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Chipping Away…

Summer holidays seem like a far distant memory already.  My day-job has been mad-crazy busy since the moment I returned to work and seems hell-bent on consuming every fragment of brain space I have available.  As a result, when I get home in the evenings, and even over the weekends, I’m exhausted.

Writing, for me at least, is not just about stringing together the first words that come into my head.  Nor just pumping out scene after scene on the basis they’re what I thought of next. For me, writing is something more like an enormously complex collage or jigsaw puzzle. Sections of text can be written, then carefully positioned, augmented, trimmed and shaped so that the whole becomes more than the sum of its parts.  Whether or not I’m any good at that is a matter of debate: most often between my various alter-egos and sometimes between my reviewers.  But the bottom line is that: I’m not going to rush my writing.

Anyway, despite my tiredness, I am still chipping away in the background on G’host.  I’ve added a few thousand words – mostly character and world introductions – and will keep at it through November whilst I try valiantly to ignore the annual roar of speed-written enthusiasm that NaNoWriMo will no doubt spawn across the on-line writing communities…

Time To Go…

…somewhere else.

Summer, for what it’s been worth, is already showing signs of its inevitable fade toward Autumn.  There’s a slight chill in the air, fresh dew on the morning grass, and a noticeable shortening of the days.  I think I’ve made the best of what little warmth there’s been in the UK these last few months, but need to get a few days of reliably good weather before Winter returns.

It’s time, therefore, to go travelling.

Holidays aren’t an unproductive time for me.  I’m not very good at doing nothing.  Last year, my holiday netted several thousand words of base-drafting for Thunder and I’m hoping this year will be similarly fruitful.

Thunder itself is still with various proofreaders, and I’m continuing to leave it alone.  When I get back, I will aggregate all of the comments and observations I’ve received, and then do my own – hopefully final – front-to-back read through.  Based on current feedback, this should be little more than a fine tuning exercise.  Release is therefore still on track for early Autumn.

For a few months, after I’d finished Thunder, my muse seemed to vanish – presumably hitting its own beach somewhere in muse-land.  Whilst I knew what the next book would be about, knew the main storyline and the lead characters, nothing was happening in my head.  I suspect I was just written-out and needed to rest for a while.

Now, I’m pleased to report, that all sorts of interesting – and sometimes not so interesting – ideas are popping up.  Many will not make it to the story, some will get mashed-together, some will get flipped; all together, they auger well that a slab of drafting will get done whilst I’m away.

Fingers crossed!

Have fun, keep safe, and enjoy the next few weeks.

Time Warp…?

I must have been through one…

Spring has been cancelled and the UK has jumped straight into mid-summer.  Not that I’m complaining.  Cloudless blue skies always bring out the smiles, the good spirits and stimulate a mad rush to dig out shorts and t-shirts from the back of the wardrobe.

Yep, I’ve even found mine…

Thunder’s draft is also, at the moment, at a point in time somewhere toward the end of March.  This is an unexpected coincidence and the current, exceptional, heatwave is making it tricky to write about what should be the usual chills and morning frosts.

Nonetheless, good progress is being made and my word count has now crept above the 70,000 mark.  This is broadly in line with where I think I should be according to the end-to-end plot line that I’m working to but I strongly suspect this novel will now end up being slightly longer than Firebird is.

Probably like every other British citizen, I’m optimistically hoping that these weeks of warm sunshine are not the entire quota for Summer 2012.  If my writing progress continues at the current pace,  I’ll soon be diving into scenes describing hot and dusty lands, with baking dry heat and my two main characters embroiled in a seemingly unwinnable fight for their lives.

It’ll be much so much nicer if I can be doing that writing in similar conditions to today’s and not, as I suspect might be the case, under wall-to-wall leadened cloud cover with an extra jumper on just to keep warm!

Fingers crossed, eh?


Blink once and it’s almost February…!!

Apologies that I haven’t blogged for a little while.  Clocks seem to have a nasty habit of hurtling around when I’m not watching them – which, I suppose, is all the more reason to keep trying to wring the very best out of every second that flies by…

And yet, Your Honour, in my defence, I feel justified in laying before the court the following extenuating circumstances or, in other words, three feeble excuses:

1. I’ve had some real work to do.  The kind that puts ‘bread on tables’ and ‘roofs over heads’; as opposed to writing, which just seems to be a masochistic mechanism for publicly lowering my self-esteem.

2. Completely ignoring the previously mentioned risk of self-injury, I’ve been channeling much of my spare time into drafting the next book.  It’s coming along nicely with about 45,000 words sketched out.  I suspect it’ll end up slightly longer than Firebird so I’m estimating that I’ve written about forty percent of the first draft.

3. I’ve been in hiding…  It’s been a strange few weeks for reviews of Firebird.  On Goodreads it got awarded an “okay” and a “really liked it” but it’s also had a couple of one star write ups on Amazon.  I’m obviously disappointed, even though I’ve known all along that this was something I’d need to deal with.  I don’t expect that everyone is going to like the story; books are a very personal thing and our perceptions of them vary wildly. Nonetheless, despite the fact that I know a lot of people are enjoying it, the negative comments did knock my confidence a bit.

4. Dragonage II (on the XBox).

Oops… that’s four excuses but games consoles are definitely time bending machines…  And the skeletal archers on that last level were particularly tricky to annihilate…

I rest my case.

(p.s. special apologies to Albie: Sorry mate, I’ve not looked at the Shakespeare spoof yet…)

(p.p.s. does anyone know how to sharpen a quill…?)

Time flies…

… as do pigs (occasionally).

I can’t believe it’s been over a week since my last post but, looking back, I’m also wondering what I’ve actually achieved in the intervening time…

Well, aside from:

  • Writing another fair slice of Thunder
  • Setting up the epub files for Firebird v.3
  • Making lots of new Goodreads and Twitter friends (hello all…)
  • Creating my first and probably only animated 3D gif file (I do love tinkering with technology)
  • Pickling my beetroot (seriously, this is not an intentional double entendre…)
  • Rediscovering my hoover (and working out how to switch it on again)
  • Exchanging writing thoughts and drafts with another indie author
  • Doing two solid days of (boring) business analysis (which I still need to finish off) and…
  • Spending far too long surfing around the internet!

Given my last bullet point above and that (mysteriously) Summer has finally descended on the United Kingdom (I know, it’s incredible, 27 degrees in September!), I’m off into the garden to see if I can find my lawnmower…

Thanks for all the positive feedback on the new book cover.  Much appreciated.

Time flies; so make the best of every second…

(now then… I think it’s lurking somewhere in that long grass that I used to call a lawn… where’s my machete?)

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