Good Morning, Sunday 17th of January 2021

Good morning folks!

I was going to write an end of day post on Friday(15th) but I was working on a post for my Buy Me A Coffee page and accidentally wiped out two hours work on it! Yes, I almost cried. So I gave up for the night.

Aside from that, I had a productive day. I wrote 1176 on a new short story in my Penal Earth universe, and edited 3204 words on Black Blood.

I’m still some way off finishing this edit on Black Blood. It’s not like an epic mess, but there’s a lot of work to do on it to get it where I need it to be. The ending is still eluding me. I kinda know what I want it to be, but I think I’ve got to map it out better. Figure out the beats of it and make the pay off worth it.

I had Dizzy’s company for all of two minutes this morning!

The A4 pad I’m using has pages of notes I’ve got to put in and I’ve got a lot of details to put into the character profiles as well. I made notes for Penal Earth in the middle of last year, but I’m not sure where they are. So I’m going to need to have a search for them.

Horror Drabble Anthologies from Kevin J. Kennedy that I won in an online event ☺️

Today, is going to be productive. I’ve got today and tomorrow off and I want to make a good use of that time. I’ve a personal matter to spend time on tomorrow so I expect I’ve get more done today. I’ve had a good nights sleep, I’m in an exceptionally good place in life, aside from that one part that I don’t talk about.

Time to rock and roll!

Taking Positive Steps

Thinking about the goals I wrote down yesterday something has struck me today; I need to learn how to make the most of my time. I’ve talked briefly about this before, but it really is something I need to master. The next few months I’m going to be trying to optimise my time. Between work, writing, family, friends, and downtime I need to be productive when I have the time. Something I’ve recently written on my dry/erase board above my desk is ‘Make Writing Time Sacred’. This is something I definitely need reminding of. To try and make that happen is that when I’m sprinting (writing intensely for a set period of time) not to do anything else. Just write. I’m getting better at that, especially when I don’t have much time available. Very little can’t wait twenty minutes. If its an emergency, I’ll respond but how often do we really have emergencies?

My office door

I’m exercising the same mentality with blog posts. I’ve got notifications I need to respond to, but they can wait. Don’t get me wrong, if its a private message I’ll respond between paragraphs, but I don’t want to stop mid paragraph.

Something I am good at is procrastinating. If it were an olympic sport, I’ve be wearing the fucking gold medal! I would be the world record holder and destroy all who come to take my crown, but am I like that anymore? No, I don’t think so. I’m getting my butt in the chair a lot more than I used to. Even though I’m blogging from my bed right now, with a movie on, I’m trying to do all my work from my desk in my office. That’s what it’s there for, and I write more. I write more when I’m working from my desktop (when it wants to work which isn’t often, I do need to get it checked out, but when I have the cash).

The office is a work environment. It’s got fewer distractions, and it’s set up to work. I can write anywhere, but it’s so much easier having that space to write. I can shut the door and get cracking. I’ve got all my notebooks, printer, and very little non-writing items in there.

I’ll take some updated pictures of my office soon, seeing as it’s all but done when it comes to the layout and furniture.

I’ve got my wardrobe in there, which I’ve got covered with pictures of my loved ones. It’s the first thing I see when I walk into the room and it’s an instant inspiration. They help drive me but it’s not just that which is pushing me forward. I’ve had both the worst and best year of my life. Because of the worst I’ve finally addressed my mental health and the help I’ve got for that, along with great support from my loved ones and professionals has meant I’m feeling more focussed and capable now. I would never have been able to think about my goals for next year in the way that I have done without these changes in my life.

What I’ve learnt the most is that I dictate my moods. If I’m feeling down, I now know how to pull myself up. If I can’t do it myself, then I can reach out to loved ones and they help me out of it. We can’t control what happens around us, but we can control how we react to it.

The anthologies I’ve been published in.

This post went way off in a direction I wasn’t expecting! But I hope you enjoyed my rambling!

12th of December 2020

Good evening, folks!

I’m actually on track this evening. I worked a few extra hours at work so I didn’t get much more than words written. I got 1289 done, but I’ve been wanting to get my final alterations on my zombie book done. Especially seeing as I’ve had an update from the cover artist and damn am I excited at how it’s looking! So that’ll be started in the next few days.

Due to yesterday’s falling asleep at the keyboard and today’s extra time at work I’m not as far as I want to be this month, but I’ve got Sunday off and a couple of days next week where I can really take advantage of the time I have.

A slow start to the month but a good one.

I’m in quite a productive state of mind at the moment. I’m making notes on Black Blood as I’m working on it, I’m also thinking about some visual aides that may be able to help with both Black Blood and Penal Earth. I’m going to try and execute some of those over the next week.

Tomorrow, I’m not expecting to get much writing done as I have a long work day. I will try and get a few words written during lunch though.

I’m super excited for this story now (title and character names likely to change).

I’ve printed off a draft of a story I wrote for NaNoWriMo 2018 (Lovers), and I’m going to read through that tonight, leave it till next week and then read through with a pen and make notes. This is one where it’s done, but I’ve never been happy with it. For a start it’s a romance, which I’m not exactly familiar with or known for; and secondly I always knew it was missing something. The other day I had an idea just pop into my head which changes the entire energy of the story and I’m really eager to get stuck into it. I’m going to be patient though and not start on it until next year. I want to read it those couple of times, make notes, and then let it simmer for a few weeks. I also need to watch a movie as I’m going for a format that this particular movie does very well.

I am thinking about my goals for the next twelve months, and where I want to be this time next year. Both in writing, work, personal life, and in who I am.

The rest of my evening will be a movie or two, some reading and bed. Some time to rest the body and mind.

I’m very much in a ‘let’s do this’ mindset. I’ve got some good happening alongside the bad news I had this week. This last week has also been a great reminder of how blessed I am to have the family and friends I do.

Right, folks! Rock on and have a good weekend. If you have a dream, do something about it and turn that dream into life.

3rd of December 2020

All my plans for yesterday went right out the window when I fell asleep while writing and came within an inch of face planting my keyboard!

I did get a few words written, but a little less than half or what I’d planned to and I didn’t get any of the other half a dozen items I’d planned to do done.

Much of it is where I’m nearing the second week of my early’s at work, and it’s my fault because I need to be getting to bed a little earlier each night and as I said yesterday, I need to look at my work rota and adjust it to how tired I might be. Then even if I exceed what I’ve set a target for I’m not going to get annoyed for having not hit goals. Like I’m feeling a little at the moment.

I should have gone for a nice little target yesterday, but I was feeling overly confident from the day before.

Anyway! Today is a new day. I did get an early night last night, and I read for a second night running. Reading is something that I’ve not been able to pick up again after what this year has been, but I felt inspired by a friend and I’m making an active effort to read again.

I am not going to repeat yesterday’s mistakes. I do have a list of work I was planning to do yesterday, but I’m now going to aim to have that all done by the end of Sunday. I’ve got to stop being overly ambitious and be more realistic in my targets.

Dizzy sulking because I was reading and not worshiping her!

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 Fifteen

Wow, halfway through the month already. I’ve had a chill out day today, which I need to stop doing. I need to get up on a day off, have breakfast, get dressed, get writing. Simple as that. No thinking I’ll watch an episode of this or that (today it was The Queen’s Gambit, which was lethal as I’ve all but watched it now). I still got 2317 today, but I could have got 3000 words done, if not 3500. I know I have the ability to do that when I’ve got a day off and I should be doing it. For the speed I can write at and the time I have, it is easily doable.

I was on a Facebook live event tonight with the Mando Method Podcast folks. It was a lot of fun and in the hour before it I managed to crack out about a 1300 words to add to the 1000 or so I’d already written throughout the course of the day. We talked about NaNoWriMo at the halfway point and how we were all progressing. We touched a few other topics as well. It was a lot of fun, its been a while since I laughed that hard. It was really good to talk to these folks in real time as well. Armand Rosamilia and Chuck Buda have been very supportive to myself and many other writers. Please give it a watch 😊

Grumpy cat stare!

I’ve got one more days leave before getting back to my normal working week, so writing time will be cut down. But I can still get all the words done I need to, and more. I’m going to set myself a target of an hour at my desk a day. That’s head down and writing/editing. I’m not going to set word count goals at the moment, I want to get in the habit of spending that hour a day at the desk. My biggest enemy is myself and in particular my lack of discipline. That is something I need to overcome.

Under The Weather is the third book I’ve been published in. With my story, The Snow, I knew roughly what I wanted to do with it but it took a few little twists and turns along the way, but it was never a difficult write. One major element did change in the story which changed the entire theme of the tale. I still think it works, and it’s one that I’m really happy with.

Well folks, that’s me wrapping it for the night. I’m gonna watch a bit of tv and then read a little before bed. I’m aiming for an early start tomorrow.

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!

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!