May Update

My new year promise to post more regularly has clearly gone down in flames, mainly, I think, because the life of the budding writer is basically internal, and let’s be frank, who wants to know what I’m thinking?

Anyway, here’s an update of what’s been going on.

1. The Darker Minds anthology has been slightly delayed. I’m advised it’ll be out soon, so fingers crossed for June.

2. I’m part of a small writing group which hopes to publish an e-anthology later in the year. My story is written, but needs a serious re-write, which I’m aiming to do in June. Then all the stories will be critiqued by members of the group. More on the anthology in further updates.

3. I pulled my finger out (as we say in the Antipodes) and sent a bunch of stories out to various publishers. One of them is under active consideration of acceptance, but as the editor said, with 1 in 20 in that position being accepted, the chances of it being published by them are low. Still, fingers crossed. Of the others, I’m paying the patient writer game – responses are as high as three months.

4. I’ve started writing a novel. Crossed 20000 words a few nights back. Aiming for 90k, so will be a few more months if I maintain my current daily output (which I’m hoping to ramp up). What I’ve written is very much a first draft, but that’s all right. The real work starts with the editing process, where hopefully I can turn it into a decent first effort. Odds are it will never see the light of day, but learning to write a full length novel is the main aim here.

Current reading: Richard Overy’s Russia’s War – good, popular history that makes your mind boggle at the sheer bloodletting that took place between 1917 and 1945. Brutality against our fellow-man isn’t unique to the latter 20th and early 21st centuries – we stand on the shoulders of blood crazed giants.

Finished Caitlin Kiernan’s The Red Tree – gorgeous, brilliant, unsettling book by a writer at the top of her game. Excellent.

Finished The Ritual by Adam Nevill. After the complete disappointment of his second novel, Apartment 16, The Ritual (at least the first half) was a welcome return to the excellence of his first novel. Sadly, the second half was pretty ordinary. On the strength of that let down, unsure if I’ll bother with his new novel.

Partway through Ron Perlstein’s Nixonland, which looks at the rise of the Republican Party during the 50s and 60s. The modern Republican Party (which I regard as being completely bankrupt morally, ideologically and intellectually) finds its roots in that period and the book is a convincing denunciation of the people who planted the seed that flowers so vilely today.

Hmm, politics…

And finally, have been listening to a great film podcast, Film Sack at – weekly (more or less) podcasts from a group of four friends who look at movies (mostly from the 1980s). Lots of insights and laughs and a great deal of fun.

So, later…

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