I spent the last two weeks (or so) in Germany, visiting with family and sightseeing. I went over with my wife and younger daughter, Ally Jane, to meet up on spring break with our older daughter, Beth, who is studying abroad this year. It was abnormally cold, but that didn’t stop us from visiting a lot of castles, especially the magnificent Burg Eltz.
On one of our last days, the weather warmed up enough for us to hike around the four castles in Neckarsteinach, which was a lot of fun and made me, retired RPG-dork that I am, ache to play some AD&D. One of these days, my very sweet wife is going to realize she married an eternal 12-year old.
Our favorite daytrip was to the Caracalla Therme (spa) in Baden-Baden. As I soaked blissfully in the 94-degree outdoor pool, watching the steam waft up into the overcast sky, I wondered idly what the peasants were doing at that moment. I was forced to concede that I did not care. We also spent a lot of time shopping on the Heidelberg Haupstrasse, as well as enjoyed a very educational visit to the Kurpfalzisches Museum.
The food was, of course, excellent–are there better breakfasts to be had than a traditional German one? Das glaube ich nicht. We sampled many of the beers, my new favorite lunchtime one being the Bitburger Radler, which I am told is not available in the United States, a severely revoltingly state of affairs that demonstrates how uncivilized America is. We stayed at the Hotel Kredell in Neckargemund, a fabulous old bed-and-breakfast inn run by a family friend.
I meant to do some writing while on the plane, but my computer battery ran out and the voltage converter I had brought was the wrong kind. Ah, well. On the flight up, my airline viewscreen didn’t work, but the on the flight back, I re-watched The Hobbit (better than I remembered it being); saw Les Miserables (very good, though a little dull during the parts where Marius and Cosette swoon over each other); and got through two-thirds of Cloud Atlas before the plane landed–I must rent it and finish it.
While I was away, Dragontamer’s Daughters, Part 1 surpassed 20,000 reads and continued to accumulate fans on Wattpad, which makes me very happy. Shortly after getting back, I shored up discussions with a new friend of mine on selling DTD at Balticon, so all that’s left for that is ordering copies for sale. I’ll also be at the Gaithersburg Book Festival the week before, so the order will be a hefty one. In addition to selling DTD, I’ll be promoting Lost Dogs.
Speaking of Lost Dogs, I had planned on self-publishing it in the fall, but it looks like I’ll push it back to late 2013 or even spring 2014. While cogitating on the plot during vacation downtimes, I realized that I’m going to need some extra time to get the story done right.
As for self-publishing, here are two interesting pieces I found, one at IndieReader, the other at another first-time author’s blog. And why should you, Gentle Visitor, care about this topic? Because self-publishing is the future, and more and more high-quality, low-priced works will be available directly from independent authors. More about that some other time.