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The new year is finally here!  On New Year’s Eve, I realized that it just might be the most hope-filled New Year’s Eve because most people around the globe were hoping 2021 would be much better than the nightmarish year we’ve all survived.  The dual nature of reality means that the majority of the 2021 hope that day was generated by fear more than hope’s other side that arises from joy.  However, I was focused on positivity because last year was also full of duality for me—while the Covid-19 pandemic and social unrest raged around us, I was absolutely thrilled to publish my debut novel and we released its companion album by The Fair Attempts.  Regardless of the dark challenges we’ll face in 2021, I’m excited about the projects I’m working on and participating in this year!

First and foremost, I’m hard at work writing the second book in the Machine Dreaming series.  Once again, I’ve become fully obsessed with the story and the dystopian world in our distant future.  Meanwhile, The Fair Attempts is producing another new album, due to be released in autumn.  The album is called “Signals,” and if you’ve finished reading “Dreaming Your Dream,” you’ll know what that means!  The album is inspired by feelings, characters and events in my new book.  I don’t write the lyrics—they’re all written by my husband, Friendly Timo—but they always inspire me in various ways.

The photo at the top of this post is the new look of the avatar character for The Fair Attempts, based on The Ruiner boogeyman first seen in “Dreaming Your Dream.”  (The photo is a test shot for the photographer to see the costume.)  The appearance of The Ruiner was created by Melinda Maria Lack based on my initial description of him, and you can learn more about the character and his purpose in this post.  In that post, I wrote that you’ll read and hear more about Ruiners in the future because I already had some things in mind.

The first reappearance of The Ruiner in 2021 is for the visual art associated with the “Signals” album, including cover art for all the singles and the album, as well as a planned music video or two!  Friendly Timo was inspired by The Ruiner and wanted to create a costume as close as possible to the painting Mel did for the first book in the Machine Dreaming series.  We knew the costume would require a very talented designer to bring the mask to life while retaining its function and wearability as a gas mask.  As luck would have it, Timo discovered the right designer for the job when he was scrolling through Instagram one day and saw a photo from Glimmering Deep Design.  They create incredibly beautiful jewellery, clothing, accessories and more.  The work they did on The Ruiner’s mask is truly excellent!

The Ruiner’s stolen identity also plays a role in the next novel—though probably not in a way you’re thinking—a man has taken it for his own radical purposes.  Stay tuned for more information and updates.

~Starwing

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