April Writing Update

Philip HarrisWritingLeave a Comment

Another month, another writing update. I’m still focused on the first book in my new series. I crossed the 100,000 word mark for both the book and my word count for 2021 which is a nice psychological milestone. There’s still a decent chunk of writing to do and I spent several days wrestling with some tricky plot problems. Most of them are sorted but I found another one a few minutes ago. Which is why I’m writing this update not working on the book. But that’s a problem tomorrow’s insomnia to solve. Total word count for the month was 27,890 which is another month averaging less than my target of 1,000 words a day. I’m still on track to have my most productive year but I really would like to hit that completely arbitrary 1,000 words a day goal. With the current book drawing to a close, I’m starting to think about what to tackle next. Most likely choice is a prequel short story for that series that I have outlined. I’ll be publishing as a precursor to the new series but if you’d like to get it free everyone on my newsletter will be getting a copy. Sign up … Read More

Sunday Snippet – 4th April 2021

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A quick unedited (and context free) snippet from the currently untitled first book in my new series. Tessa sat in an absurdly comfortable armchair. The hard edge of her phone dug into her ribs but she didn’t dare shift position in case she drew attention to its existence. The mayor didn’t seem to know she’d been recording them and so far he hadn’t called the cops. Tessa didn’t want either of those things to change. The mayor and Jody were on the couch opposite Tessa. Lambert still looked comfortable and relaxed, leaning confidently back against the plush cushions. Jody was less at ease. She sat straight-backed with her knees pressed together and her hands clasped in her lap. Her eyes pinned Tessa to the armchair. Darien was leaning nonchalantly against the wall off to Tessa’s right. The noir outfit was gone, replaced by a sharp black suit, black shirt and even blacker tie. They gave her a pained look. Tessa couldn’t sense anything from either the mayor or Jody. It didn’t guarantee they weren’t involved with the demonrealms but it was seeming less and less likely. “First, I must apologize,” Lambert said. “For my overenthusiastic behavior outside.” Tessa could sense … Read More

A Superb Owl Snippet

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A quick unedited snippet from the currently untitled first book in my new series. Despite claims to the contrary, demons couldn’t be expelled by family recipes, essential oils, visualization, or really strong curry. And a “friend” telling someone their kid is possessed doesn’t guarantee they actually are. If this friend’s daughter got better after a bowl of soup then either she wasn’t possessed in the first place or the demon left of its own accord. Probably because it didn’t want to be associated with idiots like her. [A Superb Owl Snippet by Philip Harris first appeared on Solitary Mindset on 3rd February 2021]

March Writing Update

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A quarter of the way through the year already. Ouch. March was all about focus for me (at least when it came to the writing). I spent an hour or so revising an old story for submission to an anthology but other than that I spent all my writing time on the first book of the new series. Total word count for the month was 28,535. As usual that was a mix of new words, outlining, and revisions. It’s also less than 1,000 words a day which is my goal for the year. Total wordcount for the first quarter was 88,604 words and according to the spreadsheet I use to obsess over my writing wordcounts I’m about 2,229 words behind where I want to be. Not disastrous but it’s a long weekend here in Canada so I’ll be trying to claw some of that back over the next three days. As for the book itself, it’s sitting at 88,171 words which I’m guessing is roughly 2/3 complete. Overall, I’m pretty happy with it and I’ve resisted the urge to make any more major changes so far. If I can get to the end without pulling this thing apart again I’ll … Read More

Kickstarter of the (not every) Week – Gloomier: A Night at Hemlock Hall

Philip HarrisGaming, KickstarterLeave a Comment

Back in the before times I used to make an annual pilgrimage to Colorado for an informal Horror Writer’s Retreat at the Stanley Hotel. The last time we managed to make it happen was in 2018 (I think) and I subjected everyone to a storytelling game called Gloom. The basic idea is to play cards that a) score you points and b) describe a terrible disaster that befalls a member of one of the game’s quirky families. Players are encouraged to elaborate on the description on the card to create a story but don’t gain any points unless their family meets its demise. Gloom has a dark, Addams Family-esque feel so playing it with a bunch of horror writers was great fun. I have all the expansions (and a Cthulhu variant) of the game so when I saw that there is a new version being funded on Kickstarter I didn’t think twice. In the words of the team behind the game: Gloomier: A Night at Hemlock Hall is a darkly humorous stand-alone competitive storytelling card game for two to five players. To win, you make your characters suffer the greatest tragedies possible before passing on to the well-deserved respite of death. … Read More

“The dead bodies piled down by the river”

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Music video for Reflex Liar by The Bonnevilles released on Westergaard Records June 2018. Originally released only on limited edition split 7″ single and download. You can grab the song here – https://thebonnevilles.co.uk/album/801512/reflex-liar-7-split-single [“The dead bodies piled down by the river” by Philip Harris first appeared on Solitary Mindset on 10 March 2021]

February Writing Update

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Yes, we’re nine days into March. Don’t judge me. After a bit of floundering, I managed to lock down my writing plans at the end of January. I immediately dived off in a different direction for a few days to write a very special Glitch Mitchell short story (more on that another day) but other than that the plan held. Overall word count for the month was 27,213. My daily wordcount varies but I’m on track for my goal of averaging 1,000 words a day for the year. It also puts me roughly 15,000 words ahead of my most productive year. In theory that should have put me pretty close to the end of this new book but through all the replanning and reoutlining I threw away big chunks of the story so there is a lot more writing to do. It’s a much better book and I’m determined to do it justice but I suspect I’m going to have to revise my 2021 goals to 1-2 books rather than 3-4 and the sci-fi idea I want to pursue is going to need to be pushed out. On the plus side, I probably have a title. I hate having to … Read More

Dämoren by Seth Skorkowsky

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I first discovered Seth Skorkowsky through the Call of Cthulhu RPG videos on his YouTube channel. I’ve been toying with the idea of running some RPG games and Call of Cthulhu is my system of choice so I was hunting around looking for good overviews of the new system, new scenarios etc. Seth’s channel stood out as one of the better ones out there. He’s got a natural presentation style and manages to be entertaining and informative without ending up with the wacky “trying too hard” feel that so many channels suffer from. Basically, he seems like a guy who enjoys playing and talking about role-playing games. He’s also an author and although he doesn’t seem to mention his writing often he did give a shout out to his Valducan urban fantasy series. As soon as I spotted that the audiobook was narrated by the legendary R.C. Bray I picked it up and I was not disappointed. The description for Damoren name checks Supernatural, Hell Boy, and Blade, and if you’re familiar with those then you’re familiar with what the Valducan series is about – a group of knights using holy weapons to hunt down vampires, werewolves, and other demonic … Read More

Kickstarter of the (not every) Week – Coyote & Crow

Philip HarrisGaming, KickstarterLeave a Comment

I have a Kickstarter problem. According to my profile, I’ve backed 237 projects since February 2016 plus 22 that I either dropped out of or were unsuccessful. That’s a lot of projects. Most of the projects I back are book, role-playing game, board game, or video game related but I’ve backed whiskey glasses, wallets, and running gear, too. Most of the projects have been delivered although the very first project I backed just passed its five year anniversary with no sign of it actually being completed. I have cut down on the number of projects I back but there are a lot of cool creative things happening on Kickstarter so I thought I’d start highlighting some of the interesting ones here. Hopefully if you back them I don’t need to feel so bad when I succumb and back them as well. First up, Coyote & Crow. In the words of the team behind the project: Coyote and Crow is a tabletop role playing game set in an alternate future of the Americas where colonization never occurred. Instead, advanced civilizations arose over hundreds of years after a massive climate disaster changed the history of the planet. You’ll play as adventurers starting out … Read More