Monday, 20 March 2017

The March of Time

Cue the music for the news and ask where has all the time gone?

Well, I can at least point you all to this months Galactic Journey piece I did on the 1962 British Eastercon.  When writing this I found it remarkable that a lot of the things that are going on in SF fandom now are very similar to what was going in in SF fandom then.  Especially, in my case, watching parts of fandom splitting apart over what I would observe as things that are not controllable.

Hence my link to The March of Time video, things may look old fashioned in the film newsreel, but it's the same stuff we are still doing today–living our lives as best we can in a world we can't control.

I've been taking some time out to do hobby stuff, which can be seen over on my other blog where I keep all the stuff about my addiction to toy soldiers and playing games.  I've been making up some 20 plus year old Heavy Gear game miniatures and having a blast while doing so.  I find working with my hands very relaxing, and it gives me space to let my mind wander.

And the wonder is that when the mind wanders thoughts appear.  Ideas stream in from the dark recesses of the mind, and some are even worth writing down, to be incorporated into my novels.   As I have said before, I have drafts of both the sequels to my first novel done, but while I have an idea of an outline of where the series goes, nothing is yet set down.  Some of my ideas are elusive things that I can't quite get to grips with or, I can see that I haven't quite gone far enough in working out all the ramifications of the idea.

So, one word after another, I will carry on with the next chapter of Strike Dog, my plan being to rewrite a scene from another character's perspective.

Monday, 27 February 2017

Progress Update

It has been a while since I've made a post about my writing.

I've been going through a slow period due to a combination of factors, some in my control, some not.  My day job demands have been rising, a victim of my own success, but my manager has got that under control, and I feel a lot let stressed: not just from the work, but from the pressure of having to commit to more work than I can manage.

It's also that time of the year where the weather is miserable, it's dark, damp and cold.  I've felt run down and even went off reading, which is a thing.  I've only just managed to finish reading a second novel this year.  The first was Eric Frank Russell's The Great Explosion, actually read so I could review it for Galactic Journey, see here.

After that I started Michael Z. Williamson's When Diplomacy Fails.  I've only mentioned his work in passing back here, and it took me longer to read the third book in the Ripple Creek series as I kept putting it down.  That says more about me than the book, but the author is better handling action than he is with interior dialogues of character beliefs: as in the action grips you by the seat of the pants that is hard to match when writing reflective thoughts that are well meaning, but ultimately don't really add anything i.e.: could be removed without detriment to the story.

Still, Williamson is one of those authors who I will buy his latest book when it's available in paperback because he delivers high octane action goodness.  Inspirational too.

So, looking at my diary this year I've only managed to work on my second novel a total of four days out of a possible 16: with some caveats I might say eight days because writing for my blogs and other people's blogs take time, as in they don't write themselves and the Galactic Journey pieces take a lot of research time to do too.  That's not a complaint, just an observation.  But, assuming that I'm now only going to realistically write one day a week it has consequences on how long it's going to take me to finish the edits on my second novel.

Currently I'm at chapter 16 of Strike Dog out of 62; OK some of those are very short chapters.  Words wise I've done 31,209 words out of 97,578 with 66,369 to go, which doesn't sound so bad: a third of the way through rather than just a quarter.  However, this doesn't take into account any extra writing I will do to add sub-plots etc.  There's a lot resting on this second novel, given that the first was rejected, because the publisher wants to see my second one.  I really want to nail it so they'll want to publish my story, because it would make my life so much easier than having to self-publish, given the demands of my day job.

Finally, rewatched Predator over the weekend.  Thirty years old and still eminently rewatchable.   As the old saw goes, they don't make them like that anymore.  And that's not sarcasm, this movie is a streamlined, pulse-pounding action flick that grabs one from the opening scene and keeps the roller-coaster ride going until the end.  Neither of the sequels are as good even though both have merits, the third being better than the second because the second hasn't dated well.

Thursday, 23 February 2017

NASA Trappist

And if you have the time you can listen to the full announcement on YouTube.

Isn't science wonderful?