31st October

With today we are 5/6ths of the way through 2015.

Which is a fact about nothing and for no purpose. This is something I have been pondering recently. In writing I like digressions, I like nuggets that stand out from the main story and give you something to chew on, a bit like raisins and nuts in a bar of chocolate. For stories I submit I have to work hard to strip them out, try and offer up just the pure chocolate, unadorned.

That makes me sad.

I was sitting last night with some unexpected free time (id est insomnia) and found myself at a loose end. What to write? Should I get going on NaNoWriMo? That felt like cheating – which is weird considering I’m going into it with a quarter written story. What about one of my other projects? Epecu√©n is still languishing in an incomplete state. I ended up doing a flash piece inspired by a title that popped into my head a few weeks ago – 4 Cocktails That Saved Me From The Watery Apocalypse – I generally despair with titles, they do not come easy. But that one just walked in, dropped its bag down, collapsed to the couch and stuck its feet up on the coffee table. It’s been sitting their demanding attention for over a week and so last night, I attended. Part of which meant tweaking the said title to: 4 Drinks That Got Me Through The Apocalypse

What came out was a maudlin little 752 words about the aftermath of an alien invasion. So, not really an apocalypse, though I suppose the existence of intelligent extra terrestrial life would be a revelation to most.

Yesterday was also a day of high excitement (possibly the cause of the insomnia). We received confirmation about the house we’re moving to in Cornwall. This was expected, but it was still nice to have that conversation with the estate agent to know things are nailed down. Presently we are living in a house of chaos. Boxes, clothes, papers, et.al. are strewn about all over the place as we look at things and try to decide if it’s needed or not. I have a feeling that a lot of stuff that comes with us will end up being thrown out.

Lastly, and my apologies for this being so bitty. two and a half hours of sleep are not conducive to coherence in my experience,I came across a new site that may be of interest to self-publishers. Pronoun. It’s still in development, but if it comes of as it advertises, I will definitely utilize it. But as one new thing appears, another disappears. This week word was received that Quarterreads was coming to an end – though there may be a reprieve if discussions go well. This little site has been great for putting short stories on and, for twenty-five cents, getting to read some of the best writers int he short story market. Ian has done a great job, and I hope that he pulls through whatever difficulties have beset him.

25th May

Last time I wrote was over a month ago. Pretty shocking, especially as I anticipated another post a few days hence. Instead we ended up in Cornwall for two weeks. Since we got back it’s just been hectic. So let’s try a small recap.

At my last post I mentioned doing a few classes with Cat Rambo. They were great, helpful, and interesting. I’ve done a few with her, and should her schedule allow (Congrats on SFWA presidency!) for classes that coincide with not the middle of the night for me, I hope to do another one.

With respect to my story about bees, that I intended to sub to Shimmer – it’s with them now. I am in trepidatious¬†anticipation of a response. Whatever the status of that it is a story I am immensely proud of and I need to say a big thanks to Mark & Gio for help in polishing the story.

Why am I suddenly writing a post today though? And why the hiatus?

Well, the trip to Cornwall turned into a scouting trip. We are looking to move down there. The climate is just that little bit better, and it helps my wife’s (and my) health. We know the area we want to go to, and we already have some friends in the area (some of them new). This means that the past couple of weeks have been a flurry of examining costs and ensuring that what we want to do is both practical and affordable. On top of that, I’ve still been writing and editing and so the blog slid by unnoticed.

So what prompted today? Mary & Patti from Nebraska. I’m sat in my local coffee shop doing a little light editing when they sit down at the adjacent table. As I’ll literally do anything to avoid editing I engaged them in conversation and they were kind of amazed that someone in rural Scotland had any idea where Nebraska was, never mind that the big college football team is called the Cornhuskers. They asked if I had any details, and there was only my blog. which I suddenly realized had been neglected.

So thank you Mary & Patti. I hope your trip is fun, enlightening, educational, and productive.

I also have some publication news.

My story Shell County Vodou is part of the Slave State anthology put together by Chris Kelso. It’s available on Amazon NOW (i.e. – spring a few bucks and read not only me, but a whole bunch of wonderful writers).

I’ve also had acceptances for a short story and a couple of poems, though details will follow later.