25th November 2019

Today I’ve written 700 words. All of which were done during my lunch break. I’ve passed 12k now and am not even going to hit 20k. I’m not happy about this, but I can live with it.

The last few months have been super busy but for all the right reasons. The biggest, and only, downside is that I haven’t been able to keep up with writing. I’ve had a couple of big failures (okay, not that big but they suck) where I’ve felt pretty desolate. One thing in particular recently dented me pretty hard as I realised I’m not capable, or maybe ready, to be a person in my writing community where I can be somewhat of a leader. After I had that revelation I came the closes to quitting writing that I’ve ever been. Even to the point where I had two major writing related commitments that I was going to complete and then quit.

I’m past that feeling of desolation though. I’m feeling energised and I’m having ideas again. I need to find a better way to make the most of my time though. That’s something I’ll be working on in the near future.

I often find listening to podcasts quite inspiring. Especially when they’re talking to someone who is working their arse off to get to their goals. An episode of The Horror Show with Brian Keene featured writer and musician Matt Hayward and each time I hear this episode I can’t help but be inspired. Please clicky the link and see what I mean.

Good Morning, Sunday 22nd of September 2019

Good morning folks. Today is what I’m thinking of a ‘get shit done week’. I have got a lot of general sorting out to do that needs to be done soon due to a few changes that’s going on. Some of it is things I should of had done ages ago but I’ve this bad habit of putting things off. I can’t do that this week.

So I’m not expecting a whole lot of writing to be done but I am going to do what I can and when. Most of this sorting out involves working through my old writing files. I’ve been writing since I was about twenty one (although have only been serious about it for a few years now). So I have many years worth of files to sort out. I’ll admit, a lot of it will be destroyed but I’ll keep a draft of everything I’ve written. Especially those that I don’t have digital copies of. When I switched over to Apple a few years ago I might have lost some of my older work (I don’t think I did) but I still want to keep at least one hard copy of what may be in that chaos of filing.

In addition to all the writing stuff I’ve got to work through I’ve got non writing paper work to clear through and just have a general sort through and tidy this coming week.

So I’ve got a busy one coming this week. I’m going to do a software update and then get a few hours of work done on CS1 this morning. After that the big tidy starts, as I’m watching the new series of Disenchantment.

Failed Already

My alarm was set for 6am, 7:15am I got out of bed. No time for words to be written. No time to maybe read a little. Just enough time to get ready for work, and drink a cup of tea(writing this while waiting for tea to cool to drinking temperature).

Yesterday was extremely frustrating. Today hasn’t started how I envisioned it but I can’t see why it should change anything when it comes to the rest of the day. Once work is done I’ll clean the henhouse out. Then have a bath and then, editing! I want to have this pass done tonight so tomorrow I can get some new words written.

Right, the tea should be just right now. Have a great day and weekend, folks!

Good Friday, 2019 (State Of Play)

I had some bad news last week which knocked the wind out of my sails. I’m not going to talk about here, not yet anyway.

I’ve barely written since then but will be getting back on the horse in the next few days. We’ve got a long weekend here in the UK. For many it’s a four day weekend, for me its a three day weekend because I work Saturdays (one year I will remember to book the damn Saturday off and have that four day weekend). My plan for the weekend was to get into Penal Earth beta notes (which I got on Monday), but my plans have changed as my folks have new furniture being delivered and the old stuff needs taking out, the area decorated and then on Monday the new stuff put together. So I’m not expecting to get Penal Earth edited this weekend. That was my goal, now the goal for having that done is next weekend.

I have done a little prep work for CS1. I’ve got a semi-decent idea of what needs to be done with that story to get it to where I want it to be and I think that’ll be the next one after the vampire collection is done.

Speaking of the vampire collection, that I’ll be trying to get back in the swing of in the next few days. I’m hoping once this first story is rewritten then the rest will mainly be edits with sections being rewritten as opposed to a whole story having to be done again from scratch.

I think I know what I’m going to be working on for the next year or so. I do have a submission call that I’m trying to think about a story to write for but although I love the theme I can’t get an idea to take shape. I can feel something there, but it’s just out of reach. Which tells me I’ve got a good idea but maybe now isn’t the right time for it. I do think the next eighteen months or so I’m going to focus on getting what I’ve got on the board done. The two projects after CS1 I’m really excited about but will need a lot of research for. I might start that soon and kind of drip-feed myself with it. Research isn’t something I’m that good at so I don’t want to just dive in full speed ahead as I know I’ll hit a brick wall!

Life has its ups and its downs. The trick is enjoying the ups and with the downs, shrug your shoulders and work your way through them.

Have a great easter weekend, folks.

 

8th July 2018

Yesterday was what I call a productive day. I was up at about 6am and at my desk by 6:30am. There I sat till maybe 3pm sort of time. I had the odd break here and there, and spent the normal time faffing about on social media. All in all though I wrote 2961 words for the day. That’s 534 on WC2, 742 on AG3 (the final draft of a fanfic piece), 778 on PE3, and 917 on a guest post for a friends blog.

Needless to say I’m really chuffed with this. I’d set myself a target of 2000 words for the day, so smashing that put a decent smile on my face.

I am getting stuck with PE3. I’ve got scenes I know will be in the story that I’m going to jump ahead and write, but I’ve kinda lost where I’m going with it. So I’m going to tap up a friend and see if she do some brainstorming with me, because right now, I really don’t know where I’m going and it’s time to ask for some help.

After I finished writing I watched Knocked Up and This Is 40 back to back. I’d not seen Knocked Up since it came out so it was nice to see it again. This Is 40 is one I’ve seen a couple of times and one I do like a lot. While I was doing this I cleared out all the clothes I own that either don’t fit me, I haven’t worn in over a year, or have had it. I probably cleared out half my wardrobe doing this yesterday, and it was rather therapeutic. I’ve been in the process of changing what I wear for a while and have a decent collection of t-shirts and some gorgeous hoodies. The next area to cover is trousers. I love jeans, so that’s not gonna change too much but I now need to get some more pairs. I want to have a look around at different styles of trousers as well and see what takes my fancy, when the cash flow permits.

So, an exceptionally productive day yesterday. If I could get two of those a month I’d be one happy camper!

Book Review: Practical Life Advice: or some $#!+ like that by Amber Jerome-Norrgard

Each one of these little pieces of wisdom from Amber Jerome-Norrgard is very spot on. A few in particular struck a cord with me in a way that I wouldn’t of been able to appreciate five years ago. Some of them are obvious, and almost common sense, in a way but I for one don’t always see this in a conscious way. So to have them written in front of me makes them very bold thoughts that are currently running around my head!

A few did tickle my funny bone and a few I wish I could put on billboards on major roads!

I do seriously need these in some sort of sub-dermal electronic tattoo on the inside of my eyelids and I get a random one each time I close my eyes.

Looking Back At 2017

This last year has been a tough one. As a family we’ve had a lot of crap thrown our way this year. We’ve lost loved ones, and had issues of health pepper us amongst other difficulties life has a habit of throwing in our paths.

It has been a hard year, it’s not been harder than anyone else’s year. It’s been what it is. We’ve taken each day as it comes and in my opinion that is the best way to take life at times.

These things I won’t go into detail on. They are things that affect my family as well as myself and I don’t think it’s my place to talk in-depth about these events on my public blog.

One moment this year that hit me harder than I thought something of its nature could was the death of Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington. Although now I am really out of date with most music, I was a huge fan of Linkin Park when they first hit the scene. Their first two albums are two of my favourite albums ever, I didn’t even listen to that type of music until they came along. It’s music that speaks to me, but I didn’t realise how important it is to me until Bennington’s death this year. I mourned his death in a way that I haven’t for other public figures. I read a lot of Tom Clancy when I was in my late teens. I was a huge fan of Alan Rickman as well, and although it saddened me when they died it wasn’t like when Chester Bennington died. I immediately binge listened to the Linkin Park albums I had, and blitz their YouTube channel. It was only a month or so ago that I’ve stopped getting a lump in my throat when I hear his vocals. I realised a few weeks after his death that I felt like this because it was the first death of one of my icons. Someone who not only did I look up to and admire, but someone who spoke to me. I didn’t know the death of someone I didn’t know would hit me as hard as Chester Bennington’s death did.

I’ve had highs and lows with writing this year. A few projects I put a lot of time into have crashed and burned pretty badly. In particular I was quite demoralised by a zombie story I thought was going to be something good but it just didn’t pan out how I was expecting it too and it kind of gave me a bit of a confidence hit. I had done a lot of outlining for it, characters had been thought out and developed, but it just didn’t go right. I tried to rewrite it for NaNo, and it’s not bad. I’m happier with it now than I was initially but it’s not how I was expecting it to go. I think I can roll with how it’s changing, I just need to do some re-thinking on it.

Something I have learned is that it doesn’t matter whether I write with a pen and paper or straight into a word processor the words are the same. I wrote a first draft of a story I’ve got a lot of hope for by hand but was writing something else at the same time digitally and realised quickly that it didn’t matter how I wrote something, if I was in the mood to write it all came out the same. With this story in particular I’ve got to change a lot for the second draft. Like the zombie story I mentioned it came out different to how I envisioned it. The biggest problem is I’ve written it from only one point of view, and to tell the story I want to I need to do it from multiple POVs. I don’t think it’ll be difficult, but I want to let it sit for another month or two before I return to it. I’d like to get some more planning done for it as well.

The work with Owen is a little up in the air at the moment but I’m expecting to find out what’s happening early in the new year.

The highest points of this year for me have been getting two stories published. Both through charity anthologies from Burdizzo Books. The first one, The Final Charge was in Sparks: An Electric Anthology in October. The second was my take on The Three French Hens in this years 12 Days of Christmas 2017 Anthology. I am incredibly proud of both of these stories. They were a lot of fun to write and knowing the proceeds from both books go to good causes makes it feel even better than it does. The folks at Burdizzo Books are fantastic people as well, along with the group of writers they have around them.

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It’s great to finally have my writing in print and has really fired me up and shown me that it’s not impossible. There is nothing stopping me except myself.

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The last item I really want to talk about are a few of the people I’ve met this year. I attended a book launch for Sparks up in Walsall and met the head honcho and editor Matthew Cash as well as a couple of the other contributors. We later had another launch in my home town as Burdizzo Books’ other editor, Em Dehaney, is from Gravesend as well. Both launch parties were fantastic, I did a reading at both, although with the Gravesend one I was hit with a severe cold a few hours before and was incredibly unwell. I thought I was going to pass out during my reading, but it was still an amazing experience.

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Myself with Pippa Bailey, Matthew Cash, and David Court.

I also went to a few cons this year. Unfortunately DemonCon down in Maidstone has now come to an end. I was pleased to be at the last one in February, but will miss it. It’s the con were I first me Dan Abnett and his wife Nik, who are lovely people. I went to Birmingham Horror Con around that time as well, that was incredibly fun and I got to see my friends Cat and Lynx Raven again as well as Dave from From The Shadows. I also went to EGX with my buddy Stefan from Stefan’s Daily Gaming. Although I’m not a huge gamer this was a lot of fun as well. It was good seeing some great games and a lot of people who were in their element. Bristol Horror Con was my favourite of the year though. Not only did I see CL Raven and Dave (From The Shadows) again but I also went to a couple of panels. I spent a little time talking to Adam Millard and his wife in the VIP room. Seriously lovely people who were very encouraging of my own work and just fun to talk to. I also got the chance to speak to Tim Lebbon as well. Again, another awesome and encouraging person. I just hope the more of these I go to the more at ease I get speaking to all these fantastic people.

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With Lynx and Cat Raven at Bristol Horror Con

The horror community is really welcoming and seems to have a lot of heart to it. It’s definitely a place I feel at home it.

One night in particular that was both fun and tiring was an all-night ghosts hunt I went on with Boleyn Paranormal down at a True Crime Museum in Hastings. It was a lot of fun, very interesting and I met more awesome people, but I’m not doing another all-nighter. I was shattered for a few days after that. Cat and Lynx Raven were there as well, and they popped back to my home to meet my animal army before they returned to Cardiff. En Route to my house we stopped at the site of the Battle of Hastings. Although not far from my home I can’t recall ever going there and it was quite a surreal experience that I’m glad we took the time to do.

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Lynx and Cat saying hello to two of our hens

A massive highlight of the year for me was meeting Scott Sigler and AB Kovacs. I’ve been a fan of Sigler’s work for a decade now and when he announced he was coming to Europe, including the UK, it would have taken the zombie apocalypse to have stopped me from getting there. It was a great evening in a pub in London just hanging out with Scott, A and other fans of Sigler’s work (AKA the Junkies). It was good chatting to them both and seeing the love they have for the fans of the work. Both Scott and A have a lot of charisma and energy and clearly love what they do, and it was one of the highlights of the year.

2017 has had a lot of downs, but its had a lot of ups as well. That’s what I’m focusing on, I’m not ignoring the low points, just choosing to look at the positives. Most importantly I appreciate those important people I have in my life. My friends and family mean the world to me and I’m very grateful having them all.

Roll on 2018…