A literary vacation

On Sunday I go off to Spain for 13 days of sun. I have a house to myself, along with plenty of time, and although I’ll be doing my day job during the days, what I’ll be doing for the most part will be writing – lots and lots of writing.

I’ve set myself an adequate daily word count of 2,500 words a day (after which I’ll allow myself to call it a day and hit the local town for tapas and Spanish beer). I’m hoping that the 30,000 plus words that I’ll create will be enough to finish off The Glasgow Grin, which is already 11k in.

A few people have been wondering where the sequel to The Hunters is. Well, in all honesty, it has been delayed by issues I have had with my short story collection The Greatest Show in Town. I occasionally go through periods where if I look at something for too long I start to see nothing but flaws. This is what has happened with my short story collection. Stories that I liked when I first wrote them have been deconstructed and put back together and, in some cases, expunged from the collection altogether. I’m ‘just about there’ with TGSIT but I’m still fiddling, which means that ‘just about there’ is probably a synonym for ‘nowhere near being finished yet’!

My tendency to sometimes fiddle and fuss and fret had affected my writing rather badly in this case. It stressed me out to such a degree that I stopped writing for a while and concentrated on reading and reviewing on my blog. It then took a while to get back into the flow of things, and get my creative juices flowing again.

However I recently started and finished a first draft of a Stanton brothers’ novella, Bone Breakers. It is set before the events in The Hunters and is third person rather than first person. Once I’ve got the first draft of The Glasgow Grin out of the way, I will edit Bone Breakers and have it on sale before the end of the year. It doesn’t need much rewriting – considering that IMO it’s the tightest thing I’ve ever written, and is as lean as they come.

I figured it was only polite to let my three readers know that I’m still writing and haven’t forgotten about the fact that they might wish to see The Hunters’ sequel sometime in the near future!

Deadline missed – director’s cut

They say you should never change more than one aspect of your life at any one time, or at the most two: job, relationship, home; they should be changed sparingly, otherwise your stress levels will go off the scale.

Well, I’ve changed all three in the space of a fortnight.

Me and my girlfriend decided to end our relationship after three years together for reasons I won’t go into on this blog (’cause it ain’t nobody’s business but ours). I made a big thing of travelling with her to south-east Asia in a few posts on here and had put in my notice at work (a post I’ve been in for over five years). But I realised, once the relationship had ended, that the only reason I was undertaking this big trip was because of our relationship and not because I wanted a four month trip. Although it’s amicable and we’re friends, I knew that a big trip to south-east Asia wasn’t for me, because I felt it wasn’t the right time and I wasn’t in the right frame of mind. So I decided to try and retract my resignation.

Unfortunately for me, the organisation I work for decided to have a recruitment freeze on exactly the same day that I put in for a retraction. Obviously my retraction was denied. There’s nothing I can do about this – I either whine about it or accept it. I have chosen to accept it.

Then there’s the little matter of having nowhere to live. Me and my girlfriend decided to put in our notice on the lovely flat we lived in near Highgate once we made plans to go travelling. When I changed my mind I was left without a place to live. Well, I do have a place to live, but it isn’t London. It’s in Spain, where my parents have a holiday home, and that’s probably what I’ll be calling home for the next few weeks/months.

This is all a long-winded way of saying that I’ve missed my deadline.

I’ve had so much other stuff going on in my life that editing and correcting has been pushed to one side temporarily – at least until I can get a few moments of stability in my life.

Writing thrives on chaos, but my experience with The Gamblers tells me that editing works best with solitude, silence and stability. Spain will give me that, along with other benefits.

In addition to editing The Hunters and finalising the first draft of my second novel I intend to freelance as a graphic designer – specialising in covers and eBook layouts for self-published authors. But I won’t go into that here and now, because this is a post about missed deadlines.

The Hunters will now be released on Monday December 5, along with a short story collection called either The Beautiful Game or The Greatest Show in Town. Five of the stories feature the Stanton brothers, who will be the main focus of my work over the next year or so, but there are a few others in there too.

The December date gives me adequate time to edit, correct and create the eBook and cover (I do all this myself – one of the benefits of being a crayon-monkey, I guess) and not feel like I’m rushing like crazy. The last thing I want to do is write something I think works nicely and ruin it with a cack-handed editing job. I have enough self-respect and respect for my readers not to release something that is blatantly unfinished. So I’ll take my time and get it right.

December is also the perfect month to release new pieces of work. Santa’s bringing kids of all ages new Kindles, which if I do a decent marketing push gives my work a fair chance of making its way on to at least a few of them.

I apologise to those that expected to see The Hunters on October 1. Had things gone as planned that would have been the case. But, alas, things didn’t go as planned and I’m trying to deal with the situation as smoothly as I can.

But I WILL hit the December deadline, folks. You heard it here first, The Hunters goes on sale December 5 on Amazon for 99p and $0.99.