Everything has been confirmed, so it’s finally time to tell you my big news. I’ve been invited to archive a collection of my published short stories in a time capsule on the Moon!! My collection is going to be included in the Polaris Capsule sent to the Moon by Lunar Codex as part of the Astrobotic Griffin Mission 1 to the Lunar South Pole planned for late 2024.
The Lunar Codex is the first project where work by women is archived on the Moon, the Polaris Capsule is the third of the Lunar Codex capsules, and I am the first recorded New Brunswick author to be included in the Lunar Codex. Eek!! I’m so pleased to introduce you to Borrowed Wings and Other Stories:
There is a tonne of time consuming work involved with sending a capsule to the Moon, so I’ve been busy getting my collection together before the August 31st (2022) deadline. Yes, that’s a long wait till launch. I plan to release a Terrestrial Edition in print and ebook with extra stories and a special novelette closer to the late 2024 launch, but for now I’ve decided to offer the Lunar Edition of Borrowed Wings and Other Stories as a free ebook to anyone who signs up for my new monthly newsletter about magic and wonder: Enchanted Side Quests. That’s right, I finally got my newsletter up and running. Feel free to make jokes that it took the Moon to make it happen, I deserve them.
Once you’re signed up, you’ll get your ebook download links right away. I won’t use your email for anything except for the monthly newsletters and the Mailerlite system I’m using has a good reputation.
Needless to say, it’s been a wild month around here. When I first got the Lunar Codex invite I sat around in shock for a bit, not really believing any of this was real. Then I started getting excited about what stories I would choose to send the Moon (there’s more on that in the Introduction to Borrowed Wings). I ordered a cover. Someone recommended Scrivener to me and that seemed like a good interface to arrange the stories into some sort of order, so I started learning that program. Then… came compile.
I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to compile something in Scrivener, or had a friend that warned you off of it, but. It did not go well. Part of me wonders if it had been September when I tried this, and it wasn’t me trying to learn software in between getting snacks and fetching toys for the kids, it might have gone better. I blew my (non-existent) budget for this project on the cover, so buying Atticus or Vellum at this point wasn’t an option. Someone had already offered to use their Atticus to do it for me, but I, a fool, wanted to figure this out for myself, at least once.
Nine days later, the book was finally compiled. I’ll spare you the details, except to say I reached a determined, calm state of plodding through one issue at a time that surprised me. My author friend and crit partner Peter J. Foote is a damn saint for the help he offered. My grand plans of turning my book in early were all smashed, but I’m so very glad I had that extra time before the deadline.
The cover situation wasn’t going the way I thought, mainly because I got bored one day, played around with making my own cover, and fell in love with it. Which made the cover I ordered look pretty dull in comparison. Apparently the only thing to do in this situation was to download Krita and watch a thousand youtube videos to figure out how to make passable typography. Because that’s logical? The thing is, I had so much fun working on the cover that it was a decent foil for the compile stress and – I want to learn more. For what it’s worth, I did pay for the cover that I ordered, the artist did the work I asked of them and it’s not their fault I have a weakness for pretty moths.
By the time the book was compiled, I’d pretty much made up my mind that it was time to launch the newsletter I’ve been putting off. Here was a ready-made reader magnet and a decent marketing strategy all laid out for me. It was time.
This I couldn’t have done without Peter, either. I was burnt out juggling summer activities and new-to-me software, and somehow in a flurry of bored kids I lost the instruction page for the newsletter software and was left wading through search engines without any of the jargon I needed to know to find what I needed. A week off might have helped, but in lieu of that Peter demystified everything and helped me find my way. I’ll make it up to him someday, somehow.
Today Enchanted Side Quests is launched and I’m excited about it. I have several ideas for fun ways to incorporate my latest non-writing obsessions (hence the Side Quests part of the name) into the newsletter and I’ve got this newfound confidence in myself as a capable human being from this past month’s experience.
I’m blown away by the amount of resources available for indie authors today as well – when I self-pubbed The Incredibly Truthful Diary of Nature Girl more than a decade ago, I had a word processor and photo editing program that google gave up on years back. Maybe there was more, but it wasn’t visible to me back then, just a few back alleys in the NaNoWriMo forums and some blogger dot com sites. Things have changed and I’m glad I had this chance to discover what’s out there and re-evaluate what’s possible. I think I have more adventures ahead with these tools.
Anyway, this blog post is quickly turning into a novel, so I should probably wrap this up. I hope you sign up for Enchanted Side Quests because I’d love to send you the ebook of Borrowed Wings and Other Stories. This site isn’t going anywhere, though it probably will pick up one of those sign-up pop-up windows over the next month; they kind of annoy me but I do see their function.
Okay, one more silly promo image for the road:
To the next adventure!