A Writing Update

It’s been a while since I’ve written an update on where I am writing-wise. So, for those who are interested, and to keep myself honest, here it is.

My Fiction

bookdesign345 - smallerAs I mentioned around the start of the year, life descended into chaos in the last few months of 2015, and I fell way behind where I wanted to be. Now that I’m back on top of life, I’m trying to crack on with self-publishing again.

I hope to put out a new e-book of some sort roughly every two months. A Mosaic of Stars was meant to be the February release, but ended up being a few days late. I’m aiming to put out a short story set in medieval England as a free e-book in April – all that’s needed at this point is the edits. Meanwhile, I’ll get back to writing the long-delayed parts four and five of the Epiphany Club steampunk series, the next two releases. I have plans beyond that, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

Meanwhile, I’ve started submitting short stories to websites and magazines again. I’ve had one accepted for an anthology from the publishers of Avast! Ye Airships. Hopefully more will follow – watch this space.

Freelancing

I have enough work to live off for the next few months, and it’s all interesting. Some ghost written fiction, some writing about writing, and a load of military history. Writing things I enjoy is very motivating.

Clients have started approaching me rather than me always chasing them. So far that’s mostly been with work I don’t want, but hey, it’s a step forward. The more experience and reputation I build up, the more work I get offered, and the better it is. Now I’m hitting my deadlines again, I can start to build up a financial buffer to take time off for my own writing.

Blogging

I’m currently writing each week’s set of blog posts eight days before the first one will go out. That relieves the pressure I felt when I was writing each one the day it went out, or even writing a weekly batch just before the first one appeared. It makes the content a little less timely, but provides me with prepared posts in case something gets in the way of writing. And I can always juggle the schedule if something comes up I want to respond to quickly.

So again, things are going pretty well.

Elmo

Elmo thoughtfulMy able assistant Elmo the kitten is now six months old, and I’m not sure I can call him a kitten any more. Certainly not to his face. He still keeps trying to play with the keyboard, but doesn’t persist for long because he knows I’ll stop him. He’s a mad little beast, but is at least learning not to bring his claws out when we play.

 

That’s about it – the start of play for Andrew Knighton, writer, as of mid March 2016. Here’s hoping things keep on improving.

A Quick Update

Happy New Year, and all that jazz!

This is just a quick update for those who read my blog regularly. First, I’m sorry for suddenly going silent in mid-December. I moved house just before Christmas, and in the middle of that a major change took place in my personal life. Add the inevitable chaos of the festive season, and I completely ran out of mental energy. Suffering from depression, I’m prone to this at the best of times, and this December was far from the best of times.

Fortunately, I have a lot of great people around me, and they helped me through. I’m now nicely settled in my new house, which includes an awesome writing space I’ll blog about soon. Elmo the kitten is growing up fast and is now fully cat shaped, though not fully cat sized. I’m having to completely reset my work goals, but at least now I might manage to meet them.

Regular blogging should be back at the end of this week, including the weekly stories. In the meantime, I hope you had a great time over the holidays. As my friend Si says, here’s to an average year – better than the last one, but with an even better one to follow.

Stories and the Past

Elmo the kitten has a tragic and heart warming story. Mother killed by a car, siblings dead from neglect, he is the only survivor of his family. Taken in by a kindly vet who gave him to me and Laura, filling a cat-shaped void in our lives and bringing joy into our house. His story is one of the first things I tell people about Elmo when they meet him. As a story telling animal, it helps me make sense of the world, and make a connection with the person I’m talking to.

Elmo doesn’t care about any of that. He just wants to chew on my computer cable and chase slippers around the room.

The way that stories connect us with the past is complicated. The can help us come to terms with it and understand its significance – just look at this year’s Booker Prize winner, Marlon James’s A Brief History of Seven Killings, a novel exploring Jamaica’s recent history. (It’s also the first time in ages that I’ve been tempted to read the Booker winner – this looks like one hell of a book.)

But stories can also trap us in the past. Ask a psychiatrist, or anyone who’s spent time in counselling – the stories we tell about ourselves and about why things happened can become a form of conditioning, trapping us in harmful behaviour and painful emotions.

They can also trap us in relating to people in particular ways. It’s tempting for me to view Elmo the kitten as a tragic little figure who desperately needs to be sheltered and protected. But really, he’s a lively, playful ball of fur who needs to be encouraged to explore his world.

Stories are amazing. But like anything, they can do us harm when misused.

If you have any thoughts on how we connect with stories and the past, please share them in the comments. I’d be interested to hear other people’s perspectives.