2008's New Batch! (a veritable flipbook of new stories, ready now and arriving soon...)

# "Now today is tomorrow, and tomorrow today, and yesterday is weaving in and out..." # - Cake

This week I thought I'd give a sort of writing news update post to let you know about what’s currently going on with my writing on the Net… Things have kind of been quiet so far with all of it since the beginning of the new year but a lot has been ‘waiting in the wings’ and now like overdue buses coming along all at once you can take your pick of which one to hop on board with and enjoy…

NB though for each, as I was explaining in my last post, if they’re on my “Featured Fiction” pages, you’ll have to go hunting for them on my official homepage, adventuring across the desk top there, picking the right object to take you to the treasured item… (sorry, the new Indiana Jones film is out soon, so I’m getting quite excited now!)

“Do Hamsters Squeal With Eclectic Squeaks”Back before the turn of the year a good friend called Sam tipped me off that the BBC RaW project was running a short story competition which asked you to use characters they'd already created and craft a story around them... Well, I entered it and although I didn't place in the end, I really quite like what I turned out in such a short space of time, so now that the results have come out for the RaW contest, I thought I'd put my effort onto my "Indie Tales" Featured Fiction page... (Remember, I'm not providing a direct link to it here, you'll have to go through my main website desktop page to find it... - Clue: use sepia-vision in your search and, please, don't be negative!)

“The Archenemy”Also in the latter stages of last year, I sent a story off to Dogeater Press who were asking for submissions for their online ezine called Dogstar. (It's been a new year's resolution of mine to get my work published elsewhere online and in print more!) The brief was for stories on the theme of "Heroes", of the super variety or the more everyday and so I submitted an everyday superhero story of my own, and back last month they emailed me and said they'd really like to publish my story on their Dogstar site. I've since sent in a short biog of me and my writing, so wait with baited breath to see "The Archenemy" story appear there... (I WILL give you the link for this one since it's being hosted outside of my writing website) Keep an eagleye on http://www.dogeater.co.uk/dogstar.html for the launch of the second e-zine entitled "Heroes"... I've also included links to Dogstar in this blog journal's sidebar "Recent News" and "Published Work" sections, for ease of reference. For now, though, I thought I could whet your appetites with a sample line from "The Archenemy":

"I see icicles hanging from the window frames outside...

suitable surroundings for the evil doctor."

"The Silhouettes & Winds Of The Valley"
This is a story you may be familiar with when it appeared on my "Adventureous Adventures" Featured Fiction page (Clue to finding it on my homepage: don't run away from too many tiny speeding boulders!) - but which has now been temporarily taken off there because of the red-Letter-day news hot off the press that I've just received of it being chosen to be included in an anthology of 'New Writing' called "Invisible Ink 2" published by Baineth Press this summer! I'm really, really excited about this one because not only is it thrilling that my writing will actually soon be available to buy on Amazon, readers of the anthology get to vote on which is the best story in the book and the winner gets the opportunity to have a full-length prose book published... This fantastic news is still sinking in with me really but I sense a summer campaign coming on for "Vote CGAllan", and so I'll be posting about this again in more detail in the coming months...

“Moon Crater Adventures: Simulacrum” The first pages of my Seal Your Own Fate "Moon Crater Adventures: Simulacrum" are also ready for launch now too... It seems a long while since I announced launch prep had begun on them, first back in January 2007 then finally in November 2007, but hopefully the wait has been worth it because now all systems are go and a small sample of Rich Windass's exclusive artwork for the Adventures is even up there with my words now, having designed the insignia from a scratch doodle I once did for the flight patch of the Pioneer Patrol... (Where can you start YOUR Adventures, then? Clue: it's an "out of this world" story, so, which desk top object on my main homepage looks spaced out to you? Click that object to take yourself through to the "Moon Crater Adventures" Portal Page and then begin reading by clicking the "LAUNCH" link...)

“Broadsword Calling Danny Boy”I'm also working on a brand new story which has been lurking in my mind for about four or five years now... It was in part inspired by a government office my mam worked at which was eventually pulled down to reveal... Well, that's part of the discovery of the final reading of the story, so I'm not going to spoil it for you... It will also draw on my own experiences of growing up on a council estate as a child too, which I've blogged about here only a little before - further research for the more "technical details" of the story is underway now and it'll probably end up being featured on my "Indie Tales" story page which I talked about at the start of this post... (There’s even a sneak peak of my ideas for this yarn for the eagle-eyed amongst you hidden in the notebooks of the main picture of my" Flipside of Words That Hide" page that launched earlier this month and was mentioined in the last post here on this journal blog - again, you’ll have to go searching on my official homepage for this... Clue: you may have to turn back time there to find this page...)

“Miscellaneous mentions of merit...”
- I mentioned a collaboration I've begun with an illustrator on "Moon Crater Adventures" above but another talented artist whose work I've displayed on my "Literary Fiction" story page for a long while now has also just had some exciting news of her own. Vanessa Stafford's art is now for sale online and is wonderfully displayed at http://www.artgallery.co.uk/artist/vanessa_stafford where you can even sample how her framed pictures might look on the walls of your office or home... (If you want to see Vanessa's art on my Lit Fic page, here's a clue to find it on my homepage why not try picking up some stones and seeing which are the right ones?)

- I also mentioned at the outset of this post that the new Indiana Jones film this year has got me really excited and so much so in fact that I recently wrote into an Indy fan podcast which is becoming quite widely listened to and subscribed to on iTunes, called "The IndyCast" - the editor replied and said he liked my Indy IV theories so much that he wanted to read them on air in one of his podcast letters sections. Anyway, to cut a long story short, if you click here and follow the instructions, you can still listen in online (you may need something like RealPlayer to do so) - I come in at about 40 minutes into the podcast so just listen out for my name and enjoy... I even got a nice plug for my main writing site on his show notes page, so thanks, Ed!

Moon Crater - what could be the next step in the story’s evolution…?”And lastly for this post... what, pray tell, news is there of the second draft of "Moon Crater"? Well, it IS well and truly under way and I'm gearing up to begin getting up at 6am each weekday again for an hour of writing on it before having to leave for work... (a pretty mean pyschological feat, but as I found last year, it's a way I've discovered to be really productive...) I do intend to say a lot more in the very next post on this whole 2nd Draft process specifically though, so stay tuned... The other BIG NEWS for now is that the mystery of the book is finally beginning to unfold with me right here and NOW ANNOUNCING the teaser page of the elusive Zip Code (click the words to unlock them!) which will be my own summer blockbuster of sorts this year... Once it kicks off, you can help crack the code and solve the final title of the novel over the next year or so... Stay tuned on this blog and I'll let you know more, come July when it's all due to start...

"The Proof Is In The Reading... (or so they might say...)"

I'm currently undertaking a Proofreading & Editing Skills Course with Chapterhouse and each time I post on my journal blog here in 2008 as a way of motivating myself to keep going with it (and because it's quite relevant to my writing, really) I'll provide a small update on how it's going...

April's update:
“I'm gearing up to send off my first actual marked test exercises to the external examiners - thankfully these don't actually count towards the final grade of the course but should be a good indicator of how I'm doing so far...
I also came across quite an interesting short exercise during the grammar part of the course which I thought was quite cool from a creative writing point of view and might be helpful to other first-time writers reading this because it sort of illustrates a mistake in writing that I make frequently (namely "over-writing") - the excercise goes something like this"...

Write a shortish description of a recent event that's happened to you and use as many unusual adjectives and adverbs as you like in it to make the story come alive - at the end the piece will probably be too colourful but you should then go back over it and edit down all the adjectives and adverbs that are a bit superfluous - only keep the ones that really add to the story...



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