Boris Johnson sighting!

MJG Life, Politics Leave a Comment

This morning coming in to work I saw Boris Johnson at Euston Square station! That wild yellow hair is so distinctive. My first instinct was to cat-call him somehow, but I restrained it, which I’m glad of. He looked so vulnerable there – surrounded by largely-liberal Londoners, a few of whom were goggling and wondering if it was him. Maybe if I’d thought more, I would have asked for a selfie! But if had cat-called him, what would I say? Probably something about whether his fantasy dream of Brexit is coming true. Close your eyes and wish upon a star, …

Writing Update 2018 week 48

MJG Writing Leave a Comment

I haven’t released a book in 5 months! That is the longest I have gone since I started publishing seriously in 2014. I’m currently selling around 1-2 a day, with around 1000 pages read. That’s about $10 a day. Not terrible, considering I’ve done no promo in months. Here’s the update on thriller book 2: Word count: 77,000 – up by 16,000 from 2 weeks ago. Around 1,000 words a day. Not much, but OK. At that pace, it’s a book in 3-4 months. 3-4 per year. Number of vehicular crashes: 2 big ones plus 40 small ones – I’ll …

Story Craft #20 Action, not World

MJG Story Craft, Writing Leave a Comment

I’ve now written 1 and 3/4 thrillers, after writing 12 sci-fi novels, 2 epic fantasy and mostly only ever reading sci-fi and fantasy, and it has taught me 1 major lesson that is already helping me write better in all genres: Action, not world In a thriller, it’s about original action, not about an original world. World-building is far less of an issue. The world itself is not the draw – because to a large degree, it’s the same world we all know. So you can’t hook with fascinating stuff about the world. Yet I have always focused on world …

My new healthy lunch

MJG Life Leave a Comment

Last week I decided to shake up my daily lunch – I eat the same thing every day, after a bulk prep on Monday – kept in the fridge then packed in tupperware. Used to be I had tuna sandwiches with salad, but I got worried about all the mercury. For a while it was mackerel, but I got tired of the taste. For a long time it was just chicken and mayo, with the bread getting phased out, until I was eating just chicken and salad every day. Not tasty. Probably not that great in terms of nutrition either. …

Agent hunt update – Jack Reacher edition

MJG Writing Leave a Comment

I checked my dates, and it seems I sent agent queries for my new thriller 2 months ago now. I’ve had 3 rejections and 1 request for the full. The rejection I got last week was a biting one – from one of the top agents I submitted to, and the one who represents Lee Child’s Jack Reacher series, Darley Anderson. It was one of the biggest reaches, and least likely, but of course it is a disappointment still. Darley Anderson sent me what looked to be a form rejection, thanking me and saying it’s important for the agent to …

Su’s birthday dinner at mom’s

MJG Cats, Chats, Life Leave a Comment

Today Su had her birthday! I gave her a fitbit watch and some other bits, and we went to my mom’s house for lunch. As often happens, my Dad and Ailz picked us up on their way up and we all went together. My sister Alice couldn’t make it as her kids were sickly, so this visit was the first time we’ve done for ages with only adults! It meant a lot of adult conversation over the delicious meal of lamb shank: Nationalism, Trump, Brexit and whether facts/reality are going to sally forth some time soon and vanquish these overheated …

Staff dinner @ Sarah’s place

MJG Life Leave a Comment

Last night was a potluck dinner @ Sarah my boss’ flat – it’ll be the last one we have there because she is moving out of London soon for a new job. Su and I brought a tub of Wing Wing chicken wings – these are Korean style beer-battered wings flavored with garlic and soy sauce, and are just delicious. The korean name of the chain is Chimek – the Chi is chicken and the mek is mekchu, which means beer. We also sneakily had our own Chimek dinner before heading to Sarah’s – didn’t want to have to fight …

Writing Update 2018 week 47

MJG Life, Marketing 2 Comments

Yesterday I took my heart in my mouth and sent a message to one of my favorite thriller authors – someone I’ve corresponded briefly with before. I just finished one of his books and loved it. There was much in common with the thriller I’ve just written – human trafficking, white supremacists, a hero damaged in childhood now pursuing a Dexter-like vigilante revenge. So in my message I asked if he’d be willing to take a look at my book and maybe offer a blurb. Unfortunately, he replied within minutes with a considerate but firm no. He was busy, which …

Carpal tunnel news

MJG Life Leave a Comment

I went to the doctor last night (an appointment at 8:30pm, which seems crazy – it looked I was the last one in there) to finally get my results in about the carpal tunnel nerve damage tests I had done on my right wrist a few weeks back. The results show no permanent damage! Well, that is good. It doesn’t take away the real fact that sometimes, after holding heav weights or clicking a mouse too much, I get a wrist pain/discomfort that can last for days, but it does bode well for that condition not getting any worse. And, …

Where did my students go?

MJG Life Leave a Comment

In afternoon class yesterday I gave a break halfway through – it’s a 3-hour class so a 15-minute break (plus the promise of letting them go early if they work hard) is fair – but after 15 minutes the students didn’t come back. What? Well, 3 did. I sat and waited a little, but still nothing. It’s not unusual for a handful of students to be late back from break, but most of the class – 9 more students? Where did they go? 5 minutes go by. I happen to check my school email – and see an email from …