Showing posts with label Familiar. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Familiar. Show all posts


Friday, 19 April, 2024

I managed to grab a few hours of writing time this afternoon after finishing work today. I am really pleased with how my latest novel is going :)

Making the most of the clearest night of our caravan stay, I headed down to photograph the planet Venus shining in the twilight sky over Llanrhidian marsh just after dusk.

My Diet Begins...

Tuesday. 16 April, 2024

Second day back at work, though an early finish allowed me to do a little extra writing on my next novel, Familiar.

Also, I started my much-needed weightloss program today with an official weigh in. Gonna make it public in the hope it encourages me to make good progress on it. I'm healthy again, and back in work, so should hopefully be a lot more active again. I just have to keep off those addictive crisps!

As I finally left work, I couldn't help but take another Shadowme pic with this interesting shadow:

Writing Marathon DNF

Friday, 12 April, 2024

Well, what can I say? That was brutal. I started in good spirits, intending to complete the full 24-hour marathon. My hope was to complete a full novel's first draft in 24 hours. Did I fulfil this desire?

And we're off, with the positive messaging of the 1st hour's two hosts

Here we go - let's get cracking

I was working on a tough little cookie of a project - a novel I've had mulling around in the back of my head for several years now - my take on the teenage-girl discovers-the-supernatural-is-a-powerful-aid-in-navigating-the-adult-world trope.  Although many hours had already been spent over the years trying to conjure a story to fit the title of the book I was set on keeping, Familiar, only a couple of key opening scenes had been mapped out on paper. The Writing Sprint seemed a great opportunity to force some meat onto the body of the tale. And so, at 8pm I sat at the desk in the caravan, opened a new Google Docs tab and began tap-tap-tapping at my laptop keyboard.

Christ, this is hard!

Writing is a very solitary pastime, and it was interesting to write in the company of so many other souls tortured with the need to fill black pages with their words. The structure of the Writing Spring was that we gathered together to commiserate or congratulate each other at ten to each hour. Five to each hour was our break. Then, on the hour, we set our intentions for the next hour in the group before doing our next 45 minute sting of world-creating. All this, as you can probably see from the screen grabs I have included with this post, was done via Zoom,

Unfortunately, as the night drew late and I reached the stages of my story where I literally did not know what was going to happen next in the story, my brain started to stall, my eyelids became leaden, and my head began to droop. Encouraged by others in the group who were taking sleep breaks and giving up on the idea of doing the full 24-hour stint, I finally admitted defeat, from my original goal at least, and crawled into bed at 2am in the morning.

The state of me! By this stage, I even thought
my laptop's touchpad wasn't working, only
to find out I was stroking the table top lol,

I rejoined the writing sessions the following morning but needed to break the next session to view a house needed for our temporary accommodation whilst we wait for repair to work on our house to start, let alone finish. Again, I picked up the writing thread when I returned to the caravan but missed the finale due to a developing spectacular sunset.

All in all, I completed eleven of my intended 24 hours of writing and ended up with four complete chapters rather than having the first draft of the entire book sorted. But, with a little mental gymnastic to wrestle some kind of success from cold failure, my next horror novel, my 9th, is in a much better place than it was just twenty-four hours earlier, and the story is a far stronger one for my having taken part in the Writing Space.

Will I participate in another Writing Sprint. You can bet your life I will!

Bufo Bufo

Thursday, 11 April, 2024

Our time at the caravan may be coming to an end soon. I'm hoping to get a short 3-month contract on a house closer to work. I'll know more at the weekend. 

In the meantime, Me and fudj are doing some last-minute research on toads before my 24-hour writing marathon tomorrow. 

If you would like to help keep me awake to draft a full 1st draft of my 9th novel in just one day, please help by buying me a coffee

Day 1/100

Sunday, 31 March, 2024

Day 1 of my 100-day-project to produce a tribute to my favourite author, Guy N Smith. Before the first day comes to close, I want to have completed typing up Guy's hand-written story, Toby's Way, which will literally be the centrepiece of my one-off GNS zine... 

 And with my work on the GNS project competed for the day, I sat outside the caravan to do a little work on my next novel, Cold Comfort.

Never mind working on my writing,
I should start work on losing that belly

The Doors of Hell Have Opened

 Monday, 25 March, 2024

I hope this little beast of a book will be published in a week or so. The Cover design is done and dusted (see above), and the formatting of the novel for publishing is now also completed. I've just got to do a quick page-by-page check on the final typeset work, and then it will be ready...

What's next? I hope I hear you ask? Well, it's finally time for me to sort out that Guy N Smith zine I have been promising for so long. After that, I'm not too sure. I had planned on producing a second issue of Avalon, but with the cancellation of our Glaston visit for the May Day celebrations, I am going to put that on hold for a year. Reissuing/reworking my Hand in Gove book may be an option as this theme seems to have grown in popularity recently, but I'm not too certain yet. And my fourth Gower book, Tidal Gower, will still probably conclude my publications this year. 

Of course, while all the above is going on, I will be writing my ninth horror novel, Familiar, and ideas for it are already coming thick and fast.

Until my next post, keep happy :)


 Sunday, 24 March, 2024

Peace. My favourite thing in the world right now.

We decided we needed a day away from the house today. And with beautiful sunshine being the order of the day, I enjoyed a nice little sit down outside the caravan in the afternoon :)

I finally put Cold Comfort to bed in the evening. I won't lie, this novel was a bit of a beast to write and is definitely the longest of my novels. 

A Seeming Standstill

Thursday, 21 March 2024

What can I say? Two weeks on, countless thousands of £££s worse off, and we are in no better position.

We are still at the caravan, but the prices are rising dramatically as Spring draws the holiday-makers to the site. The landlord is still unsure what his insurance will pay for our temporary accommodation. We also found out we should not really be clearing the house, given all the toxic soot, which apparently gets worse as time progresses. But there is still a lot for us to do despite the conditions being unhelpful to my already compromised health. Right, I got that out of my system. Let's move on...

Chilling by writing about fictional drama

At least the day ended on a brighter note than it began 🙂.  God bless the sunshine. The drive home towards our temporary accommodation:


Last Day in Mumbles

Tuesday, 12 March, 2024

This is our last day at the Mumbles Airbnb. We picked up the keys to cheaper accommodation today on the other side of the peninsula before heading to our house and clearing more of the damage to make it safer for the builders who start work there next week. Fudjcat has settled in nicely here, so I hope the upheaval tomorrow doesn't upset her again. We've transferred the last of our Japan savings (we have had to postpone most of this year's planned trips), so we can hopefully afford to stay at the caravan/trailer until we can move back into our home. This should help ease fudjcat's anxiety and let her settle for longer. Loathe to post here without any pics, so here are some parting pics of Mumbles, all taken from the car as we drove to and from this particular let. These include some daytime shots of that strange scene I happened upon the other night. Onwards and upwards!

fudjcat chillin'

Nothing takes you out of your stressful situation better than
putting yourself into someone else's.
Continuing work on my 2025 novel, Familiar.

Winter's End (2024) Update

Friday, 01 March, 2024

It is Spring at last! That was one harsh winter, wasn't it? Anyway, we are through it now, and it is time to look forward to better things...

Healthwise, I am hoping for a fantastic season ahead. My new meds, seen as a wonder drug by my consultant, have proved as good as promised and I officially return to my day job next Thursday.

Over the past winter, I have managed to progress my Cold Comfort novel and it is just a matter of formatting the thing now prior to its publication, which still has its official release date of March 31 intact - although this may stretch into April if anything gets in my way of progress it this month.

Progress of my Guy N Smith book is also going well, with all my Lego photography completed (I still don't know what to do with all the GNS Lego dioramas I've created over the past few months). I have one field trip lined up before completing this particular book. This was originally going to involve a visit to Hopwas Wood, the scene of The Sucking Pit and numerous other GNS tales, with Knighton being a reserve alternative should the weather prove too wet for woodland walking. With the continuing uncertainty surrounding the location of the bomb crater in Hopwas Wood (whose rain-filled depths inspired The Sucking Pit), I have decided to delay this visit for another day (and probably another year). Instead, I have now decided that my field trip will be to Shell Bay, the location of GNS' classic Night of the Crabs. This change of location came as a relief to my wife and son, who will accompany me on this field trip, as there is far more to occupy my family's time on the coast of North Wales than a meander through a single woodland. Knighton remains in reserve if the weather forecast proves too gloomy for beach camping at the time. The GNS book is still scheduled for a close of June 2024 release.

Prior to the above field trip, the three of us (and hopefully my daughter if she can find the time) have another trip planned, this time to Glastonbury so I can take photographs for Issue 2 of Glastonbury guidebooks, Avalon. This should be my third publication of 2024, scheduled for the end of September.

After that, I will be working on my fourth Gower guidebook - Tidal Gower. 

After that, my prospective 9th novel, about a girl's unusual friendship with a toad - Familiar - should lead me nicely into 2025...

Here's hoping the nice weather brings good times for myself, my family and all my friends, readers and site visitors. Have a love Spring :)

Familiar Progression

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Taking a short break from One Night Dead, I thought I'd spend a couple of days working on another project, one that I've left gather dust of late. And so out came my Familiar notebook once more:

 Familiar will no longer be a novel, but will, instead, be a collect of folk horror short stories. Given the amount of books I have planned for publication, I can't really envision this project seeing the light of day until 2024, at the earliest. Though, as in Solstice, if any of the short stories are completed well before the publication of the larger volume of work, I may publish them as individuals and alone titles as well...

Skipping Work

Monday, November 21, 2022

Didn't go into work today as it was raining and the office heating is broken and there's no running hot water there. I'm getting older and I still haven't fully recovered my health and the thought of sitting in the office, wet from the rain and shivering in the cold, was enough to stop me going in. Now, in the warmth of my own home, I can continue with my own work, in the fine company of this one:

Familiar Notes

November 18, 2020

It begins...

A New Notebook

November 17, 2020

I am happy with my new notebook. I am now ready to start outlining a new folk-horror novel - about a girl who stumbles upon something unusual in the forest...