Good Morning 14th April, 2021 (Make Art Uncomfortable)

Hey folks, how are we all doing today?

Yesterday I wrote 336 words on a short story but also did a lot of research for the same short story, and I’ve come to the decision that I’m just gonna go balls to the walls and yet loose. I’m not going to worry about grounding it in reality. I’m just gonna try and make it batshit crazy.

I’m having trouble letting go when I write recently. Stephen King said in On Writing that you have to write like an orphan, or words to that effect. I was reminded of this when watching the film M.F.A. recently. At the end of the film there’s a line where it basically says art shouldn’t just preserve the beauty of life, but also the brutality. Make art uncomfortable. I love this message. So many of us grow up listening to music about good love, or films where everyone lives happily ever after.

Art is different for everyone. Some people thrive on the uncomfortable while others thrive on a good old romcom. Everyone is different and we embrace different things. For me, what I write, people will find uncomfortable. But some will find it fun. I can watch Saw movies with barely a flinch at the content, but watched The VVitch and The Ritual, made me squirm in my seat. But there are different degrees of being uncomfortable. Listening to the audiobooks of The Girl Next Door by Jack Ketchum and What Good Girls Do by Jonathan Butcher made me very uncomfortable. Even to the point where I had to stop listening to them. M.F.A. falls into that grouping. Although not as extreme as I Spit On Your Grave, it’s still a content matter that is not pleasant and when done wrong, without the respect the topic deserves it just makes a whole other level of horrific.

For films like The Vvitch and The Ritual, these made me uncomfortable because there’s a witchcraft/cult elements to them. An unknown factor that made me uncomfortable in a way I’d yet to experience. It’s something I’m still trying to put my finger on exactly why I find it uncomfortable.

Another book that made me uncomfortable is The Silence by Tim Lebbon. This one I had to stop listening to three times. It’s got a quiet brutality to it, one which I can see happening. There’s three distinct moments in The Silence which I could see myself being in that situation. Having to make an uncomfortable decision.

Not being scared to write things which people will be uncomfortable with or offended by is something I need to be better with. I’m not going to write something just because it’s shocking. I don’t think that works and people tend to see through things like that. I’ll strive to write what the story is asking for.

Right, speaking of writing it’s time to get a few hours done.

Rock on folks, never give up on that dream. Never let someone take it away or belittle it or you. Just keep going.

11th April 2021 (Draft Done!)

This draft of Black Blood is DONE!!!!!! 1711 words its taken, and yes a ton of editing later on but it’s a completed draft!

I’ve also got my next weeks writing mapped out. So, happy writer here!

Onto the next project!

1st of April, 2021

Good morning! It is very, very morning here in the UK, about 5:30am when I start writing this post.

A couple of hundred words yesterday before work. I’d planned more but got sidetracked. I’d like to say I’m going to get a nice chunk of words done today, but I don’t think I will. After work I think I’m going to have a nap! I’m about 2 weeks into very bad sleep patterns and it’s really beginning to take a toll on me now. I’m okay, I will prevail! But a few more hours of sleep would be nice.

I’ve got to think about my goals for this month. I think finishing this draft of Black Blood should be one of them, probably the priority. I can feel it’s endgame building and I think I can bring it home.

Something I’ve been doing this last few weeks is listening to First and Only by Dan Abnett. This is the first book in the Gaunts Ghosts series, which is probably my favourite book series. It’s great catching up with the story and characters who are long dead. But it’s also a reminder of how other people write. I’ve not read much the last eighteen months and most of what I have is done in different ways to that of how Abnett writes these books. I’m loving the depth he’s putting into this story but also realising that I’m not that writer. Yes, I need to put mire depth into my work but I don’t think I’m the type of writer (at the moment anyway) that will build background for a setting that is a smaller scene in the scale of the book.

Obviously I don’t find anything wrong with this, it’s just different styles. With my work I’m a little more direct, I think is the best way to put it. I like a story that gives plenty to the reader but it’s not my style at the moment. I’d like to put more of that in. I look at something like Black Blood and I can see ways for me to fit those details in, and I want to. It just won’t be world building to the extent I’m seeing in Abnett’s work. That said, the Gaunts Ghosts books are Warhammer 40k novels and there’s a lot of world building to be done.

Right, i feel like I’m beginning to ramble, and I’ve got to think about getting into work.

So, have a great day folks! Go for that dream and stuff anyone who tries to take it away from you.

Good Morning, 12th of March 2021

Good morning, folks! How are we all this morning?

I have written 836 on Black Blood this morning.

It was a slow start as I didn’t want to start another vampire one and with not much time I didn’t fancy working on the edit notes for Ashes. I thought about working on the Penal Earth short story I started the other day but I’m not feeling it. I looked at Black Blood, and yes it still feels like a mess but that’s the story that spoke loudest to me this morning and I managed to get a solid session out of it.

There is so much to do with this story that I’m a little intimidated by it but I just kinda want to dive in and get cracking with it again. So I think I’m going to bounce between Black Blood and the vampire book until one is done, then start on the Penal Earth edits. I used to always be quite productive when working on two stories at a time, so maybe it’s time to try and focus that creative energy a little more.

Right, time to get ready for the day job. Have a fun Friday, all!

Finally have a little space for my vanity shelf 🙂

Good Evening, 7th March 2021

Howdy folks! When I was in bed last night, not being able to sleep, I gave up trying and started writing and ended up writing 473 on a new story set in the Penal Earth universe. I haven’t read it since I wrote it, so it could suck! but who cares! everything can be fixed in edits!

I took time during my break to make some notes on the mermaid story, and it feels like I’m getting some good world building down. This story is beginning to fill out nicely, although its just occurred to me that I’ve not done too much on characters yet.

Anyway, after work I did a little work on the vampire book and added 182 words on that one while also carrying out edits. Not much, but I worked through a fair bit of what is a difficult scene.

Right, I’ve got an early start tomorrow. So I’m going to bed! Have a good one, folks!

2020 Numbers

Originally posted on Buy Me A Coffee.

Last year was a mixed year for pretty much all of I would say. I’m no different. It was both the best and worst year of my life, from an amazing high to a low I didn’t know existed. If you’re a reader of my blog at petergermany.com you’ll know I’m not going to go into details on those moments. I talk about them because they did have an impact of writing. As you will see from the words I wrote and edited last year.

So, let’s get down to business:

  • January – 9011 words written
  • February – 11171 words written
  • March – 5691 words written
  • April – 562 words written
  • May – 1454 words written
  • June – 517 words written
  • July – 4524 words written, 39962 words edited
  • August – 14641 words written, 55323 words edited
  • September – 20471 words written, 7495 words edited
  • October – 15773 words written
  • November – 50615 words written (NaNoWriMo)
  • December – 13698 words written, 4477 words edited
  • Totals – 148128 words written, 107257 words edited

I only started tracking the words I edit in July which is why there are no numbers for them before that.

I was also published in three anthologies:

  • Corona-Nation Street from Burdizzo Books
  • Beneath The Leaves from Burdizzo Books
  • It Came From The Darkness from Red Cape Publishing and Phillip Rogers

I am so proud of these stories. My story in Corona-Nation Street, The Wank Diaries, had been written with this anthology in mind but I didn’t like the ending and with everything in life I’d forgotten about it until I’d seen a reminder pop up about it. So I rewrote the ending, which totally changed the tone of the story and I bled into it a lot. In hindsight maybe a little too much, now that I think back to it. But what it adds to the story I think gives it an impact that wasn’t there before.

The other two anthologies are ones I was invited into, with my story in Beneath The Leaves written long before life took a hard turn. My drabble in It Came From The Darkness was easy to write, almost impossible to get it down to the required 100 words!

Looking back now I’ve got the numbers right there, yeah, I’m incredibly happy with how much I achieved as a writer in 2020. There was a moment late in 2019 that I quit, then during the darkest moments of 2020 I didn’t make a decision but writing wasn’t going to be something I ever did again. When I started pulling myself clear of the dark hole I’d slipped into the words started coming again. I remember when I started blogging again last year, I talked about how I was struggling to get the words out again. The Wank Diaries got me going again. There was a deadline and I got it done in time.

That story got me back to doing what I needed to be doing, writing. Many things have helped me to get to the good place I’m in now, but that was a very distinct moment. Writing to me isn’t just a career. It’s part of my soul. Written into my DNA at the most primal level, and I’m never going to stop.

Good Evening, 21st of February 2021

Hey Folks, I hope everyone is well?

Today I managed to write 1384 on the vampire book, finishing another chapter. I’ve also edited 7686 words on the next episode, which I thought I’d finished writing but I haven’t. So that may be tomorrow’s primary writing exercise. I don’t think it’ll take much, I think I just need to add a few lines and then more onto the next episode. I really do not want to keep rewriting and rewriting. I think I’ve got a good bases to work from with what I’ve already got and that it just needs some major edits and then I think I’m going to be in a good place to get the next draft done as only an edit draft. I’m feeling confident with this story over all, and I like the ideas I’ve got for book two. It’s a rich setting and I’m pretty sure I’ve got something good here.

I didn’t get any work done on Black Blood though. My writing energies were pulled to the vampire stories and when I’ve got that vibe I don’t see the point in forcing myself to work on another project as I don’t have any deadlines that are demanding my focus.

I forgot to mention earlier that my planned socially distanced walk with a friend was cancelled, so I made the most of the day. Tomorrow, I’ve got more time to work, which I’m planning on doing. I’ll be off to bed soon and aim to be up bright and early to get a good start.

Today’s random picture is of Max being a typical Doggo!

Good Evening, 17th February 2021

Hey folks, I’ve written 1231 words today on the vampire book and added some notes to Black Blood character files before I felt wiped out and decided on a nap.

After the nap I was going to do a little more but due to a car issue I took my parents to get their vaccine jabs. I made a few notes while I was waiting for them.

I did finish the episode of the vampire book I’ve been working on. The next one has me scratching my head a little, I’m not really sure how I’m going to tell the story I want to tell. I’m going to think it over a little and see what I can think out. I like this story, but it definitely needs rewriting and bringing onto track with how I want the story to be.

Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been struggling a little with my mental health. Nothing drastic, but enough to make me notice it. I’m taking steps, using what I’ve learnt from the help I’ve received to get back on track. Getting up early is part of that. The last two days I’ve been up around 8am and writing by 9am. Tomorrow I’m going to get up at about 7am and get cracking again before work. It worked well for me on Tuesday, and has worked well in the past. I get a good start to the day and I have a good day.

I feel like I’m on the right path again. Being productive helps, especially first thing of a morning. It means I’ve achieved something already that day.

A selfie a day keeps the black dog away…

Mental health is something that is still stigmatised. It’s still a dirty subject that people don’t want to hear about. I’m lucky, I’ve got loved ones who will listen when I need them. I’ve gotten great help, but I will fall at times. It’s how quickly I get back I that matters.

My favourite pen, a Parker Cartridge one, that I manage to misplace at least three times a week, but only ever for a few moments 🤣

I do have social media pages linked on the side of my blog, please consider following and liking me on any that you are on.

Good Evening, Folks! 15-2-21

I’ve not done a whole lot of writing these last few days. A couple of manic days at work takes its toll, but I am trying to make the most of my breaks and do a little writing work while on them. The last two days for example I’ve worked on notes for a mermaid story rewrite that I’m planning, and already got more depth for two characters in it.

Lunchtime notes 🙂

Aside from yesterday I’ve written everyday since the 10th. I’m pleased with that, even if the word counts weren’t high I still worked (partly editing as well on the story the words got added to).

I won’t get a lot done tonight as I pulled a few extra hours at work but due to shift changes I might have a bit more time tomorrow than I was expecting to get some work done.

I really need to touch base with the projects I’m working on at the moment. I’ve lost momentum (mainly my fault), which means I feel a little lost. I don’t think I’m miles away from where I was, it may just be a case of sitting down and looking over what I’ve got. So that’s something I’d like to get done before Wednesday (my next day off), so I’m able to get stuck in and have a productive day.

One of my favourite shorts of the last few years. I really hope they get funding to make a complete season 🙂

Something I’m going to try and do from here on out is watch more horror movies. I came to horror late, and there’s a lot I haven’t seen. So I’m going to start checking movies off and get into the depth of the genre I’m in. There’s countless books I want to read as well, but that’s a task which might be beyond me. I’m far too slow a reader to read it all.

Right, I’m going to get a little work done. I’m not planning on getting a lot done tonight. Just a bit to keep my momentum rolling. I am a little stuck with the story I’m working on, but there are other things I can work on if I don’t make progress with it tonight.

Lesbian Bed Death are one of my favourite bands to listen to in general as well as writing music.

11th February 2021

Yesterday I started the day off well. I got up early and got work done. I took a member of my household to the dentist and while they were in there I did some scouting in Gravesend town centre, in particular the Civic Centre (see video for more). Once I got home though, I took a mental health hit.

Something small triggered it, something that I see often but yesterday was the first time it knocked me like it did. I didn’t hit rock bottom, but I did fall somewhat. This made it hard to sleep, I think I had maybe two hours altogether. Maybe three at the most, and most of that was today. I was up at 8am like I planned, like I was yesterday but I knew I had to get my head back down. I finally got up at about 10ish and have felt that lack of sleep all day. I’ve tried to nap this afternoon but with no joy. So I’m going to work for a little while, not long, maybe an hour, and then a bath and reading after dinner. Try to relax into sleep.

On the plus side I did get some writing done last night. A little bit on the vampire era, and the part of it I was working on struck me that it might be a part where people may assume that I’m taking from real life experiences a little too literal. I do bleed into my work. I take what I’ve experienced and put it into characters, but how I think I do it is I put the dark moments I’ve had into the stories, but not the situations. I may get close with the odd one but I’ve not got the urge to turn my life into literature, not 100%.

My story ‘The Wank Diaries’ was one I bled into a lot. When I rewrote the ending after I was trying to get myself back it was a totally different vibe to the original ending and changes the tone of the story.

People ourselves into in our work is something that we all do, even if it’s something that’s subconscious. A lot of the time I don’t think we can help it. Writing, for me, is a great form of therapy. I can channel my emotions into my characters and I hope it makes them more real. More relatable.

Another plus side to last nights insomnia was I did look at the Vampire Era again. It’s on my to-do list but I’ve been so preoccupied with Penal Earth and Black Blood I hadn’t got around to looking at it. I’m going to start working on it, because it’s a rewrite and it’ll allow me to write while also working on editing and building worlds. I need to make sure I can find a way to be writing as well as working on the other elements of producing content.

Which is what I’m going to do now!