Saturday, 16 February 2013

The good and the bad

Its has been a busy week, with many ups and downs.

The IRS got back to me about getting me a tax code so I can at last get a printed version of my book from Sadly, they said no. Something about the required documentation I sent through not being sufficient, despite the fact that I sent them my passport (which fortunately, they returned). So yet another delay on the road to getting the first novel into printed form. However, undaunted, I intend to give the IRS a phone on Monday and discover what the problem is and maybe move things along. Just means that sorry guys, those waiting on a paperback version will have to wait a little longer.

I also didn't get to finish the latest writing challenge of writing a short story based on a song. My choice, Johny Cash's legendary song 'Boy named Sue' just didn't work out. I just can't write a story that gelled properly; my attempts didn't do it justice. Going to go back to the drawing board and find a different song to write on. Just means I'll have to play catchup for a bit.

However, got good news too. I'm making good progress with going over what I've done so far on the second novel. Already got a lot of new ideas, just have to finish going through my little paper draft and we'll be back in business.

I've also been doing a couple of pieces of new fiction.

One was for Bad Company Redux, the wargaming club I'm with. They are running an Infinity the Game 'Paradiso' campaign and I put up my first blog post about the campaign on their website with a little fiction to tie things together. Check it out at in the 'Badlands' blog (in the future this will be entitled the 'Paradiso' blog)

I've also done a little fiction piece for a mate of mine, which i'll post up sometime in the future. I think people will like it but I want him to see it first.

Another big update is my actions on Twitter. I've now decided not to advertise my book on Twitter anymore as I’m convinced its not really working. Instead, I'm going to concentrate on connecting with fellow writers / interested parties and retweeting whenever I can, as well as just updating people about my blog posts. I've over 1700 followers now so that's good, plenty of people seem interested in my little corner of the internet.

So that’s the update this weekend. I hope to keep writing and get a bit more done on the second novel. Stay tuned everyone!

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Keeping out of trouble.

Good progress this week.

Main thing is that I have at last printed out what I’ve done so far on the second novel, which is good because it means I’ll be able to look through the 52 pages and start filling in the blanks so to speak.  At present I have a lot of good scenes but not necessarily enough scenes to link all of them together.  I also need to figure out names of new characters, better descriptions of characters and locations, and tighten up the storyline.  All is doable, just need to sit down and do it.

I also had a fantastic brain storming session this week with a good friend (thank you Jo!) so a lot of new ideas have blinked into existence and I’m trying to figure out how to either integrate them into this new novel or into the series.  We shall see!

Added to this I’ve the next in our story competition challenge series.  This time the challenge is to write a story based on a favourite song.  Unfortunately I’m already behind in this (nothing written yet!) but I have chosen a song; a particular Johny Cash number that should do the necessary nicely.  I hope I can do the legendary man justice.

Also, the wargames club which I’m part of has recently started up an ‘Infinity the Game’ campaign and I’m going to be writing some fiction for it to tie together the various factions and battles.  The plan is to do this mission by mission (12 missions in all so 12 separate fiction pieces to write) as well as battle reports and painting so we’ve the complete package.  Just like all the writing I’m doing, I just need to schedule time to do this.

Plenty to look forward to, plenty to keep me out of trouble.

Sunday, 3 February 2013

A late update

Once again real life got in the way of good writing; a heavy work load has prevented me from making much progress on the second novel. Boo.

However, starting to get on top of things again and I have leave to take so hopefully I can progress again soon. The current word count sits at 17'700. Words are going on paper but as I said, not as much as I had hoped.

One of the writing tactics I've found very useful recently has been that if I simply can't think of a scene or description, I just write dialogue. Lines on lines of chat between characters. Slowly but surely, I find in time that I can flesh out these dialogue scenes with descriptions and situations and suddenly, from some chat, I have an entire scene. Its good stuff and good for those times when you just don't have any inspiration.

One thing I did complete recently is the latest in the 'short stories' challenge. Mine went ok (you'll find it below) but whilst it was proof read well (made a big effort!) it didn't actually fit in with what was needed for the theme.. It also can't stand on its own as a single short story; this reads more like a introduction to a bigger story.

Still, I enjoyed writing it and have taken on board critiques. See what you guys think yourselves.

Hopefully next blog post I'll have proper news for you all. For now, I leave you with my short story. 500 words based on the idea of 'A visit to a stately home'.


* * * * *

Visit to a stately home

The Australian State Coach, pulled by beautiful white horses and driven by the royal guard, rolled through the gates of Balmoral Castle in the weakening light of evening time. Within, Prince Philip and her majesty the Queen sat comfortably.

Both were exhausted from the day; it had been the opening of parliament under a new government. Both were looking forward to a restful night. They would retire to bed soon, Philip likely early as was his want, her majesty only a little later.

The coach pulled up to the entrance to the grand residence, servants already assembled. The Queens Private Secretary stood nearby, his hands clasped behind him. The carriage came to a halt and an attendant immediately rushed to open the coach door. Another attendant extended an arm and the Queen's white gloved hand took it, carefully stepping out and down the coach steps. Prince Philip followed, waving away any assistance.

“Your majesty.”
The Private Secretary bowed slightly as the Queen approached.
“Christopher,” she said, her aged features turning up into a warm smile, “did we do well?”
“Indeed your majesty, exceptional as always.”
“Place was bloody busy,” remarked Philip, “too many people for my liking.”
The Private Secretary passed to the Queen a slip of paper as Philip moved on past, keen to rest his legs properly inside.
“Forgive me your majesty, but there is another matter for your attention.”
The Queens features changed to surprise. She read over the note; her eyebrows rose.

“He waits in the second state room.”
The Queen nodded. “Inform him that I shall join him shortly.”

* * * * *

Changed into less formal attire, the Queen bid her attendants open the doors to the second state room. There, seated at the end of the vast oaken table reserved for meeting world leaders, sat the visitor.

He was a tall, well built man, his height evident even whilst seated. He appeared to be in his late forties but behind his blue eyes, shone an intelligence and knowledge that was far older. He was dressed in a long brown leather coat, one that barely contained his broad shoulders, and had a tanned, clean shaven face that spoke immediately of a well travelled individual.

With a nervousness she had not felt in years, the Queen approached him. Her expression was one of barely contained shock.

“It has been so long.” she breathed.

“Too long.” he lamented, his voice a deep baritone that carried with it an immense authority. “For that, I apologise.”

He towered over her as he stood to grasp her hand in a firm handshake.

“Why are you here now?”
His face turned serious at her question, aged eyes regarding her now with sadness. Sadness at the discussion they were about to have.
“Iran.” he stated simply. “It is as the Patriarchs feared. They have the Artefact.”