7-5-17

Today started fast, with a 1000 words and a digital edit on a short story by 9am. I did this because I woke up in a really bad mood, and writing seemed to be the only thing that made sense. It put me in a good mood before going down into Rochester for a bit of lunch and to pop into Get Ready Retro, a local comic book shop. I managed to pick up the next volume of Wilds End (The Enemy Within) by Dan Abnett and I.N.J. Culbard. I really liked the first one and I’m looking forward to reading this one.

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Those thousand words I wrote this morning was on the fanfic piece and the short story is for one of the story submissions I’ve got coming up. I’ve printed it off and will red-pen it tomorrow.

The rest of the day has been spent with my feet up playing video games and binging some shows on Netflix. Aside from having to shoot into work for forty-five minutes, that was my day.

Good Morning, Sunday

This is going to be a bit of a bulky post as I just sum up what’s been going on in the last few weeks.

It’s been a slow couple of weeks with writing, I’ve literally written no new words for pushing a month now. In that time though I have been ¬†working on an outline in much more detail than I have done in the past, and I’ve been working on getting last years FanFic piece read through. With the FanFic piece it’s a little complicated as I have to figure out what I’m going to need to connect the various pieces together, as well as figuring out what I’m going to re-write to make it all into a coherent story.

I have got my vampire collection all sorted out though. This is one of the files that I’d done beta note adjustments on, but I’d lost the file and have had to do them all over again. As I was doing the changes I couldn’t help but think it might just be an idea to rewrite the whole thing as (I’d like to think) I’m a better writer now. Aside from the time it’ll take for me to rewrite another story I’ve written (50k plus words), I’d also loose some of the subtext that is in those stories. I listen to Armand Rosamilla’s podcasts (Armcast and The Mando Method) and he has said that he has thought about rewriting some of his older work, but he isn’t now who he was then, and they’d loose something if he rewrote them. I can’t help but agree. I also don’t want to be that writer that keeps working on the same things and never moves forward. I do suffer a little of that but I’m trying to pull away from it. Now that I’ve got this done, and ready to go off to other beta readers, I’m feeling like I am moving forward.

We’re also moving forward on The Space Watch. Owen is working his way through, putting his stamp on it and I’m looking forward to sitting down with him to go through it in detail and see what he thinks needs working on.

I did have a massive highlight last Saturday (18th March) and that was meeting Scott Sigler. Scott is one of my writing idols and he’s having a small European tour and as soon as I heard him announce the two London dates I immediately booked the 18th off so I could go and hang out with a writer who I’ve been following since 2007. I also got to meet his business partner, AB Kovacs. Both Scott and A are really fantastic people. They are both very engaging, passionate, hard working, and genuine. They’ve also got a great deal of appreciation for the fans, we call ourselves Junkies, and that was very clear to see on Saturday. I’m not exaggerating when I say it was one of the best moments of my life, and has opened my eyes a little to how much of a rut I’m in. Both with writing and life in general. I am taking steps to change that, but I am quite an introvert and it’s not easy for me to step out of my comfort zone.

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Scott Sigler and myself
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AB Kovacs

Back to Saturday night though; in addition to meeting Scott and A, I got to hang out with a good twenty to thirty other Junkies who were an awesome group of people and were all so passionate about Sigler’s work. I also got to meet comedian, illusionist, ¬†and writer John Lenahan. John was podcasting back when Scott started off, and is such a cool dude. What made him even cooler was that he did the voice of Talkie Toaster from the TV series Red Dwarf!

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John Lenahan

Elsewhere, I’ve been getting back into the cinema. I’m a huge movie fan and it’s getting to the time of year when the movies I want to see are coming out. In the last couple of weeks I’ve been to see Lego Batman, Logan, Kong:Skull Island, and Beauty and the Beast. Lego Batman was a lot of fun, silly and over the top, which is what I was expecting. Logan was just brilliant! Hugh Jackman has played Wolverine with such commitment, understanding and passion over the years it’s going to be a shame not seeing him playing the character again. Kong was surprising good. Action right from the start and never did it feel like it was slowing down. It just kept its pace, and the action didn’t disappoint. It’s also the first time I’ve really seen Brie Larson in anything. She’s been cast as Carol Danvers in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and I was really impressed with how she was on screen. Beauty and the Beast is probably one of my favourite Disney movies. I saw the animated version a couple of times at the cinema when it first came out, and it’s always resonated with me. The live action version was good, but I think it doesn’t quite match up to the original. This is one of those times where I’ve realised this film was going to find it hard to impress me because of my love for the original, that said there was a lot I liked about the live action remake and I will definitely be buying it on Blu-Ray when it does come out.

TV wise, I watched The Expanse, and really dug it. It was a little bit of a slow start but once I’d gotten to about episode three I was locked-in. I’m looking forward to seeing the next series. It’s also reminded me I’ve got to get through the rest of the books in the series. I’m now getting stuck into Iron Fist, and am really enjoying it. It’s just taken a turn I wasn’t expecting. I could quite easily go and binge the last four or five episodes but I’d like to get some work down today.

Reading wise, I’ve not got Terror Byte by J.R. Park finished yet. I’m enjoying the story but I’ve let myself get distracted by movies, TV and comics in the last couple of weeks. I’m going to aim to get back to reading before bed each night, again and will hopefully have it finished by this time next week. Speaking of comics, I’ve just finished House of M, and really loved it. I’ve been curious as to what led up to Scarlett Witch’s ‘No More Mutants’ moment and I brought House of M simply because the cover looked cool and I was intrigued by the title. So seeing Scarlett Witch’s ‘No More Mutants’ moment was an added bonus. I’ve now moved onto Secret Invasion. I also listened to Alone by Scott Sigler. This is the third book of his Generations Trilogy and really ended the series well. The audiobook was narrated by AB Kovacs and she smashed it! A really impressive performance, and very easy to listen to.

Well, that’s about it. Sorry for the chunky post, it’s not often I break five hundred words, let alone a thousand! I am trying to focus my attention and energy better. I’m not being overly successful with it, but I’m trying. Hopefully I’ll have a productive week.

20th January 2017

I’ve written 1137 words today, most of these were this evening with a few words during my lunch break.

This evening I was a little distracted and it took a bit of time to get rolling but I’m pretty happy with what I got written tonight. I felt a little like I was getting a little stuck but I hope I’ve spun it around and back on track.

I’m reading Silent Dawn by CL Raven and damn this is a good book. I’m about a third of the way through and am really getting pulled into the book.

I’ve got a couple of audiobooks that I’m trying to decide over which one to listen to next, and a buck tonne of comics to choose from reading next. I’m literally spoilt for choice on the comic front. It’s a problem I’m pretty glad to have to be honest!

Always strive to move forward.

15th January 2017

A pretty decent day today, 1317 words on Penal Earth and I passed the 10k word mark on it. I have a chilled day, having spent most of it out with my folks. When I got home I watched the Jeff Dunham specials on Netflix and then did some writing. I haven’t done any editing at all.

I did finish Day of Chaos:Endgame (Judge Dredd) today. Damn that is one epic comic! I’m really excited by the fact that I’ve got other Dredd universe collections siting on my ‘To-Read’ shelf.

Next up reading wise is going to be Silent Dawn by the awesome C L Raven.

9th January 2017

Toady I wrote 659 words on Penal earth before work and during my lunch break. This evening I have dragged my heels a little bit. I had a little trouble getting rolling but when I did I managed to edit through 3500 words of The Space Watch.

I think a problem I’m having with getting started each day with editing is its been so long since I’ve done any real editing I’m a little wary of it. Hopefully the more I do the more easier it’ll be to get rolling.

So far the story isn’t in too bad a shape, but I’m still in the bit I was on before I stopped for NaNo, and it’s the bit just after NaNo that I’m worried about. I fear it’s going to be messy and require a fair amount of re-writing, but if it does, it does. There’s not a lot I can do about it. I’ll try not to get demoralised by it if I do have a lot of work to do to tidy it up. I need to look at it as just another step in the process.

Reading wise I’m about half way through Day of Chaos: Endgame (Judge Dredd). This story is just getting better and better and I’m loving the artwork in it. I’ve also started listening to Alien: Out of the Shadows by Tim Lebbon. This is the audio dramatisation of it and I’m really digging it. It’s reminded me just how much I love the Alien films, and also how much I love anything set in space. I’ve got an urge to watch the Alien movies, and films like Sunshine, Moon, Pandorum, Avatar, and Event Horizon. Also the Predator films, and I want to dive into the Star Wars movies again (loved Rogue One, by the way). So I think over the next few weeks I’ll be digging these films out of my movie library and having a little look around Netflix and Amazon video, I might start with The Expanse, I’ve heard that’s good.

Tonight though I’ll be getting into Day of Chaos: Endgame before bed. I want to see how this gets resolved.

January 4th 2017

Today was a good day. I wrote the final sentence in the first draft of The Space Watch rewrite during my lunch break and have begun editing it this evening. Word count wise I’ve written 538 words for the day.

Editing has had a slow start, but after I switched to my laptop from my desktop I’ve made some good progress. I think it’s going to be harder to edit than I thought. I was hoping to get this initial edit pass done by Sunday when I’m meeting up with Owen to touch base. I’m not viewing this as a true edit as Owen hasn’t seen this completed draft yet, but it’s not in any way an acceptable shape for me to want to let Owen see it yet. I’d like it to just be a little smoother and sharpen it up before I give it to him to add his notes to.

What I’m planning on doing going forward is to edit The Space Watch in the evenings and during my lunch breaks and if I get time before work I’ll write on Penal Earth. That’s one I’m really excited about if I’m honest. It’s something I’ve put a lot of thought into since I finished working on it last year and I am cannibalising it to a degree, but what I’ll be doing with it now is really exciting. The Space Watch is one I am loving and I’m beyond happy its done now. One of the lessons I’ve learnt from The Space Watch is not to stop halfway through like I did when I done NaNoWriMo last year. I lost momentum and a feel for the story which made it a lot harder to get back into the rhythm of the story and I think it’s going to make the editing harder as I’m seeing the style at the start of the story isn’t matching up with what I’ve recently written.

I meant to write in yesterday’s post that I finished listening to vN by Madeline Ashby. Overall I liked it, it had a nice pace to it and quite a humble, down to earth feel to it. I liked where Ashby took the story and how she worked the characters. I didn’t guess the ending at all, but I really liked it. It felt very natural to the story despite being quite out there. It left a lot of questions for the next book and it’s definitely one I’ll be getting in the near future.

With Day Of Chaos: Endgame (a Judge Dredd comic) I’m nearing the halfway point and am really enjoying it. I’m going to finish it before I start on the next novel I’ll be reading.

Bristol Horror Con 2016

Yesterday my buddy Stefan and I drove to Bristol for Bristol Horror Con at the Future Inns in Bristol, and damn it was a lot of fun. It was quite a long drive from my home in Kent but I wanted to go because CL Raven were going to be there, and although I’ve know them for a couple of years we’ve never met. I like a little horror in my life as well, so I thought screw it! Let’s go! And I am so glad we did. Not only was it great to meet Cat and Lynx I met a bunch of other people who I found to be awesome and welcoming. The atmosphere was just so chilled out and relaxed, it was great just being there and soaking it all up.

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Cat and Lynx Raven

We spent most of our time on the 6th floor of the hotel where all of the dealer tables where but went down to a Jazz Club below the bar for author readings, which Cat and Lynx were a part of. That, I found a lot of fun and very interesting. There was four people doing readings, including Cat and Lynx. The other two novelist were A K Benedict and Martyn Waites. Sitting and listening to all four reading excerpts or short stories was really thought provoking. Both in that once I actually get my butt into gear and get stories written, then I’ll be (hopefully) doing this sort of thing. But also in listening to writers whose work I hadn’t come across before. Obviously I’ve read a fair bit of Cat and Lynx’s work, but it was a lot of fun hearing it out loud, and they really aced the reading. Both A K Benedict and Martyn Waites are new to me but both rocked their readings and I’ll be checking their work out.

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The Swag!

Needless to say I brought a load of books, six in all. As well as a couple of comics, a few key rings, CDs and a T-Shirt from the band Lesbian Bed Death, and a gorgeous skull paperweight. I could have brought a lot more, but managed to reign myself in.

Lesbian Bed Death was an awesome experience, I brought their first album years ago but like with all music I lost track of them and am seriously out of date. So I managed to pick up a couple of albums, including their latest and damn, it’s some good stuff!

The comics I got were Domeinion: A Threat From Within, and Dark Matter. Both are from Close2Immortality, and really caught my eye. Some very gorgeous artwork and the stories sound fantastic.

The skull paperweight I got is really cool and hopefully will be the first of a number of badass ornaments that I’ll gather over the next few years. Definitely check out the creator From The Shadows. He’s got some really sweet bits on his site.

Now, onto the books. I brought Deadly Reflections and The Malignant Dead by the aforementioned CL Raven. The Starblood Trilogy by Carmilla Voiez. A Tiding Of Magpies by Peter Sutton. Dead Cells by Adam Millard, and The Last Plague by Rich Hawkins.

Speaking to each of these fantastic authors was a lot of fun. All of them were very engaging and all of them seemed really nice and down to earth. It was very inspiring, speaking to people who are getting their words out into the world.

Everyone was so nice and welcoming. I can feel awkward at times, and not quite sure of myself, but at Bristol Horror Con, and DemonCon, I felt at ease in these groups of people. They’re there for the same reason I am, a love of horror and sci-fi and comics etc. My buddy Stefan, who is a big horror nut, loved it too. We’ve both pretty much deciding to go back again next year.

It was a highlight of the year for me.