Sunday, September 13, 2015

Partial Eclipse of the Sun

Time for something a little bit different. Today those of us living in South Africa had the opportunity to see a partial eclipse of the sun (around 30-40% depending on location). The conditions were less than ideal with high-level cloud and lots of wind, but I managed to capture a few photos. So for those of you interested in astronomy here are some eclipse pictures.

If I've lost my sight after taking these, you'll all know why...*

* To clarify: All necessary precautions were taken. Images were captured through a telescope fitted with a solar filter.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Five years of blogging!

Today* marks the 5th anniversary of Worlds in Ink. Normally I would let the occasion pass without any fanfare**, but five years of blogging is quite an achievement. In blog-years it means the blog is practically a geriatric! That deserves at least a bit of celebration.

I’ve never been a very prolific blogger, but by some miracle I’ve been able to keep at it for much longer than I’ve ever thought possible. I must confess that I have a torturous relationship with writing. I love reading. No doubt about that, but when it comes to writing I tend to overthink everything. Every word has to be carefully chosen. A simple 400 word review can take me hours to write and quite often it’s just never as good as it was in my mind. I can’t tell you how many reviews never make it past my own expectations as a result.

Over the past five years Worlds in Ink has grown beyond my wildest expectations. I’ll never be nominated for a Hugo, but I’m still pretty proud of what I’ve managed to achieve. The highlight of my blogging career has to be interviewing two of my favourite authors. I adore the Neal Asher's science fiction novels  and in 2011 I got to interview him after the launch of his Owner Trilogy. He's not just an amazing science fiction author, but also a great person who loves interacting with his fans. Late last year I had the chance to interview the author that, arguably, started me on the road that led to my love of fantasy, Raymond E. Feist himself! How can I ever be top that?

There were some unexpected highlights too – having my blurb featured in the Earth Unaware promo video literally sent chills down my spine when I first saw it. I had no idea it would be included and innocently stumbled upon the video late one night. I think that gave me a high that lasted for the better part of a week.

The blog wouldn’t be where it is today if it wasn’t for the awesome publicists and publishers who took a chance on a fledgling blog and who still spoil me with the most amazing book releases. A huge thank you to the folks at Pan Macmillan SA, Jonathan Ball Publishers, Umuzi, Penguin Random House, Tor UK, Tor, Forge, Hodder, Gollancz, Solaris and Tachyon Press. Words aren’t adequate to express my gratitude. Thank you for the squee of delight each and every bookish parcel provides to my life. I wish I could review titles much quicker than I’m currently able to. I promise I’ll try harder.

Thank you to the great community of fellow bloggers I’ve discovered over the years. You guys (and gals!) are so much better at this than I am. Thank you for giving me something to strive for and thanks for all the silly Twitter banter.

And lastly thank you to each and every visitor to the blog. Thanks for dropping by and sharing in my thoughts. Without you I might as well be screaming into the void. It’s good to know that someone out there cares.

I’m not sure what the future holds for the blog. Work commitments keep me extremely busy, so my blog output might be even more sporadic than usual, but it’s good to know that I have this amazing community of book lovers to return to. May Worlds in Ink remain my constant beacon in the darkness, my gateway to other worlds filled with wonders beyond measure. A place I can call my own and share with all of you.

* Via the temporal magic know as a scheduled post.
** Quite possibly because I tend to forget birthdays and anniversaries on a regular basis. Including, but not limited to, those of my own blog.