January Update

January is always the longest month of the year with the hangover from the festive season combining with reliable rubbish weather (for those of us in the northern hemisphere anyway) to make everyone feel thoroughly awful.

However, I’ve tried to be productive this month and I’ve been working hard on one particular story, going through seven or so drafts, taking feedback from friends and even putting it up for criticism by my writer’s circle.

This is another level of craft for me, given my previous habits of having an idea, writing it down, maybe editing it once and then posting it up.  I can feel myself developing as a writer and becoming someone who thinks about writing rather than just having ideas for stories.  Development is difficult but so worth it.

In any case, I have an almost-finished story that’s evolved from an 800-word first draft in the week before the new year to an almost 6000-word final version.  I’m pretty happy with that as a months work.

I’d also decided to consciously try and read more this year, given my much-reduced consumption since having kids.  Once upon a time, I’d easily be knocking off a book a week and in a few places, I’ve pretty much cleaned out the local library’s stock of science fiction and fantasy books.

That rate slowed down immensely over recent years and that’s not good enough, especially if I’m working on becoming a proper writer.

So as of today, I have just finished reading Neil Gaiman’s Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders which is a delightful collection of short stories and a few poems, with a few that genuinely moved me and a lot that tickled me nicely in a speculative place.  Very recommended.

I’ve also tried an Audible trial so I can listen to books while doing chores, cooking or painting models and I\’ve just finished my first book – the Black Library title The Master of Mankind by Aaron Dembski-Bowden which I’d also recommend, but only really for extant fans of the Warhammer 40k universe.

So January’s score is one short story finished and two books read/listened to.  not bad going, but I can do better.

Thanks for dropping by.

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Some Quick Thoughts On Neil Gaiman’s Norse Mythology


I’ve loved the Norse legends ever since I was a child, where an Usborne Illustrated Guide played a big part in opening my eyes to the wider wonders of mythology and also kicked my reading in the direction of fantasy. Similarly, I’ve been a fan of Gaiman’s work since I was a teenager and as such, I was keenly anticipating how he would tackle this source material. Continue reading