Two Years of Writing

Philip HarrisMetrics, WritingLeave a Comment

It’s been a while since I made a pure metrics post, I’ve been focusing on writing and editing, rather than writing about writing and editing, but I recently passed a milestone that I thought was worth talking about. On 30th June 2013, I sat down and decided I would write every day, and I haven’t missed a day since – which means a couple of weeks ago I hit the two year mark of my writing streak. So, what does 2 years of writing look like? (Click to enlarge) To save you getting your calculators out, all those spiky lines add up to 535,588 words (366,065 of which were shiny new stuff, the rest were revisions). I spent 37 days, 14 hours, 56 minutes of my life writing those words. That’s 593 words per hour overall but that rate increases to 790 words per hour when I’m writing something new. This graph shows how I split my time between outlining, writing new words, rewriting old work or revising. (Click to largify) It’s pretty clear from that what I’ve been doing for the last few weeks – revising. That’s good though, one of my goals for this year has been to revise the almost finished stories and novels I have kicking … Read More

Flash Gordon Rewatch – Chapter 3 – Captured by Shark Men

Philip HarrisFlash Gordon Rewatch, Glitch1 Comment

It’s Saturday, so it’s time for the next part of our Flash Gordon rewatch. Things were looking pretty bad for Flash and Dale at the end of last week’s episode – The Tunnel of Terror. Dale had been put into a trance using the dehumanizer and Flash had just fallen unconscious having been caught by a giant crab-parrot-Godzilla thing. I’ve got a feeling things will be okay (at least for a while) so grab some popcorn and your favourite beverage and let’s watch Chapter 3 – (spoiler) Captured by Shark Men.   I was right! Prince Thun comes to Flash’s rescue and kills the giant parrot with a “raygun”. Flash and Thun prevent the final stroke of the sacred gong from sounding, in the process stopping the wedding between Dale and Ming. They rescue Dale and flee, vandalising a religious idol along the way. To Princess Aura’s chagrin, Ming orders the use of the water trap. Flash and Thun (and the still-entranced Dale) are (again) cornered by Ming’s men and (again) Thun sacrifices himself to allow Flash and Dale to escape, but as Dale returns to her normal self, a trap door opens, plunging them into water and the waiting arms of the Shark Men. Princess Aura finds Thun and … Read More

Glitch Mitchell and the Unseen Planet Cover Reveal

Philip HarrisBooks, Glitch, Indie PublishingLeave a Comment

The exact release date for my science fiction novel, Glitch Mitchell and the Unseen Planet is still undecided for now, but I figured it was time to unveil the cover anyway. Glitch started as a serial destined for the website but I enjoyed writing the project so much that it grew into a full length project. The novel my homage to the old Flash Gordon serials (I’m doing a rewatch of the 1936 Buster Crabbe series at the moment) so when it came to the cover, I really wanted to evoke the old Flash Gordon movie posters. About the time I was looking around for a cover artist, Hugh Howey mentioned the artist he’d started using, M.S. Corley. I really liked the look of his covers and ended up commissioning a custom cover for the Glitch. I’m really happy with how it turned out so, without further ado, here’s the cover for Glitch Mitchell and the Unseen Planet. A huge amount of work went into the image and it fits the action packed nature of the book perfectly. So, a massive thank you to Mike for creating such an amazing cover. The book itself is finished and edited and is now sitting with the first of several proofreaders. Once the … Read More

Flash Gordon Rewatch – Chapter 2 – The Tunnel of Terror

Philip HarrisFlash Gordon Rewatch, GlitchLeave a Comment

We’re back for the second chapter of our Flash Gordon rewatch. Last week’s exciting chapter ended with Flash and Princess Aura plummeting to their deaths. How will they survive?   Thanks to Ming the Not-Quite-So-Merciless’ sudden change of heart, Flash, his partly shredded shirt and Aura are saved by the last minute deployment of a net that breaks their fall and saves them from the “dragon of death”. Thanks to a conveniently located door, Flash and Aura escape the pit and flee to the tunnels beneath the city. Aura is obviously attracted to Flash, but Flash, clearly not the smartest cookie in the jar, is oblivious. Meanwhile, Zarkov is in “a scientist’s paradise” and a wonderful new ensemble featuring a lovely pair of short-shorts. Even more meanwhile, Dale is being prepared for a marriage to Ming. She resists, but Ming’s high priest is unimpressed and heads off to have a chat with the Ming the Now-Merciless-Again. Aura traps Flash inside a rocketship, apparently simply by removing the very short set of steps leading to the ship’s door. Realising he’s stuck, Flash makes the sensible decision to change into some new (and presumably more durable) clothes, including more of those short shorts. … Read More

Flash Gordon Rewatch – Chapter 1 – The Planet of Peril

Philip HarrisFlash Gordon Rewatch, Glitch2 Comments

Time for the first chapter of the Flash Gordon rewatch. If you haven’t read the background for this series of posts, you can get up to speed with here. Otherwise, grab your popcorn and let’s settle down and watch The Planet of Peril.   We start the show with Earth already under threat from a mysterious (radioactive) planet that will soon hit Earth and smash it to atoms. Not good. After a quick trip around the world where we see how people are reacting to their imminent demise, we join polo player Flash Gordon and the lovely Dale Arden on a plane caught in a meteor storm. Things are already looking bad, but thankfully the airline has thought ahead and provided parachutes. Unfortunately, safety standards being what they were in 1936, there aren’t enough parachutes to go round. Always the gentleman, Flash grabs Dale and jumps out of the aircraft. Landing in a strange looking country, Flash and Dale encounter Doctor Alexis Zarkov – the prototypical mad scientist who believes he holds the key to saving Earth. After a brief debate, the three of them board Zarkov’s rocket ship and head off to save the planet. Thanks to Zarkov’s rocket and its counter magnets, the three earthlings make it … Read More

Flash Gordon Rewatch

Philip HarrisFlash Gordon Rewatch, Glitch, Videos1 Comment

When I was growing up, one of the highlights of the summer and Christmas school holidays was the BBC’s children’s programming. Every morning they’d air a Tarzan movie and episodes of serials including a French series that I can’t remember the name of and the old black and white fiction serials from the 1930s – Zorro, The Lone Ranger and Buck Rogers. I enjoyed them all, but my favourite was Flash Gordon starring Larry “Buster” Crabbe. I’d eagerly sit down each morning to see how Flash, Dale and the Doc managed to get out of whatever pickle they’d got themselves into the day before. I don’t know how many times I watched each series (I remember them being shown every year for most of my childhood, although I doubt that’s actually true), but they stuck with me, and I’ve always had a soft spot in my nerdy heart for those serials (helped by the 1980 movie of course). A couple of years ago, before I started indie publishing, I was trying to think of a way to add more interesting content to my blog and post more regularly. I was also trying to think of a new writing project that I could use to fill the time … Read More

5 Things I’ve Done Since I Last Posted on My Blog

Philip HarrisChatter, WritingLeave a Comment

It’s been a while since I last posted here, over a month in fact. I’ve been very busy during that time, but here’s a few highlights to get me back on the blogging horse… 1 – Wrapped up Siren’s Call At least, I’ve wrapped up the fourth draft which is the last draft before I send it off to Ellen Campbell, the editor who’ll be whipping it into shape. I’m really happy with how the book turned out. It was great fun to write and feedback from the people who’ve read it so far has been excellent. I can’t confirm the release date just yet but you shouldn’t have too long to wait. 2 – Saw Kieran Strange and The Doubleclicks Perform Live Neither of us were familiar with Kieran Strange but we enjoyed her show. Anyone with a song called Merry Undead Christmas must be good. This was the first time we’d seen The Doubleclicks live and they were predictably awesome. Their brief rendition of the Doctor Who theme was worth the price of admission on its own. 3 – Watched Mad Max: Fury Road If I get some time, I’ll post my thoughts on the film but suffice to say, I loved it. So much that I’m tempted … Read More

Building the Apocalypse – The Beginning of the End

Philip HarrisApocalypse Weird, Metrics, WritingLeave a Comment

My Apocalypse Weird novel, Siren’s Call is done. I wrapped up the draft on Saturday evening (inspired, perhaps, by going to see Mad Max Fury Road earlier in the day). This is what the final week’s writing looked like. That’s 4,647 words (in the end this draft was 68,162 words long). In reality, the actual Siren’s Call word count was a bit less than that because I also started playing with a new idea and wrote 1,361 words  on a different novel, most of it on Sunday. I won’t be working on that novel properly for a while (probably not until next year), but I wasn’t ready to start editing Glitch Mitchell and the Unseen Planet which is what I should really be doing. So, I did a little bit of “filler” writing, just playing with the concept, trying out the voice and putting down the initial ideas I had for the opening scene. I quite often do this sort of experimentation as a quick rest between projects. I write every single day (currently my streak is at 688 days) but sometimes I’m not quite ready to work on the next project. Maybe I don’t have an idea yet, or it’s not fleshed out enough, or I … Read More

What I did on my Holiday – Part One

Philip HarrisChatterLeave a Comment

On Tuesday night, we arrived back in Vancouver after an action-packed 10 day trip to the UK. It had been close to five years since I’d been back so most of that time was spent catching up with family and it was great to see everyone again. Some people have changed a lot (one didn’t even exist last time I was there) and other people are just the same. I also made a couple of trips to my favourite comic shop – Comic Connections – to catch up with some friends (and reacquaint myself with Strongbow), and spent a bit of time wandering around the town. A few things have changed (the baked potato guy outside McDonalds wasn’t there and a few of the shops are different) but otherwise, my home town has stayed pretty much how it was last time I was there. We also ate some fantastic food. I can highly recommend The Three Pigeons. We had a Christmas lunch there and the food was delicious. The Three Pigeons was my “local” when I was younger, and my wife and I spent many an evening there when we first met so going back was a bit of a trip down memory lane. I can also recommend … Read More

Still Alive, Still Writing

Philip HarrisBooks, Chatter, Movies, WritingLeave a Comment

It’s been a while since my last post. I guess time flies when you’re having fun. Or in my case – time flies when you’re having a root canal retreatment. My day job, a running injury, the aforementioned root canal and a whole load of editing of Leah may have curtailed my blogging but the writing streak continues. Although my daily word count numbers have dropped significantly because I’ve been revising and editing, I’m currently at 533 days with no plans to stop. Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve made the last few revisions to Leah, wrapped up the first draft of Reg vs the Martians and started a couple of new chapters that will replace a chapter in Glitch that I’ve never been happy with. I’m not convinced this new stuff is much of an improvement but it’s definitely a step in the right direction. I’ll probably rewrite it again next year. I also outlined the sequel to The Zombie Book (working title). I’m heading off to England next week and I had originally planned to spend some time on the final revisions of Glitch. But I’ve come to the conclusion that editing on the road doesn’t really work … Read More