What am I up to

Been a while since I posted an update and since then I have been to Fantasycon. It was a brilliant weekend full of all manner of writerly people, panels, and lots and lots of books. Which is something I love. I overspent on books but then I saved the money for Fantasycon so it was fine.

I don’t want to repeat myself so if you would like to know how Fantasycon was please go here and read the article.

I am just getting over COVID (or should I say I am testing negative now, but I am still not back to normal) Now I am in planning mode. NaNoWriMo is just around the corner so I am prepping. For a while, I have been getting ready to plan a sci-fi novel but the other day I changed my mind.

Now I plan to rewrite God’s Pawn, the project I started last year. There were a few things I didn’t like about the story so I am going to give it another go. I have also been planning out 2024, I am determined to do more next year, prioritise writing so I can get something finished. It really annoys me when I pick up notepads that I have been leaving notes in for years for it to say that I am getting myself in gear for writing. Just to realise year on year I get nothing done.

That’s all for now, see how I get on.

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Fantasy Con

It’s getting closer to the end of the month and after our family holiday in September, I will be going to the British Fantasy Society’s Fantasy Con event.

Lots of panels, stalls, and more importantly books. It’s a bit daunting as I am off down on my own but from the looks of it, I think I will be ok. Full of friendly people that seem very inclusive.

I have put money aside, especially for this, I am hoping to come away with some nice signed books.

Also, they recently announced some of the writers doing talks there and including Tad Williams and Alastair Reynolds. I have books from each so it’s now a dilemma of whether I take a load of books with me to see if I can get them signed. lol

I don’t really want to take half my library. It’s not been cheap with the accommodation, travel and the cost of the tickets but I am hoping I will really enjoy it.

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I have no willpower…

It’s the 3rd of August and so far I have watched Stargate for two nights and I find I am now watching Beverly Hills Cop!

I need someone with a cattle prod standing behind me ready to zap me when I start procrastinating…

So much to do and so much procrastination!

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Procrastination wins

The challenge is approaching and I still haven’t had a word with Trace. I need to get a plan in place this weekend on how I am going to do this. Otherwise, I won’t do this. Just like I never got around to starting Camp Nano.

So far Procrastination is winning. Onto the next battle.

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Writing spaces and cafes

A long time ago I got my own office at home, a place of my own to be productive. But, I have found the opposite. I have too much stuff in my office and so when I am there I don’t get much done at all.

Today has been a good example, I came out this morning and have worked from Costa, the library, and Wetherspoons. Without the distractions of my office I have managed to get a first draft of a short story done, something I would never have managed had I just been working at home.

I can see why so many writers go to cafes to write, I just get so much more done. I am going to have to look at how I can do this in my working life. It’s worth the price of a cuppa to get a good hour or two of writing done.

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Productivity and the Challenge

I watch some you-tubers and I have watched/read interviews with authors on how they are so productive. I have tried at home to be more productive but despite having no young kids anymore I can’t seem to get it to work for me, I can have a solid 4 hours in my office and manage to achieve nothing, I have literally spent a full day off with no family commitments and left to my own devices. I reach the end of that day and then berate myself as I have achieved nothing.

When looking at what some of the you-tubers say I am left wondering if I have the motivation or perseverance to do it. the main one seems to be “I don’t watch tv” and to be honest when I think of all the time I spend watching films or TV I can see where this would offer a lot more time to do something. But only if I don’t replace that with some other form of procrastination.

So, the plan is to speak to Trace later and put a plan in place. Maybe the month of August, no more TV for the month except for a specific agreed time with her prior to the start of the challenge, otherwise we would end up being passing ships in the house. I must also do the same for gaming, pick one night maybe when I can have a blast. Sunday evening seems to be the best time for my friends that I play COD with, and I then need to be strict with not giving in to play more.

So there we go, a basic plan to agree with others and in that time I would like to get my fantasy novel Gods Pawn to a finished first draft. This will then leave me ample time to plot out November’s Sci-Fi novel as this is growing in my mind and it’s getting harder to not pick this up. But then this is what I do, flitting from project to project while finishing nothing.

Wish me luck 🙂

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Sad writing magazine news

Some sad news in the world of writing and magazines.

It’s not like people found out from any kind of announcement, I hadn’t seen an official announcement on the internet. The latest issue came out and in the editor’s message he broke the news that this magazine was the last and the publisher had decided to close the magazine. There is something on their website now letting people know.

There are two writing magazines where I live in the UK. Writers Magazine and Witers Forum. I was reading Facebook not long ago and came across a post from a member of the FB page for the magazine. It mentioned that the magazine was stopping. There were posts from other people saying that when they had tried to contact the magazine about competitions or subscription renewals they were either not getting answers or were getting vague replies. This all made sense when the secret got out.

I wasn’t a current subscriber but had been in the past and although not subscribing I would buy the magazine each month. It’s a real shame that the decline of print media has now taken a really good writing magazine from us. I looked forward to reading the articles and news in this monthly magazine and its engaging format.

I can at least take solace in still having one magazine to buy, hopefully, this one will continue. Especially because it is now the only one in the UK dedicated to writing.

Image from https://pixabay.com/

I am quite a techy person but reading is one thing that I like to stick to paper for. especially magazine reading. I have a big library and love to read physical books. Although I do have a Kindle as sometimes it’s just handy to have books at my fingertips in a small package. I don’t however read from tablets or screens as it’s just not comfortable for me. Print media all the way.

I hope it’s like vinyl in that it just keeps going, even if it’s not as popular.

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Camp NaNo – Failure to launch

It’s that time of the year again and April’s NaNo is upon us. This is the version of NaNoWriMo where you can set your own goal and then work with fellow wrimos to achieve it.

I was wanting to complete the project I started in November in April and was going to try to get the momentum that I had in November. I haven’t really started this year. I think it comes from no0-one else in my writing group taking part. In November there were a couple of us spurring each other on.

The project is God’s Pawn and it’s currently sitting at about 52k I am guessing I will have another 20-30k left in it looking at the basic outline I have. So I need to get on. Would be nice to get this one completed so I can move on to the sci-fi story I would like to write as this one is now intruding regularly and I find myself making notes and wanting to move this one forward.

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General Update

Hi All, since winning Nano in November I bet you can guess how much writing I have done to maintain that awesome achievement…. yes, you are right, almost nothing :O

Gods Pawn

Since then I have done a few thousand words on the project and I am not going to hit my target of having it completed by the end of quarter 1.

So, the plan now is to use Camp Nano which runs several times a year, the first one being in April. On Camp nano, you can set your own goal and then team up with other writers for motivation. So I am going to look at what I have left to do for the Gods Pawn project and make completing that the goal of the month. This will mean planning writing time as I did for November and then sticking to it. But I would like to be able to get this done as I have other projects that are distracting me right now.

Hard Back Paper Back

As part of my plan to get more writing done and build on my love of reading I decided to set up a blog for reviewing books. I am not going to be doing in-depth reviews as such but I hope they will be useful to people. I have been populating the site with some reviews before I can get it out there.

All in all, I am making moves towards doing more writing which is the way I want to be going. Let’s see what the rest of the year brings. I hope I can keep up the momentum.

I have got my library mostly set up and I have been reading a lot more, I love having somewhere to go to read quietly.

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I have a problem…

I was sent this image from the amazing How I met your mother tv show recently in response to the number of books I am buying, I don’t blame anyone for thinking that I needed an intervention, even if it is a joke. I have loved reading most of my life and it is extremely rare for me to get rid of books as I am likely to read them again and again. But for the past few years, I have been buying books so fast that I don’t have time to read them… The collection keeps growing. The fact that I just moved into my own room for books as well doesn’t help as I now have plenty of shelf space…. buy more books I hear you say!

Below is my library, not quite complete but getting there. I now have my own room for my books. A nice comfy chair and a side table for my cuppa. I will put some better pictures up when the mold in the room has been sorted and I decorate it, but these will do for now.

I love it, there is nothing in there other than an Alexa Dot for music and a dehumidifier. So I sit in there and read in peace.

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