Hello and Welcome to the New HG!

Hello Dear Readers.  Personal post ahead!

Thanks so much for still sticking around with me.  It’s been a doozy of a time, a real top-notch shitshow for me personally.  The past 2 years have been awful.  But things are great now.  The Coles’ Notes: I was with my husband for 14 years, and now we’re getting divorced.  I had a home and two cats, now I no longer have a home or cats.  I was in Canada, now I’m in New Zealand.  I was awesome, now I am EVEN MORE FRICKIN’ AWESOME.

(Here’s me at my own private “Polar Bear Swim” at Tahunanui Beach in Nelson, January 1st, 2017!)

I love life.  I have had the best time of my life the past few months.  It’s hard to go through something as disruptive as a divorce, but I’m doing well, and have a new improved outlook on life, the universe, and everything.

I wanted to share some things about me and keep you in the loop.  As this blog is primarily about my writing career, you’ll be pleased to hear that my novel, Sleep Over, is coming out soon!  I am beyond excited that I’ve come this far and will finally get to see one of my books in print, from an amazing publisher.  (More updates to follow of course!)

(Here’s me in the shuttle being driven further into New Zealand to the Wangapeka.)

As you can see, I have opted for a new name.  H.G. Bells reporting for duty!  I picked a new name that I think will be easy to 1) pronounce 2) spell and 3) remember.  I hope to hit the ground running when Sleep Over comes out, and my new name will hopefully at least not completely hobble me when it comes to being the new kid on the block.

And it has the added benefit of being similar to one of the ‘fathers of sci-fi’, H.G. Wells.  I hope to follow in his footsteps and contribute to sci-fi as he did (ambitious much Heidi?  Baby you know it!).

So my next few posts will be about me in New Zealand.  It’s so beautiful here, and it’s been an incredible place to begin healing my poor broken heart, meet amazing people, and generally expand my horizons.

(Me up at Omahu at the Wangapeka… the most beautiful place.)

Writing-wise, I will say that going through a divorce was incredibly disruptive, surprising no one.  What did surprise me, was my ability to complete a major set of revisions for my publisher during the worst time of my life.  I have to tell you, when I got the email that my draft had been accepted it was such a huge weight off my back.  It made me realise that I have spent so much time and effort honing my craft that it was still functional while my whole world was being burnt to the ground around me.  I can still perform as a writer while my world is on fire.  I honestly didn’t think I could do it, and, while I was struggling to get the final draft done during those dark times, I thought for sure it was the end of my writing life.  But I have emerged from that process with a deeper appreciation and confidence in my work, my process, and in myself.  I built the foundation of my craft strong, and I built it to last.  Thanks Past Heidi, you did a real good job there.  (Future Heidi if you’re reading this: hi!  I love you!)

Also, I am strong as fuck.  If there’s a thing on this earth that can break me, I sure as hell don’t know what it is.  (ATTN gods of fate: this is not a challenge, pls leave Heidi alone for a while k thanks bye.)

But, while I am strong, I am tired as hell.  I would love it if Sleep Over could come out and do well so I can breathe a little easier.  I know it’s not easy establishing oneself on the world stage of authordom (and realistically I expect to need several published books before I can count myself as successful), but hopefully Sleep Over will be a good start.  And then I can really shine.  Because, while I can keep up with the process while going through hell, my best work has been while I’ve had a stable and happy life.  I hope to get back to something approximating that some day, and can continue on with a vague life trajectory.

We make all these plans, and then life happens.  We assume we will be the same, but we’re all changing all the time.  Things change, we change, and here I am surfing a big change.  Yeehaa!!!

So that’s me.  Thanks for reading my most personal update yet.  I truly cannot express how grateful I am to still have you with me, for your kind words, your support, your love.  As I’m rising from the ashes of my former life I can see so much to be grateful for, so much to love, so much to feel.  And through it all, be it from the sidelines or holding my hand, is you.

Much love,

Continually Yours,

Heidi Grace Bells

 

P.S. You can email me at my snazzy new email address:  heidi {at} hgbells {dot} com  And as you may notice, my website has changed to match!  hgbells {dot} com is the new me!

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A good week!

It feels really good to be deep into working on Sleep Over again. It also feels good to have a timeline nailed down. I didn’t put events in order because I wanted the narrative to mirror the confusion of the insomnia apocalypse, where time gets distorted and it’s really hard to tell when things happened or how long anything has been happening. Now that I’ve done it both ways (no timeline and now a solid timeline for revisions) I think I can have the best of both worlds.

I still don’t want my readers to know how long anything in the book takes, or even how long the insomnia lasts; I want it to truly feel like time has no meaning, and confusion casts doubt on any times given.

But now at least my publisher will have a better idea of the timeline, and they can better ask me for specific things they’d like to hear more of for the next round of revisions.

Hurrah!

Here’s some pictures for stopping by. In case you don’t know, if there’s a large version I will make them clickable! My site can only handle images so big. Cheers!



London police officer proposes during Pride:

And a video of some Irish fans serenading a baby on the tube.

Would You Rather / Hateful Ace / The Witness

Hello dear readers!  Things are going well; I am waiting on my editor at Skyhorse to have a look at the final draft of the MS.  From there it’s line and copy editing.  I can’t wait until I can share the cover with you!!

In the meantime, I wanted to share a few neat games with you.  For one you will need nothing but people, for the other you will need people and a deck of cards, and for one you’ll need the game itself and a thinking cap!

I played a game called Would You Rather on New Years Eve, and it is fascinating.  It’s a game where one person posits a question to the group, and each person has a go at picking the thing “they would rather”.  The devil’s in the details though; the best ones are the ones that divide the group in half.

Here are some of the “would you rathers” that stuck with me.

Would you rather: never have eggs again, OR never have berries again?  (To clarify, “berries” are things that are berries in common parlance, not any technical bullshit like “tomatoes are berries” or “strawberries aren’t berries, they’re aggregate accessory fruits”.  And never having eggs again includes anything that eggs are in.)

Would you rather: Whenever you encounter stairs, you don’t know what they are or understand what they work, and to use them someone must explain them to you, OR have every article of clothing you wear jingle like it’s full of a ton of loose pocket change?  (To clarify, you don’t remember you don’t understand stairs; every time you encounter them is like the first time, and you simply cannot use them until someone helps you grock what they are.)

Would you rather: Have your mind in a gorilla in a lab being experimented on, with the knowledge that you will eventually be retired to a sanctuary at the end of your life, OR have your mind as it was at 4 years old, in a horse, working as a trail-ride horse.  (To clarify: as a gorilla, you are you with all your experience and knowledge.  You may have a chance to communicate with your captors, or a chance to escape, but only after years of failed attempts.  As a horse, you are you as you were at 4 years old.)

It yielded some interesting discussions.

Another game you will need a deck of cards for.  It’s called Hateful Ace, and it’s a neat party game as well!

BTW there’s a huge market for collectable decks of cards right now; Kickstarter has been a boon for designers!

So, grab a deck of cards and shuffle it up.

The game is about trying to guess how good or how bad something is, according to the person talking about it.  Good things are red, not so good things are black.  High cards are more, low cards are less.  So a red ace is best, a black ace is worst.  A red 7 is pretty good.  A red 2 is just barely ok; black 2 barely not ok, and a black 7 pretty bad.

So someone goes first and draws a (secret) card.  They look at it and formulate something to say that will enable the other players to guess the card.

Say I draw a Jack of diamonds-

I’d have to think of something I thought was pretty good.  It could be something that happened to me, or something in general that I made up.  I might say something like “…When you see your book cover for the first time.”  And one by one, the other players guess what card I have.  If someone nails it bang on, guess stops, and they’re awarded the card as their point.  If no one gets it, it goes to whoever is closest.  In the event of a tie, you can do either carry the point over, or do a tie breaker question with another card.

When it’s someone else’s turn, I won’t know what card they have and have to guess it using their clue.  So if I said to you, “Seeing someone achieve their lifelong dream of becoming a published author, and you really dig their book,” what would you guess?  I’d have to guess

because to me that’s pretty damn good.  (By the way, that 10 of diamonds comes with 3D glasses; it’s a set of 3D playing cards!)

The last game I want to mention quickly is “The Witness“.  It’s a puzzle solving game where you wander around a beautiful island and solve puzzles.  I can’t say too much without it feeling like spoilers, so I’ll just show you some pictures, and then a link to a video review from one of my favourite content creators right now, Justin MacElroy.

So it’s pretty beautiful and beautifully pretty!  The puzzles are fun and challenging, and truly there are some innovative things to stump you until you have a lightbulb moment.  I really recommend this game if you like solving puzzles!

So that’s all for me for now.  I’ll keep you posted about the progress of my book, Sleep Over.  I hope to update here more regularly, even if it’s just to say hi and to show you neat stuff I’ve found, writing or otherwise.  🙂

Thanks for stopping by!

Heidi out.

BEST NEWS EVERYONE!

It is with great pleasure that I announce I have a publisher for my novel Sleep Over!

My first published novel will be with Skyhorse Publishing.  They have placed 33 books on the New York Times bestseller list; I hope to add one more to that tally.

I am working closely with one of their editors to get the manuscript where they want it (for a larger audience, more commercial fiction than literary fiction) and I am 10000% on board with getting it to be the best that I possibly can, to reach as large and audience that I can!

I have about 1.5 tons of work to do.  How much writing is that?  Many.  Many writing to do.  Notes on just about every chapter.  Many new chapters to write.

I am so excited!

I have been waiting to tell everything this news for… let’s see, I submitted my first novel to a publisher in 2002, then wrote 5 more books, then, carry the 1… yes, ten thousand years.  But more specifically I had to keep this news about this publisher and this book under wraps for so long!  I am so glad to get to tell you finally.

Hurray for me!  I have a publisher!

I will keep you posted on things to come.

Expect to hear such exciting news like:

  • crumbling under the stress of revisions 
  • tackling tough revisions with gusto
  • getting the final draft approved by my editor
  • getting an author photo
  • getting a back blurb
  • getting cover quotes
  • getting a cover!
  • the book going to print
  • a release date
  • and much much more!

This process takes a crazy long time; don’t expect to see my book until 2017 (I think a January release was being tossed around- maybe I will get the best birthday present ever).

I will be sure to keep you posted.

Here’s a link to Skyhorse’s site.  Sleep Over will be under the Talos imprint, with their other great sci-fi, fantasy, and horror.  (For those that don’t know, publishing houses have “imprints” that handle the various genres they work with.)

I’d like to thank everyone who has checked in to see how things are going.  It’s a long process, and having your support has really made a difference to me.

Thanks for reading.  ❤

Heidi out.

Getting Close! And Check Out This Podcast!

Hello Dear Readers!

I am extremely excited to keep you updated with my progress in the quest to get a book published.  I have had offers from more than one publisher!  Now it’s a matter of choosing which one will be the best one for the job.  It’s a tough decision to make.  I’ll let you know when I’ve signed on with the publisher I choose.

In the mean time, I got to be a guest on a film podcast that goes in depth into a movie.  I chose “Children of Men” (2006) and Doug Ferguson and I talk about it for an hour.  If you want to check it out, listen to it here.

I really love Children of Men; it’s one of my favourite films.  Nerding out with someone else who loves it was a real treat.  If you haven’t seen the film, there are spoilers in the podcast, but we do say “spoiler alert” before things get spoilery.

Here’s the trailer for the film if you are wondering if you are interested:


But after hearing Doug and I talk about it like we do, how could you not be interested in it!

I’ll keep you posted regarding upcoming publishing excitement.

Thanks for stopping by!

Heidi out.

Right On Track!

The thing about being rejected NOW, with an agent, is that it feels like nothing at all.

At this point we’re looking for the publisher that wants the book, that thinks the book will be the right fit for their brand.  Ultimately I want a publisher who thinks Sleep Over is perfect for them, and will put it out there with enthusiasm.

I’m not phased by rejection at this point.

I’m pretty pleased with how it’s all going.  This being my Birthday, it’s a good day to take stock and see how all my plans are shaping up.  I’m happy.

Google doodle surprised me today.  How sweet!

Want to know some cool stuff?  You can go to the url at the end and find out the same (and more) about you, based on when you were born!

Since I was born, I (read: our galaxy) have travelled nearly 600 trillion km towards the Great Attractor.  The population of humans on earth has grown by 2 billion, 422 million and change.  (World population is now at 7 billion, 288 million and change…)

My heart has beat one billion, 95 million, 841 hundred thousand, and change times. Mmm, good ol’ heart.

The moon has only orbited the earth 401 times since I was born???  For some reason I am surprised.  I think I need to learn more about the moon I guess.

Anyway, find out all this and more, about you!

So that’s all for now!  Just didn’t want to have complete radio silence until the BIG NEWS that will come (soon hopefully).

I’ll leave you with this image of what Andromeda, our closest neighbouring galaxy, would look like in our sky if there wasn’t light pollution.

Doesn’t look so far now, does it.  Oh wait what?  We’re going to collide with it in 3.75 billion years‽

Cheers!

Heidi out.

Sleep Related Research, Glass, Prop Hunt

Well dear readers, I hope you are well.  I have had the flu for the past several weeks!  For a few days, it was that kind of sick where you can lay on the couch in silence and not even feel bored.  Your body wants you to be laying down and it makes you not care that you don’t even want to watch Netflix.

When I got better (after a solid week of eating like a maniac and napping every afternoon), I got Prop Hunt.  I have played it for the past 5 days (not all day… not today anyway haha), and it is incredible.

Prop Hunt is the modern day video-game-age equivalent of Hide-and-Seek.

The “Hunters” are “it” and they are blind for 30 seconds while the “Props” take their preferred form (or hastily-chosen-in-a-panic-form [A CABBAGE NEXT TO THE TOILET OH HOW INTERESTING]), and hide.

Once released, the Hunters must find the Props and kill them.

Hunters have health, and every time they attack an innocent object (I swear that lamp looked suspicious) they take damage.  An ill-placed grenade can be lethal.

Props have health directly correlated to how big they are.  That honkin’ vending machine is sitting pretty at 200 health, but is way out in the open.  A tiny pop can is able to hide in small spaces, but only has one health.  A nearby grenade can take one out, even if they weren’t the intended target.

So for the past few days, I’ve been a filing cabinet, a bottle, a lamp, a hula girl figurine (the hardest thing in the game to shoot!), various boxes, all sorts of junk.  It’s been a lot of fun.

When I get sick, I watch Youtuber “Seananners” play Prop Hunt, so I already knew what it was all about.  I’m glad this time I was able to play it myself.  Here he is in action.

Seananners. Pretty fun.
Onwards!

There is sleep research showing up on my feed nearly every week!  I always get excited to see how interested people are in it.  I think my novel will strike at just the right time.

Here’s some neat things, if you’re interested:

Discovery of a sleep node in the brain could lead to treatment for people with sleep disorders, such as insomnia.

How your brain actually makes decisions while you sleep

Scientists find evidence that narcolepsy, a chronic sleep disorder, may in fact be an autoimmune disease.

So yeah, interest in sleep and sleep research is high right now.

Here are some amazing things made of glass. I may have posted a few of these before… they continue to amaze.






Source is the very talented Paul J. Stankard.

I’ve always loved watching glass blowing.  Some day I’ll have a setup to play around with.

So that’s all for now!  Everything publishing-related is still hush-hush.  Though I can say, I have another manuscript waiting to be looked over by my fabulous agent, Beth Campbell, and as soon as she can give me notes on it I can get to work.

I’ll leave you with these: pictures of ink dropped in water.  Cheers!

Full album here!