Wednesday 27th September, 2017

Well, we survived Swords & Sourcery and Academie Glorianna are considering whether we have the wherewithal to do it again next year and how. Feedback so far has been gloriously positive – and thank you to everyone who attended for making it such a positive event.

I’m now in a position to start planning The Next Thing(s), so I’ve put up some event reminders for the upcoming York pub meet and Sledge Lit, which I shall be attending as a punter. I’m also starting to look at my calendar for next year and will probably start putting up some events (both fencing and writing) for that in the next month or so. I won’t be making it to By The Sword 2018. They have sold out tickets in a matter of days. Good for them, not so good for me!

I’m also starting to catch up with the idea of alpha and beta readers for the recently finished Aurora 1st draft and who to approach for reviews of the recently accepted The Knight’s Daughter. I don’t know when review copies will be available and so on but if you’re interested, drop me a line and we’ll make a list of willing sacrifices volunteers.

I haven’t started work on the next WIP, yet – Feintheart, although that’s unlikely to be the finished title – but should do in the next few days. Expect to read my gripes about it in the not-too-distant future.

Final thing to mention: I’ve decided to follow all the cool kids and move my writing related stuff to its own Facebook page (here: [External Link]). I will still be tweeting most things and these will turn up on by personal FB profile but the page should make it easier for people who aren’t actually friends to follow the writing related announcements.

Wednesday 20th September, 2017

Only three days to Swords & Sourcery and I’m trying not to be too wound up. It’ll all be fine and I’ll enjoy it when it’s here. Although I probably won’t decide I enjoyed it until the day after, because that’s the way I handle stress!

However, in happy feelings land, the lovely Michael (S) Collins of Other Side Books [External Link] has agreed to rehome The Knight’s Daughter, the first of my Greenwood stories. (No, the other two haven’t been rehomed, they’re still in states of disarray / first draft.) Which rolls in nicely to my official announcement that the first draft of Aurora is complete. Once S&S is out of the way, I shall be looking at chasing up the alpha readers and recruiting some beta readers. And the Feintheart story refuses to listen to me deny I have time for it this week and keeps attempting to (re)start with moments like:

It starts in a tavern. Because all adventures start in a tavern, right?

And:

The hero should be a fallen prince, or some noble’s bastard, or a farm-boy desperate to prove himself. Or all three, for preference.

This is not the unreliable narrator / snark knight I was looking for. Especially not when I have other things to think about.

(These are tropes references. If you want to fall into the TV Tropes black hole, you can find out about unreliable narrators here: [External Link] and snark knights here: [External Link])

Wednesday 13th September, 2017

It appears that I was right on the money on my last site update as the first of my Aurora WIP is basically finished. I need to do some nip and tuck while I stitch the chapters together but it will be done this week. In fact, my really wild Friday night will probably involve doing the last few bits and pieces to it.

Which is just as well because the next project / first draft seems to be demanding my time. This one is going with the working title “Feintheart” (stolen from someone else many moons ago in a discussion and skulking around long enough for me to have an ideas playlist on YouTube:

It’s also been mentioned (briefly) on 28th June, 2017 and the novella I intend to cannibalise to produce it, City of Dreams was mentioned as a complete first draft on 26th July, 2009. It’s been mentioned since but the dates are only to demonstrate how long the idea has been bouncing around my head.

10 days to Swords & Sourcery! (If you’re interested in attending, please get in touch asap.)

Wednesday 30th August, 2017

It’s been a fortnight since we talked last but, dear reader, I have had a rather awesome experience or two in between. I hope that I may be forgiven for the generally state of anxiety that stopped me posting last week.

On Saturday 19th August, Academie Glorianna (the HEMA club that allows me to play with them) were doing some display work at Hall i’ th’ Wood Hall. That’s this place: [External Link]. Given the age of the hall, we tailored our talk to Shakespeare’s era and Mark Hillyard and I did some I33, Saviolo and Di Grassi plays to show the kind of fighting that Shakespeare and his contemporaries were probably familiar with. It also led to a conversation amongst ourselves about whether the acting companies (usually patronised by one lord of another) were really a way of hiding trained fighting men who were part of a lord’s entourage seeing as keeping soldiers and affinities were no longer legal after the whole York – Lancaster rivalry got out of hand. This may be an idea I play with at a later point.

smallsword hilt

A smallsword owned by Craven Museum

On the Sunday (20th), we went for a sword handling session at Craven Museum in Skipton (that’s this place [External Link]). It turns out, they have a rather impressive set of swords. This pic is my favourite one, a smallsword, but I have no doubt that other people would prefer some of the beefier blades.

Thursday 24th to Sunday 27th I was in London – specifically at St Mary’s University near Teddington [External Link] – for ChapterCon, where I met some amazing fellow authors. Amazing in the sense of all being lovely, helpful, friendly, supportive, positive people. I had a great time (but took few photos) and I’ve come away with a healthier respect for indie authors in other genres. Oh, didn’t I say? I was totally out of my usual con circuit as the bulk of the writers and bloggers there could be considered to have branched out from romance and (rather disparagingly but unintentionally so) “chick lit” rather than fantasy. There was a lot of overlap but it was like walking into a totally different and beguiling world. Anyway, there will be a ChapterCon 2019, which is shaping up to be more industry / backend focussed than for readers and members of the public but I’m looking forward to attending if I can.

And on Bank Holiday Monday (28th) I watched my niece at a riding lesson. She can canter and everything! (I am a proud auntie, right now.)

Unfortunately, Mousie did not accompany me on any of these trips (she didn’t fit in the case for the London trip), so there are no postcards.

In other news, the Aurora WIP has been snipped by 5000 words and not recovered any. It does, however, look like it might be drawing to a close this week or next. And Swords & Sourcery is creeping up on me. I may be slightly panicky about it seeing as I’m one of the organisers.

Wednesday 16th August, 2017

Yes, it really has been that long since we talked.

In the intervening period, I have given reader tickets for the upcoming ChapterCon away, detoured from my WIP by way of two lots of pseudo-mythology based on some basic reading about proto-indo-european mythology (Divine Twins and World Tree), and got to the point where I can admit the fencing club I attend (Academie Glorianna) is organising a women’s HEMA event for next month. By which I mean I am one of the organising team and apparently I’m one of the instructors for the event.

Oh, and the WIP (Aurora) is around 25,000 words long, and ChapterCon is just over a week away.

There are obviously more newsworthy things going on in the world (more specifically, America, I’m looking at you) but that’s all of mine for now.

Wednesday 5th July, 2017

I have been somewhat remiss in that I haven’t mentioned Edge Lit 6 and it’s coming up not this weekend coming but the weekend after. I shall be there (as member of the public and of the Fox Spirit [External Link] Skulk) and I’ve finally put up a link page for it.

Also coming up, and with a link page for significantly longer, I’ll be attending ChapterCon 2017 in Teddington (apparently that’s London) the last weekend in August. I also have some free reader tickets for that, so there’s a giveaway for those. I had originally posted that the giveaway would be for the whole of July but that’s a long time, so let’s make that until a fortnight today, eh? (Wednesday 19th July)

And, final update, option number one on last week’s list of projects won. Which I guess is why it came out number one on the list, although I didn’t actually think about it at the time. I am now about 4,000 words into a project that I have no idea how long it will turn out to be due to the weirdness of trying to capture a social media feed and make it sensible! As the working title is “Aurora”, I’ve now added that to the tags as it may come up a lot in the next few months to a year.