Listen to ‘Enduring Wrecks’ now

So this is pretty cool: one of my stories is now in audio form, and actually read by someone who knows what they’re doing to boot!

‘Enduring Wrecks’ is my contribution to Vampires & Voyages, the first volume of new anthology Indie Bites from Silver Sun Books. You can read the whole anthology for free, because they’re cool like that.

Here’s ‘Enduring Wrecks’ read by Max Windich, who has pretty much the perfect voice for it. I love this.


Of course, if you like audio fiction, you should probably also go ahead and check out Sounds from the Year Between, Skullgate Media’s podcast. We’re doing readings every other week at the moment – I get the authors to do the hard work reading their pieces, and then I get to have fun improvising a bit of a soundtrack over the top. Most recently, Chapel Orahamm read ‘Dust Motes’, and it was totally beautiful.

April 2021 Update

April’s here! That’s… just bizarre.

This is the continuation of the thing I used to call ‘projects and drafts’, but that feels weird and just ‘update’ seems to make more sense so that’s what I’m going with now. Good? Good.


March, then!

It’s still a little slower than previous months – turns out that what I tend to do is go pretty hard on writing a lot of words each day until I’ve got a draft, and then I can’t really keep up that pace so I slow down for a bit. Y’know what? I’m gonna be OK with that.

I’ve also realised that it’s harder to measure progress with editing than it is with drafting, ‘cos you can’t just go oh look 1500 more words or whatever. I am still in fact doing Writing Stuff, of that I’m sure, it’s just trickier to point at and explicitly identify what the stuff is.

Anyway, I’ve made a fair bit of progress on editing Chronicles from the World of Guilt again, so it’s coming close to being done, I think! I got a super sexy cover commissioned for it, too, so keep an eye out in the pretty near future to find out what I’m doing with it. (I actually don’t know myself. It might end up getting queried with an indie publisher, or I might self-pub. We’ll see!)

A couple of new short stories also got written and are being submitted to Things, so with any luck some time soon I might be able to announce that at least one of those is gonna be published. That’d be nice.

Speaking of short stories getting published, the Lost Boys Press anthology Chimera released in March and actually got a banner proclaiming it to be the number one new horror anthology on Amazon! No idea whether that was a particularly hard-fought category, but I’m happy about having contributed to a bestseller nonetheless.


So: April.

Main goal: finish editing World of Guilt. That’d be well good.

Possible other goals: work on a few in-development things with the wonderful folks at Fable Factory, perhaps go back to revise A Taste of Misadventure, and possibly make some strides in arranging the upcoming collection of video games writings!

All good things, and I very much hope to have more concrete things to announce before too long.


And that’s the update. Stay safe, be kind, and review indie books.

To hear about what I’m up to more than just once a month, sign up for emails below. I actually haven’t sent any out yet, so you need have absolutely no concerns about getting spammed. Or follow me on Twitter!


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Stars! Huh! What are they good for?

Until about a year ago, I didn’t use Goodreads at all.

Honestly, I’m still not sure I really use it, but it’s been kinda nice to track what I’ve been reading and to have the easy opportunity to leave reviews. I know how big a deal every review is to an indie author, so I’ve been trying to make a habit of reviewing all the indie books I read (and most of the non-indies, but not as fussed about those).

I see some discussion around what each star rating actually means, and I think it’s probably different for each reader/rater. As in other spheres (games and movie reviews, I’m mainly thinking of) I’m not sure it’s that useful to attach such a definite quantitative rating to such a subjective experience as a book, and the qualitative feedback you can give by writing an actual review rather than just leaving a star rating is certainly much more helpful both to the author and to others who might be considering reading.

That said, I figured it might be mildly interesting to think about what the star ratings I give mean. I don’t necessarily interpret others’ stars as meaning the same as the ones I give, but I think this is roughly what I tend to mean by a rating:

ONE STAR

If someone said to me ‘should I read this book?’, I would actively encourage them to avoid it.

TWO STARS

I wouldn’t recommend it and would probably categorise my experience as ‘not enjoyable’, but I’m not particularly passionate about disliking it.

(Incidentally, if I read an indie book that I would give one or two stars, I won’t give it a star rating at all. Part of me feels disingenuous about that, but I feel like I’d rather not put off people who maybe would enjoy it, because every review and every sale has more weight for indies. Unless it’s offensive or harmful, in which case I probably would rate and review, but I haven’t come across that situation yet. (Oh, and there are some other books I haven’t rated, but not because they’d be one or two stars. They’re usually ones about which I don’t know how I feel, or are on a topic I don’t know enough about to feel I can give an informed rating.))

THREE STARS

Now here’s where it gets a bit interesting. A lot of people give half-star ratings – technically you can’t, but they’ll start the review with, like, ‘2.5 stars rounded up’ or something. I could use a 2.5 rating, because while I just said I don’t really enjoy a two-star book, I probably do enjoy a three-star one, so it’s hard to tell what might be in the middle of those things.

Anyway, my three-star reads are often ones I will recommend to people I know are fans of the genre. Heck, I’ve actively sought out and read sequels to some of my three-star books, because I liked reading them and wanted to read more. Three stars is more than 50% of five stars, so I see a three-star rating as meaning the book is better than the middling average, y’know?

I suspect a lot of people will see a three-star rating and assume the rater must not have thought it was very good, but actually I really like some books I’ve given three stars. I just didn’t think they were… well, four stars.

FOUR STARS

So this is a book I can’t really find anything to complain about. Or, if it does have a few flaws, that’s not enough to detract from the fact that overall I thought it was great. (Again, five possible scores doesn’t leave a lot of nuance for the space between ‘good’ and ‘great’, which certainly does exist!)

I’d recommend a four-star book to pretty much anyone, and I care enough about it that I’ll most likely seek out other stuff by the same author. It doesn’t have to be totally perfect, but it is firmly in the category of ‘really good’.

FIVE STARS

This might be controversial, but a five-star book doesn’t have to be perfect either. (Or maybe it’s not that controversial, actually: I think generally there is an expected weighting towards higher ratings, and a lot of books have a lot of five-star ratings but I imagine not all of those are from people who thought it was literally flawless.)

A five-star book for me is one that changed something for me, in some small way. It might’ve changed the way I see the world, or the way I think about some small aspect of it. Perhaps it opened my eyes to the possibilities of some kind of writing I hadn’t thought about before, or perhaps it just made me question something I wouldn’t otherwise have questioned.

I wouldn’t even necessarily recommend a five-star book to anyone, because sometimes the things I end up adoring for whatever reason are things that not everyone might get or enjoy.

So that’s kinda weird, I guess: I might be conscious that something I would give five stars is likely not to seem as good to as many people as something I’d give four. But as I said, books are so subjective that I just don’t know what could be a better basis for the top possible rating than something having given me a unique subjective experience.


So there ya go. That’s kind of how I tend to think of the ratings I give. I’m not suggesting that everyone ought to think of the ratings they give in the same way – again, it’s super subjective, so everyone should just award things however many stars feels like the right number of stars based on their own experience.

If anyone out there has a thought process behind their own star ratings, let me know, ‘cos I’ll be intrigued to see the spectrum of approaches to this very individual thing.

And if you’ve read Each Little Universe, please do review it on Goodreads and Amazon! (And if you haven’t read it, please do!)

Projects and Drafts, March 2021

We’re into March! Heck.


So: how was February?

The short answer: not a whole lot happened, but I’m kind of OK with it. Honestly, I haven’t really done much writing in 2021 so far for a few reasons, but I’m coming to know myself a bit better and I think this is just a thing I have to go through every now and again before I really feel able to get on it properly.

That said, I have made a bit of progress on revising Chronicles from the World of Guilt, and I feel pretty excited about the prospect of that being done in the next… month or two, I hope. When will it be published so you can read it and scream about how great it is? Not sure, but watch this space.

I’ve also started pulling together some of my old writings on games, with the plan that I’ll release a book of collected articles. Mostly just a vanity thing – I enjoyed writing about games a lot and I’m sad that I don’t have time to do it as much these days, so putting some of it into a book would at least be a cool way of paying tribute to that and remembering it. It should be kinda fun, too, to look back on all those things as I’m putting it together – I’ll be doing some editing and updating, but I’m thinking it shouldn’t actually take too much work, all things considered.

In the background, I’ve also been doing a little bit of work on a couple of other things, but they’re not really anything yet. So just stay tuned for more on that!


So the plan for March is really just to carry on with those things!

Oh, and of course I’ll be continuing to do fun stuff with Skullgate Media – we’re releasing fun things on our YouTube channel, we’ve just released volume 2 of Tales from the Year Between, and very shortly we’ll be looking for submissions for volume 3 as well as for the next Skullgate Media Presents anthology, so I definitely recommend keeping an eye on skullgatemedia.com and yearbetween.com for news on those things. (And @SkullgateMedia on Twitter.)


And that’s the update. Stay safe, be kind, and review indie books.

To hear about what I’m up to more than just once a month, sign up for emails below. I actually haven’t sent any out yet, so you need have absolutely no concerns about getting spammed. Or follow me on Twitter!


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Projects and Drafts, February 2021

Well, that’s one month down in 2021. Weird.

I don’t know that anyone actually reads these posts, but I figure it’s useful if only to keep myself accountable, so I’m gonna keep doing them anyway. And you can’t stop me. Hurray!

Right, so where are we and where are we going?


I expected that January would be kind of a quiet month for a few reasons – it’s the start of the new year, which means recovering from Christmas, getting back to work, and still includes a bit of time off and stuff, and it also happens to be the month of my birthday – and I was… right, sort of.

I actually pretty much took the last ten days or so of January off writing altogether, and I’m glad I did. I love writing, but I basically just took it off the table and gave myself one less thing to worry about. Not that it’s something I worry about, but I think it’s good to sometimes take a break even from things that are super important to you so that you can actually appreciate it a bit more. I got some time to just relax and focus on other life stuff, and that was good.

That said, January certainly wasn’t a completely nothing month: I finished the first draft of A Taste of Misadventure, which is the new working title of the thing that previously had the even-more-working-er title of Friends Close, Enemies in the Toaster. That ended up at around 40,000 words, which I think makes it a reasonably long novella or a very short novel. I quite like it, actually! Not sure when that might see the light of day – it’ll need some revising, and then I guess I’ll either self-publish it or see whether Skullgate would like to take it on. We’ll see.

That brings us to…


… the plan for February!

Honestly, I’m not sure how much I’m gonna be able to do. Work is hectic right now, and I’m in the middle of a qualification for work that’s going to end up taking up some writing time, which is… I mean, I guess it’s a good thing, but it’s also mildly annoying. This is the problem, see: there are Many Good Things, but All Things require Time and as such Time develops a certain paucity. Maybe it’s because I’m getting old (I mean, I’m not, really, but I just turned 27 and aging is weird and I’m always hovering around the borders of an existential crisis anyway), but I’m really feeling a lot of sadness associated with the knowledge that there just isn’t enough time to do all the things I’d like to do. Eh.

Still, I guess I can only do what I can do, and I can only do that by doing one thing at a time. So the thing for February is, I hope, to get a decent chunk of Chronicles from the World of Guilt revised. If I can get that done soon-ish (and then consider publication options for it), those’ll be happy times.

After that, I’ll have the dilemma (good problem to have, I guess) of picking the next thing to do, and I think it’ll be either revising A Taste of Misadventure or beginning A Multitude of Lights in earnest – that’s a progression fantasy series I’ve had knocking around in my brain for a while, but I’ve recently started using World Anvil to properly develop the setting and I’m itching to get going on it.

In the meantime, of course, there are other publications featuring my work! The New Normal released in January, and Bright Neon Futures just came out on the first day of February; there’ll be one more anthology including a story of mine this month, and another in March. I’ve set up a new page here to keep track of those things as they release, so check it out!


And that’s the update. Stay safe, be kind, and review indie books.

To hear about what I’m up to more than just once a month, sign up for emails below. I actually haven’t sent any out yet, so you need have absolutely no concerns about getting spammed. Or follow me on Twitter!


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Loathsome Voyages is out now!

It’s here!

This is my first credit as an editor – my name’s on the cover! – and I am extremely proud to have been part of Loathsome Voyages, an anthology of strange, bizarre, surreal, terrifying, straight-up weird fiction. There’s weird fiction and then there’s Weird Fiction, and this volume collects a bit of both.

With stories from some truly fantastic authors, and tones ranging from full-on Lovecraftian to sort of twistedly hilarious, I truly believe this is an amazing book, and I’m not just saying that ‘cos I’m in it. All our pre-release reviews agree with me, too!

(The above reviews are selected from Barnes & Noble, Goodreads, and a full review on Winst0lf Portal – I should say a special thanks to my old mate Winst0lf for being one of our advance readers!)

I had a blast writing my piece for this book, and I’m honoured to have had the chance to work on everyone else’s alongside CD Storiz, who is a phenomenal editor and also just a tip-top human being.

So anyway. Buy Loathsome Voyages. You know you wanna.

It’s available in a few places, and you’re more than welcome to get it from any of them, but if you’re feeling really kind and want to make sure that more of your money goes straight to independent publishers instead of to big ol’ corporations who don’t really need it, then please consider purchasing directly from the Skullgate Media store. You can pick your format – ePub, PDF, Nook, or physical paperback – and it just means that Skullgate gets to keep all the income, which means we’ll be able to keep doing more cool things.

Buy from the Skullgate Media store!
Buy from Amazon!
Buy from Barnes & Noble!
Buy from Bookshop.org!

And if you do buy it, please leave a review, ‘cos it makes us feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Thanks to all of the authors who contributed to this volume, and to the several people who helped out behind the scenes – and to everyone who’s supported Skullgate so far! We’re going places. I can feel it in my tentacles.

First editorial of 2021! Looking back, looking forward

Right, then. Seems as if I, like the rest of the world, have found myself out of 2020 and zooming (and Zooming, indeed) into 2021. It seems pretty much the same so far.

But hey, not everything about being the same would be a bad thing. Usually at the beginning of the month I take a minute to quickly take stock of the projects and drafts I have underway, and this seems like a good opportunity to do a slightly wider-scale version of that. So let’s do a bit of reflection back on 2020, and perhaps have a bit of a think about what 2021 might bring…!


A Year In Review

So: 2020.

Well, April 30th was the day that marked the start of this journey, I think – or not quite the start, because it took me a lot of time and a lot of work to get there, but it feels like a turning point so we’ll start there.

Publications

On April 30th, 2020, I released Each Little Universe! My first novel, it may not be a tightly-plotted masterpiece but I’m really proud to have put it out there, and also extremely proud that it’s had quite a few very nice reviews on its Amazon page and on Goodreads. I imagine that if you’re reading this, you might well be one of the people who’s already given it a review, and I am very grateful!

If you haven’t yet read it… well, keep an eye out in the next couple of weeks for a chance to pick it up for the low, low price of nothing whatsoever.

So that was April, and then I think I spent a fair while wondering what to do next. At some point during that time I tried to get a bit better at using social media, which had mixed success but did at least put me in the network of one Chris Vandyke, who was looking for people to be in a fun little anthology.

That fun little anthology turned out to be one of the coolest, most creatively brilliant things I’ve ever even heard of, and by August 2020 we had published Achten Tan: Land of Dust and Bone, the first volume of what will be a twice-yearly series called Tales from the Year Between. Not only that, though…

Skullgate Media

… somehow in the process of creating that volume, we also ended up creating Skullgate Media, an independent writers’ collective slash indie publishing company. Since August, we’ve got most of the way through creating TFYB volume 2, started up a podcast, signed an author whose novels we’ll be publishing sometime soon, and edited Loathsome Voyages, a completely different anthology that’s out tomorrow! (So a full post about that is coming then.)

But… yeah, holy heck. If you’d told me eight months ago when I’d just released ELU that it would lead to me becoming a founding member of a publishing company doing some seriously amazing work, I’d have chuckled all the way home. (Which wouldn’t have been a very long way, ‘cos lockdown.)

I’m basically just very grateful to have had the chance to meet and work with some really awesome people. It’s an unexpected, but really tip-top, part of this weird little adventure.

Putting More Work Out There

Towards the end of the year, I also started writing some more short stories to submit to anthologies and magazines and that sort of thing, since it seemed like a good way of being productive in a more immediate way than writing novels, and of course would be a great addition to my writing credits. In 2020 I submitted pieces to six publications; I’ve had one rejection, three acceptances, and the other two I’m still waiting to hear back from. What this means, of course, is that you’ll be able to read my work in at least three new publications some time early this year, I hope!

Things Begun But Not Completed

Ah, yes. This is always gonna be the category with the highest number of things in it for me, I fear.

Back in June I did a little audit of things I hoped to get onto writing next, now that ELU was out, and I am amused to report that that list is pretty much unchanged, to be honest. None of the things on there are finished yet, and there are even some additions. I was wondering whether it would be worth trying to plan out which things to focus on in which order now, at the start of this year, but looking back I realise that a lot of stuff appeared out of nowhere and took up my time and focus. I wouldn’t change any of that, because it was all great, but I think basically I have to admit that trying to rigidly plan is unlikely to work, just pick things to work on, try to finish them without moving onto something else, and hope for the best.

So, look, there’s a lot of stuff in here, but perhaps the best way to talk about it isn’t in terms of what wasn’t done in 2020, but what might be done in 2021.


Looking Forward

As I say, this isn’t a plan or a roadmap so much as it is a brainstorm, but with any luck at least one or two of these things will come to fruition this year and I’ll be happy with that!

Untitled Achten Tan Story (with the appalling working title of Friends Close, Enemies in the Toaster) is a novella set in the world of Achten Tan a few years before the TFYB volume about that world. I’m 32k words or so in, and expect it to be wrapped up by 40k, so the hope is to finish it in January and then put it out to other Achten Tanians for a bit of feedback before polishing and probably self-publishing a few months down the line.

Chronicles from the World of Guilt is still out with beta readers; I’ve had some feedback, but not a lot. Still, it’s probably enough for me to be getting along with the second draft, and then I plan to query it with an indie publisher I’ve got to know a little bit (not Skullgate, partly because we already have a lot on and partly because the title’s very similar to Tales from the Year Between – not deliberate, as I’d titled this one before I was ever involved with that!).

Project ANALOG HORIZON // DIGITAL SKY is a multimedia storytelling project underway with friends from the Fable Factory, and I’m hugely excited about it. We’ve done a lot of work on it already, and I’m hoping it’ll be going properly into production soon. When it does, I’ll be yelling about it, because it has the potential to be reeeeeaaally cool.

Untitled Games Writing Collection is something I’ve been thinking about doing for a while: just collecting a bunch of the non-fiction stuff I’ve written in various places about video games and releasing it as a volume. Seems like a fun and relatively lower-effort way to get another book to my name, so may as well!

I Am The Chosen One is a novel adaptation of a play a friend and I wrote back in uni – we got started on this way back in, like, March or something and just dropped it. I really want to be able to release the novel and the original stage play script together at some point, though!

Wrestlers vs Cthulhu is the working title of an audio drama I was working on, like, all the way back in 2019 with another friend. It’s another thing I just sort of still want to make a thing at some point but haven’t worked out quite how yet. Maybe I’ll be able to enlist some help from my new multimedia-talented friends… hmm.

Through All Things A River is the next, like, full-on novel I want to do. I did 50K words on it for NaNoWriMo in 2018, but I’m gonna need to start again because I’ve had a lot of thoughts about it since then. If I get this right, I think it could be really good: a sort of His Dark Materials style reflection on identity, but for twentysomethings rather than adolescents.

Solarpunk Progression Fantasy Series is, like, partly planned. I have a world and a magic system and a vague idea of the first book or two, and that’s it. But I feel like doing a series would be a really good thing, so it’s actually quite high up in my mental priority list. Will it get done? We’ll see!

Not mentioned because they’re still gestating are at least three collaborative projects with other writers, none of which will probably be anything in 2021 but are potentially exciting a bit further down the line!


And… that’s me, I guess.

Taking the time to reflect like this makes me feel really astonished at how much has happened in the last eight months since April 2020, and the momentum’s only building. I don’t expect to suddenly be a super big-shot author in 2021, or ever, but I do think I’m going to keep having the opportunity to do lots of incredibly cool things I’d never have imagined being able to do only a year ago. So that’s pretty great.

If you’ve been part of this journey to date, I am really ridiculously grateful. It’s been the support of a lot of friends old and new – and, always, my other half Hannah – that’s made most of the best bits of the year happen, so thank you.

Stay safe, be kind, and review indie books. Love to all of ya.

To hear about what I’m up to more than just once a month, sign up for emails below. I actually haven’t sent any out yet, so you need have absolutely no concerns about getting spammed. Or have a peek at my Linktree page to follow me on all the social media thingies!


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Gratitude for Whims and Kindnesses

It’s no secret that the last year or so has been kind of an odd one. I think that’d be a fair thing to say, and also a huge understatement.

Here’s the thing about that: I’ve been really lucky in a lot of ways. My job hasn’t been at risk, and nobody close to me has been seriously ill. For a lot of people, it’s been a much worse time, and I don’t mean to downplay that at all. That said, I’m not going to focus on it, because I think we’ve probably all heard enough about that; in this post, I want to be a bit grateful.

As you might know, I published Each Little Universe at the end of April 2020, at which time the UK (where I live) was in the early stages of a national lockdown, and it was all a bit weird. I was working from home for the first time, there was a lot of nervousness just generally flying around, and everything basically seemed very uncertain and strange.

But, y’know, there was a bit of a silver lining for me, in that I was finally doing something about the whole ‘oh hey I should be writing stuff’ thing that’d been floating around for my entire life. So that was something.

More than that, though, I’ve learned in the six or seven months since publishing ELU that… holy heck, there are a lot of cool people out there. I already knew this to some extent, since I’ve made amazing friends from my time blogging about video games, but things have really accelerated for me lately. The world’s been slowed right down, but it’s been the most creatively productive time of my life, and I owe that to two things:

  1. My other half, whose constant support to push me to actually do stuff is the only reason I manage to get things done;
  2. The Internet, which it turns out is actually very good for connecting people.

And, yes, there are problems with the Internet and with people on the Internet, and you should be careful when interacting with people in that way. That’s a whole topic in and of itself, and I’ve probably been luckier than I’d realised that my interactions haven’t got weird or unpleasant. (To everyone who’s been openly Not A Straight White Man on the Internet, I cannot imagine how hard that must be, and again I don’t mean to downplay that side of things here.)

What I really want to focus on, though, is just taking a moment to be grateful to the people I’ve met since putting ELU out there into the world, and some of the people I already knew but have got to know perhaps a little better. I don’t know whether lockdown directly had anything to do with it – certainly I know at least one of the things that’s now happening wouldn’t have happened if not for someone being bored due to not being able to see friends – but whatever the case, this has been a really fantastic few months for me in a lot of ways, and I really appreciate everyone who made it happen.

I can’t single out every person, unfortunately, but suffice to say that simply reaching out to people I barely knew – just having these little conversations on whims, and being more willing to put myself out there as me, for people to accept if they wanted – has led to collaborations I couldn’t have imagined.

I’m part of Skullgate Media now: I’m a contributor to its first anthology volume, editor on more, and general helper-outerer in a whole bunch of cool ways in the behind-the-scenes of this new independent publisher. A few of the people I’ve met through that are some of the best people I know, and I hope I’ll be friends with them for a long time whatever Skullgate ends up doing next.

I’m getting to join forces with people who have talents in other fields like music and art to make something together that none of us could have made on our own, and I’m really excited for the day in the not-too-distant future when I get to properly announce everything about that.

I’ve had the chance to just chat with other creative people about all sorts of things, and to just decide to make a few stories together because why not? I’ve been able to help people, and to ask people for help, with little projects that mean a lot and are very awesome.

I might have actually got into the habit of saying yes to too many things, as opposed to what I was doing before (which is to say nothing whatsoever), but they’re all such awesome things that I just feel like I’m having a great time. I owe that feeling to a good dozen or so people I’ve either met or interacted more with in the last five or six months, and I hope they know I appreciate them.

So if there’s a point here, it’s that just being genuinely interested and talking to people as yourself can lead to awesome stuff you’d never have predicted – and that if that does happen, taking a moment to appreciate it is probably a good thing to do.

If you’ve had any awesome projects going on through lockdown, I’d love to hear about them. And I’m sure any collaborators of yours would love to know that you appreciate them, too.

Stay safe, and here’s to continuing to appreciate cool things whatever’s going on in the world. Also worth saying, I think: if you haven’t been able to do stuff throughout this whole thing, that is totally fine. If you’ve not had the energy to be creative as well as just surviving the state of the planet right now, you should absolutely not feel bad about that in any way. Although I’m happy that I’ve been creatively productive, I have to remind myself sometimes that my worth as a human being is not tied to how many words I produce, or whatever, and neither is yours. If you do have the chance to do something cool, then brilliant, and I hope you’re very proud of it. If not, it makes you no less important.

And on that note, uh, buh-bye, I guess. Take care!

Projects and Drafts, December 2020

November has come and gone, which was far too fast and is slightly terrifying.

With that, we’re into December, and very nearly at the end of 2020. Much as it’d be nice to think that 2021 will be Generally Better, it’s not as if all the world’s problems are gonna disappear the moment the clock strikes midnight on January 1st 2021, but… hey, we truck on.


So how did November go?

Well, Chronicles from the World of Guilt is still with beta readers (whom I ought to chase, really). I have a bit of very useful feedback already, and I’ll be looking at that and revising this collection of dark fantasy post-apocalyptic short stories as my next project after I’m done with…

Friends Close, Enemies In The Toaster is an extremely work-in-progress title for a story set in Achten Tan. I mentioned in the last update that I’d be doing this for National Novel Writing Month, and I’m pleased to say that I managed to write my targeted 25,000 words in November and aim to finish the story at around 35-40K by the end of the year. Then that’ll go out for feedback of its own, and who knows what’ll happen then?

I’ve also been editing Loathsome Voyages, an upcoming weird fiction anthology by Skullgate Media. CD Storiz and I are teaming up as editors on this one, and it’s going really well! Expect to see that releasing in early 2021: it’s filled with 14 awesome pieces ranging from truly unsettling to sort of hilariously shocking, uncanny to bizarre and everything in between. (Including one of my own!)


To December!

The plan is just to be happy with whatever I can get done, since December is likely to be a busy month at work and also one for hopefully enjoying a little bit of chilled-out time, and perhaps even some family time (while staying safe and adhering to restrictions, of course).

My hope is to be able to finish Friends Close, Enemies in the Toaster (and ideally come up with a better title) and write at least one or two shorts for submitting to magazines and anthologies and such. Those are my modest goals, and I’ll be thrilled if I can do all of those things.

There’ll also be trucking-along progress on EDGE/CRASH, the fancy multimedia project I mentioned last month (oh, and I got to make my first appearance on a livestream for something to do with that in November!), and I’m sure I’ll just generally be thinking about all kinds of other stuff too.


And that’s the update. Stay safe, be kind, and review indie books. Whatever you do or don’t do in December, I hope it’s everything you hope it’ll be.

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A little #CreativeChristmasCollab

I figured I’d try to do something fun-ish for the online communities of people I know, so I’ve just chucked up a quick collab idea over on the old OverThinkerY blog. Check it out: https://overthinkeryblog.com/2020/11/30/a-little-creative-christmas-community-collab-thingy/

The long and short of it is that you just provide something you’ve created and say something nice to another creator. Pretty simple.

Read the post above, and let me know if you want to take part!