I'm winding down Arcane Publishing for a while as I prepare for four months of work to raise funds for all our 2022/2023 projects, including the launch of the Arcane online bookshop and the publication of my third novel The Right Place. I'm on 43,000 words on draft 1 so this is far from being done, but next year, I hope to be able to juggle things a bit better - virus dependent.
I hope to be able to post a picture or two once a week (or more realistically fortnightly) on my social media pages (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) if I manage to find time to get out in nature...
I'll be back from 20th December 2021.
Matt ArtPix will be very active though throughout the autumn and has some exciting events in the calendar, so keep an eye on his Facebook page!
I have just started The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. And I truly love it; the prose is unique, sparse yet full of meaning; it can also be quite poetic but rather cutting, almost violent. It will certainly be a firm inspiration when I start editing the manuscript of my third novel, The Right Place. I do have a tendency to write too much and always have to cut a lot as I go through the drafts.
The book featured on this blog is from my own personal collection, published around 1940 by Grosset and Dunlap. The book is in excellent condition but missing its all-important dust jacket. What a shame I don't have in my possession the first edition published by Charles Scrivener's sons in 1925: it's worth £63,000 according the Abebooks (and this fascinating blog HERE comparing three different versions). This would probably fund my writing and publishing for the next forty years or so!
I am not reading this one, but a cheap paperback version I've found in a charity shop... I don't want to risk spoiling my vintage copy!
I am entering my last week and a half of freedom as I will have to stop any creative enterprise, including writing, in order to concentrate on earning the funds that will allow me to complete and publish The Right Place.
I will try to post at least one picture a week on social media and on my websites, but nothing much will happen until late December 2021...
The Hardy Way is one of the many fantastic well-maintained hiking paths that criss-cross Dorset. We walked a tiny portion of it yesterday from one of our favourite locations, Affpuddle Heath (one of the many small heaths in the area not far from Moreton, well-known for being the resting place of T E Lawrence (or Lawrence of Arabia). Lawrence's house Cloud Hills is also in the vicinity. It's a fantastic place to go for a walk at any season, and it is not far for us to drive either, so we often find ourselves there. At the moment, the roads are mad on the Dorset coast as soon as the sun shows itself, and therefore the woods and heaths are the perfect hiding place!
There, heather is in full bloom and the variety of trees and plants staggering; the smells in the air are heady, and it's a paradise for insects and birds...
In a field overlooking Adminston farm, just south of Athelhampton, we came across a memorial stone. The Van de Weyer family, from Belgium, owned nearby Clyffe House. Sylvain Van de Weyer was the first to arrive in the UK in around 1840 and he was the Belgian ambassador to the UK! His grandson, Adrian's father, bought the house in the 1920s. Adrian was killed in the siege of Calais, just before Dunkirk.
I have been tracking the narrative of what I've done so far on the first draft of my third novel, The Right Place.
The story is a bit tricky and the progress has been very slow. In three weeks, I will have to down tools on the novel until later December in order to be able to earn the money which will allow me to publish the book and finally launch the Arcane Publishing online bookshop.
Arcane has a pub date of August 2023 at the latest for The Right Place.
41,554 words at the beginning of today, I hope to have added another 1,000 by tonight...
This summer is a bit of a washout, and whenever the weather decides to be good, we rush out of the door to go and explore the wonderful landscape on our doorstep!
Yesterday, we went back to Corfe Castle and Swyre Head, two of our favourite locations. Corfe Castle is an excellent base for stunning walks that give you breathtaking views. It is one of those rare places in Dorset (together with Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door) that appears on the "national and international tourist circuit". In the summer, and even more so this year, this small village is bursting with tourists - far too crowded for us!
But it only takes 5mn to leave the hordes behind and find ourselves in the quiet, gorgeous countryside...
We now feel energised, inspired, and ready to get on with all our projects!
We'll be out there again soon... Watch this space!
Just picked up my pen/keyboard today and started working again on the first draft of The Right Place, my third novel. It now has a new pub date of 2023, without any more precision, I'm afraid. These past few years, Real Life has really gotten in the way of any progress to be made on the manuscript, and the Covid crisis hasn't helped at all.
It's been very stop-start and I have grown increasingly frustrated by the lack of progress. My first two novels were planned, written, edited and published within 5 years (and I also found the time to launch my Arcane Publishing imprint within this time too!).
There will be a long pause between September and December 2021 (have to earn money to allow me to complete the first draft and launch the online bookshop sometime in 2022).
Progress report: 41,553 words.
In the meantime, I have loads of lovely books and ephemera to sell and I'll be adding a few more over the next few weeks. Go and have a look at my temporary FACEBOOK MARKETPLACE SELLER PAGE.
Guess where I was yesterday?
Yes, I was in Abbotsbury, of course, to do some novel-related research!
I have been blogging about Abbotsbury since falling in love with the village, the area and Dorset in general 10 years ago (10 years in September this year!).
And 4 and a half years ago, we took the plunge and moved to Dorset (sadly, not to the Abbotsbury area as it was way over our house budget!).
The first draft of The Right Place, my third novel, inspired by the lyrics of the song The Wind by PJ Harvey and by the landscape and history of the area, is still in progress (so many things have happened since I started working on it!) and far from being finished, but my new publishing schedule gives me a publishing date of 2023 (I cannot be more precise as it will depend on how much work I can get done on the novel over the next year or so).
Often, I get stuck. For example, at the moment, I just cannot decide where to put the entrance of the smuggler's tunnel that will lead my characters to the subterranean chamber underneath St Catherine's chapel! So a little trip to Abbotsbury to have another look at the house where my main character lives helped a bit!
Last month, I completed a scene in which Kat and Cathy encounter this handsome chap below (white horse) and some kind of magical connection happens... I was glad when he reappeared in the field yesterday!
Abbey Farm Flowers have taken over this building and have turned it into a really gorgeous explosion of colour! You can pick your own flowers...
It is such a privilege to live on this coast! This is on our doorstep...
What, you say, no pictures of St Catherine's Chapel?
I have posted so many over the years... I'm keeping it for my next visit (good excuse to go back...). It's on the way to Bridport and West Bay (where we have our unit at The Customs House), and so it's easy for us to stop off and spend some time in this unique place.
In the book, a very special event happens at the top of Chapel Hill on 25th November, and of course, I will need to visit many times this autumn as my book is set mainly at that time!
I have four weeks to do as much work as possible on The Right Place and I hope I can make some good progress this summer...
The last time I did any work on the first draft of my third novel, The Right Place, was on 27th May.
Unfortunately, writing books doesn't pay the bills and real life has taken over once again.
I now have just two months to make as much progress as possible on the first draft because it looks like I will not be able to work on the book between September and December.
I've drafted yet another Publishing schedule which gives me a Pub Date of March 2023 for the book.
Probably too optimistic, but there we are...
Last November, we discovered yet another peaceful and secluded corner of Dorset only a few miles from our home: the living churchyard at St Peter's church Long Bredy. At the time, the trees were deprived of leaves and nature had retreated a little, bracing itself for the winter... Granted, it still looked glorious in the November sun as seen in my BLOG.
Now that the summer has arrived, nature has literally exploded into lush and thick greenery; the hedges and trees are full of life (we spent ages observing a family of robins and their neighbours - wrens, dunnocks, sparrows... it's always better than TV!), and the living churchyard is full of oxeye daisies and other wild flowers...
The Dorset coast, where we live, can get incredibly busy and difficult to navigate in the summer months; every year, we head inland and make it our mission to discover secret places where we can seek refuge and immerse ourselves in nature. We will be adding this peaceful corner of the Bride Valley to our list.
Near the church is a house I wish I'd bought (if I had been able to afford it, it's close to £600,000!): the truly gorgeous Schoolmaster's House). The location is a dream...
In other news, I am about to resume work on The Right place - I haven't touched my first draft for two months...
I hope to make good progress this summer and to publish in early 2023. Watch this space!
I think therefore I write.
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