Looking Forward, 2017

Philip HarrisChatter, Indie Publishing, RunningLeave a Comment

After posting my belated end of year wrap up, I figured I’d better also look forward to what’s ahead in 2017… I talked about setting goals on New Year’s Day and mentioned my big personal goal – running a marathon in under four hours. That goal has actually been in the back of my mind for a few years but 2017 is the year I’m really going to focus on my speed and fitness (and weight) and try to hit that. My wife and I recently worked out which races we’re going to take part in this year and it’s a fairly long list, but a lot of them will be used as training runs for my main goal of that sub-four hour marathon. Time will tell whether it will pan out but I’m looking forward to trying. I’ll probably make the odd post here about my progress for those who are interested in how a moderately unfit, middle aged guy prepares for a marathon. I also mentioned my eight book publishing schedule. That’s pretty aggressive, even though I have a couple of the books complete and two more in draft form. I’ve laid out the schedule for the first half of the year and this is what it … Read More

Farewell, 2016

Philip HarrisChatter2 Comments

Continuing my tradition of posting end of year wrap ups late… 2016 was a mixed year for me, personally. We lost a lot of great people including some of my idols (I’m listening to David Bowie’s new EP right now) and people close to me. The internet seems to be getting more and more toxic by the day, and the less said about Brexit and the US election the better. But there was plenty of ups to offset the downs. I moved into a new apartment that doesn’t turn into an oven in the summer, and a new role on a very exciting project in my day job. It means I’ll be busier than I’ve been recently, but the work will be much more fulfilling. My writing went very well, too. I hit 282,441 words over the whole year which is a new record (I wrote 275,872 words in 2014 and 255,470 in 2015). There was plenty of editing in there as well so I’m happy with that. I’ve got ambitious plans for this year, so I’m hoping to break 300,000 words. We’ll see. I worked on several new projects during that time including the second and third Leah King books, The … Read More

On Goals

Philip HarrisChatterLeave a Comment

Happy New Year! So, it’s New Year’s Resolution time again. I’m not really a New Year’s Resolution kind of guy. I do set “resolutions” but I do it when the mood takes me not just at the beginning of the year. That’s why my writing streak starts on 30th June 2013 rather than something more numerically pleasing. I am setting a few goals this year, though. Running a marathon in less than four hours for example. That’s a good goal to me because a) it’s tough but achievable and b) the outcome is pretty much under my control. Assuming I train properly, don’t eat all the chocolate we have in our fridge and sort out my race nutrition, there’s no reason why I shouldn’t be able to achieve that. I’ve even got at least two shots – one at the Vancouver Marathon in May and then another either in September (The Blerch) or October (Victoria).  There are some external factors – I might get injured or the weather might not cooperate but beyond that, my success in the marathon is really down to me. Even injuries are partially under my control – over training and ignoring warning signs are a good way to end up … Read More

An Unmitigated Disaster

Philip HarrisChatter, WritingLeave a Comment

I’m now about 66,000 words into the final book in the Leah King trilogy, The Girl in the Machine, and I’ve reached the point where I’m convinced it’s an unmitigated disaster. My outline is in shreds. There’s dozens of plot holes in every chapter. The character arcs aren’t arcs, they’re circles. I’ve forgotten to tie up at least three loose ends and there’s two more that I opened in chapter three that go nowhere. The critical scene involving the aardvark and the pug is physically impossible, and I’m pretty sure several of my character’s names change halfway through the story. Twice. Basically, I want to delete everything relating to this book and take up something sane like juggling scorpions. I’m not going to. Partly because scorpions are mean and that would be dangerous, but mostly because I’ve been here before. ON EVERY SINGLE BOOK I’VE WRITTEN. The Girl in the City, Unseen Planet, The Girl in Wilderness, The Ghost Smuggler, Siren’s Call and both my (currently unpublished) zombie books all went through this same phase. Experience has taught me that my mind is lying to me. I’m not writing in stone. Sure, I’ll have to go back and rewrite big chunks, fill in the holes, check names and facts, and generally … Read More

Sold! – The Ride

Philip HarrisChatter, Stories, WritingLeave a Comment

So far this year, I’ve submitted short stories to magazines and anthologies fourteen times. Last weekend I got my second acceptance. My very short story, The Ride will be published at Dark Fuse Magazine. I’m very pleased this one has found a home and Dark Fuse put out some quality fiction so I’m in good company. I’ll be sure to post the link to the story here once it’s available in early November. Incidentally, Dark Fuse currently have an offer on their one year subscription. For $60 you get a year of Dark Fuse Magazine (normally $40) plus all the ebooks Dark Fuse publish in that year. Given that they guarantee at least 24 titles that’s a good deal if you’re into dark fiction. Sign up for my newsletter and get a year of stories, completely free. CLICK HERE to get started. [Sold! – The Ride by Philip Harris first appeared on Solitary Mindset on 27th October 2016]

One Year with Glitch Mitchell

Philip HarrisChatter, Glitch, Indie PublishingLeave a Comment

On August 22nd 2015 I clicked published on my first full length indie title – Glitch Mitchell and the Unseen Planet. Three days later, I officially launched the book. The Unseen Planet is a science fiction novel inspired by the old Flash Gordon serials that I used to watch on TV when I was young. It’s fast paced, over the top, and doesn’t take itself too seriously. I originally planned the idea as side project that would be posted here on the blog. The goal was to produce ten 1,000 word chapters and post one every Saturday morning. That idea grew into twenty-six 1,000 word chapters, but when I started writing they ended up coming in at 2-3,000 words. The end result was a full length novel that I didn’t quite know what to do with. The book sat on my hard drive for quite a while until I read a post by some guy called Hugh Howey. He was talking about his new cover designer-M.S. Corley. I was very impressed with Mike’s portfolio, one thing led to another, and I ended up commissioning a cover for The Unseen Planet. Now I had a cover, I had to publish the book. It took a while, plus the tender ministrations of two editors and three … Read More

August Writing Update

Philip HarrisChatter, WritingLeave a Comment

I’ve realised I haven’t posted any writing updates for a while so I thought I’d avoid working on my latest short story by giving an update instead. The last few months have been reasonably good from a fiction point of view. My writing-every-day streak continues and sits at 1,147 days. I’ve just broken the 150k mark for words written this year (158,173 to be exact) so I’m pretty much on track to break my personal annual word count record (275,872). At this point, I’m pretty confident I can do that. I have several first drafts I want to get written, and they should drive up that word count pretty quickly. It won’t be obvious to anyone looking at my Amazon author page, but this year I’ve been trying to focus on finishing projects and getting them out into the wide world. That said, the last few months have been spent working on several projects. The Girl in the Wilderness This is the sequel to The Girl in the City that I hadn’t planned on writing. And when I did decide to write it I was expecting it to be another novella but a bit bigger than The Girl in the City. It turned out to be a full length novel … Read More

April Update

Philip HarrisChatter, Metrics, WritingLeave a Comment

I remember a time when I used to post here pretty much every day. Good times. Talking of good times, the last couple of months have been less than stellar – too much sorrow, too much frustration. Hopefully May will be better, I’ve certainly got plans for it to be better. We’ll see how those work out. I did manage to keep up my writing streak though, although after March’s record breaking word count, April’s was a more typical 17,205 words split between a couple of projects. The bulk of my time was spent on the sequel to The Girl in the City – The Girl in the Wilderness. My original plan was the book would be a novella – about 25,000 words. I reached 42,000 words by the end of April with at least 10,000 to go which puts it well into short novel territory. Given that the point of writing this particular book was for a quick break between the full length zombie books I’ve kind of screwed things up. Never mind, it’s a good story. Apart from The Girl in the Wilderness, I put the finishing touches on a new short story and sent it off to the editor. It’s for a fantastic anthology so hopefully he’ll like it. More on that another … Read More

Instability Stabilised

Philip HarrisChatterLeave a Comment

And we’re back. Mostly. There’s still some tweaking to do with colours and few fonts on some of the pages but for the most part things seem to be okay. If you see any issues, please let me know.