Monday 15th February, 2016

Happy Valentine’s Day for yesterday. I hope you spent it either with someone you love (not necessarily romantically) or doing something you love.

The web-site’s been a bit odd due to host updates the last few days so the update was delayed this week but here’s the short and sweet catch up:

  1. I was a little too sickly last weekend to post an update but I did get my latest post up at The Finishing School [External Link] on Wednesday 3rd February.
  2. I’ve sorted out my latest batch of Otherworld Gazetteer [External Link] posts. They’ve gone live tomorrow and I’ll be scheduling some spotlight tweets to run Tuesdays and Thursdays for the individual posts.
  3. Next week I shall be at Sheffield pub-meet-y social thing (more here)
  4. In a fortnight, I shall be at the official launch party for African Monsters on March 3rd at Forbidden Planet, London.

There. All caught up!

Monday 1st February, 2016

A slightly delayed update due to running out of spoons (a reference explained here, with links to the original explanation using spoons) a couple of times last week, including the weekend. In positive news, I have a post for The Finishing School [External Link] due on Wednesday.

Part of that was making it over to the York / BSFA social (which I hadn’t been sure I would make, so didn’t link on site. The next similar thing will be the Sheffield social (more here) in February and I hope to make it there, rest of life allowing. Don’t forget there’s an official launch party for African Monsters on March 3rd at Forbidden Planet, London.

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!

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.

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!

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 5th July, 2015

This week is a week of reminders:

A Pack of Lies has been released into the wild. That link will take you through to my usual link soup but there’s a Goodreads page if you click on the small cover image to the right of the screen that will (eventually) take you to your local version of Amazon in order to buy it. If you so wish.

If you want a feel for what A Pack of Lies and its predecessor, 25 Ways To Kill A Werewolf, are like I have the opening prologue and first chapter of 25 Ways on this site.

I’m also at Edge Lit, where there will be a Fox Spirit / Boo Books launch during the lunch time slot. If things go according to plan, I shall be reading from A Pack of Lies and copies of both books should be available (from the publisher) at the event – so please do come along and listen.

Having past another first Wednesday of the month, I have a new post up at The Finishing School. This month, I’m talking about the assumption that anyone who carries on a martial art, particularly HEMA, long enough will become a teacher or instructor of said art – and whether this is an unavoidable fate. You can find the post here: [External Link]

Finally, this week’s updates at the Otherworld Gazetteer [External Link] were about second sight and The Great Explorer, both mentioned in the original Hunting Unicorns story.

Monday 8th June, 2015

Apologies for the late posting. I was basically otherwise engaged for most of yesterday. Which only goes to show that I really do write these things last minute instead of guessing I’ll have nothing to say a week in advance and scheduling posts. I have two things to mention this week.

First up, The Finishing School! Last month I gave you the post about how it’s okay to like doing Martial Arts but not sacrifice your life to them. This month, I give you the post explaining what Historical European Martial Arts are (sort of) and what I get out of them. You can find the post here: [External Link]

The second thing is this. You may have noticed that The Finishing School is a WordPress site. This is, but it’s not hosted by WordPress so, in order to post, I need a WordPress account. Strictly speaking, I made the account several years ago because it gave me the opportunity to play around with the WordPress structure for free before committing to it with my current host – when my site was run on a different content management system.

Anyhow, I have spare data storage and, in the equivalent of that urge that makes me want to write something important on all the blank paper in a stationary shop, I want to do something with it. After about a week of moping at people in real life and online, I believe I’ve had an idea. (Yes, it hurt.) So. Keep an eye on this: [External Link]. It may change some time this week.

Sunday 31st May, 2015

I have to be honest. This week is well and truly a “nothing to see here” week. I got the stuff I was working on finished off, but you’re not going to see the results for a while. Except for in the case of The Finishing School [External Link], where my next post is scheduled for Wednesday 3rd. If you fancy reading last month’s beforehand, you can find it here: [External Link]

Oh, and the cover for A Pack Of Lies is currently being worked on. I have seen (awesome) preliminary versions and it should be sorted for a big reveal soon. It’s designed by Sarah Anne Langton [External Link], who also designed the cover for 25 Ways To Kill A Werewolf and for the Fox Pocket books from Fox Spirit [External Link]. Fingers crossed for an official cover reveal soon. All I can say is it’s going to look fantastic on my desktop background alongside Elkie’s first outing.

Sunday 24th May, 2015

Sorry, everyone. I basically didn’t have anything to say last week, so I didn’t say anything at all. Not that I’m doing much better this week! That said, things are going on behind the scenes. The things I [think I] can mention are:

  • I’m now six chapters in to my latest long work in progress, A Fistful of Feathers. As the working title suggests, this involves some rivalries like Yojimbo / A Fistful of Dollars / name a remake. However, it’s not actually all that similar. For a start, it involves griffins – and a crazy griffin lady. It’s more that the name sounded good than I decided to run off with the plot.
  • I’m also playing around with a piece of flash fiction intended for The Future Fire [External Link] as part of their tenth birthday. The Future Fire have been kind enough to rehome three of my stories in the past and, if you’re interested, you can find them here (along with lots of other free fiction): [External Link]
  • I’ve drafted my next blog post for The Finishing School [External Link] and need to polish things up to get it sorted for publishing. I’m aiming for the first week in June.
  • This is the moment where I confess that I also produce some copy for the UK Magnetics Society’s MagNews [External Link], specifically a few stories under “Industry News”. I only started in March and it’s a quarterly publication with the next round due in June. Which means I shall be spending my Bank Holiday tomorrow checking out some magnet related news and producing some copy. Along with dog walking of course. I’m not allowed to forget the dog walking.