Sunday, 10th of January 2021

Good Afternoon, folks!

Despite not getting outta bed much before 11am I’ve edited 6802 words on Black Blood and written 835 on a new short story set in my Penal Earth universe. That setting has been nipping away at me for a few days now, and the fact I’ve done a lot of editing so far this year meant I needed to get some new words down.

I’ve got a rough idea of the story I want to tell, but as normal, I don’t know what’s going to happen as the words are coming out. I can’t even tell you yet how long I think it’ll be as I don’t know. I’m just letting my gut go with it and see what happens. I think where I’ve not really done anything new since NaNo, and even then it wasn’t really new ground, I’m getting a little twitchy and need to get some fresh words out.

My priority is the Black Blood edit, but in the past I have found I can be very productive when working on two projects, or more, at a time. So I’m hoping to see how well I do with balancing these two this next week or so. I also have another project that is due by, April I think, that I can dive into if I need a little more variation. I think I’ll be aiming to have a first draft of that done by the end of February.

This Master Chief was a present from my dear friend Stefan (from Stefan’s Daily Gaming).

That leads into something I need to do better with, planning out the next few weeks of work. I need to consider deadlines, both self-imposed and from editors, and plan out my time. If I’ve got something written down I think it might lead to me being more organised.

I’ve got a week of earlies for the most part this next week, so I’m not sure how my writing week will be, but I’m aiming to do a little each day. Getting enough sleep is something I’m beginning to appreciate, and will be getting earlier nights, especially when I’ve got an early to contend with.

It’s the little details that make a story.

Reading is something I really need to be pulling my finger out with as well. That was the something that I stopped doing in the last eighteen months and I’m desperate to get myself back in the habit of reading. I’ve got so many great books to read and it’s time I force myself to get back onto that wagon.

Right, folks! I’m going to leave it there. Have an awesome day and good week ahead!

12th & 13th December 2020

Good evening, folks!

I haven’t written today. I was at work and generally not feeling too well. So I’ve had the evening off.

I did write yesterday, 870 words on Penal Earth. I had been planning to write about a thousand words and then spend some time reading through Lovers, but I was on the verge of falling asleep at my desk, again. So I decided to go and have a nap.

I’ve got an early start tomorrow and then am off on Tuesday and will be looking to get closer to wrapping up Penal Earth and work on Lovers. I’m not sure how much of Penal Earth there is left to write. I don’t think I’m too far off the ending. With Lovers it’s going to be a total rewrite and I’m not sure when I’m going to be starting that draft.

Tonight I’ve finally got my YouTube channel up and running a bit. I’ve not got much up yet and am not sure how I’m going to approach it but I’ve got a video of me doing my first reading at the launch of Sparks: An Electric Anthology as well as a few videos of my friends CL Raven reading at Cons. There’s also a brief video of when I visited the site of the Battle of Hastings (again, with CL Raven).

I’ve never been that comfortable on camera but I’m not feeling as nervous as I used. So I’m going to have a play around and see how I get along.

Right, that’s it for now. This week has been a productive one and hopefully next week will be too.

Have fun, everyone!

NaNoWriMo 2020: Day Twenty-Three

So, today was a good day. I finished up with 3724 words for the day, which puts me a little above where I need to be. So yeah, I’m back ahead but that doesn’t mean anything come tomorrow when I need to be hitting a good 2000 words again.

I also spoke to an editor I know and we’ve agreed a date for her to edit the novella I’m working on. And I’ve had an update from the gentleman who’s doing the cover for it, and seen it so far and I am stoked!

I’m working through till next Monday, with some long hours over the weekend, so I’m not counting on getting any words done then. I am off on Monday, but I’d like to be ahead of the game before then. So that means a solid few days writing between now and Saturday. I also have an appointment Wednesday night, which’ll be a couple of hours. That’ll also require a couple of hours of preparation tomorrow. So I’ve a lot to do, not including everyday stuff away from those things.

Can I do it? Yes, I bloody well can!

This is the final piece of my work that has been printed. My story ‘Dark’ in the ‘It came from the darkness‘ anthology was one I was invited to submit to and I was very proud to have been. It is a collection of drabbles and poetry from many big names and I was very humble when I saw who I was alongside in it and hoped my story didnt let the anthology down. Like many of my published pieces it is in an anthology that is raising money for charity, and I really don’t want to put up a piece which isn’t my best work. This got accepted, which tells me I did a good job (the publishers, Red Cape Publishing have published one of my stories and rejected another one. So I know they don’t take something they either don’t like or isn’t good enough). I can’t really say too much about the story, seeing as it’s a drabble which is a hundred word story, there’s not much I could say that wouldn’t spoil it.

It was a good day 😊

Right, I’m off to bed. I hope everyone is doing well and keep cracking on, folks!

NaNoWriMo 2020: Day Twenty-One

Good evening, all. One very tired human being here. Work was good, had a good laugh, and a work out. Since coming off leave at the start of the week I’ve not really had a shop floor shift (I’m a retail worker), and today made me realise that maybe I relaxed a little too much during my time off!

Words wise, as I overlaid I didn’t get as much written as I should have done, only 480 words, but I went in a direction that I wasn’t expecting. It’s also made me realise I’ve been playing it safe a little too much. Time to get brutal and bloody! Mwahahahahahaha!

I write this blog for myself. When I started out blogging I wasn’t sure what I was doing. Over the years it’s evolved into what this is now. I share word counts not to brag, not to get one over over writers. I do it because it reminds me that some days I can’t get words out, while other days I can knock out 2k easy.

If you read this and think or see other people talking about their word counts, don’t get put off if you aren’t getting the numbers that other people do. Especially during NaNoWriMo it can be off putting seeing so many hitting big counts, but as long as you’re getting words down it doesn’t matter. A hundred words a day, you’ll have a story completed before you know it!

Just write and edit at the pace you’re comfortable with.

My next published piece was in Corona-Nation Street. My story ‘The Wank Diaries’ has an interesting journey. I wrote it with the intention of submitted it to this anthology but I wrote it and wasn’t happy with how it came out. So I dropped it. This was when I wasn’t in the best of places. Then I had a big change in my life and I was lower than I’d ever been in my life. I wasn’t writing, but I saw Burdizzo Books MC Matthew Cash putting a post online reminding people of the deadline, so I looked at it again. Scrapping the ending immediately. What I then wrote I could never have predicted and wasn’t quite sure I was capable of writing. So much of the despair I was feeling came out in the ending of this story. Brian Keene calls it ‘Bleeding on the page’ and I definitely bled on the page here. I’m very proud of this story. It gave me something to focus on and get writing again.

NaNoWriMo 2020: Day Nineteen

Today was a good day. I got some good sleep, first time in ten days or so. I wrote 1781 on NaNo and then 231 on a short story I wrote during NaNoWriMo 2019 for a total of 2012 for the day.

The short story I worked on in 2019 was one that I was done with. I’d not had any urge to edit it because I wasn’t happy with it and I couldn’t figure out how to fix it. Then today when I wasn’t even thinking about writing and BANG!!! The solution hit me and I had to write some of it down. Not much, just those few hundred words to serve ad a reminder when I come back to it.

Max acting hard done by 🙄🤣

I am now on par for NaNo. The last two days have wiped out my banked words. I still don’t need to write 1667 a day, but I’m going to try to as I’d like to get some more words banked when I can.

I also did some rearranging in my office today, and am a lot happier with it. I just need to find somewhere for my bin to go and then most bits and pieces have a home.

I also prepped for an appointment and then had the Zoom appointment. It was after that that I got the words down.

Out and about, running an errand this morning 😊

I cracked on and worked. That is something I need to push myself harder and be more consistent. Arse in chair and work! Simple as that. When I can’t get my arse in the chair, write when I have time. I’ve got Apple devices that are all synchronised, so no reason why I can’t write at any opportunity I have.

Time to get my head where it needs to be. I definitely have more than enough time.

Elements of Horror Book Two: Air from Red Cape Publishing is the fourth book I’ve had a story published in. Walking was a story that had a few twists and turns in it but I’m very happy with how it ended up. I was skimming through it earlier as I looked for a detail and I found myself smiling as I looked through. I’m not at the stage where I’ve discovered who I am as a writer, or what my style is. Sometimes I think I’m not quite self-aware enough to know that yet. Or I’ve not read enough of the genre I’m working in. Whatever the reason is, I’ve not found who I am as a writer yet. Each thing I write is more often then not coming from the gut, especially short fiction, I think Walking is a prime example of that. So, please hit the link and check it out.

NaNoWriMo 2020: Day Fourteen

Good evening, folks! How are we all doing tonight? Today I’ve written 1592 words and past the halfway mark! I’m currently at 25751 words for the month.

It was a good productive day’s writing before I went into work for a little training. I was planning on getting some more words down tonight, but I think I might just chill out a little bit and have a good go at it tomorrow.

I started writing this post at 6pm and after dinner, washing up, a couple of emails, and extensive procrastination I’m back to finish this post! 😀

Right, where was I?

Yes, getting back at the wording tomorrow. I’m still ahead bit I’m still not getting back to being on 1667 words a day. I wasn’t far off today, so tomorrow I’m going to push through, get the 1667 words and then maybe push through to the 2k mark. But we’ll see.

12 Days of Christmas 2017 was the second anthology I was published in. This was one of the easiest stories I’ve ever written. The anthology has stories inspired by the 12 Days of Christmas song. I snagged Three French Hens. I had a story in mind and I think I wrote it over three days. I had plenty of experiences from years of keeping hens to use when I was putting the story together (if you’ve read it, which ones do you think are true and which ones aren’t?). The most difficult part was working these experiences into a story, and when I say difficult, it really wasn’t. Although it’s not the longest story I’ve written, I definitely think it’s a fun one.

We don’t keep hens anymore, but it was fun and very interesting while we did.

NaNoWriMo 2020: Day Twelve

1185 words written today. I’m at the point with NaNo where the urge to edit is kicking in! So I might try and do some editing on a short story and see if that quells that urge.

I didn’t write as much as I wanted to, today. I had a phone call just after midday and then a friend who is a very skilled writer text me asking if had five minutes to brainstorm a problem she had with a story she’s gearing up to write. That five minutes ended up being three hours, it a damn good three hours. It was good working ideas out and just letter her talk out her ideas. The story itself sounds damn good and I’m kinda itching to read it. So I’m gonna start bugging her to make sure she’s writing, because that’s what friends do!

The first story I ever had published was in Sparks, from Burdizzo Books. I still can’t quite believe that I’m a published author, but I have proof of it, even if I have to pinch myself once in a while. My story, ‘The Last Charge’ is one that was very easy to write. I wrote from the hip, no real idea where I was going with it. Looking back, I’d have done a few things differently, but I don’t look at it and cringe. It’s still something that I am still very proud of.

Imposter syndrome is real, very real. But I don’t feel as bad about having it hitting me once in a while when I hear of well established authors suffering from it. What beats over that feeling is the buzz you get from having a story published. I’ve only encountered two things that have given me a better high (no, not narcotics!).

Right, folks! I’m settling in for a movie (The Cave), and then a busy day tomorrow.

Have a good one folks!

29th October 2020

Hey folks! 772 words today and planning for NaNo, as well as tidying up my office so it’s ready for Sunday evening when I get home from work.

In other news I can reveal what the secret project I’ve mentioned a few times is. It’s an anthology called Beneath The Leaves from Burdizzo Books to celebrate the birthday (I’m not saying which birthday but it’s a milestone one) for Em Dehaney. Here’s the link:

It was a massive honour to be included in Beneath The Leaves as Em is a fantastic human being and I think the work everyone has put into this shows that.

Horror movie and research 😊

I’ve not felt this capable for a very long time. I’ve got one element in my life which isn’t how I wish it was, but that’s not just something that I can fix with a flick of a switch.

Right, another busy day tomorrow. So I’m going to read a little of Beneath The Leaves and then bed.

Night folks!

25th October 2020

Good evening folks! Although today didn’t go quite as planned, I had some family come over, I still managed to get 2152 words done. But no editing or planning. Obviously, I’m darn happy with that!

Raven being sweet for a change 🙂

I knew yesterday I wanted a 2k day and knew I’d get it done. Maybe it was a case those few days off from writing recharged me, add in a couple of other little bits and pieces and it all may have contributed to being in the right place today. The trick I’ve got to learn is to always be able to write despite where my head is at.

Had a couple of anthologies I was asked to sign today 😊

That said, it’s likely not a trick. I probably just need more discipline.

Right, I’m wiped! So I’m off to bed.

Have a good one, folks!

Good Morning 25th of October 2020

Good morning folks! I hope all reading this are well.

I’ve enjoyed the extra hour in bed that the clocks going back have given me. On the downside it means a later start to writing today than I had planned, but I’ll still get a few hours done. I’m hoping for a mix of writing, editing, and planning. This time next week, NaNoWriMo will have started and I’d like to be a little more prepared than I am at the moment.

Dizzy looking grumpy but purring away 😊

I have had pretty much the whole week off. I needed to ease off in one area of my life and writing is the easiest to do that with. But the silver lining to that is it’s helped me solve a couple of little hiccups I’ve had on projects. I can see how to improve a short story in my vampire book now, and my war child story. With the war child story it was a moment where if I was in a cartoon I’d have a lightbulb appear above my head. The problem is I’m now itching to write it! But it’s got to wait which is torture!

I can’t remember where I heard this but apparently someone once said “a non-writing writer is someone courting madness” I may not have the quote word for word spot on but it’s something that does apply to me. When I’m not writing I’m finding it harder to deal with the everyday. So I’m never going to for more than A few days not writing. I’ve suffered from that mistake and I won’t let it happen again.

In November I’m going to have more time to write than I ever have done and I cannot wait. I will be blowing each day (hopefully) and I am 100% going to write a novel this year. I’ve done short story collections for the last two NaNo’s, which worked well the first year but not so much last year.

Fills my heart when friends and family send me things like this! 😊❤️😊

I’m super excited for NaNo this year. I’m going to miss the in-person meets, but we’ve worked on ways to do online events and hopefully have one that’s going to work out well.

Okay folks, I’m off to start word wrangling! Have a good day one and all!