Monday 9th November, 2015

This is basically the last post before life goes a bit weird. Well, weirder. Today is my moving day, although I’m about to go through what may be the slowest move in history as I maintain a (mortgaged) house in my current location and (from Thursday) rent a place in my new location, about 70 miles away. I start work at the new job tomorrow, so I’m actually sleeping on someone’s sofa for this week. The dogs aren’t, they’re “on holiday” from this afternoon as being locked up in kennels is so euphemistically called. The house I share with the bank will be going on the market some time this week as well, with luck, so fingers crossed for sorting out my financial situation asap!

I won’t even be bothering with a land-line at the rental property for at least a month or so. All of which means that Internet access (at least for my own purposes) will be patchy. This will lead to delays in response, for which sorry in advance. I will try to maintain my usual blogging routines with the Otherworld Gazetteer [External Link] and The Finishing School [External Link] but there’s a fair chance you won’t see anything from me for a few weeks, possibly a month while I get the real life stuff organised.

I did, however, get a piece up on the Finishing School last week (Mindsets and Roleplaying: [External Link]) so that may keep you distracted for a while.

Finally and probably most importantly, the moving giveaway has closed. The winners have been announced and I’ve sent emails to get in touch. I haven’t received any addresses today, so organising the rehoming may end up delayed until next weekend or later, depending on how things pan out. Again, my apologies and thank you for taking part!

The House-Moving Giveaway Winners

So, moving, lightening my load, etc.

I ran a small giveaway of a number of copies of my own books (apparently there’s enough of them to have a bibliography [External Link]). First, the plug:

European Monsters Details

European Monsters came out in paperback in 2014 from Fox Spirit Books [External Link]. If you didn’t win the giveaway copy, please do consider looking it up on your local version of … Continue reading

Sunday 1st November, 2015

I have been a particularly bad correspondent of late. Think about how difficult a mouse would find it tapping out words on a keyboard. Now you have that mental image, ignore the fact that I’m actually a human who just ran out of time and energy.

Perhaps the first thing I should mention is my current giveaway. You have just under a week to enter to win a set of 25 Ways To Kill A Werewolf & A Pack Of Lies and / or a copy of European Monsters. There are a number of entries so far but all you have to do is comment! (With the proviso that I’ll not be posting them outside of the EU / EEA – and Switzerland – due to postage. You can live somewhere else buy the address I post to needs to be “local”.)

So, I’m in the process of relocating – in work and in habitation. I’m about to embark on my last week with FCC Environment and I start my new job the week after. I may have just about secured a place to rent that will except three dogs (although, due to paperwork, it’ll be sometime this week before the letting agents give me the final “yea” or “nay”). I still have a house to get on the market (once the dogs aren’t there so people can view it in peace) and tidy up a bit at weekends. Thankfully, the Rugby (Union) World Cup is now over – grats to New Zealand – and I have one less thing to distract me while I get things sorted.

Last weekend, I attended FantasyCon in Nottingham [External Link] (around house viewings in North Yorkshire and Lancashire, as well as handing in paperwork). I met up with some lovely people – for name dropping purposes, have a gander at Steven Poore [External Link] – who just launched his epic fantasy, but there’s a tonne of blogging about people’s impressions linked from a BFS round-up post here: [External Link].

Apparently I did okay in my panel where I shared space with, amongst others, Juliet McKenna [External Link]. However, I’m not in a position to commit to anything next year until I have moving sorted and a house sold. Until then, I have to pay for two households, so it’s unlikely I shall have spare monies for con-attending. Wel, aside form the already having got a membership to Satellite 5 [External Link] (Glasgow, 28th-29th May, 2016), which I am currently determined to make.

Other things currently up in the air include my current WIP (Feathers), which I’m about two thirds of the way through – at least in first draft. I hope to get it sorted soon but I may detour into redrafting the last Elkie piece as that’s on a deadline for next year. I’m still working on the African Monsters anthology with Margrét Helgadóttir [External Link] with the intention of publishing it this year but the official launch will be in February next year.

Advance warning but I will be committing further bloggage at The Finishing School [External Link] this week – it’s the first Wednesday of the month, after all. If you have any HEMA-related things you want me to post about at the TFS, please let me know but I’m not sure how things will fit in with the time left over from the house-related responsibilities. Fingers crossed that I can manage a December post!

There may end up being a slight hiatus on the Otherworld Gazetteer [External Link] posts and site diary posts here for much the same reason. I should, however, be back next week to let you know a bit more about how things are working out.

The House-Moving Giveaway

As you may or may not know, I’m in the process of moving. And I have a number of books. In order to make life a little bit easier, I’m having a cull of books I probably won’t read again. This may bite me in the butt if / when I change my mind, but so be it.

However, on to the giveaway!

In order to make a little bit more room, I have a … Continue reading

Sunday 11th October

So. News, most of it good, includes:

  • I managed to write a couple of chapters on the current work in progress.
  • Wales are through to the Rugby Union World Cup quarter-finals, as runners-up in their pool. They play South Africa next weekend.
  • I will be starting a new job in about a month’s time.
  • I will be moving in order to attend said job.
  • I finally got around to putting up a post about the rapier that turned up at my door a couple of weeks ago (don’t worry, I’d been expecting it. This wasn’t an out-of-the-blue windfall.)
  • I committed bloggage at The Finishing School [External Link]
  • My Otherworld Gazetteer [External Link] is due to update on Thursday with the next round of posts – and the spot-light tweets and mentions will continue on a Tuesday / Thursday schedule.

This is the bit where you beg me to stop writing Gazetteer posts, tell me what HEMA-related goodness you might like to see up at The Finishing School, or go “ooooh!” over the swordiness linked above.

See you next week!

A Danelli Cup-Hilt Rapier

As promised, here’s my latest addition to the armoury. This is a cup-hilt rapier by Marco Danelli of Danelli Armouries [External Link]. It’s a fairly standard design for him and you can see an older sibling here: [External Link]. However, I have a few difference slight differences from that version, not least that it comes with an off-hand dagger…

As I’ve mentioned before, rapiers are … Continue reading

Sunday 4th October, 2015

Writing has basically ground to a halt and it may be stop start for the foreseeable future (adventures are in the offing and I may admit to more about that at a later date). However, the editing project (African Monsters, due out for the end of this year with an official launch next year) and the last of the Elkie trilogy (currently titled “Fool if you think it’s over” and, yes, sorry, act of trilogy committed) is in hand so that should be out when it fits in the Fox Spirit [External Link] schedule next year.

Part of the current slow down is due to spending more time than is probably healthy watching the Rugby (Union) World Cup. I actually attended a couple of Wales matches at the Millennium stadium in the last couple of weeks, so that’s taken a huge bite out of my regular routines. However, it was totally worth it!

And I have a new sword, so I need to write a little post on that some time this week.

Oh, and I have a sword-related post coming up at The Finishing School [External Link] on Wednesday, so look out for that.

Sunday 27th September, 2015

Progress on my Feathers has been very slow these last few weeks. Mainly down to watching rugby when I should probably be writing or doing other chores. There has even been time off from the day job in order to attend a match in Cardiff – and another one this week.

However, I have been a good little editor and achieved a few tasks related to the forthcoming African Monsters (follow up to the European Monsters volume). We’re aiming for November / December for publishing but there will be an official launch in early 2016, so look out for some news on that in a few months’ time.

Sunday 13th September, 2015

Hello again! Yes, I missed another week. And, no, I’m not entirely sure why, either. However, here’s a few things worth sharing!

The Future Fire [External Link] Indiegogo fund-raiser [External Link] made it’s goal, so thank you to everyone who donated time or money. I’m not anything directly to do with it, I ought to add, I’m just someone who’s been lucky enough to be published by them a few times and who hopes to be published by them again.

I’m about half way through the projected length of A Fistful Of Feathers. I know where I intend to end up but it’s still a bit touch and go as to whether all the elements will line up or the route will actually get me there. Of course, as well as having the mid-story blues (or “major bout of procrastination” as it should more accurately be called), I’m trying to square up a few other commitments with day-job and writing that a) aren’t obvious to everyone else and b)keep me from getting through this middle chunk any faster.

My final update-y bit is about my Otherworld Gazetteer [External Link]. It finally occurred to me that deadlinks may put people off more than I should, and the only real solution is to release posts as I put them on wordpress. However, given that I can either post them individually over a month or do a bulk upload and then “spotlight” individual posts over the month, guess which I’m going to do? Well, more or less. I’ve now scheduled all the posts due for my Spetember 15th update very fist thing on Tuesday morning – and will be tweeting a link to a page on my more usual schedule of Tuesdays and Thursdays.

I’ll be away next weekend as I’m going to watch a rugby match. This means I’ll be late posting or may skip next week – and that I won’t necessarily be watching Doctor who at the same time as everyone else…

Sunday 30th August, 2015

I’m not entirely sure how, but I managed to lose a weekend – at least in blogging terms. However, here we are now!

This week is a few The Future Fire [External Link] related mentions and plug. To start with, the Indiegogo fund-raiser [External Link] to help TFF bring their tenth celebrations in with style (better funding for their artists and writers, etc) has a couple of days remaining. If you like your science fiction, fantasy and horror inclusive as well as intelligent (well, barring my offerings) please take a look at it and consider donating.

A further part of the #TFFX celebrations is a flash fiction competition with prizes – more information here: [External Link]

I’ve written a twitter story as part of this (“Ten” or “Sheep Valhalla” as I’m starting to think of it) that I Storified and posted here: [External Link]

I also took part in some brainstorming last night (again, the tweets are Storified here: [External Link]) and the result I came up with is called “Ten Inch / Silent Sonata“. The Storify link should also give you the other two brainstormers’ (Djibril al-Ayad and Valeria Vitale) stories, too.

Please think about getting involved, even if it’s only to spread the word about this online magazine.