Showing posts with label Writing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Writing. 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!

Day 3/100

 Tuesday, 02 April, 2024

A really bad hayfever day, spent on my tod in the caravan as my wife returned to work this morning and my son has been working for a good couple of weeks now. I say on my tod, but I did have this little one's company. Though she was't too pleased with my constant sneeze and gave me a good old grumble everytime I sneezed.

As I will be publishing a previously unpublished short story by Guy N Smith in my tribute book to him, I designed a cover pic for the piece. The story concerns a dog who guides his owner through a treacherous swanp. I am quite pleased with the result:

Day 2/100 and a Laundry-time Meander

Monday, 01 April,  2024

Day 2 of my Guy N Smith 100-day-project. Working on the introduction of the Guy N Smith zine under the watchful eye of fudjcat. 

Whilst staying at the caravan site, we doing our clothes washing in the landrette, the cycle lasting 30 minutes. With that in mind, we took a quick drive to the local pond on Cefn Bryn, Broadpool, catching the sunset there perfectly:

Returning to the campsite with a good 10 minutes to spare; we parked the car up outside the laundrette and crossed the road to photograph the sheep that were gathered near the roadside gate:

The sheep were very inquisitive and friendly and even allowed me to take a short video of them:

The Entrance to Llanrhidian Holiday Park

The evening light really has been kind to us since we have been staying in Llanrhidian, as as we left the laundrette with our washing, we were even rewarded with a huge rainbow over our caravan:

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

A New 100-Day-Project

 Saturday, 30 March, 2024

It was one of my better days yesterday. It started with me vising the marsh to get some shots of the high tide, continued with us almost completing the removal of all our things from the upstairs and attic of our charred house, and, after an evening's drive back to the caravan beneath the most fantastic of skies (see yesterday's post if you want to see it for yourself,) we watched continued watching the brilliant 3 Body Problem on Netflix! And in between all that, I finally picked up the courage to ask Tara, the daughter of my favourite author, if she would let me publish one of her Dad's unique manuscripts I have in my collection in my forthcoming tribute book to him. I cannot describe the elated feeling I got when she gave me her blessing 🙂 I am turning this venture into a '100-Day-Project', and the clock starts tomorrow. Time to plan...

In the afternoon, I finally took some pics of these trees by the Swansea dump I've been frequenting for the past few weeks.

We drove along the marsh road on the way back to the caravan and I stopped off briefly to take a short video of the small church there with it modern tweeting Swift boxes:

A beautiful evening ended the day, reminding us to always make the best of bad situation:

Cold Comfort - Done and Dusted

Thursday, 28 March, 2024


 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. 

An early morning sesh

Friday, 22 March, 2024

An early morning writing sesh. Just a couple more days and Cold Comfort will finally be completed.

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:



Sunday, 17 March, 2024 

Today, we are taking a break from the house for our health and sanity. Here's Fudge sleeping as I continue working on my next novel this morning. Remarkably, it's still on track to be published at the end of this month!

And whilst leaving the caravan site's laundrette this afternoon, I came across this fella. It looks like fudj is not the only cat on this particular block.

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.