoch Press seemed more interested in downplaying the crisis.
For me, it has been a strange time. Trying to celebrate the success of having 3 short stories published over the last 4 months and trying to complete the first run through edit of my novel, while at the same time, worrying about a serious family health issue and feeling anxious and worried as the fires threatened my daughter's home and property, her in-law's home and property, my brother holidaying in one of the areas in severe danger and a friend who lives in the middle of the chaos in NSW. Luckily they have all survived although it is not over yet. My daughter and her in-laws are safe and their homes are still standing, despite their properties suffering losses. The images on TV and social media are heart-breaking and I am overwhelmed by the thought of what is needed to recover. I try to stay positive, but I'm also realistic. This is going to be a mammoth job.
In the midst of this turmoil, I have found some time and mental space to work on my novel and prepare it for publication. Perhaps the distraction was a necessary coping mechanism. I completed the first run through edit (2 more to go) and ran a poll on social media for the preliminary design concepts for the cover. There was a clear winner, and the comments offered have been useful for the next step. Amanda Horan from 'Let's Get Booked' is both editor and cover designer and she has come back to me with a first draft of the cover design. This part is exciting and I'm looking forward to seeing how it will eventually look.
I've also been trying to draft the 'blurb' for the back cover. It's hard condensing an almost 100K word novel into a short, snappy description to interest a reader, but it must be done.
I'm looking forward to sharing the next step with you all. I'm learning as I go, so it's both interesting, daunting and exciting. Not sure my nerves can take it.
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