Dog Walking and Damage Time

It’s been a day for remembering things almost too late.

I intended to post a chapter or two from Damage Time on the blog, and as we were walking Alice along the seafront at Clevedon, I slapped my hand to my forehead in best Homer Simpson fashion as I thought of it. Fortunately we got home at a reasonable hour, so here‘s Chapter 2. It’s short enough to be squeezable in at Suite101, unlike most of them — so why not scatter chapters across the cyberverse in best Hansel and Gretel mode?

But before that, I’d had another doh! moment as I went to clip Alice’s lead on her collar, only to realize with a sinking feeling, that she didn’t have her collar on…so faced with a choice of a fifteen-mile return journey to fetch it, or some lateral thinking, we turned her lead into an impromptu choke-er, string.

It seems that the amnesia running through the novel may be catching. Or perhaps the novel is my way of coming to terms with my Emmenthal-like memory.

Chapter 3 is here, by the way.

• April 8th, 2010 • Posted in General • Comments: 0

Off To Eastercon

If he’s running to time, Gareth will be here in 30-40 minutes, and then we’ll be off to not-so-sunny Heathrow for the madness that is Eastercon, held again in the Hotel Non-Euclidean, aka the Radisson (people who’ve stayed there and emerged will understand the reference).

Details of the programme are at Suite101.

Hopefully the onslaught of spam (about 100 spam posts a day) will abate while I’m away — touch wood, they seem to have slackened off already.

• April 2nd, 2010 • Posted in General • Comments: 0

Different Markets?

A lot of what I’ve been writing lately is intended less as Words of Wisdom than as the electronic equivalent of me thinking aloud. This has the benefit of enabling me to argue with myself as I grope toward understanding of the genre I work in. The latest musing is just how separate (or inter-connected) the short fiction and novel markets are.

• March 30th, 2010 • Posted in General • Comments: 0

Lavie Tidhar’s The Bookman, Reviewed

After a couple of recent ventures into Children’s Lit I’ve gone back to genre, with a review of Lavie Tidhar’s wonderful The Bookman at Suite101.

• March 28th, 2010 • Posted in General • Comments: 0

Goggle Eyes & Page Updates

Those of you on Facebook, LJ and other fora may have noticed updates for some of my book pages on the website yesterday. They were generated by my adding links to The Book Depository.

Partly this is to generate a little additional revenue, since I get a 5% commission where customers buy through the link –as well as royalties– but partly it’s also a little dig at Amazon. I missed a trick in that I’m not an Amazon affiliate, so any time you click on the ‘buy from Amazon’ link, I got the royalty on sales of new titles, but no commission.

However, I’ve held back at becoming an associate. I’m sure I’m not the only author tired of their recent bully-boy tactics; in removing the ‘buy buttons’ from our titles as a negotiating tactic with our publishers, it smacks of the way totalitarian regimes have parked their tanks alongside neighbours’ borders over the course of the last century or so prior to making demands or invading. 

So this is my little protest. It won’t amount to a hill of beans, but it makes me feel better.

Oh, and today’s review is Anne Fine’s classic Goggle Eyes, or The War Against Goggle Eyes as it was published in the USA. Part of my new reading regime….

• March 27th, 2010 • Posted in General • Comments: 0

More on Space — and now, Prose

As often happens when I write blog posts, they have a habit of growing beanstalk-like, from small seeds to vast behemoths that block out the sun.

This second part on the differences arising from the different lengths takes up a post to itself. Of course, there are some who might say I need to practice honing my prose, but hey, I’m a novelist — I like to hold up each point and look at it from every side…

• March 25th, 2010 • Posted in General • Comments: 0

Novel Writing vs Short Story Writing

Today’s post at Suite101 is the -with hindsight– rather clunkily titled* ‘Making the change from short stories to novels’ which is actually more about putting to bed one of the recurring myths of SF, that writing short stories is a step on the ladder to writing novels. It was inspired by some excellent research by writer  Jim C Hines on the subject of first novel sales.  Research that’s well worth checking out.

* Sadly, however, by the time I’d read the title aloud and realized how clunky it was, it was too late to change it without scrapping the whole post.  And isn’t one of the joys of blogging supposed to be that it’s spontaneous? Clunky titles and all!

• March 19th, 2010 • Posted in General • Comments: 8

Counting Weeks

As I observed over at Suite101, there is a certain degree of smugness in the air at Newton Park. Everyone’s turned in their assignments and the Easter holidays are looming. But my poetry tutor had to go and burst the bubble yesterday with a sharp verbal pinprick that didn’t immediately register…more here.

• March 18th, 2010 • Posted in General • Comments: 0

Bad Buys

In which Our Blogger realizes that that blasted netbook which he’s in danger of obsessing about, is not the first bit of kit to give him grief. More about that here. Perhaps the manufacturers have a cunning plan, methinks…

• March 9th, 2010 • Posted in General • Comments: 0

Back From Dublin

The clock is headed toward midday as I write this, and I’ve only been in for about half an hour! I was up at 5.30 this morning, which is no earlier than any other day, but it already seems to have gone on forever. It’s all about the travelling. And in about three hours I’ll be heading for my Scriptwriting Seminar at Uni, so I’d better turn my thoughts toward that.

But before I do, I’ve posted more about P-Con over at Suite.

• March 8th, 2010 • Posted in General • Comments: 0