Bard by BlueInkAlchemist, on Flickr

I haven’t taken an exact word count of Cold Iron, but I know I’m near the end.

I’m currently working on the last ‘new’ bit of material. It smooths over one of the truly clunky transitions in the story and allows more character growth and interaction. From there, a couple scenes get rearranged and the ending will be tightened up. That will be the easy part.

I will once again ask for volunteers to do a quick read-through, mostly looking for stilted dialog or gaping plot-holes. After that, I’m going to look into getting some quick reviews from people. Established authors, editors I know, and so on. I don’t feel right simply posting the novella on various markets with just my pithy blurb to support it.

I also don’t feel right doctoring up the cover. The photography work is absolutely phenomenal, and I don’t want to fuck that up. I’m familiar with Photoshop and Illustrator but my eye is rather untrained, and I don’t trust it to produce something both appealing and balanced to work as a novella cover, even if it’s only in electronic form. That means hiring a designer. I’m comfortable with this but I may have to put off the initial deposit for a bit. I’m trying to be a bit more responsible in my spending, and as much as this is a serious investment in my future, bills gots to be paid.

With things looming the way they are I’m trying to hold off some feelings of anxiety and nervousness. I remind myself I have to trust in my talent, my work, and my characters. If it were crap, people would tell me. Just because some similar thematic elements exist in it doesn’t mean the work is without merit. I don’t think it’s going to set the world on fire, but we all have to start somewhere.

Thoughts of encouragement or offers to volunteer are much appreciated.