19/10/2020

Good evening, folks. I wrote 751 on the vampire book this morning before work and during my break. It was nice getting some words down before I started the day job, it always is. I find it sets me up nicely for the day that way.

I have also been making notes on my NaNo project. Not many so far, but I’ve got the ball rolling.

I’ve got a lot I want to get done by the end of the month, tomorrow will be looking at the vampire story I’m on to see what I can cannibalise from it. That’s what I’ve got to do with all the stories in this book going forward.

Today’s random picture is of the one and only Max!

18th October 2020

Good evening, folks! I wrote 300 something words tonight and did a little editing. I was working on the vampire stuff and I’ve got to remember I’m not just rewriting it. If I can work elements of the previous draft in, then I need to work them in. I’m going to loose some good content if I don’t do so.

I have began thinking about my NaNo project for this year. I am going to go for the novel and not another short story collection. In preparation I’ve put a list together of movies and tv shows that I think will help (with a little help from friends on Facebook).

Now, that list may seem to have a lot of variation on it but for the project I’ve got in mind I think this list, as well as some of my established influences like Alien, Aliens, Predator, and others, will aid in bringing this story together.

I’ve had a strange day. One which I did something that I need to do more of that emotionally drains me. I am going to be vague about it, but I will say it’s something that has a flip side to. It’s a driving force for me to be better. I hid mental health problems for a long time, and had them longer than I realise. Now I’m dealing with them. Some days are harder than others, but I’m learning how to recognise when I’m slipping into a downer and I’m getting better at stopping it and figuring out why I started slipping.

I will not let my mental health dictate my life.

I’m still a little reluctant to speak about this. Mental health is still a topic people don’t want to discuss but so many people have it, and it’s something that me are encouraged to ignore by society. It shouldn’t be ignored. I got help, and I’m better for it.

Don’t be scared of asking for help.

10th October 2020

Good evening folks! I am just about to go to bed, but needed to get this post written first.

I have been slacking off too much recently. I’ve been sitting on the path as opposed to walking along it. That’s not just writing. Outside of work I’ve stagnated a little this last couple of weeks. I’ve written all but one day this month, so that’s a positive. I’ve been able to my hand in but I’ve got frustrated at myself for not pushing harder. Today, I did that. I did a red pen edit on two short stories that make up a big part of my zombie book, one more to go. I also wrote 1101 words and finished off the rewrite of a vampire story.

I want to maximise my time in the next week. So I’m going to try again to get a to-do list made up, well more of a plan for the week. I know what hours I’m working for the day job, and I know I haven’t got much planned for when I’m not at work (aside from some gaming with Stefan at Stefan’s Daily Gaming). Which means I will have a lot of time to get caught up on what I need to get done. I will be setting some time aside to prepare for an appointment next week, and will be doing a couple of non-writing related tasks that need doing, but I will still have plenty of time to write in the next seven days. I might even post what my writing plans are for the week on here so I’ve got some accountability come the end of the week when I post next Sunday.

I love it when I notice I hit a milestone number dead on 😊

For now, it is my bed time. I had an early start and I am very ready for my bed.

Good night, all! And remember, being kind isn’t a weakness. It’s one of the finest strengths you can have.

Good Morning 25th September 2020

Hey Folks, how are we all doing today? Yesterday I wrote 874 words on the vampire book before a chill out and then work in the evening.

I’m going to get into some work this morning, but I’ve got to be honest I’m not feeling it today. I didn’t sleep well and I’m resisting the urge to just flake out for the day.

It’s the first what I think of as chilly day of autumn today. (yes, I’m in jogging bottoms and a hoodie!). This sort of grey weather doesn’t get me down. I adore wind and rain. I love listening to it and watching it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not one to go out and stand in pouring rain, but I love it. I’m someone that loves getting wrapped up and settling in with a good movie (or even a bad one) or a book and just being cozy. When it’s too warm my body is not happy about it.

Max liking the cooler weather as it means the heater got put on 🙄😂

Back to writing though, I’m going to try and crack out a thousand words today. Looking at my numbers for the last week or so I’m pushing that 1k per day most days, so it’ll be nice to get over that today. That will be a push, but if I don’t try it I won’t know whether I can punch through when I need to.

When I am finished writing for the day I may get back into some of the filling I need to do. I’m getting tired of my bedroom looking like a tip. When I’m not at work or writing this is where I spend most of my time so it’s beginning to bother me that it’s all up in the air in there at the moment.

Right, I’m off to start writing. Have a good one folks! I’ll check back in at the end of the day.

Good Morning, 17th of September 2020

Good morning, folks! I hope you’re all well?

I decided to take a me day yesterday after work. I did a few extra hours to cover a colleague who had a family emergency to see to, and then I had a non-writing appointment to attend to. Once that was done it was time for food, and then I honestly thought stuff it. Let’s chill out a little. So I spent a couple of hours just not doing a lot. The most I did was transfer the progress of my projects to a white board. I think I’ll probably still keep it on a paper pad as well. Mainly because I’d need a huge white board to keep it all on and I have a lot of ongoing projects that need editing or re-writing, and I don’t want to swamp myself with those until I’m ready to start working on them.

Having transferred the data over to the white board I can see that I’m going to struggle to meet a couple of targets. I’ve got two major projects that are both penned it to be completed by NaNoWriMo (November). One of which is the vampire book, and I’ve only just started the rewrite on that. The other is Penal Earth where I need to fill in a gap in the story. I don’t think that one will be too hard once I get going with it. I’m not making any predictions on the vampire one at the moment simply because although it’s going well now, doesn’t mean I won’t hit a wall somewhere along the path.

For a little while at least I’m going to be focusing on the vampire book. Unless I see an anthology submission call I’m going to crack on with that while it’s hot.

Right, I’m logging out now. I’ve got an hour to write today, so I’m going to try and make the most of it. I’ll be editing next week, I think. I’ve a few days off so will hopefully be able to make good use of the time.

Have a good one, folks!

9th September 2020

Hey folks, just a quick post tonight.

I started to sort through my old writing files and boy is there a lot! I spent a fair chunk of the afternoon doing this and then this evening I’ve written a few words. 504 on the vampire book. And I must have written a little on the fanfic this morning before work(I was a little sleepy). Only 105 five but hell! It all counts!

I can barely keep my eyes open right now, so I’m off to bed. I’m going to be in editing mode tomorrow and try and get up to date with that.

Good night, all!

2nd of July 2020

I’m not writing much at the moment. I sat down to write yesterday but I was trying to work on Penal Earth which is more outlining than writing at this moment and I just couldn’t get my head into it.

I need to write at the moment, I’ve not written properly for so long now I’m scared that I’ve lost the knack to just sit and write. I did a little during a break at work on pen and paper, but that was early rewrite for my vampire book. I’m tired of not being able to get this stories done. I’ve got both Penal Earth and Vampire book eating away at me to get them down. I love both universes and am eager to expand beyond what I’ve got at the moment.

There are a lot of things in my life going on at the moment that are priority over writing but I’ve got to make the time to write as I find that it’s always been something that helps me see the world and makes me feel better in myself.

On a different note, I’ve been blogging with WordPress for ten years. Although I have a blogger account I never really blogged there. So pretty much everything I’ve ever blogged is here on WordPress. Blogging has been incredibly rewarding and I’ve met some amazing people through it and made friends, including my best friend.

Time to wrap this post up. I’ve got a few bits and pieces to do today, not sure I’ll get time to write but I’ll see what I can do later on tonight maybe.

Good Morning, Sunday

This is going to be a bit of a bulky post as I just sum up what’s been going on in the last few weeks.

It’s been a slow couple of weeks with writing, I’ve literally written no new words for pushing a month now. In that time though I have been  working on an outline in much more detail than I have done in the past, and I’ve been working on getting last years FanFic piece read through. With the FanFic piece it’s a little complicated as I have to figure out what I’m going to need to connect the various pieces together, as well as figuring out what I’m going to re-write to make it all into a coherent story.

I have got my vampire collection all sorted out though. This is one of the files that I’d done beta note adjustments on, but I’d lost the file and have had to do them all over again. As I was doing the changes I couldn’t help but think it might just be an idea to rewrite the whole thing as (I’d like to think) I’m a better writer now. Aside from the time it’ll take for me to rewrite another story I’ve written (50k plus words), I’d also loose some of the subtext that is in those stories. I listen to Armand Rosamilla’s podcasts (Armcast and The Mando Method) and he has said that he has thought about rewriting some of his older work, but he isn’t now who he was then, and they’d loose something if he rewrote them. I can’t help but agree. I also don’t want to be that writer that keeps working on the same things and never moves forward. I do suffer a little of that but I’m trying to pull away from it. Now that I’ve got this done, and ready to go off to other beta readers, I’m feeling like I am moving forward.

We’re also moving forward on The Space Watch. Owen is working his way through, putting his stamp on it and I’m looking forward to sitting down with him to go through it in detail and see what he thinks needs working on.

I did have a massive highlight last Saturday (18th March) and that was meeting Scott Sigler. Scott is one of my writing idols and he’s having a small European tour and as soon as I heard him announce the two London dates I immediately booked the 18th off so I could go and hang out with a writer who I’ve been following since 2007. I also got to meet his business partner, AB Kovacs. Both Scott and A are really fantastic people. They are both very engaging, passionate, hard working, and genuine. They’ve also got a great deal of appreciation for the fans, we call ourselves Junkies, and that was very clear to see on Saturday. I’m not exaggerating when I say it was one of the best moments of my life, and has opened my eyes a little to how much of a rut I’m in. Both with writing and life in general. I am taking steps to change that, but I am quite an introvert and it’s not easy for me to step out of my comfort zone.

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Scott Sigler and myself

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AB Kovacs

Back to Saturday night though; in addition to meeting Scott and A, I got to hang out with a good twenty to thirty other Junkies who were an awesome group of people and were all so passionate about Sigler’s work. I also got to meet comedian, illusionist,  and writer John Lenahan. John was podcasting back when Scott started off, and is such a cool dude. What made him even cooler was that he did the voice of Talkie Toaster from the TV series Red Dwarf!

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John Lenahan

Elsewhere, I’ve been getting back into the cinema. I’m a huge movie fan and it’s getting to the time of year when the movies I want to see are coming out. In the last couple of weeks I’ve been to see Lego Batman, Logan, Kong:Skull Island, and Beauty and the Beast. Lego Batman was a lot of fun, silly and over the top, which is what I was expecting. Logan was just brilliant! Hugh Jackman has played Wolverine with such commitment, understanding and passion over the years it’s going to be a shame not seeing him playing the character again. Kong was surprising good. Action right from the start and never did it feel like it was slowing down. It just kept its pace, and the action didn’t disappoint. It’s also the first time I’ve really seen Brie Larson in anything. She’s been cast as Carol Danvers in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and I was really impressed with how she was on screen. Beauty and the Beast is probably one of my favourite Disney movies. I saw the animated version a couple of times at the cinema when it first came out, and it’s always resonated with me. The live action version was good, but I think it doesn’t quite match up to the original. This is one of those times where I’ve realised this film was going to find it hard to impress me because of my love for the original, that said there was a lot I liked about the live action remake and I will definitely be buying it on Blu-Ray when it does come out.

TV wise, I watched The Expanse, and really dug it. It was a little bit of a slow start but once I’d gotten to about episode three I was locked-in. I’m looking forward to seeing the next series. It’s also reminded me I’ve got to get through the rest of the books in the series. I’m now getting stuck into Iron Fist, and am really enjoying it. It’s just taken a turn I wasn’t expecting. I could quite easily go and binge the last four or five episodes but I’d like to get some work down today.

Reading wise, I’ve not got Terror Byte by J.R. Park finished yet. I’m enjoying the story but I’ve let myself get distracted by movies, TV and comics in the last couple of weeks. I’m going to aim to get back to reading before bed each night, again and will hopefully have it finished by this time next week. Speaking of comics, I’ve just finished House of M, and really loved it. I’ve been curious as to what led up to Scarlett Witch’s ‘No More Mutants’ moment and I brought House of M simply because the cover looked cool and I was intrigued by the title. So seeing Scarlett Witch’s ‘No More Mutants’ moment was an added bonus. I’ve now moved onto Secret Invasion. I also listened to Alone by Scott Sigler. This is the third book of his Generations Trilogy and really ended the series well. The audiobook was narrated by AB Kovacs and she smashed it! A really impressive performance, and very easy to listen to.

Well, that’s about it. Sorry for the chunky post, it’s not often I break five hundred words, let alone a thousand! I am trying to focus my attention and energy better. I’m not being overly successful with it, but I’m trying. Hopefully I’ll have a productive week.

Good Morning, Monday!

Right! It’s the start of a new week and I’d like it to be a productive one. I’m working on the Avoiding The Game rewrite and that’s in longhand so I’m not going to get any huge word counts but I’ve got a minimum I’m going to be aiming for this week. I think I’m past the halfway point in the novel now, and I’ve passed what has been a difficult emotional scene to write, so it does feel like I’ve got the ending on the horizon.

I’d also like to start making Beta Reader suggested tweaks on my Vampire collection. I spent a little time yesterday creating a Scrivener file for the project, one which suits the layout of the book better then just the standard one I’d been using, and I’d like to be a quarter of the way through the edits by the end of the week.

I’m trying to get back into the swing of things here, the last few weeks have been very testing for me and it’s time I got my head back on the job once more.

Looking To 2015

I’ll just mention my words from the last two days. Yesterday I managed 933 but it was a struggle, today I’ve gotten 1321 words done and it felt a lot easier and much lees of a struggle.

Now, to what I’d like to achieve this coming year. I think my first priority is to get Earth, After Liberation and it’s sequel, Oppression, finished. I’m 33,000 words into the Earth, After Liberation re-write. I’d like to say I’m half-way through it but my 60,000 word target is a soft one and very flexible as the story will be as long as it needs to be. With Oppression I’ve all but decided to re-write it as well. I think it’s pretty good but I’m going to need to change a lot so it fits into the world I’m building with Earth, After Liberation. I could go and retro-fit it all but I’ve tried to do that before and it really doesn’t work for me, I’m finding re-writing is a much more efficient way for me to work. Now, depending on how the second book comes out in the re-write will decide on whether I make this into a trilogy or not. That was my original plan but as I was trying to get words for the 50k that is NaNoWriMo I found the story came to an end. Now if I can work the re-write out so that I have between 45,000-60,000 words without wrapping up the details then I’ll look to write a third, and final book that focuses on these core characters. I’ll only do that though if I have enough story for a third book, I’m not going to write three books with these characters just so I can say it’s a trilogy.

Earth, After Liberation should hopefully be done by February, hopefully. Then I’m tempted to jump straight into the re-write of Oppression. Owen and I were hoping to start the re-write of Project Apollo on February 1st but I’ve got a feeling that may not be a realistic ambition. Apollo is a big and complicated story and I’m not sure we can outline two thirds of the story in a month.

Owen and I have talked about more stories in this universe and I think we’ll be writing a few synopsis’ for these so we can make sure they tie in together when and where we need them too.

Another goal for the early part of this year is to get my vampire collection tidied up. I’ve had one Beta Reader’s notes back. Another is still looking at it, and i have one other person I really want to look at it, but they’ve just moved house and got their hands full getting settled in. I’ve got a date in mind that I want to release it, but again, thats a soft target. This collection has been five years in the making, holding it off a little longer isn’t going to make much difference to the book.

Brainstorming of The Residents is pretty thorough at the moment, and I think the next stage will be to start working on a timeline. There’s a few things that we’re waiting to sort out before that, but the story is looking pretty good 😉 I’d like to write more about what we’ve got planned, but that’ll be spoiling it 😛

I’ve got a zombie novella that I’d like to write this year as well. I’m thinking it’ll be about 30,000 word or so. I’ll write that for NaNoWriMo if I don’t write that third book I mentioned earlier in the post. The zombie story is roughly thought out but needs outlining and character work. The story is quite simply but the rest of the setting needs building up some before I make a start. If I don’t write it for NaNo I’ll try and squeeze it in at some stage.

Getting a few short stories written and submitted is also a goal for the year, but those will be more of a back burner item. I want to focus on getting some longer pieces completed.

There it is, my rough goals for the year. I deliberately didn’t mention much about publications. I am hoping to have my vampire collection out this year, I’d like to think Earth, After Liberation and Oppression will be close to being ready too, but I’ve made promises to self-publish before now and I’ve failed in those promises. Before I even think about announcing any dates, I’m going to have the story in mind edited, cover art done and formatted. So I’m not rushing to get everything together in a time frame.