NaNoWriMo and Mental Health Month

Hey everyone, I have lots of exciting things to talk about!

Firstly, congratulations to the winner of the 1,000 likes #sharingiscaring giveaway! Your super-awesome, amazing book bundle will set sail today. And, I have to say, I am so envious because not even I have the gorgeous Penguin clothbound editions of Tess of the d’Urbervilles, and Wuthering Heights. Nor do I have the Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban hardcover. And yeah, I know, giving away the 3rd book in the series is kind of mean, I guess. But it’s my favourite!

I’m already thinking of giveaway ideas for that next milestone — 2,000 likes — so keep an eye out!

Giveaway teasers

Now onto NaNo
National Novel Writing Month starts the 1st of November. The goal is simple — well, simple in theory — write 50,000 words in 30 days. If you remember, Eleanor was a winner of last year’s NaNoWriMo, with 50,131 words written in 26 days! Yay!

This month, I will focus on research for my NaNo project — a novel on the Marquis de Sade. At this stage I am simply going over my texts, and thesis work, and just re-introducing myself to Sade. Of course, you well remember my studies on Sade. No? I’m not sure where my fascination with Sade started, but throughout my BA Professional Writing and Publishing degree, I made an effort to focus any creative writing assessment on that very naughty Frenchman. So obsessed was I that I decided to write my honours thesis on him. Well, the thesis title was ‘The construction of virtue in the Marquis de Sade’s Justine‘, so it was more about his tortured heroine. Though, I sort of make a point that they are similar entities — something I will explore in my book.

Anyway, I’m rambling.

Eleanor by Cadence

While I am doing my research and planning for NaNo, my amazingly-talented graphic designer, Phoenix (of Phoenix Johnson Graphic Design) will be hard at work making a grand cover for the novel — it’s really more of a motivational tool to keep me committed to the project, much like the cover for Eleanor. And it certainly worked!

So, I’m very excited to see what Phoenix has planned for Sade.

During my research and planning, I will get a better idea of what it is I actually want to write. I have most of it sorted — in just this last week of research, I have been able to figure out the overarching plot, and some of the sub plots. Hopefully this means I can fashion up some sort of blurb for you soon.

I have a page set up already. I haven’t 100% decided on a title though. So far, I have a few ideas and have simply picked a temporary one to post up on the NaNo site — Crime of the Marquis de Sade — I’m likely to change it though. Also, I am a wee bit concerned it could be mistaken for a non-fiction work with a title like that.

If you are a fellow NaNoWriMo-er, feel free to check out my profile You are, of course, welcome to add me as a buddy.

Mental Health Month

You may remember, last week I spoke about Mental Health Month. Each year I use my Facebook page as a platform to raise awareness of the stigma associated with mental illness. But, it’s also a time when I ask followers to post pictures, memes, gifs, and whatnot of things that brighten their day, and may well brighten another’s day. See, we all know about the stigma. Words like “crazy”, “bipolar”, “insane”, and so on are casually thrown around, with little appreciation or understanding of mental health, nor of what implications those harmful words cause. Mental illness and suicide are sometimes stigmatised by the media too.

We are therefore surrounded by ideas and words which construct an image of a monster; that the mentally ill are people to be feared.

During Mental Health Month, this is the perfect time to challenge those ideas and words, and to challenge the media, to ensure we no longer stigmatise the mentally ill.

Remember, you can help shed a more positive light on mental health by making a #MentalHealthPromise

Mental Health Month promise

It’s very difficult to talk about the stigma surrounding mental health without going into a great, lengthy rant, but I will try and rein myself in.

The point is that we all know about the stigma. We need to work together to end it. Now! You can help. Yes, you can! Please avoid using words like “crazy” to describe someone. At least, ask yourself why you would call someone that. When a crime has been committed, don’t assume the criminal was mentally ill. Don’t even joke about it. Most people living with a mental illness would sooner hurt themselves than anyone else — we are empathetic; we understand pain a great deal and would never wish to inflict that kind of pain on anyone. Also, the mentally ill are more likely to be the victims of crime.

I didn’t want to go this far, I know.

The main aim, however, of my Mental Health Month Facebook posts is to elicit some form of positive reaction. A smile, maybe. Or a picture of a cat. Doesn’t matter. I want people to know they are safe and can post whatever they like on my page without fear.

It’s hard to admit to having a mental illness, because of the stigma, because we can never be sure how someone will respond. It’s important though not to be ashamed or afraid of having a mental illness. Remember, mental illness is not a choice, but recovery is.

Please be kind to each other.

If you or someone you know needs help, please phone
Lifeline on 13 11 14 for 24 hour crisis support.
If it is an emergency, phone 000.

Mental Health Month

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Eleanor, giveaway, and Mental Health Month

Giveaway
Firstly, I want to thank everyone who entered the giveaway. It has, of course, closed and I will be announcing the winner on the 7th, so follow my Facebook page and keep an eye out to see if you’ve won this awesome book bundle!

 

So, how did you go with the giveaway? Were you able to name all the books?

You may have noticed that most of these books are on my review scale.


Eleanor

A weight has been lifted from my shoulders. I submitted Eleanor to an agent yesterday! Eeee! I’m both relieved and scared, but finally letting Eleanor go means that I can begin focusing on my next project — my entry for this year’s National Novel Writing Month competition — a novel on the Marquis de Sade.

Eleanor by Cadence

It will be a while before I hear back from the agent, in fact I may not hear back at all. I’m not too familiar with the process, but I know that the odds are against me — I have a greater chance of being passed on.

Regardless, I’m just so happy to have finally reached this stage. It’s been a long road, certainly. I’ve heard it said that writing the book is the easiest part. I knew it to be true (as an editor and proofreader, I knew I’d be killing myself trying to reach perfection), but it wasn’t until I went through it all that I realised just how hard it was. Of course, it hasn’t really ended — not until Eleanor is published!

I want to thank everyone who helped me along the way. Thank you to my partner, Simon. I honestly don’t know how to thank you for everything you’ve done for me ❤

Thank you to my wonderful friend, Phoenix (of Phoenix Johnson Graphic Design), for designing the mock-up cover for Eleanor for last year’s NaNoWriMo. It certainly helped me stay motivated and committed to the project. And, the cover looks damn amazing — I can’t stop looking at it!

Thank you to Amanda J Spedding (of Phoenix Editing and Proofreading) for the copyedit and manuscript assessment. I was simply blown away. Honestly, I’ve been reduced to an inarticulate mass of… of… of something. The advice, suggestions, detailed report on concerns with the manuscript — it was everything I needed to help perfect Eleanor.

And, of course, thank you to family, friends, and fans!


Mental Health Month
Mental Health Month promise
October is Mental Health Month, and if you’ve been following me on Facebook you would have noticed all my posts. There’s so much you can do to get involved, and I’ve got a bunch of ideas how — not only in how to raise awareness of the stigma associated with mental illness, but in how to fight the stigma!

This month, you can make a #MentalHealthPromise to help share a positive light on mental health. You can make a promise here.

Be sure to share your promise (you’re welcome to share yours here, or on my Facebook page) and invite your friends to make their own.


Hyperbole and a Half
Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh
Ever heard of Hyperbole and a Half?

This blog (and book) is a must read for everyone, but for those living with a mental illness, Hyperbole and a Half is a little gem to brighten their day ❤

If you or someone you know is living with a mental illness, I highly recommend you check out the book. It is a fun, honest, and hilarious read, and one that would make a wonderful present for a loved one.

I have my own copy, and I just love it!

 

That’s it for this week! But, I’ll be sure to fill you guys in with all my happenings and shenanigans.

What’s been happening?

First off, I know you’ve all been excited about my giveaway. If you’ve been following my facebook page, you would have seen my teaser posts. Each teaser post reveals a clue about an item in the giveaway book bundle.

Teaser #4 has been the most popular so far.

Quite a few of you managed to identify the book. So well done! If you were the first to do so, you will receive an extra chance at taking home this amazing collection of books (not literally. If you win, I’ll post the books out to you, obviously). There are 7 books in total, including 2 x Penguin clothbound classics! This book bundle is valued at $150, so I know you’ll want to get your hands on it!

Keep an eye out for the teaser posts. You’ll have more chances to name the books.

But, PLEASE read the rules. So many people have only completed one part of the rules. They will not be eligible, I’m afraid. There are only 2 rules:

  1. Like and follow my page
  2. Like the post

And that means ANY of the posts relating to the giveaway. It could be Teaser #1 or Teaser #10. As long as you like one of them, AND like the page.

And, there are two other optional steps, which are:

  1. (Optional) For an extra chance, be the first to comment the name of the book pictured (or comment the name from the clue — a quote, or other).
  2. (Optional) Tag a friend who likes reading.

That’s it!

There are a few books in my teaser posts that have not been identified… yet! Hop on over to my page. Look for the teaser posts, and see if you can name the books!

So far, I have posted these teaser pictures. Can you name them?

Giveaway teasers

This giveaway is open worldwide. It ends 30.09.17 11.59pm AEST, and that one lucky fan will be named 07.10.17.


Eleanor by Cadence

Eleanor

Okay, now that that’s out of the way, it’s time to have a look at Eleanor. So what’s going on with Eleanor? As you know, my manuscript has come back from the editor. I’ve received mostly positive feedback, but there are some areas of concern I’ll need to address. So far, I’ve gone over most of the issues. There are a couple of things I’ll need to be more attentive to. My heroine, Eleanor, needs the most work at this stage. My editor really liked Mr Ashwood (Henry), Gaston, and Vivienne, which I am thrilled about — particularly her liking Henry, who I was most concerned about. Despite my readings and research, I have still not been very confident writing male characters, especially someone like Henry, who is the love interest of Eleanor.

“That’s not a good sign”, you must think, considering I am focusing this coming National Novel Writing Month on writing a book from the perspective of the Marquis de Sade. He isn’t too hard to get into the mind of though, as I have been researching him and his works for a number of years now. It’s simply a matter of conveying it, in the right way.

Anyway, I’m getting sidetracked, as always.

Once I make all the changes, I will begin pitching to agents. As you know, I have a few in mind. I won’t name them at this stage, though I will keep you guys up to date whenever I have news.

And, because I’m feeling generous, here’s a little teaser taste of Eleanor.

Eleanor by Cadence teaser


Off topic

Also, did anyone watch the Matildas beat Brazil last week? It was a fantastic match! With a sellout crowd, this alone should encourage the networks to broadcast more women’s sports. Lisa De Vanna and Sam Kerr were amazing. Watching Kerr’s style and determination throughout the match, I could see that it was only inevitable she would score. Well done to the ladies, and I’m excited to see another match soon!

Anyway, I might leave it there this week. Knowing me, I’ll get distracted again, and I’m sure I’ve forgotten some important news I was supposed to give you. Oh well!

 

Eleanor is back from the editor!

As you know, Eleanor was recently sent off to the editor, to get all prettied and vamped up, but now my beloved debut novel is back in my hands, hooray!

So, right now I’m going through all the mark ups and comments, and the report to see where change is needed to be made in the manuscript. There are a number of minor and major issues to work through, so it seems I will be working on Eleanor a bit longer than I had initially anticipated. Still, I have set myself a reasonable deadline to get through everything. I’m hoping to finish by the end of the month, at which time I can finally start contacting agents.

I have to say that I am extremely happy with the editorial services provided by Phoenix Editing and Proofreading. Amanda J Spedding has been incredible to work with, and I highly recommend her to anyone looking to publish — because every manuscript needs an edit. We’re still in talks because we want to ensure Eleanor gets to as near perfect as possible. I just want Eleanor to have the best chance when I submit to agents and publishers.

But, of course, to do that I also have to work on my cover letter more. I have a draft pretty well sorted, just need to perfect it. I also have listed a few agents I want to approach, just have to make sure I approach them at the right time, obviously — a lot of agents will only accept manuscripts at particular times.

I think I’ll leave it there for this week. It’s only a quick update, sorry guys, but I’ll fill you in more when I get closer to finishing up Eleanor. And, hopefully this will be the last time I have to work on this novel before I submit to agents. It’s not that I’m sick of working on it, I’m just ready to let it go.

Book covers, giveaways, comps, and Nano

It feels like it’s been ages since I’ve given you all an update, and I guess it has, as last week I posted up a review of Florence & Giles instead of my usual post.

Eleanor by Cadence

Editing and Eleanor
My fabulous editor is currently working on Eleanor — doing a copyedit and assessment of the manuscript. I’m expecting to hear back (with notes, etc) in a couple of weeks. It’s very exciting! And I can’t wait to hear about all the things wrong with the manuscript 😉

Cover designs
Phoenix Johnson is working on designs for my National Novel Writing Month project on the Marquis de Sade — still thinking of titles — and also looking at putting together covers for my Wings of Malice series! I have some great ideas. It’s just a matter of making it all cohesive — I want all the covers to look like they belong together.

NaNoWriMo project
National Novel Writing Month is coming up, and so I plan to reserve all of October for research and planning for the event in November. As you know, the project will be on the Marquis de Sade — and will focus on several incidents and events in his life. Of course, there will be an overarching plot, but the story will be separated into different chapters and each chapter will look at each incident. So, I guess it will a series of mini stories, but with a plot to join them all together. Does that make more sense now?

I have some particular incidents and events in mind to focus on, and I have the overarching plot pretty well sorted, but I won’t reveal them to you until October. Sorry guys!

Wings of Malice
Okay, onto Wings of Malice. This has already been a major project in the works for a long time now — I think I started it back in 2012 — but, of course, I decided (just recently) to make things harder, I decided to set a challenge for myself and turn my 86,000 word (near complete) novel into a series instead.

I think this is the best option considering the story length itself — I was looking to reach around 120,000 words (if I had my way!) — and I think it is the best option given the genre (fantasy) — even though I prefer standalone novels! I am however looking to write each novel to be read either as part of the series or as a standalone.

At this stage, I am primarily focusing on the first novel in the series. However, as I’ve technically already written the entire story and plot line, I need to now dissemble my novel and put each part in its appropriate novel in the series. This therefore means working on both the first novel and the second at the same time — as they are a little more cohesive, and I want to avoid repetition, inconsistency, etc. The third novel is quite different, and so I shouldn’t have that problem. I’ve already formed a basic skeleton of its parts.

I also went against instinct (sort of) and decided to make Book 1 of the series about one of the sidekicks of the protagonist. Book 2 will focus on the protagonist, and Book 3 will focus on another sidekick (sort of). I don’t want to spoil it obviously.

As I said, it’s still in the works, and I am quite fickle. It could change again before my next blog post. We’ll see.

It will be a massive project, and I will work on it intermittently — given that I will be starting my Sade novel soon.

Comps
In reading through all these books (as part of my list of comparable works to Eleanor), I’ve come to the realisation that “neo-Victorian” literature is about conveying female empowerment and the injustices of Victorian life for young girls and women. At least I think so. I’m planning to write a short essay on the idea. I love reading these novels, and I think there’s absolutely something there for study, which is great, because I love to learn!

A Kiss from Mr Fitzgerald by Natasha Lester

Of course, this idea of female empowerment is not strictly limited to neo-Victorianism. O no! Female empowerment “is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken.”
(Sonnet 116, Shakespeare)

I don’t know why I wrote that. It just came naturally. Do not try to comprehend my mind; how it functions nor where it dwells.

Anyway, as I was saying, I have also found, in Natasha Lester’s A Kiss from Mr Fitzgerald (which I am currently reading and loving!), this idea of women’s desires being silenced by male oppressors and the expectations of society. Though this story is set in the early 20th century, these same limitations on the feminine still apply. And, sadly, similar (if not the same) limitations will still apply or be relevant for many more years to come.

I will also write a review on Lester’s novel, when I get some time.

And finally…
If you’ve read this far, congratulations! The post is quite long, so well done! But also, I shall now impart to you information regarding a giveaway I will be running soon. You will not be able to comprehend the awesome of this giveaway.

I’m putting together a bundle of books — a collection of my favourites, and ones which have inspired me (I’m sure you can figure out which ones they are!) — and giving them away to one lucky follower.

To stay in the loop of this giveaway, and for regular updates on how to get your hands on this amazing collection of books, be sure to like and follow me on Facebook. Keep an eye out for teasers too!

Florence & Giles – a review

Florence and Giles by John Harding

Florence & Giles, by John Harding is unlike anything I’ve read before. Sure, I’ve seen the Gothic elements before, but I’m talking about the language. At first I was like, “Jeez, there seems to be a few errors.” then I was like, “Have I forgotten English?” then I realised, “Ah!” and then it was like, “Holy shit! I love this!”

…for a girl my age I am very well worded. Exceeding well worded, to speak plain. But because of the strict views of my uncle regarding the education of females, I have hidden my eloquence, under-a-bushelled it, and kept any but the simplest forms of expression bridewelled within my brain. (5)

Florence is a girl who has been banned from reading. “Banned from reading?” I hear you say. “Bollocks to that!” You’re damn right, and Florence does not accept this rule of ‘illiteracy’ implemented by her uncle. While her younger brother, Giles, is sent off to school, Florence whiles away her days by sneaking into the library to read. From The Monk, by Matthew Lewis (yeah, I know what you’re thinking — and she’s only a young girl!) to The Woman in White, by Wilkie Collins, The Mysteries of Udolpho, by Ann Radcliffe, and Jane Eyre, by you-know-who, it is clear that this 12-year-old is more cultured than me! Yeah, yeah, they’re on my TBR list, I assure you. Well, I’ve started The Mysteries of Udolpho… but anyway, back to the review.

When you read this book you see, hear, and feel her invented language. It’s very beautiful, and pleasing to the senses, in my opinion at least. This was another “Holy shit!” moment (it’s a long quote, because I loved it so much):

All I awared was that she neglected Giles, in whom she had less interest than in brushing her hair and mirroring her looks; I innocented her true nature and when she tragicked upon the lake I near drowned myself in a lake of my own tears, it so upset me. I thought her merely foolish and I guilted I had so despised her almost as much as I guilted that I did not save her, even though it impossibled me to do so, and kept thinking ‘if only I had this’ and ‘if only I had that,’ even though all these things would nothing have availed. (72)

I really wanted to add the entire block of text, as I found it so mesmerising, but it is indeed quite long as is. Now, I know what you’re thinking, but please calm down. I definitely would not consider this a spoiler. This particular scene is mentioned in the blurb. I merely wanted to give you a taste of the beauty of this novel; of Harding’s story, and of Florence’s words.

Florence and Giles by John Harding

So, the story
As you know, Florence is pretty well trapped inside a mansion with nothing to occupy her time. She is encouraged to take up embroidery (as many of her sex are encouraged to do), instead she uses the opportunity to hide her books beneath her work, and sneak a read whenever possible.

I have to say, as I side note, I am just loving reading all these books about women who defy their oppressors. Though, as you know (and from my reading of other works of the genre), most of those women are seen as a disgrace to their sex and are committed to asylums, to “cure” their waywardness. Or silenced, as I’ve discussed in other posts. In any case, they have been enjoyable reads, and quite empowering too! And, in reading these types of books, I am compelled to write a short essay on why “neo-Victorian” literature is becoming a means of conveying female empowerment.

Sorry, no more distractions
Florence also finds a kind of safe haven where she can read for hours without disruption. I’d honestly love something like that; a place, like Florence’s, where it’s difficult for others to access. I’m thinking something like a hidden room behind a book case! Sigh! Damn my wandering mind.

When Giles gets kicked out of school, Florence feels a sense of respite — they’re finally back together. But their bliss is short-lived when, after the death of their governess, a second one arrives, who completely overshadows the first in evilness. For while the first (Miss Whitaker) “unlibraried” Florence and the second (Miss Taylor) actually re-instated her librariedness (now I just made that one up!), Miss Taylor’s true motives soon become clear. To Florence, she is a spectre who wishes to do Giles harm. This (Part Two of the novel) is where the Gothic conventions are really thrown in your face. You cannot help but wonder if Miss Taylor truly is the evil spectre (of a vendetta-fuelled Miss Whitaker) as Florence imagines, or if her actions are misunderstood, and that Florence merely creates an enemy in her for she fears losing her brother — it is one thing to be lonely by yourself, and entirely another thing to be lonely because your brother has been stolen away by the affectionate hand of a stranger. In either case, I was hypnotised by every aspect of the novel, and scrupulously analysed every word, every action, because I was looking for clues, and even the tiniest moment was significant. For this reason, the book deserves at least a second read through — I want to take in each moment again, with the wonderment of hindsight on my side!

A love interest?
Yeah, there’s a bit of that going on. Theo Van Hoosier dotes on Florence, and even writes her terrible poetry in his attempt to win her. Still, terrible poetry is kind of sweet, if you like the guy (or girl). Their relationship sort of reminds me of the relationship between Eleanor and Mr. Ashwood (Henry) in my historical fiction, Eleanor. It’s a relationship that’s one…um… no, it’s probably best I don’t divulge any more.

And because I can’t help being cryptic, I must say, I do wonder about this line though…

My heart hopelessed a bird-in-a-cage flutter. (107)

And damn the beauty of it! Damn Florence and damn John Harding!

The ending
You guys know how picky I am with endings, but this novel’s ending… oh my god! I loved it. It was brilliant. Though I had an inkling of what was to come, Florence really came to life at the end, and I did not expect that. Her true nature — all the dark, macabre parts — was so thrilling to read. It was simply survival; her need to protect her brother (but perhaps she was influenced by her literature as well?), and I drank it up so easily. I loved her dark side.

Of course, I will not spoil it, I just had to tell you how much I loved Florence’s callous nature. It was beautiful, in a way. In a macabre way, haha! I told my partner about one particularly dark scene and how I loved it so much, and would possibly do the same were I in her position, and I was met with a face stricken with horror. Hmm… maybe I shouldn’t have said that!

The Turn of the Screw by Henry James

Florence & Giles has certainly convinced me to get cracking into The Turn of the Screw, by Henry James — another in my TBR bookcase, and a book which inspired Harding’s novel — and I will absolutely have to get myself a copy of Harding’s novel, The Girl Who Couldn’t Read.

Oh my god! I just went to my study and found that I already have a copy of it, haha! I will get into it asap. But, has that ever happened to you? You buy a book then realise you already have a copy? I have two copies of The Last Man, two of Jane Eyre, two of Beloved, and probably a lot more double-ups than that. Jeez!

Anyway, Florence & Giles was an amazing read, and I will absolutely be reading through it again soon. I highly recommend this book if you’ve read any of the works or authors that Florence has read, such as Radcliffe, Lewis, Collins, Brontë, Coleridge, Poe, Shakespeare, Scott, Austen, Whitman, Longfellow, Trollope, Eliot, Wordsworth, Dickens, Keats (though not sure about The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, by Edward Gibbon). But I’d say, particularly, Gothic horror.

N.B.: There are some theories about this book; about the characters, their origins (Miss Taylor, for example appears seemingly from nowhere), their actions (whether they were just, for instance), and I am a little uncertain myself, I confess. I have my own theories, and I would love to hear yours. So, drop me a line if you wish to chat all things Florence & Giles.

I rate this book a Wuthering Heights.

The scale:
10. Wuthering Heights – Emily Brontë
9. Wormwood: A Drama of Paris – Marie Corelli
8. Tess of the d’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
7. Rebecca – Daphne du Maurier
6. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban – J.K. Rowling
5. Fox in Socks – Dr. Seuss
4. The Da Vinci Code Dan Brown
3. The Catcher in the Rye J. D. Salinger
2. Dune – Frank Herbert
1. Fallen – Lauren Kate
0. 50 Shades of Grey – E. L. James

Read more about the scale here

 


Harding, John. Florence & Giles. Blue Door: London, 2010. Print.

Agents, editors, comps, and comps

It’s been crazy-busy lately! There’s so much to tell you guys, so I’d better do it quickly, before I forget it all.

Firstly, editors (or, more accurately, “editor”)
Eleanor is off with the editor for a copyedit/assessment of the manuscript. I am both excited and nervous as all Hell. I should get Eleanor back mid September, which is fantastic because I want to get my novel out and about asap. Which brings me to…

Agents
I’ve already started making up a list of agents I’m considering. I’m looking for agents who are members of the Australian Literary Agents’ Association (ALAA). The ALAA is the best place to start the search for reputable agents. Thanks, Natasha Lester!

Comparable works to Eleanor
I’m still going through my comps list. I recently read the Penny Dreadful comic, which was, really, a gorgeous read. The artwork is amazing. If you like the television series, I recommend you check out the comics. I likely won’t be able to put Penny Dreadful down as a comp. Though the genre is very similar, I’m not sure the format is appropriate for comparison. Perhaps when/if I get in contact with agents or publishers and they want to know more, maybe I could bring it up. I still think it is relevant. I mean, the “neo-Victorian” genre (including steampunk) is very popular across all media, so it wouldn’t totally be amiss to regard Penny Dreadful as comparative in some respects.

I will do a proper review at a later time, methinks.

I’m also just finishing up reading The Asylum, by John Harwood. I have to say that, seriously, I feel like I’ve struck gold with the novels I’ve picked. The Asylum is, so far, just another wonderfully beautiful read. If you liked Wildthorn, by Jane Eagland, then you will absolutely love this book. Again, I will write up a more decent review at another time. Right now, this is just an update of what’s going on.

So, what’s next to read?
One of these. I haven’t decided yet. I’m also still to find a copy of Emily’s Ghost, by Denise Giardina.

Blue Fringe Arts
The 25th anniversary of Blue Fringe Arts is coming up! I’m really excited… and nervous. I will be submitting two pieces this year; a poem and a short story. After the ceremony, I’ll be sure to post up entries, so don’t fret, guys. You’ll get to read them.

Book Pipeline competition
I’ve just discovered the Book Pipeline competition, which looks to turn works such as novels into TV or film adaptations! I plan to submit Eleanor (once it’s edited). I don’t know what my chances would be, but I’m honestly quite excited about the fact that every entrant will receive feedback on their work! So, as a realist (on occasion), I’m not going to get my hopes up high, but I’m stoked that I’ll get feedback regardless! Yay!

I actually have another work in progress (WIP) — a secret one — that would be more suited for this particular competition, but as it’s still only a WIP, I’ll give Eleanor a chance at entering instead.

Anyway… although I don’t think that’s everything, I might have to leave it there. Sorry, guys! Don’t despair, I’ll be back next week with more of my exciting, sexy adventures.

See you then!