Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you.
This year the festive season has been (for us), far less stressful than previous years – so far at least. We’ve made visits to our children’s homes to see the grandchildren (the eldest one is pictured above with our new furry girl, Mischa). We’ve been treated to afternoon tea and a pantomime whilst visiting the youngest grandson, been royally catered for whilst visiting the eldest grandson (just come back home today), entertained our neighbours on Christmas Eve and my parents on Christmas Day, and we’re celebrating another neighbour’s 90th birthday tomorrow before bringing in the New Year with our Christmas Eve guests (collectively we’re known as ‘the usual suspects’.
It’s lovely to be able to spend valuable quality time with family. We don’t live near each other now. so the time we do spend with the families is very special.
The park pictured in the image above is in Huddersfield and it is very beautiful. Lots of paths to walk round, plenty for all the family to do, and very dog friendly. The perfect family park really. There’s also a café which was open for cakes and coffee yesterday morning – very handy after playing ‘throw the ball’ for a very demanding and impossible to tire out furry girl, and a three and a half year old little boy who has walked his socks off.
Perhaps the dog walking is having a beneficial effect on my stress levels – if not my ageing joints! I love going out in the mornings, walking Mischa along the seafront at home. The time allows me to think about my story plots, the story and character arcs and the plot holes which need filling. We’re very lucky as our new furry girl has settled into our home and our lives almost seamlessly. She is very well behaved off-lead which means I don’t have to constantly be on the look-out for possible issues ahead. She’s pretty bomb proof, very friendly and biddable. In fact, I’m pretty sure that just having her around has brought down my stress levels!
I’m now working on the 2nd draft of a short story and will be starting a follow-up story on New Year’s Day (although I think that might depend on my alcohol intake tomorrow night – see 1st paragraph). Once I’m happy with the first short story I’ll be publishing it through Kindle Direct Publishing – hopefully that should be towards the end of January. Once that one’s published I’ll start on the 3rd part of the series and get the 2nd ready for publishing. I’m feeling very excited about it to be honest, as it’s something I’ve been wanting to do for so long now. 2016 is going to be my year for taking the first steps to following my dream.
I’m thinking of using Fiverr to create the book covers for me – has anyone every used Fiverr before? If so, could you possibly let me know how you found the process – and if you used the site to have a book cover designed I’d be especially interested to know how that went. I’ve played around with Canva and Publisher, as well as dabbled with Photoshop, but I’m no good at designing – I’m well aware of my creative limitations 🙂 What I’m wanting is a design which I can use to run through the series, but with subtle changes for each story, and also an overall look I can carry through into other cover designs. I guess I’m talking about branding here. I feel it’s important to get it right from the outset but, as I say, I’ve never gone down this route before so don’t know what to expect or what I can ask for. Any comments, suggestions, etc., on that aspect, would also be very helpful …