Tag Archives: writing

Writing Boom


Thanks to Andrew McKiernan, I’m finding my way back to the writing world, putting my words on file without the constant distraction of the net and my own failure to switch off my self-editing mentality.

This has been accomplished by Dark Room, (which I’m typing on now) after Andrew’s recommendation for TextRoom. Yes, they are different programs but they do very similar things, as they are writing tools, designed to get you writing. They have no grammar checks, spell checks, interesting little extras, etc., etc.

I like both programs but Dark Room is just that more suited to me (in the way that TextRoom is more suited to Andrew). I don’t believe either of them are better, just different, a bit like PCs and Macs…erm…wait a second there…

So, the order of the day has been to switch the laptop on, turn off the net and get Dark Room cranked up. It’s working like a charm, as you can tell from this short post, getting me to concentrate on what I’m writing and not what may well be happening elsewhere on the computer.


My school reports had a recurring comment on them, which was "easily distracted" and not much has changed since. At least two of the staff at Morrigan Books have called me ‘magpie’ and that’s a nickname not unwarranted.

I am in love and awe of the shiny, this is true and there is much to interest me on these machines, especially with me having a late introduction to the whole scene.

Apart from gaming machines (as that’s what we used them for) such as: Spectrum, Atari and Amiga, my first serious use of computers was as late as 2000, with me only getting my first e-mail address (Hotmail) in 1999 but then not really using it until I started teaching in Sweden, September 2000.

In fact the first PC I owned was a cranky old desktop, donated by Etina’s parents when we moved in together 2002 and it wasn’t until 2004 when we bought this laptop (as you can see me typing of course) that the interest really started.

Nowadays I’m helping quite a few people out with software problems, hints, tips, installations and recommending programs for various usage.

I’m still not anywhere near where I’d like to be in terms of the art side but considering where I am on most of the other areas, I am sure, with some serious commitment and study, I’ll be up to speed there too.

On my beloved desktop (in the other room), there will be lots of flashing and beeping going on right now, as I have my Outlook open (which is my company e-mail client, containing all of Morrigan’s various e-mail accounts), Thunderbird open (the client for all my personal e-mail accounts), Facebook (for Morrigan Books), Skype (for business and to chat to family) and Word Press, to make sure all my blogs are ready to be updated.

In terms of the social network and blogging sites, today I am a member of:

LinkedIn (Morrigan Books and Personal)
Facebook (Morrigan Books, Gilgamesh Press and Personal)
Orkut (Personal)
MySpace (Personal)
Skype (Personal) (markdeniz)
Twitter (Morrigan Books, Gilgamesh Press and Personal)
Word Press (Personal, Fae Awareness Month and others) Beyond Fiction (Reviewing site))
Live Journal (Morrigan Books, Gilgamesh Press and Personal)
Blogger (Personal)
Dreamwidth (Personal)
Insane Journal (Personal)
Tumblr (Personal)
Posterous (Personal)
Digg (Personal)
Last.fm (Personal)
Flickr (Personal)

My aim is to try and keep this all updated and so this post should be appearing on all those, from Dark Room to Semagic and Live Writer to the various blogs and twitter accounts. Wish me luck, as I might need a lie down after this.

Oh and be sure to tweet, Digg, StumbleUpon and like this…Winking smile

Go fourth and write!

Yes, yes, I know, you are already getting your little typewriter fingers ready to give me a telling off for my misspelling of forth but no, I was playing with the words, in that clever writerly style that only we that write can…;)

But seriously my use of fourth relates to me having been invited to work with three other writers in the field: Simon Marshall-Jones, Adrian Chamberlain and Mark West to produce a four novella book, due for release at Fantasy Con 2011.

Up to now, I’ve merely been hassling the three of them with a detailed plan of attack for getting the book marketed and produced to a high standard. I suspect they might see through that ruse pretty soon and wonder what I plan to write for the project as well…

Well, yet another reason to be miserable about missing this year’s FCon in Nottingham (I think I’m up to ten already, yes), is that the other three in the collective are to get their heads together and decide exactly what it is we’re going to do for this for this little book of ours: splatter horror, paranormal romance, contemporary comedy, shoe-gazing…the list goes on…

I suppose I just have to wait and see what they tell me then eh? Keep an eye out though, it promises to be very exciting!

Time to vote – The Preditors and Editors Poll awaits!

I’ve been sitting back and watching goings on before getting ready for my own involvement in the awards, then realised there are only three days left…

If you think we did good work over at Morrigan Books last year, then this is your chance to vote for us, so that others can also see how well we are doing and cast a glance our way in 2010. We’ve already been nominated for a few things this time but if there is something you think of (short story, editor, etc.) that hasn’t been nominated then you can also do that.

The main voting page can be found below:

Preditors and Editors voting page

but I’ve given you a link to a few of the categories, with comments about who/what I think should win or who/what I’ve voted for.

Best Horror Novel

I’ve not read enough here to have a qualified opinion but The Harrowing, Alexander Sokoloff is being talked about in all the right circles. I’m also aware Jeremy Shipp has a rather fine voice and would expect Cursed to be worth a buy.

Best Science Fiction/Fantasy Novel

I actually think this should be two sections but anyway…not read one on the list and struggle to think of any that were released last year that grabbed – I didn’t read many new novels though.

Best Horror Short Story

We have a few in this section, most coming from Dead Souls (my own little solo editing anthology). Tatsu by Reece Notley is riding high, as is Licwiglunga by T. A. Moore. Also in the list (from the same book) are A Shade of Yellow, Gary McMahon, Wayang Kulit, L. J. Hayward and The Blind Man, Carole Johnstone.

I’m only allowed to vote for one and so went for The Blind Man, as Carole Johnstone is always brilliant but this is easily one of the best things she’s ever done, and is probably my favourite of all those in the anthology. I read a lot of horror short stories last year and believe Carole’s stands very high among them all.

Best Science Fiction/Fantasy Short Story

There’s some bloody cracking stories in this list, and I notice a few from Grants Pass, our science fiction/horror anthology. I’m actually going to nominate KV Taylor’s Boudha, which isn’t in the list and was my favourite from that book (well that or Carole Johnstone’s…)

Best Anthology

You may well notice a bit of bias here but I direct your attention to Dead Souls, the anthology I edited for Morrigan Books. If that didn’t grab you, you could vote for Grants Pass, another worthy anthology, also (strangely) published by Morrigan Books…

Best Book Art

Both Dead Souls and Grants Pass are in there, both done by the wonderful Reece Notley. I shall be voting Dead Souls cause I love me that spider!

Best Zine Art

I see that Reece Notley has been nominated for Three Crow Press, yet I see no mention of Drops of Crimson, which I think will get my vote.

Best Author

I can’t decide here between Carole Johnstone or Gary McMahon, as they’ve both done cracking stuff over the last year or so. I think I might vote Carole and get the wife to vote Gary, that seems fair eh? 😉

Best Poet

I’ve gone for Ian Hunter here, who is nice enough to put some of his stuff on his site. He reminds me I need to get some poetry done this year!

Best Artist

Reece Notley isn’t nominated, which makes no sense to me, and so I’ll be nominating her and then voting for her.

Best Book Editor

I’m in there, as is Amanda Pillar and Alisa Krasnostein. Can’t decide between Alisa or Amanda and so have let the wife vote for Alisa, seeing as she’s read some Twelth Planet stuff and I voted for my personal fave, Amanda Pillar.

No Jennifer Brozek though, which is strange.

Best Zine Editor

Here we have Jennifer Brozek, Jenn Moffatt, Reece Notley and Lea Schizas, making it a very tough one. Think I’ll have to go for Reece Notley here.

Best Ebook Publisher

We’ve been nominated here, which is crazy, as we don’t do ebooks, yet. I voted for Samhain Publishing.

Best Review Site

I nominated Dark Wolf’s Fantasy Reviews for this and then got the wife to vote for ASif! (Australian Specific in focus). Covering all the bases you know…

Best Fiction Zine

I’m thinking Shroud, Necrotic Tissue and Three Crow Press here. No prizes for guessing where my vote has to go.

Best Poetry Zine

Goblin Fruit, without a shadow of a doubt!

Best Writers Workshop

My vote goes with The Muse Online Writers’ Conference. I was lucky enough to take part last year and it was excellent!

And here is where you can see the current standings and just where everyone is at the mo.

Current Standings

Looking forward to seeing where we end up in all our categories!

The new me?

Well I had the haircut and decided to get rid of the beard at the same time, so I look quite a bit different than I have for a few months.

Sent off two stories this week. Yes, the writer who is not writing has been submitting! Well truth be told one I wrote about two years ago, it got an honourable mention in a competition (we can’t all win vases!) and since then I have tweaked and played until it resembles something I like now. Well that and five people have looked at it and torn it up and made me re-write it!

The other was a piece of flash fiction after a nudge from that Stoke bloke (oh I love that!)

. He gave it a bit of a griddle, after


had given it their treatment.

then came up with some advice and hey presto, it’s off now!

And the biggest news of all is that there is maybe a blogging career on the horizon again for

! Yes, a certain wife of mine has gotten the bug once more after seeing her sister and brother-in-law throw themselves into it.

So if you are interested to hear about brothers being murdered, children being born, Sweden and Swedish, living with an annoying publisher, etc. then you know who to friend don’t you? Psst, give her a nudge too, just to set her off!

Some musings I felt needed to be here as well as on the community

Had a chat with xjenavivex and she agreed it was probably the best time to do this too, especially as I don’t really have time for it… *winks*

I’ve decided to follow MG’s example and give the series a level of uniformity…

Enter if you dare…

Today… hrm, yes there is something good about today

This is what I’ve been up to for the last couple of hours:

Thank you xjenavivex, thank you starlithenge, thank you lobo_luna!

Dealing with it

Yesterday was a weird day, the feeling of being disconnected in some way, all day and the inability to concentrate on anything at all.

Many thanks go to starlithenge for agreeing to be my mentor for my poetry, as I had to go through my stuff and find something suitable for her. When I looked I had a lot less than I thought and that’s when the shock hit, that I had several 3.5" disks full of my writing, that were nowhere else!

I spent some of last night and some of this morning transferring them and organising and I see now I am a writer who doesn’t finish my projects, for I have four novels in there (unfinished) and a few drafts of short stories.

The one thing that got me again was November hiding in there. November is a long, long story that some of you know and most of you don’t. To cut the longest story short, it’s my first completed (but not edited) novel that I wrote in 98/99. I then re-wrote it in 2002, trying to tidy up real problems I had with it.

In 2005, I completely re-wrote it again. This time taking the basic idea but making it into a new novel.

I just found my disk with the re-write and looking at the chapter names (the first two didn’t really get it on with chapter names) I want to work on it all over again.

I’m not so sure that the chapter names make me go wow, just that they remind me of what has been sat there for nearly ten years, waiting for me, dare I say, lurking…

The chapter titles (as some may be interested/curious)

  1. Genesis
  2. The Spider
  3. Meg
  4. Omens
  5. Beth
  6. Jack
  7. The End
  8. The Triumvirate
  9. Summer
  10. Josie
  11. Ruth
  12. Rock a Bye Baby (I wondered why the hell I picked this title but then I read the opening and it all came flooding back)
  13. Repercussions
  14. Aftermath
  15. November
  16. Futility
  17. Non-Seer
  18. Revelations

And there you have it.

New community in the house (and I should know)

It’s Friday and that means it is time for me to announce a special new community for writers that goes by the name of:

It is the brainchild of

, someone very active within speculative fiction, and a great promoter of others and their work! It’s official opening is next Thursday, 26th June but you can go along already and get a comfy seat.

There’ll be everything from writing tips, to how one goes about editing and publishing and critiques and far too many other juicy morsels to mention now

Important information to be aware of is that I am one of the mods of the group and as it appears I’ve made myself several enemies at the mo, I thought I would warn those of youwishing to avoid seeing my ubiquitous ugly mug away from joining, as there’ll be quite an input from yours truly.

For those that haven’t gotten sick of me yet (you strange people!) then I heartily urge you to join as that woman

is an inspiration and I see big things for this community!

There’ll also be a Facebook group dedicated to the site, so watch out for that too (this will be maintained by myself).

Now playing: Coldplay – Viva La Vida
via FoxyTunes   

A week without a post, what is the world coming to?

I knew things had been buzzing along this week but I hadn’t realised just how much!

E-mails have been flying in like crazy and due to trying to take it easy in recovery mode, I have limited my time on here. I had a few projects that were very near completion and that were bothering me, making me concentrate on getting them out of the way.

The light has been seen now and I can concentrate on the big stuff that looms around the corner…

I’ve had a few new ideas on the way I want some writing to go, enough for me to be excited by it but not enough that I could explain it without it sounding like gibberish.

I’ve also contacted a couple of big names (and I mean big) with a view to getting them on the books over at Morrigan. It would show my commitment to making Morrigan Books a force to be reckoned with and I’m feeling pretty pleased with myself that I can at least ask, that my aim is not just an empty aim but that I prepared to throw the resources into it too.

I’m ploughing my way through Blake’s 7 too and can let you know that Nyssa at A Boy Goes on a Journey (new site, looking funky), has agreed to take an episode by episode review of the four series. Expect more news for that soon.

The Euro starts tomorrow too and even though I said I wouldn’t be watching, due to the absence of England, I can feel the old big tournament feelings coming through. In truth I have got a major soft spot for the Czech Republic and am hoping that they will make it one step further than in 1996 (when they lost in the final to Germany).

I may please

and do a day by day analysis of the tournament (as he loved the 2006 World Cup one).

It’s Sweden’s national day today and so Maddoc is free from nursery and Etina free from work – I’m about to have some lunch with them…

Survey for Speculative Fiction

That workhorse

, over at A boy goes on a journey, has put together a detailed survey for writers within speculative fiction.

Obviously the more who fill it in the more detailed the results are:


So get to it!