Was it John Lennon who said that life is what happens while you're making plans for something else? Whoever said it, they were right. This has been brought home to me particularly strongly in the past weeks, in both my personal and my writing life.
For the past month or so I've been working on a few long-held projects. The first is to design business cards, bookmarks and postcards to help promote my books, provide something interesting for readers to collect and to make me look more professional. The second is to format Artists & Liars, which is currently only available as an ebook, for a paperback.
The process has been fiddly as I've needed to learn how to do so much on the computer. It seems I've had to exhaust every wrong way of doing things before hitting on the right one. Then I decided to make life more difficult for myself by illustrating the stories in Artists & Liars. I'm not Picasso, but I'm quite pleased with the results. Whether I've got everything right or not will have to wait for the proofs, but with a little more tinkering I should soon have my new business cards, double-sided bookmarks with details of The Exiles of Ondd series and an Iyessi song on each, and a new paperback ready for the new year.
I was so busy trying to perfect all this and put together an action plan for 2024, that I got the dates wrong for the Smashwords End of Year Sale. Thankfully, it runs until midnight on 31st December, so all is not lost. You'll find Discord's Child and Artists & Liars FREE until then at http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/ksdearsley.
However, all of this is a trivial irritation compared with one of life's really dirty tricks. One of my closest and oldest friends, artist and sculptor Tim Richards, lost his struggle against leukaemia at the beginning of the month. He and his wife, Hanneke, introduced me to life-modelling, artists and the world of art that have given me such pleasure and inspiration. I couldn't have written the Artists & Liars without Tim and Hanneke and all the other artists who became my friends. So now I have another task, but one I'm determined to carry out to the best of my ability: to write a foreword for Artists & Liars that acknowledges and honours them all.