Monthly Archives: January 2016

New fiction!

The last couple of days I’ve been writing based on prompts posted to /r/writingprompts. They were quite fun to write and gave me something a bit different to write about, and also gave me a bit of a chance to write characters outside my usual range. So here they are:

The ghost in Uncle John’s house

Small town politics

Enjoy! They are first drafts and just a bit of fun, so please forgive any errors I’ve missed.

A pair of Cadfael books

I started my year’s reading with two Cadfael books, Monk’s Hood and St Peter’s Fair, by Ellis Peters (pen name of Edith Pargeter). These are books I bought while visiting Shrewsbury Museum with my friend Pam in December 2014, so it’s about time I read them. The Cadfael series are set in and around Shrewsbury Abbey, where the titular character Brother Cadfael is a Benedictine monk, during the Anarchy – a period of civil war in England between King Stephen and Empress Maud. They are murder mysteries, but not in the same vein as mainstream detective novels and TV shows – and not just because of the historical context.

cadfael

Continue reading A pair of Cadfael books

Progress report: One Million Words, week 25

This will be the last weekly update, finishing off 2015. Future progress reports for the One Million Words challenge will be monthly. I am aware that they are not popular posts and would prefer to spend my time on Monday mornings more productively – whether that’s writing fiction or planning more interesting blog posts.

So on to this week’s progress. This week I wrote 5,449 words, bringing my total now to 114,031 words/1,000,000, or 11.4%.

Day by day summary

Monday: 1,150 words (Coronation cloak)

Tuesday: 862 words (Coronation cloak)

Wednesday: 731 words (Coronation cloak)

Thursday: 589 words (Coronation cloak)

Friday: 388 words (Coronation cloak)

Saturday: 1,166 words (Coronation cloak)

Sunday: 563 words (Broken bridge of Anqas)

Continue reading Progress report: One Million Words, week 25

2016 reading plans

In 2015 I aimed to read 26 books and managed only 16. This year I’m going to set the same goal of 26 books.

Going through my list of books read in 2015, I was surprised and disappointed to find I’d read only 3 books by women. The overwhelming majority were by men. This wasn’t by design. Several of those authors were favourites whose books I’ve been reading for years – Mark Lawrence, Terry Pratchett, Patrick O’Brian. And it’s not like none of my favourite authors are women – Robin Hobb and Diana Wynne Jones, for example. I just didn’t read them in 2015.

So in 2015 I will not only aim to read 26 books, but I will also aim for a minimum of 50% of the books I read to be by women.

And, since last year I was terrible at keeping records of my reading, I’ll also aim to use Goodreads to keep a record of every book I read, and also review every fantasy book I read here on my blog.

If you are a woman writing fantasy, or have a favourite female fantasy author, please share in the comments. Who knows, I might just find my newest favourite author.

My 2015 in numbers

2015 was a busy for me. In the last six months I’ve taken on a new challenge – writing every day, with the ultimate target of 1 million words at some point in the future. I’ve read more, written more and submitted more than any year before.

So here are the stats:

111,914

Words of fiction written, since I began counting in July. This does not count the first half the year, during which I wrote

58

handwritten pages in a notebook, working on the Horrible Monster story. This is probably around 6,000 words in total.

My best day saw me writing

2,130

words. This was on the 11th of November, during NaNoWriMo.

Since July I have written for

166

consecutive days. As I go into 2016, this number will continue to rise.

During that time I have worked on a total of

28

separate stories, including everything from prompted stories I spent a day on up to Kell’s Adventures, which I was writing for over two months in various drafts. I’m not counting different drafts of the same story as separate stories.

Of these, I have submitted

1

story to paying fantasy fiction markets. So far I haven’t sold it, but I’m still waiting back on the most recent one.

I’ve also read

16

books, which I will have to improve upon in 2016 as that’s a lot fewer than I was aiming for. Though I may have forgotten one or two, and unfortunately my local library’s website doesn’t seem to have a functional loan history feature so I can’t check. Maybe I should use Goodreads more to keep track of these.

So there we go, that’s my 2015 in numbers!

Review: The Fire Mages by Pauline M Ross

The Fire Mages by Pauline M Ross is an imaginative fantasy novel which tells the story of Kyra, a young village girl with an ambition to become a scribe and have the ability to write spellpages – and leave her boring village behind. She meets interesting and mysterious characters, learns about magic, and travels far and wide as she learns more about magic, the politics of her home country, and herself.

fire mages pauline m ross

Continue reading Review: The Fire Mages by Pauline M Ross