On the Blog Post That Should Never Have Been, or What I’ve Been Doing Instead of Blogging

This is going to be a lengthy blog post. I apologise, but I haven’t got the time to write a short one. I shouldn’t be writing one at all, but it’s been over six months since my last one, so I figured I’m past due for an update, and this seems as good a time as any.

First of all, I haven’t been blogging. You may have noticed. I certainly have. It’s been a little niggle at the back of my brain all year. Plus, there have been things I’ve wanted to blog about. Girls in games. Violence too. I’ve started a blog post on all that, but it’s turning into something of an academic treatise, so I won’t be dashing that off on a Sunday afternoon (it’s far too serious a topic to be given such short shrift – I’m looking at you, ‘the Media’). There have been comic books and films and films based on comic books (OMG! The Avengers was AWESOME!!!) and games that played like films. There have been books and short stories and . . . okay. I haven’t blogged about any of those things, but I have been writing (more on that in a sec), and maybe one day I’ll make the time to actually blog about them like I should.

So, what has stopped me posting? Well, I finally moved into the city (Achievement Unlocked!). This has been a looooooong time coming, and I’m so happy I finally made it (insert inspirational theme song here). My apartment is perfect (it better be – I’m never moving again). My office (I have an office!) has its own little balcony. Okay, so it opens up onto the building opposite, but there’s a whole patch of sky I can see from it! Moving was . . . stressful. I finally know exactly how many books I own (don’t worry – my new apartment can fit more bookshelves). Anyway, I moved in about a month ago and love it and . . . promptly had to go get my wisdom teeth pulled out. All of them. It wasn’t pleasant, obviously, and thanks to some particularly dense bone in my jaw, it wasn’t any fun for the surgeon either. The pain sucked (sucks – the surgeon insists it will stop one day), but even worse was having to postpone my culinary exploration of my new suburb, which just so happens to be in the middle of a BUNCH of great restaurants, cafes, and other assorted eateries and is pretty much why I moved here (not really but sort of).

So, that happened. The Suit is still wrapping itself around me daily and sending me down the street to the Full Time Job, too. I can walk there now (yay!), but it still takes up most of my day. Thankfully, my employer allows me to start at 7am (yep – ouch!) and finish by about 3:30 / 4, which gives me an extra couple of hours during the evenings to write.

And write I have. Pretty much every day, with time off for moving and teeth extraction and the occasional massive gaming session with friends. Surely with all that writing I could have taken some time to blog too, right? Yeah, probably, but every time I sit down at my computer I weigh my options. Blog or write? Write or blog? Guess what? Writing wins. Every time (except today, but you’ve probably worked that out by now). I read a lot about writers ‘building their platforms’ (mostly on blogs, in a nod to Irony). Blog! Tweet! FB! Etcetera. All of that is probably really important, but I didn’t become a writer to do all that stuff. I became a writer to write novels (mostly – see below), and whenever I get the chance, that’s what I’m going to do.

So what have I been writing, then? Well, I’ve mostly been working on two things. The first is a new YA fantasy. It’s currently codenamed 108 and it involves kung fu and a wild frontier and horses and, yes, dragons and gods. The second is a collection of short stories. What?! Yep, you read that correctly. Short stories. I’ve never considered myself capable of writing short stories. I tend to plot out massive, multi-volumed epics, but, with the inspiration and encouraging words of some fellow writers, I’ve given it a go. And some of them kind of work. Some of them might even be published one day. They are most definitely not YA, but they are fantasy. and I’m having so much fun writing them.

Oh, and my wonderful agent, Nan Halliday, retired. It was fabulous to work with her, but she has certainly earned her retirement! I now have a new agent, Brian Cook, which reminds me that I have to update the website accordingly!

And that’s it. When you write it up in a couple paragraphs, it doesn’t seem like much, but it’s certainly kept me busy over the last six months. 108 is almost finished; I’m taking a week off from the Suit on the 13th to put the finishing touches on it so I can send it to my publisher. The short story collection is about halfway drafted but a heck of a lot less than halfway finished. After that is the Abe rewrite and a couple of new projects to kick into gear. I’m also doing some school visits and interviews and running workshops at the local writers’ centre, just to remind people that I am still here, doing what I do, and to promote the Voyages of the Flying Dragon without blogging.

But, lo! Bloggage Achieved! Off to pour another cup of tea and then get back to the writing . . .

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