Update – Best Laid Plans…

Well, hasn’t 2019 been rapid so far? Allegedly we’re about to fly into the fifth month of the year. I have my doubts. But, assuming this dubious news is true, it’s likely time I gave you lovely folks an update.

2019 has, to-date, been an awesome one for me. Work (the day job) is steaming along nicely, I had a nice holiday, have bought a house, my mother came over for a visit and brought my Aunt too. It’s been hectic. Now, next week we get the keys to said house and then it’s time to completely gut the place and start again. Really. It’s almost all got to come out. So that will be the next few months of my life. I shall be spending non-working hours with a hammer and/ paint brush in hand.

As you can imagine, getting all of this done has made writing time thin on the ground. To the point where the aforementioned skiing holiday was, in fact, a writing holiday for me. I spent about five days in Austria and, whilst my family skied, I typed. It was awesome. I can highly recommend the Austrian Alps as a location to get some words written.

I had planned to get some blogs written on my website a few weeks ago, but an update on my old site stopped me being able to edit or add blogs. This caused me to utilise my extensive vocabulary of bad language in telling the old site what I thought about it. As you can see, I have a new site, but this is only a temporary one. I will make a more complete one… soon?

I did, however, take the chance to rewrite some of the copy on the site and expand some of the areas, especially around the projects I have on the go.

But, whilst time has been sparse, I have been cramming in what time I can and progress has been made. Thus far in 2019 I’ve been working on my writing skill and putting time into the process of it. This has taken many forms but the headlines are:

  • Worked on my skills by completing the Art of Storytelling Masterclass series by Neil Gaiman. If you’re a writer or creator of graphic novels, I would highly recommend this. Neil talks about all aspects of the writing process, ideas behind it and includes some invaluable insights. It got me thinking about the what and the why of my writing. There’s some useful exercises within it too.
  • A bit more development was had by trying out my first audio book; ‘On Writing’ by Stephen King. I think that this one is a rite of passage in the writing community and it was really interesting. Especially comparing this to the Masterclass.
  • I have had a very creative period when it comes to new ideas. All very helpful, but has seen me putting a notepad by the bed. It’s been used a lot. I now have eleven blogs and twenty short stories to write… when I find the time!
  • When life has permitted, I’ve been reading work by H.P. Lovecraft, Madeline Miller and some research texts.
  • Looked at the work I’ve completed so far and realised a growing theme behind it all. This was a surprise… apparently I have something on my mind and it needs saying.
  • I’ve decided to increase productivity by planning to submit some of my short stories to magazines and journals. It’s the best way to get motivated, get some feedback and, if all the stars align, maybe make some money? Wouldn’t that be exciting?

Away from the theory, the actual practice has been going well, if somewhat disjointed. I am an impulsive writer, which sees me bouncing around from one idea to another as inspiration hits. This means that I have three manuscripts on the go at this point with more part blogs and short stories than I would care to mention. Self discipline is needed. But in the absence of self control I have made progress on the following:

  • The Walls of Tartarus: After a big old push late last year, Tartarus was really taking shape BUT there was a problem. Namely Tartarus feels like the second book, not the first. There’s a lot of ground to cover at the start and the more I look at it, the more I appreciate that I need to start earlier than Tartarus can. So, planning is underway for Book 1 whilst Tartarus is becoming Book 2. So. That’s nice?

  • Eclipse: This was the project I launched into whilst on holiday. Set in the Exoterran universe, Eclipse started as a short story and then it got… bigger. The shape of the story is done, with the first half in rough draft with the last chapter written too. Eclipse is getting chipped away at when ever I can.

  • Midnight 13: A sci-fi short story, this idea has been about for a while. It’s the first short story I am writing with the express idea of selling, so we shall see how that goes.
  • All The Dreams We Forget To Remember: Like Midnight 13, this is a short story destined for a journal or magazine. Maybe?
  • Free Animal: Destined for this here blog, Free Animal is a bloody tale of revenge. A young police officer pursues a sadistic killer deep into the rotting carcass of a world abused, neglected and covered over with steel. As she tracks him deeper into the darkness and the body count grows, is she really chasing him… or being led?

So, yes. Not much going on really, is there? Not sure WHAT I am talking about. *ahem*

Writing is not what I thought it would be. But as life gets busier around me, I think I will need to focus and be more disciplined to get projects finished. After all, that’s what matters. Not how many ideas you have, but how many you finish.

With that said, I shall go make a coffee and start work on…

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