It’s been a while since I posted last. As always, life has been busy, and I’d been forced to concentrate my energies on my day job and a few other things. As of 6pm yesterday, the Greater Sydney region has gone into another 2 week lockdown following a rapidly growing cluster of the Delta variant of Covid-19. For me, a non-essential worker, I now have 2+ weeks to focus on my writing and bring you some much awaited updates!
While I am still around the 31,000 word mark for The Darkest Realm, I’ve been doing a lot of work on the maps needed for this book, plus I’m reworking the ones I used for the TLR relaunch.
I’ve been anticipating the lockdown, so the other day I went to look at Chromebooks to see if they would be any good for my needs. I managed to get a HP model on clearance knocked down to $200 which was slightly better than the Lenovo I was looking at. This means that should I have to go to work, I can bring this along and still type in my break, without having to lug my iPad and keyboard setup which is surprisingly heavier.
The other pro is the lack of distractions. I’ve been struggling to stay focused when writing on my laptop, especially with my games, Twitch, social media and all those fun things screaming for my attention. This Chromebook is purely for writing and basic web browsing. I will not be adding social media on here (except for WordPress haha).
I recently purchased Procreate for my iPad, and GRI’RAN’S CLAWS, IT’S AMAZING!! For those of you who have followed my map-making journey, you’ll know how much I suck at digital forms of cartography. I’ve tried Inkarnate and Wonderdraft (and I love these!), but having legit OCD I struggle to get everything exactly the way I want it.
With Procreate, I’m getting the hang of drawing maps by hand with the Apple pencil on the iPad screen. It took me a little bit of experimenting, but since I’ve discovered layers and how to do all that fancy stuff, I like to think I’ve gotten pretty good at it!
Now that my confidence has grown, I’ve decided that it’s time to push myself as a cartographer and take my maps to the next level. I really struggle to get assets like mountains all the right size, and found myself getting frustrated having to start over every time I made a mistake. It was such a long process to get the maps ready for publication the first time around: tracing, scanning, editing, etc.
I’ve had to learn new ways to draw deserts, foothills, mountains and coastlines, but I’ve been enjoying the challenge. When I’m ready, I’ll update the map sections of my website.
I’ve been looking at options to include international readers in obtaining signed copies of my books. Unfortunately, postage is super expensive to ship books around the world, something like $50 – $75 depending on location.
I’ve decided to offer signed bookplates in my store! For those who buy a paperback from their local book shops, they can then purchase a signed bookplate from my online store, and I will post it for a much cheaper price.
That’s all from me for now. As always, feel free to reach out to me on any of my social media channels or leave a comment on this post and say hi! Is there content you want to see more of or less of on any of my socials? Let me know!
Take care everyone and stay safe.