22nd January 2021

Good afternoon, folks!

It’s been a quiet week writing wise. A little ill health(nothing to worry about) took me off game for the best part of the week. Yesterday, although I was still feeling rough, I was planning to get some work done but pulled a few extra hours at work. So when I got home I was totalled and chilled out.

Today, I’ve finished an hour early but am only now getting the laptop out. I’m not planning on getting a lot done today, to a degree this week is a write off, but come Sunday I’m intending to get stuck in. Today is going to be a nice and steady few hours of work, no ball busting effort to get a big count in. I’m just going to edit until I’m beat and then, feet up!

Werewolf, the fantastic prequel to Matthew Cash’s Fur!

Something that frustrates me is I’m guilt tripping myself for not having done enough this past week, but I realise I’ve not done nothing. I have got a few words edited, not many but more than I’m giving myself credit for. Would I like to have more? Yeah, of course. But I’ve only got two days this week I haven’t worked on writing. It will be a low number week, but it’s still words done.

Dizzy helping me write this post…she didn’t contribute much!

17th January 2021

I have edited 4807 words on Black Blood and written 1151 on a short story for a publisher.

It was a good day’s writing. The short story I got stuck into today was one I’ve been thinking over for a couple of weeks and I’m glad I’ve finally got rolling with it. I had a decent idea of what I was aiming for, but it’s always been a feel for it with a few details coming in. What I’ve done today, I think it works and I hope I’ve got a good foundation to work from.

Senior kitty Dizzy using me to get a better look out of the window!

The editing went well, I’ve got about 15k to go now, but boy have I got a lot of work to do with just the notes I’ve made. I’ve not thought about the ending much either. I do need to sit down and map it out, and I’ve got to raise the stakes from what I’ve already written. I’m pretty sure I can, but that’s something that I’m honestly not too worried about at the moment. What I need to focus on is getting all the notes I’ve made into it and getting the feel of the setting right. I think the feel is good, but I think I need to still do more.

I did read one scene in Black Blood today that made me squirm! Which is always a good sign!

Tomorrow I’ll be working again, but I won’t have as much time as I’ve got other matters to see to. If I can get 3k edited on Black Blood, I’ll be happy.

Have a good one, folks!

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!

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!

Good Afternoon, 3rd of January 2021

Hey folks!

So today has been a slow one in starting. I dragged myself outta bed at 10am and I’ve felt tired, I’ve only just warmed up but am still feeling dead tired. I slept but I slept really badly, I think it was a very unsettled night for me. I’m trying to pinpoint why I didn’t sleep well, but haven’t been able to.

Needless to say, I’ve not got any writing done today. I’m set up to get cracking, but have looked at the next scene to look at and it’s one that’ll pretty much be the start of an entire sequence that will need all but a whole rewrite. So, I’m bloody grateful I’m not navigating that today. It’s just a read through and note taking. I’ll make edits, even though I’m not going to keep these scenes I think it’s a good idea to keep this editing mind on and it’s all experience at the end of the day.

Today’s work space.

I have written a few words today. Just a few though, for a project for a publisher that I’m looking forward to participating in. I’m still not sure how I’m going to get this story done just yet. I’ve got a good idea of the feel of the story, but it’s executing it and I haven’t really figured out the story yet either. This is the story I was talking about recently where I was saying I need to sit down and do some brainstorming.

I’m sure Raven will try and sit on my notes when I start working

Something I did forget to mention the other day was that I have submitted a couple of stories to an anthology. I had a mild panic when I thought I’d screwed up by not adhering to the submission guidelines, but after emailing the editor they clarified that I haven’t. So I’m relieved by that and I’m now eagerly waiting to find out how they’ve done.

Right, I’m going to crack on with this Black Blood read through!

January 1st, 2021…. Here We Go!

Here it is, 2021!

I can’t describe how hard 2020 was for me, and not just because of Covid. If I took Covid out of it I still had the worst year of my life, but it was also the best year. And it’s the good that is driving me forward.

The changing of a calendar isn’t going to magically make life like it was pre-2020. It really doesn’t work like that. I know a lot of people don’t want to hear that, but it’s true. The reason why I got out of 2020 in the good place I am in now is because I’ve worked my arse off to get here. To make the best of the world around me and keep my head high, and my eyes focused on the next goal.

Do I fall down? Yes, I fell down over Christmas and it took its toll on me, but I get back up and moving forward again. I don’t dust myself off until I know I’m not at risk of being sucked back into that dark little corner of my soul again. I stop that from happening by talking to friends and family, being productive with writing, going to work. I defeat the negative elements of my mind by engaging with the people I love, the communities that have embraced me, and just being me. This last six months has taught me I don’t need to be scared to show who I am to the world. Because despite what I’ve thought for most of my life, I’m not worthless.

This year will see the release of my first novella. That’s the only release that I have scheduled for this year, at the moment. I’ve got to do better at finding markets to submit to. I’m not just going to focus on word counts and look at completing more projects, submitting more, and knocking items off my to-do list.

Last year I had stories published in three anthologies, which I think might be my best in a calendar year to date, don’t hold me to that though. So, I’m aiming for at least four pieces published this year.

Okay, on to today. I kinda overlaid, like till almost midday! So I’m a little behind where I wanted to be, but I needed the sleep and I feel pretty good for it. I’ve posted my first video of the year to my YouTube channel. It’s also the first one where I’m talking to the camera. A little nerve racking, and I know it’s not the best but it’s a new venture for me where I’m stepping out of my comfort zone, and like with everything else, the more I do the better I’ll get!

I will be getting into the Black Blood read through/edit shortly as well. I’ve edited about 2000 words a day over the last few days so I’m looking at doing about 3000 today.

I doubt I’ll be writing a lot of new words today. I’ve got a short story that I need to have written and off to the publisher by April but I need to think it out a bit, get some brainstorming done on it, before I can start writing. I’ve got a good idea of a major element of it, but I need more to it. At the moment it’s a few lines and an idea. Which isn’t enough.

Enough talking, time for action! Have a good day folks! No one is going to make this year good for you, people can help, but it’s You who will make this year, and your life, good or bad.

Good Afternoon, 29th of December 2020

Good afternoon folks, I am going to dive into the edit of Black Blood this after noon. I’d love to work my way through about 10,000 words this afternoon, but I’ll see how I get along.

I’ll be starting after some lunch.

Something I’ve been thinking about doing is a reflection of the last twelve months, but I’m not sure I’m comfortable bringing a lot of that up at this point. Some of it I’ll never blog about either as it’s not fair on others. I’m also of the mindset that, although I’m learning the lessons of the last twelve, eighteen months, I want to be looking forward. I’ve got a lot to look forward to in the next twelve months, both on a personal level and a professional one.

I will just say one part of my life is not good, and potentially won’t be for a long while. It’s a driving force though, and I’ll make sure when it changes I’m in the best possible position I can be.

New hat selfie!

Right, dinner has been eaten. I’ve chilled out a little and now I’m going to get to work before my body tells me its time for a nap!

Good Morning, 28th of December 2020

I’ve kind of had a week off from writing. I was expecting to use it to get through the Christmas period but I didn’t need to in the end. Yes, it was still tough but thanks to all I’ve learnt, all the help and support I’ve had from the people I love in my life I was able to manage it better than I was expecting to.

Raven going for a majestic look 😊

I was also a little stuck with where I was taking Black Blood. I kept trying to add words but it was becoming very evident that I wasn’t prepared enough to finish this draft. So last night I began making notes. I didn’t start reading through the draft, I just copied some notes I’d scribbled down while writing the later stages of the story and did a few sketches. I’ve never really done the sketches, well not since Owen and I were working on From the Shadows a very long time ago. I found doing the couple I did last night really helpful, okay it brought a problem I hadn’t expected but I think I can find a way around that, or work it into the story.

I’m going to start the read through today, with the aim of having it done by the New Year. It’s a lick over 50k words and I think I can manage that. I’ve looked at my work rota and I definitely think it’s doable. Especially as I’m not going to be doing a full edit. This is a read through to figure out what I need to add and take away. What I need to do to get the ending how I want it, and to give it the depth and weight it deserves.

I think it’s also time to move this draft into Scrivener. It’s going to be helpful to be able to break it down into chapters and scenes and then I can insert or remove sections much easier. I can also have additional information that I’m compiling in there as well. I think that’s the way to go.

Right folks! I’ve got a little tidying before I can start working so I’m hopping off here. Have an awesome day!

December 24th 2020

Good evening folks, I’ve got a feeling this may end up being a really random post tonight. I’ve not done any writing today, or much thinking about writing. I was up at 4am for a 6am work start. I’ve had 5am, another 6am, and a 4am start this week. So I’ve spent a lot of the afternoons this week napping. I’ve also been trying not to think about writing for a few days. I’ve got a couple of stories where I am stuck with them, and I need to let the dust setting around them.

With Black Blood (still not wild about that title), I am really tempted to do a read through/edit and then write the ending once I’ve done the read through and have a stack of notes.

When I say read through/edit I mean I’ll work my way through what I’ve written and clearing up any grammar errors and more softer changes like how some sentences are structured. A lot of what I am going to do with the read through is write details down; character names, locations, personal quirks. This is a habit I need to get into better when I’m working on a first draft. Then I’m not going to have as many XXX’s as space fillers.

I’ve got a short story I want to get cracking on soon, I just need to think it through a little and have something to build from. Normally when I write I have an image in my head to start from, a foundation that I use to build those first few thousand words. Once I’ve got that, I’ve got a good idea of where I’m going. So I need to muse on that one a bit.

Penal Earth is still sitting. I’m probably going to do something similar to what I plan on doing with Black Blood, and do a read through and sort out the grammar edits and so on. I’m happy with the way the draft has gone, and I’m looking forward to looking through it again.

(yes, I know this post is going up a day after it was meant to be, but I had to stop halfway through the post and didn’t manage to get back to it again.)

There’s a few pics of our furry family members ☺️

18th December 2020 (Draft Done!)

Good afternoon folks. The draft for Penal Earth is done!!! I wrote 1924 words on it this morning and had it wrapped up in those words. Is it done done? No. Not by a long stretch. As I mentioned in a previous post I’ve now got to go through and start the editing process. I refuse to rewrite this one, again. It’s not happening! That way doesn’t work for me. Yes, it’s taken my dumb ass a long time to realise that, but I have now. So, better late than never.

The next stage will be to leave it until the new year and then start reading through it with a pen and paper and figure out exactly what I need to do to get it to where I want it. This is going to be a much deeper dive into editing than I’ve tried before and I hope I have the patience for it. I may just read through a chapter at a time so it doesn’t get tedious like it has done in the past.

Something I want to get in the habit of in the future is writing with a notepad to make notes as I’m going. Character names, ages, location names, and so on. Anything that is relevant. My drafts are full of XXX as placeholders when I forget a detail that I have put in earlier. I’m hoping it won’t slow me up too much, but if it does I might just read through what I’ve written at the end of the day and make those notes then, and tweaked any mistakes like grammar etc. at the same time. Until I try it though, I can’t say how it’s going to work.

Yes, I did dance around my office!

I really want to refine my process next year. Figure out what is the best way for me to work and then grow on it. It’s all about progress and growth. It doesn’t matter how many words I write in a year, if I never finish anything then it’s all pointless. I won’t be growing as a writer, and as a human being. I do have goals for next year, I’ve typed them up and pinned them over my desk, I might have also written a few goals for 2022 down as well. I might be pushing myself a bit too hard, but I need to know what I can take. I will have failures, but I’m also going to have victories. I need to learn from both in going forward or those same mistakes are just going to be repeated and, like writing a million words, absolutely useless if I’m not finishing anything.

I’m going to take the afternoon off and do some gaming and decide what I want to work on next. I’ll likely get back onto Black Blood but I’m always more productive when I’m not just cracking on with one project.

Rock on folks!