Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Look to the horizon and... choose... wisely...

# "I guess the winter makes you laugh a little slower, makes you talk a little lower about the things you could not show her..." # - Counting Crows

I thought I’d end the year that was 2015 with a short post, reflecting on an aspect of my writing life that’s been on my mind a lot recently - and for me personally, it’s a biggie…

Monday, November 30, 2015

Scribble thoughts for Autumn...

# "You wanna be a writer, but you don't know how or when? Find a quiet place and use a humble pen" - Paul Simon

When I first got into writing, I thought I should surround myself with the tools of the trade - I bought myself an old typewriter (which I never used!) and had a few fountain pens (one was even inscribed with my name!) and ink cartridges (that inevitably leaked).  Of course non of them made me any more productive on the scribbling front - I can't actually remember the last time I used a pen to write out in long-hand a chapter or new story (mostly, being a product of the latter-20th century, I write using my keyboard).

Funnily enough though recently, I've stumbled across a collection of "special" pens and pencils which I've collected over the years either as gifts or keepsakes and they reminded me of the need for a humble scribbler to sometimes get back to the basics of writing...

Saturday, October 31, 2015

The Building Blocks of My Early Imaginings...

# "I wanna move you, I wanna move you around..." # - Anya Marina

When I was about 7 years old, I remember being given a peculiarly-small Christmas present to open.  I probably left it to last to unwrap because of its size amongst the plastic toy soldiers and Action Force figures (as well as the Star Wars vehicles) that sat alongside them under our Christmas tree.  But it turned out that the old adage of big surprises coming in small packages was right, because that particular present ended up being my favourite that Yuletide (and for pretty much the whole of the year after).  AND... it was this tiny bundle of mini-figures that introduced me to the wide world of "Lego"...

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

A Summer of Cycling - Part the Final!

# "All my life, watching America..." # - Razorlight

A couple of years ago, I began posting about another hobby that complimented my scribble addiction - my adventures in cycling are still rolling along, courtesy of a neat little folding bike and my more robust mountain bike.

I say that it complements my writing because I do hold firm to the belief that as well as spending lots of time at the keyboard practising your art, it's healthy for a writer to also lift their head once in a while and get out and see what's out there... I also find that exercise, whether it's cycling or swimming or just a brisk walk, gets the old cogs of the mind turning and allows those seeds of ideas to germinate and those difficult plot points you've been mulling over to unwind themselves in your head so that when you sit back down at that illuminated screen, you feel refreshed and ready to get back to work on your tome...

Monday, August 31, 2015

The Last... book I read!

# "Sail away with me, what will be will be..." # - David Gray



In my adult years, there's been one author who has been a constant on my reading shelf.  He's one of the reasons I got into adventure writing and in 2015, he's also been the author who's gotten me to read more books in one year than any other.  Ladies and gents, I give you my favourite living author - Bernard Cornwell.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Building the blocks of a Story...

# "Some guy on the net thinks I suck, and he should know - he's got his own blog..." # - Ben Folds

Back in the dark ages that most people know as the mid-1980s, a primary-school aged C.G.Allan was hooked on a kids TV show called Look and Read.  The show had a weird floating alien (or was he a robot?) presenter called Wordy and various story segments, including short serialised screen adaptations of stories like the spooky "Dark Towers".  But it's a tiny animated clip about building words that stays with me most today...

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

"Stateside Stories"...


I walk out through the shadows... of Washington Square... # – Counting Crows

Since beginning to write this blog almost a decade ago, each year I’ve always included travelog posts about where our annual holidays have found us trekking to next, holding firm to the belief that looking to the far horizon and travelling far and wide brings new experiences of the world that I can bring to bear on my creative writing.

For 2015, my wife and I had been saving up and planning for a summer trans-Atlantic crossing to see how the other half live it up in America.  Our first ambitious thoughts were to mount a rather large expedition around the East Coast, taking in Philadelphia, Boston, New York and Washington DC but funds wouldn't quite stretch to this epic trip so we opted to half that journey and settle for just New York and DC this time round (aw, shucks!)

Sunday, May 31, 2015

"Carriage Return" - the beginning of something brand new...

# "Adjectives on the typewriter, he moves his words like a prize fighter... The frenzied pace of the mind inside the cell" # - Cake

If you read my last post back in April, you'll get the sense that I rather like a good story title... The title of this blog post "Carriage Return" for instance, is one that's been rattling round in my head for a while during 2015... It's another of my 'titles without content' at the moment but I love the multiple meanings an individual reader can take from a title and the power they have to draw an audience into a narrative...

I've used this particular title on this particular post because I wanted to revisit a theme of my writing which I've oft-derided since beginning my online creative scribbles quest back in 2006, and that's one of "self-publishing".  In the almost-decade since I first launched my own writing presence online (in effect "self-publishing" my own short fiction on my Official Writing Homepage, the notion of what is "publishing" has began to change significantly, and I guess it's this shift that has also slowly been taking place in my own mind about my own notions of where I want my writing to end up.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

On The Road To Publishville # 10 - "What's in a Name?"

# "On the road again... Goin' places that I've never been, seein' things that I may never see again, and I can't wait to get on the road again..." # - Willie Nelson


Over the past year and a half I've embarked on the epic task of writing a couple of different novels (one about some rather diminuitive people and the other about some rather more devious people) but as ever these stories are still gurgling away in the background of my mind's-eye as I walk through the day-to-day life, and I've decided in 2015 to return to my first love novel of "my space saga" for the ultimate redraft...

I thought it might be appropriate therefore to jump back onto my "Road to Publishville" series of occasional posts with this update on that novel, as I try to document my journey towards finding a literary agent and getting this first book published.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

In Search of my Inner Geek...

# "Hold it now and watch the hoodwink, as I make you stop, think... You'll think you're looking at Aquaman!" # - Barenaked Ladies

One of my more quiet ambitions as a kid who's never really grown up is to visit the San Diego Comic Con in the US... Now, I'm actually making a trip Stateside this summer but it's to the east side of that great continent, rather than the west, but over the past few years I've had the opportunity in my own small hometown to visit our own UK version of the American film, TV and pop culture conventions...

Saturday, February 28, 2015

"Back to the Future PAST Part II"! (the 2015 Writing PREVIEW!)

# "I'm lookin' high and low, don't know where to go, I got to double back, my friend. The only way to find, what I left behind - I got to double back again, double back again!" # - ZZ Top


Every Christmas my wife and I buy one new decoration for our tree.  It's a bit of a tradition we started ever since we moved in together.  (it's not a rigid tradition - sometimes we buy two and it's an even bigger treat to look forward to!) In a similar way, at the beginning of a new writing year, here on the blog, I like to add a couple of more "decorations" to the title picture at the top of this page...


There's actually THREE particular treats that have been added to the picture for 2015...

Thursday, January 29, 2015

"The Year for Scribbling Dangerously!" (the 2014 Writing REVIEW!)

# “Looking back, over my shoulder…” #Del Amitri

For the past 8 years here on the blog I’ve been beginning my scribbling year with a review of my creative prose writing of the previous 12 months.  But you may have noticed recently that my blog has undergone a title change and had some new objects placed onto the header pic (more on these in the Preview post for the coming 12 months of “my life creative” next month!)