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 28th June, 2017

Hi all,

Radio silence is now broken so that I can officially announce I finished draft the first of novella the third in my Greenwood theme. Strictly speaking, I finished it on Friday (23rd) and have since been pretending to enjoy some downtime. By which i mean that somewhat empty period between projects when I’m not sure whether to start something totally new (as I have a few things on the list I can’t decide between), hassle readers for feedback so I can work on second / third / nth redrafts, or pick up one of those old things gathering electronic dust and see if I can finally make it work. Which, of course, means procrastination and playing games usually fills the void while I pretend to think.

For those who care, my queue of things I’m deciding between looks like:

  1. A new science fiction thing involving social media, game quests and algorithms (a word I never spell right first time) with the working title “Aurora”.
  2. A new dark fantasy / horror thing in the Fur-Skins world but with a different bunch of heroes, currently labelled “25 10 Ways Not To Kill A Vampire”.
  3. Reading through and potentially resurrecting “The Three Guineveres” (in short form, “The Gens”, and I even have a tag for that for previous mentions), which was a sort of science fictional take on Guinevere. Because the world needs more Arthuriana, right?
  4. Reading through and potentially redrafting a fantasy called “In The Shadow of The Wall” that was a blatant parallel (but not factual) of the Romans leaving Hadrian’s Wall with a locked room mystery thrown in for good measure. Because there’s no such thing as too much, right?
  5. A fantasy thing called “City of Dreams” that needs a rewrite and therefore may end up being something I’ve got notes for as “Feintheart”.

Any preferences?

Wednesday 28th December, 2016

It’s here again, the end of the year post. I hope those who celebrate had a good Christmas and wish you all a Happy New Year for Saturday night / Sunday morning. And, of course, Happy Hanukkah as I believe that continues until Monday.

What I Learnt About Writing in 2016

Well, time again for that annual tradition that was first inspired by Foxie [External Link]. Here’s my stats for this year with last year for comparison:

  • Submissions = 0 (6, 2015)
  • Total pieces in circulation = 8 (6, 2015)
  • New pieces in circulation = 2 (1, 2015)
  • Rewrites = 1 (0, 2015)
  • Acceptances = 1 (3, 2015)
  • Published = 3 (4, 2015)

NOTE: These numbers are a combination of Duotrope figures and some notes for submissions to non-listed destinations but do not include stories written for the website or published here. Attempts to rehome stories published here and elsewhere have been included.

I think in wordage terms, I’ve been as productive as last year. However, I haven’t been working (so much) on short stories so things are staying in the “working on” queue a little longer and there’s no sign of submissions. Elkie hasn’t quite made the published numbers this year as her third outing, Fool If You Think It’s Over, is due out in January – although she was accepted in 2016. I never included European Monsters or African Monsters in my figures and I had to step down from co-editing duties this year for Asian Monsters (and the remaining works in the series). My excellent partner in crime, Margrét Helgadóttir [External Link], has picked up the slack marvellously.

I’m in a much more regular job this year but I find it a very mentally absorbing in an enjoyable way. When combined with a number of issues (I still have a house 70-odd miles away and the hormonal influence of my implant finally became too much to bear), it means I’ve been spending more spare time soaking in books and movies rather than creating new work.

Writer, Editor, General Dogsbody

So, here are the plans are for the immediate future of my writing and editing career:

The work I long work I started first draft of in 2015, A Fistful Of Feathers, is now looking for a new home. Actually, it’s currently being used to help me find an agent who may then find it a new home. More news when I have something to share.

ASIDE: This is not because of any issues between myself and Fox Spirit Books [External Link], and there may be further Fur-Skins related news from them for 2017 or 2018 but it’s a small press and the lovely Auntie Fox (Adele Wearing) is a very busy lady.

My main work from 2016 was an attempt to craft a folk-tale that mimicked (but wasn’t identical to) existing stories. Redraft should begin fairly soon and I’ve apparently enjoyed it enough that the first draft I recently started is another one. I have a suspicion that I’ll end up writing – or starting – several before I get this out of my system.

The adventures continue.

The Ink Plan

I’ll be looking at my book numbers soon and making a donation to the NAS [External Link]. “Soon” probably translates as end of January / beginning of February.

What I Learnt About The Rest of Life

Dora continues to be the source of adventure. She’s attempting to take over the role of Grand Dame. However, this can lead to fights with the somewhat more youthful Rosie to the effect of “You’re not my real mother and you can’t tell me what to do!” These occasionally get physical. In fact, I shall be dosing them both up with anti-inflamatories tonight so they don’t get stiff from today’s exertions (brought on by a young girl paying attention to ROsie, not Dora).

Oh, and Lancashire isn’t that bad, after all. I’ve recently found a tai-chi club and I’m fencing most weekends!