I’ve got a lot I want to get through tonight, so let’s get cracking!
The anthology K is for Kidnap came out featuring my story ‘Mother is God’ and is available in ebook and paperback. Please hit the link and check it out!
The fantastic Leah Solmaz is working on an adaptation of one of my short stories! (squeeeeee!!!!!) Please go and check out Leah’s Instagram page, where you can see the intro!!! I’m super excited about this. Not only because something I’ve written is being adapted into a short animated movie, but also because its working with Leah who is a fantastic human being and damn talented as well. If you haven’t watched Theosight please check it out, I’ll add it to this post.
I have started on reading through and making notes based on the editors read of ‘Is that a zombie?’ I started then got hit with a head cold that knocked me off my feet. I focused my energy on work and matters away from writing. I’m going to get back on track with it by the weekend.
I’ve had a beta reader look at some of my longer pieces and got some excellent feedback, including that one wasn’t as polished as the other, so I need to go back and put my editing head back on to look it over.
Something I’m going to do in the next day or so is sit down and get my bearings on the different projects again. I’ve got a few which are at different stages and I’m just going to write them all down and figure where they all are.
On top of all of that we’ve got NaNoWriMo just around the corner…..
I am struggling to get back in the flow, much more then I thought I would. But it’s there, and I know NaNo will give me a massive boost and help get the words wrangled.
When I moved back to my parents I asked them if I could make the spare room into an office. They were happy for me to, so I got stuck in. The room was a typical spare room and just had lots of bits and pieces put in it. It wasn’t a mess but it wasn’t anything more than somewhere to put things that didn’t have a home, and weren’t often used. So there was a little sorting out to do but not much got done until I got a desk.
I knew I wanted a desk with draws and a nice surface space. I also wanted a light wood colour, I’m I sucker for soft tones so I knew furniture wise that’s what I’d go for. The desk I found has the draws but also shelves on the other side. The desk I found at Argos I fell in love with. Not only did it have draws on one side the other side had shelves. It also had a nice surface space and I was able to get it in a light wood that I like. This was the first piece I bought and I had it built and in place against the chimney stake pretty darn quickly. Thankfully we already had a desk chair, so that wasn’t something that needed to be bought.
Getting the desk up was essential for me as I wanted to get writing on it as soon as I could.
I later had to move the desk to under the window due to a water leak.
A fresh coat of paint was desperately needed! This was my bedroom for a very long time and the last time I decorated it I thought this shade of green was a good idea…… Fortunately I still had some of the cream colour I’d painted my bedroom in a few years ago. So I got painting, and yeah. I had enough paint for two coats, which wasn’t anywhere near enough. The green was still showing through. I might have used a little adult language! Again, a little bit of luck. My parents had this awesome colour that they painted their room in last year. Three coats of this (thats five coats!) and the green was not only covered up, but this colour (I can’t remember what it’s called) looked good. I liked the deepness to it, and found the colour to be quite calming.
The shelves on the desk are a great little bit of space, but they are not enough for my library. Now, my library has shrank over the years. I’ve cleared through a lot of the books I either had no intention of reading, or had read and would never read again, or the book just didn’t leave a lasting impression. My change of taste has also changed, so I’ve got less books but still more than would fit on the desk shelves. So I got two new bookcases, again from Argos. In addition to these two bookcases my aunt gave me a wall unit. This has shelves and a cupboard at the bottom. This unit is beautiful. In addition to giving more storage it’s got a great character to it. I was going to put two of these three in the alcoves either side of the chimney stack. The problem I ran into was that there was homemade shelving in one of the alcoves. Originally I was going to get some new sheets of wood and between me and my dad we were going to cut some new shelves for that alcove (my dad is fantastic at that sort of thing). But I decided to get units to go in the spaces. Now, the problem I had was I’d left the wooden supports where there were. Yes, this is me being lazy and thinking I didn’t need to take them out. These simple wooden supports have been there for probably twenty years, and yeah. Boy did they take some work to get off the damn wall. God bless hammers! I did have to do a little touching up with paint after they were off, but you wouldn’t know it.
I ended up putting the two bookcases in the alcoves. Partly because I like the symmetry of having the matching bookcases either side of the chimney stack, and it looks natural.
I put the wall unit on the opposite wall next to my wardrobe. Again, this works for me. It compliments the flow of the room.
Storage is important. I’ve had a lot of years where I’ve had lots of stuff squeezed into wherever I could fit them. The wall unit with the cupboard has been a given me a lot more options then I’ve had before but I’ve also got three plastic storage units. One of these has four deep draws and the two have a lot of slim draws. These two I’ve got copies of my work in. From hand written drafts, to printed drafts with red notations on, through to little slips of paper with notes on.
The one with the deeper draws has everything from A4 writing pads(I have a lot of these), to old tech, to various knick knacks. It’s a lot more organised than it ever has been.
As you can see, all three are lovingly decorated!
I have a little flexibility on where I put these, and the file storage ones have moved around the room a little. They’re now settled behind the door by one of the bookcases. The deep draw one is by the wall unit, in a spot that was almost made to measure for it.
Although these don’t really match the rest of the room, they’re really useful. I am trying to steer away from having so many plastic items, partly because I’m drifting away from plastic a little, but mainly because I don’t like the aesthetic of them anymore. I like these lighter wood tones for how they look and the feel they give to a room. They give a warmth I enjoy. In a perfect world I would replace these, but I don’t have the finances and in all honesty, there’s nothing wrong with them. I’ll replace them one day, but probably when they’ve started falling apart.
There are three other pieces of furniture in the room. Firstly, my wardrobe. This is in the office because it’s just too bulky to be in my bedroom. It’ll fit, but it shrinks the space a lot. I’ve made use of it though. I’ve got a calendar on it, but I’ve also got pictures of loved ones on it. This serves as an inspiration to keep growing, and moving forward and following my dreams.
The other two are matching chest of drawers that my parents had. I’ve got clothes and a few knick knacks in them. Nothing writing related inside, but on top they’ve got my printers and ring binders. The printers here isn’t idea, but it’s not a massive imposition.
I will replace these at some point, when I have the cash. They’re old and my folks had them for a long time but they’re not the most sturdy any more. I will need space for clothes, so I think I’ll end up buy one large chest of draws, maybe two depending on size and and how much space I’ll need.
Next to the chest of draws I’ve got this cute little cloth unit that, again, a few knick knacks in. This was a super impulse purchase and I love it!
The magazine holders are a very recent edition, that I’ve got notebooks that are in use.
I would like to get some new curtains at some point. These are the old ones from my bedroom, and are okay but a little short for the window, and I’d like to get black-out ones as they’d keep the sun from hitting me of a morning. How the house is positioned means the sun smacks the front of it till about 10, 11am and if I’m working there it does feel a little like an oven. Even with the curtains I’ve got up! As the mornings are times where I work a lot (day job permitting), it’s something I’d like sorted before next summer.
I’ve spoken about the layout a few times in this post, and in all honesty I can’t really have it in too many other layouts. I’m sure with different furniture I might be able to have it set up differently, but I like it how it is. The desk should be the centre piece of the room. It’s an office, where I do most of my writing work. So it’s the centre piece. I can easily get to my printers, to where printer paper is. With a turn of my head I can see my dry/erase board. I’ve got easy access to any writing files I’ve been putting together easily enough. Even things like where I’ve got my bins is easily accessible from the desk.
I’ve got a little room to pace around if I need to think. I can look out the window when I need to give my brain a breather.
The only real space that isn’t optimised is a wall cupboard that is part of the room. At the moment it’s just full of bits and pieces, but there’s not a lot I can do as it needs air to circulate otherwise mould starts building up. Long term, I’d like to be able to use the space better, but again it’s one of those things that isn’t a priority but something I’d like to get sorted out one day. Because I can’t really use that space at the moment I’ve got my bin in front of it. If I do need access then it’s easy to move the bin.
The centre piece. The desk. As I said, this was against the chimney stack and I was quite happy with it there, but due to a leaky roof which resulted in water coming through the ceiling and down the chimney stack. Don’t worry it’s all been fixed now and is good. But I’d moved my desk as soon as the leak was discovered (thankfully nothing was damaged). That’s why it got moved to by the window. I was intending to move it back to the chimney stack, but it works better where it is. It’s the focus point of the room. I did move it back against the chimney recently, but I think I did this just to confirm that I prefer the layout as it is.
I’ve got natural light, but it’s also under the light in the room and I’ve got an LED desk lamp for when it is winter and generally darker. Believe me, even with the light above my head it is still very dark in this room.
Something I was thoughtful of when I started making the spare room into my office was making it my space, having it represent me and for me to feel super comfortable when I’m in there. I do feel lucky in that I can write pretty much anywhere but having a space that is just for that does help focus, and it makes me feel like I’m at work and I am more productive when I’m in there. Another positive I’ve discovered is if I am not feeling the work I can force myself to crack on and hit a target a lot easier than I have done in the past.
The balance that I think I might find a little difficult is having those touches of myself in it, but also keeping it semi-professional so it doesn’t turn into a space where there is too much that will distract. I think I’m going to be able to do it. It’s pretty well rammed into my head that this is a working space.
I am a big advocate for NaNoWriMo. I’m a Municipal Liaison for my region and having it represented in the office is very important to me. NaNo introduced me to writers in person for the first time, outside of my former writing partner that is, and meeting all these people have brightened both my life and my writing career massively. I have made some fantastic friends, had some amazing conversations and so much laughter!
I’ve got a few framed inspirational quotes on the walls of my office. I saw these in a supermarket and the one on the front of the pack is one that I strongly believe and thought it’ll be great seeing that each day.
I have a cork board and a dry/erase board on the chimney stack. When I placed them they were above my desk but as I’v said earlier about the leaky roof, the desk isn’t there anymore. But I left the two boards there. They are easily accessible, but I will admit I don’t check the white board often enough. I need to look at it when I walk into my office to start work each day to make sure I’m still on target. But I generally like where they are both placed.
The white board has all of the months goals on it, as well as a few little motivational words I put up when I put the goals down at the start of the month.
The cork board has a few personal notes from friends, random ideas, and a couple of random little bits and pieces on it.
I’ve also got a metal frame notice board. Like the cork board I’ve got personal notes on it, but I’ve also got some swag and decoration on it. I put this behind my door by one of the bookcases as I felt it was the best place for it, and I think it works there.
As the years go by I’m planning on adding lots of lanyards, and con tags and entrance brackets.
I do want to thank Armand Rosamilia for giving me a few little pointers, which I found really helpful. And most importantly, my folks for letting me make this space into an office.
So, there it is. My office. It’s not going to stay like this, I will tweak things. There’s furniture I want to replace. I’d love to get a nice rug for the middle of the floor. New curtains, maybe a little more art on the walls. But overall I love the space. It’s comfortable, warm, conducive to getting words wrangled.
Hey folks, I’ve done 6200 words edited on the vampire book, and just shy of 800 words written on a new short story today.
I’m nearing the end of the vampire edit now. Only two more chapters to go, not sure how many words that is.
The short story is one that I started in 2019 for NaNoWriMo and I feel like I can actually get it to somewhere that’ll be good now. I’d ran out of steam with it in NaNo 2019 but now it’s speaking to me.
Overall, a productive day and a good start to the week.
I’ve had a couple of writing off days this week but am back on it today. I think I can get this edit off Penal Earth wrapped up today, which’ll be super is I can as I’ve got Black Blood scenes that I know I need to add clawing at my brain for attention.
I’m still getting used to my new desk set up. It’s nice having that extra space to have my laptop but I need to get used to it. I do like having the space to just push my laptop backwards when I’m not using it and not off to one side so I can write with a pen etc. I still make a lot of notes by hand, and am getting back into the habit of brainstorming with pen and paper.
Speaking of brainstorming, I’ve been working on a rewrite for a short story I wrote years ago. At first I thought it would be a few elements added to fill it out a little, but now it’s growing and I think it’s more novella/novel length story. So I’m seriously considering this being my NaNoWriMo project for this year. Yeah I said it, NaNoWriMo! (You ready for it this year *Chuck?). It’s never too early for me to start preparing for NaNoWriMo. I’ve found when I’ve got a novel for NaNo I need to be prepared for it. So that’s what I’m doing. (side note, I’m out of tea!!!!!!!!!).
I am going to get some words wrangled now. I’d like to have my writing done by midday as I’ve got bits and pieces to do in the garden with my dad and then a few other non-writing bits like tidying and so forth. I do have an appointment via phone this morning so it may be more 1pm that I aim to be finished with the words for the day.
I’m feeling better than I did last night. Despite one very strange dream I slept well and this morning have written 372 on Black Blood and 826 on a story set in the Penal Earth world.
I’d hope to knock out a nice 1000 words on Black Blood today, but I really wasn’t feeling it. I can’t get my head in the right place to write the ending how I want it to play out. But instead of sitting and stewing about it I got stuck into another story. One that I’ve rewritten the opening for and am a lot happier about it now. I’m still not sure where I’m going to take it but I hope I’ve got a good footing to build from and have opened up another element of that world.
I didn’t watch Day Watch like I was planning to last night. I was exhausted and the thought of watching something new, with subtitles (i don’t mind subtitles but I need to be more awake than I was last night), was a little too much. So I dived into some YouTube and then got my head down.
This week I’m going to get back in the flow of things. I’ve got lates for most of the week, so I’m hoping with some earlier nights I can get some energy built up again.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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’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.
Yesterday I wrote 269 on Black Blood (NaNo 2020 project) before I got the bad news. Today I have managed to write 406 despite forgetting I had a two hour appointment tonight that I also hadn’t prepped for. So very little time to write, which was my own fault!
I have figured out my goals for the month and I need to start thinking about what I want to have done by this time next year. It’s something I need to really think about.
Something else I’m going to try and start doing is writing these blog posts from my desk. It’s the same as writing, when I’ve got my arse in the chair I write better. I think I’ll write deeper and more insightful blog posts doing the same. I might even start proof reading them before hitting publish!
Each night I’m going to try and do a list of jobs for the next day as well. I’ve tried this before, but I’m going to give it a real go this time around.
A lot of this revolves around me getting my arse in the chair, with the aim of an hour a day. So come on folks, don’t feel shy in calling me out if I report that I haven’t done it. I know there will be times due to work that’ll it’ll be difficult, but then I need to find ways of being productive during my lunch break again. On days with long work shifts even half an hour is going to be of use.
I’ve also got to learn how to look ahead with my work schedule and adjust targets in accordance with that. For example; if I’ve had a lot of hours one week I know I’ll start getting worn out by the end of that working week, so why not give myself a lighter writing load to compensate for that?
I know I can do all of this, I’ve just got to execute it.