Wednesday, 20 November 2013

The Calm Goes On/Life Lessons/Selfishness

The Calm Goes On

There has been no change to the writing situation in two months, which is fine. It’s what I expected and it may not move forward for another few months, which again is fine. I’m trying to keep my excitement for publication at bay and I think I’m doing well. I just keep doing my little bit of writing each day at that keeps me distracted.

Life Lessons

Over the last few years there have been some difficult times and they have been the fuel for another writing project. Each experience has given me inspiration for this project and it’s allowed me to be creative in a consolidated way. I’m thankful for the difficult times and the life lessons because they help give all my writing essence and substance.


I know I said I’d try to keep reviewing, but I've decided to be selfish and work mostly on book two of the Chronicles of Elementary (now at chapter 11, 55,000 words in, but not even close to half way yet, yikes!). This has been for one reason and one alone- it will pass the time quicker. If I focus on this project it will keep me busy for many months and keep me focused. I’m not good at juggling things, or multitasking, so focusing on one thing at a time is the best option for me. After it’s done and B.O.P is out I can take some time to read some stories as I have a growing list.


So the calm of not much change continues. In a way I've actually come to love the tranquility and serenity of just focusing on writing book two. That said I am really excited for the Book of Prophecy being published, but must keep that excitement under control. I’ll probably update in another couple of months and things may be the same, or things may have moved forward. Either way I’m very content with the writing situation at the moment.

Thursday, 19 September 2013

The Calm Before the Storm

The Calm Before the Storm

Wow, life as a writer is very quiet at the moment. It’s taking all my patience to keep my head down and focus on writing and reviewing. I can pretty much give a list of what I'm going to be doing for the next six months. It’s going to be a winter of hard work that’s for sure. There will be very little posting, or anything to report, hence the 'calm,' but once it’s all done it will be close to publishing time and the 'storm' of marketing will commence :)

The Next Six Months

1) I will be editing through the second book of the Chronicles of Elementary. I’m on chapter three so far. There are a lot of changes, but it’s reassuring to see how much my writing has improved in three years.

2) The last edits of the Book of Prophecy need to be made, but once they have it will go to the editors at the publishing company.

3) I will be reading a variety of books and reviewing them.

4) The art for the front cover of Book of Prophecy will appear at some point. I'm very excited to see it.

5) The changes for B.o.P will come back from the editor/publishers and I’ll need to work through those.

And that is most likely everything for the next six months. That is the glamorous life of a writer in a nutshell. It’s part of the process and after more than three and a half years this is the closing stage of one chapter. Once the Book of Prophecy is published it will be a massive relief and weight of my shoulder. I  really cannot wait to start marketing it. But first it’s time to knuckle down and work as hard as I can. 

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Hello!/Keeping A Short Story Short


First of all I would like to say an official hello on here to anyone who has 'liked' my Facebook page recently. Thanks to KristellInk's competition there has been about forty of you and if you have come to look at this blog update via F.B, Hello! and good luck with the competition :).

Keeping A Short Story Short

In my previous update I talked about a short story I've been working on and the effort it took to find what I needed for it. The short story is now ninety-nine percent finished. It needs some little bits added, but I will do those at some point soon.

It has been really fun blending Ancient Greek Mythology into a Steven style story and I think people will enjoy it. I've called it, 'Blood of Atreus: The Last Hope for Gods and Mortals.' The word count was meant to be about eight thousand, but I hope I can get away with ten thousand. Even getting it down to that was a struggle.
   As I wrote I had a lot of really cool content, but by the time I got to thirteen thousand words I realised I needed to stop. I saved that version and one day I will keep writing and it will probably be a twenty to twenty-five thousand word novella. With that version saved I started cutting and editing what I had written and managed to slim it down to ten thousand words.
   I'm happy with this, as it's still a really good story with all the main ideas I wanted, but I do feel it can be expanded and even more interesting and enjoyable. I'm really looking forward to sharing this short story with you and will post about when that will be in the future.

I have also decided to turn my Frankenstein short story, and two other ideas for stories, into novellas. I think having these three, and the Greek Mythology short story as a novella, will make a really good collection if put together in one book. This is a few years off though, as I have to get book one of The Chronicles of Elementary: The Book of Prophecy, ready for publication. I also need to start properly editing the second book of the series and I'm going to try to keep reviewing other stories too.

As always there's a lot of work ahead for me, but I love creating stories and I hope you will enjoy reading them once they are ready to be shared.

Monday, 1 July 2013

The Thin Line Between Genius and Insanity

Not that I think I’ve been on the side of genius at any point in my life, well except maybe for when I learned how to walk and talk, but recently I’ve certainly crossed the line into insanity.

I'm currently writing a short story and needed to find a brief quote that was vital for the story. The quote was from a book but it was obscure and due to having audiobooks, because of my dry eye issues, I had to search through two audiobooks that were both sixteen hours long. In total it only took me about 8-10 hours of searching over three days. I say 'only' because it could have been a lot worse. Fortunately I knew which character said it, so that helped, but it was in a really obscure place in the book that I hadn’t remembered. After checking all the obvious places I stumbled across it and you can imagine my relief when I finally found it and could get on with actually writing story.

It made me realise how crazy I am with my writing and how focused and determined I get when I want to achieve something. That said I am very lazy in many aspects of my life and this focus rarely gets seen- unless I'm trying to furnish a flat for free. (That ones for you Bear Wills). 

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Published! (in 2014)

(A part of what I posted on Facebook)

KRISTELL INK HAVE PURCHASED THE RIGHTS TO MY NOVEL, 'THE BOOK OF PROPHECY!' Cannot wait for this!! Thank you to everyone at Kristell Ink and to you guys for all the help and support you've given me over the years. This is a massive step up the ladder and cannot wait until it's published- Bring on Autumn 2014!! :D

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

A Professional Opinion

A few weeks ago I decided to contact the Teaching Assistant who deals with a lot of the Gothic Horror aspects of the English Studies course at Stirling University (where I once studied sport- No I'm not joking. I studied sport there. Honestly I did. How'd I go from sport to this? Well it's a long story that is explained at the very start of this blog, I think). Anyway... I contacted Matthew Foley asking if he'd take a look at my Frankenstein story. He was very nice and took the time to look at it. This is is what he said...

'I think that you write well -- i'm very fussy about style normally! -- and also that the rewriting of Victor as having created the bride of Frankenstein is a super idea that you handle intelligently. You also set up a convincing premise to the action. The nods to Walton will keep the fanboys happy, too. All in all, style and premise are great.'

He also pointed out one or two technical issues, like sentence structure, and also gave a suggestion to make it a full Novel, which is funny as that was the original plan. I'm thankful for the time Matt took and that he had such positive things to say. 

There's a lot of other things in the pipeline and plenty of updates to come. I will also have another review of someone else's work I've been reading and I will post that soon.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Writing Groups/Reviews/Jealousy/Working Hard

Writing Groups

I’ve joined a few on Facebook recently and I’m enjoying reading some fun stories. Any I like are being posted on my Facebook author page.  It takes a lot of my time, but I feel giving something back is important and I’m enjoying looking at all the stories.


Because I’m reading other peoples work I’m also reviewing them on Amazon when I can. It’s really difficult because you want to be helpful and give a balanced review, but often I’m worried I’m being too hard.  Honesty is always the best policy in my opinion and I do believe you can, and should, give critical feedback in a positive way.  I tend to write two different sides to my reviews: one with my own stupidly high expectations for the stories I read, but given in a positive way; and one from an object point of view as if I’m the target audience (if I don’t feel I am). Ultimately it’s just my stupid opinion so it holds little value, but it’s fun reviewing. That said it does have some value though as every review and piece of feedback, whether good or bad, is important. Every experience holds its weight and value as long a person is willing to see it.


This week I read a new friends writing and it, and the story, were so good that I’m incredibly jealous. I read the 18,000 piece in a few hours. It burned my eyes out of their sockets- thanks to my stupid dry eyes issues, but it was worth it. The story telling and writing was just so fantastic. All I wanted to do was read more and more to find out what was going to happen. I’m looking forward to reading more of her work- but hopefully over a longer period of time, and in little doses, so my eyes don’t get destroyed J.

Working Hard

I seem to have a lot of writing stuff on my plate at the moment, but I love it! I’m probably taking on too much though and hope I don’t burn myself out.  However it’s going okay. To finish I’ll give a quick run down of my own writing:

-Just finished going through BoP... AGAIN! ‘sigh’ But actually loving it still. I’m going to give the last half a read over and then the whole thing. Then... well we’ll see ;)

-I’ve been marketing the Steampunk Anthology recently and a few people have bought it. I really hope they like it and give good reviews, and spread the word. Relying on other people’s enthusiasm to spread the word is a massive part of this journey and it’s why I really want my writing to be the best it can be. I let people down first time around, as my story wasn’t at the standard it should have been. It put people off and I have plans to rectify my mistakes and hopefully get people on board to help me as this time it will be the best it can be.
We also got another review for the Anthology on and once again my story was one of the reader’s favourites. This is really nice to hear and gives me a needed confidence boast. It made me think more and that maybe my story is actually good. I thought of how I could get more feedback and had an idea to ask the Gothic Horror lecturer at my old university to take a look. My story is an Alternate-Reality take on the Frankenstein story with a sprinkle of Steampunk, so thought he might enjoy it. I emailed him and he said he would read it. He said he was busy but would read it in a week or so. I’m excited and nervous to hear what he thinks.

-Once BoP is done I’m not sure whether to go and do a quick run through of Empiphany again, or go onto  the following book after BoP, ‘Nurture Fails, Nature Remains,’ which needs the style change I gave BoP. I think I’ll do Emph first (it won’t be as much work), and then NF-NR, but I could do it the other way around. We’ll see how i feel in a few weeks when BoP is out of my hands...

Friday, 3 May 2013

The Butterfly Effect

I just wanted to write a short update of what's going on.

The editing the Book of Prophecy seems to be going well. Sammy had it for a while and has done what she can in her very busy life, and I'm so grateful for all she does. However I felt like it was time for me to take it back and see if my writing has improved enough to make a difference. But more importantly so she didn't have to do the majority of the editing work; especially when she could be doing more important things. It turns out that this was the right choice. I sent her some of my recent edits and she says I'm on the right path. It was nice to hear this as it's been a long struggle to improve. The plan is to keep working on the last half of the book and send her chapters here and there to look at. Then change anything that needs changing. Once this is done I'll give it a read through and send it to her and see what she says.

It's not all easy going though as Sammy has highlighted some issues with character development and plot weaknesses. This is good though as she's always pushing me beyond my own expectations and helping me see how I can improve the story. If it wasn't for her this story would never have reached it's potential and I would never have improved the way I have.

With her constructive criticism I have made some changes to the plot and this is why I've titled this the Butterfly Effect. A few small, but significant changes have been made at one of the most pivotal points of the story. Although these changes are small it has meant spending a lot of time changing other things so it all fits. It does seem to fit well though and I'm excited by these changes.

The next few months will be spent doing a lot of work on this story, but hopefully some time this year it will actually reach its potential and be finished.

Monday, 22 April 2013

Reviewing Other Stories

I think I mentioned that I wanted to review more stories. Well here's my review for the story Non-Compliance: The Sector by Paige Daniels.

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Fun and Learning


Well I was trying to find a new creative outlet last week and the idea to make a children's picture book seemed like the best option. It has been a lot of fun. Mainly because at times I'm a big kid and writing a little story that is simple and fun was something I really enjoyed.


Once the story part was done it was time to realise how inadequate my drawing skills are for a picture book. 80% of the work is the drawings and I'm not good enough to even attempt it. After a little frustration at this I decided using word and clipart would have to do for now. At the very least I wanted to come up with a mock picture book that would have some pictures to help express the story.
So I got to work. Although another thing I must point out is my inability to use technology. This caused some technical issues but after phoning my Mum she managed to help me find what I needed in word to make the pictures and writing work together. Thanks Mum!
It was all done within 24 hours and I turned it into a PDF to beta test it using my phone and showing it to my Nieces and Nephew. This helped and when reading it I saw what needed to be changed. I still need to make those changes but will do that over the next couple of days.

Doing this was really good fun and even educational. It's always nice to do something a bit different and maybe I'll write some more in the future.


Friday, 29 March 2013

The Importance of Every Review

On this journey I’ve found that one of the hardest things to get is feedback and reviews. I’ve been fortunate to have very supportive friends and family who have given feedback in the past (and continue to help with feedback- thank you everyone). However branching out and finding reviewers outside this circle can be quite difficult. It’s something I wish I could do more of. Not because I think my opinion has that much value, but because I’ve discovered the review of just one person can make your day. That said I wouldn’t do it just to be nice, but to be constructive and objective about peoples work. Then if the work was good I could tell them so and that simple thing can bring confidence and motivation. It can make such a big difference. If my eyes weren’t so rubbish and caused me pain if I read or watch screens too much then I would try to review so many stories. I am going to try and review a few pieces on Amazon but it may take me months to read them.

As for me a lot of my work is being edited and improved at this point in time so I haven’t had a chance to get  much feedback. However with my short story being published in the Steampunk Anthology I have been very fortunate to receive one piece of nice feedback. On Monday the Anthology got a review and the reviewer said out of the 10 short stories mine was her favourite. It took me totally by surprise as the other writers are talented and more experienced than me. It’s strange how it’s just one persons opinion but to me it means so much. It’s cliché but I write because I love creating new stories, but the end goal is to share these stories with the world and when someone enjoys one of my stories it makes all the hard work worthwhile. Keeping that in mind I would ask that when you read any story you track down the place you can comment and review it and do so. You just don't know what impact it could have on the person who has written it.

As always thanks for reading and here’s the link to the review and where you can find the Anthology.

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Confession Time So I Can Move On

Well guess it’s time I told the truth about what I mentioned in the previous post and why I was feeling down...

I tried an agent hunt for about the 1,004th time and got another full house of rejections. As always it has become another learning experience so nothing is ever wasted. I was just so excited to have finished a redraft of Empiphany and thought why not give it a try. I didn’t want to tell anyone and really hoped I got an agent so I could surprise everyone with some good news. However when that didn’t happen I got a bit down (understatement – I can become very low when I feel that disappointed, but it's just part of who I am and have learned how to move beyond it quickly). It didn’t take too long to get over the slump and I’m pretty focused and upbeat right now. It’s amazing how it’s my own expectations and over reaching that leads to me getting frustrated and disappointed. Now it’s time to completely move on and embrace the one very small step at a time attitude. The glacier way of thinking must be applied and one day a beautiful landscape will emerge.

As for what’s going on at the moment I’ll add another update/post to talk about that. And as a sort of footnote, and for the sake of keeping the details of this history, I’ve put information on the submissions below. Some of the more recent submissions haven't replied yet but I'm not expecting good news so moving on.  

Agency                         Date Submitted       Date Rejected

Conville and Walsh     25-11-12                    13-12-12  
Donald Mass               25-11-12                    11-12-12   
Caroline Sheldon        25-11-12                    14-01-13 
MBA                            26-11-12                    24-01-13  
Darley Anderson         26-11-12                    Difficulties with lost email submission. Eventually got in touch with someone. They were very nice about it and re-submitted (4-2-13) but never heard back.  
Corvisiero                 13-2-13                         No reply   
Doncongdon             13-2-13                         25-2-13  
Waxmanleavell        19-2-13                         No reply    
Jvnla                         17-2-13                         No reply   
PSliterary                  19-2-13                         6-3-13

Thursday, 31 January 2013

3 years

3 years!!! Seriously!? 3 years!?

I've written this posts three times now and deleted them all. It's simply too hard to share what I really want to at this point. In the future I'll write what I wanted, but not today. All I will say is that these three years have been more challenging than I could have ever imagined. Chasing this dream has taken so much effort for such little payback that it's difficult not to feel very negative, especially when it's your own weaknesses that block the path. I still have hope though and when things move forward I know all the struggles will seem insignificant, but right now the trials of this journey, and the challenges of life, are overwhelming. I do wish I could have written something more positive on this three year mark, but I don't want to lie. I want it to be real and leave the fiction for my stories. The whole truth will be clarified in the future, but I will not give up on this dream. That said it might be time for a change, if only for a little while. It's something that requires more thought. The most important thing that must be mentioned is the greatness of those who have supported me and encouraged me over the three years. I will always be in your debt. Thank you.

It's always fun looking back over posts (as I just have) and I see how positive I've been at times. I'm sure i'll get that enthusiasm back at some point. Things are just tough at the moment and I've not put into practice a lot of what I've learned over the years. All will be explained when I decide to write more about why it's been difficult right now. Just need to get my patience mindset back and all will be fine.