December update 2013

It seems that when it rains it pours. Like most people I’m guessing December is one of the busiest times of the year for me and this year seems like no exception. I had a number of goals that I wanted to reach with my writing before the end of the year and though I think I have done pretty well, I haven’t reached many of them. It’s just that time of year, when work goes crazy trying to wrap up before the summer holidays, when you are trying to organise family and friends get togethers before the big day on the 25th, as well as a myriad of other things. I’m sure you are all just as busy and caught up in your own vortex of endless jobs/tasks/deadlines so I guess we can all relate and share in the befuddled mess that is known as December! 🙂

The Northumbrian Saga- still doing well, still only on Amazon. The plan was to launch on other platforms in mid November or at least before Christmas but that is now looking almost impossible. I’m just too busy at the moment to organise this so for now it is going on the back burner until feb/march (hopefully). I’m not terribly disappointed with this as it is already published and out there which was the biggest of this years resolutions.

TNS2- the sequel is likewise doing really well. I thought I would have the preliminary draft finished by the end of the year and that is more or less true. For me a preliminary draft is an outline of the story with all the historical facts and events woven into it. There are glimpses of scenes, a bit of dialogue, but that is all. It doesn’t read like a first draft because it is still very disjointed and a lot of the emotional and structural work still needs to be done but I know how it starts and ends and I know basically what happens, how, when and to whom. For me this is often the hard part so i am very happy that this stage is more or less done. So far the pre-draft is around 68 712 words which I’m really pleased about too. It’s not as long as TNS1 was at the same stage which ended up having a bit chopped out of it and even in its current form I think is around 120 000 words. But it is still early days and may prove to morph into something bigger once I start trying to make it into some more readable. honestly I wouldn’t be too disappointed if it was a little shorter but we will see where the story goes. I want to start writing again by the end of feb/beginning of march and at this stage I’m hopeful for a publish date sometime around this time next year. Fingers crossed.

Blog- Over the last couple of weeks the blog has actually pushed its nose ahead of TNS2 in importance for a number of reasons. This post is going to be the last major one for the year as I won’t be posting over the Christmas period. I don’t really expect anyone to be reading much during this time anyway and if they do stumble across my little blog there is plenty of other articles to look through until I come back online. I think it’s healthy to have a bit of a break to recharge the batteries and even though blogging has become a bit of a hobby/obsession over the past 6 months or so, it does take up a lot of energy.
I am also taking a holiday in a more physical sense as well. A friend and I have been saving and planning a trip to America for the past year and a half, starting off with New Years Eve in New York. I have taken to calling this the trip on steroids because it originally started off as a trip to London to visit an old school friend with a short trip to New York and over the last 18 months it has morphed into 6 cities in the USA, a few days in London, a short trip to Paris (I have been urged to give it a second chance and attempting also to make it up the Eiffel Tower. Pretty sure with the predicted weather this northern winter that may not happen). PLUS I have somehow managed to convince my friend that we should go and visit DENMARK for a couple of days as well. It’s a big trip I know but for us Australians at the bottom of the globe, it takes so long and so much money actually getting into the northern hemisphere we usually try and make the most of the time we have. I think that’s why most of us go a bit crazy trying to see a couple of hundred cities in only a few weeks. We want to make the 20+ hr flight worth it!
So other than being amazingly excited about this, what has that got to do with the blog. Well we don’t come back until February and then it will be straight into work after that so there won’t be much time for writing and blogging. So while I have the time and the energy I have been writing up the blog posts I will schedule for when I am away and for the first few weeks of work until I get myself organised again (another reason why I have been so busy this month). As far as I can tell I have written about the main historical figures I have used for TNS1 which means that by May or June I will start posting about the historical figures from TNS2, starting with everyone’s favourite King Alfred the Great. Before then however I have organised a few articles on the society and culture of the Anglo-saxons and Vikings including weapons and warfare, the fyrds and the witan, weaving, buildings, and also introducing some of the places I have used such as Ripon and Whitby and a few others. Hopefully that will all keep you busy until I get over my jet lag.

So until I come back from my little trip, stay safe and happy and remember to spread the love this holiday season.

A H Gray

This may be me trying to get to my hotel this January.

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