An Honourable Result

Philip HarrisStories, Writing0 Comments

I found out on Wednesday that my story, Rainshine, received an honourable mention in the 3rd quarter round of the Writers of the Future Contest. Now, obviously that’s not a win. I don’t get to dress up in a fancy suit and go to an awards ceremony. It’s really just a rejection but it comes with a hearty “attaboy” and I’m not too proud to cling to it like a Browncoat clinging to a signed Joss Whedon script. When it comes to my writing, I take my encouragement any way I can. This is actually the second story I’ve entered that got an honourable mention. The first was Piece Number 7. [An Honourable Result by Philip Harris first appeared on Solitary Mindset on 28th September 2013]

McSweeney’s Writing Advice

Philip HarrisChatter, Stories, Writing Advice0 Comments

Just a quick update today – I’m full of butter chicken, we’re about to watch Where The Wild Things Are and I have a story to edit – but I wanted to pass on this link to The Ultimate Guide To Writing Better Than You Normally Do on the McSweeney’s website; well worth a read. The last few days have been pretty successful writing wise, I’ve finished the final drafts of Rainshine, Artificial Wife and In His Tomb of Books which leaves one more story – Fresh Things – to edit tonight. That will leave my unfinished folder empty so that I can finally start on the rewrite of The Ghost Smuggler. At some point over the last few days I broke through 100,000 words of short fiction (ignoring my abandoned stories) which is pretty cool. I’ve also discovered that I’m missing the files for one or two stories (strangely, ones that have been published). I’ll have to dig around in my backups and see if I can find them. I also have some old stories that I may resurrect in the near future and start getting them out into the world. Anyway, time to work on Fresh Things.

Back From The Dead

Philip HarrisBooks, Chatter, Events, Movies, Music, Stories0 Comments

Time flies when you’re living in a self-imposed creative wasteland. It’s been three months since my last real update and since then I’ve been to several plays including two musicals, seen a couple of fantastic musicians live listened to a lot of great new music, backed loads of kickstarter projects, watched some hockey but not as much as I would have liked, eaten in some nice restaurants, injured my foot, run a marathon and signed up for a second one, watched some really good films (and awesome videos), seen the batmobile, read some great books and a lot of short stories but written nothing. The Evil Dead Claim Another Victim*  However, a couple of weeks ago we went away to Desolation Sound for a short break to recharge and I ended up writing the first drafts of a couple of new stories – This is Not the Apocalypse You’re Looking For and Artificial Wife. Desolation Sound  That burst of creativity (and the amazing location) swept away the cobwebs and since then I’ve been masterminding a plan to get writing back into my regular schedule. The first step was to clear out all my almost finished stories so I’ve spent the last few days revising Origami Man, Rainshine and … Read More

F Bomb

Philip HarrisStories0 Comments

No zombies, but I did manage to get back to writing yesterday and I started a new story – F Bomb. An hour and a half of writing resulted 966 words which I think puts me about halfway through. It’s an interesting little story and I’m not entirely sure what genre you’d pigeonhole it into but I like it so far. There’s a (hopefully) humorous edge to it that appeals to me. I was also planning on editing Rainshine but I decided to postpone that for another few days and come back to it once F Bomb is finished. I also wrote an entry for my other blog – something I’ve neglected to do for far too long and submitted a story to the One Buck Horror anthology series – fingers crossed on that one, it would be good to end the year with another acceptance. With all the talk about music and running, I neglected to mention the new book I’m reading – Cate Gardner’s short story collection Strange Men in Pinstripe Suits and other curious things. I read the first couple of stories on Friday night and already I’ve got a good feeling about it. Finally, I’ve created a Free Fiction page and posted links to the first two stories … Read More

3362

Philip HarrisStories, Television0 Comments

A good writing day yesterday. I clocked up nine hundred and fifty eight words and completed the first draft of the story currently known as Rainshine. The first draft wound up at 3362 words, a bit longer than I’d originally thought but pretty much an average length for me. I’m pretty happy with this one, now comes the time to put it aside and let it age for a couple of weeks. Hopefully that will give me a bit of distance so that I can come back with a fresh perspective when I come to revise it. Maybe I’ll also have my final title by then. After the I’d finished writing Rainshine, we caught up on the latest episode of Supernatural. [Slight spoiler ahead] I don’t watch a lot of TV – too many other things to do – but Supernatural is one of the few series that’s a must see. We’ve reached Season 7 though and its starting to feel like it might be time to wrap things up. I still enjoy it, although less so since we lost Castiel, but I’d rather it ended on a high rather than degenerate into mediocrity the way The X-Files did. This week we … Read More

A Visit From Ethel

Philip HarrisNovel Number 20 Comments

Our normal weekend schedule has been disrupted this week because Sunday will be a very special day. To make room for that very special day we moved our long Sunday run to the Saturday instead. To my surprise, my muse, Ethel, turned up a couple of kilometers into the run and proceeded to feed me a very tempting idea for my next novel. She spent the next half hour helping me nudge the idea around my head until she realised there was still 12km left to run and disappeared into a darkened room to think about death. I was originally planning on starting a new novel in the New Year but I’m intrigued by this new idea and I have the opening few chapters pretty clear in my head so I may well start sooner. Of course, I need to do one more pass on The Ghost Smuggler and send that out into the wild first. Oh, and I need a title. The downside with moving our long run to Saturday was that I didn’t get as much writing done as I would have liked. I did write 876 more words of Rainshine bringing the total length to 2404 words. Clearly, I … Read More

It Means Nothing to Me

Philip HarrisChatter0 Comments

Our new Kobo Vox arrived yesterday. I resisted the eBook revolution for a long time but Ann persuaded me to buy her one for her birthday last year. I borrowed it to read William Gibson’s Zero History and was immediately hooked. She has her first generation Kobo, I have a 3rd generation Kindle. I see the Kindle as the Rolls Royce of ereaders, high quality and until recently, a bit expensive. The Kobo is nice, very light, although the first generation is a bit slow to start up, particularly compared to my Kindle. Maybe the newer ones have improved, I don’t know. Even though I have an ereader, I still buy physical books. I love the look and feel and smell of real printed books and I’ve spent over $400 on them over the last 3-4 weeks* but the ereaders have rekindled (do you see what I did there?) my love of reading. I’m reading a lot more books since I got my Kindle and I’m reading more broadly. In particular I’m picking up random self-published books by authors I’ve never heard of. Some of them I enjoy, some of them I don’t but either way I’m discovering authors that I … Read More

Introducing Ethel

Philip HarrisChatter0 Comments

I have a muse. Her name is Ethel. I’ve never met her (she prefers to stay out of sight and just fiddle with the synapses in my brain) but I’m pretty sure she’s a very cool goth from the 80s. As if to prove my point about stories changing as I write them, Ethel has stepped in and made a suggestion for a new title for Rainshine, added a new scene and embellished the final scene of the story with what, according to her, will be some very effective imagery. The problem with Ethel is that she has such grand plans and I rarely manage to do justice to the pictures she puts in my head. This time I’ll try to do better. But, I’m sticking with Rainshine as the title for the time being, we’ll see how insistent Ethel gets. Anyway, 517 words on Rainshine yesterday. Finished off the second and third scenes and an opening line for the fourth. All signs point to me being able to wrap up the first draft at the weekend. I always let my stories sit for a week or two before I do the second draft to gain some perspective so this one should … Read More

Rainshine

Philip HarrisChatter0 Comments

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