Sunday, 27 April 2008

Another Day, Another Adjective

Well, the weekend is almost over, thank god.

The Earworm Turns is almost finished, I think. I haven't been in the best of moods the past few days so it's hard to say. I think it's come out quite well, a few little bits might still need changing I think it's just my black mood stopping me from seeing the story and it's faults clearly.

So, I'm going to put it to one side and look at it again next weekend. I should hopefully be in a better mood by then, it's more a case of bruised ego rather than a shattered one so a week of work and a couple of nights out should wash the bitter taste of this weekend from my mouth.

Printing off Act Two as I'm blogging. Again, I should be excited about going back to work on it. I was on Thursday, but the mood I'm in now is clouding that.

Right, what I need now is to go downstairs, have something nice to eat, watch some good telly, play a good game, have a nice chat with someone who thinks I'm a good guy and generally start to recover.

Oh, and watch the clock tick down closer to the release of GTA4.

Thanks, as ever, for taking the time to read this.

Sunday, 20 April 2008

A Weekend of Two Halves

I'm completely shattered.

Camden Crawl was a real blast and I had a really good time running around seeing bands, celeb spotting, drinking, dancing and laughing with a good crowd of friends.

Managed to get some writing done. The redrafting of Earworm is going very well and I should hopefully manage to finish it by next week.

I received two rejections from magazines this weekend. Here's the first:

Dear Mr Freeman,

Thank you for submitting "RWBW" but I'm afraid I'm going to pass on it. This tale didn't grab my interest, I'm afraid. Good luck to you with this one, and thanks for sending it our way.


Fantasy and Science Fiction

A bit harshly worded I'm sure you would agree but this was word for word the same as their last rejection so it sounds like their standard message.

Here's the second one:

Dear Graeme,

Many thanks for submitting 'Of The Father' for consideration by The Future Fire. We enjoyed this story very much, but have regretfully decided not to take it for publication.

Although this is a very moving, convincing, and well-crafted horror story with an ominous and poignant twist developing gradually (rather than slapping the reader in the face at the end as many cheap and patronising stories do), ultimately it is not quite in the social/political vein that we are looking for in The Future Fire at the moment. This is not a criticism of the story, and we hope very much that you will consider sending us more of your work in the future, as I strongly suspect we will find something appropriate that we can use one day.

Many thanks again, and hope to hear from you again.


The Future Fire

Much more encouraging. I read this one over a few times. So what now? Easy. RWBW will go to Future Fire (once I've double-checked their submission requirements) and Murky Depths have started asking for stories up to 10,000 words long so I'll send Of the Father to them. Brilliant.

Back to work.

Thursday, 17 April 2008

Back Behind the Laptop

And I'm back from a lovely trip to Singapore. Feel quite strung out at the moment from jetlag but that'll pass and I've had a quiet day to recuperate before I go to the Camden Crawl festival tomorrow.

I saw lots of nice things, enjoyed the nice weather and friendly people and read a couple of nice books. I read Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill on the plane. I really enjoyed it, I found it a good story and thought it a very competent first novel, I'd like to think it was written around the standard I'm writing now, it may be I'm talking arse but it was encouraging and I'll definitely get the second book Twentieth Century Ghosts to see in what ways he's improved between writing the two.

Like I said I did a little work on the plane there and back on some short stories, I got my Mum to read them and tell me what she thought, summarised below [my thoughts in these brackets]:

The Red Samaritan: Interesting, felt sorry for the main character, didn't quite get the world they were in though and didn't quite get the ending.

[I need to change the tense from past to present, the general idea is good, needs a good work through to add details to bring it to life and bring it up to my current standards. I'm glad Mum liked the main character because I wasn't so sure, I need to make the secondary character more interesting. I've been too subtle with the 'plot twist' and need to explain some things a bit more blatantly].

Do All Prey Dream?: [I've been worrying about this one. When I read it through I could barely find a thing wrong with it. This made me very suspicious. it has to be wrong, I said to myself, it has to be. My Mum's thoughts can be put in the following conversation]

Me: So, what did you think?
Mum: It was alright. It was a bit sick in places, like he had a thing for his wife.
Me: He was sick, he did have a thing for his wife, that was the point.
Mum: Oh.

Later she went on to say she liked the way I did one scene and thought the perversion parts needed to be embellished and needed a slower build. I agree with her unreservedly.

Earworm: My Mum loves this one. [I don't think it's my best but I've decided to single this one out for finishing. A few changes to scenes, a few details added and embellished and I could hopefully have it ready within a week. Possibly the first that might get picked up, it certainly appeals to a wider audience, I reckon.].

So that's it. I'll have to go back to the other two at a later date.

Mum and Rob have started reading Act One (so they tell me). I'm glad I've given it to them, since I have I've started to argue with them in my head, thinking on what points they could raise and whether or not I agree with them. It's raised a couple of small issues from my subconscious that I need to work on but nothing big, we'll just have to see what they actually say, hopefully some very useful things.

Right. Back to work. When I got back I was so glad to be properly writing with everything I need to work on these projects I almost cried. It's so, so good to be writing again. The holiday was a good chance to recharge and taught me a couple of important things.

a) I absolutely love writing and couldn't be me without it
b) but it's ok to have a break from it every now and again.

Sunday, 13 April 2008

Live from Singapore

A very quick post.

I'm in Singapore.

It's mostly made of shopping malls and Starbucks. Will make a proper post on my return.

Saturday, 5 April 2008

Feeling Strangely Fine

I think Act One is nearly done. Yes, I've said that many times before but this time I mean in (no, really, really).

Today I just have to add some final details to a couple of scenes I don't think are quite done and then tomorrow I'm going to read it all through and hopefully declare it 'good enough for the time being' and then I'll return to it in a few months after I've finished with Acts Two and Three.

So hopefully on Sunday afternoon / evening I'll be able to email the results to my copy-editor Judith (more commonly known as Mum) and my all-round reader and criticiser Rob (poet extraordinaire, who was nice enough to sign a copy of that book he's in New Writing from the Royal Holloway Creative Writing Programme Bedford Square 3. Foreword by Andrew Motion). Hopefully they shall read it and find it good and I can get on with Act Two.

I'll be taking a little time off, of course, I'm off to Singapore for a week. I'll take some of my half-completed short stories with me to see if I can finish them off (titles: Do All Prey Dream?, Earworm and The Red Samaritan). That means when I do finish the novel I'll have a bit of a cleaner slate to start on some new projects.

Also have to be sure to print off another copy of RWBW to send to F&SF Magazine before I go.

Right, back to work. I'm feeling a bit groggy today, I think someone spiked my drink at The Roxy last night. But that's another story all together.