Good Morning, 25th July 2021

A very early good morning from here in the UK. Seeing as I couldn’t sleep I thought I’d be productive and get a few words down. I’m also hoping it all wipes me out and once this post is written and I put my head down I drift off easily.

I have written 1111 words on a short story about a serial killer. I feel the story is going well, although I’m not really sure where it’s going. I’m letting the story tell me where it wants to go, which is a little frustrating but also quite fun.

When the sun is up I’ve got some beta readers notes to look at and then I’ll be doing the out loud red pen pass on Penal Earth. I’m going to set myself an easy target, maybe ten pages. I may do more, depending on how I feel and how my voice holds out.

Right, I’m going to try and sleep! I hope everyone reading this is having a fantastic weekend!

Good Morning, 12th of July 2021

Good morning folks! Last night the England men’s football team played a 120 minutes and then penalties in our first final appearance since the year we won the World Cup in 1966. This wasn’t the World Cup but a European Championships and in the end it ended in heartbreak. I just want to take a mi it’s here to say how proud I am of our team. We stepped up at the time we needed to and going into the World Cup qualifiers I think we’ve got a lot to be excited for. I will just congratulate Italy on their win, but don’t get too comfy with that trophy, we’ll be coming back for it in 2024.

That’s enough about football. Yesterday was a low impact writing day. I’m not sure how today will play out writing wise. Although I slept lat night it took time for me to drop off and then I had a very unsettled nights sleep. So I’m feeling rather wiped out right now.

I would like to get a chapter edited on the vampire book, which feels a little daunting as I know the chapters from here on out only get bigger! But, I’ll see how I am after work.

I love driving in the rain (picture taken when I parked)!

11th July 2021

Hey folks, I managed to punch through some of my recent difficulties with writing by cracking out a thousand words today. It’s not a new story, but a rewrite of one of the vampire ones. I’ve had a rough couple of days and tried to channel some of that into the story. It’s one that I think needs something a little more personal to tell the story I want to tell.

Writing wise that’s all I’ve done today. It was a long shift at work, not a bad shift though. It went quickly but due to a lot of problems sleeping I’ve not done a lot tonight aside from a little work on a coming blog post.

Tomorrow is a new day, a new week. So let’s make it a good one.

Even though I wasn’t working long tonight, Raven still decided to sit on what I needed.

3am thoughts (1/6/21)

I’m awake, very awake. That doesn’t mean I’m not tired, I’m beyond tired. Sleep isn’t coming though. Luckily I’ve not got the day job tomorrow, so I’m not having to worry about that.

The thing about be awake at this time of the night is very few people are. I don’t mean globally, and thanks to the internet there is always someone I can chat to as I’m blessed to have made friends all over the planet thanks to writing, and the internet. Where it gets strange is there are no, or very few, cars driving up and down my road. Yeah it’s a little country lane, but we’d still get vehicles coming up and down. There’s always tractors and other farm machinery moving around. We get people walking up and down, some with dogs, others without. Cyclists use the road as well. We get a lot of groups of cyclists that I’m guessing are from local organisations (all seem to forget the rule of riding single file, but that’s a rant for another day).

If someone walks this road tonight they might glance up at the single window illuminated and wonder who is awake, and why they are. They might even seen me (my desk is at my window). Will they have the same thoughts I am? How the hours between midnight and say, 5am, are strange and almost alien. Or are they thinking, ‘look at that muppet’.

I know for some the nighttime hours are not weird. They’re not an alien concept. For them it’s their profession. How many jobs now exist where people work all hours. I don’t just mean the emergency services but I’m thinking about hauliers, taxi drivers, workers fixing roads because at night it’s easier as it’s less impactful on the traffic, Supermarket workers. There’s a whole host of people going to or still at work while the majority of us sleep.

I’m not a city boy, but I’d imagine even the cities and towns which are people say never sleep, still see a drop in activity in these early hours of the morning. We as a species aren’t nocturnal. Some people are, they feel at home when the sun is giving light to the other side of the planet, but for most people their days start when the sun is rising or risen, and end when it takes it’s light away for another day.

Unlike Raven, I’m not nocturnal.

I’m going to try and sleep. Writing this post might have pushed me over that tipping point where exhaustion will win out over the reasons why I’m awake.

Peace out, Folks!

Good Morning, Sunday 18th April 2021

Hey folks, I hope we’re all well today? I have had an epically bad nights sleep, so had a lay in to try and catch up on the lost sleep. I got a little but the extended time in bed has given me back aches, so, yeah.

But anyway, onto the words. As I didn’t get up early I’m behind where I was hoping to be but I’ve still got a nice few hours to work. It’ll likely be all editing today. I’ve got a little prep work to see to before I start editing but once that’s done it’s going to make things much easier with the story later on.

I’ve also got to prep for the next week’s writing as well. I’m going to have to be somewhat fluid with this though as if I have a couple of really good days editing I could be done with Penal Earth before the week ends, but that said I’m also kind of tempted to just stick to a daily target and not exceed that too much. That way I’m not blowing through my energy too early on in the week.

I’m realising I’m feeling very scatter-brained this morning. My thoughts are a little all over the shop, which is going to make editing fun! But I’m going to try. Even if it’s just a chapter I get done.

Right, I’m going to get started with the work for the day. I hope you all have a fantastic day!

Raven watching the world

Good Morning, 15th April, 2021

Good Morning! How are we all doing today?

Yesterday was not a good writing day. I felt a little down and normally writing can snap me outta it, but nada. I looked at three different short stories that I’m working on and nothing. I tried writing something new, but nothing came forth. So after about half an hour of trying I gave up. So I napped and watched The Simpsons.

After I’d showered and eaten though, a scene came to mind for a short story that I wrote years ago and am planning on rewriting. It was a piece of dialogue between two characters and it just kept growing. So I grabbed my laptop and wrote it out, 609 words. Then, although it was getting a little late I wanted to get some editing done on Penal Earth. I was going to wait till May to get started on this but that urge to do something was still there. I also think there was a little guilt as well at not being able to get anything done earlier in the day.

I always feel better when I’ve got work done. Okay, I still slept crappy but that’s just my life at the moment. But I woke up feeling ready to get a shit tonne done today. I’m not gonna go mad, and I’m gonna try something later that I haven’t done in ages and see how that goes but I do feel good right now. So I’m gonna work till about 10am and then get a few pieces around the house done and then I’ll see about doing a bit more with the words.

Raven watching the dust particles in the sunlight (and yes, she’s been bouncing around trying to catch them!)

Right, I’m going to start with some editing. I’m not sure what I want to write that’s new this morning, so I’ll start with editing and see how I go.

Have a great day, folks!

Good Morning 14th April, 2021 (Make Art Uncomfortable)

Hey folks, how are we all doing today?

Yesterday I wrote 336 words on a short story but also did a lot of research for the same short story, and I’ve come to the decision that I’m just gonna go balls to the walls and yet loose. I’m not going to worry about grounding it in reality. I’m just gonna try and make it batshit crazy.

I’m having trouble letting go when I write recently. Stephen King said in On Writing that you have to write like an orphan, or words to that effect. I was reminded of this when watching the film M.F.A. recently. At the end of the film there’s a line where it basically says art shouldn’t just preserve the beauty of life, but also the brutality. Make art uncomfortable. I love this message. So many of us grow up listening to music about good love, or films where everyone lives happily ever after.

Art is different for everyone. Some people thrive on the uncomfortable while others thrive on a good old romcom. Everyone is different and we embrace different things. For me, what I write, people will find uncomfortable. But some will find it fun. I can watch Saw movies with barely a flinch at the content, but watched The VVitch and The Ritual, made me squirm in my seat. But there are different degrees of being uncomfortable. Listening to the audiobooks of The Girl Next Door by Jack Ketchum and What Good Girls Do by Jonathan Butcher made me very uncomfortable. Even to the point where I had to stop listening to them. M.F.A. falls into that grouping. Although not as extreme as I Spit On Your Grave, it’s still a content matter that is not pleasant and when done wrong, without the respect the topic deserves it just makes a whole other level of horrific.

For films like The Vvitch and The Ritual, these made me uncomfortable because there’s a witchcraft/cult elements to them. An unknown factor that made me uncomfortable in a way I’d yet to experience. It’s something I’m still trying to put my finger on exactly why I find it uncomfortable.

Another book that made me uncomfortable is The Silence by Tim Lebbon. This one I had to stop listening to three times. It’s got a quiet brutality to it, one which I can see happening. There’s three distinct moments in The Silence which I could see myself being in that situation. Having to make an uncomfortable decision.

Not being scared to write things which people will be uncomfortable with or offended by is something I need to be better with. I’m not going to write something just because it’s shocking. I don’t think that works and people tend to see through things like that. I’ll strive to write what the story is asking for.

Right, speaking of writing it’s time to get a few hours done.

Rock on folks, never give up on that dream. Never let someone take it away or belittle it or you. Just keep going.

1st of April, 2021

Good morning! It is very, very morning here in the UK, about 5:30am when I start writing this post.

A couple of hundred words yesterday before work. I’d planned more but got sidetracked. I’d like to say I’m going to get a nice chunk of words done today, but I don’t think I will. After work I think I’m going to have a nap! I’m about 2 weeks into very bad sleep patterns and it’s really beginning to take a toll on me now. I’m okay, I will prevail! But a few more hours of sleep would be nice.

I’ve got to think about my goals for this month. I think finishing this draft of Black Blood should be one of them, probably the priority. I can feel it’s endgame building and I think I can bring it home.

Something I’ve been doing this last few weeks is listening to First and Only by Dan Abnett. This is the first book in the Gaunts Ghosts series, which is probably my favourite book series. It’s great catching up with the story and characters who are long dead. But it’s also a reminder of how other people write. I’ve not read much the last eighteen months and most of what I have is done in different ways to that of how Abnett writes these books. I’m loving the depth he’s putting into this story but also realising that I’m not that writer. Yes, I need to put mire depth into my work but I don’t think I’m the type of writer (at the moment anyway) that will build background for a setting that is a smaller scene in the scale of the book.

Obviously I don’t find anything wrong with this, it’s just different styles. With my work I’m a little more direct, I think is the best way to put it. I like a story that gives plenty to the reader but it’s not my style at the moment. I’d like to put more of that in. I look at something like Black Blood and I can see ways for me to fit those details in, and I want to. It just won’t be world building to the extent I’m seeing in Abnett’s work. That said, the Gaunts Ghosts books are Warhammer 40k novels and there’s a lot of world building to be done.

Right, i feel like I’m beginning to ramble, and I’ve got to think about getting into work.

So, have a great day folks! Go for that dream and stuff anyone who tries to take it away from you.

Good Evening, Saturday 20th March 2021

Hey folks, how’s everyone doing this evening? I blogged last on Thursday and to update you folks on how I did then. I got Ashes edited (have only just messaged my betas to see if they can look it over), and I edited 6046 words on the vampire book. I did this either side of a phone call. If I hadn’t of realised how close I was to the end of this story I think I would have held off with the last few pages. I’m glad I didn’t and I’ve got it wrapped up now. I fear it’s a bit of a mess, but that’s something I’ll see too when I come to edit it.

I haven’t felt like writing much the last couple of days. I’ve not been feeling well this last week (been to the doctor, it’s nothing to worry about but it’s drained my energy levels a lot more than I’d like to admit), so I’ve not felt like writing. I’ve had important personal matters to see to, as well as being at work. I’ve had mornings this last week as well, which wipe me out quite a lot (my body does not like early mornings, but I also need to get to bed earlier those nights). This coming week though, I’ve got lates so I’m looking forward to having a few hours each morning to get stuck into some words before going to work. I am going to be trying to get to bed earlier each night as well, if I can depending on time I finish work and eat etc.

Trying to use this more, but often forget but I’m getting better with it.

Right, I’ve got an early again tomorrow. So I’m going to watch a movie and then get an early night.

Rock on, Folks!

Good Morning, 2nd of March 2021

Howdy folks, I’m not feeling groggy this morning. I also didn’t have to drag myself out of bed kicking and screaming either.

I’ve spent the last hour or so on a personal matter and will be word wrangling until it’s time to get ready for work.

I should be doing some of the work for Black Blood this morning, but I feel like I’m rolling with the vampire stories so I’m going to continue on that. I haven’t written down my goals for the month on my white board but I think finishing that draft is going to be near the top of the list.

I have just realised I’ve missed a deadline for a short story submission though, I’ll go online and double check in a minute. It’s not the end of the world if I have missed it, I may find somewhere else for the story or put it in my own collection at some point.

Desk needs tidying, it’s beginning to annoy me

Doing afternoon/evening shifts is something I’m enjoying, partly because I feel like I’m getting more written when I’m on them but I need to maximise my time while doing them as well. But, then that’s true of when I’m on early shifts. I need to work out how to make the most of those days so I can be productive, or is that a target I’m being unrealistic with? Should I just be trying to get a bit of work done and then on my days off have a proper focused day? Or shale I just wing it like I normally do?

Anyway, I need to get cracking for the day.

Have an awesome day, folks!