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

Struggling Author


It’s been a long month.

Apart from the usual writerly stuff (you know, the stuff a writer thinks s/he’s going to be doing like… er… writing) authors across the world have been struggling with Amazon‘s widespread and apparently random deletion and blocking of reviews and trying to navigate the European Union’s new GDPR law.

Read on… Continue reading

Back Home


Turning Worlds

So much catching up to do now my I’m back home! The world just keeps on turning, even if I’m not watching it. (Quantum physicists are invited to comment below on that observation.)

Distribution Channels

My novels’ distribution network continues to grow effortlessly! I use the Mention app to notify me if my name or my book titles appear on anyone’s web pages. No, it’s not an ego issue, it’s… professional… market awareness… all that stuff.

Anyway, Mention notified me that while I was on vacation, Continue reading

Road Trip, Trilogies & Good News


Some of you might have noticed a long silence from me.

Many will be grateful.

But now I’m back!

I just spent the whole of October on a road trip covering New England in the Fall and a batch of Canadian cities. Exhausted!

If you want to visit New England in the Fall, you just have to go in the Fall. And I highly recommend it. Stunning views!

Do note, however, that half the small-town New England service industry shuts down after Columbus Day. October is “out of season”. Er… “New England in the Fall”… Fall? You know, that period just AFTER Summer? A period that usually includes October? Ah, well. It’s their cash flow.

Anyway, it’s hard to blog while driving or striding through russeting forests. (Yeah, I made that word up.) So I took a blog vacation.

On my return, I had to catch up with all my snail mail (yes, people still use that in Europe, especially governments and other people wanting money from you). Then I surveyed my “TO DO” list. It was too long, so I set it aside and took up my “REALLY URGENT TO DO” list, which was a little shorter.

First up has to be a final revision of the last volume of my Janus Paradisi TrilogyJANUS ARRIVAL. I hope to send it out to beta readers in a couple of weeks for editing and publication towards year-end.

Yes, I know Christmas is a lousy time to publish, but part two came out in April and I owe it to my existing readers to bring the saga to a conclusion soon. It will help them sleep at night, without worrying about how my oppressed characters are faring, out there in the deep beyond.

GOOD NEWS!

While I was away, I found praise winging my way on the InterWebs!

First up: A full-page article from Scifibook Review

If you like science fiction, you should be reading Sheron’s blog. I was delighted to see such a respected reviewer commenting favorably on my work. Many thanks!

Next: Another couple of particularly glowing 5-star reviews on Amazon. Writers love reviews, even if they aren’t all 5-star, so do a writer a favor and post a review of the best book you read this year, no matter who wrote it. Thank you on their behalf.

Oh, and a belated Happy Halloween to you all.

Whichever way you consumed your pumpkins (in coffee, beer, cheesecake, soup, sandwiches, cupcakes…), I hope you enjoyed them!