Spindrift: Story Background

It has been suggested that I ought to do background posts on all of my stories that have been accepted (in venues other than here, obviously). Partly because it gives readers an insight into my thinking and partly because the person who suggested it is a completist.

So, without further ado, here’s some background on Spindrift, a short story in my New Dryas world.

Publishing Details

Spindrift was published … Continue reading

The Ally-Ally-Oh: Story Background

It has been suggested that I ought to do background posts on all of my stories that have been accepted (in venues other than here, obviously). Partly because it gives readers an insight into my thinking and partly because the person who suggested it is a completist.

So, without further ado, here’s some background on The Ally-Ally-Oh, a short story in my New Dryas world.

Publishing Details

The Ally-Ally-Oh … Continue reading

Sunday 26th January, 2014

Following today’s post about a new fictional world – or, at least, the new box to put my toys in – I thought I’d share my current list of projects to make up for the times when it looks like I’m doing nothing.

  1. A Pack Of Lies (Novel, Fur-Skins, Elkie 2), 1st draft – beta reading,
  2. Good Form (Practice script based on short story), 1st draft – stewing,
  3. An Invisible Tide (Short, sf), 2nd draft – beta reading,
  4. Untitled (Novella, R&D), 1st draft in progress,
  5. Untitled (Novella, R&D), notes,
  6. Brothers Under The Skin (Novel, Fur-Skins, Elkie 3), notes,
  7. Into The Greenwood / Queen of Fools? (Novel, fantasy), notes,

I’m about three quarters of the way through the first draft of the first R&D “Untitled” on my list. But I really do very little writing. I just peck away at it when I can, which is why things take a while to emerge in final copy.

My “to be rewritten” mountain is a similar length, if I keep it down to the work I’m intending to read through and then make a decision on this year – maybe even redo, time allowing:

You may recognise some of those from when I first got into writing with intent – back in 2007, no less. I suspect some of them count towards the first however many hundred thousand words that are supposed to be total crap. Some chunks of those are total crap but I want to see if there’s anything worth salvaging.

Sunday 1st April, 2012

Welcome to April – and April Fools’ Day. I’ve been caught out by a few minor pranks but thankfully only in reading online things where no-one could see or hear me scream. I can be pretty gullible so I try to avoid passing anything along news or gossip wise until I’ve made it to the 2nd, just to be on the safe side. The theory being that online conversation will have given the jokes away in that amount of time. (Although, here in the UK, we’re supposed to come clean at noon.)

Yesterday, I published a post I’ve called Let’s Talk About Sex (apologies to Salt’N’Pepa). It’s partially in response to a recent Cracked.com article [5 Ways Modern Men Are Trained To Hate Women: External Link] – and to a few online responses I’ve read since. But it also came up at a time when I’ve talked over the idea of sexuality (by which I mean the why of sex as oppose to the what) with a few people. Each of those conversations were different, and some actually about the animals in our care rather than human beings, but they tied in with the ideas that Cracked had put in my head. Once I’d had the chance to let it filter through.

I’ve also finished the first draft of a short story connected to the Alex Jones / 25 Ways To Kill A Werewolf world. I haven’t decided whether it will live or die – in terms of being edited and rehomed, or left as it is. If I decide to let it live, I’ll be doing a redux version of the Order of Play post. I have a few other bits and pieces in the same world still floating around my head and I’m wondering whether to look at them or go back to other projects. On the back burner (the “one day I’ll get back to them” pile), I have the partially written Three Guineveres (or The Gens) that I can’t seem to get back into, A Granted Wish that didn’t fit into the short story I tried to shoe-horn it into, and Longest Night that I’m considering rehashing (again) in an attempt to salvage something out of my first attempt at long-form.

Finally, I’ll probably be missing in action next week. Dydd Sadurn nesaf, ‘dw i’n mynd i Gymru i siarad Cymraeg. I imagine by this time next week, I shall be hiding under a bed in the hostel dormitory wibbling because I’m not allowed to speak English and I don’t know enough Welsh to talk for Britain as I usually do. I’ll be gone from Easter Saturday to the following Saturday. Anyway, I can’t guarantee Internet access, so I figured there’s no point promising to make any updates to the site. See you in a fortnight!

A Tale of Two Themes

I thought I’d post Shelter from The Storm up for two reasons: because it fits quite well with Going Home; because otherwise it’s sat on my computer doing nothing. It’s been in existence for some time – it shows in the writing and, I flatter myself, I have improved since the last edit sweep on it in 2009 – and it was one of my … Continue reading

Sunday 13th November, 2011

Today is Remembrance Sunday. As far as I’m concerned, the rightful day for today’s ceremonies was 11th November (Armistice Day) but these things always get moved to the nearest weekend. I have, you will be happy to know, made my annual donation to “the poppy appeal” (The Royal British Legion [External Link]) and observed my two minutes silence – twice. Although I think it’s only fitting for people to remember and support the individuals who are killed, wounded or otherwise kept from a normal life by being involved in war and other conflicts that don’t rate the title, I wish that the white poppy were more widely available (The Peace Pledge Union [External Link]). I prefer that people didn’t fight – particularly as the governments who make these decisions are rarely that representative of a people’s wishes. I guess that sounds strange from someone who has a history of dabbling in martial arts and currently plays with swords but that’s a different kind of fighting all together. However, I’ll always donate to the British Legion because the organisation is not funding war but those who come home from it.

(I sometimes wonder if we should pick one of the more violent sports and use that instead of war, with the rankings deciding who has the World Presidency. Just think, if it were based on Rugby Union, New Zealand would have ruled the world for the last twenty-odd years and all of the armed forces would be used as film extras and labourers instead of for war. [World Socialist Website: Behind the making of The Lord of the Rings External Link])

Right, so this week, there were two site updates:

  1. A Status Update for the acceptance of Beaumains (this story has been mentioned before here and here). The accepting magazine, Crossed Genres [External Link], is in the process of wrapping up and this will be part of the last issue. This also means I’ve been in one issue for each year that they’ve been in print (if an ezine is “in print”) with issues 2, 17 and 36! Crossed Genres-as-press will continue – hopefully for many more years.
  2. A new story posted on site: Shelter From The Storm. This story sites in the New Dryas world and has actually been sitting around for a while. I’ll be posting more about the themes and the history of it some time next week, so I won’t bore you with it twice.

In off-site news, the spare bedroom is ready to be painted. It may even be finished for next week! Yay! Remind me next time I start redecorating that I don’t like it. Actually, I like the stripping of wallpaper, and the actual painting, and finishing. I’m not so keen on the cleaning things up and the fiddly jobs in between.

Shelter From The Storm (Short)

Download as PDF

Elaine tried to surreptitiously tighten her coat around herself and her rumbling stomach as she waited at the door. The first sprinkling of snow had settled against the base of the house walls. Snow in October.

She shook her head. What had happened to the global warming? Had it faded somehow between now and her student days, when people could talk of nothing else? Had it been … Continue reading

New Dryas: A World History

A rough guide to how the world is fitting together. This is all subject to change as it gets ret-conned nearly every time I have a new idea and the dates are vague in order to prevent too much of such tinkering. It is also very Brit-centric. I am British, after all!

In fictional time-line / chronological order, the works set in this world are:

  • Shelter From The Storm (Short play)
  • The Longest Night (idea)
  • Continue reading

    Sunday 21st November, 2010

    “The best laid schemes o’ Mice an’ Men / Gang aft agley”
    – Robert Burns

    Right, where was I? I’m not entirely sure. Work was hectic and I had very little brain space for anything else, then the weekend came and I planned to get back everything back on track. Yeah. Didn’t happen (see quote). I won’t bore you with the details. Oh, yes. I’ve been starting with my computer news lately, haven’t I? Right, then.

    • The Desktop

      The brand spanking new solid state drive was good for about 5 minutes. It now appears to have taken an extended vacation / become an expensive paper-weight. The good news is, I got fed up with struggling with Windows XP (trying to get the new installation to recognise the old “My Documents” stored data) and I’m Ubuntu-10.04-ed up to the eyeballs. It works and I’m getting used to it. (That wasn’t meant to come out like a crack at Microsoft’s expense but, hey, if the cap fits…) Ubuntu has even magically disappeared the “corruption” from my original system hard drive and been able to read the pictures and music Windows was getting sniffy about – so the system is working better than ever. Complete with new printer. May the spamming paper submissions begin. And I’ve now sorted out the genealogy side of things. I’m not promising updates on the grounds that my plans keep getting kicked into touch.

    • The Laptop

      OK, I haven’t done owt with this, yet. Now I have the desktop working and stabilised, though, it’s time to start surgery. I’m probably just going to wipe it and start again, now I know all my data’s secured and backed up on at least two other drives. You will probably never hear anything further about this because I intend to use it solely for browsing the Internet, reading and writing. The problem with having the desktop down was that I had effectively lost access to everything. The laptop is a small luxury (i.e. being able to check Twitter [External Link] without having to get out of bed…).

    And now the writing stuff. The latest New Dryas set stories have received another round of polish and are about to start the submission process, although the re-home attempt for Down-Time is still being thought about. 25 Ways to Kill a Werewolf (Alex Jones‘ world) has had a little bit of work but has been on the back-burner while I finished off the desktop work. If I were a pro writer (or even taking part in NaNoWriMo [External Link]), the roughly 1,000 I’ve managed this week would be miserable.

    (No, I’m not going to mention the rugby. I don’t think I can cope!)