writing

My story "Eighteen Steps" is now published   @TribeZine

Hi all, Just letting you all know that my short horror story “Eighteen Steps” is now published in Thief, a micro-publication by Tribe Media. An online version can be found at http://tribemedia.org/eighteen-steps/ Please be warned that it contains some vulgarity. At the time I wrote it I was watching a bit of the Sopranos and I imagined my protagonist as that sort of tough guy with that kind of language. I myself

My writing goals for this week

On Monday I listed my writing goals as: finish reviewing and editing my short story “Restored” Identify possible buyers for my short story Identify next most viable short story idea I have now finished reviewing “Restored”. My wife, upon reading it, felt that I needed to give some clear indications of what transpired in the story. This is because my chief character changes bodies three times within the story without

Finished first draft of "Night Terrors" renamed "Restored"

One of the tasks that I set myself for this week was finishing the first draft of my short story called “Night Terrors”. The good news is that I succeeded, but not as I quite expected. Okay, let me explain, and note that there will be spoilers should you ever choose to read this tale. My initial notion for this tale was a horror story where a woman wakes during

Celebrations - my first work of fiction has been accepted!

Hi all, Just a brief update: the short horror story that I submitted to Thief has been accepted by the editorial committee. Yippee! Apparently, it is now being sent with the other accepted works to an illustrator, a process that takes about a month. I’ll let you all know details when it is published. All I will share with you now is the title: Eighteen Steps. It’s funny. I’ve had published

Submitted a new short story to Lamplight Magazine  @lamplightmagazine

Possessed of a writing frenzy, my second short story in as many weeks has been sent off. I have sent it to Lamplight Magazine. As with last week’s short story, it’s now just a matter of waiting to see whether they accept it. My biggest concern about my story is that it is not speculative fiction, but rather a dark reflection of current society. Here is their call for submissions

Submitted a short story to Tribe Media's Thief  @TribeZine

Now that I am back to being creative, my first endeavour has been to attempt a short story for Thief. They have made a call for submissions that I would encourage any other authors to contemplate: CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS The theme is horror. The word limit is 1,000. So I’ve given it a go. May not make it in, but who knows? It was fun flexing the literary muscles again. In

Does an artificial world need to be geometric?

This entry is part 4 of 4 in the series Mapping Shade

So I sit here with Scrivener open, contemplating writing (contemplating writing is always so much easier than actually writing) and my mind falls to my world of Shade and maps. Should I map my world? Then I remember that I had contemplated this three years ago and even written some posts in which I used Bryce and Photoshop to create a maps of the chasm city of Shade. Wow! So

Plummeting towards the drawing board  #writing

So I am writing. Typing away furiously. I’ve just hit 180,000 words. And then it all comes crashing down with a  single realisation – I’ve stuffed a part of my world-building. So how did I do this? I’ll try to answer that in a spoiler-free manner,  just in case I ever finish this novel or you ever read it. I have a race of magic users (well, kind of). They

Writing progress and thoughts

During my months of vision impairment I spent a lot of time frustrated by my inability to write each day. During that time, now many months past, I found myself listening to podcasts on the topic of writing. All these months later a few things stand out. Firstly, a lecture by Stephen King. Oh – I listened to lots of his lectures and talks and interview – but yes, one stood out. In it

The British Newspaper Archives - a geat historical resource @BNArchive

Introduction You know me – I’m all over the place with my interests.  And yet I am not. All my interests overlap so that the sum is greater than the parts. The British Newspaper Archive is something that I have held membership of for a few years now. And I love it. I use it for a number of my interests. This article will address two of those, namely writing and

If you want to be a published author you must interact with other authors

Late last year I attended a session run by my local library (Sutherland Library). Led by travel writer Walter Mason the topic was along the lines of “How to publish your book”. While a large space had been set out, only about fifteen people turned up. I was early and so chatted with Walter (actually not realising that he was going to be the speaker). He was a very pleasant guy and

#Writing: changing a character's gender to improve a scene

For each chapter I write little notes beforehand, telling me what I am trying to achieve. Then I write to fulfil this goal. So I have a chapter. It’s intended to introduce a character named John Sutton. My note reads: Meet ex-mercenary John Sutton. He has just made camp with the rest of the expedition. There is tension between Sutton and Lord Trickett, whom he suspects is up to no

Review: "Pale Rider" a novelisation of the film

Alan Dean Foster is an author whose work I have read and owned since I was a teenager. In the mid-1970s I saved up and bought one of the books of the animated Star Trek series that Mr Foster had written. When I bought the book of Star Wars just after the film came out, ostensibly it was by George Lucas but it turns out that Mr Foster ghost wrote

Today I deliberately deleted several chapters of my novel

It was painful, but I finally listened to advice provided by many writers upon writing – I deleted several chapters of my novel. Well, technically I just cut and paste them into another document, but it still hurt. The problem was not that the chapters were no good. I actually felt that they were fine. It’s just that they did not take my characters on the journey that I finally

Book review: "The Abominable" by Dan Simmons

I first stumbled across Dan Simmons’ writing around 1990. The book was a science fiction delight called “Hyperion”. It was a science fiction epic, a Canterbury Tales for space and time travel. Since then I have frequently indulged myself in his novels. As an author he leans towards the fantastic, whether it be in science fiction or horror. And be warned, they are not light weight. “The Abominable” held certain expectations.

Worldbuilding - my responses to Jasne

I my last writing post, Jasne as me a whole heap of really good questions (a big thanks Jasne :) ). I was going to respond to his comment and then realised that my response would make a really good (or at least average) post. So here we go. I will put Jasne’s comments in blue italics and my responses in Klingon plain text. Note that there will be some

Thoughts on the trigger in the "Tempting in Shade" sequence

OK – be aware that if you are likely to read my novels (when they are done) that some spoilers will be appearing in this post. But I need to think things out and maybe get feedback for you, my few but loyal blogmates. I have finally worked out a series of ideas that seem to gel as the background and overall story arc. Here they are. Background Set hundreds

My novel. Not procrastinating. Just thinking.

If you have been with me on my blogging journey from the very beginning you will know that my focus back then was the novel that I was writing called “Tempting in Shade”. But over the past year I have written progressively less. Why is that? No, I have not abandoned this project. It actually occupies a large proportion of my thinking. It’s just that I am trying to make it “right”. What

Writing, writing, writing

Hi folks, This is just a brief catch up. Since my last post I have been getting up each morning and writing. Admittedly, first I throw a photo up on Instagram. Looking at a photo from an exciting adventure in my past tends to brighten my day. The entire beginning of the novel has been rewritten. Ten thousand new words! The secondary plot has really expanded into something that I

To write a new text book - Promote team effectiveness

Some of you may remember that toward the beginning of this century I wrote two management text books. With my redundancy rapidly approaching (29 January) I contacted my old publishers (Software Publications). I had been working on a new textbook for them a few years back before my last eye infection sent me blind for a couple of months and subsequent eye issues kept me from doing much other than my