I would congratulate my niece, (Mean) Mary James, on her upcoming tour of Britain – and maybe the continent – this coming spring, along with her friend and likewise talented performer, Audrey Auld. However, it means that she will not be at the Florida Folk Festival again. So it goes, but the FFF’s practice of notifying performers far too late for them to change their schedules inhibits touring professionals like Mary from appearing.
With any luck, I’ll make it over there this year. I had hoped to make it one day last May but had to cancel at the last moment. Perhaps just as well — two-hundred miles over and the same back is a bit much for one day. I’ll have to see if I can find a way to stay over there this time. Maybe camp on the old place in Steinhatchee.
Having animals does weigh against any extended travel. I’m hoping I can work something out and maybe even get down to Willfest in the spring.
Mary and her mother will be in Miami in November to accept their first place prize in the Readers’ Choice awards for their novel. To be honest, the contest is not very prestigious and, say some, a bit of a fraud. The entry fee itself is a hint — small reading fees may be acceptable for some competitions (though I’m still against them) but this one is fairly substantial and I’m not certain all that many authors actually enter. Given the rather large number of categories, winning some sort of award is perhaps not that difficult. Which isn't to say the book isn't good and the award isn't deserved, just that it may not mean that much.
Maybe I should start my own book awards competition. We could call it the Stevedore Awards — you know, Steve adores this book, Steve adores that book...
And, on the subject of books, the sequel to THE SONG OF THE SWORD is slowly being written — in my head. That’s the way I do it, pretty much. Think about plots, scenes, ideas, for months, jot down notes, and when it all seems pretty much together, sit down and write it (or a substantial section of it) fairly quickly. I’m not the guy who writes his thousand words each day. I don’t know how to do that.
The sequel, by the way, is tentatively titled THE SHADOW OF ASAK. If you read the Sword, you’ll know who Asak is! (Hey, it’s only 9.50 print, 1.99 epub.)