Its been far too long since my last post. I can sum up the reason why with just three words: Busy, busy, busy. Ok, so it’s one word repeated three times, but it’s the best excuse I have.
Anyway, onto what’s been happening…
Do you remember Project 13? I hope you do, it’s the project that saw the publication of The Thirteenth Camera. The talented editors behind the project want to do it all again. This time the anthology they have in mind will have a theme of ‘Saints & Sinners’. I’ve written a very early draft of my particular entry which is entitled Acid House.
I couldn’t turn the opportunity down. Did I find the original project frustrating? At times, Yes! But only because I was forced to work in a different manner. The creative collaboration between the editors and the writers was excellent, and I learned a great deal during the experience.
Speaking of that original project sales of “13 The Anthology” are trickling in. We had an excellent review from Soundsphere Magazine which you can find here: http://www.soundspheremag.com/reviews/book/book-review-13-the-anthology/
I am immensely proud of the specific reference the review made regarding The Thirteenth Camera:
The collection closes with another tale that would sit easily alongside books of the ‘New Weird’ ilk with a shot in the arm of arresting surprise not unlike Ian McEwan’s ‘Solid Geometry’.
We could use some more reviews so if anyone reading this would like to offer an independent review on Amazon, or via their own blog, let me know. A free copy for review purposes can be arranged. (Note: This is not a plea for gushing five star reviews. It’s a request for honest feedback be it praiseworthy, constructively negative, or some fence sitting middle ground.)
Unrelated to any project is a new piece of flash fiction entitled The Ending. It’s a little bit experimental with a non-standard narrative, but I’ve got an eye on a couple of magazines that might be interested. Feedback from trusted sources is currently good on this one.
The My Stories section of the Musings has been updated to include The Ending and Acid House, and gives a little bit more information about those stories.
The Useful Links section of the blog has been updated with details of:
The Screenwriting Goldmine http://www.screenwritinggoldmine.com/
Gareth L Powell http://www.garethlpowell.com/
More information on both those site is contained in the Useful Links section.
The Favourite Quotes section has had an abundance of new quotes added. I’ve re-structured this page too. I’ve now listed the quotes alphabetically based on author surnames. For various reasons I didn’t want to do this, but it’s the simplest way of checking which quotes I’ve already got listed and which I haven’t. The criteria for listing quotes remains the same. Any quote has to resonate with me in some way. That doesn’t necessarily mean that I agree with the sentiment behind any listed quote, it may mean that the quote makes my blood boil. I hope you find them interesting, inspiring, provocative, but most of all engaging.
13 The Anthology is now available on Amazon.co.uk / Amazon.com. It’s competitively priced at a mere 77p so please give it a chance and treat yourself. Ok, ok, I’m hardly likely to say anything negative about an anthology that contains one of my stories, but I genuinely believe that there are stories in this anthology for everyone. It’s a themed anthology centred around the number “13” but every writer was free to interpret that theme in any way they pleased. Let’s put it another way: The Editors gave each contributor creative freedom – although that doesn’t mean we weren’t asked to amend elements!
As a result this isn’t an anthology laden with horror stories, or sci-fi stories, or twist in the tale stories, or any other kind of specific story. It’s a diverse well balanced anthology. There is a sci-fi story in the mix, and there’s a ghost story too, but you’ll also find historical fiction, fantasy, dark drama, uplifting drama, black comedy, straight comedy, and great characters too.
My own story is very British, blackly comic, that hopefully will appeal beyond the English Channel.
Leaving my own work aside I can honestly state that I’m proud to have my work alongside the other works in the anthology. During the compiling stage the authors were all asked to read the other contributors work, and to comment. It was an interesting exercise, and there was diverse views from all of the writers. That process shows the care that was taken in producing this fine body of stories.
So please lend a helping hand and support some up and coming writers. You haven’t got anything to lose, well OK 77p or 99 cents but that’s less than a cup of coffee.
If anyone does take the plunge please feel free to leave an Amazon review, or contact me directly to let me know what you think. You can even be critical; just keep it constructively critical!!!
I’ve been quiet for awhile. It’s because I’ve been busy re-writing The Thirteenth Camera. I think I’ve finally nailed it. The Editorial team might want further revisions but I think it’s done. (This story has caused me more problems than any I’ve ever written!)
The 13 has it’s own website which I can now share:
The website explains the project. You’ll find blog articles one of which I penned myself. There’s profiles of the authors, and photos too. I still need to send mine in. Like I said I’ve been busy writing so I’ve had no time for posing.
Check it out!!! Feedback is always good. Here’s two quick snippets of extra info:
One of our authors has already had a book published and has a two book deal on the table.
Another of our authors has been previously published by Penguin – Yep Penguin.
The book is still some months away so I’m keeping this update short. The above snippets are just that. There’s more publishing success to shout about and I’ll start singing the praises of my fellow contributors over the coming months.
I’m just proud to be amongst them. They maybe a bunch of reprobates, but they’re talented reprobates. I hope none of them read that last sentence.
More blogs coming soon now that The Thirteenth Camera has been finished. (Did you hear that Editors: Finished, complete.) I’ve got quite a few new blogs planned. There’s at least two that aren’t just shameful plugging and will hopefully prove useful to the aspiring writer.
Thanks for reading,
We have a website for this eclectic meeting of imaginations from around the globe. I’m not going to share the web address just yet as we’re still making some tweaks. We’re even posting mug-shots. Looks like I’ll have to find a camera with an unbreakable lens. Failing that I’ll just send in a picture of Daniel Craig and see if I get away with it.
The websites looking good, and should be an excellent marketing tool for the anthology. Below I’ve posted the blog entry which I was asked to write for the site:
We’re going on a short ride together. I’ve been invited to write the first blog entry for 13 – The Anthology. My brief was any subject related to writing.
Tricky, very, very, tricky.
You see, we don’t know each other. At the moment were on a level playing field. I don’t know you, and you don’t know me. That’s going to change, and you’re going to have me at a disadvantage. Being the first of our little group to kick off this shindig there was really only one topic to blog about:
Why write in the first place?
I can’t answer that without bearing my soul and telling you something about myself. Like I said, you’re going to have me at a disadvantage.
Enough pre-amble let’s just get on with it…
Writing is hard. Kick you in the nuts, chew you up, spit you out, and stamp all over you kind of hard. Oh yeah, it hurts.
A genius who was much better at this than me once said:
“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”
The geniuses name was Hemingway. He also said:
“Forget your personal tragedy. We are all bitched from the start and you especially have to be hurt like hell before you can write seriously. But when you get the damned hurt, use it-don't cheat with it.”
I could have posted any one of a million and one quotes on the art of writing, but those two are the ones that really resonate and strike a chord deep within this writer’s soul.
I’m a free writer, as opposed to a plotter. Plotters map everything out, and mostly know exactly where a story is going before they’ve written that first sentence. Free writers just write. One sentence leads to another, and characters start introducing themselves. It’s a bit like reading a novel in real time. As soon as the writer types the finished line you get to read it instantaneously. That’s one of the reasons why I write. The sheer exhilaration of events unfolding around me, events that I’m dictating with characters I’ve created, and yet I have no idea what’s about to happen.
Free writing is a bit like riding a bicycle, with no brakes, down the steepest most pot hole ridden road you could imagine. The road that I ride down has a lot of bystanders looking on. Those bystanders are hope, loneliness, loss, love, laughter, sadness, failed relationships, departed loved ones, insecurity, the ghosts of my yesterdays is a good way to describe them all.
Each of those bystanders has a voice, and they shout like Hell to be heard. Whoever shouts loudest tends to shape the story that I’m putting together. That’s where the pain of writing really kicks in.
If a character of mine is in distress, if they’re emotionally ripped apart, then I’m re-living sections of my own life when I experienced something similar so I can capture the emotion as honestly as I possibly can. It sounds masochistic, and it probably is. It’s also fantastic self-healing. That’s another reason why I write, I can’t afford the expensive therapists.
A lot of what happens above happens at the re-writing stage. A free writer doesn’t always know exactly what they’ve written until they’ve finished and start reading it back. The pain and the blood come with the re-writes.
My story in this collection is entitled The Thirteenth Camera. It’s an adaptation of a short play I free wrote about four years ago. I’m not going to tell you anything about the story that unfolds. When I started writing the adaptation I was in a philosophical, mischievous, and irreverent mood. That should at least give you a flavour of the story.
I enjoyed the ride that the story and the characters took me on. I can’t guarantee that you will enjoy the ride in the same way, but I sincerely hope you will. I can absolutely guarantee that every word and every sentence, although presented in fine print, has its origins in blood.
There’s nothing more I can say.
(M J Wolfson)
Take care and I’ll be posting more on the 13 Anthology soon.
M J Wolfson - That's me.