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!

Good Morning 1st of March 2021

A very groggy good morning from me. Another night of unsettled sleep, desktop not working, and Dizzy spilling a little of my tea means I’m really not feeling it this morning. I could have easily gone back to bed or popped a streaming service on for a few hours until I go to work, but I’ve force myself outta bed and to my desk, and with a purring Dizzy on my lap, I’m almost ready to go.

Today, I’m going to keep it simple, work on the vampire book. That’s what I’m most familiar with so I won’t have to dive into something I haven’t worked on for a while. I’ve got to list down what I want to achieve this month in the next couple of days as well. I’ll be rolling a few over from last month, but not too many. There’s one on there, the bounty hunter story, that I think I’m going to end up rewriting. I like the characters, I like the concept, but it feels a little weak at the moment.

I’ve got mainly lates this week, and I’m finding I’m more productive when I have a few hours in the morning before work, and it’s a great vibe to go to work with, having been productive before I get to work. It sets a good mindset that I like.

Right, that said, I really want to get stuck in, hopefully it’ll wake me up a bit more and I can stop fighting the urge to get back to bed!

Oh, and somehow I’ve managed to pass 2000 posts here. I can’t remember when I started blogging, it was around 2010 I suppose, and I’d imagine those early posts were awful! but I’m still going, and a big thank you to everyone who reads my posts. It means a lot to me and I hope it’s helpful.

Good Morning, 16th Of February 2021

Good morning, folks!

I’ve been awake about an hour and I’m just about to get going on my mornings writing before I go to work. I’m pulling myself kicking and screaming to the laptop today though. I slept, but I don’t feel like I had a settled night. I know I just need to wake up fully, and getting some work done will help.

Something I realised about myself a long time ago was that if I get a good start to the day then the day is almost always better. It gives me a positive mindset and a sense of accomplishment. So that no matter what else happens that day I’ve already been productive and that puts me in a fantastic mood for the rest of the day.

Raven’s cold

It was a struggle to get out of bed when I did today. I had an internal battle with going back to bed for a couple of hours. I don’t have to be at work until this afternoon, so I could have had a few more hours but that felt like a surrender. I preach about being productive and I do that a lot to try and trick myself into doing it. Sometimes it’s easier to just roll over, but then nothing would have got done. I’ve got a few hours where I can just sit and work. I can sleep after work.

First song on a YouTube playlist this morning 🙂

12th February 2021

Good evening folks!

Just a quick little post for the day. I pulled a few extra hours at work so am wiped out but I will get a little writing work done this evening. What I’d planned to do today I’ll roll over and do it tomorrow. I’m working Sunday, so I’m not expecting to get a lot done then as it’s an all day shift essentially.

If I fits, I sits! And yes, I knew my picture was being taking so I do a cute! 🤣

I’ve mainly early shifts for the next week or so, so what I’m going to do is try and make sure I’m in bed by ten each night. Then when I finish my shift at about midday I get home, lunch, shower and then work for two hours. Then chill out until 10pm when I get my head down.

Part of chilling out will be reading. So I might stretch lights out till 10:30pm, if I’m reading.

Right, I’m going to get some work done, not sure what project yet but probably on Vampire Era.

I likely won’t blog again tonight, so I hope you’re all good and I’ll be back soon!

Good Morning! 12th January 2021

Hey folks! A nice early one today.

I edited yesterday, but can’t remember how many words I did. It was over a 1000 but less than 2000.

Something that struck me yesterday was that maybe I need to try and have a schedule so that when I’m at work I do one light day writing, and then one heavy day writing. Especially when I’m doing early shifts and I’m not getting as much sleep as I’d like this is something that’s worth a try.

Sitting here writing that and I can’t help but think that none of these little things I’m doing are going to really change the way I work. Even though I’m trying not to sit on my bed and work while watching this or that, I’m still doing it. Mostly on work days, which are more often then not an early shift, and I do get work done. Yesterday I would have got more done if I’d started earlier in the afternoon after work. But I was wiped out so I laid down with a movie on in the hope I’d drift off and have a nap, which didn’t happen. But I find I need that downtime after work sometimes. I just need to let my brain wind down from the day job and slide into a mental space that’s a little more favourable to some form of creativity.

Right, time for me to get into work and think about getting cracking.

Let’s make today a good one, folks!

Spot the hunting kitty!