(D’youKnoWriMo – Do you know what I’ve been writing this month )


Why is this blog here?


Is it just a poor pun on the current JuNoWriMo?


Well, not justthat.  I was thinking about how I spend my time as a writer. What do I do each day? How to I divide up my week? Am I writing all the time? If I am to consider myself a writer, what do I actually spend my time doing?


Here’s the first ten days of June:


1st June


Edited chapter 7 of Clovenhoof Book 4, in which seawater is pumped into Hell to cool it down.  Brief attempts to research how “natural” underground steam can change local climates became a time-wasting exercise.


2nd June


Createspace previously rejected the cover for our book, Clovenhoof, because the “active elements” were too close to the edge of the book. Fiddled with the artwork and resubmitted the images. Createspace rejected it an hour later because the “active elements” were now going to overlap the ISBN code bar. Grrr.




Fiddled with cover artwork for Clovenhoof Createspace book and submitted it again.


In the evening, did an author event, Off the Page, at the Library of Birmingham with my co-writer Heide Goody. Audience of seven seemed very tolerant of our prattling and asked some good questions. Heide told me off for scowling at her again (it’s not deliberate, honest).


Heide gets expressive at Off The Page
Evening e-mail from Createspace told me that my files are now, finally, acceptable. Clovenhoofcan now be bought as a Creatspace paperback.




Ran a workshop on character development for the Birmingham Writers’ Group, with particular focus on stock characters, archetypes and characters as functions of a plot. This was a test run for one of a series of professional workshops Pigeon Park Press should be running later in the year. Didn’t have much opportunity to stay for feedback from participants as Heide and I later had an emergency meeting to discuss the final two chapters of Clovenhoof Book 4. Much discussion had about a demonic character, Rutspud, having his arm replaced with a dead seabird. The issue over how and why Rutspud should have a dead bird for an arm did not revolve around what was sensible or realistic but around what was actually funny. A suitable scenario was devised.


Ordered a proof copy of Clovenhoof from Createspace. Estimated delivery date, 21stJuly!




Edited Chapter 8 of Clovenhoof Book 3, in which Joan of Arc, sent from Heaven to earth in the modern day, goes to a seedy Marseille bar to recruit mercenaries to help storm a French naval base. Once again, made invaluable use of Google Maps and Streetview to plot a fictional route between places I will never visit.




Began plotting chapter 9 of Clovenhoof Book 3  for Heide to write next week. In this chapter, the earthbound saint, Joan of Arc, is carted off to a Marseille mental hospital from which her inept friends must rescue her. Spent afternoon researching the inter-related subjects of Joan of Arc’s trial, the arsenal at Toulon and the script for Terminator 2.


Received confirmation from the Library of Birmingham that our ten-way collaborative novel, Circ, will have its launch event in the Studio Theatre on Friday 28thNovember. That’s five and half months away and the book’s still in the editing stages. Those five and half months are just going to fly by.




Ran a workshop on collaborative writing at the Library of Birmingham. There were only two attendees (which was two more than I was expecting) but we had a great couple of hours, discussing character and devising a potential novel between the four of us.


While there, Heide pitched an all-day steampunk event to the library to coincide with the Science Festival taking place in Birmingham in early September. They seemed keen on the idea. Now wondering how many steampunk authors and artistes we actually know.




Received some preliminary interior artwork from Giuseppa Barresi for my children’s book, Angel Bob. A little e-mail back-and-forth to discuss the finer points of character design but overall I’m very happy. Being my first foray into self-publishing a children’s book, will need to carefully consider how to market and promote such a book in a busy marketplace.




Struggled with the horrible task of writing the blurb for the Ten To One novel, Circ. How do you both convey the essence of a novel in a few short sentences and simultaneously intrigue the potential reader?


Also worked on a different blurb for the Circ launch event, to go in the Library of Birmingham’s Voices Season brochure. The cover artwork we’ve got to accompany our promotional piece is astonishing but I’ve got to find the words first.




Started writing chapter 8 of Clovenhoof book 4, based on a synopsis written by Heide. After having accidentally killed off the last two birds in an endangered species, the monks of Bardsey must fool a group of visiting birdwatchers that the birds are perfectly alive and well. Some silly dialogue led me to recall Monty Python’s dead parrot sketch. Four minutes of youtube fun once again cuts needlessly into my writing time.