Friday, November 23, 2018

Doin’ that writerly thang!

Has anyone taken their laptop to a coffee shop to sit down and write? I’ve always viewed this as a bit of a cliche, something non-writers assume writers spend much of their time doing ... in between signing contracts and practicing their award acceptance speeches, of course.

Whether or not it’s an accurate portrayal of writing life, it certainly sounds like a pleasant way to spend an hour or two.

This week I took a couple of days off work. No particular reason, just have some vacation time that I need to take this year and a couple of days free in my calendar, so an opportunity for a bit of down time. This morning I had a handful of errands to run, and I decided to round it off with a visit to a nearby coffee shop, laptop in hand. Just out of curiosity.

  • Yes, it was a pleasant way to spend an hour.
  • The place was fairly busy, and I had wondered if that would be a distraction. As it turned out, that wasn’t an issue. I guess I pay more attention to noises around the house than when I’m elsewhere.
  • It was a productive hour, but no more so than when I put on my headphones and am on a roll.
  • By the end of an hour, I was more than ready to leave. I’m not the sort of person who’ll sit there for hours on end.
  • It was good to get a change of scenery. I sometimes find that valuable in itself ... taking my laptop to the library, or to a picnic table in a park or by a beach.

OK, I can’t pretend that was a bucket list item, but at least I can say ... writer writing in coffee shop? Yep, done that  :)

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Weekend Writing Warriors November 18

Weekend Writing Warriors is a weekly blog hop where participants post eight to ten sentences of their writing. You can find out more about it by clicking on the image.

I’m back for another stretch. This time I’m picking up the start of an earlier chapter in Ghosts of Innocence, where Shayla is on her tortuous path into the Palace under cover. Here, she has to get into character for the next leg of her journey.


Shayla Carver - Imperial lackey! She smiled at the incongruity of it as she checked her appearance in the wall mirror.

Her ruddy skin tone had grayed slightly overnight, and her plump cheeks sagged. She squeezed her eyes shut and willed her implants to correct the signs of fatigue. After a few minutes, Shayla opened her eyes and staggered back to sit on the edge of her bed. She took deep breaths and wiped a sheen of sweat from her face, but the face that gazed back now radiated calm and confidence befitting her station.

Brynwyn had left a clean set of traveling robes hanging, ready to wear. The Imperial crest and official insignia announced her status in the higher echelons of the Palace staff, someone of high standing indeed in this provincial backwater. It looked like Brynwyn had intended to make a dramatic exit after the anonymity of her Meditation.


I hope everyone is keeping well. When I was last here, I had recently published The Ashes of Home. Since then I’ve been keeping busy on the first draft of a new novel, The Long Dark.

I’ve also posted a lot more background material from Shayla’s world to my author website.
Ships, buildings, maps etc. Some drawn up in full detail, and a whole collection of original hand-drawn sketches that guided me through the writing process.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Is it safe to come out yet?

Now the mid-terms are over - finally! - I guess it was too much to hope that any kind of normality would take hold. On reflection, that was only ever a naive hope. No matter who won or lost, Trump was always going to:
(a) proclaim victory anyway,
and/or (b) claim conspiracies and witch hunts,
always with a dose of (c) blame someone else,
and (d) mock and insult anyone he doesn’t like.

The only difference would be the relative proportions of the above. So it’s basically business as usual in the kindergarten playground of American politics, and two more years of campaigning to look forward to before the next election.


What I’ve learned over the past two weeks of unplugging from the online world is how toxic the world has become, and how badly that toxicity affects me. I should probably make a more permanent effort to ignore all news from south of the border, because it’s way too depressing and there’s nothing I can do about it.

So, turning to more positive thoughts ...

Writing is going well - steadily ahead of the target I set myself at the end of July. I’m just at the 50% mark for the first draft. I have a rough outline of the rest of the story, but still murky on some of the plot details. However that is normal for my writing process so it’s not a problem. Yet :)

I took part in a writers’ panel last week on the publishing process, which was a lively 90 minutes of questions and answers.

Several people at work bought The Ashes of Home (the workplace remains my main source of paperback sales) and I’m getting positive comments back.

I plan to reduce the e-book price of both Ghosts and Ashes next month for a Christmas promotion, so if anyone was thinking of picking up a copy it’s worth waiting a little while.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...