9th of August 2020

Good evening, folks! How are we all doing? Was a good Sunday had?

During work I got a few words done on a new short story that I’m going to write for an anthology, then added more after I got home and ended up with 646 words. I’m winging it a little with this one, but I’ve got a good feeling for it. I’m gonna try for something A little different to what I’ve done before and see what it comes out like.

I am also looking at getting another story brainstormed and ready to write once I’ve got a draft of the first one. Not done any brainstorming for a while so I’m looking forward to it.

I’ve been catching up on The Mando Method podcast, which I’d recommend checking out off you’re a writer. It’s great catching up with Armand Rosamilia and Chuck Buda and hearing how they’re progressing and the tips they’re dishing out.

Which notebook to use……

This coming week I’m going to be working on maximising time and getting the most of the time I have to commit to writing. Obvious I appreciate that it could all go pear shaped but I’m going to stick to it.

Right, time for to call it a night.

Most of the time our biggest doubters are ourselves, don’t let that doubt defeat you!

Good Morning, 8th of August 2020

It is 8:37am and I am up and have had breakfast and have a cup of tea by my side. I am tired, I have a really bad back, and I’m still feeling down. I’m not going into why I’m feeling down, although I’m generally quite honest here there are some things I just don’t want to share here.

I’m feeling down, but I’m also feeling strangely okay. I can’t let the hard parts of my life get to me, I can’t. And this morning it feels like I’ve got enough to keep my mind occupied so I’m not just sitting feeling sorry for myself.

As I said yesterday, I’ve got a story that I’ll be submitting to an anthology by the end of the month. I’m going to get back onto Penal Earth, I know I should be working on the zombie book but I don’t have the cash for cover art and editing at the moment so I’ve still got a little more time for it. This is one that will be affected by Covid, not by much but I can integrate this pandemic into it in a way that it’s there but doesn’t change the story I’m telling. I’m not going to make it about the pandemic because that’s not what it was about.

I’ve got a list of pieces that I need to work on. Unless I see a submission call for something that tickles my attention I’m going to focus on what needs doing with what is already written.

Another picture of Raven ‘helping’ me yesterday 😂

Over today and tomorrow I’m going to look at my work schedule and see what time I can commit to writing and then map out the next week of writing. See how well I can do with planning and executing it.

Have a good weekend, folks!

3rd August 2020

Evening, Folks! This will be a super short post. I edited 2583 words on Penal Earth today, and I’ve realised I’ve only got six more chapters to edit. I’m not getting excited. My beta readers pointed out that the ending comes quite suddenly so I’m going to add more to build up to it. I’ve got an idea of what I want to put in there, but I’m not really sure how it’s going to go at the moment.

I have got a short story to get done and dusted by the end of the month (that includes having my betas read it as well), I hope I can get it done. I think I can, but we’ll see.

That’s it for tonight, have a good one folks!

Good Morning, 1st of August 2020

Good morning, folks. How are we all doing today?

I’m going to try and get a few bits and pieces done today. I’ve got a tonne of emails to work my way through. I’m tired of seeing so many emails in the inbox and it means I’m missing emails I need to be dealing with in good time.

So thats one goal.

I’m also going to be editing. I’m making okay progress with this main edit, which is Penal Earth, so I’m going to aim for a good day with that one. Last night I said I was going to try for one chapter done today, but I’ve had a change of plans so I’ve got a lot more time to make the most of. So I’m going for five chapters today. It feels a little intimidating, but I’m going for it.

That’s another goal.

My working space for the day.

Finally I’ve got a drabble to write to submit to an anthology I’ve been invited to. When I got this invite it made my day, it’s super flattering but also hits my ego a little. Although I have a lot of insecurities I do have an ego, it might not be that big but it’s there. It’s also a big challenge to write a drabble. A hundred word story takes a certain skill, and thankfully I do have experience with these flash fiction pieces. I’ve got a number of stories in the anthology 84 Stories 84 Words which are all stories which have only 84 words in. So having a hundred to play with is almost a luxury! But still a challenge. I’m looking forward to it, it’s something I can get my teeth stuck into and hopefully have some fun with it.

That’s three goals. Let’s see how I do at the end of the day.

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!

12th of March 2020

Good evening, folks! I’m just pulling in with a quick little post. I’m nearing the end of the story I’ve been working on this year. It’s about 26k at the moment and I think I’ve got a couple more thousand words to go but as always, I don’t know. I’m hoping the ending is going to be pretty epic, I know roughly what I want to write but again, as always, I don’t know. The story could go off in its own direction once I get stuck in.

I’m thinking about the next project. I’ve got two older ones that I really want to whip into shape this year. At the moment I don’t have much time to write, but hopefully that’s going to change at some point. I really hope I’ve got a good idea how how to approach these two pieces now. Something I tend to be lazy about doing is reading what I’ve already written and making notes and so on. I’m going to do this when I get stuck into the two projects, and hopefully do it right.

There was another submission call I sat for a smaller published that I’d love to work for but I think I might be pushing my luck to get a story for the anthology done in time. I need to look up the deadline for submissions on that one.

Okay, so this wasn’t as quick a post as I was expecting (it his happens more than I’d like to admit!). Life is busy and I’ve got a lot going on, but I’m still knocking out a few words and have plenty on my mind when it comes to writing.

Some notebook porn for all who stop by.

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.

4th of September 2019

Good evening folks. It feels like it’s been a busy week, and in some ways it has. The day job is always busy but with writing I don’t feel like I’ve really got my teeth stuck in at all. Part of that is I feel like I’ve ran dry on the couple of short stories I’ve been working on. One I feel could be something a little bigger, while the other just died out after a couple of hundred words. So I’ve gone into editing mode again and have started on the CS1 edit. I’m planning on rewriting a lot of the ending and adding a lot more detail in the early stages that’ll make things later on work better. As I was writing it sub-plots came about that have no base in the early stages of the story. There’s also a few elements which I let drop accidentally as the story moved forward. So I’m going to pick those up as I go. I’m glad I’ve left this story for a while as I feel like I’ve got a better handle on it now I’ve let it simmer.

I’ll end up by sharing the link for my next story release. I have a story in the upcoming Elements of Horror: Air: Book Two. (Click the link for the pre-order). It’s released on the 1st of October. This story was one of those that came very easily and I knew where I was going with from quite an early part of the writing process. This is book two of four of a series from Red Cape Publishing. There’s a few more details here.

That’s it for tonight. I’m wiped out and my bed is calling.

Book Review: Forever and Ever, Armageddon: A collection of 24 short stories

This is a fantastic collection from David Court. I’ve read some of his short fiction before and knew I liked his work and this collection has confirmed that.

There is a good variety of stories here. There’s a few that made me think, one of which made me stop what I was doing and say “oh sh*t”, and a couple that are just the written version of a gut punch. There was a couple of the stories that had me grinning like a kid!

Kristina Fitzgerald does a fantastic job of narration. Great range and delivery.

This one is definitely worth checking out.

TV Review: Love, Death + Robots 3/3

Love, Death + Robots is an anthology series from David Fincher and Tim Miller that is available on Netflix.

Lucky 13

Directed by Jerome Chen

Animation Studio: Sony Pictures Imageworks

Based on the Short Story by Marko Kloos

Adapted Script by Philip Gelatt

Lucky 13 is about a military transport that is considered jinxed and given to a rookie pilot who quickly bonds with the vehicle.

This is another favourite of mine. Again, fantastic visuals here. The character’s are all but photo realistic. I quickly recognised the main character by voice as well as looks. It was like watching Samira Wiley on screen! That’s how good the animation is in this episode. I’d be interested to see if they used motion capture on her face as it is that good. But that’s not just why I like this episode. The story is told at a solid pace and has some fantastic action keep the episode really interesting. I got invested in the bond the protagonist, ‘Cutter’ Colby has with Lucky 13 pretty quickly. You feel the emotion of this episode pretty heavily as it comes to its conclusion.

Definitely one of the strongest episodes for me.

Zima Blue

Directed by Robert Valley

Animation Studio: Passion Animation Studios

Based on the Short Story by Alistair Reynolds

Adapted Script by Philip Gelatt

Zima Blue is the story of an experimental artist. It is also the one in the entire anthology that doesn’t really do anything for me. It’s beautifully animated, although the character designs weren’t my cup of tea. The story was way but never grabbed my attention. I did like the overall message of the story, but as a whole it didn’t do a lot for me.

Blindspot

Written and Directed by Vitaliy Shushko

Animation Producer: Elena Volk

This one is a super fun heist movie with robots. What more do you need to know folks?!? It is a fast paced, action filled thrill ride with ups and downs, entertaining characters and like the rest of this series, beautiful animation. It’s a really nice change of pace and just good fun!

Ice Age

Directed by Tim Miller

Animation by: Digic Pictures, Blur Studio, and Atomic Fiction

Based on the short story by Michael Swanwick

Script Adapted by Phillip Gelatt

This is the only episode which isn’t fully animated. It stars Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Topher Grace as a young couple who move into a new apartment which has a very old fridge in it. They soon discover there’s a civilisation living in the ice box.

It’s a fun story that has a good pace and Grace and Winstead are good on screen. The animation is good and the story zips by at a decent pace.

It’s an interesting episode, but doesn’t stand out a lot. The change of visual styles, like having actual humans in it, does change it up a little from the rest of the anthology.

Alternate Histories

Directed by Victor Maldonado and Alfredo Torres

Animation Studio: Sun Creature Studio

Based on the Short Story by John Scalzi

This one is a series of examples of what would have happened to the world if Adolf Hitler had died earlier in life than he did.

This one was okay, albeit a little long. Like all of these episodes, the animation is great and the design suits the story well.

The Secret War

Directed by István Zorkóczy

Animation Studio: Digic Pictures,

Based on the Short Story by David W. Amendola

Adapted Script by Philip Gelatt

The Secret War is a World War 2 era story that is set in a Soviet wilderness. Soviet soldiers are fighting an enemy that is revealed as the story goes on. It’s a very sombre piece that has some fantastic action and an animation style and design that fits the era it’s et in as well as the tone of the film.

The big bad in this story I really liked. The design they had really got my imagination going. The final confrontation is epic. It gave me what I wanted from the and finishes the anthology off on a high note.