Wolf Mama (considering changing that) now has every single scene in plotted, dissected, reassembled and stitched up.

I’m ready to roll!

Occasionally I get to this point and feel a massive emotional slump, as if I’ve told the story I wanted to tell and that there’s no point cracking on. Not this time, oh no! Clara Tao and her assortment of kids, friends and enemies are bubbling in my head with the ferocity of Etna on a bad day, just ready to kick off. Man, it’s a great feeling.

My only concern at the moment is that Clara picks up an unorthodox accomplice along the way named Oswald. Ozzie’s as good a name as any considering his origins but if you followed Matt Smith as The Doctor, then you’ll see my dilemma.

Maybe I should go with Cuthbert?



Big Mama

I think I mentioned that Wolf Mama was originally set to be a short story. If I did, then I also mentioned that it’s grown into something more resembling a novella. Well, since I use Randy Ingermanson’s (sorry if I misspelt that) Snowflake method when I outline (it’s never let me down), I’ve reached the stage where I’m brainstorming scenes and, let me tell you, there’s loads of them!

I’m not saying I’m heading into novel length territory (I’m heading into novel length territory), but there is some pretty serious meat on Clata Tao’s bones! The character list has expanded and I’ve hashed out a couple of sub-plots that will keep the story moving whilst fleshing out the Weird West and the characters therein. Turns out Clara’s not the only parent who has lost a kid and the other guy’s empathy plays a big part in helping Clara out.

Anyway, I’m more excited about this one than I was with Copper Jacket (my favourite piece to date), so if you’ll excuse me, I need to get back to work.


That’s the spirit of the new fish

Couldn’t think of a title so randomly punches the phone’s autocue. Sorry about that.

In other news, the day with the Weight Swingers appears to have been productive. Orchid is hopeful that the kids will be properly served by the legal system. She’s my silver lining girl, so it was going to pan out that way. Me, I’m a little older and a lot more cynical so I’ll save the sapphire complexion for a sure thing.

We did get back earlier than intendes though, which was good. I actually managed to get some words down on Wolf Mama. Somewhere along the line I lost my original outline so scribbled down a quick replacement. Funny thing is, I came up with enough material to get a novella from it. Somehow the story has become a lot darker, but the ending feels a lot more satisfactory. Without giving too much away, I think I can capture something resembling the horrors of choice that parenthood thrusts upon you. (It’s only fair to point out the seedlings aren’t ‘mine’, but in the same breath the bloody well are, if you catch my drift).

Anyway, that’s enough from me. I’m off for a snuggle.


Most Valuable Commodity Coming Back on the Market

Time. Where the hell does it go?  I know at least two weeks have vanished since I last updated, but I’ll be damned if I can say where they went! Same’s true for Wolf Mama. Due to various other duties, I’ve not got a word in on that. Poor old Clara is frozen in time, riding back to her cabin with a gun in her hand and terror in her chest.

It doesn’t look like I’ll be getting any work in today either. Long story short but, of course, it revolves around the UK’s clown show legal system and a rather unsavoury jerk.

Hopefully I’ll be able to steal an hour or two tomorrow!

Right, I have to go get ready.


One Shot to the Brain

Wolf Mama is coming along. Things are progressing and I’m happy enough with the way Clara Tao is handling the situation.

Things weren’t quite so smooth initially. The tale jumped into my heald half-formed and wrapped in the accoutrements of Viking lore. Although I loved tales and history of those Dark Age pirates in my youth, the sheen has kinda rubbed off in the intervening years.

I almost ditched the project, chalking it up to another case of brain lock. After walking away from the machine, I decided to pop in on my folks and man am I glad I did!

My old dad is a bit of a Wild West fan. On the day I went to visit, he had camped out in front of the telly and was engrossed in some two-fisted, six-shooting action only slightly younger than his good self. Having inherited the old boy’s love of westerns, I fixed brews and joined him on the sofa.

Turns out it was a great use of time. While I watched some suntanned dude gunning down outlaws, I realised my Viking mamma wanted to be a gun-toting bad ass saving her babies from murderous demons while riding a giant chicken! I have no idea where the chickens came from, but things are going nicely and it’s great to be writing again!


Lull in Hostilities

January’s gone. The maddening dance around courts and social services has eased down to a white noise rasp in the back of our heads. Our campaign to keep the seedlings safe from the Corrupter’s influence has hit a quiet spot. January has washed away into the time stream.  I’ve got nothing done.

Well, obviously I’ve got some things done. There’s a lovely base in Orchid’s settlement waiting for walls and a roof. Since the day job has been quiet, I’m putting up a nice big wooden structure for her. It’ll help her business no end. She’s over the moon. Books have been read, kids have been entertained and educated. Battle Cat has been to the infirmary so many times we’re both dizzy. She’s okay now. The dogs have worn my legs to bloody stumps along the highways and byways of my forest home.

January was mostly taking care of small things. Important things, but small. The big things, the things I write about here, are another story. My brain’s still trapped in a spot of molasses thick enough to drown my creativity and clog my thoughts. If I’m honest, panic had started to set in.

With no work (long story) and no words, things were looking bleak. Kindle sales had taken a big enough rest to get my pores leaking and my chest poundings. Two years ago I could have wound in the belt and survived off packet soup and cheap coffee. With four extra face holes to cram doughnuts into, that’s no longer an option.

Fear’s a funny thing. It’s a feeling, sure, but it’s also a set of options. Choice one, grab your trainers and head for the hills. Choice two, reach for a mighty great stick and start swinging. I’ve been dodging around the lack of words for a little while now and, since I’ve never been the most physically fit specimen, it’s time to grab a bludgeon and whack away until the words start falling.

I have an idea,  you see, and strangely enough it’s about terror and motherhood.


Mumble Mumble Mumble

The end quarter of last year, I put out two novellas. I was dead stoked, more so when the positive reviews came thundering in. I was looking to get something new out by the end of this month too. I’d scribbled out a plan for Stark’s 3rd adventure, plotted something a touch more space opera than anything I’ve done before and also scratched out a few notes on a couple of short stories to finally get enough of them together to get that oft-mentioned collection out on the stands.

It’s the 22nd and this post is the longest thing I’ve written all month.

After the super productive push last year, I’m kinda disappointed with myself. I mean, it’s not like I’m not trying. I’ve been at my work station every day. Nothing’s coming out of my finger tips is grabbing my interest. Hell, I’ve even tried a bit of Sword and Sorcery stuff (definitely not my strong suit) to try and smash the deadlock.

I don’t want to come across as all ‘woe is me’. I’ve just stumbled onto a bit of a bad patch and will have to work through it until my brain starts doing what it’s told again. After such a good ending to an otherwise drab 2017, I figured it’d be fair to share that it’s not always roses and sunshine in Grimaldi’s garden.

Anyway, that’s enough waffle from me.


One more thing…

Okay, okay. I said I’d leave you all to your turkeys, latke, Yule logs and whatever, but it appears knocking Wood Hollow out there as a freebie has certainly caught somone’s attention! Ryan Stark’s first round of cult-punching goodness has received 4* review and I’m stoked!

Amazon Customer, whoever you are, have a most excellent winter festival!