This is my blog, which will contain my various thoughts about things. Assuming I have any. It’s also a sort of diary and a method of exploiting the fact that internet search engines like content. So here are my ramblings. You were warned…
If you want to get in touch with me you can send an email to email@example.com.
22nd June 2018 – Sunshine and Coffee
A lot’s happening right now. There will soon be a new addition to our family. Cara Wisp Fairbairn, the 8 week old Border Collie puppy, will be joining us later today. After a near miss with a scumbag puppy farmer based in Shotts, we’ve found our family’s new member. Details will follow in due course.
The Third Place is 72000 words in, with a total first draft of about 115000 words. A lot of editing will need to be done, I’m sure. Blacker is still available at the Kindle store, though I am not running any special promotions at the moment.
3rd June 2018 – Coming Out Of Nowhere
Almost halfway through the year already. Time has really flown by and Summer has crept up after a long, cold, winter. Nothing like the winters in Game of Thrones, of course, so let’s be grateful for small mercies!
Today is a Sunday, and I’m not prone to doing much on a Sunday. A little bit of housekeeping, a little bit of writing, but mainly just drinking coffee and relaxing. Looking forward to getting back into the gym tomorrow and have put together a new workout compilation to block out unwanted chit chat and the early morning talk shows that someone seems to enjoy putting onto the televisions in the gym. Why there are televisions in the gym at all makes no sense to me.
Enjoying some time with Suki, Charlotte’s Labrador. Here she is…
19th May 2018 – Peter Garry Fairbairn
Tomorrow will be the 36th anniversary of the death of my brother, Peter. As the day approaches – gently reminded by Google Calendar – I find myself looking through some of his possessions I still keep and thinking of him.
19th May 2018 – Cargo 2018 6 / 10
A nice little Netflix Original movie. Read my review (possible spoilers here).
18th May 2018 – The Clapper 5 / 10
Watched The Clapper last night with Bernadette. This being the last night of debauchery before Peter comes home from London, we wanted to make the most of our night. The Clapper was a reasonable romantic comedy but I had a feeling that Tracey Morgan was lost for a lot of this movie. I thought Amanda Seyfried and Ed Helms were a good match. Bernadette agreed with me that the movie seemed to suffer a personality crisis; sometimes it seemed to be a drama and other times a satire and other times a farce. The principal cast had the talent to pull it off, but the changes in pacing and mood jarred.
I’d give this movie 5 out of 10 with extra points gained because I love seeing Tracy Morgan in anything.
Nothing much to do today except get myself together and wait to meet our son from the train. We finished last night watching 2 or 3 episodes of Spaced, which took us through to a very shaky one thirty in the morning.
17th May 2018 – Domino Dancing
Deadpool 2 was a great movie. Saw it on the 15th on iSense. Deadpool 2 had all the hardcore and humorous elements of the first movie combined with genuine peril for the main characters and an abundance of refreshingly powerful adversaries for the eponymous hero to grapple with. My favorite character had to be Domino, even though I’d been working on a person with abilities in the same ballpark area for a future project. Maybe my character will still work. I won’t know until I start to develop her I guess.
We’ve been seeing a lot of good movies lately and cinema has us spoiled. Infinity War really had everything in an action movie, Deadpool had the irreverence and adult-ness that takes superhero movies to the next level.
Now that Odeon allows you to choose your seats well before the performance, I’m happy to watch movies on opening day. No more worrying about being late and wading through a sea of legs and disgruntled faces to find a seat. Having a booked slot lets me sit where I want and removes the stress of being late. I’ve grown to really enjoy the atmosphere in a crowded theater. It’s strange to look back to the days, years ago, when I’d hold off on seeing a movie just to have a chance at an empty cinema.
I think it all started when I met Bernadette. In the early years we saw (the original) Independence Day together (1996) along with Star Wars The Phantom Menace, Armageddon, Starship Troopers and a bunch of other movies I’d need to spend all morning looking up.
11th May 2018 – A Moment in Paradise
Right now, I’m listening to Zoom by the Electric Light Orchestra. I’ve followed ELO since I was a boy, but never got round to listening to this before. Right now I’m realizing what I’ve been missing.
Doing a little bit of research on Facebook led to a lot of Triumph TR7 oriented shenanigans. Lots of helpful, informed, people on the forum and it’s definitely going to be a place I revisit. Met a new author too and am looking forward to reading and reviewing his novel – once I finish Stephen King’s The Stand.
Today – now the 12th – promises to be another lazy day of writing interspersed with some gardening. At the back of the house, where our barbecue area will be, the weeds are beginning to flourish. I feel the need to take action today for a good hour or so of chopping, piling and tidying. Next week promises to be an even busier gardening week, but its all good exercise.
27th April 2018 – Avengers Review
I’ve seen this movie twice now, both times in 2D at the big iSense screen in Edinburgh, Fort Kinnaird. It’s nothing short of spectacular, starting with an epic fight that sets the scene for the entire movie. The pacing is excellent, and every member of the large ensemble cast has their moment to shine. The greatest moments for me were when heroes who had never met before were introduced for the first time. This was done in such a manner that the characters were blended wholesomely, and with genuine humor.
I cannot wait for the next installment in the Avengers series, and for the first time I am sure my wife and I will be attending the midnight screening. All in all, this is an epic movie and one I recommend you see quickly and on as big a screen as you can afford.
19th March 2018 – Peggy Lee’s Last Stand
It’s been a busy month. I’ve been writing steadily and have produced a few reasonable short stories. I’ve also withdrawn Beyond the Starport Adventure from sale. At 150,000 words it was far too long and I’m working on restructuring it and converting it into two seperate novels. The first novel will now most likely be called The Starport Adventure with the second episode being named Beyond the Starport Adventure. Episode three, already in progress, has been given the provisional title of The Starchild.
The new Avengers Infinity Wars trailer is here, and it’s awesome. You can check it out below…
18th February 2018 – Anywhere
Finished my second short story of the year. Epic winning! Not my greatest work but I’m happy with it. You can find the short story by following the link below:
6th February 2018 – The Only Winning Move is Not To Play
Writing some short stories at the moment. Not the greatest work I’ve ever done, but its the most coherent thing I’ve managed to produce in a long time. As my mind is still coming back together, I’m reluctant to keep pushing on with more involved projects for fear of inevitable – seemingly endless – corrections. So the John Armstrong short stories, although largely pointless, are at least complete projects. Untidy, imperfect, but complete.
7th January 2018 – Coffee is Gross, But I Love It
I had no coffee after the 14th December. Why? Well, I got too sick to drink anything besides water, grapefruit juice and orange juice. As time went by, the idea of having a coffee became more and more absurd. After all, it smells bad and tastes bad. So days turned into weeks and I recovered from my illness. Still, I continued to drink my other, substitute beverages.
I’m back on coffee now. Being self employed, I’m only permitted to be sick for so long. Coffee and work go hand in hand, so when my long-anticipated and much-needed holiday was wiped out by my having to prematurely return to work, there was nothing for it. I poured myself a cup of coffee, stifled my cough, and just got stuck into the battle.
I’ve added some new Reviews too if you want to read them.
1st January 2018 – First Among Equals
Beginning the day with some writing, of course. Pork roast in the oven for a family meal, the high point of which I hope will be my own roast potatoes. Everyone else is asleep – including Lilly dog. I was awake at 8am to give Lilly her first meal of the day, but then I went back to bed to lie for a while before sneaking under the covers to enjoy a few more hours of oblivion. Now, I’m about to enjoy my first coffee of the year and get stuck into one of my many, unwritten, resolutions. 2018 here we come.
Now, it’s time for some Classical music, beginning with The Barber of Seville Overture.
29th December 2017 – Help is Coming
Well, it seems that my perseverence has paid off. I had a dream, over a year ago, and in that dream a friend handed me a ceramic money bank in the shape of a panda bear, or some other such animal. The bank was almost empty, but there were a few coins rattling around in it. But when I turned the bank over I noticed there was a message printed on the bottom.
HELP IS COMING
I remember waking from the dream and feeling elated. It was short lived, of course, as I quickly rationalized that the dream was merely a manifestation of my own subconscious hope that some entity, more powerful than I, would intervene in my current situation to improve my chances. In the coming months, I used the memory of the dream as a mantra to keep myself moving forward, or at least from falling further back than I might have. Now, it seems that, in some way, the message contained within the dream is beginning to come true. So, I was right to hold on. If you’re doing the same, you’re doing the right thing too.
24th December 2017 – Diabetog and The Orville
Lilly, our Collie, has diabetes. We’re working on the blood glucose curves and feeding regimes now to try bringing her blood sugar back under control. She’s been through a lot this year (chronic live problems, mammary tumor removal) and this is the latest challenge. Financially, it’s all a bit concerning. But I’d rather be poor than look back and think that we could have done more for her. After all, she’s always there for me in her crazy, dumb dog way. It’s the least I can do.
Bernadette and I watched The Orville last night. I wasn’t expecting too much, but I’d heard good things. Well, I quite enjoyed the first two episodes. Definitely worth watching.
We also finished the Wolf Creek mini series. Bernadette wasn’t as impressed as I, but I enjoyed it a lot. I love the countryside and the Aussie-ness of it all. It’s hard to explain exactly, but it just has that little quirkiness that made it stand out. There were also times when it felt a little bit like a wannabe Breaking Bad, and that can never be bad. The penultimate episode seemed a little too climatic and cliched for me, but the last episode delivered and I’d definitely watch a second season.
15th December 2017 – Yes
Pretty sick at the moment, which is a real shame as I also have some time off. New cover for BTSA will be debuting soon and is a little more in keeping with the style or story. You can see it below.
Also, a lot of people have approached me recently to ask why I self published. BTSA has taken some time to refine, but it now seems to be growing in popularity. If you’ve enjoyed the book and are wondering why I self published, the simple reason is that I didn’t want to waste time searching for a publisher or agent. I was hoping that one would approach me based on the merit of my own work. So, that being said, I’m now working on a second project if any publishers or agents would care to contact me. You can email dirletonpcdoctor@btinternet,com (my day job) and I’ll get back to you soon.
9th December 2017 – A Distant Ship’s Smoke on the Horizon
Crystal clarity this morning, and an intense beginning to the laziest day of the week. It’s Saturday, and, besides travelling to a second showing of Justice League, there’s nothing to do all day besides walk the dog and put pen to paper. At least metaphorically. I mean, typing words into Microsoft Word 2016 can hardly be referred to as putting pen to paper. But I do literally need to put pen to paper soon. The Third Place, my current literary project, demands that maps be drawn, characters be sketched and lots of other things… ah… be drawn. So draw I must, putting my meager artistic skills to the test once more. Keep an eye open for my sketches – coming soon!
The badminton’s played
The bed-sheets are laid
Lilly dog’s been for her fun.
A hot chocolate mug
A dog on the rug
I hide from the fast-setting sun.
The end of the year
Is now growing near
I think of the time that’s now gone
I have no regrets
Over won or lost bets
Because most of the time it was fun.
Now I relax
As the candles burn wax.
I’m old, yet my heart is still young.
For two thousand eighteen
I’m ready with steam.
My wishes, and hopes all high strung.
4th November 2017 – Are We Having Fun Yet?
Yes. Having fun today. Putting corrections into BTSA and preparing to begin work on the second book. Quite excited about the weeks ahead and, of course, 2018!
17th September 2017 – Mr 95%
Checking page 410 of 495 today. The ending of Beyond the Starport Adventure is as exciting for me to read as it was to write. Now, as I re-read the prose, I’m anticipating a strong and positive response to this first episode in the series. Again, still looking for beta readers. Contact me if interested!
Meanwhile, here’s one of my all time favorite classical music pieces:
10th September 2017 – Empty Spaces
The only person who truly disappoints me these days is myself, and although it’s not very often I really make a good job of it when I do.
The writing continues. Tightening up some sluggish areas of BTSA and checking consistency, etc. Soon it will all be finished and I can rest.
9th September 2017 – The Return to Innocence
It has now been a month since Lilly had her operation. Fortunately, we’re insured. I say fortunately, because the original quote of 1300 (increased from an initial quote of 700) is now well over 2500. Now, four stitches remain in her abdomen and we hope the last of the wound will heal.
A great experience last night after posting on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’s Facebook page. Almost a hundred responses and a ton of support from misfits and jabronis like me. As a direct result of this, I have three new beta readers for BTSA and a new cover design on the Wattpad page here.
8th September 2017 – Killing me Softly
I’m glad the end of the week is here. I’ve had enough of computers to last me for a while. Bojack Horseman on Netflix tonight. First, of course, catching up on Game of Thrones.
Bit of sadness today. Reminded that, sometimes, I value people so much more than they value me. Still, it’s something I should be used to by now. Fool me once, shame on me. Fool me twice, fiddle-de-dee!
3rd September 2017 – Twenty Miles Visibility
A busy couple of days. Lots of gardening, with my fabulous son, Peter, helping out. The garden has been a wilderness for a few years now, and in the past few days, we’ve made a lot of progress tearing out some of the overgrown bushes and preparing for a brighter garden filled with buddleia and some nice places to relax, eat BBQ and generally just chill.
Writing today is going well. Still working on BTSA, but getting there now.
28th August 2017 – Love and Hate
I have a love-hate relationship with August. It’s the month that contains my birthday, which I generally enjoy, but that’s got nothing to do with it. In my mind, August begins the run down to the end of the year. It’s downhill all the way to Halloween, Christmas and then drawing a line under the accomplishments and achievements of the year.As always, so much remains undone this year.
As always, so much remains undone this year. I’m not talking about my novels. I’m very pleased with the progress I’ve made on that front. My solitary live project is selling moderately well and the few reviews it gleaned were, to me, very favorable. I’ve always known that my work as an author is a developmental process. Everything I’ve ever done has been the same. But writing is the passion I have always returned to. In 2017, it went very nicely. I’d be happy to draw a line under it now, but of course, I won’t. No, the real lack of accomplishment is on the home front. The house is a shambles and the garden a wilderness. My little office cabin is a junk store filled with precious trinkets lost amongst the carcasses of old computers.
It’s not my fault, entirely. Our little dog, Lilly, has been ill this month and for 20 days so far she’s been immobilized with stitches and now staples. She’s opened a stitch once, adding to her time as a canine invalid. The house is chaotic, with everything at a standstill. Despite wearing a buster collar and socks, Lilly is still at risk of opening herself up again. So we’re watching her all day and nothing is getting done -except writing and exploding people in GTA 5 on my PS3.
But the end of the year is coming. Now that I’m 50 going on 25, there’s that urge to do more and shake things up. I don’t know what I’m going to do yet, but I need to do something. If 2018 comes around and everything is still the same, I’m going to go crazy.
27th August 2017 – Surprise Me
The day after my 50th birthday. All I want to do is have a coffee and listen to some music. Later, I’ve got a few household chores to take care of. I’m reading chapter fifteen of Beyond the Starport Adventure and rewriting as I go along. Compiling a new music compilation for the working week ahead and ignoring an enormous stack of documents needing attention until Monday rears its ugly head.
The day before my birthday, we sat together as a family and watched Pixar’s Ratatouille. It’s weird, but it turns out that Ratatouille might be one of my favorite movies. Now, I need to point out that what I’m about to write will contain spoilers for the movie. Hopefully, you’ve seen Ratatouille already. If you haven’t, you’re missing out. So, why do I like Ratatouille so much?
I love Ratatouille mostly because Anton Ego’s soul is saved, just as Joe Banks’ soul was saved in my all-time favorite movie, Joe Versus the Volcano. Both characters are lost, trapped in a prison of their own creation. The intervention of a third party provides the catalyst that allows Banks to leave behind his negative attitude and begin to live his life again. In Ratatouille, Remy’s superb cooking returns Ego’s character to a happier time in his life, reminding him of how it felt to truly love the very thing he has spent his life criticising. In both movies, the characters are re-booted or normalized, as I prefer to put it. So, that’s the main reason I like Ratatouille. Anton Ego was saved. His support for Remy might have wrecked his fame as a critic, but that didn’t matter. He’d rediscovered his passion for food and was involved in a far more constructive way – backing the small bistro operated by Linguini, Collette, and Remy.
Remy is a true artist. He’s a free-thinker, defying an inadequate reality he has been force-fed his entire life. He believes in something better and is literally willing to put his life on the line to prove his beliefs. By far, my favorite scene with Remy is the moment near the end of the movie when Remy arrives to help Linguini, fully aware that the other humans in the restaurant will not accept him but willing to brave their onslaught. Of course, he is saved by Linguini, whose actions confirm Remy’s belief in humanity.
So that’s why I like Ratatouille. It’s a story of courage and redemption, and those are the ones I like the best.
26th August 2017 – Catching the Sun
50 years old. Middle aged. Hmnn, to achieve that I guess I’d need to live to be a hundred. I don’t think that’s on the cards. I managed to get song writing done today and Lilly didn’t manage to take out any of the four staples holding the last of her wound together. It’s been a quiet day.
26th August 2017 – This is 50
50 years old today. Wishing I was 25, but I guess we all do (unless you’re younger than 25 or older than seventeen). Pretty shitty day so far, and this is the song that comes to mind. Still, getting into my writing. Still a long way to go.
11th August 2017 – That’ll Do, Pig
Our rescue dog, Lilly, is recovering from major surgery. This basically entails Lilly lying around the house, occasionally sporting a “buster” satellite disk to prevent her nibbling out her stitches. She’s doing well but is bored with it already. She’d rather be on the golf course, chasing her ball and generally getting up to mischief. But it won’t be long before she’s able to enjoy her simple pleasures again.
Writing is going slowly, as I’m flitting back and forward between working on episode two of Four Seasons of Summer and making corrections to Beyond the Starport Adventure. The latter is my personal favorite, and I find myself distracted by thoughts of the sequel, which I will begin work on once the first volume of Four Seasons of Summer has been completed. I’m hoping to have BTSA up for sale again soon. Just waiting for feedback from my beta readers and then a little proofreading.
29th July 2017 – Too Cool for School
Saturday morning. Coffee, and episode two of Four Seasons of Summer. Listening to a fantastic performance of Carmen. Robotic vacuum cleaner doing his job.
18th July 2017 – Thunderbolt and Lightfoot
Phew! Narrowly avoided having to go out on my day off. Now I can relax, have a coffee, and start organizing the office a little. There’s so much to do and the time just flies away.
18th July 2017 – The Great Escape
Phew! Narrowly avoided having to go out on my day off. Now I can relax, have a coffee, and start organizing the office a little. There’s so much to do and the time just practically runs through my fingers, like sand.
Provisional cover design supplied for my latest project, Four Seasons of Summer. I’d really like to hear your thoughts on this design.
17th July 2017 – Summer
Finally, I’ve got episode one of Four Seasons of Summer worked out. As soon as it’s ready, I will post the whole episode on wattpad.
If you’d like to read the prologue for Beyond the Starport Adventure, it’s available here.
Note that I’m still making corrections to this section and the copy is liable to change. But I welcome your comments in the meantime.
15th July 2017 – Massachusetts
Sometimes, it’s all about the words. Today, as the first episode of Four Seasons of Summer begins to gain momentum, I feel passion renewed for my writing. It’s hard to describe the feeling, exactly. Many literary projects begin and end in the ether. Ideas are formed, but they never become more than an abstract concept. Worse still are the times when an attempt to bring cohesion to a concept results in its untimely death. On some occasions, the project comes alive and begins to almost take on a will of its own. I find that this is happening now with my latest project, and I’m loving it. I’m excited to write the tragic, exciting and – I hope – surprising conclusion to this semi-stand-alone episode. As always, it will never be good enough for my own inner critic. But it will be better than before…
15th July 2017 – Save the Best for Last
Well, I’m living in interesting times and everything I’ve predicted – and feared – is coming true. But at least today I can enjoy the world turning before it all collapses. I keep telling myself I’m shielded from the future by a sword I’ve yet to fully sharpen, though I’m wearing it out trying. Soon, it’s going to be all I have left. But at least I have hope.
Enjoying music today and some solitude as I work on Four Seasons of Summer.
13th June 2017 – Four Seasons of Summer
Some more story development on Four Seasons of Summer. Soon I hope to share some details. For now, just be patient. You can read and enjoy Blacker in the meantime.
11th June 2017 – Sunshine on a rainy day
I really like Grammarly, but I think it’s causing a few minor annoyances when I’m editing this site. I’m writing for a US audience, and Grammarly knows this. So it’s picking out mistakes in my English and that’s fine, but the way that Grammarly intercepts the input focus (where I type on the web page) can be frustrating. For example, if I’m in the middle of a text flow I might find that Grammarly jumps me back to the beginning of the paragraph, overtyping everything I have written. All because of a mistake it perceives I have made earlier on in my writing. Not that I don’t make mistakes. I just want to make the decision about when I’m going to put them right!
Okay, that’s my gripe over and done with. Now, on to the news. I’m close to finishing my rewrite of Beyond the Starport Adventure. I’m a lot happier with the changes I’ve made and, although the core story has not changed, the writing has been tightened up and improved a lot. If you’re impatient, you can get hold of Blacker, my hard science fiction novel.
11th June 2017 – The Batman
Mourning the death of Adam West today, best known (of course) for his role as Batman in the original and best TV series of the same name. Also enjoyed his performances very much in Family Guy.
10th June 2017 – Where does the time go?
June already. Jesus Christ, where does the time go? Well, it goes flying out the window if the past few weeks are anything to go by! I’ve been snowed under with work and progress on my literature is moving slowly. I’ve been considering a new project with a potential to become an episodic graphic novel. The working title is Four Seasons of Summer, a title I used for a novel I wrote in the early 1990s which has been lost to time and the ages. You can find out more about this project by visiting this site and checking on this blog. Meanwhile, all I have to share with you is my short review of Wonder Woman.
17th April 2017 – Glowing Like the Metal on the Edge of a Knife
Graphic novel project beginning soon. I’ve already got some great thoughts about the first few episodes and can’t wait to see them put into action. Rewrites of BTSA are still underway, though I’ll admit that I’ve stalled on a section. I need a character to do something but can’t figure out a way to make sense of his actions. There’s not been enough character development to make the incident believable. I guess I’ll have to keep thinking about it.
Blacker is live now on the Kindle store. Would love you to check it out and tell me your thoughts. Better still, leave me a review!
28th March 2017 – Chiquitita
Not the best of days. Everything collapsing at once, reminiscent of the finale of the movie The Phantom Menace; Qui-Gon is killed, the Gunganns are defeated, and the assault on the blockade ships is failing. Now I’m just waiting patiently for everything to turn around in my favor. Any minute now…
19th March 2017 – The People Around Here Don’t Look Right
Blacker has a new cover as you can see below. It’s not the direction I would have chosen, but I’m trusting in talented graphic designer Sylke Hamel that it will attract interest to the book.
I’m nearing the end of my Beyond the Starport Adventure rewrites and will soon be working on a few short stories before deciding which direction to take next with my writing.
7th March 2017 – There’s Promise in the Air
Watched LOGAN last night at the Odeon Kinnaird. A fantastically intense movie with an outstanding performance by Stephen Merchant. This was a movie I’d definitely recommend.
Blacker is for sale. If you’re interested you can find it here. I’m still waiting for the cover graphics to finish updating, but don’t let this distract you from the story.
19th February 2017 – The Serenity of Silence
Have enjoyed this “holiday”. The past week gave me a lot of time to focus on my writing. I’m pleased to see how I’ve improved since the beginning of my project. Now, years later, I finally think that it’s becoming something great.
Just finished re-inserting a segment I’d removed. I don’t want to give too much away about it, but it helps to build one of the characters and also tells us something about the aliens we’re dealing with. I was trimming the fat almost a year ago when I took the segment out, but I’m glad that it’s back in place and tidied up.
17th February 2017
So great that Friday is finally here. The day has been long but now it’s over. My robotic vacuum “Doofy” cleans the carpet and budgie chirps along with the birds I’ve put on the TV. I’ve begun the first of many, many Budweisers to see me through the night.
Still working on BTSA. Now on page 304 and fixing a few continuity problems. Very pleased with the result but there’s still a lot of work to do. I’m going to need readers soon. Again, if you’d like to be involved please drop me a line!
16th February 2017
I’ve done a lot of writing in this past month. As a writer, I guess that’s what it’s all about. I have to do the writing. I can’t just think about it. I have to actually get on with it. Well, that’s what I’ve been doing. Now I’m about 4 chapters from the end and the novel is much, much better than it ever was. I’m looking forward to seeing what my readers think of the revised version. If you’d like to get a preview copy for free, just let me know. You can drop me a line by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. If you want to read the book for free I can email it straight to your Amazon kindle!
8th January 2017 – Heading for Something, Somewhere I’ve Never Been
Continuing my BTSA rewrites. Today is my dad’s birthday. Sadly, he passed away in 2008. It doesn’t seem so long ago. To think that it’s almost been ten years is so strange. Happy birthday, dad, wherever you are.
3rd January 2017 – Running Silent and Angry and Deep
The third day of the year. So far, off to a great start. I’ve been writing every single day. In fact, I haven’t been doing all that much else. More important is the fact that my writing is getting better. I’m still working on rewriting Beyond The Starport Adventure and have now submitted sections of the prolog for beta review. The feedback has been incredibly useful. So today it’s all about the writing… again!
1st January 2017 – The Return to Innocence
Working hard today on BTSA rewrites and have decided to withdraw Blacker from the Kindle library. There are issues with BTSA that are present in Blacker also. So, in putting my best foot forward into 2017, I’ve decided to make Blacker as great as it can be. Stay tuned for more updates!
31st December 2016 – Onwards and Upwards
The year is drawing to a close. I’ve done more writing in 2016 that in any other year of my life. It’s a good feeling. Doofy has already cleaned the lounge and hallway. Peter has had breakfast with dad and we’re looking forward to a nice dog walk around 12.30. All the food for today and the new year is in the fridge or stuffed madly into the freezer. We’re all set for the onset of 2017.
I have a new sales blurb in place for Blacker. I was inspired by comments on my work from the forum I visit, AbsoluteWrite. Here’s hoping it attracts more interested readers to the novel. So far, the response to Blacker has been entirely lukewarm. I get comfort from the knowledge that a second, completed piece of work is available for criticism and – I hope – enjoyment. In the first month of 2017, I hope to finish rewrites to Beyond the Starport Adventure. I don’t intend to publish the book immediately. I’m going to let it sit whilst I put together a short story or two. I’ve decided that it will be easier to hone my writing skill and perfect my storytelling if my next story is a short one. It’s all exciting stuff. Apart from the fact that I have to return to my day job in January!
26th December 2016 – A Writer Writes, Always
A peaceful, wonderful, happy Christmas to you, whoever you are and wherever you are. Today its 9 am and budgie is still fast asleep. He stayed up late last night and didn’t go to bed until around midnight! Lilly dog is still lying in bed and so is Peter. I’m the only one awake – except for Doofy, our new robotic vacuum cleaner.
Am halfway through the corrections to Beyond the Starport Adventure. Soon I hope to have the book up for sale again. This morning, also, I amended some of the introductory text for Blacker. I decided to simplify things. Also, during this much-needed break, I’ve designed and implemented a new cover for Blacker. Here is it:
I’m quite pleased with the design, though my son tells me that he doesn’t like the font.
8th October 2016 – Suspended Animation, A State of Bliss
I’m checking and rewriting Beyond the Starport Adventure and soon will be working on The Third Place. BTSA was a learning project for me. Like so many such projects, I realize that it has merit beyond its actual original purpose. I truly believe that buried under the inconsistencies and grammatical errors, there lies an exciting and enjoyable story. Otherwise, I’d discard BTSA and the whole Bullet trilogy. But I keep working on it as I know it’s a good book. Or it can be.
I had another look at Blacker last night. Just a little flick through the pages. I was surprised at how good a read it is in comparison t BTSA. I really need to start thinking about finding a publisher for it.
17th September 2016 – Promises
I’ve been following breadcrumbs my whole life. Running round in circles. Seeking patterns where there are none and missing them when there are. I touch fingertips with strangers and look into eyes I’ve seen before. I connect, but the connections break. I never know why. I keep telling the same joke and nobody laughs. So I explain it and that makes it worse. The joke becomes a sad story. I’m tired of telling it.
How I envy the people who found their way through this treacherous, unwelcoming void. I’ve searched and struggled but I’ve only ever found ghosts and mirrors. I know I never will find what I’m looking for. Perhaps it doesn’t even exist. But I believe there’s something else out there. It’s somewhere beyond my dreams. Perhaps even beyond my imagination. Yet again I find myself yearning to discover it. To embark on another adventure. Right now I’m so tired. But I have miles to go before I sleep and, of course, promises to keep.
3rd September 2016 – Where Everybody Knows Your Name
I’m back at karate and it’s tough, but not as tough as I thought. I’m sure there’s worse to come once we start getting into the kicks and once my body finally realises how much its fallen out of shape in the year since I stopped training. But every training session brings me a little closer to my goal. Now, if I can just remember what that was…
Blacker and Beyond the Starport Adventure are performing well right now in the Kindle store. I’ve really got to get down to The Third Place this week and am going to make a point of starting it right now. So, another cup of coffee and we’re off….
21st August 2016 – The Third Place (Update!)
It’s been a quiet day. Nobody volunteered to do the front garden remains as it was before. I managed to put together more ideas for The Third Place and almost have the three acts planned out. Itching to begin writing, but I’d like to know how it ends before I begin the begin…
21st August 2016 – The Third Place
Very excited to announce that I’m beginning work on The Third Place today. Peter is mowing the lawns and, hopefully, I’ll be able to scrounge someone up to take care of the weeding. Today, it’s all about tying down the plot for my third novel. And this is my inspiration…
20th August 2016 – Away From the Things of Man
Blacker is finished. I’ve checked it and made a few corrections. It’s a solid enough piece of work to be read and, I hope, enjoyed by anyone with an interest in science fiction. Now I’m beginning work on a new science fiction novel that I’ve provisionally given the title The Third Place. Stay tuned for more details!
31st July 2016 – Black is the Colour
Pretty soon I might put together a promotional video for my latest novel, Blacker. This is going to be the background music…
30th July 2016 – The Blackest Black
Blacker is completed. I’m debating whether or not to self-publish this one or send it to a few publishers. Needs a little tidying, but if you’d like to be a beta reader just let me know.
22nd June 2016 – The Return to Innocence
I’m writing the penultimate chapter of Blacker. I know how it ends. My wife knows as does one of my friends. My wife has even read the first two chapters and has given it her elusive, provisional seal of approval.
Soon I’ll be reading, checking and editing the draft with a view to submitting it for publication. I’m not sure if I’ll self publish this one. I have a really good feeling about it, even if I know my third novel will be so much better.
Shortly I’ll be doing the writing for a graphic novel project. This is a collaboration with talented artist and graphic designer Sylke Hamel. I’m very excited about this project and hope to share sketches and rough work here as soon as we have something to work with.
2nd May 2016 – Writers are awesome …
We sure are. This music compilation will establish that, once you listen:
In other news, Blacker proceeds nicely. A new chapter evolved out of necessity. Now, we are well into the third act. I’m trying not to think of my next novel yet, but it will probably be the sequel to BTSA. I had a terrific dream last night that, at the time, I thought would make a fantastic story. But I can’t remember it right now. Hopefully, it will come back to me.
Beyond the Starport Adventure (Bullet, episode one) is now available in the Kobo store. I own and love my Kobo. You can find BTSA here: Beyond the Starport Adventure on Kobo.
23rd April 2016 – Hiding on the backstreets …
Haven’t been writing as much as I should. Am now into the second act of Blacker, but am encountering issues with the story itself. Can’t give too much away, but the second act has a hint of the mundane that I need to rectify before it’s too late. But I’ve got some ideas in progress for injecting more adventure whilst remaining faithful to the original storyline. So the work continues.
New cover for BTSA uploaded. I’m still not happy with it and am rendering a new cover as I type this. Will share it as soon as its ready.
16th April 2016 – Those beautiful days, when there was no money…
Blacker is still going strong. I’ve had to revise the story a little, but the general premise remains the same. Meanwhile, in the face of real-life dilemmas I’m rediscovering the beauty of lost music. I’ve added a few more songs to My Music. It will be interesting to look back on the selections once I reach the end of my current project, Blacker.
So today is a difficult day. Real world problems interfere with the writing. But the real world can’t be ignored. After all, it’s unavoidable…
6th April 2016 – We are fading out. We are shooting stars…
Another day. The sunshine finally prevails. My novel’s reached an exciting point and I’m almost bursting to write. I’m fueled on by the knowledge that right now Beyond the Starport Adventure is being read by not one but two professional authors and publishers. I’m becoming more and more super-critical of BTSA, but I don’t care if it falls on its face. It’s out there now and I’m out there. I don’t worry that my stories will not be interesting enough. I’ve often marvelled as, just as I’m about to complete a project, a similar and popular book appears with the same idea as mine. I just need to hone my skills as a writer and the only way to do that is to write. So that’s why I’m writing this. I’m sharpening my pencil before I begin my work. And I like my pencil’s pretty close to cutting right through the page.
5th April 2016 – Anything could happen…
Now 30,000 words into Blacker. I’d projected a word count of 60,000 but now its beginning to look more like 100,000. That’s about the length of The Hobbit or To Kill a Mockingbird. My next project is going to be Bullet, the second book in The Bullet series.
Saw Zootopia last night. I’d have preferred to have seen Batman Versus Superman a second time, or maybe even 10 Cloverfield Lane a second time. But Peter wanted to see Zootopia and I’m glad we went. Got the tickets for free thanks to my Premier card, but the snacks more than made up for that! A really great movie. You can read my online review here.
I’m looking forward to a quiet day and a quieter day tomorrow. I have a new cooker arriving so the kitchen will be getting prepared for its arrival today. I’m determined to do a lot more cooking in 2016 and the best way to approach that is with a cooker that actually works. So look out for a recipes section soon. I’ve got a few classics that I’ll be sharing soon, complete with photographs. Once the new cooker’s in place it will be safe to post photos. But until then I dare not do so or the health inspectors would be round!
2nd April 2016 – Pick up a brochure about the sun…
4 hours of relaxing classical music. A nice cup of instant coffee. My dog is fed and the cat I’m looking after has had breakfast too. I scattered a few treats around its home in an effort to make its day a little more interesting. Yesterday, I did the same thing and today it had found and consumed them all.
Last night, I finished Chapter Six of Blacker. I also discovered a TV show that has sort of the same basic idea, but the more I watched the more I realised that there was enough of a distinction between my story and this sudden impostor not to kill my writing spirit. This morning I pushed forward into Chapter Seven. According to my rough plan, there are seventeen chapters. But there will probably be less than that as some of the chapters in my excel spreadsheet haven’t been fully fleshed out and may disappear or blend into others.
I’m still not sure what I’ll do next, but looking into BTSA again is a possibility. I think I’d like to rewrite some of it before continuing the trilogy. Bullet is the next episode in the series, but its not the only story I’ve got itching to get out of me. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see how Blacker is received in comparison to BTSA. But whatever happens, its going to be interesting.
28th March 2016 – Yellow eyes, the spotlights of the city nights…
Turned up at my customer this morning. When I arrived, she invited me in and told me she was still getting dressed. She had a robe or something, obviously.
“Just look at the laptop. I’ll be right there.”
So I look at the laptop. Can’t find anything wrong. Customer gets dressed in less than 1 minute. Must be some kind of superpower. Anyway, she comes back and I tell her:
“I can’t find anything wrong.”
“Oh,” she says, “There’s nothing wrong.”
“Oh,” I say. I’m wondering what to say next.
“I was just going to ask what you were doing here. I didn’t call you out!”
Turned out I have another customer with same name 20 miles away. I apologize and make my exit, texting the actual customer and telling her I’m running late.
Plus side was that a. I found a parking space in NB high street and b. Actual customer made me redbush tea.
In further news…
I just made it home. The six Tiger beers I bought at Tescos were secured in the boot like six incredibly tasty unexploded bombs. But this time, I made it home without losing any of them. Maybe the cap design has improved. Maybe I was a little bit more careful. But tonight, as I look forward to The Walking Dead, I’ve got a couple of beers to enjoy and a bunch in reserve.
I’m into the second act of Blacker now.The whole story is planned out, which is something I’ve never accomplished before as an author. Its probably why so many projects I started just fell apart. But Blacker has three acts and a pretty interesting story. Whether or not the main character will be identifiable remains to be seen. But I’ve got to write this one before it explodes out of me. Next, I’ll work on the sequel to Beyond the Starport Adventure.
I saw Batman V Superman last night. It’s definitely a movie you need to see with someone. There’s just so much to talk about afterwards. I’m putting together a spoiler free review right now and its really tough not to spill the beans. But if you were wondering if you should go and see it, I would say definitely. You’ll find my spoiler free reviews on the right. I could link to it here but how lazy are you? Oh alright, here it is.
26th March 2016 – Happy Holidays…
It’s 9am Saturday morning. I feel that there’s so much to do, but I don’t want to do any of it. But I will, in just a while. My latest novel, Blacker, has been fleshed out much more. I’ve updated my synopsis and am pleased with how the story looks. There are still a few loose ends to tie up, but in all I think it’s going to be a pretty intense read.
I’ve got the first couple of chapters online here and, although I’ve since made some amendments, they are largely the same as the current version I’m working on. After taking care of my morning duties, I might print off the pages and have a proper look at how it reads. But if you want to take a look you are free to do so.
As for the rest of the week? Nothing much more is going on. A few home improvements planned, but I’m not going to be working too hard. Back to work on Monday, but in a limited capacity. This week I’m trying to take things a little easier.
New cover for Beyond the Starport Adventure is online and I’m trying it out for a month. You can see BTSA in the Kindle store here.
22nd March 2016 – Sunshine, lollipops and rainbows…
Spring has arrived. In fact, its so warm outside this morning that it would seem we’ve almost skipped spring completely. But of course that’s not true. The wasps and the bees haven’t quite realised that their time has come. Only a few lonely butterflies have been sighted so far, but more will follow. Soon the garden will flourish once more. This year, I hope to be a part of its growth as opposed to a guilty bystander watching its gradual self destruction.
Back to work this morning. Dentist yesterday. I actually enjoyed it. I don’t have confidence in many things or people, but John Davidson is someone I have confidence in. There was a time when seeing him would have filled me with dread, but not anymore. I don’t think my phobia is cured. I don’t think it ever will be. But I managed to work right up to the point that we left for Edinburgh and that’s an improvement over previous years. So the visit is over and I go back in a fortnight for a repair and a clean. I’m almost looking forward to it. Almost.
19th March 2016 – You have got to be kidding me…
I saw 10 Cloverfield Lane. Definitely a great movie worth seeing. You can read my thoughts about it here. I also added a Spoiler Free Movie Reviews Section. Perhaps unsurprisingly, this section will include spoiler free reviews for movies I see at the cinema. The clue was in the name, of course.
In other news, I’m working on re-engineering the cover for BTSA as I’m still not 100% satisfied with it. I’ve been working on improving the text, as the current live cover could be improved. More news on that as it happens. Blacker is coming along nicely, but I haven’t quite tied down the third act yet. I’ve got a nice hot bath warming up and once I dissolve my remaining “Christmas Olaf” bath salts into the bath I’ll just lay back and think about what the hell happens after… oh well, I don’t want to spoil it for you…
Finally got round to watching the final Hunger Games movie. Have to say that I found myself skipping forward to the favourite moments I’d enjoyed in the book. Even then, I found it hard work. But I loved the books.
16th March 2016 – It’s Only Words
Work on my second novel Blacker continues. I’m about 20,000 words in and the projected length of is something in the region of 80,000 to 100,000. I’m enjoying the simplicity and intimacy of Blacker compared to managing the Bullet trilogy’s ensemble cast. I don’t want to give too much away about Blacker, but we’re looking at this story through a very specific lens.
Just released a new edit of BTSA. Available on Amazon Kindle by clicking here.
25th February 2016 – The Blackest Black
Right now I’m working on Blacker, a science fiction novel set Scotland. Blacker will be a much shorter book than Beyond the Starport Adventure at around 60,000 to 80,0000 words. It’s more character driven than the Bullet trilogy too, focusing on the exploits of a single and unusual protagonist. I’m hoping to complete Blacker before the summertime.