I was able to kick off a new story yesterday, a science fiction tale inspired by a line from an Amanda Palmer song. I always churn through any number of titles for a story, this one started off as simply Rain and then became Rainshine about halfway through yesterday’s session. No doubt it will change a few more times before I finally decide on a title. I clocked up 488 words in about an hour which is pretty much average for me. This one is fairly dialogue heavy and I think it will probably come in at around 2000 words, a bit shorter than my usual stories which tend to be 3-4000. Unusually for me, I have a pretty good idea what the entire story is going to be. I don’t outline and it’s pretty common for me to only have a very vague idea where the story is going when I start; I prefer to discover things as I go along. This time though, I think I understand the whole arc. No doubt it will still take some of its own twists and turns along the way so I’m sure there’s still some surprises in store for me. Other than … Read More
It’s November already and that means it’s time for NaNoWriMo. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the concept, NaNoWriMo is the National Novel Writing Month. Across the world, hundreds of thousands of writers are furiously scribbling away, trying to write a 50,000+ word novel by November 30th. That’s a lot of words in not a lot of time. For me personally, that means an average of four hours of writing a day for 30 days. If I managed to remove distractions like Google+, Twitter and Facebook then I might be able to get that down to three hours a day but even then, that’s a big commitment when you’re holding down a day job and training for a half marathon. Despite the challenge, thousands of people manage to finish their novels every year. Me, I’ll stick to a more modest goal – and fail miserably*. Maybe next year I’ll find a way to pick up the pace enough to join the fun. In the meantime, I’ll wish everyone taking part in NaNoWriMo luck, and keep my eye out for the next NaNoWriMo success story. If you want to find out more – and it’s never too late to join … Read More
Last night my wife and I went on a two and a half hour Haunted Halloween tour of Vancouver. It’s one of the seasonal tours performed by the Vancouver Trolley company during the winter months when tourists are less prevalent. The tour takes in numerous haunted locations around the city, including The Fairmont Vancouver (haunted by the “lady in red”), Stanley Park (site of several haunted burial grounds and where the infamous “babes in the woods” bodies were found), Shaughnessy (home of Vancouver’s more wealthy inhabitants and the location of the murder of Janet Smith and its subsequent cover up) and Mountain View Cemetery (to visit Janet Smith’s grave, among others). Along the way the guide regales passengers with tales of gruesome and often intriguing murders, suicides, accidents and “accidents”. The tour also stops at the Vancouver Police Museum and there we got a lesson in how to perform an autopsy and a look at evidence from a couple of the murders our guide had told us about, including the still unsolved “babes in the woods” case and a particularly gruesome crime involving a young man, his sleeping family and a double bladed axe. The success of this type of tour depends almost … Read More
Happy Halloween! I’ve just dropped my wife off at work, laden down with arm fulls of homemade Halloween treats. Highlights include demon claw cookies, cupcakes with spiders and worms and my personal favourite – chocolate covered eyeballs. Yesterday was a productive day, especially considering it started with a 16km run in the rain. After launching the blog, I finished the final draft of a new horror story, Amber, and submitted three stories to editors. That means I have twelve stories out in the wild although a couple of those have been out there so long they’ve probably been eaten by something nasty by now. No new words though, other than yesterday’s blog posting and a few changes to Amber. Tonight we’re going on a Haunted Halloween tour of Vancouver so no writing today either. Perhaps the “gruesome tales of troubled ghosts” will provide me with some inspiration.
Another day, another new blog. Why? I hear you ask. The answer is very simple, for fun. I’ve been writing on and off for over twenty years now and it turns out I enjoy it. I’ve written non-fiction, mostly technical articles, reviews and comment pieces, including a monthly column on “online topics” that ran before everyone else joined the Internet party. I also have a blog dedicated to my day job – developing video games. My main literary love is fiction though, speculative fiction to be exact. I grew up surrounded by books and despite numerous attempts to kick my addiction, I’m still surrounded by more books than my shelves can hold. Given my love of books, it was inevitable that I would also try my hand at writing my own stories and I’ve been crafting strange tales for as long as I can remember. Over the years, I’ve written and had published horror, science fiction, fantasy and stories that sit somewhere between all three. I finished my first novel The Ghost Smuggler last year. It blends fantasy and science fiction into a fast moving tale set in the desert city of Karabar and a dreamlike world inhabited by the spirits of the … Read More