In an effort to finally consolidate my online presence (or some other 21st century buzzwd j’argot) I’ve moved my blog. Check it out at http://darusha.ca/blog. If you’re a subscriber by rss, the new feed is http://darusha.ca/category/blog/feed.
So, with the incredible end of my IndieGoGo campaign, I’ve got a shot in the arm financially and motivationally. Which means I’m keeping plenty busy. Final editing and audio recording of The Beauty of Our Weapons is coming along - it feels slooooowwww, but it’s actually moving ahead at a good pace. If the weather holds (I can’t record when it’s raining or windy), I...
Self-publishing tips: ebooks
I recently wrote a long email to a friend who is looking to publish his first novel as as an ebook and asked me for some tips. Over 1600 words later, it dawned on me that other people might find this information helpful, so here’s a slightly edited version. This deals exclusively with publishing ebooks only. I may write up a similar resource for self-publishing paper copies. Copyright,...
KDP Select - Nothing Good for Indie Authors
Recently, Amazon.com announced its KDP Select program. This allows authors who publish ebooks directly in Amazon’s Kindle Store to enrol their books in Amazon’s Kindle Owners’ Lending Library. According to Amazon “[t]he Kindle Owners’ Lending Library is a collection of books that Amazon Prime members who own a kindle can borrow once a month, with no due...
IndieGoGo Campaign Update
Almost halfway there! The fundraising campaign for the release of The Beauty of Our Weapons is almost halfway funded. I’m busy working on layout, editing and getting everything ready for the print versions and I’m hoping to have a preliminary cover design to show you all soon. One of the limited rewards just got snapped up, so if you had your eye on one, you’d better get on...
My drabble (100 word story) "Homecoming" is up at... →
My short story appearing in Luna Station Quarterly →
I’ve got a short story appearing in the December all drabble issue of Luna Station Quarterly. Check it out - it’s free to read!
Help Me Release My Next Book
I’m going to be releasing my newest book, The Beauty of Our Weapons, in early 2012. To help fund the release, I’m raising money through IndieGoGo. Please go take a look at the campaign and fund it if you can. There are great goodies for all contributions, including pre-release copies of the book in all the formats I usually publish. And please pass it on. Even if you can’t...
Nothing Exists in a Vacuum
Recently, we celebrated the third anniversary of leaving Canada. It’s not that we’re particularly happy to not be living in Canada - rather, we miss the places and people all the time. But instead we were celebrating the three years of traveling the world, testing our limits and living the Big Adventure of living on a small (relative to the grand expanse of the ocean) sailboat. ...
I'm an Alien
[This was originally published as a guest post on John Mierau’s blog] (photo by rarebeasts) As I write this, I have been an alien for over three years. I’m a Canadian, but I’ve been in Canada for fewer than two of the past 36 months. I live on a sailboat and since 2008 I’ve been traveling the world about as fast as a dog can run. Sometimes it seems hard to believe. But all...
How to Survive the [blank] Apocalypse for Foodies
photo by stevendepolo via flickr Living on a sailboat in the tropics teaches a person many things: “tradewinds” does not mean 15 knots from the east all the time, stingrays are amazingly cuddly and eating food from stores doesn’t have to be awful. We’ve been living in a special kind of future for the past couple of weeks — there’s no grocery store but there...
Act of Will is a Parsec Award nominee
In excellent company, Act of Will was given the nod as a finalist in this year’s Parsec Awards. The Parsecs celebrate excellence in speculative fiction podcasting, and it’s a great honour to have made it to the finals. Congratulations to my co-finalists: FRANK - Vol.01: Boiling Point by Neil Colquhoun The Hidden Institute by Brand Gamblin Kissyman & the Gentleman by Scott Sigler ...
About a month ago, I started to have this familiar feeling. It’s kind of akin to heartburn crossed with nervousness. I know that sorta sick sorta excited feeling. It’s a novel idea. Not a new or previously unthought-of idea. No, it’s an idea for a novel. But it’s not merely an idea. That’s too small. It’s like this universe is forming in my mind, small...
Why I Love Goodreads
If you’ve never heard of Goodreads, it’s sort of like an online book club. Or library. Sort of. Like Shelfari* and LibraryThing*, Goodreads is a social networky place where you can list the books you’re reading, have read and want to read. You can read and post reviews, see what folks you know are reading and whatnot. There are links to buy books online from every book page,...
Love Podiobooks? Lend a hand. →
Folks (like me) love the free fiction available at podiobooks.com. They love it so much that the cost to host the site have climbed through the roof. If you want to help out, throw ‘em a few bucks. We all want smooth sailing ahead! PS. Originally I typoed “the costs to hose the site…” Freudian Fingerslip, indeed!
Why I Self-Publish as Explained by Someone Else →
My good pal Dave had written a lot about why he thinks authors should give the two-fingered salute to traditional publishers, and here’s another salvo on that front. He’s much more articulate on this issue than I am, so it’s a good read for those of you who wonder why I self-publish rather than fight to go the trad. publisher route. As explained by snarky Dave: The literary...
Now that I have successfully reached 50000 words this November, and another Nanowrimo win, I can breathe a sigh of relief. Because I have to admit that trying to write a novel while undertaking one of the most challenging ocean passages of our trip might not have been the best idea. Being underway seems like the perfect time to write. Most non-sailors don’t realize that most of the time...
Water water everywhere...
Living on the sea, water is the one constant in our lives. The oceans are so vast, it is almost impossible to describe day after day of seeing nothing but water in all directions. At times it feels as if the whole universe is made of water. But, of course the need for water, fresh drinking water, is one that we feel in our lives much more acutely here than we ever did living on land. Not...
Dreaming of Safeway
image by DoGoLaCa I had an amazing dream the other night. I was walking through a fancy Safeway store, in the produce aisle. There were giant bins of vegetables - eggplants the size of your head, zucchinis galore. When I woke up, I had that feeling you get after incredible flying or sex dreams: wow, that was wonderful. But, how terrible, it’s not real. I envy people with ready...
Thinking Before Speaking
When I was a kid, I used to get into all kinds of trouble with my parents for saying inappropriate stuff. I was a bit of a motor-mouth at the time, and there was no disconnect switch between my brain and my tongue. If I thought it, I said it. It seems to me that the phrase I heard most in my young life was an exasperated, “Think before you speak!” As a lesson, it was one that...
50% off on Self Made ebook and audiobook
(cross post and shameless promotion) Hi, folks. We’re about halfway through the Self Made podcast, and as a token of my appreciation for all you listeners and readers, I’m offering a whopping 50% off purchases of the complete and unabridged ebook and audiobook versions of the novel. If you’re getting antsy about finding out the end, now is the time to pick up an ebook from...
Living the Dream
I recently turned 35, which is no big deal, but it did get me thinking. There’s a few things most people my age are expected to have - a job, a spouse, a kid or two. Lots of us don’t have all that, through choice or circumstance, but it is the expectation, the dream for many. I have a very different life - no job, sailing the world on savings and writing stories. Lots of the...
Writing in Paradise (or thoughts on distraction)
The mountains of Quito, where I was distracting myself a few weeks ago Back when I worked in an office, I imagined that once I moved away from land and on to the boat that I’d have tons of time for writing and other things that kept getting filed in the “I’ll do that later” pile. It turns out that distraction is everywhere, especially in those places I tend to go. As I...
Wadges of Free Fiction (& a good cause)
In order to help get people to donate to the Haiti relief effort, Crossed Genres magazine is hosting a list of free short fiction online. Check it out and read some stories, make a donation and/or post your own work.
I’ve been “on holiday” for a couple of weeks now, in Canada to see family and friends and get stuff done for the boat. It’s been a lot more work than you’d imagine. One of the jobs I’ve been doing is preparing for the launch of my new novel, Self Made this January. I knew it would be a lot of work; I’ve done it before, but never with such a deadline. ...
Last night, after writing somewhere between 6000 and 8000 words over the course of the day, I finished the story. Whew. Now I can get on to that short story idea I got on the interminable bus ride from Manta back to Bahia. Yay!
* I hit 50000 words yesterday, but I still have about 5 chapters (maybe about 10000 words) to go. So it’s done, and not done. This nano was strange. I’ve done it under lots of different conditions: unemployed, fully employed, living on the boat and working, living on the boat and sailing. This year we undertook our longest passage - it was 7 days and about 600 miles. For the...
Plan is a Four Letter Word
I had planned to write about 3000 words today, wanting to get nanowrimo off to a good start. Ha! The watermaker sprung a leak and much worse, the solar power charger is completely dead. That means no solar power, which means not a lot of power period. We spent a lot of time fretting with these things before deciding that there’s nothing we can do right now. We ran the engine awhile for...
Book Exchange Fun
One of the joys of cruising is that you get a lot of time to read. One of the problems, though, is that there’s only so much space on board for books. This is often solved by the various and varied book exchanges one finds in the places where boats congregate. Sometimes it a well stocked and organized set of bookshelves, and sometimes it’s just the corner of a bar on which people dump...
Google customer service rocks!
I have been a user of GrandCentral (the telephony service that is now Google Voice) for a long while. It’s ideal for a world traveler like me. When Google acquired it, I knew it would change for the better, which it has. Unfortunately, the main advantage was that it allowed me to make free calls to Canada. When it became Google Voice, calls to Canada became merely cheap. I waited until...
I finally finished the first draft of a story I started in El Salvador. I have such trouble finishing things without a deadline, even a totally fake one. I have to start making them for myself. Editing will go faster that writing, I hope. The only problem is I have two more story ideas that I want to get on to before I tire of them. I guess it’s fake deadline time!
Playas del Coco, Costa Rica
Timeshare seller: Hi! Where are you from?
Me: I live on that boat out there in the bay.
Timeshare seller: Cool. Let me tell you about this new resort we have just up the road...
Me: No, that's okay. I live on my boat.
Timeshare seller: That's really awesome. But this new resort is blah blah blah.
Real print version of Beautiful Red on Amazon →
Unauthorized Kindle edition of Beautiful Red
Please DON’T buy a Kindle edition of Beautiful Red from amazon.com. It’s an unauthorized version. If you want a Kindle edition, you can get it FREE at feedbooks.com. I am in the process of getting the unauthorized version removed from Amazon. Thanks, all.
Earl Newton on Rejection →
The usual advice regarding the stony silence most creative submissions receive, but also a nice bit at the end about success and what that really means for artists.
People often ask us if we’re on vacation or working. They mean, working for pay, which we are not. But we are working, often pretty hard. It’s hard to explain that we work on things that people on land would usually hire a pro for, but we have to do it all. Work is more than just getting paid for somthing. Writers and other artists know that, often working very hard on a piece that...
Beautiful Red on Amazon.com
Beautiful Red is now available at amazon.com! The bad news is it costs $21. This is not my doing, and I’m working to reduce that amount by a lot. I will keep you all posted. Feel free to pick up a copy if that price suits you and or write a review! “Beautiful Red” (M. Darusha Wehm)
Went surfboard waterskiing today, while hungover. Check one more off the to do list.
Latin America loves its pollo. If I never see another piece of chicken in my life, I think I’ll be okay with that.
Getting to Tikal http://ff.im/4iUWS
I hate climbing (stairs, hills, just about anything), but I was happily scrambling up the giant stairs of the Mayan ruins in Tikal. Amazing.
Going to Tikal tomorrow. Lots of climbing ahead.
In Flores, trying to figure out this Spanish keyboard.
About to get on the Tica bus to Ciudad Guatemala.
Torrential downpour last night. Caught over over 300 litres of rainwater with almost zero effort.
Booked flights home for December. Continental the best deal by far from Quito to Vancouver.