Progress Report – May 2015

Most of this month has been taken up fixing the side project I was compelled to write a couple of months back. It’s still third person, which feels better now I’ve added some more scenes (it’s about half again as long, despite cutting some, and novella length).

I redid the final act to make more sense for the lead character. The action now makes sense (to me) as the logical way to resolve the problem. Partly influenced by personality traits that maybe aren’t fully explored here, but I think it works. Most of the rest didn’t need much work, just a few additional scenes to cover the secondary POV character, without them being superfluous.


I might try submitting it to, since they’re currently open for novellas. Their guidelines are slightly odd. They say 30,000 to 40,000 words is the range their looking for, but will consider stuff slightly shorter, although nothing under 17,500. Mine is 18,500, which I’d consider more than slightly shorter. Still, it does seem to be just within the acceptable limit, although I’d assume with reduced chance of being successful (and it’s not in the genre in which they’re most interested).

I’ve been waiting for their imprint to open for submissions again, though I was hoping they’d be accepting longer works. I have a short novel (the 49,000 word Song of Thunder) that’s been sitting around since the end of last year. Since I’d planned releasing the Tales of the Thief-City short stories on a monthly basis it was easier to hold it back and see. If they don’t open to longer submissions by the end of the year I’ll just go ahead and self-publish.


Next up I’ll get back to work on the larger piece I’m in the middle of. I still have the viewpoint chapters of two of the main characters from the second part to do. One was giving me some trouble getting a handle on it, but the break has helped add structure to it in my mind, so hopefully it’ll go smoother now. Then I’ll just have the third part to come up with, from only a few vague ideas.

Publishing wise, the final two parts of the Tales of the Thief-City series are out in the next couple of months. That’ll put my number of titles on Smashwords at 50. Then I should put out a collected edition at some point (the print one is ready to go), and think about getting some of my outstanding projects ready for publishing. At some point.

Duty to Vote

It’s election season here in the UK (thankfully shorter than in other countries, and unfortunately without any open season for hunting politicians [that might make the news time taken up more acceptable and entertaining]) and politicians have again managed to irritate me by spouting off nonsense.

[Rant Warning]

The particular comment in this case was by some politician whose name I don’t recall (and have no intention of learning – remembering who they are only encourages the bastards) who got incensed at people not voting, saying that if they didn’t vote they had no right to complain about what the winning government did thereafter.

I’m not sure whether he’s willfully ignoring the fact that many people probably don’t have the option of a politician who represents their viewpoint, or whether the political classes truly believe their system caters for all viewpoints.

I think my voting area has eight candidates (I’ve already voted by post). Considering how many people are in the area, how can they possibly think this is enough to cover all viewpoints. Yet if there were enough to cover all viewpoints we’d probably have a problem locating the one we wanted among the horde.

And even if by some chance there is one of them who accurately reflects my worldview, why would I ever think they’ll be able to promote that in parliament. To have any chance of effecting change it needs to be a party in power reflecting your viewpoint, so we generally vote by party rather than individual (I can’t even remember the name of the candidate I voted for).

Yet the primary concern of most parties always appears from the outside to be remaining in power, allegedly so they can effect the changes they want. How often do they manage to do things though, and how often do they fail, blaming their opponents for blocking them.

Why then should people be bothered to vote if they can’t vote for what they want? Simply for the right to complain when whoever does get into power does something we don’t like?

Where exactly is the loss of this right enshrined in law anyway? Because I’m sure a politician wouldn’t make such a claim unless it was accurate. Would he make that claim in parliament? Where they can lie regardless.

Are politicians truly so insulated from the real world that they’re unable to understand why people don’t vote? When the main view of them is in that unruly creche of parliament where their primary occupation seems to be shouting each other down. So much for any hope of reasoned mature debate when that’s considered acceptable behaviour for those governing the country.

And it only gets worse in election season, with all the vicious attacks on each other rather than giving a good idea of what they’re going to do. But since the system is opposed to them making changes anyway, how can they promise anything.

While I did vote by post, I’m not sure I could have been bothered if I had to travel somewhere to do so. Until there’s a party that’ll try to change the system to a proper direct democracy, I doubt there’ll be any politician who’ll represent my viewpoint, so I’m stuck choosing the least objectionable option, and changing nothing.

But at least I retain the right to complain about it.

Heart of the City

The tenth part of the Tales of the Thief-City is now available.


Heart of the City smallHeart of the City

A familiar mystery brings Rax closer to the secrets of Nexi than he’s ever been. But he’s not the only one on the trail, and his competition may follow him into the heart of the city itself.
Tenth in the Tales of the Thief-City series. A 6,000 word short story.