Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Spring is in the Air

Another of those days in which I didn't achieve a whole hell of a lot. I did my usual writing blog on Monday night, and for some reason it got Instapundited and got about 4000 views - and 50 odd comments. Which I have to reply to... I did try to go an catch some more cat-wrasse (to get a brain rest)but the sea was 'orrible. The colour of tea, full of weed, and breaking right over our favorite fishing rock. So we came back to look at another boat my mate was interested in (only it was the wrong boat!) and I did do some writing.

It is interesting to see the approach of spring here. The plants are definitely perking up, the days are slowly getting longer and less cold, the birdies hearts are turning to love... I've seen various ones - I think a pardalot (but no, I did not count the spots) collecting nesting shed-dog-hair (and are they ever welcome to it!) and several amorous courting couples. And a one morning fence stand this AM when the black ones with bright yellow beaks were on the boundary fence in the dawning... hop hop hop... he sidles up to her, and she eyes him with a bright speculative eye... and he jumps up. A few moments later he lands on the fence again... hop hop hop... sidle closer and has a second attempt. Lands on the fence again, perhaps breathing a little fast... and hey, presto! she goes hop hop hop sidles up to him... and he flies off hastily. She waits perhaps half a minute and flies off in the other direction, perhaps to Reno.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


My mainland-moving-here-to-retire friend is on a mission to buy himself a boat. Now I will admit they do increase your reach fishing and diving, but I always liked the description 'a boat-shaped hole in the water you keep afloat by pouring money into' (It was said by some famous person, like my brother, I think.) There was one advertised in the island news... so we were asked to have a look. It had a good motor, by the looks of it, and very elderly dodgy boat attached to that - looked like a 1950 speedboat. The decking - marine ply covered with fiberglass had rotted in part. And the boat didn't look to me like it would handle a big sea well. I wonder... how do you tell?

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Another day older...

And hopefully no deeper in debt... although I feel like I shifted 16 tons of number 9 words... No sign of the fortune yet.

We had a duck and Scorzonera, and Fennel with home-made pasta for supper, with trifle for dessert.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

In seine

We had the quarterly market at the showgrounds this morning -- A bit thinly supplied I thought. Maybe people are holding back for the show. (October IIRC) I popped in for 10 minutes or so, as Barbs was working on one of the stalls, and optimistically bought some tomato seedlings.

This afternoon I gave work a pass and we went off to collect oysters and clams and to try out the new bait-seine, and the waders (garage-sale wins) The net is the legal 6 meters long - which is tiny, but I hope will work for little fish for the catching of bigger fish)to see if we could get a little flounder for my friend Bill's seawater tank. As an Ichthyologist at heart still I love seeing just what there is there - most of which we were able to return unhurt. It's a nice soft net. Alas, no little flounder forthcoming, although we took him some gobies and several varieties of little schooling bait-fish and a few shrimp and crabs. The shrimps did not survive long, and neither did several of the bait-fish, as he has voracious blennies and other little predators. Some of the baitfish however are too big for most of them so we'll have to see how they do.

I fried the Tassie oysters (they're a flat balon-type oyster very tasty, quite strongly flavored, if you are used to pacific oysters) in butter with a generous helping of garlic and some Italian parsley and dribbled the garlicy sauce and oysters over fresh salad leaves and chopped spring onion. That and some home made pizza from yesterday was supper, so it was quite a lazy cooking evening.

Friday, August 26, 2011


Well, another day at the office. I've done some writing, some admin, some raking of cut grass, some muttering because Barbs was working and the afternoon weather wasn't too bad. This evening we had our little board-games meeting and played something called scattegories - which once you get the idea (and toss the stupid irritating clock away) is not a bad game for an author.

I've got to get the second half-water-tank filled and ready for planting. The downside is I used all my horse manure and all my compost on the first one, which is doing well. I need to prep for tomatoes and summer veg. I hope -with potatoes growing in the field next door that I'll have enough space then. I should all in all have about 50 square meters plus the tatties under cultivation. That I hope will do. I have about 6 square of herbs and I have some more in pots.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Alas, there were no pigs. But I did get to see a beautiful dawn.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Drying Bacon

The bacon is out of the dry cure and hanging up to either form a pellicle or continue for some extra days and become de facto unrolled pancetta to be sliced paper thin and used for those mythical melons I will try to grow again this year.

I'm supposed to get up before dawn tomorrow to go a-hunting for feral pigs. So tomorrow I will either be neck deep in pig-butchery (which I'm will but not very equipped or experienced to do) or not, depending on Arthur's skill as pig hunter. Mine is non-existent.

I'm being visited at work by Tink and Wendy (superb fairy wrens) I think they're courting. They're hell to get a decent photo of, despite only being about 2 feet from my window.

The sunset is better at staying still, even if it is further off.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

No milk today, the boat hasn't come our way

No boat today. Big sign up in Walkers, when B went in to get our one get-when-the-boat-comes-in, fresh milk. Yes, the cow is still a dream. A bit too expensive right now, but we'll eventually get there. The ferry is merely delayed by a not very adequate tide at Bridport - which is still a tidal harbour (yes, really. In this day and age.) unlike the last ferry saga. But living on an island certainly teaches you about the reliance on the rest of the world. We're more self-reliant and self-sufficient than most (if the Zombie apocalypse came tomorrow we'd be bitching about tea and chocolate supplies being threatened, but really the rest Dave and Barbs are good for a year or two). Hmmm thinks. Wonder if I could grow tea? Chocolate I fear would simply be tragedy. Yes, I know. I ought to stock up... The zombies... in seriousness, one does wonder what effect a major economic downturn would have on the island. Some of the services we enjoy probably really aren't even vaguely viable.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Spiked in the leg by a flying fish

Well, Barbs was. Jamie was trying to throw a flat-head back and it did the backflip with the last minute twitch and flew over his head instead to land in Barbs leg with a gill-cover spike. It could have been worse and been a gurnard perch. We're being rewarded with a bit of beautiful weather again.

We went to a garage sale just before that, which was rather sad. One of the teachers is leaving the island, and selling off her 'stuff' rather than transporting it. She had loads of floundering, diving, fishing gear... She is leaving having been, I gather lonely and unhappy here, with no-one to do these things with. It's, I guess, a lot easier as a couple and not a young single woman. And yet... we've found the island a good place, made some good friends, and it by now feels very like home. Anyway, from a no waders (but one leaky pair)family when we arrived, we are now a 3 pairs waders (and one leaky pair I need to repair) family. We've acquired all sorts of useful bits we really didn't need but might...

Saturday, August 20, 2011

A turkey in a lava tree

Well, turkey lava...

"oh you just grab them by the legs."

Now the problem here is that the feral turkeys roost rather a lot up the trees. And they spend their nights... well, making sure the branches below are well coated with slippery... stuff. Best not to think too closely about it, when you are 20 feet up a decaying tree with a turkey in one hand and a long drop in every sense of the word, on the other. Said turkey is not entirely happy and content to be upside down in your hand and is doing its level best to take off - upside down. which would have the turkey holder impaled on the broken off branches or face down in the turkey dropping mountain below.

Grabbing by the legs is the easy part. It's taken us a long time to locate the roost, get permission to go there, and nearly as long to come home and draw and pluck two turkeys. Yes, I could tell you where, but I like you and don't want to kill you.

Yes, I did it twice.

What do you mean, "you're a turkey"?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Oh to be luddite, it's a life that's good and free...

I must admit to a yearning to become a luddite. To say no, I will not sort out my website. I will spend no more time hunting for passwords. But we need to make this work. We do still need some income... Oh well, I made roo-tail stew on the combustion heater this evening. With foreign ingredients from the old country - baked beans. And dumplings. Not bad for a handful of flour and the rest out of the garden, or the nether end of a 'roo. Well, wallaby. It's been raining all day, and I did go and scout a wild turkey roost, but I am being a woos about trying pulling them down. Maybe tomorrow night, when it isn't raining.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Started the bacon

Well, it's raining and blowing snot again, I should have seized good weather while I could. I've put the bacon in to cure, so in a week we'll have contrive a fly-safe way of air-drying. I don't think I'm going to smoke this lot. I made a cake (for the CWA for B and the soup and sandwiches thing), our batch of rolls for the next week, our supply of anzacs for the next couple of weeks. We save a fortune by not buying bread and by making bikkies (cookies, Americans, cookies). And I have some idea what goes into them as a result, but it does take time. Very constructive, and at the rate publishing pays, wise to save every last cent. And I kicked my own tail end for not going to cut wood yesterday. We're getting low, and will need one more load to see us out of winter I reckon. It's not been a very constructive writing day, but I did re-read half of PYRAMID SCHEME to start noodling the final book in that series.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Best years of my life

So many years ago I went St Andrews, Bloemfontein, like my father, in the hope that it would sort out my asthma and 'ruck-my-reg'. I was suffering from a bad dose of puberty, being brighter than I was mature, being tiny, detesting school. I went from being tiny to being merely small, but as Saints was very much old style boarding school of Stalky and Co. and puberty makes most boys (and probably girls too) that extra special pain in the nether end it did little else. Well, it did do my lungs some good. It certainly did nothing much for my education (other than teach me a whole of extra-curricular things, which I probably didn't really need to know, but got out of the way before I was 18 whereas a lot of my peers still seemed to working on discovering them at 30). Not that I blame the teachers particularly. I must have been on the list of the 10 kids you would least like to teach. A bit too smart-mouthed, with a habit of reading and remembering the awkward bits, and zero, or less, interest in class-work. Forever reading in class. Somehow, on minimal sleep(I don't think I had more than 5 hours a night for about three years - much of which was spent prowling around in the dark, pinching fruit, climbing buildings... or reading) and no schoolwork somehow passing exams, getting up whatever antisocial devilry with the other misfits (I was never one of the cool kids at school. Sneered at them for being dumb and envied them for their success with the girls:-)), or alone as often as not. How I stayed out of reform school let alone not getting expelled for being nothing but trouble amazes me. With teen hormones and boredom, and fact that I hated ball-sports (and typical SA school of the time, only ball-sport excellence could make you a cool-kid if you weren't tall (and preferably good at ball-sports)) and that I had decided the only way to overcome being tiny was to be hyper-aggressive and downright nasty, it was a horrible set of years. It would probably have been worse, elsewhere. But it was in the middle of a city in the middle of the Free State which is dryish thorn-scrub and rocks on the only non-built up areas, and tussocky veldt in between... and houses. This was just death for a kid that loved the bush, real, thick coastal bush, and only felt the equal to any other kid in the sea, diving, where with a pair of fins and a lot of water time on the reefs, I was fairly competent, and a lot longer-necked than most other people. I really was trying to drown myself or kill myself back then... Must have given my guardian angel conniptions about twice a day. It's no wonder I worried (and still do) so much about my own kids. The 24 hour train trips back to school where a sort journey into despair, which only retreating into books and a kind of alter ego kept me from running away. My mother said much later (I must have been about 45) that she felt terrible guilt about the fact that I wouldn't write or communicate from school. They thought that this would keep me alive--my health was not good--and had to be done. She thought I hated her for it. I was stunned. Not true at all. I was coping by being someone else, but _I_ hated me, at that stage. It never even occurred to me to resent being sent. Kids just accept things parents agonize about sometimes. I was an inconsiderate, revolting brat, mind, body, all out of synch, and school merely stopped them having to have that at home.) Trips home of course were inevitably blurred by alcohol and desperate attempts to make out with the Eunice girls going home too. The only other time I went on a train was as conscript. To this day I find them disturbing, which is very sad, because Barbs loves train travel.

So what brought up this lot? Well, one of the few guys I got on reasonably with at school introduced me into a facebook thingy where all the Old Andreans are indulging in an orgy of nostalgia (and a few of the girls from our two favourite schools for talent). Vast seas of reminiscences are being poured out. And one thing people keep saying is 'the best years of my life'.

Holy macaroni! Not for me. I do suspect it did me more good than staying in Durban would have, but for me, even the army was better. And I hated that with a passion (I do not take orders from idiots well, and at that time SA army was remarkably like the army in Rats Bats and Vats. There were of course some people that earned my respect, and those I had no problem with orders from, but that wasn't how it worked.). But I did learn a lot and my body finally started be only about half a mile out of synch. I was rock-climbing seriously and that got my mind right, or at least my self-esteem. Then I got out, met Barbs, and things just improved from there. Uni (where, um, I was leader of the pack of sorts, which was an odd experience. I'd started on suddenly finding I was the guy you could rely on(and finding I liked being that, rather than the opposite)in the army, because I was a little brighter than the average bear (medics were tested, and I was interested and challenged, worked for the first time in my life), and fairly tough and boarding-school conditioned to all the garbage, and actually did fine when faced with real problems not make-work rubbish). I learned to give orders too, which was a bit of a shock to a kid who resisted them all his life. Uni... I really wanted to be there, and wanted to succeed, so teaching finally got to me :-) But even the worst since then-low patches-were better than school at its best! And I'm still hoping the best years of my life will be here on the island.
Working on it.

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Wetting-ness of raindrops

If anyone is looking for that new useless science research target,The wetting-ness of raindrops. I've noticed in the course of my experimental process AKA hanging washing to dry, that not all rain showers are alike. Some despite bigger drops are not fast-wetting. Others sneak up with tiny (so I do not hear it happening I suspect (it's all carefully planned by the Council for ensuring Barbs and Dave have wet clothes and die of Pea-new-moan-here)) which are plainly full of much wetter water. It is of course possible that it's just the drop closeness or the rate of drops...

A great research project. Get lots of funding and you can come and do the new washing-on-the-line washing-off-the-line quickstep. I did it about 3 times today.

I've dug out my side of pork belly for making bacon of. Tomorrow the rather nerve-wracking process starts. (for us that's a lot of money and meat, not a lightly done thing. It's been a while since I last did this, and I've pretty much forgotten. I'm planning on merely doing 'green'(hopefully not in colour) bacon, as my resources for making a smoker are slim.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Killing a mouse on Sunday

Which has absolutely nothing to do with the Emeric Pressberger book, or the civil war, but really deals with killing a mouse on Sunday... or at least catching one. After my serious brain overheating the last while I decided a little lie down somewhere was called for just after lunch (how I would have despised myself, twenty years ago. Boring old fart, there is so much world out there and no time for sleep... yeah well. Time moves on. I thought I'd be dead by now. Perhaps I am.) I lay down, covered my eyes with a pillow (I'm light sensitive, and light wakes me. So it made perfect sense to go and live further South than KZN - to where the summer days are VERY LONG...)
And as I was entering the hallowed halls of Morpheus, a little something nuzzled my ear. Now, sadly, it's been a long time since since Barbs just slipped into bed and nuzzled my ear. Really, it's the sort of surprise that makes a bloke smile... possibly less so when the whiskers tickled and I realised this was a rodent, rather than the girl of my dreams. I sat up a trifle abruptly, which must have hurt the mouse's feelings as it vanished down the back of the bed. I was now thoroughly awake so I pulled mattress aside in time to watch one brown mouse zip down the back and under the bed. It left me a mouse-token on the pillow to show just how much it cared.

At this point I attempted to introduce a cat to the mouse thinking this would be relationship made in heaven, as I was fairly sure that was how the mouse got in in the first place. They bring them in to play with, and leave the bits where you can stand them when going to 'loo if you are foolish enough not to turn a light on.

Unfortunately the only cat present was Robin who was sure I had disturbed her beauty sleep for some nefarious and cruel purpose. So I went and fetched a sleeping Duchess. She stalked off in high dudgeon. How dare the staff disturb her rest? She only catches mice when it suits her. At this point Barbs got in on the act and we spent the next twenty minutes moving furniture, assisted by Batman. Who had the mouse run over his feet. We couldn't expect him to catch mice while he was helping us by getting underfoot and sitting in open drawers? Eventually, at about the 300th try, by now no longer caring if the little beast bit me, so long as I could stop the furniture mazurka, I managed to grab it, and a warm, tiny body in hand I took out and flung it as far possible. The dogs gave chase...

So next time I know who to call.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

An Irish Dinner

The mob that get together and eat every month or so are doing the Cuisine of Ireland, as Bill is of Irish stock and he's hosting this time. I drew the desserts straw, probably because I used the old chestnut about an Irish mixed grill. Anyway, having no clue what the Irish regarded as a good pud (besides another Guinness, or maybe an Irish whiskey)I went to the 'net. I've made Guinness Ice-cream which is most delicious, if you are the sort of guy who can't stand puddings and would rather have another beer. I'm also doing a potato and apple steamed pudding, that I was very shaky about, but will say the mash and flour dough came together beautifully. Really nice to work with, flexible and strong. Raw, it tasted like it might be a very interesting one for a steamed meat-pudding (like steak and kidney pudding). Anyway, it is steaming away and I'll report back later. Or tomorrow, depending on the lateness of the hour.

Friday, August 12, 2011


We've just had a huge dinner at the pub with Alan and Annie, (dentist, South African, comes to do stints here. Nice folk, from our home province.)

Our pongy-pit is filled in and hopefully will work. If it doesn't rain too much... fortunately this is not our house, if it was, I think some other kind of plan might have to be reached, medium term. It's a valuable lesson though. Had a good chat with the plumber's son, who is also the local beekeeper. I'm half convinced into trying some bees... have to look at costs.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Phew, pong whiffy.

The new soak pit is open, and accepting 'donations' from the septic tank. It's open overnight so they can check it doesn't do the same again. The problem is essentially clay about 18 inches down... and we've had a lot of rain. There are some down sides to living and building on flat land.

Tomorrow I need to make Guinness ice-cream.

It's late, I'm tired. We're very pleased about Clare's results, and now it is time for bed.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Weeellll. The plumber came around and scratched his head. The plumber's mate scratched his head too (not really, but an essential job for plumber's mate's. Think about it.) and told me: we'll have to get the back-hoe in. They said that the soak-pit isn't working... well surprise. The water table is about 4 inches down right now. I said how long could that take, because I was starting to gargle... They said it could take years.

Anyway, final dentist bit today and so I'm a little full of pain med. I really was battling to type earlier, and set a world record for typos even for me.

I had to do my bit for B this AM and bake her a quick cake for CWA. Got a frantic call from her out at work to say she'd just discovered it was her turn. One day I'll make them Gin sorbet. On second thoughts, no. They already laugh far too much.

In the meanwhile the rain comes down down down and I need to go for a little walk in the garden. It's that or gargle.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Castle Ballimucky

Greetings from castle Ballimucky. We have a mote... uh moat, across the driveway. And the septic tank drainage is running water in, and it is once more unfit for additions - not overflowing... not yet. But one more flush... Let us hope the landlord can do something or the water-table drops overnight. With more rain forecast for tomorrow, this is not likely.

On other more positive news... I hear from O'Mike he's got the advance cheque for CUTTLEFISH. This quite a relief to me. So I thought I'd go and do some new London style 'shopping' to celebrate surviving the root canal, but my riot of one person seemed a little lame, and I rather disapprove of looting, so I came home and had tea instead. Seriously, makes me appreciate being in a very small friendly quiet place. We might get fires, but then we'd all be out fighting them.

Onward, ever onwards.

Monday, August 8, 2011


Well, the dentist is on the Island - ergo, Barbs is eating soup tonight, and me with her as a gesture of sympathy or maybe preparation, as I go in tomorrow. I made lentil and coconut fish soup, which Barbs says has a strange texture. I thought it tasted OK, so that's prepared.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

A hard rain...

And the rain rain rain came down down down...

I was thinking this morning as it was sheeting down: I got two humans, two dog... and three cats. So which cat is there no room for on the ark? And none of those critters are going to breed any more, so it was just as well I couldn't get council permission to build an ark.

And then the roof decided to leak to distract my mind from such idle thoughts and it was lugging bowls about.

It was that sort of rain.

Serve me right for watering the veggies last night.

In other news it appears we might a Filk singer come over here to stay (with her harp, about which I am less certain. How do cats feel about harps?) If you want to know what the filk filk is besides as this program thinks, a spelling error, you have been deprived. To quote Weird Al Yankovic:
"I met him in a swamp down in Dagobah
Where it bubbles all the time like a giant carbonated
Soda S-O-D-A soda
I saw the little runt sitting there on a log
I asked him his name and in a raspy voice he said:
'Yoda Y-O-D-A Yoda Yo yo yo yo Yoda'" - sung to the tune of Kinks 'Lola'.

It's a science fiction fandom thing, and can be very funny... and less so.
I do wonder how it would go down on the Island!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Salsify fritters

Heh. Well, as the song said 'You load sixteen tons and what do you get? another day older...' Still no sign of payment for the last book. I know. Authors are supposed to shut up and put up. It's an irritation. Anyway, onwards. I went down to the wharf this evening on my own (as Barbs was still feeling shoddy), and did get a couple of squid - one early on of about a kilo, and lost his fellow traveller. (they often appear in twos or threes) and then had a very frustrating couple of hours with the squid being very shy. The water was clear as gin (but not as expensive. You can drink as much you want to) and I could see them - long diamond shaped darts hanging in the water the way bricks don't. I got quite a tour of passing wildlife - a Port Jackson shark, a pufferfish, and a big black stingray - around the four foot wide mark, that swam slowly past like big dirty sheet undulating its way through the current. Some little trevally came and hung about, but mostly it was this one #$#$ squid that was determined to drive me into leaping into the water after it. Eye-balling the Jig from about six angles, chasing it... but not quite taking. I did get one more, but that one is still out there.

Cooked Salsify fritters tonight. Not worth it as a method - too much fritter, not enough salsify. So far it tasted best gently simmered in butter.

Friday, August 5, 2011

We are so cultured, we has Art exhibitions here.

Whaddya mean 'Roadkill?' You only see THAT sort of thing masquerading as art in Sydney or London. This is the real stuff with a bit o' class.

We went to the opening of Maria, Bill and Greg's exhibition at the art gallery today. I'd show you some pictures only I want to run them past the artists and make sure they're not infringing their copyright. I tried to get people in front of parts of the pictures, but people kept co-operatively moving away. These humans...

Anyway, the flat tire proved interesting in that the hub had permanently affixed itself with a little rust to the vehicle. Took a crowbar to get it off. Barbs is still very under the weather. I'm so far not as bad.

I made us omelettes this evening - with our own eggs, own herbs, tassie mountain pepper, and our own olives, and even a drop of our own oil. The cheese was bought, but all considered a very home-made meal.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

moving on

I was so tired and flat yesterday I didn't post. Barbs and I both seem down with a bug, and I think I just gave all I could give finishing the book.

Anyway, I've recovered a bit of mental tone today, and did a little writing, and a serious redistribution of the broccoli volunteers to field outside where the chookabago has been plowing. If they grow, they grow. If they don't they don't. And if we end up with sheep in there and they eat broccoli they probably be little grunting wool-balls.

We went out this evening to the annual meals-on-wheels dinner at the pub. (Barbs does meal-on-wheels) only to find our wheels... well one was half flat. The top half was fine, but the bottom half wasn't... We have 4 more tires coming over in Peter's container so let's hope it's fixable to hold us until then. And then we had scottosh dancing which seemed entirely made of twists turns and utter chaos. I such talent for the last part.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

I cut daaan trees, I eat maa lunch...

Well, cut up trees anyway. I had my first expedition into the great city of Whitemark since the kids left I think. Looked in on Roberts -local hardware store (I need some shock therapy. My wallet starts to bleed just being there) and got some seed potatoes, kennebec and pinkeye (and you always thought it was an ailment. Well, so did I) and went into Walkers. Didn't actually buy anything as the milk wasn't in. Came home and did not write. I did a whole bunch of catchup jobs - cutting wood, weeding, making a new batch of Anzacs, putting things away, somehow not achieving very much but clearing the decks a bit. Writing several long e-mails and trying to be tactful, always my strong point. Feeling severe post partum depression. Why the hell do I do this, they pay badly and late...?

Well, the answer is, I have to believe, that some people love my books, I love writing them, and I put everything I can into doing that, and that eventually I will break through or bloody die while still trying.

And I'm a lumberjack and I'm Okay....!

Monday, August 1, 2011

The CUTTLEFISH is dead. Long live the (insert title here)

After a fairly monumental effort, CUTTLEFISH is turned to Agent, on due date, and he will in turn, turn it over the publisher...

And of course, in my profession, the next book has to be considered and started soon. I have another Pyramid Scheme, another Heirs and another Karres on contract, and another Cuttlefish sequel. Added to this I have the rights back to two of my books (THE FORLORN and A MANKIND WITCH) and I have to reach decisions on how to maximize earnings on those. I've also decided I need to move ahead with some non-contracted work - I've got two (and maybe a third) shorts which were always more or less intended to be chapters in a longer book. I thought I'd start kindle-trickling those out. Publishing is in flux right now and it's rather like when say the dairy industry is in trouble. The retailers and dairies and middlemen (who get 90%)and the mega-dairies (who somehow get more than the 10% left for all the other farmers) squabble and somehow it's always the little dairy farmer who gets shafted and put out of business. Publishing is pretty much the same with authors earning 6-15% at best (and the 15 ain't for little guys) so I am looking to ways to free myself of these people and sell directly my 'milk' from the farm gate as it were. At the moment though, cash flow is more of a worry.

I'm looking forward too, to trying get some of my life back, planting, fishing, making sausages and making bacon. But that we'll see tomorrow I hope.