April 2018

Well, that’s April done and dusted for another year. You’ll no doubt be pleased to hear that progress on book 2 continues at pace. A relatively slow pace, true, but a pace all the same.

With a target for the month of 15000 words (at 500 a day), I managed a paltry 4509. That means my pace dropped off on last month, falling from around 40% to 30%.

april words

There were, however, a few mitigating circumstances that contributed to this drop off, beyond me just being lazy.

Firstly, my sporting team of choice (I say choice, but really I was born into it) have been excelling towards the business end of the season. Liverpool are one game away from the Champions League Final, only the biggest game in club football.

April included the two-legged quarterfinal against Man City, one leg of the semifinal against Roma, and a few largely forgettable games in the league sandwiched in between.

I can usually function quite well in the build up to a big game, but the day of the game itself, and probably the following day too if it’s gone well, are a complete right off for productivity. And it’s going very well so far 😁

There’s also been fatherhood duties to contend with. Penny had her immunisation needles this month and I took the day off to see her through it. It’s one of those things that has to be done, but seeing your baby girl prodded with a couple of needles isn’t fun for anybody!

For the most part though, I’ve just been enjoying the time watching her grow. She gets more alert everyday, her smiles growing more and more common, her laughter almost here, even the constant battle against her poo and wee, and the hilarity of her farts. I feel a blog coming on about the early days of fatherhood… as soon as I can find the time 😂

In addition to all this, when I have been more productive it’s been getting channeled into something other than writing – though still writing related!

I already had a map of Domanska, the world in which my fantasy stories take place, but it was created using MS Paint. It was pretty good, considering, but just a little simplistic.

Enter Paintshop Pro.  Following a YouTube guide by Jessica Khoury, I was able to upgrade my original effort into something more substantial, detailed, and generally very pretty.  I also used a couple of sets of brushes created by StarRaven and CaptScott on DeviantArt.com for the detailing.  If you love a good map – and, let’s face it, who doesn’t? – and are looking to create your own, I definitely recommend checking these resources out.


new map
New Map (with a slice of the old)


Here’s a look at the finished product, with a slice of the old for comparison.  It’s a sexy piece of map, if I do say so myself.  Which I do.  I definitely didn’t get it printed and framed and hung on the wall of the cave though.  And no, it wasn’t a map of Westeros it replaced.  Nothing could replace Westeros as the number one fantasy realm right now*.

Anyways, work continues on book 2 (the prequel that’s not a prequel) and I chalked off another chapter this month.  Things are progressing quicker than they would have done before switching to the mantra of just getting that first draft down.  I think I’ve got one more chapter to go before Part One of Three is complete.  With any luck, come the end of May I’ll be cracking on with Part Two.

To sign off, here’s one of my favourite passages from this month’s work – one the wife might appreciate:

‘Women are forbidden from the Blackstone for good reason. Their frames are too weak and fragile for the rigours of the crossing. They were given the gift of life instead.’

Jian bit her tongue at this. The old shit thinks the pain of childbirth a gift. I’d like to see him squeeze a small boulder out between his legs! Then we’d see who is weak and fragile.

*Or could it?  There’s only one way to find out

2nd May 2018

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