We interrupt our usually scheduled Creativity Friday post for the following announcement:
The winner of the Sacred World Oracle raffle is Nefer Khepri! To claim your prize of a hot-off-the-press copy of the SWO, please send your mailing address to kris (at) kriswaldherr dot com. Thanks to all who entered—I greatly appreciated your kind words of encouragement and congratulations. It’s been a long journey from inspiration to publication.
I’m pleased to report that the shipping date for the Sacred World Oracle has been moved up from September 1st to August 22nd—a mere three weeks away—on Amazon, where the SWO is currently on sale for $11.78.
Want to try before you buy? You can try a free four card reading with the SWO here. It’s always exciting to see a long-aborning project arrive in its final printed form—many thanks again to U. S. Games Systems for a beautiful production job.
In other meta news, I hope you’ll check back here on Sunday when I’ll be posting my monthly six sentence snippet. This time, it’s another excerpt from the Next Novel, which is moving along nicely—I’m pleased to report that I received very positive feedback after sharing a synopsis of it with my literary agent. So it’s full speed ahead!
… is here. At last!
While the Sacred World Oracle isn’t available yet on Amazon for pre-order, it will be by September 1st.* In the meantime, I’m raffling off one deck for advance enjoyment. To enter, leave a comment below by midnight August 1st. (If the form isn’t showing, click here and scroll to bottom.)
The small print: Winner will be chosen at random and announced on this site Friday, August 2nd. One entry per person. Sorry, US mailing addresses only.
*ETA: The Amazon pre-order link was just added! Learn more or pre-order here.
Now that I’m back from HNS, what lessons did I glean from it? How will it inspire my writing and art moving forward?
Here’s a short list:
1. I’m feeling calmer about future editorial steps for THE LILY MAID. Ever since I finalized my last draft, I’ve been hardly able to talk about what’s next for my novel. After all, I spent over three years living in the world of THE LILY MAID, which made it more than a little difficult to let go—it was a tremendously creative, happy, and exciting time. Good news: HNS was the necessary corrective to my malady. Nothing like spending a weekend hearing other authors share their finishing-a-novel stories to place my experiences into perspective. It’s all good.
2. Perhaps not surprisingly, this calmness about THE LILY MAID is enabling me to dive more deeply into the Next Novel. It also helped that I finally confided about the Next Novel’s subject matter to a few author friends. Their universal and enthusiastic responses gave me that big shot of “I’m not crazy to write this” I needed. I returned from HNS eager to jump back into the Next Novel, actually missing my characters.
3. That written, it’s still too soon to confide much about the Next Novel. After writing THE LILY MAID, I know enough about my creative process to understand my first drafts are exploratory—it’s a delicate time necessitating privacy and tender care as I discover my characters and this new world they inhabit. That written, I’m finally feeling brave enough to post an excerpt from the Next Novel for this coming Snippet Sunday. I hope you’ll return to read it.
4. Though I’m looking ahead to the future, I’m also examining my past. Case in point: I’ve been planning for the past year to reformat THE LOVER’S PATH as an enhanced e-book, after obtaining digital rights from the publisher. Yet I couldn’t seem to bring myself to move forward. I knew it would be a lot of work, that it would necessitate rethinking my original vision for the book. Plus Abrams Books did such a gorgeous job printing THE LOVER’S PATH—how could a digital edition compete?
However, after my dose of HNS inspiration, I’m reinvigorated to consider the creative possibilities. So many artistic and editorial decisions for publishing THE LOVER’S PATH were constrained by print considerations—four color books are tremendously expensive to produce. Now things are different. So, I’m asking myself, What can I create without these limitations to bring the world of sixteenth century Venice to life? How will I transform THE LOVER’S PATH for the digital age? Can I make my book more beautiful, more emotionally satisfying, more interactive?
I don’t know about you, but I’m excited to find out.
Above photograph: Title page of the print edition of THE LOVER’S PATH.
And then there were none—none cards, that is, to be finished in the Sacred World Oracle. Here’s a first look at the four remaining cards.
The Sacred World Oracle celebrates the beauty and diversity of the earth and its creatures, utilizing myth, folklore, and nature to offer wisdom and guidance. It was created to offer you a simple way to access the wisdom of the natural world, just as humans have done since time immemorial. And now it is complete. All the files—art, text, and design—for the SWO are off to U. S. Games Systems, who will be publishing The Sacred World Oracle soon. In the meantime, you can try a three card reading with the SWO here. Enjoy!
As you can see in the above photograph, the Wall of Projects has been quite full this season. That’s the only excuse I can give for allowing this blog to go dormant for a full month. I don’t think I’ve gone this long between updates since, well, I don’t know when. My semi-lame excuse: I’ve been overwhelmed with trying to finalize several major projects before going on summer break.
Did I accomplish everything I wanted to? No. But I got quite close.** A quick recap to bring you up to speed on some of what’s going on in my studio:
1. THE LILY MAID. Goal: To finish revising and workshopping Part 1 and Part 2 (about 75k words) of my novel. Accomplished: Revised all but one chapter of Part 1; Part 2 semi-revised. Once I finish this, I’ve just the last third to edit. On the plus side, I’m very pleased with the feedback I’ve gotten so far on my revised chapters. My readers have been so supportive that I’m feeling so much more confident about my writing these days. And I’ve gained several astonishingly good critique partners and beta readers through the HNS conference and my novel-writing workshop at Sackett Street Writers.
Here’s a post-revision excerpt from the first page of THE LILY MAID, which I’m quite happy with:
A painting undermined my father. And, as you will see by the end of my story, a painting nearly destroyed me. Art is dangerous like that, an unruly thing. I used to consider it as superfluous as those who dedicated their lives to creating it. But I no longer do—I’ve learned this lesson, along with so many others, over the past months. During this period my life has become as foreign to me as another land.
When a life is about to be turned upside-down, there should be some sort of sign so you can prepare yourself. In my case, I received it about a year ago as a communication from beyond the grave. The message was so obvious that I ignored it. I couldn’t believe that fate would be so inelegant.
It was on the first anniversary of my father’s unexpected death in the July of 1888 that my maternal great-aunt Georgiana decided to contact him in a séance. The truth was that my father, while a respected scholar, was not the most practical of men. While Aunt Georgiana was better off than we were thanks to an advantageous marriage, she was reluctant to financially help us from a fear of making us dependent. Instead she claimed my father’s spirit would guide us to some undisclosed funds. His family had been wealthy in Italy, but less so once they’d fled to England for political reasons. Having little experience with the frisson of the darkened room, Aunt Georgiana decided that the Bloomsbury Proper-gandists of Spiritualism would be the vehicle for my family’s liberation. She knew nothing about this group beyond the claims of their London Times advertisement—Novel and Marvelous Manifestations in Full Light. Daily at 3 and 8. The address listed was near the Strand just off Fleet Street.”
2. GODDESS TAROT ANDROID APP. Goal: On the market by the end of July. Accomplished: Almost finished—one last round of revisions and it should be ready for submission to Android Market. The good news is that the app has been designed to work on Android phones and tablets. It’s exactly the same as the Goddess Tarot iPhone app with a few very minor modifications for the Android platform. (On a related note, I’m hoping to put the Goddess Tarot iPad app into production this fall.)
3. SACRED WORLD ORACLE. Goal: Finished and to the published. Accomplished: Three cards left; the booklet text underway. This project is definitely a case of “so very close”—I’ve been trying to finalize it since the end of 2010. Sometimes my time in the studio seems like a giant game of Whack a Mole.
On top of all this, my website needs a major overhaul, I’ve several design jobs underway—I’m helping the lovely and amazing Sandra Gulland launch her new e-book imprint!—and the new gallery show needs to be hung. I’ve decided this time ’round to present a selection of my books and art—something I haven’t done in some time.
We’re also moving forward with scheduling new events for this fall. Our first event will be a feng shui workshop with author Tisha Morris on September 17th. Spaces are limited; registration is required. Learn more here.
And how was your summer so far? Feel free to post about it in the comment section. In the meantime, I’ll be catching my breath before diving in again.
*So much for my HNS recap “coming soon.” Sigh.
** In tarot, the Nine of Staves traditionally represents a brief break for rest before jumping back into the fray. Completion is so close, yet feels so far!