March On


Write OnSo here we are, heading for the Ides of March and the world is in the grip of Corvid-19, the rebranded Coronavirus.

First off: my sympathies go to all those affected and their families.

A flowery writer could spout about fear-filled streets, but I’ll avoid that. My personal and very selfish focus is on the UK’s Annual Sci-fi and Fantasy Convention at Easter. Yes, it’s still weeks away, but I invested in flights, hotel, and so on. Apart from the disappointment if it’s canceled, it’ll cost me hard cash. And my fans and friends will be devastated at not meeting-up with me.

(Yes, they will. They will. They darn well better be.)

Further into the future, my planned trip to Greece taking in the ruins at Mycenae, Sparta and the rest, might be at risk. Italy has closed-off various cities. If C-19 persists and Greece does the same, I’ll end up with a driving tour of the olive groves. Nothing against olives, you understand, but they do lack the grandeur and impact of 3,000-year-old cultural remembrances.

Bright side: I had planned to be on a Far East cruise during January/February, but never got around to booking it. So I avoided being exposed to the early waves of infection.

Lesson learned: Sometimes procrastination is your friend.

Well, it’s back to my online critique group duties and onward with another chapter or three this weekend of my next novels* and forget about the current world-worries. After all, when the Corvid-19 crisis goes away (as they say it will), there’ll be something new to worry about.

(* Did I mention I’m writing three at once to kickstart a new universe with a solid foundation?)

Until next time, enjoy whatever you’re reading, and follow the health guidelines.

 

A Winter’s Tale


February
Woodland in Fog

I look out the window at the storm-wracked forest beyond the rainsoaked fields and long for Spring.

My personal “writing place” is my garden patio in the sunshine with rock music on my headphones and coffee within reach. Sitting in my attic office with artificial lighting to compensate for the all-day, gray-sky dullness outside is not even a poor second best.

Ah, well. As the poet said, Continue reading

Almost February?


Time FliesWow, time flies!

I am SO glad I renamed this an “occasional blog” a while ago.

Luckily, the world ducked Father Time’s scythe as December slipped into January, despite Middle East issues, although China’s upcoming New Year of the Rat (starts January 25, 2020) is plagued with spreading Coronavirus problems and Australia is still beset with weather-related woes.

Last year, I planned to be touring China about Continue reading

Getting Hissed


Can you hear that?
No, you probably can’t. But I can.

Tinnitus: ringing or buzzing in the ears.

That definition just does not do it justice in my case.
A concentration-shattering, perpetual whistling, more like. A shrill, hissing, sibilant, headache-inducing screeching that eases off to a whispering susurration at times.

Or maybe you can hear it.  Continue reading

Onward and Upward

Essential Writing Support

It’s a sunny day here in Luxembourg. The heatwave has eased, the rain has stopped, and it’s perfect weather for sitting out on the patio and pouring thoughts and words into my laptop.

I started looking through my Scrivener folder of “Unfinished Works“. More accurately, it should be called, “Started and Stalled“.

Some authors struggle to find ideas. I’m of the other type: story ideas constantly tumble through my mind, especially when I’m in the middle of redrafting a story. (I HATE redrafting.) So I type out a few notes in my “Unfinished Works” folder and get back to the task in hand.

(It also happens when I’m swimming, which is a terrible time to get an idea as my iPhone is not waterproof!)

Every now and again, I look through my Unfinisheds to see if there’s anything worth developing. It’s usually an unfulfilling task. I find sketches, first lines or paragraphs, or even whole chapters that lead nowhere I can follow – yet. Worse, I find the plots of movies and novels released AFTER I noted down the original idea. I really wish I had one of those author mind-reading gadgets! Continue reading

April & May

 

BSFA Ytterbium

Chocaholics and parents might have noticed it was Easter again last month. To me, that meant eating chocolate at the British Science Fiction Association‘s Annual Convention!

Code-named Ytterbium, it was held this year at London Heathrow’s Park Inn.

As always, I rolled up ready to meet old friends, make new ones, and learn about current trends in Science Fiction. And I did all three!

I was really pleased to meet Geoffrey Carr of the Economist and chat about a zillion things, including his first venture into Sci-Fi, Genesis.

Sadly, our intense chatter left little chance for anyone else to get a word in.

Happy, too, for my good friend David M. Allan, who just signed up for a sequel to his novel The Empty Throne.

Happy Returns

I returned home to a garden badly in need of attention. We sanded-down and re-stained the shed, which had badly deteriorated in the past 4 years of weather despite the 7 years’ guarantee of the original coating manufacturer. (Huh!) Of course, the work was disrupted by blazing sunshine, rainstorms, hailstorms, and even a fluttering of snow.

(Happy Spring, everyone in the northern hemisphere!)

The Luxembourg ban on using power tools on Sundays and public holidays didn’t help. (FYI, there are three midweek public holidays here in May.) But I do appreciate the quiet Sundays when I don’t need to get out and make noise.

Writing Progress

As usual, life intrudes on art. I am way behind on my online critique group contributions but managed to complete two short stories in time to submit to anthologies just before their deadlines. I also had to make serious changes to my upcoming classic noir novel, Private Vices, but that should be off to my trusted advisor this month for a final overview before I send it out to Advance Readers.

RIGHT! Back to work.

 

Back in the Saddle

 

Belated Happy New Year!

Take a break - then crack on with the backlog

It’s been a while since I blogged. No, it wasn’t the longest coffee break ever. To be honest, I’ve had enough medical, legal, and dentistry distractions to set me back more than a few months, but I’m bouncing back!

Anyway, I had to put my writing and publication on hold, and build up a backlog of analytical responses for my online crit groups. (Apologies, fellow critters.)

But what a time to climb back in the saddle! Continue reading

Winter Is Coming

No, not another “Game of Thrones” review.

It’s snowing in Luxembourg, Halloween is here and there’s only 55 days left to Christmas at time of writing. (To keep track of how time’s running out for your gift shopping, click here.)

And it’s been another month of ups and downs in a writer’s life…

A Short Story Published

“Your Secret Library” Online Magazine – Halloween edition!

Here’s your free read of seasonal horror stories
It includes my short story “Let The Children Sleep

Newsletters and Amazon

Like many other authors, I’ve had to change my newsletter mailing company as they weren’t delivering on the promised delivery. There’s so much admin involved: migrating my mailing lists, setting up new signup forms and “thank you” mails, creating newsletter templates, changing the links to my signup form in all the books and everywhere else I published it.

Amazon continues to have problems retaining valid book reviews. So far (touch wood) I’ve not lost any more, but other writers are again seeing theirs erased. I’m watching and waiting…

The Writing Part

And so to the stuff I am supposed to be doing – writing!

My classic noir is in final revision with a target publication date of January 1st. A dozen of my short stories are with various online critique groups.

The new covers for my sci-fi trilogy seem to be doing the job, as my sales are climbing. (Someday soon, I have to write the sequel.)

So…

I’ll get back to making imaginary things happen to people who don’t exist.

Happy Halloween!

The Writing Game


This writing game is a bit of a strange adventure.

Telling Lies

A fiction writer tells lies in a vacuum. S/he tells lies about things that didn’t happen to people who don’t exist. And there might be no one listening… Continue reading

Guilty As Charged

 


In my previous post, I dangled some “click bait” about how I was over-committed, then offered only a cliffhanger. My bad.

Seriously, I found myself in a time bind over the last few months… Continue reading