May 9 2020

May Update

Ups and (Lock) Downs

I thought it was about time for an update and there’s definitely a few bits of news for me to share. First and foremost, my beloved cat Goose has been missing for a week and a half now (which really isn’t like her as she would always come home every night). We’re desperately hoping she will return soon. I’ve handed out leaflets to my local neighbours and posted on social media, so fingers crossed she wanders back in soon. I’ve also called all the local vets and animal shelters, but no one has had her handed in. She’s chipped so if anyone does find her at least there is that.

On a more positive note, I’ve had two more short stories accepted to be published! Both are scheduled to publish towards the end of May, so I will be sure to share more details then. Additionally, I’ve been doing some list writing for Game Rant, it’s been good to have something to keep me occupied while in lockdown.

I hope you’re all staying safe and well!

Edited on June 1, 2020: After the recent posts by Andrea Dawn of Tell-tale Books, I am removing all links and information that relate to her and her company.

April 4 2020

General Update: Isolation Nation

PJs are my new daily outfit

So how is everyone doing in, dare I say it, these unprecedented times? Personally, I’m beginning to feel really restless and the days are all blurring into one. Yesterday, I asked my son what day it was and his response was, “all I know is that it’s 2020” and that seems pretty apt to me. I don’t think I’ve utilised so many streaming services in my life, Disney+ definitely came at the right time. I’m still whittling away at some writing projects, but all work and no play will make me go crazy even quicker in this lockdown.

Because I have so much time on my hands, I have decided to try and work on some of my backlog/piles of shame when it comes to my game and book collections. For starters, I aim to finish Pax by Sara Pennypacker (shamefully, I bought this on release and never read it), as well as Divinity: Original Sin, which I’ve had for so long I now own the sequel too (which I also have yet to play).

I’ve also been spending way too much of my time on Animal Crossing: New Horizons! I waited so long for this sequel and I love it!! It’s doubly awesome as we bought our son a copy and so it’s something we can play together and I love to be able to share something I’m passionate about with him. Even if his island is an absolutely mess and it makes me want to scream everytime I visit it. I may even dedicate a blog post about my thoughts on the game so far.

The downside is I may not be getting the Final Fantasy 7 Remake at launch now, GAME have yet to sort pre-orders done in-store (they’re trying to sort a solution currently according to emails) and I have too much money pumped into in-store pre-orders to want to spend more to order it again from their website. Not to mention, the deluxe version is sold out online at the moment, which is the one I want. My copy of Persona 5 Royal Phantom Thieves Edition turned up the other day too, so it’s not like I don’t have plenty to play.

Please stay safe people!

Edited on June 1, 2020: After the recent posts by Andrea Dawn of Tell-tale Books, I am removing all links and information that relate to her and her company.

March 28 2020

Strange times we’re living in

Make sure you all stay safe

It’s hard to believe that just under two months ago 2020 felt like it was the best year ever (for me personally), everything was coming together and I was feeling so positive.. then all of this madness hit. It’s still so surreal that all of it is happening.

Like most, the Corona virus has turned my life upside down: my husband and I are currently working from home, my son is off school for the foreseeable and regrettably my job is at risk. I worry on a day to day basis about the health of my loved ones. The above Tolkien quote never seemed so apt before. Staying inside isn’t bothering us too much, we all tend to the introvert side and we have plenty to keep us busy.

Despite having more time on my hands, I’m finding it very difficult to scrape together any motivation to get any creative writing done at the moment. These are just such depressing times that I’ve lost all of my “get up and go” enthusiasm. Hopefully that will change soon.

Please stay safe everyone and please take social distancing seriously.

March 11 2020

Heaven Sent now available online!

Short story published via Cultured Vultures

My latest short story Heaven Sent is now available to read online over at Cultured Vultures! It’s a tale of two survivors attempting to get by in the middle of a zombie outbreak. Please give it a read and let me know what you think!

In other news, the website is getting a bit of an overhaul so apologies for it being unfinished at the moment. I am steadily working on improving it a little at a time.

Additionally, I have signed my contract for another of my short story’s inclusion into an anthology that will be going into print in May. I’m super excited about this but will keep most of the details under wraps until closer to the time.

 

February 13 2020

Roadside Shoes now available online

Short story published via East of the Web

My short story Roadside Shoes is now available to read online via East of the Web! It’s a fantasy story about a young girl who can see otherworldly creatures. I’d love it if you could check it out and let me know what you think!

“Most people would see that shoe and assume a drunken partygoer had forgotten it somehow, or that perhaps even a car had driven past and it had possibly fallen from the window unknowingly. But Jenny knew better.”

It’s another story that I had accepted by using The Submission Grinder, so if you’re looking to keep on top of markets and submissions then it really is an invaluable tool and I can’t recommend it enough. I’ve also been doing my own searches for short story markets on the web, but I’ve been adding any I find to the index on The Submission Grinder.

Featured image is from the Dictionnaire Infernal by Jacques Collin de Plancy.

 

February 10 2020

A great start to the year!

2020: The year the of the writer's pen

I am pleased to say I have had a great start in 2020 so far! My new job as a Content Editor is going well and it’s so great to be able to write for a living, I’ve found it keeps me in the writing mood so the creative writing that I do on the side is benefitting from me writing at work. Additionally, the shorter travel times and more normal work hours have been much appreciated.

I am also super pleased to say that I have had two short stories accepted in the past week.

My resolution to read more this year is also making steady progress as I work my way through The Witcher series by Andrzej Sapkowski. I still have a hefty backlog of the pile of shame of many, many books that I really should get round to reading. As for another resolution, I’ve had some great feedback on Vulpini and Wolfrik and I am going to revise them both and trim the fat on Vulpini a bit and then get some more feedback on them both.

I hope you’re all having a great year so far too!

Featured image is from The Gibson Book, by Charles Dana Gibson.

Edited on June 1, 2020: After the recent posts by Andrea Dawn of Tell-tale Books, I am removing all links and information that relate to her and her company.

January 1 2020

Happy New Year!

2020 is here!

I can’t believe it is 2020 already! The past year seems to have gone so quickly. I managed to stick to a couple of last year’s resolutions; I did post more on my blog, though admittedly not as much as I had planned, I did submit more short stories and successfully had one published, and I completed Wolfrik! So here are my new year’s resolutions for 2020, with some repeated from last year:

1. Update my blog more often! This is something I want to improve on from last year, I really should update more and if I am sticking to my other resolutions as well, then I should have more to write about with any luck!

2. Read more. I still have a huge pile of shame of unread books, but I have been reading a bit more lately. After watching Netflix’s adaptation The Witcher, it made me want to read the books (I’ve already played the games) and so far I’m enjoying the series by Andrzej Sapkowski. My brother in law also recommended Choose Yourself by James Altucher, so I am looking forward to reading that too.

3. Submit more short stories. I’ve got plenty of ideas for short stories, so I’ve got no excuse to not be writing more. I also have a few completed that I haven’t submitted yet, so I should start sending those out too. Hopefully, I’ll have more success in this year and see some more of my stories being published.

4. Finish NaNoWriMo properly. Once again, I didn’t finish NaNoWriMo last year, but I did improve on my previous total and it was this push that made me finally finish my first draft of Wolfrik. This year, however, I’d love to reach that 50k!

5. Revise Vulpini and Wolfrik. I want to revisit where the first novel ends and the second begins and see if I can find a better fit for both stories. I also want to get feedback on both and improve the stories based on the criticism I receive.

I also start my new job next week, so there will be a lot of changes for me but I am still super excited. I am sad to be leaving my GAME family behind as I have so many friends there, but this is something I want to do and I think it’ll be the start of a great new career for me.

Happy New Year everyone!

December 29 2019

So that was Christmas

...and what did I do?

Christmas this year seemed to be particularly good; there were no family squabbles, no tears from the kids and everyone seemed happy and grateful for what they received. One of my favourite gifts was a brand new netbook as my old one kept crashing, a real bugbear when you’re trying to do anything. I’ve never cursed myself so much for not saving more often. Thankfully, that is a problem of the past now!

Before Christmas, I finished my first draft of Wolfrik and I have sent out a couple of copies to beta readers. It’s considerably shorter than Vulpini. Given that original the two novels were planned as one, I might revisit where I ended the first and began the second to even the two out as long as I can find a natural conclusion to Vulpini earlier on. I’ve put Wolfrik to the side for now and I’m going to give it some time before I revise it some more and I’ll also take on board the feedback from the early readers.

In other news, I have a new job! I will be leaving behind my GAME family, who I have worked with for many years now. It’s a bittersweet move as I will really miss the team, but I’ve managed to get a job in the field I want so the time was right. In the New Year, I will be starting my new role as Content Editor for a large company. I can’t wait! I’ve wanted to get back into writing again for some time and so I am really psyched for this! That whole “New Year, New You” thing never seemed so appropriate as it does now.

Hope you’ve all had an amazing Christmas and best wishes for the New Year!

Featured illustration from J.R.R. Tolkien’s Letters from Father Christmas.

November 22 2019

Birthday Update

Another year older, another year wiser

This post is a little bit late as it was my birthday last week, but I’ve been super busy until now. I received some lovely gifts from my friends and family, including these absolutely amazing Majima Goro badges made by my brilliant and very talented friend Kadi.

You may remember from my last blog post that I spoke about The Submission Grinder, which I had just started using. I am pleased to say that one of my short stories was successfully accepted and will be published online next month! I will share all the details when it is live, of course! I hope you all enjoy reading my story, but for now, I will leave the premise as a surprise.

NaNoWriMo has been going along just slowly… I definitely won’t be joining the 50k club this year, but I am still really pleased with the progress I have made. My first draft of Wolfrik is nearly finished, which I’m really happy about as it was one of my New Year’s resolutions! Whilst writing the sequel, I’ve also thought of some revisions I could make to Vulpini, so I will be looking back to that afterward.

I have a couple of other things in the pipeline that I am hoping to receive some good news about… but I don’t want to jinx myself, so I’m keeping that under wraps too!

October 27 2019

Halloween update!

Back from France and ready to write

We’ve just got back from a wonderful family holiday at Disneyland Paris, which was absolutely fabulous! It was my son’s first visit and he adored every moment of it. Visiting during the Halloween season was new for me too, it was great to see all the villains and decorations.

I’ve been submitting a lot more shorts recently after discovering The Submission Grinder, which is really an invaluable tool. Getting the submissions going again has really put me in the mood to write up some of my new ideas and I’m thinking of writing a new spooky short given that it’s Halloween in just a few days. There is a whole slew of great new games coming out to play, so I really should make the most of my motivation to write while I have it, because I know at least one of those games will distract me (Planet Zoo, I’m talking about you).

Obviously, NaNoWriMo is starting soon too and I really want to dedicate some time towards that too! Hopefully, November will be a really productive month for me.