Reading (or lack thereof)

I mentioned my bookcases in my post this morning, and that’s something that I’m not doing well with. Reading.

It has been months since I properly sat down and read anything. Each time I’ve tried I’ve not had the attention span or been able to shut my mind off enough to get immersed properly.

Luckily I’ve had some audiobooks I’ve been listening to on my commute but I need to get back to a point where I’m reading before bed again. That was when I’d really enjoy the act. It would also put me in a good place to be able to sleep better.

Six Wakes by Mur Lafferty

The two books I’ve been reading are Clickers Forever, which is the tribute anthology to J.F. Gonzalez. The other is Six Wakes by Mur Lafferty.

I’m further into Clickers Forever than Six Wakes, which I’ve only just started.

Clickers Forever: A Tribute to J.F. Gonzalez

I’m going to dive in hard with these two this week and hopefully I’ll get through the rough and start getting back into the habit and routine of reading again.

Good Morning, 3rd September 2020

Good morning folks! Yesterday I wrote 764 words on a new short story, that I’m going to scrap and start again. I’m not liking the format of the story and I need to add something to it which I think will make it work better and be a little easier to write.

This is a good time to make this decision because the story is only 1319 words long and I can easily sacrifice that many words to make the story stronger. If I had been further along I think I would have been reluctant to do so.

Where I’m standing on projects at the moment seem good. I’m behind on edits(busy at work), but thats worked out quite well because I’ve been thinking about the zombie book for example and how I can improve it. I think it’s doable with small tweaks here and there. I’ve got a paper copy here that I’m going to go through and red pen the tweaks in.

Notebook porn 😊

The August stats are: 14641 words written, which is an average of 472 per day. 55323 words edited, which averages out to 1784 words per day. I’d like to get the average words written up over 500, as for words edited I’m not sure what’s a good target to hit on that yet. So I’m going to take the average for the next few months and see how that works out.

I’m listening to the last in the Elements of Horror series Water, from RedCape Publishing.

Sunday 28th of June 2020

Good morning! Not a lot of of writing recently. Life’s been busy and there’s a lot I’ve been having to work on that’s away from writing. Things that are important and are the priority.

I have still been thinking about the writing though and what I am aiming for over the next few years. Originally I was thinking about focussing on shorter pieces for the year but that’s kind of gone by the wayside. I’ve been looking back at the Penal Earth world and think I can get it how I want it now. So I’ve been plotting it out chapter by chapter, scene by scene. I’ve got more noted about background details and done some more character work. All little things that were missing from the previous draft. I have written a short story set in this universe that was submitted to an anthology but it didn’t make the cut. This popped up a fair few ideas that have helped with filling out the universe and giving me a new feel for it.

One of the big problems I had with previous drafts was getting my main character right. Now I think I have him down. There’s a sequence which includes him that I fear I may have to cut but I’m going to try and keep it in. It’s the one element of the story that I’ve kept in from the earliest of drafts. I really want to keep it, but will cut it if I have to.

I wasn’t expecting to get such a kick of joy as I did when I saw my name on the screen as my story was playing.

In other news, another anthology I’ve been published in has now come out as an audiobook. Elements Of Horror Book Two: Air is now live on Audible and I’ve got to say, it’s pretty well done. I’d not got around to reading this one yet and I’ve got to admit I’m impressed with the stories included. It makes me a little more prouder than I already was that my story is in there because its in good company. The narrator, Michael Brusasco did an amazing job. He really managed to get the main character of my story spot on. I don’t think I could have wished for a better portrayal of it.

I’m going to wrap this post here. I know it says good morning and I’m posting it past midday but I started writing it this morning, so I’m sticking to it.

Have a good one, folks!

Saturday 15th of February 2020

Good evening, folks! Let’s get straight into it shall we? This month I’ve written 4824 words. I need to step up to try and get to my 500 words a day average but I’ve lost a little writing time each day so I need to compensate and find time to make that up.

The story I’m working on started out as a short story that was about something totally different to where it’s gone, but there are times we have to flow with the story. It makes me think of some TV episodes. The Simpsons especially. They’d start off with an episode where Bart gets obsessed with a yoyo and events lead to Mrs Krabappel confiscates it and gives Bart detention (by the way, I had a school assembly where people came in with Yoyo’s to impress and take our cash when I was at school in the 80’s). This leads to Bart sneaking into Mrs Krabappel’s desk to retrieve the yoyo and he finds a dating column that his teacher had posted. Futurama did this a lot as well. But it’s what I’ve ended up doing with this story in a way. The only difference is I started off with the intention to tell one story but didn’t even get into the meat of that one before I went off in a totally different direction. It’s a direction I’m really happy with and can see things slowly coming together.

It also started off as a short story and is now over 16k words. I’m not sure where it’s going to top out at but as usual, my gut is saying it’ll be about 30k.

Again, tomorrow I’m going to try and write a thousand words. I’m tempted to start working on another story as when I’m jumping to and throw between pieces I seem to get more done, but we’ll see.

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My self pimping for today is for the Under The Weather anthology from Burdizzo Books and Back Road Books. This is one of my favourite stories I’ve written. I just let myself go and had a lot of fun with it. The story, The Snow, is about a man who goes to collect his wife from work in a shopping centre as a vicious snow storm hits. When they go to leave things begin to go very wrong.

There are a lot of other amazing stories in this collection to, including one that still freaks me out to this day (try to guess which!), and I’d be super grateful for anyone checking it out. Here’s the link. It’s also the first of my work that’s been made into audio which thrilled me big time.

January 26th 2020

Good afternoon, folks!

I’m on about 7000 words for the month, which isn’t as high as I’d like but much better than having zero words for the month.

Today I wrote zilch! But I did edit two stories. One was an out loud read through which was then sent to my beta readers. The second one was me looking over notes from my beta readers. This was about three work at a guess. I was planning to squeeze in a quick Mando Method between the two but I was pushed for time and wasn’t able to. This sucks a little, but it’s not much good writing every day if I’m not finishing and submitting work.

The End Of All Things

Outside of writing I finished listening to John Scalzi’s The Human Division and listened to the final book in the Old Mans War series, The End Of All Things. Although not as good as The Human Division it’s still a damn fine book which wraps things up well.

Time to wrap this post up. Keep cracking on with those goals and ambitions, folks!

Good Morning! 8th January 2020

Good morning! How many people are still writing 2019? I did on the title for this post, twice. I’m using the excuse of its earlier than normal for me to be writing a blog post for the second one. That first one was all on me though.

Yesterday was the first day since the first of the month where I haven’t written. Unlike the first though, I did get editing done. That’s now two short stories at the point where I need to print them off and do an out-loud read before that final edit pass.

I listened to The Girl Next Door by Jack Ketchum last week and damn that’s a good book. Incredibly well written and incredibly hard to listen to. Definitely one I’d recommend and already one that’s going to be hard to top for best reads of the year.

I’ve got to get to work now. So I hope everyone has an awesome day!

11th of November 2019

Hey folks! Most likely a quick little post tonight. Writing has been slow, which means I’m super behind on NaNoWriMo. Life has been incredibly busy of late and if I’m honest I’m not expecting to hit the 50k by the end of the month, but I’ll persist and see what I have when the 30th is drawing to a stop.

As I said, a quick post. I’ll just end with a mention that I’ve started listening to a complete works of H.P. Lovecraft audiobook. I’m not far in yet but it’s not bad. I still think of myself as a newbie with horror so felt that I needed to check out some of the history of the genre. Where else to start but the godfather of Cosmic horror.

Good Morning, Sunday 6th of October 2019

Good morning folks.  A later start to the writing day for me this week. I’m going to be interspersing writing with general tidying up. I’ve got a lot going on in the next few weeks and squeezing writing into that is going to be a fun challenge, especially seeing as NaNoWriMo is right around the corner.

I did get my contributor copy of Elements Of Horror:Air this week. It came out on Tuesday and I loved writing this story. It was one of those stories that kind of wrote itself when I knew how the story was going to end. This is book two of four, each one focused on an element. The book is from Red Cape Publishing and the contributors are: Jaq D. Hawkins, Daren Callow, Dale Parnell, Theresa Jacobs, Peter Germany, P.J. Blakey-Novis, Nils Visser & Jovannah Bär, Ann Fox, R.C. Rumple.

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I did listen to Highway To Hell by Armand Rosamilia, which is the first book in his Dying Days series. I loved this book. I felt for the protagonist, he spoke to me a lot. I saw myself in him a lot. There’s some damn good gore in it, the characters are fantastic (I was particularly fond of a character who owned a car sales). Highway to Hell is a damn fun zombie story with depth along with the vile zombies and the humans who deserve to be zombies.

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That’s it for now. I’m going to get some writing down, and some tidying around it.

23rd of September 2019

I was listening to the Armcast podcast today, I had a few episodes backed up, and aside from there being some damn fine episodes recently (it’s always good, but Armand Rosamilia has had a string of really good interviews recently), but as I was listening today it’s made me realise I’ve been slacking big time recently. I’ve got into my head that I haven’t had time to write. That I’m editing and need time to sit down and just focus on that. So, in other word I’ve been making bullshit excuses for myself.

So today I’ve put a boot up my own butt and am going to get back on track. From here on out I’m aiming for a 1000 words a day. Because of how I’ve slacked off I’m not going to be able to hit my minimum target for words this year. I can do that while editing, CS1 needs a lot of edits and rewrites and scenes added so I’ll be able to get those words added easily.

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Just over 500 words during my lunch break.

With the fanfic piece, well that’s going to be my reward when I hit the 1000 words. I haven’t done anything on it tonight because I’m wiped out. I’m going to watch another episode or two of Disenchantment and then read a little and then bed.

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I listened to Solo on audiobook last week. Mur Lafferty did a fantastic job with this novel.

I do have NaNoWriMo coming up as well, and I need to pick up my pace for November.

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And today I started The Big Head by Edward Lee once I’d caught up on Arm Cast.

 

16th Of September 2019

Hi folks, the weekend was as I expected and busy. I didn’t get much done at the write-in but I wasn’t expecting to. Come November it’ll be a different story.

I did read through more of CS1 at the write-in and now just have to collect all my notes and start mapping out what needs to be added. I probably won’t be working on it too much this week, simply because I won’t have the time. I think that’s a good thing though. It’ll give me time to think it over and see how it feels seeing as I’m able to let it rest a little.

Onto today though. I wrote about 600 words on the fanfic piece and I’m pretty happy with that. This is my fourth of fifth attempt at getting this done and I like to think I’ve got a good feel for it this time. I was a little stuck the last time I looked at it but did find a way through when I was working on it today.

Reading wise, I’m still reading Christopher Law’s Chaos Tales Vol. 1. I listened to Dirty Deeds 2 by Armand Rosamilia last week and loved it! This series has me hooked well and truthfully now.

I’m gonna wrap it up here. I’m going to aim to get closer to that 1000 words tomorrow.