Composing with words …

My current composition mode with a Digital Blasphemy background and my work in progress, Elyn’s Novella.

 Elyn’s Novella (aka The One I Need to Retitle) is finding it’s flow. I knew it was there but it’s like trying to find water under grass, you’ve got to dig or dowse first. I’m currently working on various projects simultaneously, all of them with varying deadlines. This is typical for me, I always want to write something else when I should be working.

  • I’m trying to finish up the back matter for The Changing of the Sun, including a Q and A, the glossary and an acknowledgements.
  • I’m working on Elyn’s Novella (and currently testing out a new title: One in Blue, the Other Green) … oh and maybe, maybe, a short story from Kana’s perspective that might be called Left Behind. I’m still looking for a cover image (this one might only work for the e-book)
  • Redrafting my Amish sci fi short story is also happening this week. Ellen’s going to beta it before I sent it to Chris, Michael and David. I want to retitle that too but Chris thinks “The Silencing of Uncanny Valley” is more mysterious than “The Barn That Hanna Built.”
  • Oh and this just appeared from Ben … so pretty:



Sailor Moon Crystal — Episode Two and 「Moon Pride」PV

Screenshot 2014-07-05 14.58.57

Ahh, two weeks have flown by so fast! This morning saw the release of not only episode two of Sailor Moon Crystal but also the Promotional Video (the Japanese term for a music video) for 「Moon Pride」by Momoiro Clover Z. The video itself is below, it’s totally animated (including a weird CGI walking shot) but is beautiful. It’s based around the imagery of a crystal with shards refracting images via the Maboroshi no Ginzuishou (幻の銀水晶; the “Illusionary Silver Crystal”, and this works very well. The video intersperses shots of Serenity and Endymion with the Sailor Senshi and teases the year’s worth of episodes … I can’t wait until they get to the ruins of the Silver Millennium on the moon, if this PV is anything to go by it’s going to be the best episode EVER.

Check it out:

Aside from Usagi, Ami has always been my favourite. I identified with her intelligence and the whole water thing as well. This episode is all about Ami, which is not surprising given it’s named after her.

  • I love how they’re naming the episodes Acts, in homage to the original manga.
  • The opening song only gets better!
  • Sorry.
  • The animation remains top-notch, Ami looks much closer to her manga version even if her hair is a little weird, not quite bob, not quite long, in some shots.
  • Sailor V video games! Thank you!
  • Heheh, the Crystal Seminar are still using CD-ROMS. Cute. Really cute.
  • Hey Usagi has a laptop.
  • Ami still shares my blood type. Cool. I wish I shared her IQ.
  • Mamoru is still in his tux and he heard Luna. Adorable.
  • Luna is an angel, apparently, not bad given her name.
  • Usagi is still a cringe-worthy crybaby.
  • Yes, Mercury action.
  • Did Ami and Usagi just become the new slash couple in doujinshi circles?
  • Mercury’s henshin sequence is so much better than Moon’s.
  • Ah the Tokyo tower, I’ve been there.
  • 月虹」, the ending theme, continues to grow on me.
  • Next episode: REI!

Coping with the heat

Screenshot 2014-07-19 10.43.55Today it’s supposed to top 28°C. It’ll probably storm first but I can feel the humidity and Uni hasn’t gotten up yet to pester me for any of the essentials of life (food, the loo etc) which means she’s too hot to be bothered. As a rule I try not to go out on Saturdays, Norwich is simply too busy and it’s Uni’s official day off. I also try to avoid working her above 25°C (last year we had to do Aftercare in 32°C and that did not end well at all.)

I’m okay as long as I remember to drink water, there’s ice in the bowl for Uni and the cats. I try to either not go out or do so at night, during the Golden Hour, when it’s not as bright/hot and people are usually BBQing and getting drunk.

Oddly, during weather like this, I’m more at risk of migraines than I am of heatstroke. I usually go out in a floppy hat just to give me a little extra protection from the glare that seems to cut through even the darkest wraparounds.

Yesterday we had to go out, I had to return this keyboard to Apple so we went super-early, to miss the rush. It was actually raining in that warm, pleasant way that seems to exist just to keep you cool. The Lovely Baristas have a bowl I left with them for all the visiting guide dogs (at least five at last count) and know to fill it with ice as well as water. Uni makes a mess and is happy. By the time we got on the bus at 12:15pm, though, it was stinking hot., Uni was in a soppy wet bandana and we were home before it got too bad.

Keeping a dog cool is something I only learned after stealing tricks from other people. The bandana one is mine, feeling ice I think that came from Paul (but not too much or it leads to … unpleasantness and it doesn’t work with every dog; Gismo is stupid and shreds his gums even if he loves ice). I bought a fan years ago, the cats drape themselves in the coolest spot and a chunk of ice in Uni’s waterfowl, too big for her to pick up, seems to do the trick for all of them.

When it gets too bad, Uni will move to the kitchen where the lino is cooler than carpet. The cats will sun themselves on the paving stones outside, D will just extend to his pull 30cm of Bengal and look so freaking sorry for himself it’s hilarious. If I’m really unlucky, Uni will sleep on me at night … that’s horrific for both of us and, bless her, last night she spent it on the floor.

Do you want to see a video of her eating ice? Yes?

Tales From Pennsylvania cover reveal!


I’ve been sitting on this (and discussing it on Facebook, oddly, with those concerned) for a couple of months now. Michael ‘The Beard’ Bunker is my writing mentor and a couple of months back he asked me if I’d like to write a story set in his Amish science fiction universe. I said yes, I think he might have bribed me with chocolate, and here I am writing a not so secret story (seriously, the iWatch is more secret that this anthology, within certain circles). I’m thinking about finishing the story and suddenly, in my feed, comes this curveball. Yep, it’s a cover, with some huge names on it.

And mine.

I have first client nerves, which means I feel sick as a pig, but I’ll be okay. I just have to finish the story, get to Ellen (in a blatant case of cleaning before the cleaner comes round …) before David Gatewood takes a look. Yes, THE David ‘editor for everyone except me’ Gatewood. The Bearded One informs me Jason Gurley is doing an introduction (which is awesome) and look, my name is on there, next to Nick Cole, Tim Grahl, Ann Christy and Peter Cawdron.

I really need to get this story finished then. And it’s got to be the best thing I’ve written since Changing.

The anthology should be out in late autumn.

Round three of the Changing cover process …

A quick housekeeping note: Whispers is now available in print on and! I’m still trying to work out how you tell Amazon that the Kindle book is the same as the paperback but for now they’re two separate entries.

Go figure.

The real reason you’re here is round three right? I just woke up to an email containing round three and a Facebook note announcing Jason’s retirement from cover making. This is not new information but I’m still just a little bit sad, that said, it makes my trilogy some of the last books he’s going to do so erm, there’s that …

Before I post these, let me quickly go back to round two for a second. I thought long and hard over which cover to choose, I went with six because it was obviously sci fi, it was a market pleaser and it was cool but it wasn’t awesome. At the end of the day, I have to live with these covers and they’ll haunt me till the day the cats eat me.

So I changed my mind.

Jason, bless him, could tell I as conflicted and gave me a final “Are you sure?” to wit I responded with “Oh gods no. 3! 3!!!!”

I really don’t do decisions well.

Anyway he’s gotten back to me so let me present to you the options for round three:

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Right now I’m so pleased, he’s tweaked the design and I’m leaning towards A but with C’s tagline layout. The covers are more me, they’re also obviously Jason. This kind of design is also going to translate beautifully to the next two covers …

And there are no freaking birds!

I have no idea why I hated the birds either …

I’m taking my hound to Weightwatchers (her, not me, at the vet) and then I’m going to sit on these for a couple of hours. It’s going to be another hot day and I have a Super Sekrit story to finish which everyone and his cow seems to know about because Michael ‘The Beard’ Bunker can’t keep quiet about his world domination plans if it kills him.

I love being an author some days. Today is definitely one of them.