A General Update


Pecan Hill

For some reason, I just can’t get Pecan Hill out of my mind. It has been almost six months since I put the project aside and dropped it into the trunk and I still can’t get it out of my mind. It really does drive a person insane. I should really just put this project out of mind, but it still crops up from time to time.

 

Necromancer

This short story, for which I got an honourable mention for the Writers of the Future Q4 is being sent out to possible publishers to find a home. I have sent it to one market and have waited longer than they asked, sent a reminder and have still not heard anything so the next step would be to try to find another possibility and submit there without waiting for the last one to respond. It has been three months for a story which is just over four thousand words.

 

Lords of the Apocalypse: War’s Regret

I have finished the first draft for this project. Although I’m more inclined to think of it as Draft Zero because of the massive amount of issues in it that need to be changed. A short list would be:

  • Make sure everything tracks and that it just doesn’t jump around too much.
  • One storyline was changed in the middle of the story – I have to get the storyline right from the beginning until the end
  • One of the protagonists is far too passive – I will probably have to remove them entirely and reduce their plot line from being one of the more predominant ones to one which is in the background and viewed from the outside.

That, of course, excludes any line edits and all of them are pure story edits.

 

Reading

This is probably the one thing which is holding back my writing the most at the moment. I am about seventy percent of the way through George R R Martin’s A Storm of Swords and am pushing to try and finish reading it. It’s one of the novels I have enjoyed the most this year and has really grabbed me entirely.

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Huge Life Decisions, Awards and the Green Eyed Monster


Huge Life Decisions

I suppose you could say that there comes a time in everyone’s life when they need to make those huge decisions which will change absolutely everything. When we were growing up they used to be called grown up decisions. One doesn’t get any older without making these life-altering decisions. What am I going to do with my life? Am I going to study? Am I going to bum around Europe while I ‘find myself’? Is this the right girl for me for the rest of my life?

I suppose that I have reached that point in my life and a HUGE decision needs to be made.

I have never made it a secret that I don’t exactly enjoy my job and want to become a full-time writer; I don’t think that will ever change. This decision though has more of a bearing toward my current state of employment. I have reached that point in my life when I have started to wonder whether I should go out there and do my own thing. I’m tired of being subject to other asshole’s decisions and moods. Don’t get me wrong I like working with my current bosses, they are probably the best bosses that I have ever had before. My problem is more with those who think they are my bosses; the people around me.

While starting my own thing would put a lot of pressure on me, it would also give me my own hours. In the beginning it would be 24/7/365 but it would eventually reach the point where I can dictate my own hours of work (I hope) and I’ll be the boss.

The big question though is if I have that entrepreneurial spirit?

Awards

When I went on my first Global Controllers Meeting I found out that the company had something called a Crystal Ball Award for the company whose forecasted results were closest to actual results. Being naturally competitive (something I’ve only actually discovered recently), I wanted it and I wanted it bad. It was destined to be mine and I had to win it.

I thought it might take a while before I would be able to put the systems in place to be able to get my figures right.

Well, late last week I got an e-mail from head office congratulating me on having won the Crystal Ball Award for 2010. I was exceptionally pleased with myself, having won the award in my very first year.

The challenge now, of course, is to retain the trophy. Bring it on.

The Green Eyed Monster

I have to admit that I have also experienced a little of that green-eyed monster this week. I haven’t acted on my green streak but I can feel it all the same. One of the other guys in my writing group managed to land himself an agent for his novel which we have been going through. Now, before any of you jump on my back I don’t begrudge him his achievement, but I still have that feeling that ‘I wish that was me’. He worked incredibly hard on the novel and his writing craft and deservedly got picked up by an agent.

It has though inspired me to try and push harder to try and get my own work of passion out there to be picked up by an agent and eventually published.  But until then I’ll have to live vicariously through him and follow him on his website which he has recently set up.

And I urge you to get on the wagon now, so you can also say that you were following Frank Morin before he became the next big thing. You can follow him and his exploits to get his novel, Aegis Crux published, at TheStoryLives.

The end of 2009 and the start of FIFA World Cup 2010


I live in South Africa and so the start of 2010 means only one thing – the advertising campaign for the soccer world cup will only ramp up even more to ridiculous proportions, so that everything is soaked with 2010 SWC.

There has been some complaints from FIFA that there isn’t enough of an anticipatory atmosphere for the tournament in South Africa and that not enough South Africans are purchasing tickets.  Well excuse me, high and mighty FIFA but the average demographic of South Africa means that the majority of those in South Africa will not be able to pay the exhorbitant prices for tickets.  The cheapest tickets are around R500 for a single ticket.  I wouldn’t even pay that much for a rugby game, where our team actually has a chance of winning and that I actually watch.

Added to the above, is the ridiculously complicated system put in place for buying tickets where you apply for tickets and your name gets put into a lottery and if your name comes up you get the tickets.  There are plenty of people in South Africa who have actually wanted to and tried to buy tickets, but your ludicrous lottery means that they are not allocated these tickets.

So whose fault is it that not too many people from South Africa are buying tickets?

And then there are the price hikes which have been put in place for the tournament.  Want a ticket from Johannesburg to Cape Town?  What would have probably set you back about R2,000 today will cost you in excess of R20,000 for a one way ticket and that’s cattle class.

Hopefully 2010 will be a better year than 2009, although a lot was achieved this year.  My wife and I welcomed our first son into the world.  I finished my first manuscript which is currently being submitted to everyone.  And I finally found a company where I am happy.

So here’s to 2010:  May the best of your past be the worst of your future.

Cheers!