Monday, 26 December 2011

Mustering the energy...

When I finish work for the day there is nothing I like more than to run the jacuzzi, pour a cold drink and sit and chill...but that's just not going to work anymore. Next year is a big year for me. Because im going to make it so.

I have a whole host of goals for next year and i'm going to tick them off as and when they happen, the list is subject to change but this is it as it stands:


In my opinion, people (and I'm including myself here) dont get what they want because they dont want it hard enough, they've got the dream but not the drive. Well this year (or next depending on how pernickety you are) I am going to get published, and Im going to do it by putting the hard work, effort and hours of practice into it. I will write at least 1k words a night (and hopefully a damn sight more!) and approach publishers and agencies at least twicec a month.

2) WORK OUT (Join gym)
3) QUIT SMOKING (It was never cool, just stupid...and I am not a stupid person.)

I love people, and to love people right you got to get out amongst them!

Roll on 2012...its going to be a biggie!

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Ho Ho Ho!!! Merrrrrrry Christmas!

Would you believe it? Its Christmas. AGAIN! Didn't that year just whizz by? And what a year it's been looking back on it. If you had asked me on January the 1st where I would be come December the 22nd my answer would not have been here. But change is good, unexpected change is even keeps us sharp.

Some none writing updates first and foremost. I have opted to go 'under the knife' once again in an attempt to gain a fully functioning smile. Vain, yes. Un-Necessary, yes. Anything to do with anyone else? No. The date is the 24th of January. The plus side to it (apart from the obvious potential positive outcomes of the surgery) are that it will give me somewhere between 2 and a half to 3 weeks off of work, which is good. Because I have become somewhat lazy in my writing. Its not that im not doing any, im doing lots. But my brain is trying to write a dozen different short stories at least three screenplays and a full length bestselling novel at the moment. I have lots of notes and well thought out ideas but just no time to put them down or develop them further. I am also peculairly feeling rather Christmassey. Walking about Glasgow today I couldnt help but smile.

Back to writing news. As ive already mentioned dreaming seems to be interfering with doing at the moment. I have had lots more ideas, particualrly with regard to where this series goes after this book, which is good. But if I dont finish this book then the series wont go anywhere. Ive been reading "The first five pages" by Noah Lukeman which as Ive already mentioned is awesome. Even if you just read the first three chapters your submitted works will improve dramatically! Also had a read through "The Writers and Artists Handbook" and looked at the competitions and awards section (which is why im juggling short stories at the moment). Im quite taken with the Aeon award sponsored by the Albedo One Irish comic/fantasy/sci-fi/everything in between thing...not sure how to categorise it to be honest. I will definitely be entering it in the first couple of months of the new year. Seriously toying with taken an excerpt from the notes ive got for "A mercenaries tale" and expanding on it. If it does well it would be great to add into an introduction letter.

Anyways, bed is calling me, work tomorrow, the joys!

Good night all, god bless you...every one! (come on, I had to get it in!)

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Another day another dollar...pity its a Saturday...

This be the verse - Larkin
They fuck you up, your mum and dad.   
    They may not mean to, but they do.   
They fill you with the faults they had
    And add some extra, just for you.

But they were fucked up in their turn
    By fools in old-style hats and coats,   
Who half the time were soppy-stern
    And half at one another’s throats.

Man hands on misery to man.
    It deepens like a coastal shelf.
Get out as early as you can,
    And don’t have any kids yourself.
I cant quite fathom why, but this poem has been running around my head all morning. When I first read this piece many years ago I was feeling some resentment towards my old man, it was somewhat fitting then, but now I can think of no reason whatsoever that it should come into my head all these years later...anyways...
Could not attend the writers meeting this week which was most unfortunate. Travel to and from Glasgow has been erratic at best with the weather conditions being the way they have been. Trains cancelled, buses toppled, schools closed. Its funny to listen to people not from here complain about the weather. I overheard an American couple (on a train I might add) discussing their 'Scottish' holiday and how the only thing they had to complain about was the weather. My question to them...what did you expect? We're not exactly known for our tropical climate are we?
Although the weather has usurped my abilities to attend the writers group and threatened to keep me away from work It has not managed to stop me writing and I have handwritten most of the next two chapters. Finding the time to type them up though is just as difficult as usual. The holiday season is upon us and time seems so much more elusive now that it is here.
I am extremely happy with how things are going so far with 'Empire' (yes I did finally find a name for the book!) and my dream is going to be realised next year. No ive not got a publisher or an agent, or a contract of any form. But I do have an iron will, and a steely determination to see this through and see my book on the shelves between Pratchett and Paolini (technically it would be the other way about...and some book stores shelf Pratchett in the comedy section and Paolini in fantasy but you get the meaning...)
Picked up an interesting book in Waterstones called "The first five pages." So far it has been very useful. Im not sure how I feel about people who write about writing but the book kind of makes you feel like you are the editor/agent/publishing house and teaches you how to reject books. By doing this you inadvertedly learn what not to do. I never looked upon it like that before. They WANT to reject your manuscript. They have hundreds upon hundreds of prospective clients and a list of very demanding signed ones and they all work to a deadline. The quicker they can assign your book to a pile the better. Hopefully with the help of this book I will end up in the right pile.
Another Saturday 12 hour shift, hopefully it dies down later and I can get some writing done at my desk...

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Deciding to evolve...

Darwin taught us that evolotion is a fact. An animal adapts to survive in its environment and makes its environment fit for its purpose. He also taught us that it is a long drawn out process, billions of years in the making. But what happens when the environment changes quicker than the species in its ecosystem can evolve? What do the animals do then? Dont know the answer? Well its happening now.

It is somewhat appropriate that as I write this European leaders are meeting to discuss climate change in Brussels and 130mph winds have driven the West coast of Scotlands roads to a standstill. Literally, police have declared that no traffic should be on the road after 2pm.

The reason I named this topic as I did was because we are at a crossroads. We have two options, two scenarios and four possible outcomes.

We can believe that climate change is a real thing, or we can choose not to believe it. These are the scenarios. Our options are to act or not act. There is a video on that demonstrates this point very well, I will upload it later but regardless of the outcome something is happening that has never happened in the history of the world, perhaps even the universe.

We as a species have to make a decision, a conscious effort to evolve and change to our environment.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

One of those days...

It has been a looooonnnngg day!

I don't understand people on trains. I mean it's unnatural right? We all sit there like sardines in a tin, shoulder to shoulder, my elbow in chapter seven of the guy next to me's book and my right ear being blown away by the 'personal' headphones of the girl on my right...and no one says a word. Not one word to the people on either side of you, I bet you do it to! Thats right I know your type!

Its not that im uncomfortable with silence. God knows after answering a phone all day I love nothing more than to indulge in the stuff. It's the fact the silence is uncomfortable, it's as if every single person (except from the guy thats reading to my left and the girl blowing brain cells to my right) is thinking the same thought. 'This is awkward, I should say something.'

I mean come on folks, we are social creatures by nature but you put some of the most talkative people you know on a train and SCHDOOM! Not a word. I mean come on folks! Speak up. I once sat opposite a girl on a train (who was reading Stephen Fry I might add.) and a guy jumped on as the doors close, his backpack got caught in the doors and he had to stand at the door until the next stop. We wet ourselves laughing and both missed our stop for blethering away. Youd be amazed at the people you meet on a train, or in most cases, the people you dont meet.

Anyway, I digress...

Its been a long day. As awkward as the train journeys to and from work can be I do find I can get a lot of writing done along the way. Managed to get a good chunk of chapter eight down on paper (all be it a condensed chunk). Then enivitably, just as the creative juices are climaxing and im totally in the zone, the nice Scotrail lady tells me im at my stop and all thoughts of creativity dissaperate as I enter work and fuel the machine for the day.

Work in itself was interesting...well thats the wrong word. Embarassing would be more appropriate. But "this is my blog and ill sugar coat if I want to." Que Sera, at least the train journey in wont be the only awkward point about my day tomorrow!

Picked up where I left off on the way home and once more the train journey ended just at the wrong time. Hopefully I can pick up where I left off tomorrow morning and then get to typing up what is already one of my favourite chapters so far. One of the best bits of writing (for the author anyways) is seeing an idea or a character develop into more than you could ever have imagined.

Critique from the GWG was great! I mean dont get me wrong, some of it I will disregard but there were a lot relevant points made which as the author I just didnt pick up on. The problem is that the images the places the people the story is all so clear in my head, I dont need to explain why something is the way it is because I already know, but the reader doesnt, so having a group of people who can point these things out to you is an invaluable asset. In years to come if ever asked "What was the turning point in your writing career?" The answer will be joining a writers group.

And thats it folks, the writing continues time ticks by and life goes on. The next writers meet is on the 15th, may or may not have another update before then depending on how 'writing intensive' the weekend is.