Tag Archives: stories

A little disappointed

There is nothing sadder than realising you’ve worked hard on a project for nearly two years only to find it so similar to a recent movie or a book that has only just been released and you realise that if you were to continue your project, you could be blamed for being a rip off of that successful project of another person!

This has happened for me this week, I recently learned that there is a new horror coming out and it looked brilliant but then I realised there was a lot of things in that movie which seems almost identical to my project called Horror 17 – yes I have in excess of seventeen horror projects on the go!

It’s a little sad but it is OK, I am not giving up the project, I am still going to write it, but I will be cautious about giving it to anyone to publish.  It may end up being published on my blog, then trolls can tell me how much of a rip off it is – when in actuality it is just a coincidence!

For your information I have over seventy projects on the go but I try to primarily work on just three at a time.

I have a long list of things I am currently doing and I put their genre next to the title of the stories I am doing along with the pseudonyms I use on my blog for that project. 

My main genre is fantasy of its various descriptions including dark fantasy it would seem, horror being a close second (specifically vampire horror) and dystopian the third.

It helps me keep track of what I am as an author primarily.

Thanks for reading! 

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Filed under About my work

New horror project

I was struggling to get into a creative mind-set today and so I decided to try and awaken my creative brain, only to regret the result!

Three minutes into warming my creative brain up via fantasy pictures on Pinterest, it made me revisit a project I haven’t touched since Easter 2022, after brainstorming for that project I decided to go and eat some lunch.

A toasted scrambled egg bagel and a banana to be precise – not that you’re interested!

Whilst eating the lunch I looked up and saw something on TV “They killed a man’s best friend” and it set off an idea in my head – I hate stories where dogs are killed, but this is unfortunately going to be part of the new project and that’s going to be a difficult write up – but it gives us the catalyst for what’s to come in the story and it’s a much needed one that is justifiable!

Just that simple thing gave me a dark fantasy or maybe a horror idea which is fast flowing in my head – this has pissed me off because I did the creative warm up for my at least one of my current top three projects only for me to be interested at first with the fourth project and a completely new idea!

A horror one to boot!

Going back into horror it seems, well to be honest, it never really left me!

I am still doing the cat ghost story and a bunch of other stuff!

Yes, I haven’t abandoned the cat story S.

So this makes this story code name “Dog story”.

Thanks for reading!

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My authenticity as an author

What is my authentic self as an author?

What are my passions and experiences which seem to flow into my work effortlessly?

Basically, what makes this author, this author?

It’s not unknown if you have been following me for some time now that vampires are a huge passion of mine and that once they were all absorbing and my main if not ultimate focus?

They are still in my mind but is now swept away into a corner and regarded with a sense of guilty pleasure nowadays, which is a shame. 

But other than my vampires who am I as an author?

I like anthropomorphic animals (human like animals) and animation movies which have animals as main characters or heroes; to me I can’t get enough of movies like that!  I love reading books on the perspectives of animals, such as The Animals of Farthing Wood, Fluke, Charlotte’s Web, that sort of thing.

Being shamanic off and on throughout my life, I regard myself as having an unusually deep understanding for both nature and animals and anything primal really and yes, that does make me a Walt Disney fan.

I am a deeply spiritual person too with very philosophical ideas – this can be seen in some of my work but not all of it.

I do believe in miracles and magic, I believe in soul connections and spirits, so this belief of mine goes into my work a lot.

My work can be very profound and intense; it’s what I’ve seen in past reviews on my blog, in emails and from other people who were fortunate enough to get snippets from me in private.  Because I tend to throw in my philosophical thoughts, my spiritual education and I forget that sometimes for some people, they’re not ready for that kind of depth yet.  It’s a part of me, it’s a part of who I am and mostly I don’t realise I do it.

That’s my magic, that’s unique to me and when you follow your authentic path in your own writing, you will discover things about yourself you never knew too, it’s a kind of therapy a kind of gas-lighting oneself.

I love dragons and monsters, I like seeing them as misunderstood creatures, creatures that aren’t bad at all and in fact could be rather helpful but have their boundaries and they expect respect.

I like characters that are inventive and quirky, a little strange, maybe forgetful and definitely misunderstood by societies they live in, because they reflect who I am.  I am proud to say I am an air-head with little understanding of logic, that has an interest in science though not a brain to really fully grasp it and a memory of sieve – put all of this into a pot steaming with spirituality, creativity and free love and you’ve got me… a messy soup.

I am a mixture of Caractacus Potts from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Carl from Van Helsing 2004, Miss Bat from Worst Witch, Miss Trelawney from Harry Potter, Lucille Ball, Wendy Froud, Bjork and Bob Ross!  You get the message… I’m a mess!

I love writing lengthy descriptions of natural scenes and observations including as many if not all of the five senses all at once.

I have a deep sense of decay of both mind and matter, I understand the damaging effects of humanity on the Earth and I write plenty of dystopic sceneries in some of my stories.  I love the idea of nature taking back the world, after humans sought to destroy it! 

I love characters like Poison Ivy, Pocahuntas and The Lorax for this.

I have a deep sense of survival in me, from both being raised semi-feral in a North London garden with a violent family and because I have a Girl Guides attitude of “Be prepared” and a deeply seated understand of impermanence – that you can often see survival as a theme in a lot of my stories.

This is why I love characters such as Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games, the TV series The Tribe, Rambo and so forth. 

Because I have experienced severe mental health issues over the years and lived with several people who have far worse issues than I do (I have never needed to be medicated for example, like they have) I can fully understand what it means to live in an asylum and how the public treats people who have a history of that environment.  I also understand and have witnessed several times people literally descending into madness to the point of both murder and suicide.  Yes I have seen a person killed in front of me that is something I’ve kept to myself until now.

I have also witnessed several people trying to take their own lives, dying of a stroke right before my eyes and other horrible things.

Experiences which are hard to write, but can’t be wrote properly unless you’ve truly experienced it.  I am not saying try to experience that sort of thing, goodness no!  But you can understand how an author’s authentic self can further their writing by putting in their life experiences into it!

Characters such as Jack Torrance from the shining, John Kramer from Jigsaw, Janet Frame from Angels at my table are reflective of very similar people I have known as well as several characters from the movie The Crow.  I’ve known very edgy, scary people who don’t hide the aspect of who they truly are to anybody!  A few of these people have been put into isolation by the authorities but there are others that have evaded this somehow!

In my experience it is the weak ones that get caught and dealt with, the really nasty buggers never are!

Injustice is another thing that crops up in my stories from time to time based on this.

I am afraid to say some readers may find some of my darker materials frustrating as justice are rarely served in a fair way; I tend to take people to a very primal place.

Some of my characters are kooky, childish and fun, but should really be responsible as they are adults but they struggle with that reality – therefore I like characters such as Mr and Mrs Luxury from the blue bird, God from Dogma, Brennan and Dale from Step Brothers and Sarah Sanderson from Hocus Pocus. 

I have a passion for characters with big egos and sarcastic humour so I am often drawn to personalities which are played by actors such as Alan Rickman, Tim Curry, Glen Close and Robert Downey Jr.  Those characters seem to be fighting against the odds with a pack of brainless lucky heroes who are out to ruin their plans or gas-light them in some way in my stories.

Comedy is becoming more prominent in my stories as time is going by as I am no longer hiding my sense of humour from the world; this is a transition that is not welcoming from Paul.  He prefers my more serious stuff, but that’s not being authentic to myself!

There is even comedy in my darker stories and horror these days, lightly thrown in.

I was given an article to mull over by Paul the other week about how dark humour is an early sign of dementia; I am not paying any attention to that!

Societal changes and upheaval are a theme in several of my stories, hence my love for dystopia.

I dislike romance, so that is at a minimum – but there are some saucy scenes now and again in my adult works, in fact I have been known to write full on erotica in a past blog as short stories, but I deleted them after a while and that blog – I also did it here for a short time too, in the early years of my blog as I was told I was too graphic and should really have it as a subscribers content.

That is something I am thinking about doing actually, subscribers short stories of both my erotic works and vampires, as well as a subscriber incentive of giving 50% off the purchase of poetry anthology E-books I am planning to publish by the end of summer.

I love certain sports and you can see which I am into by the books I write, I love wrestling and combat sports in general so there are plenty of fight scenes in my stories as well as ancient warfare.  I am very keen in ancient warfare history and gaming.  I know a lot of the terminologies and so there is little research needed for me when I write those scenes because it’s a passion of mine.

I am not afraid of killing off characters but I am not a maniacal character serial killer like George R.R Martin, but not far off it either! 

Death sells as good as sex in my opinion.

I like hard-core no nonsense and dominant characters that don’t like a lot of fuss, so there is at least one in every story.  My favourite character is a wild hermit woman from the Dragon project I am writing; a sort of mix of Miss Trunchball meets Nanny McPhee and Tarzan!  Again, crazily based on people I’ve known, as I have said before… I’ve known some strange people in my time and exaggeration can go a long way, especially when story writing!

So you see a lot of my ideas wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for life experience and a knack for exaggeration for entertainment value.

Though I keep my non-fiction as honest as possible, I can use that experience and exaggerate it for fiction!

This is how we writers do things; it’s how we give you the books we write.

Or those who have actually given their work to an agent to get published, that is!

I’m not far off to be honest.

I won’t give you a deadline or update until I send my work to an agent, but for now – let’s just say, I think it’s going to be sooner than you think – a lot sooner!

So there you have it – my experiences, my passions and my work and why it is uniquely mine and why you will struggle to try and copy it!  You are not me and even if you were to go off and research the character references and include the subjects I’ve mentioned in this blog – you won’t ever reflect me, but only I can be purely me and only you can be purely you!

Thanks for reading!

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Filed under About my work

My themes & project AD

Here are the main themes I love to write about and I know it has been published in another post before, but I thought it would be good to have it as a post all on its lonesome as a sort of reference post.

My first favourite theme to write about are vampires and their perspective on life and existence, their lifestyle, the drama that goes on in their societies etc.

My secondary favourite literary choice is stereotypical fantasy stories based on dragons, battle and magic! 

My third one is anthropomorphic animals or seeing things from an animal’s perspective and explaining their lives through adventure or almost journalistic storytelling. 

My fourth favourite theme are anything pertaining to childhood wonder, Christmas and Easter stories, Santa, The Easter Bunny, nursery rhyme worlds, toys coming to life, that sort of thing.

My fifth favourite theme to write is stories about inventors and gadget creators in a post-apocalyptic world or perhaps even a steampunk world!

My sixth choices are giants or little people and how they see the world around them and what their stories are. 

My seventh favourite theme is stories about descent into madness or haunting memories or even haunted places, ghosts of both the mind and the ethereal.

The eighth theme is anything with regards to circus performers, carnivals, fairgrounds, fortune tellers and clowns.

The ninth favourite theme to write about is stereotypical war between gods and the underworld and the battle of control over mortality and or power, I especially like gas lighting stories or stories from a twisted perspective.

The tenth theme is stories about magical water/sea creatures or sea life, such as pirates, mermaids, kelpies and sea monsters or travellers of the sea.

Many of my stories will contain at least one of the above in order to keep me interested in writing them, sometimes they may have more than one theme going on for example; my project AD has five of the above themes in it.

There is a small vampire scene in it, with anthropomorphic animals in a post-apocalyptic, steampunk world that experiences a huge gaslight to their existence and in one characters case a descent into madness and a fight for reality and a real battle as well – along with this there are inventors of gadgets and a new way of life for everyone involved in the story!

It’s a project I am really excited about and this particular project has saved my creative life – because without it I very nearly gave up writing altogether.  It is rare for me to have more than two themes in any story, so when I get one that has this many themes in it – it really gets my heart singing!

Thanks for reading!

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Filed under About my work, Current Projects

Remission, weight loss and dreams

It may have been a long remission between Easter and last week, because for the past few days I have been sleeping a lot and finding things a little difficult again.

My immune system has taken a massive hit and I feel like I have influenza but there is no temperature and not much else of the normal flu like symptoms.  The brain fog is coming back, the depression is hitting hard again and then the washing machine breaks down two days ago and it needs replacing.

The asthma has got a bit worse too, but it’s the feeling that I am turning into stone or lead I can’t get over – every limb feels weighted. 

Very sleepy is not a good description really – I kind of feel like I am going into a hibernation period, if you get my drift?  But what is weird about that is the fact that I can’t seem to sleep at night.

My appetite has stayed much the same, not eating much at all, so the idea of gaining weight over Christmas is silly as I seem to be losing up to two pounds a week still or not moving on the scales at all.

I found a local gym for £8.75 a week membership, I can afford that with my personal allowance and I will be signing up for the membership around the end of January, to help me tone up – my upper arms in particular as they are the only things which don’t seem to be doing what the rest of my body is doing… losing inches and toning up.  They are a good gym to go to because they specialise in helping people who have long-term health problems or are morbidly obese, which I need because I have asthma and a couple of auto-immune problems, one of which is rheumatic arthritis.

It’s exciting to note that I have lost ninety six pounds over a year now without much effort, now let’s take it up a huge notch!  I am not that far off from my goal weight and with this gym membership I should reach my goal weight before July with any luck – at least I haven’t been on the morbidly obese scale for a while now- In fact I remember a time where I was a horrifying 56 on the BMI scale that was nearly two years ago!  No, this wasn’t the reason I was bedbound either, the bedbound came first and this kind of obesity was caused by that!

How did I manage that?

Simple!

I was a highly active person who walked an average of nine miles a day amongst lots of other exercises and physical activities, needing to eat an average of four thousand calories a day just to sustain myself or collapse – to becoming a severely ill and bedbound person literally overnight, but never readjusted my diet, until three years later when it dawned on me what the heck I was doing!

I had such spleen pain and constant chest infections for nearly eight years solid, the amount of times I was diagnosed with pneumonia too, I couldn’t move because the spleen was too swollen and I was literally advised to do nothing in case it ruptured!  NHS overstretched before covid even existed and so operating wasn’t an option given to me! 

Especially as I was eating my feelings when the depression stepped in, meaning I was over doing food on a massive scale for someone who was extremely sedentary!

It wasn’t until around three years ago that I realised when I am having an angry or a depressing day, I go to food again for comfort, I realised this is a base instinct we all have; why?  Because as animals we would take our anger and frustrations out on other animals and bite them and attack them, but as humans have learned to civilise ourselves somewhat we suppress our anger and food is the substitute for the primordial release for biting!

So when you feel depressed, sad or angry get yourself chewing gum – believe me, it works – only I find it hard to have gum these days because most of it contains soy and soy is really bad for my spleen issue.

Around four years ago was the time I had a completely free from diet, no eggs, no gluten, no lactose, no soy and a mostly paleo diet.  This helped a lot with the breathing problems and the swollen spleen, eventually I learned that I could eat almost anything without pain but there was something still off – occasionally my spleen would swell again and it took until earlier this year to find out what was doing it… mustard and soy. 

Now I am not on a free from diet anymore, but I have to avoid soy and mustard, or the spleen swells up again and my asthma has a bad day – unfortunately most of my favourite foods contain them, as I especially love mustard!  So suffering is a choice now – which I don’t choose often! 

Not a lot of people who are recently acquainted with me take me seriously about how much I understand nutrition and exercise since they’ve always known me to be this size.  But in actuality, I am really switched on, because I used to be very athletic and I can name in approximation the calorie worth and nutritional value of most foods.

But for some people they can’t understand that if you know all of this, then why did you allow yourself to get so fat?

Because if you live a certain lifestyle for too long, then you become ill where the physical aspect changes but not the food – you can see how this is easily done.  But people will be people and some people are morons and don’t use their head on this kind of stuff!

I remember a time where my doctor suggested my diet was too healthy, too low on salt, too low on fats and too low on calories, that I was blacking out three times a week on average and going into severe full bodied cramps.  Because of lack of electrolytes as I didn’t add salt to anything and I had a low fat diet which was mostly vegetable based.   I remember having to keep a food diary constantly and keep every nutrient in mind and I remember having to rush out to McDonalds at random times throughout the week to get the high fat, high salt and calorific food I needed because I didn’t have time or the wherewithal to eat a large meal, so I had to opt for big macs as a dietary supplement.  A weird contrast to my life now!

No, I do not miss it, because I didn’t enjoy having to do those things – what I do miss is the health and fitness I used to have and the energy I had as well as the body.

In the future, I am hoping to get all that back again, only this time I am going to be smarter, no big mac supplements anymore – I have a weight lifting professional friend who had the same problem, only she supplements the low salt problem not with crisps and salted fries or peanuts, like I did – but as adding rehydration salts to every bottle of water she drinks!

At the time I knew I was a protein type metabolism but I didn’t fully understand it as much as I do now and I never knew you could get really nice protein drinks to get what you need in per day.  I was literally trying to stuff down copious amounts of chicken and fish every day into my system – another thing which will change in the future.

You see, back in the good old days of when I was active, I was active alone and without a fitness network, so I was literally clueless and often had stomach ache and a bulimic reaction to the food I needed to eat.

You live, you learn.

Paul and I are still living together but we are separated, still he is trying to support me the best he can with the diet I need.  He has told me that our finances are better than we used to have as we are now being supplemented now he is retired, which means I can see the doctor more often and the diet can improve slightly.

In March my own personal finances will have doubled for me, which means I could also supplement myself too – so I should be losing the weight much faster soon.  I will get back on it all after Christmas, properly.  

Calorie, protein and nutritional monitoring that is, as well as signing up for the local gym classes!

My self-employment should be kicking off around March too, so hopefully I will earn enough to consider moving out of Paul’s by the end of summer, maybe – who know?  I can’t see me living alone to be honest, but there you go!

I don’t do New Years resolutions, so please don’t take all of this as that!

My second biggest dream right now is to rediscover my inner pride and vanity! 

When I was healthy and fit, there were a lot of people who said all I needed to do was dye my hair blond and get a Chihuahua and I’d be like Paris Hilton in my style!  I was offended, because what’s wrong with a brunette?  Though I like the idea of platinum hair! 

Though maybe they were just on about how much I love pink and fluffies? 

My first biggest ever dream I’ve had forever now, is to find someone who genuinely loves me and wants to keep me, build a family with me, push me to be the best that I can be and we motivate each other like live in life coaches!  Along with this the person has to tolerate that I can be suffocating with how I love them and hands on with them, because I am just like that!  I am like Elmira from Looney Tunes – but they also have to tolerate eccentricities, daydreams and creative pursuits as it’s all a huge part of who I am!  Please also, the person must understand I am very childish – I am overly playful and I am not too responsible really.  I am such a hedonist to be honest!

My third ever dream is not what you think it is either… nope… no, it’s not really anything to do with my stories or art – it’s having a great home and social life. 

The stories becoming movies is really a fourth dream… shock horror… I know!

I kind of kept that a secret as I kind of wore this with shame for a while – but I am starting to release the true me and I have to be honest with you as much as myself now, don’t I?

I feel bad admitting that actually.

I am still writing, don’t fret!  I am just not all that bothered in giving boring details about word count anymore, because nobody really cares enough to comment unless they are a troll who moans about how often I update word counts!

But meh – I always lacked structure anyway, I say I intend to write one novel but I end up writing a little towards twenty and so…. I am learning to become at peace with me and the way I am… so should you!

But project AD and the Easter project are the main focuses for me right now, even if I only write about twice a week on both of them – at least its progress!  You have to remember I have lots of other projects on the go too!

I know lots of people are eager to get their hands on project AD and this is why I am writing this as fast as I can, because I know there are a lot of people in waiting over it. 

I just got to get it out there anyway, because it’s a great story and I am very excited for it.  I am seeing merchandise in my head already; it will be a great new toy brand in my opinion as it is a dystopian comedy for kids.

But the Easter project is also gripping me a lot too with so many amazing ideas I am literally bursting to share them with someone but scared I’d shoot myself in the foot if I did!

So that’s what’s happening in my life right now.

Thanks for reading!

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Filed under Defining myself

The marketability of projects

For the past three months I have been struggling to write towards my novels because of family issues and other things going on that has taken up my time, such as learning new things, new skills, honing in old skills I have had and going more into my spiritual development.

Not witchcraft, spiritual development.

Along with the failure to add towards my novels these past few months, my Italian and French lessons have also been paused as well as maintaining my Morning Page Journals and daily reading goals.

But Henry and I have learned together how best to get things done, how we can avoid conflicts within the household and how we can both be warmer.  We both now spend time together upstairs in my room, whilst I write towards blog posts or research things.

This keeps Henry out of Paul’s hair whilst he cooks and whilst Paul does whatever Paul does.

It not only means that in the past two days I am less lonely, but it means that Henry is more relaxed and calm and is actually starting to smile more!

Henry is deeply concerned I am not writing my stories anymore, because he was looking forward to seeing the potential movies they could become!  He is more positive about them becoming movies than I am – but that’s the joy of the naiveté of childhood isn’t it?  Extreme optimism and putting ones parent on a pedestal!

So, Henry tersely asked me this question yesterday evening “when are you going to write more on your novel mama”? 

I told him that I didn’t know and he then said “why not tomorrow”?

So here I am six hours later at 3:13am on my laptop thinking about writing, now it’s tomorrow – question is, do I write towards the novel now until 5am and not wake up until 2pm or do I force myself to try and sleep for the next hour or so and write around noon when I wake up?

I am tempted to start writing something right now – I am not setting any goals for myself this time, just write what I write when I write it and hope that it’s more than five hundred words a day this time!

No sooner had I had this thought about writing, my brain has woken up and told me to write towards three of my current projects all at once… my brain still doesn’t understand the workings of a mortal two handed body does it?

My AD project, my lesbian steampunk project or my Easter project which should really be Christmas project first because it’s that time of year now I can play Christmas music without being unreasonable!

Though I suppose some of my author friends out there will think that Christmas music is always unreasonable!

So, here’s me sitting here thinking that I would like to rehash project AD from the beginning again, because an old idea is stale and I believe this new one will work better.  Thankfully the rehash will only affect the first three chapters of the novel, because the event is not mentioned in the other chapters!

But, I am still struggling with something in regards to this story… how to market it when it’s finished, what genre?  For me, I may market it as a children’s dystopian – but it doesn’t feel right. 

What’s in the story?  The world hasn’t fully jumped into a full out and out post-apocalypse; they are still transitioning through it, creatures are still mutating and they are fighting other mutated creatures in order to survive and in order to maintain personal territory.  The story contains various mythological creatures along with this too and some children befriend a group of bounty hunting animals who adopt them because they are orphans. 

It is stylised around being a steampunk world, filled with the innovations for survival with the relics around them – the storyline is set primarily on vengeance and survival of the fittest.

There are comedy elements as well as mild-for-children horror.

It’s an idea that has been frustrating me since Easter 2022 because I just want to write it down quickly, but circumstances have got in my way.

Once I manage to get back into writing regularly, I can see this novel being written rather quickly and what’s more, it’s a series that I had originally intended to be a comic or graphic novel – but as I am not confident in writing in that format just yet – it will have to do as a novelisation instead… perhaps the novel will come later?

But me being me, I have always had a good head for business – I don’t just see this as a novel or a movie or a bunch of comics, I see it for the potential merchandise it could have – toys etc.  The artist in me can see where this could lead and I do this almost for every story idea I have.

I know I shouldn’t, but I always think about the marketability – I do write for pleasure, but if you knew me well enough you’d know that I have always loved work and working things out and making things bigger than average!

Henry has already been helping me since the summer, design toy ideas based on characters I’ve told him about!

Upon reflection, this story is very much on par with the ideas of a superhero genre, which is why my inner business woman struggles to place it. 

Steampunk dark fantasy or children’s horror or superhero or middle grade dystopian… getting this right is vital for its success!

If I am honest I am much swayed to call it a superhero genre as it is very reminiscent of Batman and the league of super pets!  But the characters are so far removed that they have their own unique stance – in fact a friend once thought they sound like a mix of Mad Max meets The Island of Dr Moreau for kids!

Which made me smile as I never saw it until they said it!

Thanks for reading!

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Filed under About my work

My writing plans

How many novels am I working on?

I try to focus on about three at a time mostly, the same three, but I have more on the go than I admit.

Nobody will believe me if I said I have approximately one hundred and fifty unfinished works and about forty works stewing because I am pernickety and a perfectionist that just can’t seem to decide on the plot or another version of it.

It has been some months since I last said this, that when I whine about not finishing the project in time for my deadline, it is that one specific novel I am on about – project AD.

When I say I haven’t written anything I often mean to say towards the main project specifically – because in all honesty, even on my hardest of days, I am still writing something; be it poetry, songs, short stories, snippets of ideas or other novels, you can bet your bottom dollar I am still producing roughly three thousand words a day elsewhere.  But for me, it’s the main project that counts.

Along with my approximate 3k words on other works and approximately 3k words toward my main project on a good day, I am also in working mode whenever I watch YouTube, socialise on twitter and read books – which means all in all I work longer than anyone should!

There isn’t a time in my day where I am not working, unless of course I am eating, because I usually use meal times as a way to socialise with my nearest and dearest and all focus is on them.

When I read a book, it’s usually educational for me in some way.  I rarely read fiction books, but that is a habit that’s slowly changing.

I was asked on twitter recently, what would I call my writing niche?  It got me thinking, because I couldn’t answer straight away without thinking about it for about ten minutes and when I thought of what it might be, I had to google it to see if it was a thing and it is; abstract fantasy.

I suppose it is abstract fantasy because a lot of my works have a lot of abstract ideas, such as anthropomorphism, breaking down the boundaries of what is stereotypical of fantasy creatures and even breaking down the boundaries of societal norms as there is a lot of gender fluidity in some of my works.

Often whenever people ask me what I mostly write I give them a long list as a reply, something akin to; I write dark fantasy, or things of a dark theme such as descent into madness survival, anthropomorphism, dystopia and a bit of steampunk and vampires.  Those are my usual go to replies – however, it says nothing really of the giants and dragons I write about and it totally bypasses the fact that it is an abstract idea not the general run of the mill fantasy everyone is cosy with.

For example, I might have dragons who dress in regency clothing having afternoon tea picnics discussing the barbarism of humanity; or beautiful faeries with butterfly wings, heavily tattooed with shaved sides of their heads in intricate patterns getting ready to wrestle a badger as a ride to go to the summer solstice party.  You get what I mean here, though lovely and fantastical it can be a little dark in the way I write things, but still not too dark for family entertainment, that’s important to me!

So I have grown comfortable in understanding I am an abstract fantasy author with mild horror thrown in here and there.

Abstract fantasy is more doable than you think – although most people would consider Douglas Adams work “Hitchhikers guide to the galaxy” as a comedy sci-fi it is often marketed as abstract fantasy. 

Terry Pratchett, Diana Wynne Jones, Clive Barker and Garth Nix are also considered abstract fantasy authors, to name but a few.

My current project AD is definitely abstract fantasy but it does have some steampunk elements to it too, so the marketing here can be difficult unless I decide which niche it’s actually going to be and personally – I think it’s going to be marketed as a YA science fiction because I think the steampunk elements are quite big, the anthropomorphism is due to genetic mutations, the animals are building a world out of the scraps of junk humans have left behind and they are building weapons to fight each new rising faction that is occurring out of the dust. 

I think this project screams Tank Girl, Mad Max and The Fly so this is why I have chosen to market it as YA Science Fiction rather than abstract fantasy, because science is quite a large theme in the series and yes, this is going to be a series of books and eventually I plan to make them into a graphic novel, but at the moment I am not confident in doing that – so they are novels right now.

I have also changed the species of a rival group, which is why I am falling behind on the project, because I had to rewrite four chapters depicting the new species which set me back about a week, I am happier with the idea that this rival clan is sheep rather than rats as I felt that rats are overdone as bad guys.

Also the main character has a disability, which I felt is often underrepresented in literature, so I am proud of that and it really makes the story, it really works well.

This story has bought back the fun in writing for me, which is something I haven’t felt since 2015, it has a lot of wacky ideas which work and I am so proud of.

But Project AD is definitely not my only project, no worries there.

This is part of a series, but it is not my only series I am working on and there are plenty of standalone novels too.

I have a vampire saga I am working, this is probably going to be my longest series of all my books and again I would market them as science fiction because of the fact that my vampires are not originally from Earth and they do space travel from time to time.

Another series I am working on has twelve defined stories and there will absolutely never be more than twelve books in this series because it would defy the plot, there is a specific reason why the number twelve is important to this series.  I have mentioned this story before as Steampunk 1 and this story will be marketed under steampunk because it’s quite rigid in that genre.  It is a lesbian romance of travel companions who explore new cultures and debunk science together.

Another is a dark fantasy about ghost children, this is a standalone book and I won’t say much else about the plot just yet.

There is another dark fantasy about a haunted teddy bear, which I’ve vaguely mentioned two years ago approximately.

There is a dragon trilogy I am working on.

A series of stories about giants in the same world, but all different characters, with their own stories, but it is a specific world; so far there are five planned, two half written.

A werewolf novel, which is a standalone – the plot isn’t exciting enough yet and needs a lot of work!

There is so much more than this, there is no need to worry about me being a one trick pony, honestly!

I can’t focus on one thing for too long it triggers my ADD really bad and I am always juggling ideas, some for years being remastered time and time again – but there is more to me than just anthropomorphic mutant warriors having gang warfare and vampires flying around in spaceships and lesbian balloon riders debunking science… much, much more!

I am also working on a series of books based on angels and demons and the bible etc., there is just so much fighting to get out of my head!

In my next post, I am going to be talking about how I structure my stories and how long my ideas can take to write on average.

Thanks for reading!

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The speed of thought

I wish my brain could make my body work in the same pace as its imaginations; I’d be prolific, drowning in art work and stories and it would be amazing – but no, it is never going to happen!

I think about too much and so little actually gets physically manifested because my daydreams are lightning fast.

I really meant it when I have said in previous posts, I don’t suffer from artist or writers block, I suffer from artist and writers overload!

You have no idea that in every poem I write and post on the blog, there are three or more pieces of art that are not being produced to go with it, because I can’t paint that fast!

Every painting I have done in the past takes an average of three hours, but anywhere between ninety minutes and six maybe even seven hours a time!  That’s just one piece of art!

You have no idea how much I wish everything I think of would physically manifest, the exacting art ideas I have, the exact stories, the exact movies, the exact music and the exact songs – but I manage to physically manifest so little of it, because of lack of time and speed ability, in fact I don’t even believe I produce a whole 1%.

You have no idea how I am obsessed with my imagination and how it consumes my daily life to the extent that I often forget to live in reality!

Paul is both a blessing and a curse for this, because he will happily allow me to be consumed by it all, whilst feeding me and keeping me as comfortable as he can – but he doesn’t like to interfere with my daydreams AT ALL!  It scares me when he dies someday, it scares me because I am so consumed by it all that if he were to die tomorrow, I might die a few weeks later because I will forget to feed myself, I will forget to live and he doesn’t shake me out of it, like others have done in the past and I have told him – that could be dangerous, but he doesn’t take it seriously.

I wish he would, because I am quite serious – I would forget to live when he dies, especially when he dies, because the more I grieve or the more stressed I am, the more I lock myself away and go into what I call an “astral travelling adventure” where I am quite literally channelling through my body to write or paint, and often I don’t hear or feel anything in that state, once in it. 

It is hard to get into that state initially if there is discord around the house, but if I go into it before the arguments and ructions start, I can’t hear it… its weird and I doubt I am making sense to those who don’t experience the same as I do.

There are times when Paul wants to feed me, where he knows I can’t hear him or see him, no matter what he does, but he touches me and like a sleepwalker I am literally shocked back into reality and have a little panic attack and calm down and then he tells me that dinner is ready.

It really is like that for me.

Sometimes I thought I should cheat.  I should write my poems and then explain what the art should have been, but probably would never get done by me.  Just so I can show you more.  But then I thought; you wouldn’t understand what I am trying to achieve or understand why I would do that, so should I bother?

I’d really like to paint at least one poem a week, for my YouTube channel that will start at the end of the year.  I could paint a picture a day, anything up to seven pictures in time for the vlog, but that is probably all I could do.  I couldn’t do anymore art, if I did that without it affecting my stories and sleep time.

Paul likes the idea but also he is a realist and he believes that it would hugely affect how much writing I will produce.

He knows I love art more than writing, but he loves my writing more than my art.  He hasn’t experienced much of my music, so he has no opinion on that.

 I really do wish that I could physically produce all that I think about at the same speed as my thoughts.

Happy reading!

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Tropes and scenes loved and hated

Some writer friends have asked me to list what I definitely will not include in my stories and what I am likely to include in my stories in regards to themes and tropes and just general stuff.

Apparently it is a thing that’s going around where writers are starting to share that sort of thing?  Ok, here goes…

Too many romance scenes (sex scenes in my adult works possibly but not romance, gooey eye rolling load of old trollop nah huh ) – this is not for me and won’t be in my stories much if at all!  But do expect sex scenes frequenting some of my adult works! 

Unless the story has historical scenes, it is unlikely there will be silly gossiping women, I hate gossip!  The only time this is acceptable in my works is at the ladies cream tea afternoons in a Victoriana setting, but I do find writing these things cringe worthy, being a gossip is generally cringe worthy as it is! 

Technological explanations and scientific terminologies – I don’t have the brain for it – it will be basic stuff!  Oh this big blue square button does that and this round yellow one does this, character pushes said button and hey presto, that’s as nerdy as I get! 

Helpless women who lose their mind over men and forget to defend themselves because their love is in danger – the women in my stories generally have their heads together!  I mean I know for sure if I was a character in some of these books I have read, my reaction would be “I have my own problems, wait you wuss”!

Stereotypical monsters that just do evil because… hey… they’re monsters!  So overdone and totally unfair!  Not to mention, highly discriminating and endorsing discrimination… just saying! 

Emotionally bland or emotionally devoid scripts – I have read hundreds of pages of emotionally dead characters who keep on telling me about why they need to do something and get somewhere, but there is no real descriptive emotional output at all – it’s like, it’s their duty to have to think this way because it is expected, but generally there is no real feeling behind the words… you get me?  If you get me, you’ll see that I mean to say, that the character makes you feel like they are lying to both themselves and you as a reader! 

Mindless barbarians bonking heads for no other reason than they’re simply bored or want to be barbaric.  There is always a motive behind an action, tell me about it… not just the mindless violence! 

Slow paced stories, there has been books I have read where nothing at all moves the plot forward more than six pages at a time and that’s being optimistic!  I need something to happen on every page, it’s not hard to do!  No one wants the second scene to happen fifteen minutes later!

Repeating scenes already seen in the story or having characters lull over past memories again and again – yawns, boring!

Constantly reminding the readers how emotionally affected the person is about so and so, it is OK to mention it around three maybe four times in the whole book but please don’t take us back there in every single chapter!  We know, we read and understood it – doing this makes your readers feel like you think they are idiots who just do not understand – don’t do that to them!

Other than generalising height as short, tall etc and the build of the person as well as the colour of the hair or skin, please leave other things to the imagination unless those other features deeply affect the story in some way – like an eye patch or a scar on the chin which is why there is a revenge plot or something – but generally, let people use their own imaginations about who they want to play the part in their heads based on who they know with general outlines.

I love to write very descriptive body horror scenes because I love grossing people out, I understand this is not everyone’s cup of tea – but it’s what I do in my adult horror stories!

I love found family tropes and close family tropes, I love tropes where there is a small team working together towards the same goal!

I like write historical scenes and be descriptive about the environment and landscape around the character!

I write a lot about isolation and abuse, because it is something I have experienced a lot over the years, therefore I feel it is easy to write in a believable way.

I am very good at understanding the hidden aspects of society, the things that people can hide from others, the secrets, the lies, the behind closed doors of Mr and Mrs Ideal-Citizen, the underground stuff, the dirty nitty gritty aspects of life.

I am very good at writing different points of view because I have had a very rich life regards to socialising with different classes and types of people just by being moved from relative to relative.  I have lived with rich aunts and certain members of the aristocracy because on one side of my family we have a very old family – on another side of my family they are gypsies and farmers – another side were refugees, lots of different religions and class systems.  The list goes on! 

I find it easy to write from the perspective of a social worker and a teacher who is worried about their abused pupil/client and then write from the perspective of a junkie about to lose their child – I have seen these things unfold right before my eyes time and time again growing up!

One thing I have experienced time and time again from lots of different people and classes is suicide and sudden loss due to murder.

I have a huge interest in environmentalism, so pollution and innovation is something I like to put in most of my books.

Because I love comedy and prefer books and movies with comedy aspects, I do tend to like to throw in humour whenever I can, including in my darkest horror stories – I can’t help it; it always gets in there somehow!

I do love vampires and I have to say at least a third of my work will have some kind of vampire in there!

I love animal companions and so that will be a thing – particularly fond of anthropomorphic animals pretending to be human or whatever.

I like over the top comic hero and villain tropes, so that is another thing that will be seen a bit in my works.

There is likely to be someone who is rather off key in my stories, a batty old aunt, a batty young aunt, the green juice hippy weirdo and the generally bonkers type of person – or the harsh out of touch with their emotions type who is learning to soften themselves down a bit.

There will be women who save themselves and maybe even male characters! 

There will be lots of free range children living independently and causing chaos or massive changes in their communities.

There will be a lot of subterranean places too; in fact this is something that is seen in half of my stories so far!

People who are incredibly lucky when things aren’t really going for them!

Also, I will always end up being just ever so slightly corny…

So that’s what you can expect from me… I won’t say anything else on the matter, so please stop poking around…

Thanks for reading! 

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When am I sending work to an agent?

Because of the Covid I had at Easter my plans to send work to any publisher by the start of Autumn 2022 has been shifted now to late winter 2022/2023; this is because I know that the current finished products are not ready to be sent to the world, but there is one that I am confident will be finished by the end of this year because it is so fresh in my mind and the most unique of the stories I have planned to send.

Basically I want my first published book to be special, who doesn’t?

Also I am in a quandary about one of the two books I am thinking about sending out – because one of those books I really want to make as a comic series, but I have little knowledge in creating comics and though I have studied a lot of “how to” books and watched a lot of “how to” YouTube videos, I am still not very confident about shifting a novelisation I have made into a comic book format, especially as I am not confident as an artist!

At the moment it is being written as a series of novels, I hope that eventually I will gain confidence in breaking it down into comic book form, because I think making this particular idea a comic book series would do better for it, than novels.  I doubt I would get advice on this from my future agent, but I hope it is something I could talk about with them eventually.

It is the second idea that is likely to be published first, the pure, simple, traditional novel with no comic book planning whatsoever.

Though I am sure that someday there may be comic book adaptions written by fans as it could work as that eventually too, but then again, most books of this particular genre end up in comic book format eventually.

Neil Gaiman’s snippet at the back of one of his Sandman comics about how to write comics has been a big help, as well as Peter David’s book “writing for comics” and a YouTube channel called Serkworks Art Lab.  Without these, I’d be even more clueless about what I am doing.

The thing is, I want the comic series, more than I want the novel idea out there first.  But, I am just so nervous about presenting a novel to an agent as a book, then saying, I can eventually break it down as comics, which was always my intention… how willing are agents to take on work like that?

I have to admit I am a little too afraid to approach them on that even as a question as I hate wasting people’s time!

The comic book I am writing has a lot of characters and action, but it is focused particularly on a group of three characters which work as a team together against a common evil, though the evil is from the same source, they too are different groups – it is like a gang warfare dystopian comic series with mild horror elements, to allow it to be sold to a young adult and possibly an older child audience.

To make life easier in explanation I will call this on my blog a dark fantasy side of my work, which would likely be under the pseudonym of my family entertainment side of my work.

Because I don’t want it to be too dark for family enjoyment!

It is about as dark as Watership down meets a tamer version of The Suicide Squad…

Just to tease a little there…

My actual novel which is likely to be sent out by the end of the year is more Warhammer meets Robocop, there are cyberpunk and fantasy elements in that story.

So there you have it, my plan for the year in writing.

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