Hello, 2015!

No New Year Resolutions here.Hello-2015-2 This is a resolution-free zone. Just some goals, smart targets, desires, that sort of thing.

* I’d like to think I shall be writing at least a quarter of a million words this year. Last year, I wrote more than 276,000, but that was with very little editing, and no publishing. I now have an office, so I have no excuse (I actually have hundreds of excuses, but I’m keeping those for this time next year). With a scheduled two sessions of #100kwords100days and a #NaNoWriMo, there’s 250k right there. Of course, I’d like to do more, but we’ll have to see about that.

* I’d like to be publishing 3 novel-length books this year. This is self-publishing, of course. Something I’ve done before, but it’s been a couple of years since I last self-published. My collection of short and flash fiction (previously available as two books) is being squashed into one publication, and will be available soon in every outlet I can find.

* I want to expand the Writer Chat channel, and maybe do just one chat a week, but with a wider variety of writers. Anyone have Stephen King’s email address?

If I achieve those three things, then 2015 will have been a win. And they’re all within my own control. I can do these if I want to, and no one can stop me. Except the Stephen King thing. That might be a stretch.

Here’s some writing motivation to start off the new year:

First from Dean Wesley Smith:



And then from Chuck Wendig:


and finally from Russell Blake:


Thought-provoking, huh?

I hope you have a great 2015, and it will be a year of success, however that might be measured.



Goodbye, 2014

Everyone else is doing it, so why shouldn’t I?

goodbye 2014My wordcount for 2014 topped 276,000 words. Most of those were written during two editions of #100kwords100days (January and July) and NaNoWriMo. That’s quite a lot of words.

More impressively (for me, anyway) that the total includes three completed works-in-progress – one to first draft stage (42k of dark horror), and two to draft zero stage (one at 70k, and one at 54k, both apocalyptic fiction). I’ve got several other works part-completed, too. I’ve got two crime stories standing at nearly 30k, which should be completed early in the new year.

Publishing? Not so much. Despite a wish / hope to publish several things this year, nothing got done. I’m a bad finisher. I love the act of writing, of creating stories and tales, but the grind of editing / rewriting bores me. Sorry, but it does. So that needs to change.

My personal writing website got created at http://gerald-hornsby.com/ and I managed to transfer my blog over to the sub-domain, http://gerald-hornsby.com/blog/ The website is a bit sparse at the moment, but I’m hoping to get that tidied up in the next week or two. The blog is trundling on, which is where you’ll be reading this.

I also started a new venture – http://writer-chat.com/ where I interview one or more writers via a Google Hangout. I think it went really well, mostly featuring local writers during NaNoWriMo, but I had some non-local writers on there, too. Look out for more chats coming up in the new year.

So that’s about it, writing-related. 2014 was a good year for writing. Three completed first / zero drafts of longer works? I’ll take that.

tomorrow first page of book


Post NaNoWriMo – an update

It’s now the 10th of December, and I’m still writing.

You might have noticed a stream of little bits of writing in a “Small Stones Dec 2014” category. It’s from the River of Small Stones idea which started a few years ago. I wrote about it then. It’s a great idea to get / keep your creative juices flowing in the post-NaNo slump. I know they’re not very good. I’m no poet, and I don’t have the breadth of symbolism required to make them really good, but I like them. I have forgotten to upload them each day, which is why there’s a slew of them uploaded just now. But I do write them every day, otherwise I’d forget what I had been doing.

On NaNoWriMo, I wrote an end of month update here: http://gerald-hornsby.com/blog/2014/11/30/nanowrimo-2014-its-all-over-almost/ And since then?  I’ve continued to write the City in Flames story and, as of this moment, I’m at 62,714 words, and nearing the end. I’m pleased with how it’s been going, averaging nearly 1,400 words per day during December.

I’ve also been on Twitter a bit more, under the handle @AuthorGerald if you want to follow me.

And that’s about it for the moment. Time to write!


Small Stone – 10th Dec 2014

A French-blue sky, blue as cobalt, azure-blue, blue as primula, as … the sky. Stretching from horizon to horizon. The sun, low and hazy, brings scant warmth, but its brightness bathes the land in defiance of incoming weather. A weather bomb, about to explode on our shores, bringing winds, rain, snow, and who knows what aftereffects. But for now, people are smiling, saying “good morning, lovely day.” Because it is. 

And it was. An amazingly blue sky, without a cloud in sight.


Small Stone – 9th Dec 2014

Fresh sand and clay piles high on the beach as a mini-waterfall splashes onto the sand. A tiny ‘swoosh’, and a huge lump of cliff releases itself and crashes milliseconds later in front of me. This is coastal erosion in action. I move nearer the sea.

The sandstone cliffs near to us are eroding at a rate of around 1-2m per year. It costs too much to protect it, so we’re watching it disappear before our very eyes.


Small Stone – 7th Dec 2014

The town beings to wake. A car creeps along slowly, as if unwilling to disturb the resident still hiding behind their curtains and blinds. Pedestrians, scarves wrapped around faces, their heads bowed as in reverent prayer. But their destination is not the church which, for the moment, has its doors closed, but the supermarket. Which has its doors very much open.

I went into town. And a comment on consumerism.


Small Stone – 6th Dec 2014

Cars file in. Seagulls swirl and swoop overhead, as people divest themselves of their unwanted stuff. I have some ‘difficult’ items, but find places for them to go. I listen for the shout of protest as the wrong sack gets emptied into the right bin, or vice versa. It’s anarchy on a very, very small scale. But there are no shouts of protest – the Guardians of the Recycling are inside their lair, refusing to come out into the cold. 

I went to the tip.


Small Stone – 5th Dec 2014

Hello to the seagull on the beach, who calmly walks into the water, bobbing on the tiny waves. Tess wants to bark, but there’s no point.
Hello to the man repairing the sea wall. Again. Like every winter. Tess sniffs. No food.
Hello to the man in his 80s, with the thinning hair and a Shelty. He forgets our names. Always. And Tess is a ‘he’. But Tess loves his dog, and they bark excitedly at each other.
Hello to the woman, walking slowly, with the overweight white Labrador. Her dog is over-amorous, and a nuisance. Tess walks on by, very quickly, tail pulled down.
Hello to the man with the irritable and antisocial brown Labrador. She wants her ball, and no dogs around her. Tess views her with suspicion. She’s been snarled at before.
Hello to the man walking back from the gym, his two border collies in the house. He has a biscuit for Tess. She is grateful, but wants more. Always.
Hello to the fit man who works from home on Fridays, leaving his van parked by the side of the house. His dog, a mongrel, belongs to his brother-in-law, but seems to live with him. Tess wants to play. His dog doesn’t, because there is a stick.
Hello to the woman who is working on her house. She doesn’t have a dog. “Bleedin’ nuisance, they are.” But Tess is always friendly, and she gets a pat on her head from the woman who doesn’t like dogs.
We are back at the house. Tess looks up. “Is that it?”

I love the walks with the dog, and we meet so many nice people. Never enough for Tess, of course.


Small Stone – 4th Dec 2014

Creased-white hands circle the plastic cup, steam rising into the cold damp air. Matching scarf and hat, woollen, fir trees, Christmas is due soon. “All right, mate? What’s it to be?” I can’t decide whether to go for the baking potatoes or the butternut squash. I settle on an apple strudel from the stall next door. And a small focaccia. I am nothing if not cosmopolitan.

A trip to the market.