For those who don’t realise, ‘What happened was’ (or woz, if you like) is the usual way your average Cornish person starts when telling you their tale.
Well first things first – I didn’t blog. This thing I’m writing now, I’ve thought about it a lot but done very little. I think I got caught up waiting for interesting things to happen but forgot that this writing malarky is a journey I was going to share. So I need to remember the journey is just as interesting as the destination.
I started the year on a high after learning that my first short story and my first submission had been successful. This was also my first attempt at Steampunk.
On the back of this I joined some other writers in committing to write a story a month and try to get them all published.
January’s entry was ‘Doubting Thomas’, a modern fairy tale. I’ve had this declined twice now but with very nice feedback.
This month not a lot of writing happened. Although with my small ‘Critique Group’ we did do a little experiment where four of us took it in turns to write a paragraph. I enjoyed doing this and it was a really interesting exercise to do. It certainly got us talking. I’d recommend giving it a go if you ever get the chance.
This month I finished my ‘Be A Write Pirate’ flash fiction entry. This was to coincide with Penzance’s attempt to break the world record for the most people dressed as pirates. A record that had recently been smuggled away by Hastings. Well, the record attempt missed out by 76 people but my flash fiction entry was a runner up – so I was very happy.
Of course 8th March was the best day of the year. A momentous occasion when Airship Shape & Bristol Fashion was officially launched at the Bristol branch of Forbidden Planet. My first time published, my first book launch and my first attempt at a book signing. I remain very grateful to Jo and Roz for their patience whilst guiding a complete novice to polish his work. Also, thanks to Cheryl Morgan for being brave enough to publish it!
Partly in March but then more so in April I wrote a dystopian story called ‘Lex Talionis’. I had various feedback about it. Mostly positive. I like the premise and I’ve changed the ending a couple of times but for various reasons I’ve not submitted this to anyone.
This month was Zombies. I wrote a story called ‘Abra-Cadaver’ and this was published by an e-magazine called Far Horizons.
More Zombies! This time I wrote a piece of flash fiction about a disco loving zombie. The story was ‘All Rhythm, No Pulse’ which was published again in Far Horizons.
I also tried my luck in a flash fiction competition. The theme was work and since I never heard back from them I’ll assume I wasn’t successful.
July and August
No writing to speak of, just work, work and work. Along with bites to eat and sleeping.
One of my fellow writers from the Writer’s Cafe thought about putting together a collection of stories and poems to celebrate/promote West Cornwall. It kicked my brain back into creative mode and I wrote two stories for her. ‘A Stones Embrace’ and ‘The Land’s End Elephant’. The collection may not happen now but I’m really pleased with the stories I wrote so I hope it does happen eventually.
I wrote a Hammer inspired piece called ‘A Policeman’s Lot’. This was published again by the lovely people at Far Horizons e-mag in their Halloween special.
I attended BristolCon this month and even had a go at reading ‘A Policeman’s Lot’ at the ‘open mic’ event. I didn’t finish my story in the allotted time, I got very nervous and learnt some big lessons about preparation and story selection.
As always it was a fantastic event. I cannot recommend it highly enough. I always leave there inspired to write and read. Lovely event, wonderful people.
I worked on a pirate steampunk story this month and went back to the novel I started twelve months before, tentatively called ‘Blood Key’.
Well I heard back from the publisher that they really liked my pirate steampunk story ‘Beneath the Brass’ and they asked if it could sit in their maybe pile for the upcoming anthology ‘Avast Ye Airships’.
I wrote a piece of flash fiction called ‘The Unseen Electorate’ for the Writer’s Cafe Christmas Flash Fiction contest. The themes being ‘Independence’, ‘Magic’ or in my case both. I won this competition the previous year and am delighted to say I came second this year. The winners entry was excellent, so I’m very happy.
Well it is going to be a great start to the year with news that Airship Shape & Bristol Fashion is now in profit and we can expect a royalty payment in January. I’m not earning an income as such (I think we’ll get £5.00 each) but the fact it is even in profit within twelve months is astonishing. Further to this I’m also told there are rumblings of award nominations which would be fantastic if it happens.
I’m hoping to hear that I’ve moved from the ‘maybe’ pile to the ‘yes’ pile with ‘Avast Ye’ Airships’. It might not happen but it is encouraging to get close again.
I will finish ‘Blood Key’. I’m over 60,000 words in, so I’ve got to finish it.
Other than that I’m also going to start going to a monthly event (work allowing) where local authors, poets and songwriters perform their work called Sunday Speakeasy. October in Bristol has made me realise that I need to get better at reading in public if I want to get people interested in my work. So 2015 is about getting a grip on the nerves and sharing my work.
The blog – I need to work on it more and hopefully this is the start of that.
The story a month fell by the wayside but it was worth trying to do and certainly I produced more work because of it.
Hopefully 2015 will be productive and successful too for me and you. Happy New Year to you all.