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
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
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