Showing posts from August, 2015

Monday collecting update

I think my posts are going to be a little out of order. I am going to continue posting updates on the progress of writing on the previous posting but I needed to get the collecting side done.

I went to a car boot on Sunday and came back with a few books.

Iain M. Banks - Consider Phlebas (dupe)
Kelley Armstrong - Industrial Magic (dupe)
Kelley Armstrong - Stolen
Rachel Caine - Ill Wind (dupe)
Stephen King - Joyland (dupe)
Stephen King - Blockade Billy (dupe)
Christopher Fowler - Personal Demons
Ursula Le Guin - Voices
Melissa Marr - Wicked Lovely
Melissa Marr - Ink Exchange
Melissa Marr - Fragile Eternity
Melissa Marr - Darkest Mercy
J.R.R. Tolkien - The Lord of the Rings HC - nice edition I didn't have
Peter Straub - Mystery (dupe)
Robert Rankin - Sex and Drugs and Sausage Rolls
Chaz Brenchley - Feast of the King's Shadow (dupe)
Dean R. Koontz - Night Chills HC (dupe)
Christine Feehan - box of books in the Dark series. Haven't looked inside yet

And today there was a book …

Monday writing - August 31st

Today is a public holiday in the UK. And as it's the UK it's raining which suits me just fine as I wasn't intending to go out today anyway. I did my book buying yesterday when it happily stayed dry so I am all good on that. I will post about the success I had about that later.

So this afternoon, nothing is going to stop me from writing. Well, okay anyone who knows me will realise there is always the chance for a quick procrastinate. And the on going re-arranging of my library will be a distraction. So a little of that done I sat down and start writing.

Or rather I started by posting the third part of Mr. Stinky to Wattpad (see previous post). But that done I started writing.

Yesterday I ended the day on The Intersection at 22, 851. So progress of today will gradually appear below.

Update 16:56 - The Intersection 24,560 words. Just over 1,700 so far today. Quick break time.

Update 18:07 - The Intersection 25,418 words.

Update 19:03 - The Intersection 26,463 words - need fo…

Third Part of Mr Stinky online

Just uploaded the third chaplet of Mr. Stinky to Wattpad

Sunday writing - August 30th

Update 14:07 - The Intersection 19,945 words

Update 14:41 - The Intersection 20,715 words

Update 16:06 - Been procrastinating again. A sudden urge to start sorting out the fantasy books section of my library.

Update 17:13 - The Intersection 22, 201 words. Not a bad little writing session. Quick break time

Update 17:56 - The Intersection 22, 851 words. Getting nicely weird. Just checked the post from yesterday. Despite all the procrastinating I have added more than 5,000 words so far today. Not sure how many more there will be though. Tonight I am joining the family to finish watching the Danish TV drama 1864. I recommend it by the way

And that is where it's going to stay. I have been ordered to stop writing. This evening is to be devoted to family time and Danish drama TV. Hopefully I will finish The Intersection draft one tomorrow.

Mr. Stinky Part 2 on Wattpad

If you want to read the first couple of chaplets of Mr. Stinky - click on the link below

I'm now going back to the Intersection.


Today I have rediscovered procrastination. Hurrah for me. I went out to a car boot sale instead of writing. Then I got good. I sat down and wrote the next bit of The Intersection - now up to 19,024 words - just short of 1,500 words and all before breakfast.

Breakfast came with an episode of Castle - just had to watch it to the end. Then I went to put the 3 audio books I'd picked up onto the book shelf where they live only to see that the shelf was a little untidy. So half an hour spent tidying it all up.

And now that done I am finally at my desk so I can get back to the story and what do I do first? I pop onto blogger and type this.

Now I am going to write some more...

Collecting Update - Saturday 29th - Shaun Hutson fest

Last weekend was a bust. I didn't have any free time to go hunting books. This weekend though is at least a little better. I couldn't head out to the Saturday car boots but I could head into Ashby and hit the charity shops.

I thought it was going to be a zero return experience books wise. I'd been to all but one of the shops and bought a bunch of CDs - including another copy of Joe Satriani's Surfing with the Alien - I lost my copy some time ago.

And then I headed into one last shop and found some old horror paperbacks, a fantasy book and another non-fiction about code breaking.

They are

Shaun Hutson - Erebus
Shaun Hutson - Shadows
Shaun Hutson - Relics
Shaun Hutson - Victims
Richard Laymon - Amara
Richard Laymon - The Lake
David Gemmell - The Swords of Night and Day

Sinclair McKay - The Secret Life of Bletchley Park

Maybe I'll get the chance to head out in the morning and find some more. You never know

Writing Update - Saturday 19th August

Back from a night off - some writing done.

The novella is now on 17,573 words. It's getting to the action part of the story too. Or not far off 2,500 words added.

I also made a bit of a start on the young adult fantasy story. I have a name for my central character - Elspeth. I always liked that name. Did a bit more planning - some more pages filled in my notebook. Even did some research for one of the sections. My research library coming in handy. I have books on most subjects so I can usually find something. I prefer it to the internet most of the time.

So research and planning in hand I started typing. First chapter is now done and the 2,379 words committed to the page.

And I can add in a couple of submissions. I dusted down a couple of short stories from a lifetime and half ago. They are revised and submitted to the Literary Hatchet. Fingers crossed. I wouldn't mind seeing a story sold. That would help keep the spirits up.

I've also decided to sign up on Wattpad. I hea…

Wednesday Writing Update

Not good news I'm afraid. I had two emails from agents back - one rejection each for Mr. Stinky and Against the Fall of Empire.

Mr. Stinky now has eleven outright rejections and three passed their listed maximum response time.
Against the Fall of Empire has six rejections and one returned as the agent had stopped taking submissions.

Trying to summon the mood to write something tonight. I was thinking of parking the novella until later and making a start on the YA fantasy novel. I keep thinking about it just before sleep - and fortunately I keep a notepad (ok, more like fifteen notepads) by the side of the bed so I can write all these thoughts down.

I just need to figure out the first scene and I'm good to go. It needs the right start.

>>>End of writing evening update
I did manage some writing tonight. It wasn't much but something is better than nothing. The novella (yes I stuck with it) is now up to 15,149 words. Only a little over 600 words but that's better…

Tuesday August 25th Writing

I know it might seem a little odd to post this regularly but I am trying to use it to keep me motivated. If I can see the number going up reasonably quickly it keeps my spirits up. And if I tell myself I have to post a figure - and make it one worth posting then I will just get on with it.

Anyway The Intersection is now at 14,513 words. From 12,763 last thing yesterday. 1,750 words. Not bad considering I was at work all day and have not completely neglected my wife this evening - if I had to do that to write, I would never type a single word.

No more emails form agents for either Mr. Stinky or Against the Fall of Empire though. Maybe more to report on that tomorrow.

Writing update so far

Novel 1 - Adam's Death - never seeing the light of day (not without major rewrite)
Novel 2 - The Day Before Tomorrow - ditto
Novel 3 - When the Snows Came - ditto, ditto
Novel 4 - Mr. Stinky - submitted to various agencies and publishers.  Received many rejections, although a lot of them were com…

Oh dear, found the app

I'm not sure why I never thought about Blogger having an iPhone app. I can't exactly claim to be non-tech savvy. I've written two iPhone apps after all.
I just don't tend to think tech when I'm at home. I don't use tech much. I read paper books, not a Kindle. I don't do downloads. I don't play games. I avoid Facebook as much as I can.
And now I find an app for this. Oh well, I'll have to try to not spend too much time on this thing.

Uber quick

Monday 24th August
The Intersection - 12,763

Final Sunday Update - The Intersection

The novella has ended the day on 11,455 words. When you consider that before yesterday morning there were only about 500 words down on paper (or in MS Word) I don't think that's all that bad going.

Hopefully I'll be able to add a bunch more over the next few days. It would be good going into next weekend on about 20,000. That might mean I have chance to get it done over the Bank Holiday weekend. Then September can start on the fantasy story - The Patternmaker's Daughter.

Oh, and when I was taking a little break from writing earlier I made another couple of submissions to agencies; one for Mr. Stinky and one for Against the Fall of Empire.

Hopefully one of them will  give me a positive at some point. In any case I'm not going to be demoralised just yet - not when I've got this fantasy to plot and write. My wife likes the sound of this one so I've got to write it for her I suppose.

Damn It

I just did something I promised myself I would never do. I just joined Pinterest. I normally try to keep away from all these social media sites. I just don't want to spend hours of my life watching videos of cute kittens, smart dogs figuring things out and dumb humans. I like trying to be productive.

But I needed some images of old New York and there were a couple of pages on Pinterest that were full of them. So I took the plunge. I got want I wanted but now I have an additional distraction to try to avoid so I can concentrate on working.

Talking of which - back to the novella. It''s over ten thousand words already. Hoping to get to eleven thousand.

Writing Update 23rd August 2015

Before I start on the writing, I want to mention the collecting side. I didn't do any book hunting this week at all. Yesterday my wife was playing a wedding. She plays clarinet and saxophone in a jazz/swing band - available for bookings around the Midlands if anyone is interested.

As she would be out for most of the afternoon and evening, we decided to have breakfast out together. That meant I didn't go anywhere I might find books. And today, well getting up all that early is a non-starter when I was up so late (she didn't get back 'til nearly midnight then needed to unwind).

No complaints here - after all there are things more important than books. Yes, I said it.

So I had most of yesterday afternoon and evening free and put it to good use. I started The Intersection, my second Ben Williamson novella. As I type this it stands at 7,596 words; not a bad effort.

As I will have large amounts of today available I will imagine it will top 10,000 before the day's end. I…

Writing Update - Thursday 20th August

I didn't post anything at the end of Sunday. I should have but I'd been writing all day. The novella was done; first draft anyway. It totalled 34,117 words by day's end. I now have the task of revising it, which I will have to admit not having done much of several days later.

It's the bit I enjoy least. But that wasn't the main reason I've left it. I read somewhere that you should leave the revising a while; come back to the story after it's gone cold a little. Not sure how much truth is in that but I'm willing to give it a try.

Submissions wise I have heard back from one or two of the places I sent Mr. Stinky and Against the Fall of Empire. Nothing else in the positive though, although some nice words about Mr. Stinky. The email contained "It does sound like a good, twisty tale of possession" although it was still a decline.

On the positive I still have the one agency that has requested the full novel for Against. Keeping my fingers crossed.


A busy day

I ducked out of car booting today. I figured the ground was still far too wet to head out onto the fields where the local ones take place. Maybe I will have better luck next week.

So instead I concentrated on finishing the novella.

I left it last night on 26,142 expecting it to end at about 30,000. I was wrong. Overnight I had an idea that took part of it in a new direction and all the better for it I think that is. It did make it a touch longer though. First draft now clocks in at 34,117. So I guess that means I added twenty five words short of eight thousand. Not a bad day.

After all that typing you might think I want to run screaming from the very sight of a keyboard and yet here I am typing up a blog entry. And I'm having to restrain myself from re-opening What Remains When the Dust Settles, my sequel to the novel I've been subbing around - and which has had one positive (so far) reply.

I want to continue Zeke's tale (he's one of the lead characters) as my wife wa…

End of Day Writing Update - Saturday 15th August

Saturday has seen a little writing - in between buying books and sorting them into my collection, and actually pretending to have a life.

The novella has grown by four thousand words and now totals 26,142.

The first draft should be completed tomorrow. Then I'll have to decide what to move onto next. Decisions / decisions.

Oh, and the pretending to have a life was watching two German TV movies - Brunetti films three and four. There based on the Donna Leon novels and feature a Venetian detective. We all love Venice and if we can't go there right now at least we can bring a flavour of it into the living room. Odd that it is German. The Italians haven't done an adaptation of it I guess.

Writing Update August 15th - some good news

My novella A Parallel Life is now at a little over 22,000 words. It's not been the best week for writing as where I work has been a little short staffed as two people have been on holiday and I've used the evenings to actually relax.

Once I'm done with this blog entry I will get down to it and try to finish it this weekend. I have the desperate urge to get on with What Remains When the Dust Settles, the second book in my sf series; or maybe the comedy horror/dark fantasy thing I've been toying with.

Anyway that is the writing update. Now for the submissions update.

I received a rejection for Against the Fall of Empire from Ki Agency. I don't mind naming the agency this time as the email was very pleasant reading for a rejection. It included phrases like "clearly write well" and "the plot has ambitious features" and commented rather helpfully that maybe the synopsis I'd written was not up to par. On re-reading it I think she may be right. I …

Saturday Collecting Update

I wasn't expecting much collecting to happen this weekend. It has been raining here in Leicestershire for the past two days so the fields where the car boot is looked a little sodden as I drove passed earlier. But somehow the worlds conspired against me (or for me).

We went into Ashby de la Zouch this morning and parked in the library car park, which we rarely do. As we got out of the car I noticed signs in the windows of the library announcing a Book Sale today. I think my wife despaired when I pointed them out.

So we popped in and there were many boxes of books on the tables inside at 25p per book. And there were a few I decided needed a new home. All are paperback and to keep unless noted

Matt Forbeck - Blood Bowl: Dead Ball
Kelley Armstrong - Men of the Otherworld
Kelley Armstrong - Tales of the Otherworld
Anne Rice - Interview with the Vampire (Dupe)
Robert J. Sawyer - Flashforward (Dupe)
Shaun Hutson - Dying Words
Brian Lumley - Blood Brothers
Scott Westerfield - Midnighter…

Collecting update

This morning's car boots were packed and many stalls had books on them, even if most of them were celebrity biographies or Ian Rankin type of things - Rankin's are good books, just not what I'm looking for.

However much success was had - here's an indication

MaryJanice Davidson - Undead and Uneasy pb (Keep)
Tom Holt - Odds & Gods pb (Keep)
Tom Holt - Expecting Someone Taller pb (Keep)
Terry Pratchett - Reaper Man pb (dupe)
Neil Gaiman - Odd and the Frost Giants pb (Keep)
Kelley Armstrong - Personal Demon pb
Arthur C. Clarke - The Ghost form the Grand Banks pb (Dupe)
Robert Silverberg - Tom O'Bedlam pb (Dupe)
Richard Laymon - All Hallow's Eve pb (Keep)
Richard Laymon - Night Show pb (Keep)
Harry Harrison & David Bischoff - Bill, the Galactic Hero on...The Planet of the Hippies from Hell HC (Keep)
Harry Harrison & David Bischoff - Bill, the Galactic Hero on...The Planet of the Hippies from Hell HC (Dupe) - yeah I know two copies
Star Trek - Best Dest…

Quick Writing Update - Sunday 9th Aug

I received another rejection today - for Mr. Stinky, my horror novel. This time from a publisher. I haven't tried submitting to many publishers - just two about both have rejected.

Will keep trying

Getting back to blogging - collecting

I am a mad book collector; mostly of science fiction and horror. I have several. I enjoy going out hunting for books. I also enjoy giving books to people. I have been telling some of my colleagues - the ones lucky enough to be much younger than my 47 years - about many of the great sf novels and I have been buying dupes when I see them and giving them as gifts. Think of it as my crusade to get more people reading the best sf.

To start this I want to mention that the first two books I did this with were among my favourite sf books of all time
 - Michael Moorcock - Behold the Man
 - Margaret Atwood - The Handmaid's Tale

Anyway I go to bookshops, new and second hand when I can find them, charity shops, car boot sales, summer fetes and anywhere else that might sell them. So I thought it might be fun to details my successes. Apologies if you find this boring

Car Boot
 - Charlaine Harris - Dead and Gone (Keep)
 - Charlaine Harris - A Touch of Dead (Keep)
 - seven other Charlaine Harris…

Getting back to blogging - reporting on writing

I am a terrible blogger. It's not the first thing I think about and I guess it shouldn't be. After all there are more important things in life (my wife being the main one). But I think blogging should probably be one thing I do think about.

Then the question is what should I blog about. I started this blog to post news about my writing - and then promptly stopped writing. So I stopped blogging.

Well I did start writing again and this time I am trying my hand at novels, although this will not be news to anyone who has read the last couple of posts from 2014. Well despite a period when I went a little weird for a while I have stuck with the writing.

I finished my first novel, a horror story called Adam's Death. You're not going to see it; no one is. Not unless I majorly rewrite it. It was an okay idea for a story but a first attempt at serious writing.

A second novel followed, science fiction this time. It was called The Day before Tomorrow. A bit pretentious that title…