Beta Reading Complete, Novel Next Steps, Chonky Sonoran Desert Hypnotoad, & New Project

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That's a lot to pack into a title, huh?

The beta readers are all done, and they've provided notes for me. Interestingly, I have very little to do—mostly line edits. Without going into any spoiler-y details, the feedback has been profoundly positive.

The next step is to take their notes and do a quick round of simple revisions. After that, it's all about the path to publication. Updates on that will likely be quite dark for a while, as that's just how it goes. I'll be sure to post any big news as it develops.

A few nights ago, here in Arizona, Tae and I were outside walking in the middle of the night and spotted a fellow desert resident: a chonky Sonoran desert hypnotoad.

A very rotund and sort of slimy looking toad sitting in a parking space in a dark parking lot. The toad looks to be about the size of a large grapefruit.
I found this toad cruising the parking lot. When I tried to get a photo, it was kind enough to park in a spot and strike a hypno-pose.

They are toxic to handle (plus, that would be rude). These toads secrete a poison that can easily kill large dogs. Some humans like to lick them to escape reality for a while. I'm fairly certain the toads don't like this. As for this toad, we had a cordial encounter that didn't involve poison or hallucinating.

Aside from the novel and hypnotoads, I've been itching for a new, big creative project ever since I sent the novel out to beta readers. So, I found one, and I've begun working on it.

What's New?

  • The beta reading phase of the novel is complete. I'm about to tackle minor edits and then move this novel project into the next stage: the path to publication. That stage is very different from creating a novel, so I've found myself a new creative project.
  • Next Week: An old, crumbling manor house in Poland with a restless spirit.