Beating the Lockdown Tedium – Project Shoutouts

It’s the start of the Easter Holidays here in the UK, and the weather is lovely, but we can’t go out due to a national lockdown in relation to Coronavirus. But that doesn’t mean we need to all be bored – here’s a few projects of mine (and by some friends) I think may help turn the tide of lockdown boredom!

GROWING STORM

You can read my latest short story – a 12,000 word sci-fi horror piece called Growing Storm HERE – really excited to see what people make of my latest story. It’s a “spooky sci-fi sea shanty” inspired in large part by the classic novel The Day of the Triffids – with my own twist, too!

DOCTOR WHO: REVERENCE OF THE DALEKS

I released a Doctor Who fan-film in February that I, with a compendium of lovely friends, made over the last three years entitled Reverence of the Daleks. It’s recently hit 1,000 views on YouTube so I’m thrilled by the success so far. Find out more and watch the film through my website HERE!

Also I feel it’s right to shout out two other projects by good friends that I feel are worth promoting while we’re in the sharing mood:

THE PREP DIARIES

Read my good friend Chris Kenny‘s guide to preparing for his first big bodybuilding show – it’s an honest, authentic account of a personal journey and very inspirational. You can view the ebook on Amazon HERE.

STORYMECHS

Long-time Twitter friend Sam Richards has been working hard on his interactive fiction project StoryMechs and will be running a new interactive story in April to help alleviate lockdown tedium, check out all the details on Sam’s Patreon page HERE.

I hope everyone is keeping safe and well in these unknown times and give a thought to checking out these fantastic projects!

Growing Storm – Short Story Announcement

It’s unprecedented times right now, and we’re all concerned about what’s going on. However, to find a positive in this troubling world, I have found some time to work on some creative endeavours. I’m pleased to announce therefore that I have posted a new short story Growing Storm, on my site and you can read it right now!

This started as a short story I’d initially wanted to release for Halloween 2019 but that didn’t happen for many reasons, but I’ve finally finished the story. It’s a “spooky sea shanty”, another experiment into horror/sci-fi writing that takes a lot of inspiration from one of my favourite novels, The Day of the Triffids, while hopefully doing its own thing.

This image summed up the mood of the story, and some of the key elements!

Please let me know if you what you make of the story!

READ THE STORY IN FULL HERE

In strange times like those we’re currently experiencing it’s important, I think, not to let ourselves be consumed by what’s happening in the world and allow ourselves some escapism – if anything it’ll alleviate the boredom of a long spell at home! I hope my short story – and the others here on my site help with that!

Welcome to On Holliday!

Welcome all to my new-look website, which I have decided to title On Holliday!

For the last few months of 2017 I realised that content was a little scant here and I wasn’t feeling the impetus or drive to post, so over Christmas I decided to do something about it.

This renewal is inspired in no small part to two particular blogs I am fortunate to know about through their owners being friends of mine; the first being the excellent ThatsWhatCharlotteSaid by my university classmate Charlotte Dodd whose book-blogging I feel is excellent and thorough and something I hope to be able to emulate and the second being a recent launch in the guise of The Kenny Corner by an old schoolmate Chris Kenny who has surprised and inspired me in equal amounts by his wonderful, insightful and diverse way of putting his thoughts across. Seeing him launch his site was the final impetus for me to renew my own site, which I had been toying with already thanks to Charlotte’s work on hers. So thank you both!

What do I want to achieve with On Holliday in 2018 and beyond? The focus is simple and in my tagline, in order of their importance:

  • Reading: I want to do more than sporadic reviews of most of the books I read; that’s not to say I won’t be reviewing books, I will also try to reflect on what I enjoy about particular series, genres and techniques and motifs I pick up on along the way. I also want to talk in the future about my general attitudes to reading, which is a pastime I love and want to find a renewed sense of energy about after a fairly underwhelming 2017.
  • Writing: My writing is still of fundamental importance and something I want to showcase, but I feel it can better supplement my blog as being alongside the content pertaining to my reading: great writers must be great readers after all! I am looking forward in 2018 to chronicling more thoroughly my own writing (especially my approach to editing and pursuing publication of my novel The Thaw) and perhaps unearthing some of my older material along the way.
  • Online Wanderings: this is a fairly vacuous term but as Chris put in his page on his site, this is my corner of the internet to share with the world my thoughts and opinions on anything I see fit, and I see no reason why I cannot do so here in an eloquent and reasoned way. What this means is I will, from time to time, approach non-reading and non-writing topics for things I want to get off my chest. These may be contentious – likely around societal and political issues that I care deeply about – but I will try my most earnestly to argue my case as well as possible.

So, welcome and, if you’re a returning visitor, please enjoy the new look and new focus! I’m excited to start over with this renewal and I actively encourage those who agree, disagree, like, dislike or have a thought inspired by one of my own to comment or share it! I will get back to you as a matter of courtesy!

Oh, and why On Holliday? Well, that’s partly inspired…

What have I been doing?

hammock

I realise it’s been time since I last posted on my site – I want to give a bit of an update as to what I’ve been up to and what my plans are for the rest of the year; certainly for September!

Since my last post I’ve managed to pass the second year of my degree in Creative Writing and English Literature, which was a bit of a mixed bag but I’m looking forward to starting my final year at the end of the month. I do want to reflect on Year 2 and I’ll aim to get that reflection up before I stick my head into the breech once again!

As I’ve finished University for the summer, I’ve taken a bit of a summer break. A couple of months ago I finished the first draft of my post-apoc novel The Thaw which was great, and the rest I’ve taken has been really good – it was an intense writing process and allowing myself some time to chill before I approach anything more creative has been great, as burning out is not something I want to experience. I now feel refreshed enough to be able to now properly begin looking over the draft and beginning the editing process, which I’m excited to start as I truly feel The Thaw is going to be a great book!

Speaking of reading, I’ve been playing a bit of catchup with my Goodreads Reading Challenge for the year. I’m already reflecting that 40 books is perhaps the upper limit of what I feel is achievable for myself without reading becoming mechanical and formulaic – I don’t want to find myself reading just to tick off the right number of books, and it’s hard to go from one book to another. I find a couple of days break is helpful between stories.

Thinking about my reading (and how I’m essentially chasing my challenge target), I realise I’ve been fairly remiss in posting reviews. These, I definitely feel, are worthwhile endeavours for building my critical skills so I’m going to be getting on that again very soon! As a writer, it’s good to be able to synthesise meaningful, precise feedback – how can I expect to take feedback when I never give it out? It’s a symbiotic thing I think is important about writing as a craft.

So then – what to expect from me in September?

  • At least a couple of book reviews; maybe more, when I pillage my “read” list.
  • I’ve been working on a new little short story called The Landlady which I hope to post this month!
  • My Year 2 University reflection.
  • A mini-post about my recent, brief trip to Edinburgh during the Fringe (which I really enjoyed)
  • A potentially controversial blogpost opining on the new Doctor Who (started this a while ago but I need to be in a certain mood to add to it!)

Regardless, it’ll be great to reconnect with my blog and get posting again, as it’s something I definitely want to do more of and become regular again. So stay tuned!