What I’m working on right now
I’ll update this page every few weeks, as my writing projects progress.
18 December 2017
Like much of the world, we’re getting ready for Xmas. The Christmas tree is up, and as yet, the boys haven’t broken it, although we keep telling them off for removing the glass baubles and rolling them around the floor.
However, we haven’t risked putting any presents under the tree yet. That would just be tempting fate, and if they all suddenly appear on Christmas morning it will help to perpetuate their belief in the myth of Santa Claus.
Summer has landed with a vengeance and the weather has been unpleasantly hot. We’ve spent every afternoon this week cooling off in the pool at my daughter’s school.
And my novel is slowly but surely progressing. I’ve just hit 45,000 words.
After starting on May 18th, that’s certainly slower than I would have liked. With only an hour or so a day available to focus on my writing, there have been times when I have been forced to set the novel aside to focus on other priorities, and not all of them writing related. —I had two weeks in November where I just had so much going on with my day job (the one that pays the bills) that I was up early every morning preparing for that and didn’t even get to look at my novel. This has been the biggest setback and while some days it really is unavoidable, my goal for 2018 is to keep these days down to the barest minimum.
The novel continues to expand. I see below that my original idea was for a 40,000 word novella, then a 70,000 word novel. At the rate I’m going it’s likely to be significantly longer. In terms of my outline, I’m a little way into Act 2, so potentially only a third of the way through the story. This is all a learning exercise, and I’m not bothered by the word count at this point, but after I’ve completed the first draft, I’ll trim and tighten this up as much as possible—I’d certainly prefer to keep the final product under 100,000 words.
At the moment, writing is a grind. That’s not to say I’m not finding it enjoyable, because I am. I also find each 5000 word milestone I hit comes with its own sense of accomplishment. But it’s hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. So I take heart from this guy, below. If he can do it, so can I. I’ve written more about that on my blog, here.
1 November 2017
It’s been a busy couple of months. My new short story, What Friends Are For, is available at all major ebook stores and is getting great reviews.
Last night was Halloween and I enjoyed following my children around the neighbourhood trick or treating. My daughter was dressed as a witch and the twins were dressed as Spiderman and Chase from Paw Patrol. It was the boys’ first time and they loved it.
As far as my writing goes, I’ve just passed 30,000 words with my novel. It’s been slow going over the last couple of months with other commitments, but we’ll get there.
21 August 2017
It’s been a busy few weeks. My new short story, What Friends Are For, has come back from my editor and I’m working on the final edits. It should be out in the next few weeks.
I’ve also written an outline for another story, untitled as yet, about a middle-aged woman and her mission to stop her two sons from doing something stupid. It’s set in Brisbane and is a sequel of sorts to the events in Square Pegs. The main character in this story, Cindy, features in the ending of Square Pegs. She’s a hard woman with a dark secret, but she loves her sons and will do anything to keep them out of trouble.
I’ve now written 20,000 words on Crossing The Divide, although I’m no longer sure about the title. It’s going slowly but surely, and after having a break from it for a couple of weeks while I’ve been working on other things, I want to get back to it this week.
13 July 2017
After writing 6000 words or so on Crossing The Divide, I realised that the fantastical elements that were part of the idea weren’t going to work. So I went back to the drawing board.
I’ve re-written the outline and what I’ve now got is a tragicomic love story without the fantastical ending. It follows the personal journey of the main character, Kate Hensley, a thirty-one-year-old mother of one who is trying to navigate a world that has changed dramatically for her after a recent traumatic experience.
I can’t give any more details than that because the short story I’m currently working on, called What Friends Are For, also features Kate as one of the main characters and is a prequel to the events in Crossing The Divide. The idea has expanded too—what I originally thought was going to be a short story is now looking like being 70,000 words or thereabouts—novel length. I’ve been thinking about writing a novel for twenty years so it’s pretty cool to be able to finally say I’m working on one. I didn’t ever imagine that this would be the novel I started with, but there you go—the muse works in mysterious ways. I also have ideas for three more short stories that will form part of the Crossing The Divide short story series and work as prequels and connect other secondary characters that feature in the novel. I’m 8000 words into the novel now and hope to have the first draft finished by the end of the year, at the latest.
22 May 2017
I’ve finally started writing Crossing The Divide, and I’m 3000 words into the first draft. My goal is 40,000 words.
I’ve been thinking about this story a lot over the last few weeks, and as I have thought about my idea, and what genre conventions are apparent within it, I’ve come to realise, much to my surprise, that it’s a love story. A story of love, lust, betrayal, and snowboarding. My reading preferences don’t normally swing in this direction, so I’m brushing up on my understanding of the genre by reading some love stories. If you have any suggestions for good love stories to read, let me know.
I was also recently interviewed by writer, D de Carvalho, with the interview being posted on his blog. Check it out here!
17 May 2017
I travelled to Auckland with a group of 30 students for a day at the 2017 Auckland Writers Festival.
It was a great day, featuring Glenn Colquhoun, Jennifer Niven, Witi Ihimaera, and Ivan Coyote. For me, the standouts were Colquhoun and Coyote. Colquhoun performed a selection of his sea shanties, written for real historical figures from New Zealand’s past, as well as a shaka, a cross between a sea shanty and a haka.
Coyote told an hilarious story about being stuck on a plane with a bitchy girls’ volleyball team, and followed up with some inspiring messages for LGBTQ youth—delivering a kind of stand-up comedy/motivational speaker double act. It was both informative and thoroughly entertaining.
01 May 2017
I’ve been looking forward to this day for a long time. I’ve been having Mondays off since the start of the school year in February, but today is the first Monday I’ve had, at home, by myself, WITHOUT CHILDREN, to work on my writing!
I dropped the twins off at daycare and returned home to finally start on some of the tasks that have been building on my to-do list for the last month or two. The only noise I can hear is the refridgerator humming, the clock ticking, and the wind blowing through the chimney. Oh, and the angry (or possibly horny) moan of the bull in the paddock across the road (it sounds much like this).
It’s exciting but also very strange (having a day off, not listening to a randy bull).
I’ve got Book 4 of my Crossing the Divide short story series (tentatively titled What Friends Are For) ready to send out to beta readers for feedback, and will be working on that over the next few weeks. It’s the story of a young, foul-mouthed, working-class woman living in small town Central Otago and her friendship with an older, classier woman. Both women are mothers of young children and the story follows the events of a joint shopping expedition with their kids to a neighbouring town. Send me a message if you’re interested in being a beta reader.
The last couple of weeks I’ve been outlining Book 5 in the series. This is going to be a longer story and it will tie the different characters in the series together. It’s the first time I’ve written an extensive outline for a story and in the last few days I’ve been using the outlining features in Scrivener. I was struggling with the ending and the features in Scrivener have really helped in nailing down the ending. I’m almost ready to start the hard job—writing the first draft.
26 April 2017
I was recently interviewed by author and blogger, MD Neu, who hails from San Jose, California. The interview was posted on his blog on 15 April. Check it out here!
01 April 2017
I was recently interviewed by author, Trin Carl, who hails from Minnesota. The interview was posted on her blog on 31 March. Check it out here!
We’re also having a party today to celebrate the birthdays of my twin sons. My talented wife has baked and iced a chocolate, monster truck birthday cake!
27 March 2017
My new short story, Square Pegs, is out today at the major ebook stores! It’s the culmination of a lot of work over many months and it’s really exciting to finally get to this point. I think it’s the best story I’ve written so far and I’m proud of it.
Book 3 in the Crossing The Divide short story series, it’s a darkly humorous story about an angry young man struggling to find his way in the world. Set in Brisbane, Australia, it features a new set of characters but is stylistically and thematically related to the first two books in the series, The Golden Cockroach and Riding Shotgun.
Click on the cover image for a sample preview, or click on the Books2Read button below to purchase or read using your preferred service.
19 March 2017
My new short story, Square Pegs, is now available for pre-order at the major ebook stores.
13 March 2017
At the moment, I’m concentrating on the release of Square Pegs, Book 3 in the Crossing The Divide short story series. It’s coming out at all the major ebook stores on March 27th.