Tag Archives: spoonie

Recommended Read: The Copper Promise (Copper Cat #1) and a Personal Update

I hope you enjoy this Recommendation! For those of you kind enough to wonder how I’m doing, I’ve added a personal update at the end of this post.

Thank you for your concern and support!


The Copper Promise (The Copper Cat, #1)The Copper Promise by Jen Williams
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Book Description from Amazon

A trio of reckless adventurers unleash a terrible danger in this thrilling, high-fantasy romp.

There are some far-fetched rumours about the caverns beneath the Citadel: some say the mages left their most dangerous secrets hidden there; others, that great riches are hidden there; even that gods have been imprisoned in its darkest depths.

For Lord Frith, the caverns hold the key to his vengeance. Against all the odds, he has survived torture and lived to see his home and his family taken from him … and now someone is going to pay.

For Wydrin of Crosshaven and her faithful companion, Sir Sebastian Carverson, a quest to the Citadel looks like just another job. There’s the promise of gold and adventure. Who knows, they might even have a decent tale or two once they’re done.

But sometimes there is truth in rumour. Sometimes it pays to listen. Soon this reckless trio will become the last line of defence against a hungry, restless terror that wants to tear the world apart. And they’re not even getting paid.

What I thought of it

I consumed the last 200 pages of The Copper Promise as though they might go up in dragonflame at any instant…

And after following sassy Wydrin, the princeling, and the knight through their escapades, who’s to say that might not happen!

There were SO many things to enjoy in the start to this series, but I hate spoilers, so I don’t want to get entangled in specifics.

Quite simply, The Copper Promise is a magical book, one I found totally absorbing, and pure joy to read. From a writer’s standpoint, I’m guessing writing the book was a hell of a ride, too!

I’ve since read The Iron Ghost, the second in the series, and that was just as good! The trilogy ends with The Silver Tide, which awaits me on my Kindle.

Have you read any of the Copper Cat series, and did you enjoy it? 🙂


Personal Update

My recovery continues in fits and starts. Following a welcome short break in Cornwall with my husband earlier this month, I finally succumbed to the virus going round – with its attendant, disruptive cough – so that’s really not helped the spoonie situation all that much!! 😛

As a result, our third novel progresses more slowly than a dozy snail, but I’m trying to keep in touch with it and add a few paragraphs whenever I can. Since my previous update in early February, I’ve written chapter 27 and started chapter 28, which has tipped the word count past 67,300 words. Yippee! 😀

Hopefully I’m not making too much of a hash of it as I progress! Being a pantser (figuring things out as I go, for the most part) only time, Ron’s continued, valued input, and lots of editing will tell! 😉

Occasionally I craft something short to read at Writers’ Circle. I missed the last meeting – a workshop – as I didn’t want to pass on the virus to other members of the group, particularly those in their 70’s and 80’s! I’m hoping to make it to next Monday’s meeting. 🙂

So that’s where I am right now – hanging in there, making the best of things, and hopefully getting the right balance between rest and activity (mental/creative, as well as physical!) so that I can get stronger and feel better! (Fingers crossed!)

I’m learning to hold less resistance – there are so many things I would like to start, progress, complete, that I don’t currently have the energy for, and in the past I’ve been very frustrated by that. But I’m getting better at giving my body the rest it demands: going with the flow, and with accepting and allowing how things are – thank you Lord Charls of Cordello for the reminder!

With lovelight blessings,

Joanna ~*~

Best Laid Plans: A Personal Update, and a Micro-Fic Story

The title of this micro-fic piece is apt, because my best-laid plans have not turned out as I’d thought they would! December was a challenging month for me in terms of pacing (something which is essential for people with #spoonie health conditions) but I’d expected that after some rest, I’d be ‘back to work’ in early January, as usual. I was looking forward to getting back into things!

The Universe has had other plans. 🙂 My health has forced me to make rest and recovery my primary ‘task’ for the time being. Although this means that working on new scenes for our third novel is pretty much ‘on hold’ for the moment, I have been able to write small unrelated pieces now and then. (Phew!)

While I’m really missing working on the magic of Lazuli Portals 3 (and finding out what happens to Keira and Jason and co. in chapter 27 and beyond!) I have made my peace with it. For those of you who are impatiently waiting for LP3 to be finished, I will return to it as soon as I am able, I promise!

Meanwhile, I’m also having a go at being more laid back about blogging and social media, trying to find a manageable balance. 🙂 ‘Balance’ is a theme which recurs over and over in my life, so I clearly need more practice at it lol.

The tiny story which follows is a piece I wrote many months ago in response to the image, specifically to be shared on the blog. I’m still not sure how I feel about it, but we hope you enjoy it! 🙂

id-100152023

 

BEST-LAID PLANS

The warning is there, plain to see; I made sure the cleaner left the bollard in open view. According to the steady red light, the security camera is on, so everything will be documented.

All I need to do is to make it look natural: let my feet slide from under my weight, land awkwardly, making sure I break a bone or two.

That should keep me out of the surgical unit for a few months. I need the break (pardon the pun). Maybe the time off will stop the shaking, the trembling in my fingers when I lift the scalpel. The responsibility over life … the damage I might do … I just can’t …

Deep breath. It’s all down to me, now.

But something curdles in my belly. I know this is wrong. It’s fraud, isn’t it? My mother would turn in her grave if she knew what I was up to. I’m sure she’s keeping an eye on me.

And what about me? I’m a good person; that’s why I became a surgeon. My vocation is to help others to heal; to cure, wherever possible. And here I am about to injure myself, deliberately, and to cause hassle and difficulty for others, to apportion blame to the blameless.

I can feel Mum at my shoulder, her flinty eyes ashamed of me, her disappointment like a shadow veiling my eyes.

I swallow, and turn away from the pool and its slick tile surround.

It’s time to own what’s happening to me. To deal with it in the right way. To talk to my boss and seek her help; Shelley will know what to do.

The dark weight which has been plaguing me lightens, the threads of it unwinding and weakening.

My mind is consumed with how to broach this with Shelley, how to tell her that I don’t have the courage anymore.

It’ll be hard to share this with her. Of all the people at the hospital, Shelley is the one with whom I feel the strongest connection. Maybe it’s because she’s so full of life and fun? Because she’s so different from my mother? And now I have to tell her of this weakness, this flaw.

My nape turns ice-cold, prickly, as though there is a mass of energy there. It seems to push at me, nudging me forward. Against my will, I step onto the damp tile, moving closer to the pool.

“No,” I state to the empty room. There is a rough shove at my back and I stumble awkwardly, slipping on the tile. I fall onto the bollard, and my leg twists horribly beneath me. I cry out, my darkening vision pinpricked by silver stars.

Silent words flow into my ear. “Be careful what you wish for, son.”

[463 words – copyright Joanna Gawn;

image by artur84, via FreeDigitalPhotos.Net]

Update on the progress of The Lazuli Portals Trilogy Book 3!

book image for LP3 update april 2016

Following the publication of Mosaic of Light, the second in our metaphysical and visionary fiction series, we started work on Dark Perfume: Tales of Light and Shadow (you can find out more about both books here). 

By the time we’d launched Dark Perfume last autumn, I was struggling with health issues more than usual (I am a #spoonie) and had to take a break from writing and publishing our books simply to regain some wellbeing. (Grrrr! But at least I could still manage some short stories for Writers’ Circle and some bits and pieces for our blog!)

Finally, I felt alert and well enough to re-read The Cordello Quest and Mosaic of Light in depth, making pages of notes and “mustn’t forget”, “what about this?” and “ooooh, I must include that!” comments. Preparatory work, basically. It was fun, too, because I was remembering how many insights and scenes in the first two novels resonated with me, or were just plain enjoyable to re-experience!

However, the sheer volume of things I knew I needed to resolve, remember, add, or figure out was a tad overwhelming, and my frequent brain fog issues meant it was sometimes impossible to keep the necessary degree of focus. At other times I’d simply be too exhausted to try! (More Grrrr!)

Now and then I also found myself scribbling down little scenes involving Jason or Keira (and their friends and guides) which were demanding immediate release. I ended up with several seemingly-unrelated “bits of story”, which was intriguing as I’ve never worked that way before:  the story has always unfolded pretty much sequentially. By then it was obvious this book was starting to build itself in my subconscious, and that the writing of it would ‘need’ to begin soon …

And then, a few months ago, the timing was finally right. I had a crystal-bright vision play out (just before falling asleep of course, so on went the light, pen and paper grabbed, *scribble scribble*, then an attempt to fall asleep with my mind buzzing and spiralling. Helpful, not!)

Once I had that, I knew the book’s starting point, and was able to ‘get underway’ with the opening chapters. (Happy sigh!)

I am now pleased to tell you that LP3 (Lazuli Portals #3, as it doesn’t yet have a formal title) has passed 24,000 words (about 85 paperback pages) and nine chapters, and is taking me in very interesting directions! It feels a complicated storyline – it’s the third in the planned trilogy, too – so there is a lot to figure out along the way. Thankfully the natural development of the story, as told through the characters, does that for me, sometimes! Guess which ones are the loudest at making their thoughts known, lol!

So anyway … we thought we’d share this progress with you so that you know that LP3, while still young, unformed, and a little unruly, is filled with potential and gradually growing up and getting itself together.

Being a spoonie, that’s all as stamina and health allow, of course…!

But I’m trusting in the unfolding, and in the balance of it all.

~ Joanna and Ron