I’m still publishing.

Yes, I am also surprised that I’m still going. I’m even more surprised that people are actually reading. Not a huge number of people to be sure but more than just me and my spouse.

I’m publishing two stories via Royal Road. The first is A Kindness of Ravens, a tale of sexy spies and Celtic gods all tangled up with death and murder and a little light isekai. It’s complete already so it’s just a matter of scheduling the chapters to go live on the website. It seems to be going well. Breaking it down into bite-sized chunks has forced me to really look at it and admit to myself that it is actually good. So good that I have trouble believing that I actually wrote it even though I remember doing it.

The second story is The Waters of the Dune Sea, a fantasy LitRPG story of foundlings and sky piracy. There’s quite a lot of world building going on. I’m writing this one as I go, which is making it harder to stick to any kind of upload schedule. I’m loath to try and create one because I worry it will just become an excuse to post the chapters before they’re ready.

TWotDS is an exercise in pushing myself to try new things but it’s also a possible on-ramp for telling stories in a world that I’ve been thinking of for a long time. I can’t work out if my willingness to try this is me being bold and experimental or if it’s me giving up on the idea of success. It doesn’t feel like giving up but maybe that’s just my brain lying to me.

Of course it’s always possible that all this activity is just me procrastinating. Am I filling the unforgiving minute with sixty seconds worth of busywork so I don’t feel bad about all the stuff that I’m not doing?

Maybe, but I am genuinely not sure I care. It feels like the world is on fire and either nothing matters or everything does, Either way, I can’t fix any of it

More Publishing!

I know. I’m shocked too.

There’s a competition on Royal Road. For shorter fictions from the prompt “Uncharted Waters”. I decided this was a perfect prompt to write a story to introduce the world to my Sky Pirates of the Dune Sea setting. That’s me. You say water and I think of a story set in the heart of a giant desert.

The first part is up already. Most of it’s not written yet so this is kind of like dictating a story while crossing a high wire. Also I’m moving house this week. So it’s like dictating a story while crossing a high wire in a strong wind while people watch and shout “Fall!” at you.

Okay it’s not quite like that. There’s very little risk of death or serious injury. No more than the regular risk of death or serious injury that haunts me as a potter around my house. Anyway, I give you the cover image of my new work. It’s more of a placeholder than the cover image of Kindness of Ravens but I’m still fairly pleased with it.

The Waters of the Dune Sea

If you’ve been enjoying all this free content then you might consider buying me a coffee over on Ko-fi. I’m working on setting up membership tiers there and also setting up a Patreon.

People reading something I wrote? It’s more likely than you think

My novel A Kindness of Ravens now has 8 ‘chapters’ posted on Royal Road and most of them have more than 2 readers. One reader and it could just be me. Two and it could just be my spouse and I. More than 2 and someone else is definitely reading it.

I don’t have much in the way of feedback yet but I don’t have any hate mail so it can’t be as bad as I fear it is in my worst moments. Of course I don’t have hordes of adoring fans queuing up to prostrate themselves at my feet, yet, so part of me is convinced it’s a horrible failure.

After 4 days of double posting tomorrow will be the first day with a single update. This is because we’re now getting into longer chapters. If you’ve been putting off reading it because you wanted a bit more length first it’s now roughly 24 paperback pages long and, as a bonus, the most recent chapter includes one of the funniest jokes I’ve ever written.

I’m going to keep mentioning this thing, because I’m proud of it and (at the moment at least) I still want people to read it. But how often is too often? If you have any opinions on that then please tell me what they are by commenting.

Free Words, Get yer Free Words here!

I have started something over on Royal Road. I’m sharing one of my novels. If you’re interested you can read it there. If you enjoy it you could bung me some money via Patreon (once the page is available) or buy me a coffee with Ko-Fi.

This novel is complete so I’m just posting it in installments but I am also working on a new novel which I will start posting there as soon as I have a sufficient buffer of chapters.

I’m back (probably) and just as annoying.

I think that I’m finally ready to just start putting my completed novels out into the world. I intend to start posting them, serialised, on Royal Road. I’ll post a link here when the first parts go live.

I’ve put together another Gallery page here. Feel free to bask in the beauty of my work.

Reading back that last sentence I’m wondering if the course of steroids I’ve just finished is doing the talking for me. Will I have to come back and edit out all the confidence when the effects wear off? Only time will tell.

Some of you will already have worked out that if I’m posting here then I must be avoiding some other, more onerous, task. It’s true that we’re moving house and I should probably be packing something or throwing something out but I’m also recovering from a nasty chest infection so actually doing stuff is probably a bad idea.

Before I go please follow this link to an indie film made by a friend of mine. It’s a chill and otherworldly, steampunky kind of a thing. No jump scares or Christmas bullshit. A Clockwork Heart

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

Not disposable

As the pandemic continues, and Lockdown looms again, I’m increasingly hearing people complain about the idea of forcing healthy people to take precautions in order to protect the vulnerable. Well fuck you too.

Sorry. Was that a bit rude? This discourse is making me a little tense. You see I’m one of the vulnerable. I’m disabled and I have a couple of medical conditions that put me at a particular risk from COVID-19. When you say, “It’s not that dangerous. It’s only the sick and the elderly at risk.” I hear “I don’t care if you die so long as I am not inconvenienced.”

I care. I don’t just care about my own life. I care about my children, who’ve been pretty clear that they’d like me to stick around a bit longer. I care about my elderly mother and my uncles and aunts. I care about your elderly relatives even if you don’t. I care about my sick and disabled friends. I care about the medical professionals who’ll have to try and save us if we do catch it. I care about the NHS that could really do without the additional strain.

It’s not going to kill you to stay away from the pub a bit longer, or to wear a mask in public, or to have a quiet Christmas. Those sacrifices are definitely better than a few weeks of pneumonia which is a common effect of COVID-19 even for healthy people.

Anyway I feel I should be compensated for having to find out how many people don’t care if i die. So I designed a thing.

It’s available on clothing, stickers, tote bags and, of course, masks. All profits to me, so I can pay my bills.

Coffee and Tea

This is not about writing. This is about T-shirts.

I enjoy designing t-shirts and okay, if I’m totally honest, it’s still writing because the t-shirts do have words on them. It’s taken me a while to find a way to put my designs out in the world without costing me any money. So far it seems like I can list my designs on Teespring without having to pay up front as long as I don’t want a shop front.

In my last post I mentioned the Zeppelin Watch design from my other blog. Well some people have actually bought some. People other than me. I might actually see some of the money. So I’ve listed another couple of designs.

Choose your fuel – Coffee or Tea? Vengeance or Rage?

Those are photographs I took (apart from the Zeppelin Watch one which is in the public domain). The words are my own. You can buy the t-shirts, totes, masks and mugs safe in the knowledge that you’re supporting me in my writing and you’re not ripping off anyone’s intellectual property.

I particularly recommend the mugs and the hoodies.