HERE WE GO AGAIN

I’ve been working on my latest book recently and can present you with the cover for my soon to be released anthology of short stories.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you the cover for “Tall Tales for Dark Nights”.

cover

I’m really pleased with the book and I’m looking forward eagerly to the release.

Watch this space for the date.

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COMPETITION WINNER

And the winner is ………………..

 

Following on from last week’s competition to win the chance to name my up coming anthology of short stories I’ve been able to whittle all the entries down to the best overall.

A huge thank you has to go to everyone who added something to the list of possibilities helping me find the correct title. An honourable mention has to go to one particular idea which just made me smile. Although not the winning entry, ‘The Good, The Bad and The Elgie’ surely should be a book title.

 

So finally, I give you the winning suggestion and the title of my up coming collection of short stores.

“Tall Tales for Dark Nights.”

A late entry but overall I think it fits the bill perfectly. I’ve also now got a perfect title for another book thanks to the pool of suggestions.

Thank you all for the help. There have been some amazing ideas which are so much more interesting than what I’d been kicking about.

Watch this space for more information on the release.

 

 

ODD JET FUEL

Just to get the point out there, this isn’t about diesel or the like. Instead, this week I bring you the importance of always finding that fuel for the creative fires that always need to be fanned.

As a writer, I’m always working on ideas for future projects and all that work has to be driven by something. We could inject the fuel ourselves, just pushing at the ideas and turning them over and over as you go. We could read and read and read and keep the tanks topped up that way or we could watch all kinds of TV shows or movies and absorb the thoughts.

I’ve done all three of those and all kinds of others to boot but this past weekend, I was lucky enough to have a great time with great friends. We watched episodes of our favourite shows, talked on a very wide range of topics, had a drink or two and all together had a great time. And this weekend served as the most potent fuel I’ve had in some time.

Just picture it.

Over the last few months, trying to get anything done on the projects I’ve got under way has been proving to be tougher than I’d care to admit. I’ve not been crushed by the time element but more the lack of a driving force to keep the hammer down. And you know what? The last weekend was just what I needed. It just let me wallow in all of the ‘stuff’ that I loved within sci-fi and fantasy and just by listening to all the conversations which were going on, just letting the torrents of ideas and thoughts swirl all around me, gave me the most wonderful creative soup to digest.

I was able to drink in that energy and I’ve suddenly replenished a pool I wasn’t really sure was empty.

So I thank my friends, those who helped me remember what it was that I most loved about the genres I play with and topped up the almost sputtering engine on my car.

Now to get creative again.

AGING GRACEFULLY?

“Aren’t you a bit old to be dealing with all the make believe stuff?”

“Isn’t all of that just for kids?”

“Grow up!”

I’ve heard them all. When I was a kid I loved it all. Stories of large robots battling even larger monsters. Magic and mystery. Space aliens and creatures from the future. All in all I couldn’t get enough. The problem came when I continued to enjoy all of these things as I began to age.

How many people have been told that they need to stop ‘playing with toys’ or any variation of the same as they’ve added on the years? There’s even a Bible verse just for the occasion. “When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.1 Corinthians 13:11. Not a direct fit but close enough to be used to guilt people into behaving differently.

How many people have then done exactly that and put away their ‘childish’ pursuits in favour of the more socially acceptable drinking, watching the news and driving cars?

Science Fiction and the like are not a condition to be cured. They aren’t just a phase that people go through (although for some, they are and if you’re happy to put them down, go right ahead). Science Fiction et al is never to be viewed as something to grow out of.

Every single one of us on this planet has the imagination to conjure so many spectacular and terrifying things. Music, art, architecture and literature give us a multitude of ways to express ourselves and the far off lands of outer space, deep in the ocean or in ancient mystical lands hand us the opportunity to escape but also to make sense of the here and now. We as a species can explore situations of morality in far off lands and allow the best or the worst to happen without there being the chance of social upheaval around us as we make our collective points.

So I say that to view all of these things as being childish or silly is to happily miss the point. Star Trek made huge comments on the world we live in but is so often seen as the show with the guy and his funny ears. Doctor Who has done much the same but is so often dismissed as the pepper pots with the plungers on them.

Stand up one and all and declare that these things are so much more than merely childish games. We have a duty to the human race to keep the minds of the future generations inspired and challenged. We should never just think that ‘At my age I should be more grown up.’ You’re never too old to expand your mind and think, to create.

After all that I need a deep breath and maybe a sit down. I am knocking on a bit. The Big 4 – 0 is only a year away today!