Poor, poor Cerulean

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I did some work on chapter three of Zombie Ocean 3 today, and made myself tear up about the ordeals poor old Cerulean is going to face. It is a hard life for him, without a doubt. SY says- “Why does it have to be so miserable?” Me- No great answer. A story needs ups and downs? But why can’t we all just get along? We had a good chat about writing yesterday while having a long lunch in the only nice restaurant in this little town, an Italian place where the lunch set takes 2 hours to eat. At …

Painting & skating the kitchen floor

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Today we painted the tile kitchen floor. Of course first we sanded it, with 40 grit sandpaper under our booted feet, skating around without a care in the world. Yesterday I bought a belt sander, a fairly serious bit of equipment, and had a go at sanding off the glaze on the tiles with that- necessary because with the glaze, paint won’t stick to the tiles. It bit a bit of glaze off each time, then almost immediately the grit was stripped off and the belt was just heating up the tiles, burning the glaze a splotchy black. They weren’t …

Flower ordering service?

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A full, knackering day today of decorating, shopping, exercise, sanding down tiles (photos soon), using polyfilla for holes, and tidying up, that was kicked off with this long and tortuous exchange- re: our broadband is down. Broadband fiasco (9-10am) I called to our broadband provider and try to arrange an engineer visit to fix the fault on the line. End up trapped in an automatic voice recognition computer loop for 30 minutes, asking me if I want to book Monday or Tuesday (only- which I couldn’t do) despite calling and recalling multiple times trying to lie my way to a …

Toilet philosophy

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Today during a training day at work, I came across this piece of wisdom scrawled on a toilet cubicle wall: It gave me real pause. Fascinating, and so pithy. This completely sums up my philosophy on writing and self-publishing, on blogging, on just about anything. Lots of thoughts went through my mind- with regard to blogging- that until I started this blog up, I was certain I had nothing interesting to say on a daily basis. So I censored myself in advance. I wanted to put something out there in blog format- but I was stricken with doubt. Making it …

Break-even!! Not only digging anymore…

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Today is the day I have finally broken out of the red in my writing career, through the glass break-even ceiling, and into the black! Wow, the air up here is rarefied. It’s balmy. I can just swim in these waters all day. Amazon release the payouts for the previous month (August) on the 15th of the next month (now, September), and tallying it all up in my Excel file, I spotted that I had finally crossed that most daunting of rubicons- I’m no longer an indentured author, paying off the debt of my past indisgressions! Previously every bit of …

Really moving in and on.

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Today we finished painting the dining room in cream and orange, which basically completes downstairs bar doing something with the kitchen floor, and it leaves me with a funny feeling of melancholy. It hit hardest when I was flattening a few boxes- very sturdy boxes from a Korean courier service, which carried all our stuff from Japan over a year ago. Emptying them and now flattening them (I felt like keeping them in storage in the attic, for the next time we might need them) really felt like closing that door to the past. It’s unexpected, as we’ve been in …

First 3k words + surreal art

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I have written the first chapter of Zombie Ocean 3! Or TL3, as I call it (as each book’s title is The L….). It is very different from what I expected. Will it hook people? Who knows. I thought the exact same thing about TL1 and TL2. I was uncertain earlier about the start I’d made, but I just pushed through and it came good and conflict-y. I worry I know nothing about this field (inner city gangs!) but then whatever, that rule to only ‘Write What You Know’ is not one I agree with. Cerulean has a heckuva past, …

Little bits of daily life

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– These days it’s dark when I wake up at 6:30, though the house is warm from the new Hive central heating controller which turns the boiler on automatically. It goes to 23 degrees Celsius, and if I wanted I could crank that up from my phone via the app connected to the wifi router. – I could turn the heat up in my house from anywhere in the world, as long as I had internet access. Think about that for a minute. – Actually I’ve unplugged it. Not much call for it, really. It seems neat, but the timer …

MJG’s 2014 writing roundup and lessons learned

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2014 has been a huge year for me, on many levels. A lot has changed with my writing, life, travel, qualifications, job, and overall existence. There’ve been lots of transitions and new developments. This post is all about my writing developments, and all the lessons learned: The story so far (up to 2014) At the end of 2013 I put out two trial balloon short story collections on amazon, self-published. The last time I dallied with such self-publishing was probably 2011, when I put up a single short story, which was also available for free on the internet in various …

story craft #19 Weight in a Name

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You’ve probably heard of the callback, a technique comedians use to get fresh mileage out of an old joke, often with exponentially uproarious results. Here’s a callback in Seinfeld: Seinfeld did these a lot, in this case it was a callback and a kind of catch phrase linking back to a previous episode, that when repeated multiple times, only gets more power. Master of my domain. I use these sometimes just hanging out with people- something gets mentioned early on, you see a chance to mention it again later, tangentially related to what they’re saying, boom, everybody laughs. Everybody uses …