Category Archives: Writing

What I’ve Done This Month #January…

I’ve come to a decision about Slipwater. I am giving myself until my birthday next year – that’s May 7, 2021 – to find traction with a professional agent or publisher. If I still have made no headway by that time I’m going to self-publish the novel.

I know, I have always been opposed to going down that route. It’s the easy way, right? Any idiot can do that. There are no checks at any point in the process, and certainly nobody to tap you on the shoulder to tell you what you’ve written is trash.

Yeah, I know.

But I wrote the novel for a reason, and it’s good. I believe in it, and I want others to have the chance to read it, and if I have to swallow my pride and do what I swore I never would… then so be it.

Of course, I would much prefer to do this the traditional, tried and tested way, so if anybody in the business is reading this, here’s your chance to get in on the ground floor.

In other news I wrote a dark flash piece called I Am the Cheese. It’s something I put together very quickly – in about an hour actually – that isn’t particularly polished, but has potential down the line once I give myself the room to mess around with it.

I have sent off a few pieces to contests this month. I was going to give myself a budget each month for this, to get me in the habit of sending stuff away, so that may be an idea I can run with. I’ll have to see how it shakes out.

What I’ve Done This Week #52…

Well, I promised three short stories by Christmas Day but only managed to deliver one by the end of the year. I finished Last Chance Lagoon just in time to close out the year on a high note.

I think it was always going to be the one I finished first, but at 1400 words it’s a little longer than I had originally expected. It’s good – I like it – and I did enjoy presenting it to my captive audience, who seemed quite taken by being the star of the show.

This is my final post of the year, but I have big ideas for 2020. There are many things I want to accomplish in the next twelve months and beyond, and I’m going to get on them right away.

Happy New Year, folks!

What I’ve Done This Week #50 (and #51)…

First of all, Happy Holidays. I hope you all had a good time, and got what you wanted and deserved.

Unfortunately, I didn’t finish any of those short stories that I had tasked myself to do. All three of them are in the home stretch, and I reckon if I had put down the chocolates and the turkey I may have found the time to have completed then over the last couple of days… but alas, the call of the festivities was much too great.

While I may not have met my self-imposed deadline, I have manufactured a few decent tales that I otherwise would not have created. I think they will turn out pretty well – it’s just finding the inclination at this time of year to put a bow on them.

2020 is just around the corner now. I aim to make it a good year for me and mine, and I hope you all do the same for you and yours.

What I’ve Done This Week #48 (and #49)…

Not as much as I would have liked, that’s what I’ve done this week.

Christmas is not just one day or even one long weekend – it’s a whole damn month. I’m certainly not complaining – I love Christmas – but it does create a bit of a dip in the work rate.

Having said that I did manage to take my second of three tales over a thousand words, and it – like the first one – is almost ready to bring home.

I did promise myself that I’d have them completed in time for the 25th. It will be tight, but I’ve got a week off work leading up to the big day so I’ll get them done, even if I have to stop wrapping presents to do it.

What I’ve Done This Week #47…

I got to thinking about killing Hitler this morning – not in a real world sense, of course, but a conversation about the Christmas armistice of World War One got my creative juices flowing. I think there is some comedy to be mined in that scenario.

I am slowly plodding along with my challenge tales, but this week has been mostly about the mystery of Last Chance Lagoon. The only trouble is that it has now bloated to over 1100 words, which is a wee bit longer than I had anticipated it would be. Still, every story is fluid until you put a cap on it, so I won’t stress too much about it. And if it wants (or needs) to grow from there, all I can do is put the words down.

The other two are still moving forward, although not with the same fervour. Juggling several pieces at once is bound to have its ebbs and flows, so I’m not worried about it. This time next week it would not surprise me if the words were coming thick and fast for one of the others.

Night Shift #10 – Sometimes They Come Back…

619i-4slsfl645695221..jpgWord count – 9,700

There is an interesting idea buried in here about reincarnation, but it takes so very long to get to anything interesting in Sometimes They Come Back that it’s already an uphill battle to win my attention over, and it never manages to do it.

The second act is fine and the most involving part of the story, but it is flanked by a beginning that takes forever to get where it is going, and an end that doesn’t really pay off what has happened before.

This is the halfway point of Night Shift, and although the entries have been mostly positive so far, Sometimes They Come Back is a let down – not least of all because they managed to make a trilogy of movies out of it. It is one of the longest entries so far in this collection and certainly one of the weaker ones.

Not Recommended ⇓

What I’ve Done This Week #45 (and #46)…

The three challenge stories I am doing for the household – that I talked about several weeks ago – are well underway, and should probably all come in as flash fiction.

The Fiancée© decided upon a thriller with the word cave as inspiration. Her tale is called Tites Go Down (although I’m really not impressed with that title, and it will probably change). It currently sits at just over 600 words. I quite like it, but I’m not sure the kids are going to enjoy what happens in the story to them!

Daughter went with the word lake and wanted a mystery… so that’s what she is getting. Her tale is about 600 words and is called Last Chance Lagoon. I’m enjoying this one too and at this early stage it feels like it may end up being the best of the three.

Son went for a drama with the word equality. I initially struggled getting some traction with this one because it is such a broad genre and – dare I say it – a bland word to use. But that was what I was given, so I won’t shirk the challenge. Monochromatic is currently around 500 words.

I have decided to give myself a Christmas Day deadline for these three stories. I can print them out and save myself a few quid on gifts.