I don't know where to start so I'll start with the thing that left me floored...
Several months ago when I contacted Peter Tennant about reviewing my novella Theatre of Curious Acts
he kindly offered to do a double-up review of Theatre
and my chapbook Nowhere Hall
(which he'd recently read). Obviously, I was stoked. Then when he offered to also review Barbed Wire Hearts
well my happy dance needed a ballroom to contain it. Of course (serious voice), reviewers are not guaranteed to like your book (still happy dancing - all reviews are good reviews if you get me) and reviews are not guaranteed, something could come along and push your book off the review roster (ooh no, my happy dance faltered and then restarted again).
Anyhow, imagine my delight when Pete emailed me a copy of the review that is in the current issue of Black Static and features all three books. I spun so fast around my room I almost broke Jack Skellington. And it's funny I should mention Jack because...."Cate Gardner doesn't write like anybody else. In a field where individuality is prized and having a unique voice is valued above all else, she is a true original, a writer whose work brings to mind the imagery of Magritte as distorted by the aesthetic of Tim Burton, but with a playfulness and humanity that is all her own..."
Peter Tennant, Black Static
...and then he goes on to say wonderful things about all three books. I should stop spinning in about a week. Until then it may be best to avoid Liverpool. I can't wait for my subscription copy to arrive.
And... heck, what else can she have to say. Well, Damien Walters Grintalis invited me to write a guest blog for Women in Horror
month and it went live today. I'd love it if you'd head over there and read it, but you must promise not to try and calculate my age.
And the third thing... I treated myself to a bag of Edinburgh Rock. Seriously, with me spinning from that sugar rush you should probably avoid the entire North West for the month.
Right, back to my WIP and my bemoaning cries of 'I can't write for crap.' Seriously, we writers are weird.
Remember, remember it's the first of November...
I'm glad I'm not participating in NaNoWriMo but I do keep having twinges of envy when I read the status updates of those who are. Especially as I'm in an 'I used to write' funk at the moment which is exasperated by my spending too much time selling things on eBay. We've been down this road before and it led to an accidental* four or five year break from writing. :O Way to freak myself out. (I may have just spun around the room flapping my hands).
*Seriously, accidental. I slid away from writing, left a novel in progress for all those years, and then got a wake up call one day when I was talking to someone at work (who I'd just discovered was a writer) and realised I hadn't been a writer for some time. Although that journey into eBay was to pay off some astronomical debts, I have no such (touch wood) excuse this time.
The thing about not writing is it stresses you out and you end up on a not-so-merry-go-round of achieving nothing. I will get my funk back. Or steal someone else's. Muahaha. (Dear Google Spell Check, Muahaha is spelt correctly :P) Or maybe I'll attack my laptop with a ruler (it's about the most dangerous thing here) and sit in a corner with pen and paper.
By the way, this is not a 'please sympathise with me' post, it's a 'where I'm at at the moment post and I will speed through it and annoy you with how much I've written before we all know it'. Plus life is full of awesomeness thanks to things like this review for Theatre of Curious Acts in Publishers Weekly
Anyway, I shall leave you with some fantastically sad and fantastically spooky fiction to read if you are so inclined.Like Origami in Water
by Damien Walters Grintalis
and The Psalm
by Simon Bestwick (which you will find on about page 138)
and I haven't read it yet, but quite frankly we all know it will be awesome, The Sons of Chaos and the Desert Dead
by Aaron Polson.
Now I must check how those things are selling on eBay and see if I can afford a paddling pool yet or maybe I could buy a muse that is Castiel shaped. Oh yes please.
I quit painting watercolours.
I haven't painted in years. Pre-computer instead of twittering I used to relax by throwing paint at paper and convincing myself that my ducks looked like ducks and not runny egg yolk and the brown patch was a mountain and not that I'd tipped over the paintpot. Throwing paint at paper is so relaxing but (unless I'm having fun with the kids) I don't bother because I'm artistically challenged and it's messy. I'm the one who has to clean up now.
I quit playing the guitar.
Because I'm tone deaf and really couldn't play anything more challenging than 'Mull of Kintyre' and I played that really, really slowly. In fact, in an alternate universe another version of me is still giving that first performance. I did however think I looked cool with a guitar strapped to my back.
I'll never quit singing.
Even though, as already stated, I'm tone deaf. If my wonky notes are bothering you, leave the room. Or maybe the area because I am loud. For a quiet girl I can bellow.
And now, I've quit Skull Salad Reviews.
I don't enjoy writing reviews. I suck at writing them and I'd stress for days about what to put in them--I'm not a natural reviewer. I signed up to the site because I like getting reviews (good or bad) and it was my karmic way of giving back to the small press. Only I didn't feel I was giving back. I only mentioned the stories I liked and didn't mention those I didn't when a true reviewer will balance a review with both, and those are the reviewers we trust. Those are the reviewers we want and need. So I quit. And now I can devour my to read pile without having a panic attack about what to say about this story or that. I can simply come here and say, 'Wow, I just read this incredible story and you should read it because I know awesome when I see it.' And I do give back, I beta read friends books, I donate to magazines, I buy small press books, and I read small press stories and will continue to do so, so let me end with...
I read these two stories today and they're awesome...
Running Empty in a Land of Decay by Damien Walters Grintalis
Liminal by E. Catherine Tobler