January 1st, 2021…. Here We Go!

Here it is, 2021!

I can’t describe how hard 2020 was for me, and not just because of Covid. If I took Covid out of it I still had the worst year of my life, but it was also the best year. And it’s the good that is driving me forward.

The changing of a calendar isn’t going to magically make life like it was pre-2020. It really doesn’t work like that. I know a lot of people don’t want to hear that, but it’s true. The reason why I got out of 2020 in the good place I am in now is because I’ve worked my arse off to get here. To make the best of the world around me and keep my head high, and my eyes focused on the next goal.

Do I fall down? Yes, I fell down over Christmas and it took its toll on me, but I get back up and moving forward again. I don’t dust myself off until I know I’m not at risk of being sucked back into that dark little corner of my soul again. I stop that from happening by talking to friends and family, being productive with writing, going to work. I defeat the negative elements of my mind by engaging with the people I love, the communities that have embraced me, and just being me. This last six months has taught me I don’t need to be scared to show who I am to the world. Because despite what I’ve thought for most of my life, I’m not worthless.

This year will see the release of my first novella. That’s the only release that I have scheduled for this year, at the moment. I’ve got to do better at finding markets to submit to. I’m not just going to focus on word counts and look at completing more projects, submitting more, and knocking items off my to-do list.

Last year I had stories published in three anthologies, which I think might be my best in a calendar year to date, don’t hold me to that though. So, I’m aiming for at least four pieces published this year.

Okay, on to today. I kinda overlaid, like till almost midday! So I’m a little behind where I wanted to be, but I needed the sleep and I feel pretty good for it. I’ve posted my first video of the year to my YouTube channel. It’s also the first one where I’m talking to the camera. A little nerve racking, and I know it’s not the best but it’s a new venture for me where I’m stepping out of my comfort zone, and like with everything else, the more I do the better I’ll get!

I will be getting into the Black Blood read through/edit shortly as well. I’ve edited about 2000 words a day over the last few days so I’m looking at doing about 3000 today.

I doubt I’ll be writing a lot of new words today. I’ve got a short story that I need to have written and off to the publisher by April but I need to think it out a bit, get some brainstorming done on it, before I can start writing. I’ve got a good idea of a major element of it, but I need more to it. At the moment it’s a few lines and an idea. Which isn’t enough.

Enough talking, time for action! Have a good day folks! No one is going to make this year good for you, people can help, but it’s You who will make this year, and your life, good or bad.

30th of December 2020

Good evening folks. I didn’t get anything done yesterday in the end. Real world came in and took priority.

Today I’ve got 2200 words edited. I won’t have this edit done by the end of the year now. Not a chance. I’ve got an errand to run after work tomorrow so that’ll limit my time then.

New Year’s day I may dive in and get a decent hit on it, see how I get along.

Okay folks, just a short and sweet one tonight. Early start in the morning, have a good one everyone!

A cold Dizzy

Good Afternoon, 29th of December 2020

Good afternoon folks, I am going to dive into the edit of Black Blood this after noon. I’d love to work my way through about 10,000 words this afternoon, but I’ll see how I get along.

I’ll be starting after some lunch.

Something I’ve been thinking about doing is a reflection of the last twelve months, but I’m not sure I’m comfortable bringing a lot of that up at this point. Some of it I’ll never blog about either as it’s not fair on others. I’m also of the mindset that, although I’m learning the lessons of the last twelve, eighteen months, I want to be looking forward. I’ve got a lot to look forward to in the next twelve months, both on a personal level and a professional one.

I will just say one part of my life is not good, and potentially won’t be for a long while. It’s a driving force though, and I’ll make sure when it changes I’m in the best possible position I can be.

New hat selfie!

Right, dinner has been eaten. I’ve chilled out a little and now I’m going to get to work before my body tells me its time for a nap!

28th December 2020

Good evening folks!

I didn’t get into working my way through Black Blood today. I spent a lot of it switching the file from Pages to Scrivener. I will one day figure out a quicker way to do this, I know there is but I’m also quite inpatient and today instead of have a play around I just wanted to dive in!

So I spent a lot of time doing that, and then I started working through some of the comments I had on the Pages file, transferring them to a paper pad.

Raven, exploring one of my bookcases.

In case you’re new to my blog what I’m going to do is read through an almost completed draft, making notes as I go and then hopefully by the time I’ve done this I’ll have a better idea to write the ending, which at the moment is unfinished.

I need to keep better details of what I’m writing because the amount of times I’ll forget place names, or character names and so on. If I’ve got all I need on paper next to me, or on the Scrivener file then I won’t have to stop and look and then loose my for flow. I loose a lot of time to that, so it’s something I really need to get my head around.

Tomorrow after work I’m going to start reading through and making those notes.

The rest of today has been playing with my blog. I’ve added a page with all my published works, and tweaked my About Me page. Please have a look at both. I am not skilled in this web stuff but I think they look okay and are clear.

Right, I’m off for the night now. An early start tomorrow, so I’m going for an early night.

Have a good one, folks!

Good Morning, 28th of December 2020

I’ve kind of had a week off from writing. I was expecting to use it to get through the Christmas period but I didn’t need to in the end. Yes, it was still tough but thanks to all I’ve learnt, all the help and support I’ve had from the people I love in my life I was able to manage it better than I was expecting to.

Raven going for a majestic look 😊

I was also a little stuck with where I was taking Black Blood. I kept trying to add words but it was becoming very evident that I wasn’t prepared enough to finish this draft. So last night I began making notes. I didn’t start reading through the draft, I just copied some notes I’d scribbled down while writing the later stages of the story and did a few sketches. I’ve never really done the sketches, well not since Owen and I were working on From the Shadows a very long time ago. I found doing the couple I did last night really helpful, okay it brought a problem I hadn’t expected but I think I can find a way around that, or work it into the story.

I’m going to start the read through today, with the aim of having it done by the New Year. It’s a lick over 50k words and I think I can manage that. I’ve looked at my work rota and I definitely think it’s doable. Especially as I’m not going to be doing a full edit. This is a read through to figure out what I need to add and take away. What I need to do to get the ending how I want it, and to give it the depth and weight it deserves.

I think it’s also time to move this draft into Scrivener. It’s going to be helpful to be able to break it down into chapters and scenes and then I can insert or remove sections much easier. I can also have additional information that I’m compiling in there as well. I think that’s the way to go.

Right folks! I’ve got a little tidying before I can start working so I’m hopping off here. Have an awesome day!

December 24th 2020

Good evening folks, I’ve got a feeling this may end up being a really random post tonight. I’ve not done any writing today, or much thinking about writing. I was up at 4am for a 6am work start. I’ve had 5am, another 6am, and a 4am start this week. So I’ve spent a lot of the afternoons this week napping. I’ve also been trying not to think about writing for a few days. I’ve got a couple of stories where I am stuck with them, and I need to let the dust setting around them.

With Black Blood (still not wild about that title), I am really tempted to do a read through/edit and then write the ending once I’ve done the read through and have a stack of notes.

When I say read through/edit I mean I’ll work my way through what I’ve written and clearing up any grammar errors and more softer changes like how some sentences are structured. A lot of what I am going to do with the read through is write details down; character names, locations, personal quirks. This is a habit I need to get into better when I’m working on a first draft. Then I’m not going to have as many XXX’s as space fillers.

I’ve got a short story I want to get cracking on soon, I just need to think it through a little and have something to build from. Normally when I write I have an image in my head to start from, a foundation that I use to build those first few thousand words. Once I’ve got that, I’ve got a good idea of where I’m going. So I need to muse on that one a bit.

Penal Earth is still sitting. I’m probably going to do something similar to what I plan on doing with Black Blood, and do a read through and sort out the grammar edits and so on. I’m happy with the way the draft has gone, and I’m looking forward to looking through it again.

(yes, I know this post is going up a day after it was meant to be, but I had to stop halfway through the post and didn’t manage to get back to it again.)

There’s a few pics of our furry family members ☺️

23 of December 2020

Good evening, folks!

I’ve had a few days off from writing. I’ve had other areas where I’ve been focusing my attention but I’m also not in any rush to get back onto Black Blood. I need to think the ending out a lot more deeper than I have done so far. If I rush it I’m going to mess it up, and I’ve got to get it right. I’ve figured out where I want things to sit when it’s done, I just need to figure out how best to get there.

I will be working on writing work over Christmas, I’ve got a short story I’m thinking about trying to dive into and if I’ve managed to figure out what I want to do with Black Blood then I might get working on that. If I’m being honest, I’m half tempted to stop where I am on Black Blood and begin the read through process and then plot the ending out then. I’ll see how I feel.

Right folks, you all have a good one!

An annoyed cat 🙄

18th December 2020 (Draft Done!)

Good afternoon folks. The draft for Penal Earth is done!!! I wrote 1924 words on it this morning and had it wrapped up in those words. Is it done done? No. Not by a long stretch. As I mentioned in a previous post I’ve now got to go through and start the editing process. I refuse to rewrite this one, again. It’s not happening! That way doesn’t work for me. Yes, it’s taken my dumb ass a long time to realise that, but I have now. So, better late than never.

The next stage will be to leave it until the new year and then start reading through it with a pen and paper and figure out exactly what I need to do to get it to where I want it. This is going to be a much deeper dive into editing than I’ve tried before and I hope I have the patience for it. I may just read through a chapter at a time so it doesn’t get tedious like it has done in the past.

Something I want to get in the habit of in the future is writing with a notepad to make notes as I’m going. Character names, ages, location names, and so on. Anything that is relevant. My drafts are full of XXX as placeholders when I forget a detail that I have put in earlier. I’m hoping it won’t slow me up too much, but if it does I might just read through what I’ve written at the end of the day and make those notes then, and tweaked any mistakes like grammar etc. at the same time. Until I try it though, I can’t say how it’s going to work.

Yes, I did dance around my office!

I really want to refine my process next year. Figure out what is the best way for me to work and then grow on it. It’s all about progress and growth. It doesn’t matter how many words I write in a year, if I never finish anything then it’s all pointless. I won’t be growing as a writer, and as a human being. I do have goals for next year, I’ve typed them up and pinned them over my desk, I might have also written a few goals for 2022 down as well. I might be pushing myself a bit too hard, but I need to know what I can take. I will have failures, but I’m also going to have victories. I need to learn from both in going forward or those same mistakes are just going to be repeated and, like writing a million words, absolutely useless if I’m not finishing anything.

I’m going to take the afternoon off and do some gaming and decide what I want to work on next. I’ll likely get back onto Black Blood but I’m always more productive when I’m not just cracking on with one project.

Rock on folks!

Good Morning, 18th December 2020

Good morning! I am awake, not quite cracking on just yet. I’m taking the time to ease into my morning. I’m going to work mainly on Penal Earth today. I’m on a bit of a roll with it and I think I’ll get that bit closer to ending it.

I’ve got a lot of work to do on Penal Earth before I’ll even be sending it out to Beta readers. I’ve got lots of details I want to add to it that’ll build the universe and hopefully bring more depth and believability to it.

I will not be rewriting it, again. Been there, done that. Not doing it again. A rewrite will not get it to where I want it to be. I’ve got to learn how to make these improvements after the draft is done. Once this draft is done I’m going to leave it for a few days at least and then start reading this it and making notes as I go and see what pops into my mind.

Right, I’m gonna cut this short cause I feel like I’m rambling!

So rock on folks and have an awesome day 🙂

I watched this the other night, absolutely loved it!

17th December 2020

Good evening, folks!

I have spent most of this afternoon reading through Lovers and making notes. I’ve got some good ideas jotted down but will spend time building it before I start the new draft. I don’t want to rush it, I’ve got a history of diving in head first and blowing myself out of steam too soon. So I’ll hold off, let the ideas run around my brain, and see what comes from it.

What helps in holding off is I have Penal Earth and Black Blood (not wild about that title) in progress. Penal Earth is in the endgame and I think I’ll be wrapping it up soon. I’m not willing to say in the next day or so, but maybe by the end of the year.

Black Blood is a little further out, and I’m slightly tempted to leave that till the next year and let it breath a little before I get it finished.

I’m getting better at keeping my focus on one thing.

I did write this afternoon as well, only 715 words but I knew I wanted to get some words down today. Hopefully it’ll lead me into a decent day’s work tomorrow.

The end of this year I’m planning on being very productive. I’ll be working a fair bit of the Christmas period, which doesn’t bother me but I’ll also have some time to get words wrangled.

Right folks, I’m off to chill out for the rest of the evening. Day off tomorrow, so aiming for a productive one.

Rock on, folks!