2022 Reflections, and into 2023

This year has been a ‘Get Shit Done Year’. Writing wise I didn’t have a lot of focus in the early part of the year as that attention was on personal matters. Those were happily resolved and I could put a little more attention into writing.

I did set out goals, but they ended up getting lost in the churn a little. The core focus was on getting the Zombie book done. That, was essential for this last year. It’s going to be three years past when I had first wanted to get it published, but better late than never. It is done. All that needs to be done is have the artwork for the cover finished (the artist has been super patient and trust me, the cover is awesome!), and the formatting needs to be done. Once they’re done, it’ll be published. Hopefully the early part of next year, but definitely next year at some time.

Another project that had a lot of attention this year was Penal Earth. This story has been on the go since 2015 but I’ve really honed into a story, the setting, and the feel of the world in the last couple of years. This year I’ve got it to the point where I can’t take it any further, I think it’s as good as I can make it and I’m really proud with it. The next stage with this one is to have it edited and or submit to publishers. I do want to test the waters with it as I think it’s my best written tale and I think it does have appeal to it. If it doesn’t get snapped up, I’ll self-pub it.

Next up is The Vampire Era. This has a similar history to Penal Earth, in that it’s been on the go for a long time. This one even longer than Penal Earth, bit again. It’s had a lot of work on it this year, and has come as far as I can take it. Also like Penal Earth I’m very proud of it, and hope it finds a following. The main difference with this ones future is that I’m going to publish it on here. It’ll be released on Welcome To My Nightmare tier and the first post is live. It’s a nine episode first season, and will run until August if I remember right. After it’s come to the end of it’s run I’ll put it in the list to be professionally edited and then I’ll self-pub it. I won’t do that for at least twelve months after the final post has gone live.

Speaking of Ko-Fi, I don’t get a lot of income from the site, those who do support my work on here are all awesome people and I can’t tell you how much it means to me for you to give me your hard earned money. I’m barely a newborn when it comes to writing careers, and I don’t expect anything but what I do get I’m incredibly grateful for.

Although I don’t write for the money it’s nice when I am paid for my work. The way I look at it at the moment is, if it pays for my fees for my web domain each year, then I’m happy. And thankfully for the last few years it has done.

Back to the fiction, and we come to Black Blood. This story is not at the stage that say Penal Earth and The Vampire Era are. It want’s one more deep edit and then it’s going to be ready for an editor. At the moment I’m feeling like self-pub is the route for this one, but I’ll leave it open for the moment. This has been another long term project that has come a long way during 2022 and I’m very glad it’s moved in the direction it has. It’s not far off done, but isn’t quite there yet.

A project I got quite deep into this last year has been a series of serial killer stories that are like The Vampire Era in that they are set up like a TV series and will all build to a conclusion. This one isn’t anywhere near done yet though. It is a huge mess, but I’m not worried about it. It’s one where I need to focus on getting the individual stories tidy and then I can add in the little knots to tie them together. Some with be big, heavy duty knots. While others will be smaller ones. It’s a long way off, and one that isn’t a priority for this year, but I think I’ll be working on it here and there.

I was looking at starting Penal Earth 2 in the early part of 2023 but I’ve got a few hard decisions to make about plot lines and where I want to take it, so I’m not quite ready to get it off the ground just yet.

​The first part of next year will be getting a first draft of the NaNoWriMo ’22 project completed. I’ve been editing it this month, well editing is a strong word. I’ve been going through tidying it up and making a sort of bible for it as I go. Again, this one is a long way off but will be a priority for the next twelve months.

Black Blood will also be a major project in the first part of the year as well.

2023 isn’t going to be a make or break year for my writing career. It’s going to be a series of steps forward.

6/9/22

Howdy Folks!

Today I’ve edited 6671 words on the vampire book.

I have got some words written in a short story so far this month, but not many.

I’m slowly getting back into the flow, making forward progress. As I’ve said previously this edit of the vampire draft is focused on making sure the continuity is right after recent changes. I’ve found the odd sentence that needed a little tweaking as well but I’m generally very happy with what I’ve got.

Speaking of the vampire book. I will be serialising it on my Ko-Fi page next year. I think it’ll fit nicely and I can’t wait for folks to read it.

Right, I’m off to bed. Tomorrow’s a new day.

14th July 2022

Hey folks, how are we all?

I’ve eased off writing a little the last few days due to family and work taking priority. But today I’ve got stuck into editing some short stories for Ko-Fi, which means I’ve got stories scheduled for the Welcome To My Nightmare tier through the end of the year. Then next year, I’ll have something that I’ve been working on for a long time kicking off…….

In total I’ve edited 13751 words on four different stories today.

I’ve also stepped back a bit from Black Blood. I realised I wasn’t doing the deep edit it needed and was just going through the motions a bit. This tells me I’m burnt out on this story and I’m going to put it to one side for a while. I’ve got notes keep popping up in my head for it so I’ll note those down and when I get to editing it I’ll put those where they need to be.

In the meantime I’ll be working on Vampire Era as that’s the next on the schedule. I do need to make one minor addition to Penal Earth that I think will explain something a little better. It’s not a change, it’s just a small detail that I need to do a little research on, but it’ll likely be less than a sentence when I do add it.

Speaking of Penal Earth, I am in the very early stages of planning book two.

The last few weeks I have felt off pace, so I’m going to try and step it back up to the level I know gives me a decent level of productivity.

18th of May 2022

Good Evening, folks! How are we all doing?

This morning I edited 8510 of a short story that will be posted on my Ko-Fi next month. It wasn’t something that needed a deep edit, just a once over to make sure there wasn’t anything that I’d missed and I needed to make a couple of tweaks that’ll bring it in line with something else I’m working on 😉

This is becoming Dizzy’s spot. She’s gonna be annoyed once that bits done and new flowers are planted!

After that I went out and cracked on with a job in the garden that took a fair chunk of time, I was going to do a little more writing work afterwards but I had a nap!

Raven found me taking an old shed down very interesting.

I felt a little bad for not doing more writing, but not as bad as I used to feel when this sort of thing had happened in the past. Something I’m thinking about a lot is balance. Tomorrow I’ve got an early and I know I’m not going to sleep great tonight. So the nap this afternoon will hopefully balance out any sleep I don’t get later on.

Always time to punt the ball for this great doggo

Right, you lovely people. I’m off to watch Alien Vs. Predator while I nod off. Night all!

17th may 2022

Howdy Folks, I edited 5329 words on Penal Earth today, and wrapped up that final edit pass! Now It’ll be put in a draw while I squirrel some cash away so I can get it out to my editor.

I’d like to get a lot of bits and pieces done tomorrow, from stuff around the house and in the garden to getting words written and edited. I’m going to look through next months Ko-Fi story for members, and make sure there’s no obvious screw ups. And then I’ll get it scheduled.

I have posted a bonus flash fiction piece there tonight as well.

Check out the graphic for the Membership tier my friend S did 🙂

Next big edit is Black Blood. I’m getting a good idea of what some of the areas I need to strengthen are, and the rest I’ll find (hopefully) as I go.

Right you lovely people, I’m off for the night. I will just end by thanking everyone who takes the time to read my blog. It means a lot to me. Thank you 🙂

Good Evening, 16th of May 2022

Good evening, folks. How are we all?

Today I’ve written 611 words on a short story I’ve recently started during my break and while I was waiting for something this afternoon. I was hoping to have got a good chunk of Penal Earth worked today but a few things came up that I had to see to and although I had time to write it was with pen and paper as I didn’t have access to my laptop.

I liked what I wrote though, and although I’ve got no idea where this story is going I’m enjoying the discovery aspect of it.

I spent an hour or so this afternoon after work in the garden. Partly to play ball with Max as he hasn’t had much playtime due to a lot going on the last few weeks (needless to say he loved it!) but I also needed to top up the bird feeders, do the poopa scooping; both of which I can do while still punting the football up the garden for Max to chase. I also done the cat litter, sorted the bins out for collection tomorrow, and got a load of washing done.

My Ball!

Now, I get this may not seem like much. It’s not really worth noting, everyone does these things. But considering how tired I was I could have easily just got home, let Max out and have a nap. And I feel so much better for it.

It also means once I’ve finished work tomorrow and ran a couple of errands I’ll have a nice chunk of time to get some words edited and then on Wednesday when its my day off I’ll be able to dedicate a bigger slot of time to writing.

This is a level of organisation I’ve only dreamt of for many years!

Have a great evening, folks!

Good Morning, 20th April, 2022

Howdy folks! How are we all doing?

I didn’t get anything written yesterday but today I’ve written 2046 words, which wrapped up the 2nd draft of a short story I wrote a few months ago. I think it’s helped having it resting for that time and it feels like I’ve improved it as I’ve typed it up.

What’s next is doing these final few tweaks to Penal Earth before sending it off to an editor. I’ll also be typing up another of the short stories I’ve written this years as well as working on the one I’ve just started.

I did make a ‘day in the life of a writer’ video recently, but it’s a mess and I’ve lost my confidence with it, so it’s scrapped. I would like to give it another try in the future though and I’ve learnt a fair bit about the process.

Look at that smug little face. No guilt at all for just sticking a claw into my leg! 🙄🤣

Right, I’m done with writing for the day now, well I may do some little bits later on but I’m quite content with what I’ve done today.

Have an awesome day, folks!

Good Morning, March 26th 2022

Howdy, folks! How are you all doing this morning?

It is a gorgeous morning here in the South East of England, so obviously I’ve been sat at my desk, in my pjs and dressing gown writing. I’m off to work this afternoon and knew I wanted to get some words written. This I’ve done, 1393 all in all and I’ve finished typing up the ending of the zombie book. The next stage is transferring it to the main file, then do my final pass. In that pass I’m looking at just a few minor tweaks. There will be one larger addition to the first part of the story that will give a character a lot more depth and motivation. That will only be a couple of lines though and is the largest tweak that this final pass will have. Then it’ll be off to my editor for her to give it a final pass to make sure I’ve not left any really stupid grammatical errors or plot holes with this new ending. Which reminds me I need to message her and the cover artist.

So, what’s next? Next will be typing up one of the short stories that I’ve recently written as well as continuing with the story for an anthology I’ve been invited to submit to (need to check that deadline). I do also want to start my final pass on Penal Earth, but that can wait a little as I don’t have the money to send it to an editor yet. I do have a few notes from a dear friend who read it and picked up a few pieces that I, my mum and beta readers had missed. So this coming pass will mainly be for those.

I just want to give a shoutout to The Mando Method Podcast. Armand Rosamilia and Chuck Buda have always produce engaging, informative, and just damn entertaining content that I have learnt a lot from, but now they are doing a monthly roundtable episode where they’ll bring in two other authors and I’m really enjoying these episodes. Sometimes a podcast will make a change like this and it doesn’t quite work, but Armand and Chuck have nailed it with this one, and it really adds a new element to their podcast. I strongly recommend checking them out.

Just a little pimping out my Ko-Fi page. It’s still the bog standard page but membership will be up and running soon. You can follow for free, and I won’t be putting this blog behind a paywall. Once in a while I’ll put a post up on Ko-Fi that will then come here maybe a few weeks later, but these what I think of as journal posts will never be behind a paywall.

I’ll end todays post with my flash fiction piece, Ghost, which appeared in the 84 Stories 84 Words anthology.

Good Afternoon, 12-3-22

Hey Folks,

How are we all doing today? I wrote about 600 words during the write in this morning. And I’ve also had a bit of a sort out of my desk this afternoon. I feel a little more organised now.

The gears are really beginning to turn at the moment and I’m getting really eager to wrap up Zombie, Penal Earth, and Black Blood. Other stories are really shouting at me and it is very much time I put these three longer term project to bed.

Right, have an awesome afternoon and evening folks. I’ve got a long day at work tomorrow so likely won’t be posting then but will be writing at some point.