Bits and pieces of Margaret

I don't live an extraordinary life, but I do like to have a go at different things. This page is about things I deem newsworthy, like book releases, new adventures, courses I might attempt, etcetera ... you know ... things that are a bit different from washing dishes and the like.

Editing again

So with some things being more or less back in order one can now return to the writing slate. The third book in the Merlin's School series has been on and off hold many, many times, so now methinks it's time to get serious again. But ... only this morning the writer's mind kicked in with another idea, only this idea finds me revisiting something I deleted many moons ago. Let's hope that the memory doesn't let me down and I can remember what I need to. Fingers crossed!

Study continues

Over the past year and a bit I have been studying with Open Colleges. Assessments have been completed and sent in, marked and sent back. I have, in the meantime, edited a friend's work as an independent use of my new-found skills, and while it was time consuming I enjoyed the exercise immensly. So, only four assessments to go.

3rd edition release

At the moment I'm in the process of revamping The Ring of Curses for re-release as my contract with Satalye is complete. This will be the first time that I will have The Ring of Curses and Sword of Stone together, as print at LULU, and ebook at Amazon. Keep an eye out for release dates.

Testing, testing ...

On Monday I submitted my half-way test for the editing and proof-reading course that I am attempting. I passed with a distinction mark, one of which I was rather surprised as I felt a little out of my depth with it. It just goes to show though, that we are never too old to learn. So now six more assessments to go and I'm done. Wish me luck, folks.

A decision made

Many years ago I wrote a play, an British farce that was to be performed, but sadly personal events got in the way of the director, one Arnold Stephens OBE, and it got postponed. Time went by and this opportunity got pushed to the back burner and it never came to light. I have decided since, that I will rewrite in into a novel/novella format (depending on word count). I think the story deserves to get out there, afterall it was good enough to be considered for the stage. 

So ... back to the drawing board with 'Patience is a Virtue'.

Books sent away

A copy of TRICK OR TREAT; Diary of an Accidental Vampire, plus a copy of Merlin's School for Ordinary Children #2 Sword of Stone were sent off to my publicist, Jennifer Douglas, last week. TRICK OR TREAT is due to be released any day now for Halloween.

Please keep an eye out for release media, soon to be posted by Jennifer. Photo credit Jennifer Douglas.

An editing and proof-reading course

This news might be a bit late in coming but it's still note-worthy. At the end of February 2016 I signed up for an online course with Open Colleges. The reason being that I could not only improve my own work but could also make myself available to up and coming authors when I gain my Certificate IV. I'm looking forward to both these goals, and with my first and second assement in place I can only hope for the best result. Wish me luck, folks.

Moving forward

With the hiatus of Satalyte and the withdrawal of my second book in the Merlin's School series, for a while I was at a abit of a loss where to go with this. I then decided that, with the freedom I'd gained from being without the restrictions of a contract I would publish myself. So ... at this moment Sword of Stone is reay to go for it's first printing. This will be for proof reading purposes only. But after that it will be all go.

A new adventure

From day to day life changes; it might only be in a very subtle way but one never knows. Last week I was contacted by my publisher at Satalyte, who thus informed me that the business was going into an indefinite hiatus. That left me with a book ... unfinished and unpublished. The best part about this is Stephen kindly allowed me to terminate my contract with him so that I could continue on with my project.

After some time of wondering where I was to go with my writing career I decided that I would wait until the end of my other contract with Satalyte then I would head out on my own with my writings. This allows me to be in control of all things; something I feel very happy about. While this menas that the second book in my Merlin's School series will be put on hold for some time, it also means that I can now release all the books in the series myself; thus keeping some kind of consistency. Mind you ... if one of the big 6 houses comes along with an offer I might just change my mind.

So here's to Merlin's School ... and all books in between. May they bring about much joy. 

A great opportunity

Today I met with the president of the Maryborough Eisteddfod committee. I'm now an official adjudicator for the literary arts and will be on the judging panel for the east coast of Queensland from the Frasier Coast down to the Brisbane area. What a fabulous opportunity. (For overseas folk ... the eisteddfod is a national event that covers the arts in Australian schools.) I've also made contact with the local school, which puts me in a great environment to promote my books, do small workshops and be part of book week. What an adventure! I am so chuffed.

 
 

An opportunity to share ...

The lines from OZ are open ... another pal, Authoress, Margaret R Blake, shares today ...

…serendipity is a marvellous thing, Mabel… it seems to have allowed me to tap into a wealth of terrific scribblers from Australia… and darn entertaining they are, too… today, Authoress, Margaret Rose Blake has sent me this :

margaret

Hello there, I’m Margaret R Blake, author of The Ring of Curses (#1 in the Merlin’s School for Ordinary Children series) – Sword of Stone (#2 in the Merlin’s School series )– is to be released very soon), RIVERBEND; A Collection of Fairy Tales and Other Stories, and BITS AND PIECES – An Anthology of Bits of Stories and Pieces of Poetry. I usually write children’s fantasy but have since branched out to try my hand at some other stuff as well (which is where BITS AND PIECES comes into play). All my books can be found on Amazon, Barns and Noble and Booktopia … see PUBLISHING HISTORY on my web site.

Merlin’s School #1 The Ring of Curses was nominated for the Ditmar awards, and I was featured in the Premier’s Reading Challenge twice, 2014 and 2015.

I have been writing for about twenty years or more now, but it is not my only hobby. I also like to indulge in some needlework on occasion and I love to read. I’m a bit of a movie buff as well when I get a moment to spare. All these things can be very inspiring and it doesn’t take much for the imagination to get cranked up. As horrifying as it might sound I am working on about a dozen books/novellas all up at this moment, with some in different genres, would you believe. I love the scope that I have to play with and the characters I can invent. It keeps my mind busy and my work varied. Currently I‘m concentrating on a YA novella and an adult fantasy novella, as well as #3 in my Merlin’s School series.

You can follow me at www.facebook.com/margaretroseblake

Or … you can keep up with my publishing progress and other stuff on my site here at www.merlins-school.com

Please find below an excerpt of Merlin’s School #1 – The Ring of Curses

‘Okay,’ the Professor beamed while pulling out a length of black cord from his wonder gadget. He passed it on to Jane Ripley, who was standing closest to him, ‘Hand this on to the next person and so on,’ he instructed as he reeled out more cord. ‘And stand close everybody and wrap it around.’

         ‘What’s this?’ Neville asked with a sneer as the cord was passed to him. ‘Walkies!’

        merlin ‘Not at all, Mr Cormac, it’s a Time Line, and this is what will take us where we are going. It’s faster than a bus,’ he smiled at Cedric, ‘and more suited to our purpose.’

         ‘Well halleluiah and praise the Lord!’ Neville laughed uproariously. ‘This school certainly takes the cake.’

         ‘I’m sure it does.’ The Professor grinned back, taking the end of the Time Line in his hand and attaching it firmly to a clip under the dials. ‘Is everyone inside?’

         There was another chorus of affirmatives. Now, though, with the end of the cord locked into place curiosities were being piqued and there was growing air of expectation amongst the students.

         ‘Hang on tightly, children,’ the Professor encouraged, pressing the small red button on the Time Line firmly and saying in the same moment, ‘Alpha ad Omega, the circle is complete.’

         A low humming began to fill the air, which surprisingly started to grow quite heavy. The students moved closer together, eyes wide and wondering what they were about to experience. The ground began to shake slightly, then more strongly as a whirlwind started turning about them like an enveloping spiral, causing the humming sound to grow and grow, escalating rapidly into a terrible, deafening roar. The spiral spun even faster and faster with each second, creating a vortex that pressed in on them ever steadily. Now, with the incredible noise and the unstable craziness there was no doubt as to what was to happen.

         They were all going to die!

        Daffodil Stimmer screamed loudly, a long drawn out scream that was eventually lost in the echoing void of the vortex, along with the grey dimensions of the castle. And suddenly everything was surrounded by darkness, with everybody feeling like they were being pulled through an extremely long and windy tube of spaghetti. Then … with the sound of a gunshot, everyone was deposited soundly on their derrieres, and the blackness began slowly to fade, bringing everything swimming back into bright sunlight. Boys and girls alike blinked like owls against this glare. Ernest Digby polished his glasses frantically, thinking that there was something wrong with the lenses. It was only Professor Flounder who remained standing, not in the least bit perturbed by the ordeal. He calmly unclipped the Time Line and walked around the jumble of stricken students, winding in the black cord as he did so.

         ‘What was that?’ Cedric Finnegan enquired, still blinking wildly against the retreating glare. He had bright white spots in his eyes that floated about all over the place. In fact, they were making him feel quite dizzy.

         The history professor smiled his usual smile. ‘Just a normal part of time travel I’m afraid. It is worse travelling backwards than it is travelling forwards. I think it has something to do with the fact that the future hasn’t occurred yet so the space isn’t as cluttered with miscellaneous rubbish.’

…many thanks, m’Lady, Margaret…

…see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!…

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