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!

Fox Pocket Party (done)

Fox Spirit Books [External Link] present the Fox Pocket Party [External Link];
25th August, 2016;
Leicester, England

Fox Spirit are having a little party to celebrate the Fox Pockets anthology set completing. Not only was I in the Missing Monarchs pocket but I shall be in attendance.

There’s also a Facebook event page here: [External Link]

Monday 9th May, 2016

It looks like my update day will be shifting to Mondays. It’s not intentional, at least not the last couple of weeks, but as I now fence on Sunday afternoons (when I make it to fencing) it’s likely that I won’t get around to writing a diary entry until Monday evenings. So, why not make it official and just make Monday the update day, eh?

For those keeping track, Greenwood has inched its way over 20,000 words this weekend. So, all of 2,000 words achieved this week! On the plus side, I now know for sure that “Greenwood” is just a working title and I have some more story ideas stacked up in the notebook – you know, for when I magically have time to write up all of these ideas I have into 80,000+ word novels…

In slightly more obvious news, the British Fantasy Society (BFS) have announced the juries for this year’s awards [External Link] and I’m on the list. Twice. This year, I’ve volunteered for the novellas (again) and for the comic / graphic novel category. I fully admit to not being as well read as I ought to be and sitting on the juries a) gives me the chance to pick up some recommendations and b) forces me to actually make some time to do it.

SFSF Social #5

The Sheffield Fantasy & Science Fiction Social Club [External Link] will be having their fifth social [External Link], a night of readings and chat in Sheffield;
20th February, 2016;
Sheffield, England

My publisher, Adele Wearing, will be one of the speakers / readers and I understand that a few of my bits and bobs may get mentioned (specifically African Monsters, I think).

Monday 28th December, 2015

We’re almost at the end of the year and I managed to miss a whole bunch of posts since I sort of moved. I’m still in the process of moving things from one location to another, so blogging and such will pick up eventually in the New Year but not straight away. Anyway, “Happy New Year!” for Thursday night / Friday morning.

What I Learnt About Writing in 2015

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 = 6 (20, 2014)
  • Total pieces in circulation = 6 (8, 2014)
  • New pieces in circulation = 1 (2, 2014)
  • Rewrites = 0 (1, 2014)
  • Acceptances = 3 (2, 2014)
  • Published = 4 (4, 2014)

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.

So, I’ve been much less productive in terms of wordage this year. On the positive side, the publishing numbers include my second Elkie novel, A Pack of Lies, they don’t include completing the first draft on a novel, two novellas and a short story that have yet to go through more redrafting – and the Elkie novel I hope to have out in 2016 is still in draft form where I’d managed to get everything ready for my editor by the end of 2014 last year. And, as with European Monsters, I haven’t included editing African Monsters in this year’s figures.

It’s been another year where life got in the way of any plans I might have had, with writing (and editing) slowed down by commitments from January to June in my previous job. In November, I started a new job that also required relocation. It has interrupted in some ways but has got me back on track in others in that I’ve been writing more in the available evenings. However, I had to take a step back with editing Africa Monsters – and my co-editor (Margrét Helgadóttir [External Link]) has done an excellent job of piloting things solo since October.

Writer, Editor, General Dogsbody

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

My act of trilogy following Elkie Bernstein through the Fur-Skins world is almost complete. 25 Ways To Kill A Werewolf came out in 2014 and the follow up, A Pack of Lies came out in 2015. The third book, currently known as Fool If You Think It’s Over, should be getting redrafted in January. With a bit of luck, we should have everything in place for a Summer 2016 release.

Although Fox Spirit Books has given the go ahead for a third book in the monster series (to be Asian Monsters) I’m stepping down for this year. The heavy lifting of contacting people comes around this time and I can’t commit time to it until I’m through my probationary period at the new job and have some familiarity with how much of my brain space it takes up. (Which only goes to show how awesome Margrét Helgadóttir is as she relocated with work last year and it barely impacted for her). I hope to come back into the Monsters project for 2017 but we shall see how things go.

I’ve been working on my first non-Fur-Skins project for a while in 2015 and the first draft is (just about) complete. It’s highly likely that I will spend 2016 (and probably longer) getting it polished up and sending it out to possible new homes. The adventure, as they say, continues.

The Ink Plan

With moving, the Ink Plan has been changed – if nothing else, it’s unlikely to be the intended designer and I haven’t put any alternative plans in place as yet. However, I will be looking at my book numbers soon and making a donation to the NAS [External Link].

What I Learnt About The Rest of Life

Dora’s first year with the Hellhounds has been eventful, at least from her point of view. She’s managed a number of explorations and adventures that have involved climbing over walls (yes, really), forcing her way through fences and generally not coming when she’s called. However, she’s settled in with the other two just fine and she’s here to stay. Provided I walk her on a lead.

As already mentioned, this year I relocated for a new job. I’m having to relearn a bunch of stuff I didn’t realise I’d forgotten in order to become a systems administrator (Linux-based, naturally). I’m also coming to terms with the fact that I may end up in Lancashire for the foreseeable future rather than Yorkshire. This may take some mental adjustment.