Showing posts from July, 2006

Twisted Tongue

My story 'Death's Head' appears in the new issue of Twisted Tongue, scheduled for release August 1st. The paperback version can be ordered through, as well as a much cheaper PDF. version. I'm really pleased that the story has found a home in this magazine. Can't wait to see it finally in print. 'Death's Head' originally apeared in the now defunct ezine Astounding, where it won that issues Editor's Choice Award. So, as you can imagine, I'm very proud of this particular story.

'Lazarus Island' continues to grow. Total word count tonight is the magic 35,000 word mark.

Keep on Keeping on

So far this week I've managed to put down a thousand words of Lazarus Island each night, with the exception of last night which was Torbay Carnival night and we were all too exhausted to do anything once we got home. I'm determined to keep up this pace. At this rate (1000 words per day) I should be able to finish this first draft in a month. That is very exciting.

Current total: 33,300

30,000 words and counting

Reached a major milestone tonight in the rehabilitation of my novel Lazarus Island. 30,300 words to be exact. I'd always imagined that it would be a short-ish novel of about 60,000 words, which would mean that I've just hit the halfway mark. Great! Fantastico! But as I'm writing, and as the supporting characters are beginning to really come alive, I'm beginning to see the novel open out, becoming a much richer, more exciting proposition. I'm not overly concerned with how long or short it turns out to be, I just want to finish it. The more I think about it, and the more I work on it, the more I believe in it. I was miffed at having to stop writing tonight, but I know that this is a good sign. They say as a writer you should leave your novel at a point where you're itching to get back to it next time. I haven't had that feeling in a long while.

Next stop: 40,000 words.


Slowly but surely I can feel myself being re-energized. Monday night I sat down and finished 'Inheritance', one of my most interesting short stories - one I should have completed months ago. The result needs a good tidy up and polish but it 's very exciting to see something new in the OUT tray. I've also spent the last week making detailed revision notes of my half-finished novel and I am very excited about the results so far. The only thing that's dampening my efforts now is this damned heat. I don't work well in the heat, and there's no escaping this wave of high temperatures. Still, my outlook for the future is positive.

The Healing Power of King

It's happened before. Many times. When I'm feeling down, moping about in what Dorothea Brande called that "slough of despond", there's only one tonic I can rely on to reinvoigorate the creative juices, to fight off the shackles of despair and stop the old Muse from draping herself languidly over a metaphorical sofa like a pampered tart with a headache. The name of this miracle tonic? Stephen King.

In tough times I've always turned to one of King's books. Non-fiction works are just as good as novels. 'On Writing' always helps relight the fires. As does 'Danse Macabre'. But anything from the opening passages of 'Carrie' to the epic conclusion of 'The Dark Tower' is usually enough to drag me from the pit of despairing writers and hoist me, breathless, onto safe ground. This latest bout of fear and self-loathing has been a pretty protracted affair (months rather than weeks or days), and even the surefire King cure-alls failed t…

Who Review: Army of Ghosts / Doomsday

Rose Must Die!

The foreshadowing began as early as episode two of this series, when Queen Victoria warned our time travellers of the fate that awaited them if they pursued “this terrible life”. The Beast in ‘The Satan Pit’ predicted it in a more direct fashion with: “the valiant child, who will die in battle so very soon…” All in all, things were looking pretty gloomy for Rose as we approached the season finale. Now of course, we can see that this was all a very cleverly constructed ruse to keep us watching. And it worked. In dramatic terms, to foreshadow something so heavily almost always means there’s a surprise in store. You can’t keep telling an audience one of your main characters is going to die and then duly kill them. That’s not very dramatic. That’s just cruel and depressing. If you are going to kill off a main character it’s usually best done with the element of surprise - there’s great drama to be had in shocking an audience with a big death. But in Doctor Who, the build-up …

Writing? Oh, yes, THAT!

It's been a pretty grim time in the productivity stakes. Due to the many and varied demands on my time (including adapting to a new job and the mental drain of Open Uni studies) I've not been able to work on the handful of stories sitting in my "OUT" folder, nor turn my mind to producing anything new. I feel totally bereft of any drive right now. I've completely lost interest in reading, movies, my Literature course, and, most worryingly of all, my writing. I sincerely hope this is all a passing phase. Perhaps after producing over twenty short stories in two years I have reached a (temporary) "burn out".
The only thing that has kept me going these past few months is my weekly fix of Doctor Who. When Doctor Who reaches its truly epic finale next Saturday, I'm hoping that my old passions will rush back in to fill the void created by the good Doctor's absence. If they don't, I'm going to be seriously worried. I really will need a doctor!