Good Morning, Sunday 8th of September 2019

Good morning folks. I’ve not done a lot of writing the last couple of days. I did write 668 on the fanfic I started last week but yesterday was just one of those days where I couldn’t find the time to get anything done.

Friday night I went with my girlfriend and my buddy Stefan (Stefan’s Daily Gaming) and his partner to see IT Chapter 2. It was really good. I think I liked the first of the two films a little better but as a whole its a good story and I like what they’ve tweaked from the book. I know with adaptations you’ll never be able to hit all the notes a book does but I think with this one they’ve got it spot on. For me these films aren’t scary, I like them but they don’t make me squirm in my seat, and there wasn’t any real jump scares that got me with this one. I’m not taking anything away from the two movies, horror is very subjective as we all fear different things and although I love these films, they don’t rattle me like The VVitch and The Ritual did. I think I’ve learnt with Horror movies in particular that if I re-watch them they don’t get to me, but if I don’t then they’ve had an impact on me.

Right, back to writing. I’m going to spend the bulk of the day editing on CS1 one with the odd dive into the fanfic piece. I’ve got a lot of work to do with the opening of CS1 which I think will follow through with the rest of the book, but we’ll see.

I just want to wrap up by talking about a couple of audiobooks I’ve been listening to. Firstly the first three books of Chuck Buda‘s Son of Earp series of supernatural westerns. I’ve really enjoyed these three books, and I never thought I’d say that about a western! but Buda has spun me around on them. They’re about the teenage son of the legendary Wyatt Earp and he’s life as he tried to become the man he wants to be. Well worth checking out.

The cover for book three of Chuck Buda’s Son of Earp series, Summoner of Souls.

The other one I want to talk about is Dirty Deeds by Armand Rosamilia. This one is a crime thriller about a man who is paid to kill children, but there’s a twist to what he does. I really liked this one. Rosamilia manages to craft a really deep story dealing with a really dark topic while keeping a good sense of humour in it. If you like your crime thrillers, please check it out.

The cover for Armand Rosamilia’s Dirty Deeds.

That’s it for now. I’m off to get some writing done.

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17th of July, 2019

Good evening all. Yesterday I wrote 576 words on the vampire book. Today I haven’t written up until just over an hour ago. Since then I’ve written 1112 words on what I think will be a short story, but we’ll see. I was going to work on the vampire book but seem to have written myself into a dark corner. So a couple of days off from that one which I hope will let my brain figure out how to get outta the damn corner!

That’s it for tonight. Today has been warm and muggy and its drained a lot of energy out of me. I’d recommend checking out this weeks episode of the Mando Method podcast. I get a small mention as Armand Rosamilia and Chuck Buda discuss their listeners goals for the year and how we’re all doing. Oh Armand, I’m born and bred British and I live in the UK just outside a small town called Gravesend which is near London. I also don’t know the origin of my surname 😀

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I went to the zoo at the weekend with my girlfriend, so here’s a random picture of an elephant.

20th of June 2019

Good evening, folks. I have written 1037 words today, all of which were before work and during my lunch break.

Today I was listening to this weeks Mando Method podcast which was a Chuck’s Mailbag episode. They answered a question I’d sent in about project and time management. A couple of things Armand Rosamilia and Chuck Buda said stuck with me. Chuck suggested doing a rolling three day goal, which I kinda like the sound of. I’ve been trying to get into the habit of setting weekly goals, but have been struggling to keep on track with it. The last couple of days I’ve had more focus, so I’m going to give Chuck’s method of a three day rolling targets a go. Armand suggested monthly goals. I think I might find this a bit more difficult as I can struggle with planning forward at times, but I’m going to give it a go. He also said to post them here. That way it’ll keep me honest and give a level of accountability I think will help.

With that in mind, I’ve got a couple of targets I’m going to share. These aren’t monthly ones, but project ones. The first is to have the first draft of my vampire book done by November (NaNoWriMo). The second is to have the first draft of CS1 done by the end of the year.

One of my goals for the year was to write 20,000 words a month, which is 240,000 words for the year. I’m well off target of that. My stretch goal was 30,000 a month (360,000 words for the year), but that’s now my goal for the final half of the year. I need about 31,000 words a month for the second part of the year to hit the 240k. I think it’s doable, about a thousand words a day. I do have NaNoWriMo as well, which’ll help massively.

So, it’s time to get into NaNoWriMo mode earlier than normal. If I have a few minutes spare, write. It works for me. Tomorrow I will also get my three day goals rolling.

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.

What I Want To Read In 2015

I didn’t read any where near enough last year. I can think of a half a dozen books that I really wanted to read but just didn’t get around to (Wool, Pandemic, Feed, The Man in the High Castle, Soul Asylum and The Earthsea Quartet). Those are just the ones off the top of my head. Lets add in some shorter pieces by Dan Abnett (set in his Gaunt’s Ghosts series) and J.C. Hutchins novella series, The 33.
Then I’ve got novels by Justin R. Macumber, Terry Mixon, Paul E. Cooley, Armand Rosamillia, Mimi Black and Christopher Stocking. (Dan Abnett also has a full length Gaunt’s Ghosts novel out this year too, yes I’m excited!).
I’d also like to read the second Lincoln Rhyme book, The Coffin Dancer by Jeffery Deaver and the first Harry Potter book read early on this year as well.
I’d really like to get start on the fourth Dark Tower book as I finished the third recently, but as it’s taking me a while to get through this series by Stephen King I’m a little reluctant to make a start on Wizard and Glass while I’ve got so many other books that I’m itching to read. That said, if I get through enough by the mid-point of the year then I may dive into it. I was thinking about giving it a go as an audiobook but these Dark Tower books seem so complex I’m not sure I’ll absorb them as much as I would do if I read them. I am a big fan of audiobooks, but I do miss the odd thing while listening (interruptions while at work) and also, I’ve read the previous three books and I think it’ll feel weird not reading the other four.

These are all books I’ve already got, either on my bookshelf or on my Kindle app or my iBooks app.

I will be listening to a lot of audiobooks this year as well. I’ve got eight or nine in my Audible library already.

I’ve set a Goodreads target of 60 books this year. With the audiobooks, comic books and the shorter pieces I’m planning on reading I think I’ll manage that. If I’m well ahead of target early on I may increase it but I’ll see how I’m doing.