Saturday, 27 July 2013

Here we go again, and again, and again

I'm writing a blog post - again.

Seems it was only last week when I was doing this, and funnily enough, it was.

It's amazing how we get caught up in routines. Go to work, come home. Write a post, send a tweet. I reckon I've got the whole thing down pat.

The only problem is, you can get so caught up in the things you're always doing, that it becomes hard to break out to do something different. And as someone who likes to think of themselves as a creative sort of person, getting caught in that routine can get to feel quite stifling.

I think that's one of the big challenges of the modern age. Our lives are all so planned and regimented, so run by outside influences such as work and technology, that it seems like a challenge to try to do the simple things that allow you to feel like an individual.

A big challenge for me is not only finding the time to write, but making sure my mind is in the right sort of "mode" when I do find that time. When I finally get to sit down at my computer with a blank screen in front of me, I'm usually pretty zonked out after a busy day of work and family and all that other stuff. Getting my brain into that relaxed state where it can roam wild and free, in order to keep my stories moving forward in ways that don't seem forced, can be really hard work.

Yet, amazingly, I seem to be able to do it. In those tiny little windows of time, I'm definitely making progress, and I'm generally pretty pleased with that progress. Maybe that's just another part of my routine. Maybe my brain has had so much practice at unleashing itself when required that it is able to do it easily and naturally. I have no idea. I just try and go with the flow.

Anyway, I'll talk to you again next week - because that's when I'll be sitting down again to write my next post.

Saturday, 20 July 2013

I'm not really a grown-up

I've got a confession to make.

For anybody who knows me well, I don't think this will come as a big shock. But anyway, here goes.

I'm not really a grown up.

There. I've said it. It's all out in the open.

Just to qualify a few things. I suppose I look like a grown up. If you happened to know my age (a well kept secret) you might think I should be a grown up. I even manage to do a bunch of things you would usually think could only be done by grown ups, such as having a job, owning a house, and fathering a couple of children.

But it doesn't change the fact that when it comes down to it, I'm not really a grown up. I'm a big kid, walking around in a grown up world. The thoughts going around in my head are kid's thoughts. The things I like - the food I eat and the music I listen to and the movies and TV shows I watch - are pretty much the same ones I liked when my age matched my maturity. And that goes especially double for the stories I like to write.

You might think it must be difficult going through life as a fully grown child - and you'd be right. Every day I live in constant fear that I'll be discovered. Every time I show up to work, I'm worried that my colleagues will finally see through my disguises. Every time I speak to my kids, I just know that they're going to trump my childlike logic and arguments. It's a constant mask I wear every day that I always feel is about to slide down, leaving the genuine childlike me revealed for all the world to see.

So now that you've heard my confession, please don't let on. Keep it to yourself. It can be our little secret. 

Saturday, 13 July 2013

Sci-Fi Fantasy Kindle Event

Today I'm back in promo mode.

All of this weekend (July 13-14) I'm participating in an extremely excellent event - the Sci-Fi Fantasy Kindle Event organised by Tim Flanagan.

So what is involved in this fine event? 36 authors are offering up a variety of their books, all at the special sale price of 99c/75p. There are a heap of books to choose from, covering all the different aspects within science-fiction and fantasy.

But that's not all.

In addition to all the great books that can be picked up at bargain prices, there are also great prizes to be won - including signed paperbacks, ebook bundles and Amazon vouchers - check out the prize page for more information.

So make sure you don't miss out. Come on over to the Sci-Fi Fantasy Kindle Event, check out the great books on offer (and mine as well), and make sure you sign up for a chance to win a prize.


Saturday, 6 July 2013

Time for a mid-year reflection

I can't believe it. Somehow or other, six months have just slipped past, and before I even had time to breathe, I suddenly find that we've passed the halfway mark for the year.

At times like these, I feel like sitting down, pulling right back on the silly, and having a good old reflect on the year so far, and particularly where I am with my writing goals.

It's been a busy one. With the multiple projects (and their multiple deadlines) at work, and everything that goes with family life, sometimes I think it's a wonder I get anything done on the writing front at all. And yet, amazingly, I've actually managed to reach a point where I'm quite advanced as far as those goals go.

At the start of the year, I gave myself two primary goals:
  1. Complete and publish my third Neville Lansdowne story
  2. Complete a full rewrite of the detective story I originally wrote a first draft of many years ago.
So where exactly are we at?
As far as goal 1 goes, pretty good. I managed to complete several drafts of the Neville story and sent it out to beta readers. Feedback is just starting to dribble back now and it's looking pretty positive. Taking into account time for subsequent revisions as well as a proper edit and proof, I should definitely be on track for a 2013 release.
As far as goal 2 goes, the news is even better. Just past the halfway mark for the year and the rewriting is almost complete. I should be able to get chapter 16 done this weekend which leaves just one last chapter to go. At this stage, this means there's a good chance I could have it ready for beta readers by the end of the year (I'd like to do one additional rewrite but this won't be as involved) and maybe even have it ready for release in 2014.
So I'm pretty pleased with my writing progress in the first half of 2013. Here's hoping that the second half can be just as fruitful.
In the meantime, I do have something else in the pipeline for early 2014 that looks exciting. I can't say too much for now but hopefully all will be revealed soon.
Hope your latter 2013 is also a good one.