Nearly time to board the plane for Spain! This is the research trip for my next novel that I’ve been anticipating for well over a year. It’s been in the planning for almost as long, but now the time has come, I’m suddenly not ready. I always travel light – no more than 8kg – which is fine for a summer trip, but with forecasts predicting day-time temps between 3 and 17 degrees C in Spain I’m going to have to pull out a jumper or three. Extra weight this trip will be my degree of digitalisation: to counteract, swap the leather handbag (sadly) for a weightless little number from Officeworks which will contain most of the things a woman needs to carry as well as e-pad, palm-sized recorder and camcorder – plus, of course, their various cords, charging devices, spare batteries and so forth.
Every gram will count when I’m jumping on and off trains, too. Madrid, Toledo, Cordoba, Granada, side-trips to Jaen, Sevilla. Savage schedule. As many of you know, my focus is the Alhambra and part of the planning has been applying for permission to enter, photograph and record certain information contained in libraries, museums and monuments. After some considerable downloading of my entire life, I was granted the coveted Photo Research card for the Alhambra and something similar for the Biblioteca Nationale in Madrid.
I promised to bring you up to speed on the digital story-telling workshop I attended. The business that gave the workshop was called Chronicles. It is owned by two women who work out of Western Australian and I can only say that they were brilliant. The program used to create the story was Pinnacles (Mac) and I believe there is a version of Pinnacles for us IBM-users. The story I will post on my return is done with some reticence; my first attempt, but with a bit of practice will get better. It’s not that hard, folks.
Even easier was to e-publish on Amazon Kindle what I call my ‘death book’ For Women Who Grieve. This is a book that was proudly published by Lothian Books (later taken over by Hachette) and soundly received when I wrote it back in 1995 with the US rights bought the following year. The book has been ‘out of print’ – read ‘author receives no royalties’ – for the past few years and yet the book continues to pop up in different places published by different ‘publishers’ and distributed by Random House. There are warnings all around us with regard to our e-book rights; from my own experience, it is equally easy to get ripped off in the so-called ‘traditional’ publishing world. Sad, but true. Having published For Women Who Grieve on Amazon, I have just done the same for Our Grand Design, also available on Smashwords. Keep you posted as to how they go.