The jab is followed by a cross

Oh boy, movement in so many directions.

Highgate will be in the No Alibi Press short story collection coming out in June (more details to follow).

Drafts on the fantasy novel continue, from the skeletal draft one there is now the muscular draft two, sinews and tendons and vasculature firmly in place. Had feedback from a couple of lovely alpha readers. Draft two will go to a larger cohort of beta readers . It is my favourite piece I’ve ever written. So the summer will be spent tweaking and adjusting, finessing and preparing.

Unexpectedly, an older piece I wrote several years ago (gulls, madness, snow, fire) that has languished in a drawer has received a little attention after a harsh butcher’s block edit. Enough attention from a couple of directions to make me consider it again as perhaps something that may yet see the light.

Work has been hectic, at one point I was in Spain, America, Italy, then back to Spain in the course of a month. Despite that the edits rolled on, and now I am more stationary I can turn the heat up.

I also walked the Cape Wrath Trail, 230 miles of peat bogs, moors, mountains and glens. It was fantastic- the time to think at length, with no distraction but the next placement of a foot, the next view of blue sky and granite.

LISTENING: In League With Dragons by The Mountain Goats

READING: Spaceman of Bohemia by Jaroslav Kalfar

PLAYING: FF7 was just released on the Switch, and I am a weak man. Looking forward to finding a chocobo

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Pilot Light

Oh my days. What is up.

I just launched a new podcast with the lads from Open Pen magazine- Pencast , showcasing short fiction, poetry, interviews etc. We've had a great response to our pilot episode- can't wait to keep moving. Check it out- it is rough around the edges, but has some great content in there.  The Weekly Rapture pop-culture and Total Reroll: Equinox D&D 5e casts keep on rolling- if you haven't jumped on the Total Reroll bandwagon yet, our new season is a fresh start in a new world and is a great point to jump on. The new season is a mix of classic fantasy, wild west, and a little steampunk. We've been having a heap of fun playing it. I've been remiss in my book/game reviewing for The Lost Lighthouse, but hopefully now life is calming down I'll be able to get some more of my contributions flowing.

Other news? Take Flight is with some lovely editors, and I've had some great feedback from a small cadre of dedicated and lovely beta-readers. The new novel is a wild, ridiculous thing, that I am rather in lvoe with- now begins the slow process of editing it into a palatable shape. I've started up the short story engine again, aiming to hit the new year with a bang.

What else, what else? It is cold and grey in London, just how I like it. Life is good- I'm shortly (very shortly) getting married, and I started a new job as associate editor at a science journal last month. All is well in my world.

Writing- short stories- I've been playing with some 'genre' fiction shorts, and loving it

Listening- Belle & Sebastian back catalogue, Nasseau Colliseum by Lifter Puller

Reading- Iron Council by China Miéville, Pablo Neruda's collected works

 

Kelpies etc

It's been odd not polishing short stories. Since the beginning of the year I decided to focus on two things- a complete heavy edit of my novel Take Flight, with an eye to taking it to some agents in the Autumn, and completing the first draft of my new novel (the title of which is currently only known by three people- you are not one of them). This means that things have been quiet on the short story front as I try and wrangle these two large projects to a close. I've still been writing short stories, but they linger as drafts, waiting for me to take the time to fix them up and send them out. Which of course means fewer live events- a temporary state of being. Take Flight  is currently out with some beta-readers, and thus far the feedback has been phenomenal. It was a sprawling chaotic novel, but I think the pacing has picked up enough now to carry through the reader. 

No despair! I still have two film projects based around my short stories underway- one nearing completion (the draft is very tasty, the edit so close to completion...) and one at a tentative beginning.

In the meantime I've been co-hosting The Weekly Rapture pop culture podcast with my friend Adam Beech, which makes me engage with the world of games, books, and films in a way I could too easily stop otherwise.

Aims for autumn? Send out Take Flight to some interested parties. Edit a pile of short stories and get them submitted. Finish the new book.

Writing- New Novel, which involves the final usage off about three years of sporadic research into all kinds of esoteric folklore and legends.

Listening- Low Teens, new album from Every Time I Die

Reading- Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson

Final point- Square Space has an e-commerce tool. Thinking about putting up a pay-per-prose option, bespoke micro-fiction and short stories for a set fee. Reckon there is much call for that? 

 

July July July

What to say? It is busy, it is always busy, and that it good.

As mentioned previously, I was at Josie Long's Lost Treasures of the Black Heart up in Camden a few weeks ago- I read a short story called Highgate, currently unpublished elsewhere. The reaction was great, and it was a really fun night. I'll be there again in October, but check it out as soon as you can- it is always a good night. If you want to read Highgate, well, you can't! Not yet, anyway...

The piece for the horror anthology has finally pupated into its true form, and it is pretty weird. I am looking forward to seeing how people react, and there should be a launch party in October with readings and booze and whatnot organised by The Pigeonhole. If you haven't heard of them, they are the people currently causing a ruckus on the publishing scene. Lovely people.

What else? I'm filming a reading of an older, published piece of mine for a project that is still hush hush, but could be very fun. Got to get the accent out there, it is perhaps my only selling point.

Upcoming- got a submission deadline for an anthology I'm hopeful about in a few weeks, and the pieces are slowly coming together for novel number two. Novel number one is still languishing in the inboxes and postrooms of many, but it is time to start moving forward. This time, less insanity and weird structural devices, and more monster rampages.

Other things:

My mate Dave just published his debut novel Rickshaw which is funny and heartbreaking. Go read it.

You can hear me and some guys playing D&D (7 episodes now) over at The Lost Lighthouse.