So let me just look over my list and pick out a few items you might find amusing.
One thing I watch pretty closely is the statistics for this website and I see that visits to it have significantly increased--this last month especially. March will end with the highest number of site visits, in total and per day, that I've recorded so far. It's also been a pretty strong month for downloads of my stories (from my Smashwords site). I take these two statistics together as an indication of new visitors and I'm grateful for that. I think it's a result of my "networking" efforts and, I hope, some favorable comments from regular followers. So this might be a good time to talk about what you'll be seeing from me in the coming months.
Of course, my biggest project is the Dentville novel and that's my primary emphasis. I work on it every day and am currently trying to nail down the storyboard. Supporting that effort, along with the rest of my work, is what this website is about. In doing so, I would like to add some life to my Dentville page in some way. One way I've considered is to offer "Dentville Character Cards," where every so often I place a downloadable PDF (Acrobat file format) of a character from the story with an illustration, basic facts about him/her, and strengths and weaknesses. It would print as a 4x6 index card with a front and back. The format would be like a video game character sheet, with numeric values for abilities, armor, weapons, gear, etc. (You can let me know what you think of this idea on the "Leave a Message" form at the bottom of the Home page, or just leave a comment on this journal entry).
This week I was hit with an inspiration for Dentville promotion that came out of a discussion with Donna. I was thinking about writing a Dentville prequel story and publish it as an ebook on Smashwords. It would be a similar thing to what I'm doing for the newsletters but much more expansive. In fact, I sketched out 90 percent of the story one day and it looks like it should come out to novella length. The story will be set about 2 years before the events of Dentville: The Ancients' Legacy, and feature many of the same characters. I'm very enthused about this little project and will be talking more about it in the coming weeks.
The next issue of The Dentville Stories Newsletter should be out in May. The featured Dentville character will be an antagonist this time (not a "bad guy" as such--I hope to make such distinctions more nuanced than that). I've already asked Debra for a sketch and begun to think about the flash fiction and supporting articles. If you're not a subscriber to the newsletter, then please sign up on the Newsletter page. It's FREE and will provide the background and lore that will add to your enjoyment of the Dentville novels.
I've mentioned before that the first part of this year was dominated for Donna and I by the purchase of a new house. I wrote about that in a journal entry, A Perfect House. We've come a long way in getting settled in the place and it looks like it will work out very well indeed. It's about time for another "house" journal entry where I talk about the concepts of home, the homestead, the current buying process, etc. I've been holding off on it, though, waiting for the video to be shot. It seems our mortgage lender likes to make and post videos of successful, representative transactions and they want to do one about our house (or that includes our house). That's supposed to happen in a couple of weeks. I thought I could do my journal entry then and include a link to the video.
The other side of writing is reading and I try to keep a book on the bedstand all the time. Some books I linger over and really try to digest. This was the case with Daniel Quinn's Ishmael books of which I recently finished the sequel, My Ishmael, and posted a review of it on GoodReads (see last week's journal entry).
Right now I'm reading A Mission from God by James Meredith (with William Doyle). The book is Mr. Meredith's account of the turmoil he (and the country) went through as he became the first black person to enroll at the University of Mississippi. The extent of that turmoil is amazing in the recounting, and Meredith's account is verified in Robert Dallek's An Unfinished Life: John F. Kennedy, 1917-1963, which I reviewed here. This occurred in 1962 when I was like 6 years old. Even so, I can attest to the general attitudes Meredith describes. I started reading the book in anticipation of attending a talk to be given by Mr. Meredith in my area. It looks like that's not going to happen, though. Even so, I'll complete the book and post a review of it.
The next book on my "To Read" list is Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell. I didn't see the movie, which I understand doesn't do justice to the book, but the book has gotten rave reviews and I'm very interested to see how Mr. Mitchell handles the interweaving of 6 complex plotlines covering 500 years time.
So there's a little glimpse into my world. I'm busy and there's much more to do. I'll keep working my list and pushing ahead until there's a first Dentville novel. I hope you'll find value in my work and come along for the ride.