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!

NaNoWriMo 2020: Day Eight

1617 words today over the course of five Starship Troopers movies. That’s day three where I’ve done both a movie marathon and writing at the same time. Not the best for productivity, (let’s ignore the 3k I wrote Friday) but I still got words down and am still ahead of the NaNo target. I’m not quite where I’d like to have been, but I need to balance my time off and writing so I actually get some down time. I can find that balance.

Such an awesome series, and one that I’ve found very inspirational over the years.

Tomorrow I need to get some editing done, it’s only a short story. Very short, so it won’t take long. I’d also like to get some work done on Penal Earth as well. I’m not the most gifted at sticking to one project so it’s time to dive into another one and get some words done on that one.

I am about to sit down and review my works in progress and set myself a little plan of action for the next week and try to stick to it! Which has always been my failing but I’ll persist and try and stick to what I list.

Something I am very guilty of is rewatching the same movies and shows, yes I’ve spent the last three days doing that but that was a special occasion. Time off work and a desire to watch some movies I’ve not watched in quite some time. So I’m trying to watch more that I haven’t seen before. I know I run back to old favourites when I’m not doing too well, it’s a comfort thing. But I need new input. I need to check mow out. Right now I’m watching Dead Space Downfall, never played these games but the film sounded interesting. So far I’m not disappointed.

With that said, I’m going to wrap this up now. Touch base with where I am with projects and make a small list of work for this coming week.

Have a good one folks!

Reading (or lack thereof)

I mentioned my bookcases in my post this morning, and that’s something that I’m not doing well with. Reading.

It has been months since I properly sat down and read anything. Each time I’ve tried I’ve not had the attention span or been able to shut my mind off enough to get immersed properly.

Luckily I’ve had some audiobooks I’ve been listening to on my commute but I need to get back to a point where I’m reading before bed again. That was when I’d really enjoy the act. It would also put me in a good place to be able to sleep better.

Six Wakes by Mur Lafferty

The two books I’ve been reading are Clickers Forever, which is the tribute anthology to J.F. Gonzalez. The other is Six Wakes by Mur Lafferty.

I’m further into Clickers Forever than Six Wakes, which I’ve only just started.

Clickers Forever: A Tribute to J.F. Gonzalez

I’m going to dive in hard with these two this week and hopefully I’ll get through the rough and start getting back into the habit and routine of reading again.

22-7-2020

Good evening folks. Well, it was a busy day but not with writing. I got a little editing done this evening. I’m liking this story. It’s the first in the vampire series and one I hope is a strong start.

I am getting a bit of an itch to write something new, I might look up some submission calls and see what’s out there, maybe something will spark an idea. The editing is still my priority though.

Yeah I did a little editing tonight, but I spent most the evening watching movies.

First up was Waterworld with Kevin Costner, Jeanne Tripplehorn and Dennis Hopper. This movie gets a lot of shit, but It’s a fun one. Beautifully shot with a simple, but engaging storyline. It’s one I’d have liked to of seen more from that world as I find it really interesting to see how people survive in that world and the different cultures that have grown from that world.

Then, it’s an old favourite. Total Recall with a Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sharon Stone, Rachel Ticotin, and Michael Ironside based off a Philip K. Dick story and directed by Paul Verhoeven. This movie is just awesome! The story works, the actors are all on point, the gore is nice but not over the top (I don’t mind over the top gore, but it wouldn’t work here). It’s another beautifully shot movie as well. Definitely one that makes me smile.

Book Review: Forever and Ever, Armageddon: A collection of 24 short stories

This is a fantastic collection from David Court. I’ve read some of his short fiction before and knew I liked his work and this collection has confirmed that.

There is a good variety of stories here. There’s a few that made me think, one of which made me stop what I was doing and say “oh sh*t”, and a couple that are just the written version of a gut punch. There was a couple of the stories that had me grinning like a kid!

Kristina Fitzgerald does a fantastic job of narration. Great range and delivery.

This one is definitely worth checking out.

Book Review: Billy and the Cloneasaurus by Stephen Kozeniewski

This book rocked! I described it to a friend as being 1984 meets The Lego Movie! I didn’t really have any idea of what to expect. I hadn’t read the synopsis or any reviews of it. I just knew it was by an author I wanted to check out.
What really sticks with me is the tone throughout the story is pretty level regardless of what’s happening, but that’s just a thin covering of the real tone of the story.

I listened to the audiobook of this one and the narration by Steve Rimpici was perfect for the book. he got the tone just right.

Billy and the Cloneasaurus was right up my street and is a fantastic modern day dystopian that is gripping and memorable. Definitely worth checking out!

Beyond Skyline

Okay, if you’ve been reading my blog for a few years now you’ll have seen the odd post/rant I’ve written about the movie Skyline, directed by The Brothers Strause. Without going into another full blown post about Skyline my biggest complaint was not enough attention was on the live action sequences and too much was spent on the CGI, which granted was very beautiful. It just didn’t fulfil an amazing potential I thought.

Beyond Skyline was not Skyline, it took that potential and made a movie I enjoyed a lot. The CGI looks beautiful, the plot line kept my attention and the actors held the screen well, and more importantly I cared about what happened to them. Frank Grillo and Bojana Novakovic were both very good, and I enjoyed Iko Uwais as well. It was fun seeing Callan Mulvey playing a role which wasn’t a mercenary as well.

I liked how the story went from the events in Skyline and took it further and looked at what was going on in a lot more depth and moves across the globe a little and we see how the invasion is being looked at by another culture. We saw a lot more of the aliens and their little world as well. I really liked the final confrontation at the end of the movie. Not only is there some great CGI action, but some of the fighting the characters do on the ground level is beautiful! The Choreography is very well done.

This is the first film where I’ve seen Iko Uwais and I liked him a lot. He held the screen well and when acting opposite an actor of Frank Grillo’s calibre you need that.

The whole cast was pretty solid I thought, no one felt out of place and none of them felt ‘Meh’ for lack of a better phrase. I thought they felt genuine, we don’t know what we’ll be capable of until we’re pushed out of our comfort zones.

There was a couple of moments where I found my eyebrow raising a little but nothing drastic that took me out of the film any more than a passing second.

I was a little anxious that this was Liam O’Donnell’s directing debut, but I liked where he took the story (he wrote it as well). Some of the visuals were stunning and he got a great balance between the live action and the CGI. They complimented each other very well. Overall I liked his direction and I really hope they do more of these. I will definitely be looking out for what O’Donnell does in the future.

Overall, Beyond Skyline is a film that’s well worth watching. I’m glad I’ve brought it on Blu-Ray as I think I will be re-watching it more than a few times.

Savant By Nik Abnett

Okay, so Savant is the story of Tobe and Metoo, and I don’t really want to say more about the story, simply because I don’t think I can give much of a description of it without giving something away.

Savant is a damn good, slow burn, which unravels as the pages pass. I found it to be a page turner which surprised me at how quickly I read it. I am a slow reader but with Savant I zipped through it at quite a lick for me. I think it was three weeks that I smashed through it with the last half of the book in about a week, which is pretty impressive for me. It really pulls you along and it’s easy to read it in small doses and not loose the momentum of the story.

The pace of the story is impressive, it never feels like it’s speeding up or slowing down but just leads up to the story’s climax very naturally. There’s no real world building in the story, but everything you need to know is revealed as the story progresses, and revealed at the right time to give the answers needed.

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The writing is very beautiful and it was easy to picture what was going on while not having too much detail of the surroundings inserted into the text.

If you want a book that spoon-feeds you everything, or is action packed, then this isn’t the book for you. If you want something that has depth, a little mystery, varied and engaging characters. A storyline that slowly gains pace to it’s climax, then this book is worth checking out.

Enjoying The Writing Again

In the last few weeks I have felt a lot more direction in what I am doing with my writing. After many years me and Owen finally have a first draft of Project Apollo done. We have attempted to get this story off the ground for many years, its got to be at least six, closer to eight if I am honest. It has gone from being a novel to a radio play back to a novel again before we all but abandoned it a few years ago. Then Owen wrote a novella called The Space Watch, yes we announced this would be released on the 1st of January this year. Obviously we didn’t release it, that was for many reasons. Project Apollo was always going to be a comedy, as was The Space Watch(Project Delphi) but we felt that maybe this was why we had never gotten any of our ideas from this universe off of the ground. So we took the decision to make it into a more serious piece of work, with the odd comedic element within it. It’s worked. We now have a universe which has great depth to it where the only restrictions we have is that of our own minds.

I still have a few doubts about the ending on Project Apollo, but that may just be my own lack of confidence. Owen may love it, I’ll find out tomorrow.

 

I am also halfway through writing a short story which I’m quite excited about an I have almost finished a short story that I first wrote two, maybe three years ago. I did an out loud read through of it last night and I found more issues then I thought I was going to but it also served to remind me that it is a good story and once its through a last grammar check its done. Saying that though I am tempted to ask one last person to Beta read it and see what they think.

 

Writing is beginning to feel good again, for a long time it felt like I was severely swimming against the tide. The thought of actually publishing something, whether through submission or through self publishing seemed like an almost impossible achievement but now it actually seems like its within grasp. Maybe not this year but definitely next year.

 

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State Of Play

I just wanted to share an update with how the writing is going at the moment. I’ll admit I’ve barely done much actual writing in the last few weeks but with Tracie(my partner) being in hospital for the best part of three weeks, having a couple of minor health irritations myself (I say irritations because they are very minor but incredibly irritating!) All that has knocked me off my pace a little.

Project Apollo will not have much done on it till early July as that is when me and Owen are sitting down to go through and plot out the ending of the story.

The Residents is still in the planning stages. When me and Chrystalyn (http://thefutureofhope.wordpress.com/) start writing this I think it’s going to be the most prepared that I personally have ever been when it comes to writing something. At the moment I am mainly focusing on two of the main characters backstory’s.

I was going to work on my zombie story for NaNoWriMo but I’ve had an idea about it today which may require a little more thinking time. I’ve always had in mind to write a second story in this series but I had a flash of an idea on what a third story might involve which makes it a trilogy. So I now need to think out how it is going to play out over three books. I know the basics of each story but I need to build them more thoroughly and I’m not sure I will have that done by November.

I think I have enough feedback from one of my short stories which I am going to read through once more myself, and maybe change the title of before I start sending it off for submission.

With Avoiding The Game I have decided to give it one last bash at making it work, but I will have to make a fair few changes to the story so I have all but decided to do a full re-write as it will be easier then trying to fit in what I have in mind.

At the moment I am reading Redshirts by John Scalzi. I am really enjoying it and I’m finding Scalzi’s  style to my liking and the humour in this novel is awesome 🙂 With everything that has happened recently I haven’t been reading much so hopefully this week I’ll get back into the swing of it.

And finally I’d just like to share a couple of links to interesting podcasts that I’ve heard lately. First we have two from The Dead Robots Society; http://deadrobotssociety.com/2013/06/11/episode-276-mid-year-check-in/; http://deadrobotssociety.com/2013/06/18/episode-277-robots-on-inspiration-point/

Next is an episode from the Escape Pod Science Fiction podcast. This is quite a snappy little story that I fell in love with and adored how it ended;  http://escapepod.org/2013/06/06/ep399-my-heart-is-a-quadratic-equation/

And Finally here’s one from the StarShipSofa podcast. The story in this episode is written by Tobias S. Buckell and Karl Schroeder. I am familiar with both writers and I found this story was a great collaboration between two people whose work I enjoy;  http://www.starshipsofa.com/2013/05/21/starshipsofa-no-290-tobias-buckell-and-karl-schroeder/

 

I apologise for loading this post up with links but I believe in spreading the word about all things good and these are all very good. So I hope you check them out and get as much pleasure out of them as I have 🙂