I’ve joined Peter M. Ball’s Sunday Circle to help keep my writing on track. Follow along here or join in the fun over at Peter’s blog, Man Versus Bear.

What am I working on this week?

I put a few hours into a short story that is continuing to frustrate me. I like it enough to continue with it but I still haven’t got to the heart of what I’m really trying to say with it. I have a tendency to get carried away with the “prettiness” of my descriptive details when what I need to do is more work on the story’s bones, and focus on what is motivating each character’s actions.

I’m progressing well with what I’ve called a ‘transitional draft’ of my YA novel, just going through changing 3rd POV into first without stressing too much about how it’s all going to come together at this stage. Taking this approach helps me continue to work  through the draft without getting stuck on details. Once I’ve removed all 3rd person, I’ll get into the meat of making it work properly with the immediate voice.

What’s inspiring me this week?

I read a great short story over on Shimmer magazine this week: Salamander Six Guns by Martin Cahill. It’s my kind of weird, in that it features hybrid creatures – possibly alien, possibly posthuman – that merge animal and human. For me, the mix of organic non-human material with human is far more interesting than the blend of tech into the human body. I’m not  sure why this is but the bulk of my writing features characters who incorporate some form of non-human organic matter, whether by accident or choice. The topic fascinates me so much I wrote a PhD about it. I always love to find other writers similarly obsessed with this particular branch of potential human evolution.

What action do I need to take?

Well, the decision has been made. I start full-time work again in 2 weeks. I am sad to lose my free Fridays but I think, as long as I  don’t muck around too much, I shouldn’t miss out on too much writing time. I’m lucky in that I only have myself to look after these days so I  can be home at 5pm on weekdays, have a cup of tea, and get at least 90 minutes writing done before I need to bother about cooking dinner. That’s the plan, anyway.

So my upcoming action will be to make sure I am disciplined about how I spend my spare minutes within the constraints of a 5-day working week.