Start Here

I’m H.F. Calder, author and artist. Welcome to my Version 2 of my website. It’s something of a miscellany.

Look around and you’ll find my professional blog, and also links to my personal blog and my fictional blog and some other blogs that I thought would be a good idea at the time. You’ll also find the Project Files. Those are the posts about the things I’m working on. There’s a couple of Galleries around here too with links to my T-shirt shop and my Ko-fi page where I sell my digital paintings.

This is on some t-shirts

And also on some mugs

Thanks for looking. If you have any idea how to improve this website then feel free to leave some feedback

Managing my life.

As I become more disabled my everyday life becomes more and more like running a small business. These last few weeks I’ve been hiring cleaners, delegating tasks to them, delegating related tasks to my spouse and managing the household budget so that we can afford to pay wages.

I’ve also been writing my podcast, working on paintings and trying to build an online platform. I’ve invested in Ko-fi gold, that’s the paid version that allows the posting of larger images and has more customisation options. I haven’t worked out what to do with it but my most recent post there is HERE. I haven’t blogged much this month but my most recent post was over on the Stick of Doom blog.

Being the manager of my own life works better than trying to live it like an able-bodied person but it’s not without cost, both financial and mental. I don’t know how sustainable it is. I’ve already had to give up on the idea of saving enough money to buy a new rise and recline chair. The money I’ve been saving will have to go to pay for the cleaners. This means that I need to try to find a new way of raising the money for the chair. If I try to do without it I’m going to end up with cellulitis, leg ulcers and maybe septicaemia (I really recommend that you do not do an image search on those things).

And speaking of image searches (worst segue of the year), I’ve already mentioned the digital paintings. This month I’ve done a couple of portraits and I’m working on a painting of Glen Etive. I’ve started to document my process so I can post about it for other people who use Procreate. I don’t really want to start yet another blog but the painting stuff doesn’t really fit in either here or over on the Stick of Doom. Maybe I should post that directly to Ko-fi?

So what is all this adding up to? I honestly don’t know. There are people who can make a good living via Patreon and Ko-fi but I have no idea how they do it. They probably start from a position of feeling like they deserve to be paid for the work they put in. Maybe that’s something I should be working on.

Black Holes and T-shirts and Pitches oh my

It’s been a wee while since my last post so I reckon it’s time for a general update.

NaNoWriMo and Preptober

It’s nearly that time of year again. National Novel Writing Month. Every November millions of people around the world come together to write the first draft of a novel (at least 50,000 words) in thirty days. I’ve done it every year since 2004 and as Municipal Liaison I organise my local group. Preptober is the even more informal challenge of preparing for NaNoWriMo.

You might think NaNoWriMo would be easier this year than it usually is. More people working from home, less pressure to go out and socialise and the shitshows of the US elections, Brexit and a global pandemic to want to escape from. On the other hand there is also the crushing existential angst, the financial worries and the fight for democracy to distract us and make us feel like our silly little stories are unimportant. We can’t even meet up in person to support each other.

I’m doing my best to build my local group up using tools like Discord and the NaNoWriMo forums. I get the impression that a lot of people just aren’t feeling it this year so I need to work particularly hard not to tie my feelings of self worth to the success of the group.

Black Holes

Over on my personal blog there’s a new post up in the ongoing Zeppelin Watch series. It’s full of Black Holes and Science! Check it out.


Also on the blog is the link to the new Zeppelin Watch t-shirts, also stickers, tote bags, mugs and face masks. If you choose to visit the site don’t be put off by the shipping charges. I’ve had customers tell me that the price they were initially quoted for shipping dropped when they got to check out. I have some other T-shirt designs I hope to upload in future. Here’s a sneak peek at one.


The other thing I’ve been working on is a pitch. I can’t say much about it just now but I do have some thoughts on pitches and how they differ from querying agents or submitting to publishers. Once those thoughts crystallise I’ll have a blog post about it. It’s entirely possible that it will mostly be me complaining that I have to actually write stuff down like some sort of peasant, rather than publishers and production companies coming to my door to beg for my golden words.

Why can’t I achieve success just by thinking about it?

My timing is impeccable

Welcome to my new author blog.

As I write this the world is on fire (mostly metaphorically but there are a few literal hot spots). There’s a clown in the White House and a buffoon in 10 Downing Street. The whole world faces the crisis of a novel virus which is just deadly enough to kill a lot of people but not quite deadly enough for the average layperson to instinctively fear it.

You know what absolutely nobody needs right now? Yet another (so far) unpublished author spewing dubious entertainment in an effort to get you all to (some day) buy my books. On the other hand it’s not like I’ve got anything else to do today. How about you?

I suppose my first job with this blog should be to make it clear where I stand on certain issues. I’d hate for anyone to follow me based on some inaccurate assumptions about what a white GenX woman like me might believe.

Black Lives Matter
Trans rights
If your feminism isn’t intersectional then it’s worthless
Independence for Scotland
Climate change is real and dangerous
Vaccines cause adults
Disabled rights are human rights
The scientific method isn’t perfect but it’s still the best game in town

Now we’ve got all the big important stuff out of the way let’s talk about the other stuff that I believe. The stuff above is the stuff that I absolutely will end a friendship over. Everything else is just a matter of opinion.

I like swearing and I think that in the right context it is both funny and clever. I understand if you don’t and I won’t try very hard to persuade you otherwise but you might find that you don’t enjoy this blog. You might also dislike many, but not all, of the books that I’ve written.

I like it when there are moments of humour amidst the darkness. I try to put that in my writing. I can see how that wouldn’t be for everyone. I just hope you’ll understand that if I use humour at times when you find joking inappropriate then I’ve done it as a deliberate stylistic choice and not out of ineptitude.

I believe that since this is my website I can write what I want in it. I make the rules here the same way that I make the rules in my home. I’m open to suggestions in the same way that I’m open to suggestions about different ways to do things at home. It’s still on me to make the final decisions.

So here we are. Well, here I am. It’s really only me. Shouting into the void and hoping that someone will hear. Sometimes I feel like blogging is like keeping a personal diary but hanging it from the town noticeboard.

I’m going to stop writing this post now. I’ve been trying to work out how to bring it to a close for more than an hour now and this is the best I can do.



If you’re reading this then the chances are that my fancy new author website is still under construction. That’s a thing that used to be common in the bad old days of the World Wide Web, back when we all had to know HTML and there was no Google yet so looking anything up involved a twenty minute tussle with AltaVista and Ask Jeeves before giving up and asking someone that you knew in real life..

The site isn’t under construction because I’m handcrafting my own bespoke writing gallery. It’s under construction because I don’t yet know what this site is for.

I’m in the process of working out what it’s for. I am choosing to have faith that this is a logical next step even if I don’t know where this road is going.