July Update: forwards towards publication

Bovine distractions get in the way of progress.

In August 2013, I signed up for Misha’s 5 year project. My goal was to finish writing a novel and to get it published. Since then, I’ve completed two novels.

Ruth Livingstone, writer, author and bloggerThe Reluctant Scribe, my first novel, is set in 6th century China and is a coming-of-age novel featuring a young would-be warrior, whose family falls on hard times. I’ve had positive feedback about the novel, but no agent wants to take it on.

Last month, I promised to revisit the piece, rewrite the beginning, and start the process of self-publishing. I’m ashamed to say I’ve made no progress. Why not? I’ll fill you in later…

Ruth Livingstone, writer, author and bloggerThe Orbital Contract, my second novel, is a sci-fi action story, featuring a strong female protagonist and aimed at the YA market. I think it’s a good page-turner of a novel, and is the sort of thing that should do well as an eBook.

Last month, I decided to find an editor and self-publish. I’m still waiting to hear back from a potential editor, and must chase this up.

WHY the lack of progress? I promised to tell you. The truth is I’ve been distracted by another project…

killer cattle

Killer Cows

Yes. The UK’s most dangerous animal.

Why? Let me explain…

On my walking blog I have a page entitled Killer Cattle, where I outline some of the troubling statistics about cows and how they injure and kill several hikers every year in the UK. As a result of that page, I’ve been contacted by numerous people who have had problems with cattle, including some who have been seriously injured and nearly died.

So, I decided, it’s time for ACTION. This is what I’ve been doing…

  • Putting together a portfolio of statistics and stories about cattle.
  • BuildingĀ a new website dedicated to the issue.
  • Constructing a reporting form for cattle incidents on Poll Daddy.
  • Finding contacts and allies to help lobby for change.

All this is important and worthwhile activity, but it has interfered with my writing time. Anyway, I’ll keep you posted on progress.


Author: Ruth Livingstone

Walker, writer, photographer, blogger, doctor, woman, etc.

14 thoughts on “July Update: forwards towards publication”

  1. Gosh I didn’t realise cows were so dangerous, I’m always wary, but I really thought you had to be very very unlucky to be involved in an incident.


    1. Seems like there are more incidents than we realise, Maria. Everybody thinks it’s rare – but I’ve discovered lots of people with horror stories to tell. Hope all is well with you.


    1. I thought my anxiety about cattle was just silliness. But cattle kill more humans than sharks do, every year! Yes, 2 novels, and working on another. Hope your writing is going well.


  2. Wait, really? I have never heard about cows attacking people. Bulls, sure; but male bovines, as with many male mammals, are known for being aggressive. Cows always seem so passive to me. This is fascinating!


  3. I have been chased by a cow and had to climb through a split-rail fence that slammed into in its efforts to run me down, but since I was raising it for beef I felt like it was my responsibility. I was between the ages of seven and nine at the time and had the responsibility to go out into the field (the two stall barn wasn’t up against the fence like many barns), refill the water trough and check it for problems (we did get tadpoles in it a few times), check the salt lick (cows die without salt added to their diet), and feed the cow some hay (although it also had fresh grass and sometimes it received grain as a treat). I didn’t like the job but my parents felt I should be responsible. When they heard that the cow chased me, I was advised to bring a big stick next time and shout. I usually just ran as fast as possible to the barn and back with that particular cow. We raised several for beef before I turned 13, but that particular one was the only one that chased me. Cows can be dangerous, bull or not. They are definitely bigger than we are and if they have intimidated someone in the past, they will do it again.


  4. You’ve still been working hard, just on a different project. Life derails sometimes, but the unexpected is often a great opportunity. Who knows where this could lead!


  5. I grew up on a cattle farm, and yeah, cows can be nasty, especially if a person doesn’t know the danger signs. All the best with your project!


  6. Perhaps the dangers of cows is another reason for people to stop eating so much meat! Farming animals is not environmentally sustainable either, what with all that methane and excessive grain consumption that could feed the world’s population!


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