Monday, 26 March 2012


Hello all, apologies for the unexpected hiatus, this was caused by having an excessive amount of things to do and people to see for the past few weeks.  I know you've all missed out on my poorly punctuated onanistic ramblings but you should be pleased to hear that I'm in the process of alienating all of my friends and family so I should have a lot more time to sit alone and write.  

Whilst I was out and about not writing I had one of the weirdest train journeys of my life.  It was a Friday night and I was travelling to see my girlfriend on the 17:15 train from Leeds.  The train was as packed as a cattle truck and I found myself crammed into the luggage compartment behind the driver's cabin with about a dozen other commuters.  About fifteen minutes into the journey the train pulled to a halt, I assumed we were just pulling into a station but when I looked out of the window all I could see was a lonely patch of woodland that surrounded the train tracks on all sides.  Then the cabin door opened and the driver emerged.  He looked sheepish and confused as he said "I'm very sorry but I think we're lost."  

Until then I didn't think trains could get lost, I assumed they just followed the rails.  Now I think about it I realise one of the junctions on the tracks must have been set wrong or maybe there was something the matter with "the points" but on that evening, as I watched a confused train drivers climb onto the tracks and glance around frantically, trying to work out where he'd driven to all I could think was "Oh great, we've been whisked away to the world of the bloody faeries."  I had visions of my girlfriend waiting at the plat form for hours before asking a passer by (probably Rod Sterling or Vincent Price) when the 17:15 from Leeds arrived only to be told "there's no 17:15 from Leeds my dear, not since that crash where everyone died 10 years ago tonight!" Fortunately I don't live in a predictable urban legend so rather than never being seen again I just had to put up with a ten minute delay, but I quite like the idea of a phantom train that leaves it's passengers stranded somewhere unnatural, I might write something inspired by that journey one day if I can think of an approach that isn't a massive cliché.

The novel currently stands at 35,488 words or 47.3% of my target, although I'm a lot further than half way through the plot as I'm currently ripping what's left of my hair out trying to structure the ending.  My original plan was to have a complete draft done by mid April, but I'm probably going to have to move that goal post.  Now my plan is to finish the skeleton of the story (probably about 45,000-50,000 words) by the 19th of April and flesh this out into a full, functioning first draft by the end of May.  I'm really excited by what I'm writing at the moment as the book's various plots and sub plots are pulling together and shit's blowing up all over the place.  Come back next week to see if I hit 40,000 words.

Monday, 5 March 2012

Novel Update 05/03/2012

Greetings puny mortals.  I've suffered from a minor bit of writer's block this week; nothing major, but annoying none the less. Man Writer' Block perhaps.  I spent most of the first half of the week trying to get into a scene which is going to be fairly pivotal to the last third of the book and repeatedly changed my mind over how to approach it.  I eventually cracked it on Saturday night after a few pints of inspiration, it's not perfect and definitely needs a good proof reading/rewriting but it's there for now and I've found the subsequent scenes a lot easier to write.  Whilst failing at novel writing I managed to come up with a few pieces for the blog about creator owned comics and the gender politics of Earth's Mightiest Bums.  I also passed my driving theory test, take that crippling sense of inadequacy!

The current word count is 30,048 of 75,000 or 40.1% as I mentioned in the last novel update I've left quite a few gaps so I'm starting to see the end of the plot so I'm quite excited to be approaching the climax.  Come back next Monday to see if I hit 35,000.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Creator Owned Day

Apparently March the 1st is creator owned day.  If I'd have known about this earlier I might (or might not, no promises) have done something to mark the occasion, as it is I'm just going to give you a short list of my favourite creator owned comics (in no particular order) and pimp my own creation.

My Favourite Creator Owned Comics

Hellboy/BPRD (plus assorted spin-offs) By Mike Mignola and friends (Notably John Arcudi, Guy Davis and Duncan Fegredo)
Mike Mignola and co. have created an enthralling tale of giant monsters, what it means to be human and the end of the world.  

Chew by John Layman and Rob Guillory
weird, offbeat mystery comic about a man who gains the memories of anything he eats and the crazy world he lives in.  Like Lost but with gross out humour and killer chickens.

Sweet Tooth by Jeff Lemire
The beautifully drawn story of a deer boy and a former hockey player in a post appocylptic future.

Phonogram by Kieron Gillen and Jaime McKelvie
Music is Magic, this comic captures the excitement of being young and going clubbing like no other comic.  Perfectly crafted and filled with references I don't understand.

The Umbrella Academy by  Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá
Gerard Way stops messing arround with his band and works on a proper job, telling the story of a dysfunctional family of superheroes.  

(NB I left of Preacher because I wasn't sure if it's owned by the creators or DC/Vertigo and a brief google was inconclusive, if it is creator owned, it definitely belongs in the top five)

And here's some shameless self promotion, the first appearance of my character Daniel Hawksworth, a character who you should all be seeing a bit more of in coming months.  Enjoy what's left of creator owned day.