Fantasy Music

January 7th, 2017

I found this 2 hr collection of fantasy music great to write to. It helps me to imagine I am in a film whilst writing :)

New Year… er same old story?

January 1st, 2017

Another year has passed and I still don’t really have anything finished for The Punk’s Universe other than a few flash fictions and short stories (to be fair there is actually quiet a lot of these which can be read on Magenta Monster under the category The Punk’s World). In 2019 I will have been writing these stories for a decade – well that was one beginning – another was when I was in year 8 at school – I think I’d already turned 13 but maybe not as I remember dictating bits of it to my dad who wrote it down because I was too slow/dyslexic to manage that myself and the ideas were brimming over.

So it’s been a long time in the fermentation and I know I say it every year but I do really want to get a move on and get some of this out there properly :)

However I am also not going to rush things! In fact what I am going to do is use the ten year anniversary of my first National Novel Writing Month as the deadline and the wait date.

I have some plans but they are still in the formative stages at the moment :)

So here’s to a happy writing year :)

Nano 2016 week 2

November 17th, 2016

Well I was doing really well and then the US elections happened and bam!!! No writing.

Reasons for this are multiple.

a) I ended up writing lots of political poems, essays and so on and then went and performed them and ended up being swept up in the poetry world again.

b) It was pretty terrifying watching my US friends suffering – and truly they have been mainly through verbal abuse so far but the racist and sexist abuse is there. And even here in the UK it has restirred the not yet settled Brexit stuff.

c) Our rabbits got sick and died – I spent a week nursing one of them and was pretty upset as they were not yet a year old.

d) There were events like my kid being in a musical, Remembrance Sunday and friend visiting etc…

But… the main issue is actually e)

e) I am writing a complex hidden/alternative history series where the premiss is that we are not the first people but none the less our observable history is the same as the ones I write about though there are hidden things like super tech and steam punk victorian space bases.

The point at which it splits from our time line was near future – the near future stuff is what I am currently writing. The big things where that the UK split from Europe marking the beginning of it collapsing/turning into something else and the US voting in a white supremicist puppet as president in reaction to the catastrophies of climate change and collapsing economics etc…

The consequences of these happenings are quiet server in my novels resulting in plagues, super corps running things, slavery of various types and an acceleration of global warming, famines and so on. Super prisons, flooding, people ending up living on boats and nukes.

But the small stuff I’ve already written was a little too close to stuff that has already happened. After Brexist I had people actually say to me that perhaps I should stop writing incase I’m making it happen – kind of in jest – mostly in jest but only mostly.

And no I don’t think I’m making it happen but I kind of think I’ve extrapolated the data and made predictions and they’ve basically been right. This realisation has has two affects on me 1) I am actually scared with what I am seeing, yesterday there was a violent attack on a man down by the hospital over skin colour – he’s ok but none the less it drew blood and he had his little girl with him. And I kind of don’t really want to be thinking on worse case senarios (of which my books are not the worse iteration) and 2) I feel I have waited too long and missed the window when your near future stuff becomes the now you’ve taken too long to write it :(

Obviously these are still non-reasons to stop writing, if my stuff mirrors the real world then so be it – maybe people can learn from them – maybe my books will be on the banned list? (lets hope not!). So I have decided enough is enough and I have to start writing again – so I procrastinated by writing a blog post on why I haven’t been writing but this brain dump was needed to clear the air so I can get on with the story.

In the down time I have been doing some research as well in the form of watching documentaries etc…

Week 1 – NaNo 16

November 7th, 2016

Week 1 is done and as I have been saying to nanoing friends – I’m finding it hard to work out word counts as some is written in long hand, some is dictated on the phone, some is on blogs and some is in files on the laptop.

So unlike previous years I am trying to not care about the word count, trying not to push myself to new mad heights.

But… I am finding therefore a little bit of a slog to get started.

However, I do know that I may have underestimated how long the books are going to be! One of the chapters I wrote during Gothnowrimo to my bullet point outline is the length of a novelette! (I don’t think it is a chapter :/ )

Also I couldn’t help myself I’ve been planning Z5.

NaNo Begins! 2016

November 1st, 2016

Last night I was running around scare acting, I did not get in until late, it’s a seasonal job, it is fab and great… I got to think on plots and character building during the down times – standing in misty fields watching sickle moons rising in bloody orange hues.

So first thing I needed to do was a brain dump of ideas and so I did not start nano-ing when I got home! No I began plotting and things. Due to a brain injury I am having to pace myself also as it is very hard for me to sustain concentration especially with screen work.

Last years nano was done with speech recognition software so that is what I will again be using for the majority of writing.

Also I am not going to be writing linearly as too much frame work still needs to be set down for the Blue Lotus stories. And… well the Zombie Quintette wants to kind of all be written together so I am only forcing myself to get so far with Z4 before I allow myself to jump back into the other novels. Z5 is the only one that currently has no work done for it and even then there are parts within the other novels.

So I’d best actually get noveling hadn’t I!?

Nano blurb

October 25th, 2016

A post I just posted to the Nano-forum on what I will be writing :)

Blue Lotus part 2

Blue Lotus is the 4th of my Zombie Quintette set in The Punk Universe, it sees the return of Emma my hard nut cop detective with two bosses – one of which happens to be from a far older race than us and is embroiled in an ancient war where nations and peoples are often the pawns. After her success in preventing a wetware AI from taking over she finds herself once more back in London but the new fringe drug issue she encountered just before she left has gone pandemic with violent outbreaks and necrosis common in the addicts.

A terrible terrorism attack has resulted in the vulnerable dying of radiation poisoning specific to them and threats of similar are crippling Britons already struggling police force. Emma knows things have gone from bad to worse when she finds herself unable to contact any boss of any sort and she is in the mire because the drugs craze is not just some kids with stolen lab glass nor is it the normal drug lords – no this problem leads her straight to the business sector and beyond.

The army are on her tail and it really is starting to look like the end of the world

How To Still Write

October 21st, 2016

A bit of a spanner has been thrown into the works :(

I had a head injury last year and have been struggling with various things – went to a specalist at the hospital and they have said I am doing to much and need more rest etc.. to help my brain recover.

It’s sustained concentration that is a big issue especially where words and things are concerned. This means I’ve had to step down the pace on nano/gothno as I’m just crashing – however I am not giving up.

a) I can pace and do just a little bit at a time – I dislike writing fragmented but I can do it – it just mucks up the flow slightly for me

b) I can dictate like I did last year when I couldn’t write still from the head injury – issues with that are that I can’t be bothered to speak the punctuation as it breaks my train of thought and there are pronounciation errors and the made up names are right out. So basically it is an editing nightmare but hopefully it will be less of an editing nightmare than last years when I was still having slurred speech issues!

So I am now organising myself so that I will be ready with this new system in time for Nano proper.

Snowballing Time

October 14th, 2016

I thought I would try dividing the book up into sections and then building it up from those sections and hopefully watch the story snowball to completion!

So I started by deciding that it is divided into three section then I split those sections into number of chapters and rough length/size of those chapters. I then did one an outline for each section followed by a sentence describing each chapter.

For the first part of called The Lotus Dreamers I have since expanded each chapter into ten bullet points which I can just type up and fill in the gaps as it were. Lets hope this works!

I used a similar system to write my final year assignment during my undergraduate but obviously that was an academic subject but I think it should work. It is kind of similar to the snowflake method so I am hopeful!

A Stolen Beginning

October 7th, 2016

So the Blue Lotus series is set after the Godex storyline but contains project Firestrom within it, due to Emma being the main character and her being a police officer it makes sense for the story to begin with The Actimen Cull.

Here is the Actimen Cull – though it will be an expanded version in the finished novel – this is just a short I wrote a few years ago – initially it wasn’t even part of the Punk Universe.

The Actimen Cull

Metcalf stood back from the oily smoke. If he thought about the smell and what it was, he gagged; but he was the senior investigator in this mess and had to be made of sterner stuff. The plumes were from the incinerator designed to deal with foot and mouth outbreaks in farm animals, but the carcasses being loaded in where most definatly not animals. He chewed his cheek until it drew blood. Someone, he thought, someone high up had thought of these people as diseased animals. The feeling just would not leave him. It was supposed to have been an accident and he was to check and write a report to prevent it in future.

But of course it wouldn’t happen in the future becuase they were all gone, including the women from the shelter hiding from their men, their little ones following them to the same mass grave. Metcalf’s hands balled into fists. Such a waste – the teenagers from the mental health half-way house had mostly been affected too.

With a bad taste in his mouth he turned away from the piles of bodies awaiting incineration. The food in the soup kitchens was the only answer; his men were rounding up what was left of it. The lab would have results for him that afternoon. ‘Sir?’ came a tentative voice.

‘Rose?’ he said turning around. The young sargeant had been crying. Most unprofessional, but then so had he, hadn’t he?

‘Some of the food… some of the food, got into the childrens home.’ she was pale with bright spots on her cheeks. He didn’t correct the term childrens home, there was no point. He sighed heavily.

‘Has anyone survived yet?’ she shook her head. Metcalf closed his eyes and ran his fingers through his course silvered hair.

‘Sir… ?’ her voice broke. ‘It looks to me like… like radiation poisoning.’ She pushed the toe of her shoe into the ash covered ground. He nodded, that had been his conclussion too; but the only thing they all had in common was the donated food. Soup kitchens fed the homeless, shelters and children’s homes often ran on donations too, as did old folks homes!

‘Rose, check out all the old folks homes,’ she nodded, ‘and Rose send warnings to other districts would you?’ The puzzelment was there only for a moment replaced by fear – This could well be bigger than one city, why had it taken them so long to spot it?

Because, he thought bitterly, homeless people die in puddles of puke and blood all the time.

It had only become apparent when the rats had entered the city to clean up the corpses. He’d had to call in the Army to help clear the corpses, there were just so many of them. Rose’s slight shadow fell across his path once more, ‘Dad?’ she whispered, he didn’t reprimand her, ‘Dad the hospitals! It’s in the hospital food too,’ and then she was sobbing and he was hugging, her numb but pleased she at least could still feel.

He squeezed her shoulders, ‘we’ll get them, Rosey’. She nodded mutely.

She dried her eyes and drew back her shoulders in defiance. ‘If it’s radiation it will be easy to trace to source.’

He smiled with no humour. ‘They’ll have accounted for that honey, it will be dirty and mixed source; probably traceable to half a dozen enemies of state.’ he snorted. Yes, he was that suspicous.

He went back to his office to read the incoming reports. There were scared people, clustered around the front of the building, screaming plague, screaming doomsday, crying and wailing. Some of them, he noticed, had the sheen and the odd one here and there had a nose bleed. Some of these people were dying and there was nothing he could do to save them.

The common factor was the food, donated food to the needy, so it could be that cheap contaminated food was being sold on the black market somewhere and a benevolent donar had thought it would feed hungry bellies as well as anything else. If so, that person would probably have commited suicide. He knew those reports were yet to come, the nurses and aid workers who would think they’d done it, the officers who had to watch a childrens’ home die.

Eventually he got into his office, his gut churning on nothing but black tar coffee. This had to be deliberate, all the vunerable had been targeted. His heart sank as he read confirmation messages, every city and town, all of them – the same. It was a national operation.

And then he saw it, a red envolope. Gingerly, he opened it.

Metcalf, Welcome to the New Solution Now the world will be stronger Now we will have only the brightest, strongest Society has been cleansed

Do not fight you are part of it

The Actiman Affiliate


It could be a hoax, people did things like that, and why sign it such if it really were the Actiman Affiliate, the global corporation? And why? Just why? But he was already punching the forensic team’s number and the internal post’s. This was genocide, this was a cull, why hadn’t he seen it? He’d thought it was an accident cover-up – but this was systematic. The sick, the old, the poor, all those who rely on society had been… exterminated.

A white-clad officer took the envelope from him. He called the government; the coldness in his stomach told him he would be fighting them on this one. His life expectancy was now probably very low. Time for Rose and her brother to leave the country – he’d sort out their visas before he trod on too many toes. Of course he thought bitterly if the Actimen Affiliate were involved then there would probably be entire nations writhing in slow languid death already, and if that was the case then nowhere would be safe.

GothNoWriMo 2016

September 28th, 2016

I always do a little extra nano challenge – this is GothNoWriMo which is a challenge to write gothic lit in a month. I stretched the meaning of Goth slightly and went with alternative instead. Because I tend to write trilogies or books in 3 parts, I start new series within the Punk’s Universe every year in October.

Also it is a warm up for NaNoWriMo – I rarely meet my word targets for October but it gets me back into the practice of writing each day and the word counts increase over the month so that during November and Nano proper I do hit the word goals and sometimes exceed!

This year is zombies – or rather more zombies!!!

There are glow diagrams!!!!

And science!

It is almost time to WRITE!!!!