Mar 19

Drabble Day: Short

“How can the lights have just gone off like that?” Bannen asked.

“It’s a short,” Lea announced, “Problem with the phases I expect.”

Bannen held the lit torch under his chin and shot her a look.

“I know what caused it, its just…”

“I know”, Lea sighed, letting her gaze fall to the floor “the timing sucks. We were so close.”

Bannen aimed the torch down and illuminated the twitching half corpse that used to be their friend Rolph. His body had been split vertically down the middle.

Forty years ago, someone would stumble across the other half and scream.


Drabble Day is a weekly challenge to create a 100 word story using a specific prompt. It is run weekly over at Aheïla‘s website,

The Writeaholic’s Blog

. This week’s prompt is





Feb 22

What of other projects?

I’d like to say I stayed away from updating the site in January because I purposefully steer clear of posting New Years Resolutions, but I can’t.  However, there was a positive reason for not updating, and that was because I was working on a few other projects. As I alluded in Wednesday’s post I was pulling together sketch ideas for the Hope Town series and also working on a children’s book idea I had had at the end of last year.

Now of course, my focus is on Doors, but I still intend to continue with other projects so that if I do hit a wall with Doors, I can switch to something else. Each of these does mean something to me, so I’m going to replace last year’s To-Do list created for one of the projects, to capture progress on all of them.

Here’s the list of things that I’m currently working on (in alphabetical order) and hopefully some will see the light of day this year.

60 Stories Small – a collection of drabble with commentary and some illustrations (review and self publish)

Am/Dram – a novel about intrigue and murder within a local Amateur Dramatic society (2nd draft)

Doors – a novel about the adventures of a remarkable woman and her niece and nephew

Hope Town – a darkly comedic television series (sketch ideas)

My Neighbour the Evil Genius – children’s book about an evil genius and his family who move in next door

Portmanteau – an anthology novel based on the 70s British horror films

‘Tec – a novel about three people who set up their own detective agency (2nd draft)


That should be enough to be going on with.

I’ll post updates once a month.

Feb 21


At the moment, the main antagonist of the story isn’t going to appear much in the book.

I’m not quite sure how well that’ll work, but its an idea which intrigues me and that is reason enough for me to play around with the idea.

Of course, one of the reasons for doing this is to ensure the life of the main characters and make this a multi-book  journey but at the same time I know that if this story works, it needs to work on its own. There can be threads that are left unresolved at the end, but my intention is for those not to detract from the novel itself.

So, a self contained story that could form part of a multi-book narrative, but where the main character’s nemesis doesn’t really appear that much.

Piece of cake.

Feb 20

Excited again

For the past month or so I’ve been working on a few projects, adding bits here to ensure I kept moving forward. There was a little research, some sketch ideas for the HopeTown show and even some writing on a project for a children’s book that I had started last year. Overall nothing major, but enough to keep a focus on the creative process.

Then at the weekend, I new idea popped into my head. When I say new, it wasn’t entirely new in that it was a way to create a character I had wanted to create for a good few years. So, when I was having a shower I thought about how to create such a character and her hook hit me right away, quickly followed by a name which is something that is usually a struggle for me.

Since then, I’ve written the synopsis, created five of the supporting characters and started on the outline and chapter breakdowns. This morning, walking to work, I thought up the climatic scene and its been transcribed.

Yes, I’m excited again and really want to make this one work.

Oh, and it has a title.



Jul 11

60 Days. Day 5.

Last night I tried to work on the cover again. Its coming along and I know what I want to do, its just making it happen that’s the difficult bit. I want it to be simple, but to catch the eye as well. There are lots of good examples out there of some classic novels and while the content will never attain such heights, I’d like the cover to be something that grabs.

Talk about setting myself up for a fall.

I’ve also been cracking on with writing the commentaries for the stories and I have to say I’m having more fun than I thought I would. The whole point of this piece is to provide some insight into the inspiration or thought process – if any – that went into producing each of these tales. As it stands, some of them are very insightful and some are a little strange in themselves.

As an example, here is my commentary on Together

Love. Is it a fundamental force that holds the universe together?

No of course not. Gravity; that’s a fundamental force. Love is strong though, and romance underpins Love. Without romance, Love is just a word that we use far too often; usually in cards.

Together is all about romance. Honestly, read it again. There are whispers of dedication; breaths wrapping desire; moans of contentment and pleasure. And the word Bliss. You can’t use bliss without there being romance surely?

Yes, there is a different consummation at play than you would normally associate with romance, but is it really all that different? In both cases, you give yourself to someone completely don’t you? Look at romance in the insect world if you don’t agree.

It also strikes me that a lot of these stories where horrors – sorry, romantic gestures – are perpetrated, it’s the female who is doing the do. I don’t know if you can call that progress, can you?

Of course, this also means I’ve updated the doing the do list to the right. Progress, dontcha just love it?

Jul 09

Missing Pages

Don’t worry, I haven’t misplaced valuable writing material; rather I’ve found that the site has pages missing. If I click on any of the menu items other than About, I get pretty blank pages.

Of course, that could all be a metaphor for writers block, but I know something should be there and I’ve just not reworked it in since I changed them.

In the past this revelation would have led to me charging in and spending an inordinate amount of time playing with the site until I plugged said gaps, all of which would have taken me away from the writing.

Not this time, no. This time, I’ll remove the pages and come back later.


That wasn’t so hard now was it?

Jul 09

60 Days. Part 4

So, four weeks in and the story so far?

Well, mixed at best. I at least know when the 60 days are supposed to end, and so I have my deadline of 10th August. I have also found a nice widget to compile my to-do-list (or as I am want to call it, my doing the do list) and that should be over on the right hand side somewhere. It handily shows the deadline for each task and the progress against it.

On the plus side, I haven’t missed any deadlines as yet. That is because I only put the dates around each item today, so I would be foolish to put one in the past.

You will also see that I’ve set up the project on Createspace and I have my ISBN so it’ll happen. We’ll get into the whole price point discussion in a later post. Probably once I understand it myself.

Now that all the good points have been exhausted, all that remains are the dos that I haven’t done much doing with. At least now I can see that I’ve got to get a move on and get the previously written drabbles re-read (12th of this month) and if I dovetail that with writing up the commentary then I have end of July to have everything ready to upload.

32 days to go. It’s all getting rather exciting


Jun 19

60 Days. Part 3

As is my want, I had a bit of a dabble with the cover over the past day or so. Its coming along, and my plan is to keep it simple. Of course, there needs to be a balance with it being at least a little enticing. It’ll take a bit of time, but I’ve probably done enough for the moment and know that its time now to move onto the meat.

The document is taking shape, and the bonus is that I have found that there are 56 stories rather than 53. Which means I only need to write 4 more to make up the 60. Target for that is end of this week.

As I have been reading through the existing stories I’ve started to write a few notes around the accompanying pieces. That itself is taking an interesting turn as some of the underlying insprirations for the stories go back to my own life experiences, when I dig around a little bit. All of them give me a smile though, so thats good.

The drawing piece will take more time, and while I’ve not really ticked anything off the list at least there’s progress.


Jun 13

60 Days. Part 2

Yesterday’s post was short and hopefully sweet. Expect the same level of brevity as we chug along the bumpy road to the publication of “60 Stories Small”. This isn’t because I’m being snippy or anything like that, more that while I want to document the process and share with you all, I really need to focus on doing the do.

This post then is to list the doing the do items. I’ll reprint on a weekly basis and tick off as we progress.

Doing The Do List

  • Write 7 new stories
  • Re-read all current stories to review/proof
  • Write commentary around a number of the stories
  • Create sketches for a smaller number of the stories
  • Design the cover
  • Create project on Createspace
  • Upload cover
  • Collate and format content
  • Upload content
  • Review/proof project
  • Press button
  • Stand back

Jun 12

60 Days. Part 1

I’ve been away for a while. I would say under the spell of Lord Procrastination, but really its because I’ve not had anything useful to say and by extension, nothing to update here.

However, its time for another sustained assault at this writing lark, so allow me to introduce you to 60 Days which will chronicle (probably not daily) my challenge to self publish “60 Stories Small”.

More later, and hopefully you’ll join me for the ride. It’s much better to do this with friends.

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