Welcome to chapter 2, page 1 of this blog. I’ve done a spot of housekeeping, cleaned up the grot and we’re ready to go.

In 2018, I’m setting myself a challenge: to write 150,000 words (or 12,500 words per month, if you prefer your goals a little less all-encompassing!). What that figure represents is (roughly) two novels – so naturally, I have three* projects in mind for this…

Project No.1 is a short story called “The Fountains of Mustabah” and it’s an introduction to the epic fantasy setting that I’ve been working on for nearly four years. The short story’s only been in progress since September (I, er, got sidetracked with it through November/December) and is, basically, just in search of an ending (and a bit more middle, and maybe a bit of a tart up at the beginning, too).

Once I get it completed, edited, sorted and generally finished off, I will be looking around for a venue to post it – and as soon as I know where that will be, I will let you know.

Project No.2 used to have a title, but after a conversation at a Christmas party (which then percolated for a week or so), the old title no longer works, so possibly the very first thing I get to do for this one is get it retitled! It’s the story of an English family who, in the early 1930s, quit London for life on a tea plantation in Ceylon and the subsequent adventures they have there.

At present, I have about two thirds of this written in one fashion or another, but it will need rewriting, tidying and pulling together – plus the remaining third (which is planned but only written in a kind of note form) needs to be utterly revamped.

As with project 1, once I have it finished I’ll be seeking a venue for posting. With this, I may very, very well go the route of publishing with Amazon – but there’s a lot of words between now and that point. (Plus a lot of editing, plus a conversation or two with an artist about a cover – because if I’m doing this, I’m doing this right…)

Project No.3 is going to be more in the fantasy universe of project 1. Logic would dictate that I ought to be working on the beginning section, which is nominally called Mudlark and Marshrat, but the fourth section of the story (nominally called Emissary) also has a strong claim.

(Note: the universe actually started with Emissary, back when I first started noodling it, but in trying to write that it became increasingly apparent I really did need to know the backstory. It hasn’t helped that one of the central characters has changed sex several times – though she’s pretty well established as a woman now, I still have an entire draft where she was male, which has some good stuff in, but needs massive rewrites!)

As I won’t be looking at this much before June, I can leave this to percolate some more before I make my final decision.

There will be regular updates, each Wednesday, to give you an idea of my progress (hopefully, lots of it!). There may be the occasional other posts through the rest of the week, depending on what’s going on, but the Wednesday updates will be guaranteed at least through January.

So there we go. It’s not exactly a new year’s resolution – but it should make the coming year a productive one.

*Okay, yes, I know. I have tonnes of projects I could have picked on, and I do reserve the right to let my mind do the butterfly thing if I get particularly stuck with anything I’m working on. If I do flit projects, it’ll be in my weekly update!