I haven’t posted about knitting for a while. I’m in one of those places where I’m finishing a lot of projects. That means I switch from one to the next, so nothing gets done in a hurry, but I’m hoping to have something to show you soon.
In the meantime, though, something very exciting has happened. I’ve written before about how much I like Rowan’s Kidsilk Haze. (Okay, I have a small KSH addiction, but I’m trying to keep it under control. Some completed projects: my favourite cardigan, another fave cardigan, a lace cape, some colourwash socks, oh, the list goes on and on!) A while back, Rowan announced a contest to derive three new shades of the yarn – there was a category for knitters, one for retailers and one for the best story about a colour. The idea was that they’d pick winners and add the colours to the line.
It just so happened that when I changed the colours in my version of the cardigan Belarus, there was a colour I was missing. I was hoping for something between ivory and yellow, but there isn’t one in KSH. I used Essence, which is yellow, but it’s too vivid with the other colours, so my sweater has stalled. Cream, the off-white option is too bright and pale. (You can see all the existing colours of KSH right here.) Given this opportunity, I suggested they add a colour that was Vanilla or Banana, darker than ivory but lighter than the yellow of Essence.
Last Friday, they notified me that my colour suggestion was one of the winners! Woo hoo! They ended up choosing five winners – the other new colours will be a pinky-purple, a yellow-orange, a peacock blue and a silvered pink. Besides knowing that the colours will be in production, each of the winners will receive some KSH in their suggested colour. I’m excited!
This year, again, I officially signed up for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). I had to finish The Warrior’s Prize, and was running behind after going to Novelists’ Inc in Florida at the end of October. I wanted the motivation of NaNoWriMo to get my butt into my chair and put those pages down!
I had a pretty awesome first two weeks of November, and posted over 50K words in those two weeks. Rafael and Elizabeth’s book went to my editor, a bit late but much better, and I’ve been writing a few extra scenes since then which I’ll tuck into the book later. (There always seem to be one or two that pop into my mind after any book is delivered to my editor.) This week, I’ve been catching up on those revised backlist titles, including the POD’s, but next week I’ll be writing new work again. The best thing about NaNoWriMo this year is that it helped me get back into the rhythm of writing every morning before dealing with anything else.
How about you? Have you done NaNo this year or any other? Do you like it? Do you find it helpful in setting rhythms or making new habits?
“DRM” means digital rights management. Essentially, DRM locks a digital book file (or any digital file) so that it can’t be easily moved between devices. The idea is that it stops piracy. What’s clear now is that it doesn’t stop piracy – people who pirate digital books can break DRM very easily. What DRM does, then, is inconvenience readers who have bought a legitimate copy because it keeps them from moving the file from phone to tablet to e-reader to computer.
When I first began to re-publish my backlist, I used DRM because my publishers had always used DRM. I really didn’t know much about it, and just replicated the processes I knew. By the time I published to platforms other than Amazon, I knew better and didn’t use DRM. My newer titles don’t have DRM either. Having DRM on a book file isn’t something easily changed – it’s not just a toggle – so the book has to be unpublished and then republished as a new title. It seemed complicated and I heard horror stories.
This fall, we’ve been updating all of my book files, formatting them all over again and updating the end matter. As the new files are available to be published to Amazon, I’ve been removing the DRM. It’s actually a much smoother process than I’d anticipated. We’re almost done. Right now, these titles are newly available at Amazon without DRM:
Once Upon a Kiss
Love Potion #9
The Last Highlander
The Time Travel Romance Boxed Set
The Beauty Bride
The Rose Red Bride
The Snow White Bride
The Ballad of Rosamunde
The Jewels of Kinfairlie Boxed Set
Still in the works are The Countess, The Temptress, The Bride Quest II Boxed Set, The Rogue, The Scoundrel and the Rogues of Ravensmuir Boxed Set. I’m hoping they’ll be all done by the end of the month. :-)
The Warrior’s Prize, which is Elizabeth’s book and #4 of my True Love Brides series, will be available on December 29. The book manuscript has just gone back to my editor again, and I expect that few of you will be surprised that Rafael insisted upon telling the story his way instead of mine. I had originally thought that Elizabeth and Rafael’s romance would begin at Christmas at Kinfairlie, but as soon as I dug into the story, I realized that it had to begin when they first meet at Ravensmuir, because that’s when they begin to influence each other. So, the beginning of The Warrior’s Prize now overlaps the ending of The Frost Maiden’s Kiss in terms of time – but there are scenes we didn’t witness in Malcolm and Catriona’s book, and perspectives we didn’t see.
I’m really happy with the shape of the book – Rafael was right! – and can’t wait for you to read it, too. As a result of this change, though, I’ve updated the excerpt from the book on the website. The cover copy will be tweaked before publication as well, but I’m waiting on my editor’s input on that. You might want to hop on over and read the new excerpt this morning. :-)
Remember also that there’s a Goodreads Giveaway still in process, with ten signed trade paperback copies of the book available to be won. You can enter for a chance to win, right here.
Quite a while ago, I had author Michele Hauf visit my blog as a guest to talk about her hobby. Michele is big on coloring, which was interesting to me. I loved coloring as a kid, but hadn’t done any in a long time. (Here’s her guest post, but since I moved the content from my old host to this one, the pictures are missing.) After Michele visited, I picked up a few interesting colouring books, but didn’t get started on much of anything.
As I’ve been working through The Artist’s Way, though, I’ve been struck by how many times Julia Cameron (the author of that workbook) talks about letting your artist play. The artist is like a child, she says, and needs to play with color or whatever. I went to a hobby shop this past week as my artist date, fully intending to look for a couple of specific things (which they didn’t have. Ha!) Right inside the door, though, was a display of posters to color. They weren’t expensive and there was only one left of what I thought was the best design. Clearly, it was waiting for me!
This is the one I picked up – it’s called The Key from Stuff2Color.com. (I do not, however, believe that the dragon is the bad guy. :-) ) I don’t like coloring with markers, so I bought myself a new set of 60 colored pencils. I’ve only just begun, but am really enjoying it. Coloring is letting my mind sort out plot puzzles, just like knitting does.
Do you like to color? What was the last thing you colored?
Amazon is one of the few portals that offers a page for each author published there. On the Amazon author page, you’ll find info about the author, a list of his or her books, and often a feed from the author’s blog (like this one. Hello, Amazon peeps!) They recently redesigned the author pages and among the new features is an Add to Favorites button.
If you click on this – and you’ll probably need to be signed into your Amazon account – you’re opting in to be notified of that author’s new releases. I think this is a really cool feature, so wanted to be sure you knew about it. The button is right under the author photo.
Here’s my Deborah Cooke author page at Amazon.
And here’s my Claire Delacroix author page at Amazon.
As many of you know, my medieval romance, The Rogue, is now available in an audio edition. One of the exciting things is to hear back from readers that they’ve enjoyed the audio production – like this:
“If you haven’t read The Rogue this is a fantastic way to experience it the first time and if you’ve already had the pleasure of these character’s company it’s a fabulous way to reacquaint with them. I highly recommend this.“
That’s from a new review of the audio from Debbie Haupt at the Reading Frenzy – you can read the whole review right here.