Almost three years, in fact! I’ve got a job, a Meetup.com account and a slow cooker now, so I guess I’m officially a grown up. Here’s what I’ve been doing since 2014:
I finished my masters! Mystifyingly, I am now a Master of Science… in creative writing. The University of Edinburgh is strange, and I have now been bopped twice with their space-hat. My final project was a novella retelling the myth of Phaedra and Hippolytus. Here’s a taste:
Phaedra speaks to the slaves, and learns that:
- Hippolytus used to be such a nice boy, he really did.
- Hippolytus is a lazy good for nothing who should clean his own weapons and tidy up his own messes.
- Hippolytus has a secret lover he meets in the woods, a peasant girl.
- No, she is a princess from Corinth; they exchange letters by carrier hawk.
- Hippolytus is a faggot.
- Hippolytus is impotent.
- Hippolytus scorns Aphrodite.
- The only people who can speak sense to Hippolytus are his father and one slave, a Thracian called Xanthias who he trusts.
- Xanthias worries about Hippolytus.
- Hippolytus’s mother was definitely an Amazon.
- Hippolytus’s mother was definitely not an Amazon.
- Hippolytus likes to purify himself in a certain stream out in the woods every day.
- Since Phaedra has been in the palace he has purified himself twice a day.
- Hippolytus hates Phaedra.
This last Phaedra knows to be true, for he makes no effort to hide it.
I finished Summer, and sent it out to test-readers – got a (mostly) positive response. I’m currently working on a final draft, and I have an account on Agent Hunter so hopefully I can start querying some time in 2017.
And because I don’t know when to quit, I started two more. I wrote Ash, a YA fantasy novel about lesbian witches, last November for NaNoWriMo, and finished it in January. And I’ve been working on Settlement 359, my first sci-fi novel, piecemeal for a little over a year now, and I’m now writing the last act. More on that to come! Here’s a taste of that:
You had to pick ‘em up by the back legs. If you picked a lizard up by its tail it’d pop right off in your hand, still wriggling, and it was gross, and she’d found out the hard way. She cinched her hand right around its legs, loosened the snare, and hefted it off the ground before it could wiggle free.
The lizard twisted in her grip. It looked at her with all four beady eyes. “Don’t look at me like that,” said Cobey. “I don’t want to do it.” It blinked, both its little faces looking so sad that she whipped the lid off the basket and dropped it in real quick. Slammed it back on.
Two big fat lizards and one root-rat. She was feeling pretty pleased with herself as she trekked back to Settlement 359.
I published my first short story, Wings, in Freak Circus last November – and I sold a story, 3.8 Missions to Shoreline of Infinity for the princely sum of £50. It’s in the March 2017 edition, available in print, pdf and epub format. It’s a good magazine, with reviews and features and even a regularly section on sci-fi poetry. It’s got a real community feel to it, and I thoroughly recommend it – and not just cause they published me! (More on this, too!)
I was also shortlisted for the Bumblebee Flash Fiction Award with my story The Pit – I didn’t win anything, sadly, but still exciting.
I’m working as a book reviewer, also for Shoreline of Infinity. My first review was in issue 7, and right now I’m reviewing The List by Patricia Forde. I’m also reading the Kalevala and a whole stack of YA fantasy novels – it’s research, I swear.
And I got back into Doctor Who in a big way, specifically Patrick Troughton and that whole b&w vibe. I’ve been listening to a lot of Big Finish audios, so expect to hear more about that.
I won’t talk about my job, but suffice to say I work in an office and I do a lot (I mean a lot) of proof reading. I’m jobhunting at the moment, hoping to find something in publishing. I’ve interviewed at a few publishing houses, but so far no joy.
So that’s been me, 2014-2017. Not terribly eventful, but pretty okay, and staying hopeful for the future.