Archive | June, 2020

So I made a decision…

21 Jun

If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, this won’t be news to you. I’m doing Camp NaNo July 2020.

I’ve set quite a low goal of either 20,000 words or 20 complete stories over 500 words.

I did a quick riffle through my stuff by the PC and have come up with 20 things I’d be happy writing. I’ve also had a brief look through my partially written stories, my incompletes and my works in progress. Lots of things to write there.

Hopefully I can find the motivation to get that done.

So I’m doing a writing course…

10 Jun

Yesterday I took the plunge, and decided to invest back into myself. I put my money where my mouth was, and paid for a course on Flash Fiction writing, from Cat Rambo’s School For Wayward Writers.


Day one wasn’t great, nothing I didn’t already know. No exercises I felt I had to do which were going to offer me anything new. Not a huge issue as I hadn’t paid an insane amount of money to do the course.

Today was day two of me working my way through. Did two exercises and both resulted in good, relaxed writing of 521 and 512 word flash pieces. Both felt easy to do, they weren’t forced, they grew in an organic way and both had  a solid ending. I am normally awful at endings, ask anyone who has bought or read my stuff.

I haven’t been in a good place, creatively, for quite a few months now. It’s been a dark old time, that much I can tell you. So much doubt, negativity and massive indifference to the craft in general. It’s probably why I struggled yesterday.

Then I started listening to what Cat had said on day 1. They don’t all have to be good, just get the words down. It’s not about putting massive pressure on yourself to write a saleable story. Ray Bradbury said it best – You have to write the garbage.

I don’t know how long this course will take me, I’m going at my own pace. I want writing to feel nice again, to make me feel good, mentally. That will take time, so I’m taking mine.

I just wanted someone to know I’m not in that deep dark hole any more, and it feels okay.

I’ll finish with one final thought. Black Lives Matter.

Random creations using writing tools

10 Jun

So I was experimenting with some online storytelling tools. What follows are the results. Basically you selected a bunch of dictionaries or authors to select words from & you had to make something from them.

Here’s the first one, it used several odd sources.

Monsters have bitterly blackened the heart of the empty gun. The false queen of family nuclear now keep the dark from different velvet. Griffins have landed inside people and have said, “family infest them, for a different impressive Space Academy about us.”

Lilith sickens us, lying, talking, have the caged colony walled for treasure than to kick inevitable heavens, the other dawn.

People will kiss rats that the fairy tale sealed; endemic with thundering.

Mastermind defiled, destroyed, always imprison him. Family be so wrong, mine for love. They cause little de-evolution and wise women care over despicably. Intruders die, give us lovers sour deplorable end. Some also want super-earths. Be holy, enemies be wild. Drunken loves slap some lives, becoming cold, dreaded is new, different house.

Help me for him.

This one just used an SF Database.

Spacerabbits have cold ray guns, mules tear travelers tempting interspecies centipedes. Preternatural telepath tesseracts journey, endemic. Dawn vanishes, radio waves monitor horrors. Rangers dig desolated artifact wounding behemoths.

Cyborgs lurk, grunting mischievous telepathy. Ellipsoid boat, out of phase, desecrates tractor beams. Jovian methane fire, smothering outer space, powerful fractious fingers forced situations. Tachyon transports tear energy fields. Space piracy; behemoth pigmen betray deathlike maliciousness.

Black widow whistles, forget psychokinetic temperatures. Shatters super-earths, followers windmill, vanishing unmindfully. Frozen polymers piloted ghostly clone army revealed, laser rifle target caught friends with warlocks. Ethereal howl protecting, hallucinates, screamed decay, time traveled consciousness.

Worlds collapse, seal psychokinetic subspace. Irascible shroud.

Hyperspheres yowls.

It’s certainly quite surreal, more a stream of conciousness than anything.

I thought it was worth sharing though.

This month, novel thoughts

4 Jun

I made the choice not to try #Pitmad with the novel this month. It really needs a proper full run through for grammar at the bare minimum. I’d still quite like to put the balloon race back in as a bit of a distraction from the main plot, it might make for a good bit of drama at its natural conclusion during year 5.

I’m still not sure about Mama Swan, as cool as she is, the plot doesn’t really need or can’t justify another character and their plot arc. While it will be fairly easy to include the various aspects leading up to, including & after the balloon race, it’s still quite a lot of work to find the right sections to insert it into.

If I can get that done before September, it’s possible I’ll try to pitch it again then.

So this was May 2020

1 Jun

I’ve made 176 new submissions. 139 rejections. 8 acceptances. 2 withdrawn, 0 not received.


36 Hours In The Space Force sold to B Cubed Press, Jan 20th 2020.
My Summer Holiday, By Billy Mesner (Aged 5) sold to Trouble Among the Stars, Jan 20th 2020.
Fillers accepted by Again, Hazardous Imaginings, Feb 20th, 2020.
Mushnik’s Guitar sold to Aphotic Realm, Feb 21st, 2020.
The Shaming sold to Tell-Tale Press; Nebu Carnvale, 28th Feb, 2020.
For The Duty sold to Space Force; Building A Legacy, 22nd Mar, 2020.
The Scars Of War sold to Chrome Baby, 13th Apr, 2020.
The Dionesian Wave (reprint) sold to Tell-Tale Press, 24th Apr, 2020.

There are currently 46 stories out in submission:-

Due to the fact screengrabs off the laptop are clearly crap, I probably won’t keep doing them.


A Tooth Fairy Dreams… Aether And Ichor issue 5. Jan 1st, 2020.
It Takes A Dragon. Flash Fiction Magazine. Jan 12th, 2020.
My Summer Holiday, By Billy Mesner (Aged 5). Trouble Among The Stars issue 5. February 5th, 2020.
Super Fake. Future Syndicate II. February 6th, 2020.
Mushnik’s Guitar. Aphotic Realm Magazine #9, Interstellar. March 26th, 2020
(REPRINT) The Dionesian Wave. Tell-Tale Press. May 4th, 2020.
For The Duty. Space Force: Building The Legacy. May 19th, 2020.


The Scars Of War will be published at Chrome Baby, 2020. (DTBC)
Summer At Camp Long Drop will be released in Ghostlight, 2020. (DTBC)
Bastard Space will be released in Wordland 8 2020. (DTBC)
The Shaming will be released in Tell-Tale Press; Nebu Carnvale, June 1st, 2020.
Detecting Rogue Time Travellers (Practical Exam) will be released in On Time, June 27th, 2020. (TBC)
36 Hours In The Space Force will be released in Tales From The Space Force 2020. (DTBC)

When I get more solid dates on the date to be confirmeds, I’ll announce them.


Some of the dates I had for publication have now passed. Due to the pandemic, people have other priorities. Ghostlight did send me an email, but I stupidly deleted it before I had a chance to take the updated info off it. If I get any specific updates, I’ll announce them here & on my Twitter feed.

I haven’t got an exact date on Scars Of War but Chrome Baby were hopeful it’d be during May. It looks like that now got bumped to June.

I’ve still got 3 stories left to hear back from the January Submission Challenge. There are also still 3 stories outstanding from the original September Challenge!

Tuck & Roll in Automobilia is still on-going.

Fillers won’t be appearing in Again, Hazardous Imaginings. I was asked to do a full rewrite which I wasn’t prepared to do, especially after being told “yours is the best thus far and the most fitting for the anthology’s theme.”

Sadly I can’t check any of my email archives because the PC they were on has died, so until I can get data off that drive, it’s anyone’s guess when the TBC’s come out.