I'm boasting now...but not about anything I did. The cover art is back, polished and argued over (not by me, I loved it, although initially I would have preferred the lettering in gold. I would have been wrong).
How cool is that? The strange thing is, I have a pen pot on my desk with jackdaw and jay feathers in it. I love the cover. I prefer the new write up they've written for Amazon too. Wow. It seems I have actually written a book.
The copy edits are due back any day. I'm not nervous this time, I'm excited, I'm nearing the end of the process. After that, I get an actual copy of the book to work on and correct silly mistakes, then it's essentially done from my end. Mind you, once it's published I will never, ever look at it again. I know I'll find mistakes.
The sequel is at the ugly stage. I printed it off and looked at the structural problems...hideous. A few weeks of reading it and playing around with it have helped me with my old nemesis - pace. Seriously, could chapters 14-17 go any slower? Chapters 33-39 are like a lightning tour, no room to allow any kind of suspense or tension to build up. Knowing that, the aim is to get a better paced (and better finished) draft off to agent and editor in May then I've got the early summer to spank it into shape. Sorry about that, I was dared to use the word 'spank' in a post. It was better than uvula, now that's a tricky word to casually drop into the conversation. But basically the book is 80-85% there, with lovely new scenes still to write and a much stronger plot strand to work on.
Other news: we have finally finished the overhaul of my bedroom. Its walls, ceiling and floor were all in serious need of repair. Now the floor's been sanded and varnished, the walls plastered, the ceiling replaced, and the adjoining malodorous shower room (I wouldn't use it) has been completely replaced and re-tiled. It's lovely, I'm tiptoeing about in it, waiting for my new bed to arrive and for the landlady to throw me out. The sun has shone almost every day for three weeks, and now rain has drenched my poor plants. Finally the cold has let up, and we can get on with Spring. We spent the morning wandering around RHS Rosemoor, it was gorgeous.