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?

This week I finished the first draft of a new short story, tackled an old favourite (I can’t remember if I ever subbed it anywhere) with a view to cutting it by 40%, and also doing a bit of work on my YA novel.

The short story I’m trying to cut by 40% is a strange little piece. I like it a lot  – it’s one of those stories that I wrote because it’s something I like to read – but to be honest I have no idea where I’d submit it. It has no speculative elements and if  I had to give it  a label it would be high farce. If anyone knows of a market that would publish farce let me know!

What’s inspiring me this week?

This week I saw Problemos, which is on as part of the French film festival. It’s a comedy-apocalypse story that’s not really about the apocalypse but instead about the odd group of characters who have survived a deadly pandemic because they live in a self-sufficient commune in the French countryside. I love the way French films can be a little loose in structure, and aren’t tied to a definitive ending. For me it’s a more interesting and fresh approach than the typical Hollywood  3-act where everything must be neatly tied up by the time the credits  roll. Problemos is a lot of fun, and though it pokes fun at some “liberal” ideas its real focus is on community dynamics, and how far people will move from their beliefs in a crisis situation.

What action do I need to take?

Although I’ve written 3 new short stories so far this year I’ve struggled with the novel writing. This is partly because I’m also still struggling with the death of my beloved dad, who died in December. So I think I need to be a bit more gentle with myself, and have faith that eventually my writing routine will fall back into place.