In Dreams Awake

Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake.

(Henry David Thoreau)

Thursday, 22 December 2016

Who'd Have Thunk it?

 Well, it's that time of year when I usually post a review of my year in books and films. Trouble is, I've hardly read or seen any. 2016 has been a bit full of other things.

 Mostly that's involved two house moves, from Barnstaple to Yeovil and then back to Bideford. Also there's the wee matter of the birth of my daughter, and the total upheaval that caused in my life. It's been fantastic, the best time of my life, but it does mean that I haven't been to the cinema even once. The last film I saw at a theatre was The Force Awakens, which surprised me - a Star Wars film which was actually pretty good! Who'd have thunk it, eh?

 I have managed to read one book series which if not new to me, at least hadn't been read for so many decades that I rediscovered it. That was the Narnia books, by C S Lewis. Yes, children's literature, but if Harry Potter, Divergent et al have shown us anything, it's that the genre contains gems. The Narnia series is brilliantly done, from Diggory trying to save his mother to Caspian's rediscovery of Old Narnia, and to Puddleglum and the Silver Chair. It was my gateway into Fantasy. From Narnia I went on to Dungeons and Dragons, Lord of the Rings, and beyond that the whole broad, uneven genre. Most Fantasy is honestly not very good - much of it is bloody rubbish. But as Robert A Heinlein once said, 95% of everything is rubbish. What matters is finding the wheat in the chaff, and Fantasy has always had (just) enough wheat for me.

 So that's my year. Now it's 2017 which concerns me, a year in which I'll become a dad again and also launch Black Lord of Eagles, my new novel, due in April. I've almost completed the edit, I've got a Kickstarter project completed and video filmed, and I'm sorting out where to hold the launch and what advertising I can do. This year was very big for me. Next might be even better.

 Meanwhile I hope you all end 2016 with a wonderful Christmas, and may New Year bring you joy. Take care and be safe.

Monday, 5 December 2016


 OK, so the cover for Black Lord of Eagles is done. It's a wowser too, really good, I like it a lot.

 Not much else is done. I haven't had time. Either I'm in work until 9.30 pm or, on my day off, I have to sort out a dozen things that have been waiting for ages, and I still don't catch up. Only my mornings are free and they're taken up with caring for little Bella. I need a better routine and more time. Right now.

 The good news is, I have an interview for a job in Sidmouth in which I have a very good chance of getting the job. It's for Cancer Research UK, as manager, a job I fulfilled on a relief basis during much of 2015, before I joined Barnardo's. I even went for the Sidmouth job but didn't get it. Instead I ran my Barnardo's store in Yeovil, while Sidmouth went through three different managers in less than two years. They need stability and I can give it to  them.

 What it would give to me is a better routine, more time (natch), a job I enjoy, and a fantastic little seaside town in which to raise my daughter. My wife could quit work or go part time, It would be fantastic, and I so badly want it. Not least, all the above means I would be able to write properly again. Finding the time is so hard now that I can never generate momentum, never delve deep enough into the mood of the story.

 So, changes are afoot. I only hope they come soon.