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!

Good Evening, 14th January 2021

Good evening, folks!

I’ve had a few quiet days writing wise, but I’ve managed to edit about 3000 words in the last couple of days.

I do find it harder to get a lot done when I’m on early’s but it’s something I’m getting better at. It’s definitely something I need to get better at as I do a lot of early starts, but I can do that by getting to bed earlier.

I’ve got a week off early February, so I’m going to start thinking about what I’m going to achieve in those seven days. I won’t be off out anywhere as we’ll most likely still in a lockdown. I’d like to be done with this read through of Black Blood and have an idea of what I’m doing with the ending by the end of that week.

I’ve got tomorrow off, but I have work to do on a non-writing matter that could take up a fair part of the day, but I’d still like to get about 3000 words worked through. I’d really like to get some fresh words written as well. I’m getting an itch to properly write as well. It’ll be great if I could put an hour aside and just knock out some words. Music on, and write! Simple as that.

Raven exploring the space under the stairs as I was putting the Christmas decks away last week.

I am really going to try and get myself organised better in the next month. I’ve got a dry/erase board and a diary. So I should be making better use of them. I need to write weekly, monthly, and yearly goals. Adjusting as I go depending on what comes my way.

I’ll wrap this post up by pimping out my Buy Me A Coffee page, where if people have liked my work they can contribute to the costs of writing. I’m working as an independent author at the moment, and any funds I receive go straight back into the writing pot. I’m going to be searching for paying markets for short stories and I have the funds in place already to self-publish my first release. I’m waiting on the editor to be free, I’ve got formatting arranged (although I’d like to learn how to do that myself in future), and the artwork looks amazing! I do understand times are tough, and I’ll never push hard and start bugging people about this.

I meant to post these weeks ago, the Christmas lights from my hometown of Gravesend.

Right, I’m off to watch a movie and then an early night. Although no work tomorrow I’d like to get an early start for the day. I’ve a lot I’d like to get done and getting an early start will set the day up nicely.

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!

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.

NaNoWriMo 2020: Day Twenty-Three

So, today was a good day. I finished up with 3724 words for the day, which puts me a little above where I need to be. So yeah, I’m back ahead but that doesn’t mean anything come tomorrow when I need to be hitting a good 2000 words again.

I also spoke to an editor I know and we’ve agreed a date for her to edit the novella I’m working on. And I’ve had an update from the gentleman who’s doing the cover for it, and seen it so far and I am stoked!

I’m working through till next Monday, with some long hours over the weekend, so I’m not counting on getting any words done then. I am off on Monday, but I’d like to be ahead of the game before then. So that means a solid few days writing between now and Saturday. I also have an appointment Wednesday night, which’ll be a couple of hours. That’ll also require a couple of hours of preparation tomorrow. So I’ve a lot to do, not including everyday stuff away from those things.

Can I do it? Yes, I bloody well can!

This is the final piece of my work that has been printed. My story ‘Dark’ in the ‘It came from the darkness‘ anthology was one I was invited to submit to and I was very proud to have been. It is a collection of drabbles and poetry from many big names and I was very humble when I saw who I was alongside in it and hoped my story didnt let the anthology down. Like many of my published pieces it is in an anthology that is raising money for charity, and I really don’t want to put up a piece which isn’t my best work. This got accepted, which tells me I did a good job (the publishers, Red Cape Publishing have published one of my stories and rejected another one. So I know they don’t take something they either don’t like or isn’t good enough). I can’t really say too much about the story, seeing as it’s a drabble which is a hundred word story, there’s not much I could say that wouldn’t spoil it.

It was a good day 😊

Right, I’m off to bed. I hope everyone is doing well and keep cracking on, folks!

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 Nineteen

Today was a good day. I got some good sleep, first time in ten days or so. I wrote 1781 on NaNo and then 231 on a short story I wrote during NaNoWriMo 2019 for a total of 2012 for the day.

The short story I worked on in 2019 was one that I was done with. I’d not had any urge to edit it because I wasn’t happy with it and I couldn’t figure out how to fix it. Then today when I wasn’t even thinking about writing and BANG!!! The solution hit me and I had to write some of it down. Not much, just those few hundred words to serve ad a reminder when I come back to it.

Max acting hard done by 🙄🤣

I am now on par for NaNo. The last two days have wiped out my banked words. I still don’t need to write 1667 a day, but I’m going to try to as I’d like to get some more words banked when I can.

I also did some rearranging in my office today, and am a lot happier with it. I just need to find somewhere for my bin to go and then most bits and pieces have a home.

I also prepped for an appointment and then had the Zoom appointment. It was after that that I got the words down.

Out and about, running an errand this morning 😊

I cracked on and worked. That is something I need to push myself harder and be more consistent. Arse in chair and work! Simple as that. When I can’t get my arse in the chair, write when I have time. I’ve got Apple devices that are all synchronised, so no reason why I can’t write at any opportunity I have.

Time to get my head where it needs to be. I definitely have more than enough time.

Elements of Horror Book Two: Air from Red Cape Publishing is the fourth book I’ve had a story published in. Walking was a story that had a few twists and turns in it but I’m very happy with how it ended up. I was skimming through it earlier as I looked for a detail and I found myself smiling as I looked through. I’m not at the stage where I’ve discovered who I am as a writer, or what my style is. Sometimes I think I’m not quite self-aware enough to know that yet. Or I’ve not read enough of the genre I’m working in. Whatever the reason is, I’ve not found who I am as a writer yet. Each thing I write is more often then not coming from the gut, especially short fiction, I think Walking is a prime example of that. So, please hit the link and check it out.

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!