Category Archives: Weekly Update

My Week In Writing (14/01/18)

20180113_155702-1.jpgSame old same old – I didn’t have the best week at work but probably shouldn’t talk about that.

I’ve been trying to get back on track with my various projects and to that end I’ve been doing a final-final readthrough of The Summer Masque, with mixed success – I’m very much sick of reading it at this point and I find the first few chapters in particular quite tiresome. Also, I’m putting off beginning work on a query letter as I’m still stuck for ideas on that front.

The Green and the Gathering Tide hit 181k this week (almost 182k), which is somewhat terrifying as it’s still maybe halfway done at most. At present I’m working on an arc about very Catholic wizards having an uncomfortable family Christmas.

Officially I’m ahead on my Goodreads challenge, having read two books, but one of them was a miniature collection of Emily Dickinson poems so I’m not sure if that counts! In theory I’m currently reading Pulp Literature’s Summer 2017 issue but I’ve been struggling to find the time.

I’ve been bookshopping, with a book token I was given as a late Christmas present: The Last Unicorn, We Have Always Lived in the Castle, Wide Sargasso Sea and A Long Way to a Small Angry Planet. Three books which have been on my to-read list for a while – exception being We Have Always Lived in the Castle, which was an impulse purchase.

I went to the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art yesterday, largely to meet some relatives for lunch (and acquire my book token) but it turned out they have an exhibition on about children’s book illustrations which was good timing as there were two small children in the party.

We also had a look around the general collection and saw some works by Ed Ruscha, who I’d not come across before and will probably be looking into further. Good time had.

I listened to the first half of Planet of the Rani and played a lot of Submachine – I just bought the entire series in HD so expect a post about that in the near (ish) future.

Next week, I’m headed off to London to go to the ballet.

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My Week (Month?) In Writing (08/01/18)

20171224_171454.jpgWell, Christmas happened – and then New Year happened – and then going back to work happened – and all in all, life got in the way of blogging.

So, here’s what I’ve been doing this the first week of December:

1. I read Stonewall, a non-fiction (unusually for me!) book by David Carter. I also read and thoroughly enjoyed The Book of Dust by Philip Pullman.

2. For Christmas, I got: The Book of Dust; It Devours, the second Welcome to Nightvale novel by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor; Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood; and Emily Wilson’s translation of The Odyssey.

3. I’ve started a new Goodreads challenge and this year set my target back up to 50, since I managed 52 last year for a target of 45. We’ll see how that goes!

4. I went down to the Welsh Marches for what turned out to be a fairly quiet Christmas and baked a very handsome Yule Log.

5. I came down with a nasty cold around Boxing Day and stayed in for New Year’s as a result. Watched the Big Fat Quiz with my flatmate and had a good time!

6. I went out for sushi for the first time. It was a pretty mixed experience, overall.

7. And I added several thousand words to The Green and the Gathering Tide, while neglecting all other projects, naturally.

This week I’m hoping to go to Inky Fingers at Lighthouse Books, if I can find the time, and I fully intend to start working on my ‘serious’ novel properly since I’m very behind on my goal right now. Otherwise, we’ll see!

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My Week In Writing (13/12/17)

20171213_225307.jpgIs this post several days late, or early for next week? Who knows!

I’ve not been super well since NaNoWriMo finished – I missed some time off work and would have liked to have missed a little more, if I’m going to be honest. It doesn’t help that we’ve just moved to a new office so I’m feeling a bit unsettled.

I am, however, still very much working on The Green and the Gathering Tide, which is coming up on 170,000 words (including the pre-NaNo 2017 material, naturally). I’m also still working, somewhat piecemeal, on Annique but seem to have written myself into something of a corner. Boo.

I went along to Event Horizon, now at Frankensteins and in an underground venue that has the ethos of a mead hall. I wasn’t shortlisted for the flash fiction contest so it was a pretty relaxed evening for me and I was curious to hear the winning story – you can read more about the winners here.

I finished reading The Time Hoppers by Robert Silverberg and posted a quick review on Goodreads. I also read Come Close, Penguin’s 80th anniversary edition of Sappho’s poems, and re-read The Little Prince in a very shiny hard copy (previously read it on Kindle) that I bought a while back on Transreal fiction.

And I read Shoreline of Infinity 9, finally, and had a great time. I’m now working my way throught the issues of Pulp Literature I got as part of my subscription (which I got for entering their flash fiction contest).

I also re-read Settlement 359, my own sci-fi novel. I’m still pretty pleased with it! Needs some quick edits for continuity but once that’s done I might be able to send it to some people to read! I’m dreading editing it properly though.

And I did most of my Christmas shopping. So, that’s a pretty big achievement, hopefully.

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My Week In Writing (03/12/17)

20171201_171146.jpgOverheard at work this week: ‘this has been the fastest year of my life’. And it really has. I honestly can’t believe it’s December already – which is odd, because I’ve done a lot this year! More on that later, I suppose.

I finished NaNoWriMo on Thursday at (drum roll!) 104,074 words. Hopefully I’m more or less recovered, at this point – doesn’t help that I missed a couple of hours last week and the week before and had to work a bunch of longer days to play catch up.

I was pretty pleased with the result and now I have both parts of this novel in one document, which was very satisfying. Hoping to get back to it soon as it’s still a WIP and I want to at least finish the arc I was on.

Not surprisingly, I haven’t been doing much other writing this week, other than updating this blog. I also didn’t get shortlisted for the Shoreline of Infinity Flash Fiction contest – you can check out the shortlist here and it looks pretty great! I’m slightly relieved not to be there, though – I think if I made the shortlist it would have just stressed me out!

I also applied for a job with the Book Festival and sent a story to Pulp Literature (thoroughly recommended magazine, by the by).

In short, my week has been alternately hellishly busy (with NaNoWriMo) and very very quiet. And now I’m off to get some rest, and watch the new Dirk Gently.

 

 

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My Week In Writing (26/11/17)

stats26I’m going to be honest: I haven’t really done anything except work on my NaNoWriMo novel. I somehow managed to break all previous words per day records yesterday, so now I’m a day ahead for 100k. Feels good to have some breathing space but I’m not sure how I managed that! I was in Starbucks, there was red bull involved, otherwise I’m baffled.

I’m planning on hitting 90k tonight, to maintain that lovely one day ahead-ness. Which should make it a lot easier for me to make the Literary Salon on Tuesday!

Otherwise, I went to four write-ins, started my christmas shopping (thus far entirely books) and that’s really about it.

I’m pretty much past the point in my NaNo that I was most dreading (it’s been slow going tonight, to say the least) so it should be smooth sailing from here to the end. I have an end point planned for this NaNo (not the end of the book) and here’s hoping I can hit that, at least.

And today I had a brainwave about Annabel’s arc for book three so I think that’s going to be done over from the ground up and involve travelling to another dimension.

I’m going to wrap this entry up now, because I’m drowning in my own novel and need to hit my target for the night.

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My Week In Writing (19/11/17)

stats19Well: I hit 50k this week! I’m on track to finish at 100k but trying not to get too invested – 3,333 words a day is a big time investment on working days and doesn’t leave much time for anything else so I don’t know if I can keep this up till the end of the month. Staying focused, though.

I’ve updated my NaNo profile with a new (much better) title and an excerpt, so go check that out.

Yesterday I had a look through some previous drafts for this same novel. They were all varying degrees of painful to read. Hopefully this one will age better!

Annique is currently at 45k and I’m adding to it whenever I can find the time. Aiming for ten minutes a day which is enough for me to do 500 words so I probably ought to be able to add to it more often.

This week I got caught up on Steven Universe. Enjoying the most recent arc more than certain previous arcs but still nothing like as interested in this show as I used to be. Still hoping it’ll pick up again, given how good it can be.

I’m almost finished season two of Stranger Things, which as ever I’ve been finding a bit mixed but maybe I should save that for a full review sometime.

Plus I am, naturally, still watching and still loving Dirk Gently, which so far has kept on getting better and better. Should be able to watch the newest episode after work tomorrow and very excited!

I listened to The Ingenious Gentleman Adric of Alzarius, the newest Doctor Who short from Big Finish. My expectations were pretty high, given how good their last Adric Short Trip was, and it did not disappoint. Really creative, really poignant stuff. Where was all this high-quality Adric expanded universe material back when I was into the Peter Davison era, I ask you.

And yesterday I went to see Thor: Ragnarok which is an absolute delight (the jokes! The colours! Loki!) and I’d thoroughly recommend it.

Next week, I’m hoping to meet and exceed my previous NaNoWriMo record (80,000 words) and keep going. Got some big plans (Thor was unexpectedly inspiring). So basically, more of the same!

 

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My Week In Writing (29/10/17)

20171029_135909.jpgAnd just like that, October’s nearly over…

I went along to the Edinburgh NaNoWriMo opening party today. Played some games, met some interesting writers and some NaNoWriMo newbies! I think I’ve officially achieved veteran status at this point, what with seven novels under the old belt.

I’m now in the process of creating my novel on the NaNo site. Slightly terrifying given how hard I found Inktober, but fingers crossed. I’ve got the first five days of November off work to get into the swing of it.

I was also out last night celebrating Halloween, so all in all this has been an odd weekend.

Speaking of Inkober, I’m up to date with 29 little stories written, including a couple of snippets from the world(s) of the novel I’m planning to write this November. Like I said, getting into the swing of it.

I have a job interview Tuesday! Which I really ought to have done some preparation for but I do have all day tomorrow so I’m feeling pretty chilled out.

And here’s the big news: my story has been longlisted for the Shoreline of Infinity Flash Fiction contest! Which means it’s going to be published in 2018 together with the other longlisted stories in a special anthology. I’m very excited – watch this space!

This week, I listened to Survival of the Fittest and Architects of History from Big Finish. I had some reservations about the trilogy but it turned out to be some really outstanding stuff and I’m looking forward to continuing the story with UNIT: Dominion. But mostly right now I’m just very pumped for The Morton Legacy.

I’m keeping up with the new seasons of The Good Place and Dirk Gently, both of which I have some mildly complicated feelings about and neither of which I can really talk about further without massive spoilers. Also, in both cases I really ought to wait for the season to pan out before casting too much judgement.

Up next, I’m going to start Stranger Things 2 and probably drink some wine.

 

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My Week In Writing (16/10/17)

20171013_120515.jpgA short update this week. Between various things I’ve been having a pretty exhausting time.

I’ve been doing some training at work, which has included getting sent to what I can only descibe as the filing jail. I’m probably going back tomorrow. And will need to take comfortable shoes this time.

I’m still working on Inktober – I’m all up to date and only missed a couple of days. Looking forward to expanding some of the drabbles I’ve written into full stories.

I finished Quiet, Loud, my very strange werewolf story. I think I managed to get it to a stage where other people would understand it, but there’s only one way to find out, I suppose!

I also finished Anita and Me, which means I’ve hit my Goodreads goal of 45 books! I decided to shoot for 50 a while ago, though, so I’m still going. I’m now reading The Time Hoppers by Robert Silverburg, which I confess I bought mostly for the aesthetic.

And I finished Doom Coalition 4, which I have somewhat complicated feelings about but mostly enjoyed! There’s teasers out for the upcoming Time War boxset, which I was pleasantly surprised to find in my library – they came with the newest Time War-themed short trip.

The Outliers is also out, which I’m very excited about… but probably won’t have time to listen to till next weekend. Oh well.

This week, I’m hoping to finish my final read through of my novel. Tomorrow I’m going to the Creative Salon at the Traverse Bar, and next weekend my mum’s coming to town! So, busy week.

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My Week in Writing (08/10/17)

20171007_150822.jpgIt’s been a long week. Very stop and start on my writing projects, thankfully slow at work – we’ve finally cleared the backlog of work that’s been there since I arrived, and I was personally thanked by the manager for my contribution to said backlog clearing, so that was nice. Next week I should be training on something new, at last!

I’m partway through chapter seven on my novel. Slow going, it’s not the most engaging task and I don’t always have the energy to do it properly. Annique is sitting at 39k which continues to seem unnaturally short for how long I feel like I’ve been writing it!

My new short story has, conversely, turned out a big longer than I expected. It’s at 6k and rising, but (I hope) very nearly done. Hopefully it’ll make sense to people who aren’t me.

I’ve also, on a total whim, decided to do Inktober for Writers. Inktober is a drawing challenge that runs every October on tumblr (and presumably other sites, I don’t actually know!) and this year someone put up a set of writing prompts.

I’m trying to do at least a hundred words for each prompt, alternating between sci-fi and fantasy, and I think I’ve produced some good material, so far. Certainly some completed flash fiction which is a rarity for me!

I’m reading Anita and Me, which is heavier than I expected – I saw the film years and years ago and I’m getting the feeling that it softened the story a bit. I also reviewed. The Greengage Summer on Goodreads.

I went on an outing yesterday in search of further books! I went to Lighthouse Books in Newington to check out their LGBT section and picked up Stonewall by David Carter and a very tiny Penguin anniversary edition of Sappho. And I went to Transreal Fiction for the new edition of Shoreline of Infinity.

Also, as of yesterday I am (for the first time since leaving home) a public library card holder, which is exciting. Really long time coming because I am very much running out of space for books.

Anyway: I have a novel to edit.

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My Week in Writing (01/10/17)

20170930_151417.jpgI can’t quite believe it’s October already! This year has flown by. I really wish it wouldn’t.

On the flip side, this has been a slow week. I’ve been trying to do a final read-through of my novel but things will keep getting in the way and progress on my other projects has been slow too.

I did, however, finish and submit my story for the Shoreline flash fiction contest and I was pleased with the finished product. It took some editing but I finally managed to have at least one reader get what I wanted from it so hopefully the judges will too!

I finished listened to The Night Witches and listened to Songs of Love, the second installment of Doom Coalition 4. Both were pretty excellent and I look forward to reviewing them!

I finished The Greengage Summer and toyed with watching the film… but I, do not like the sound of some of the changes they made for it, so I think I’ll give it a miss.

Next up I’m reading Anita and Me by Meera Syal. And after that, I only have one book left on my to-read stack… a terrifying prospect. I may have to actually go book shopping.

I also went to the Edinburgh Literary Salon, where we heard a bit about Book Week Scotland (coming up this autumn) and I got introduced to Charlie Stross. Very strange experience as I wasn’t sure how to bring up the fact that we were recently in the same book. Thankfully Noel from Shoreline helped me out!

And I started watching Red Dwarf.

 

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