Welcome to my blog of creative pastimes. I write stories, I podcast, and I sometimes animate and video edit. I also like to talk about the inspiration I find in the world around me. Since setting up this blog in 2006, I’ve mainly hoped to share my experiences about creative successes (and failures) for other aspiring authors and creatives. So whether you’re a fellow scribbler or a curious reader, feel free to drop in from time to time to follow my continuing creative adventures - Chris G. Allan
MY Never-Ending Stories...
# "Here I am - same old story in a brand new book..." # - Train
Some eagle-eyed readers (or indeed "listeners") may
have found out that I've been going through a bit of a period of "writer's block" recently. Now, I'm sure different scribblers define
this pariah of a 'condition' by different degrees, but for me, it tends to be
when I hit a significant amount of time (probably about 2 or 3 months) where
although I'm still having ideas for stories and jotting down notes for future
books, I'm not actually getting down to a daily routine of the hard graft of
I've no idea why this happens but this particular bout has come
at the end of a rather long over-development stage (drafting and redrafting) of
"my space saga". And while this was definitely a
milestone, having worked on that first adventure novel for a good decade,
perhaps the exhaustion factor had set in a little and I hadn't realised, as I
tried to launch myself into my next project of "my gnome gnovel",
petrified that I'd just grind to a complete halt after my great magus opus was
"completed". So my present situation with the writing is that
I'm regrouping and redoubling my efforts on that book about the tiny-people
(which in itself, being more of a fantasy narrative structure, is a departure
for me, out of my comfort zone of writing - perhaps this is another
contributing factor to the writer's block?), but in the meantime, I'm also
keeping creative in other ways with my writing...
Now, back in February this year with my 2014
"Preview" post, I laid out a more slender to-do list and set myself a
modest challenge for the year with my scribbles to "keep it
simple..." as the old movie idiom goes - revisiting old haunts of short
stories and other tales which I'd scribbled a while ago... I thought it
might be good to provide a bit more detail here in this post on these as a sort
of update and also as a way to keep myself motivated in an attempt to encourage
me to keep going through this latest bout of writer's block...
The REAL departure for me and my scribbles this year is trying
my hand at poetry... (But I take comfort from the fact that I'm not actually
attempting to be the next Wordsworth!) My poem is an attempt to revisit an old
comical tale I wrote way back when... with an eye to try my hand at submitting
a picture book idea to a publisher - which is yet another departure for me as I
usually gear my stories towards a Middle-Grade readership or Young Adult.
But I'm hoping that exploring this new avenue off my Road to Publishville while I've hit the writer's block will bear some fruit, or at least
teach me a few new lessons that I can take back to my regular writing pursuits...
(there's a picture preview of this poem on the "Wiggly Lines" page of my Official Writing Website)
I AM going back to look at an older short story though, as well
as that poem - the tale is in fact the first serious attempt at writing a short
story that I made, and the one which set me on the path of wanting to become a
published writer in my adult years... I'm actually redrafting it with a view to
add illustrations by a very talented artist who for now shall remain nameless
but whose work I've been amazed by every time I've seen any of it... And
this will probably form the |first of a "second wave" of short
stories to be showcased on each of my "featured fiction" pages on my Official Writing Website(for now there's a picture preview of this
short story "King of the Jungle" on the Lit Fic page of my Official Website!)
During 2014 too, I'm also getting all SPACED out in a universe
not too far away as myself and graphic artist Rich Windass continue to develop
our graphic novel project - "Simulacrum". This is an
out-of-this-world adventure linked to my first adventure novel and
could well become my one and only “franchise”... It's definitely turning into a space odyssey for the two of us completing this project but good things come to those who wait, and like outer space
itself, this saga is an ever expanding and unfolding universe... (there's a picture preview and a lot more of
"Simulacrum" on the Seal Your Own Fate page of my Official Writing Website!)
So there it is, my own personal technique to tackling the dreaded 'writer's block' - if you can't be creative with the scribbles you're wanting to get on with, keep on being creative in other ways by revisiting old stories that you once enjoyed telling - get re-aquainted with them, dust them off and redraft them, to keep right on practising your art... One of my artistic heroes Leonardo da Vinci apparently once said, "Art is never finished, only abandoned", and I don't really intend to do that with ANY of the stories I set out to tell, so this process, although it could be seen as stepping backward, is a useful one, in my eyes, (especially if I get some "brand new" tales to showcase on my Official Writing Homepage!) - I just think of this as my never-ending story exploration of a never-ending imagination... which, when you think about it, can't really be a bad thing for an aspiring book writer, anyway!
Oh, and next month, there'll be a sort of "Part 2" to
this post of keeping creative
and exploring other ways of writing during the
writer's block when I bring some news about my creative pursuits in the day job
- and with any luck, it's going to be BIG...
# "I don't wanna feel so different, but I don't wanna be insignificant, and I don't know how to see the same things different now..." # - Counting Crows There's a great line in a classic Laurel & Hardy two-reeler short film called The Fixer Uppers that goes "Merry Christmas, Momma... Happy Birthday Ma... Hey-nonny-nonny and a ho-cha-cha!" and sitting down to write this post that line is whirling round and round in my head because I wanted to do something special to mark the 3rd anniversary of both the beginning of this, my writing blog AND my Official Writing website , yet at the same time, it's a bit odd to be patting myself on the back and saying "Happy Blogthday, Chris!" But to mark this momentus occasion I must do just that, and for anyone new to my book blog and random writing ramblings on the web, this anniversary post will hopefully also serve as a fitting introduction to who I am and what I've done so far with my
Well, it's a bit later than promised, but I've now got the results from the 1st Moon Crater Fiction Decisions Poll and I'm happy to be able to report them to you right here, right now. Loads of you responded to the call to help me decide what Billy and Jo, the main characters of the story, will look like and so without further ado, here's what the most popular results were...
# If I had a wish, or even a choice, I'd wake up to the sound of your voice # - Barenaked Ladies I've been looking forward to October for the past five months - to a nice and relaxing time, with space to breathe after my "Big Write-Up” of the novel was done... And now it's here, it also means I've got time now to post a decent report on my experience being interviewed by a local theatre about my writing which took place in June this year…