Slotting back into a creative groove: a writing month approaches

¦ dialling in from sky bunker ¦

Feels like an age since I just spilled out my thoughts onto a screen without needing to think about structure or any particular angle (marketing).

April was a no-writing month. And I’ve taken the opportunity to devour books.

Finished The Night Circus  http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Night-Circus-Erin-Morgenstern/dp/0099554798  Erin Morgenstern  (incredible!) whilst listening to Foals – Holy Fire. Then did a lastpass proofreading of The Trellborg Monstrosities by John Houlihan, a novella that will also become a scenario for the epic and exciting kickstarter project Achtung! Cthulhu. They very kindly asked me to write an endorsement for the work. I’m flattered.  Take diesel punk and set fire to the world whilst the mad chaos of the Mythos swirls in through the cracks in this reality illusion. Soundtrack was Welcome To Oblivion by How to Destroy Angels.  Which also became the soundtrack for reading the mind-blowing Tau Zero by Poul Anderson. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Zero-S-F-MASTERWORKS-Poul-Anderson/dp/0575077328/  Talk about torturing your characters! My guts were twisted up and my heart was in my mouth for the days I spent reading (and suffering) it. Certainly a must-read for fans of hard science fiction.

I’m now reading Lord of Light by Roger Zelazny.  www.amazon.co.uk/Lord-Light-MASTERWORKS-Roger-Zelazny/dp/0575094214  Wow!!! Cannot believe I’ve not read these wonderful creations before. So I guess you could say I’m having a bit of a personal sci-fi renaissance. This is all thanks to the horror I went through back in September to December last year; which is what led to me re-evaluating my priorities in life and ultimately to me deciding to switch my writing to one month on, one month off. These “off months” now let me have my life back. It’s amazing. I see my friends. I read books! I watch crappy movies. I almost feel normal.

April felt both long (enjoyable, savouring the absence from the obsession machine), and brief – as this weekend saw me dropping back into a creative groove. Yeah, I know, this weekend was April and technically part of the no-writing rules, but what are rules if you don’t bend or break them. Besides, May, supposedly dedicated to writing is more or less blasted into shreds and scraps of creative potential by the impending arrival of friends. A couple from Newcastle (my longest standing friend – since the age of 6 – and a truly positive human who just beat cancer, yay!!!). And my “younger brother” Sharky Bones McCoy who is bouncing over from Spain to escape the tensions of a long-term partner who is… getting over cancer.

Anybody who knows me will be aware of my penchant for dithering when I am confronted by two choices of equal appear. For example, this weekend should have been: okay, it’s April, I’m off writing, so I can wander into the city, drift around the harbour, find myself a sofa on the Grain Barge and waste several hours reading books, gazing out the wraparound wall of windows.  But no. The mental bear trap snapped shut on me. I stood on the edge of the harbour, having already walked towards the Grain Barge several times and then turned back towards where my car was parked… each time, the VOICE / TASK MASTER in my head saying: ah-uh! This is technically part of your writing phase so get the hell back home and work.

HE (it) won. I spent the weekend getting back into the current novel: The Social Club. Follow work in progress here.  Having not touched it for a month I was wary about how tough it would be to pick up the threads, especially as I’m now near the end of the first draft. But I’d left enough breadcrumbs “Djr: when you come back to this, this is where you were heading with Jadon Purgo” and naturally, the whole book is already mapped out with enough detail to give me the comfort of a supporting structure. I can navigate within the framework and find my character arcs within the waypoints of the plot.  Take note, David Bradley (0)(-)!

Soundtrack to these days is House of Gold and Bones part 1 by Stonesour. My new car has a freaking awesome stereo system with some very tasty bass. Now the sun is FINALLY showing her beautiful rays, I’m driving around with the roof down. Fun city. Goodbye BMW and hello my new plastic toy car roadster.

David J Rodger in his tea tray roadster powered by a knitting machine

David J Rodger in his tea tray roadster powered by a knitting machine

What’s coming up? Well. I was aiming to finish the new novel,  The Social Club, in May but with the loss of my all important weekends it will probably not get finished until July.  I’m also planning to update all my novel covers over the next few weeks. Step away from the disparate mix I’ve patched together over the last few years and actually get a proper designer involved. Watch this space as I’ll be running some free giveaways to help raise their profile once the new covers are done.  Oh, I’m now on Goodreads.  Check out my profile  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1242730.David_J_Rodger  and add some (all?) my books to your WANT TO READ list. Ahem. :o)

Good news on the eternal struggle between spending time writing versus spending time marketing myself. I’ve now employed the time of a rather wonderful woman who runs community management services. Hopefully help push my profile out there a bit more and generate MORE SALES.  More news on that later.

Right, that’s it for now. Hope you enjoyed my waffle. Nice to just cut loose and let it all out.

Djr

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