A few updates and odd little things

Hey readers, for those of you who use Twitter, I’ve created an account to help publicize the blog. I will be using it to share my thoughts and bits of info that don’t make it into the blog. If you’re interested, check me out at:

https://twitter.com/kdanielsauthor?s=09

Let’s see what I can do with 140 characters or less.

I’ve finally concluded Deep Sleep and part 2 is available now right here on the blog. It has also been submitted to creepypasta.com where I hope it is received well.

On another note, NaNoWriMo is coming up, and fast, and I’m planning on participating again this year. Not sure what I’ll be working on, but I’ll share details here once it’s been decided.

Lastly, keep an eye out for the first chapter of my upcoming short story/novella, One Final Round: a horror story in five parts. Expect that to premiere around Halloween.

That’s all for now.

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Welcome to Seal Cove, we hope you survive your stay.

I’ve published 4 short horror stories online over the past few years, and all of them share something in common: they all take place in the same world.

They take place all within the same region for the most part. The town of Seal Cove was first introduced in “Loon Harbour”, but is also the setting for “Deep Sleep” and its upcoming sequel (to be released later this month). The apartment that the unlucky narrator in “The Forgotten” calls home is the same apartment introduced in my earliest work published on creepypasta.com, “The Balcony.” This apartment is also visited by RCMP officer Kevin Porter – the narrator of “Loon Harbour” – in an unnamed cameo.

Of course, all of these connections are tenuous at best, and not knowing that these stories are connected isn’t going to take away from the average reader’s experience. It does, however, make a difference to me. When I’m working on one of these tales, I’m constantly working out in my mind where these stories fit in the timeframe of my world, and what characters are connected in what way. For me, having that shared universe really heightens the mood and makes the writing experience all that more enjoyable.

Because of the connections between these stories and upcoming stories, I’d like to create a compilation, organized in my preferred reading order, so that a reader can follow the events of what’s happening in my terrible little world. I am considering having this made downloadable as an ebook, but if that doesn’t work out I will dedicate a portion of the website to this compilation so that anybody who is curious can enjoy it.

As for now, I am editing the sequel to “Deep Sleep” and hoping to have it online by next week, and possibly even sooner. I also have a new story that I’m working on that will be my longest piece of horror yet: a five chapter piece of work that I’m very excited about. In case you were wondering, yes, it is connected to my other stories, and yes, it takes place in that lovely little seaside town that I can’t get enough of. My hope is that this next piece of work will start to tie my fictional world together, bringing precious characters and locations explored to the forefront again.

Keep an eye out for more coming soon.

Thoughts on a Sunday Morning #2

Another lazy morning, another beautiful day. I’m sitting in a chair by the open window and a cool breeze is coming in, bringing all the smells of spring with it. I wanted to share something small, but something that bears a lot of weight with it for writers.

The importance of writing things down, that is.

Now, that seems obvious. As writers, this is something we do constantly. What I’m referring to, though, is writing things down immediately. As soon as they enter your head. From time to time lines or ideas drift into our knowing, uninvited but not unwelcome. More often than not it is these random thoughts which I find most inspiring, rather than the stuff I write when I’m focusing on writing.

For example, just this morning I was cleaning up around the house, and a line popped into my head without my anticipation: “pray the lock right off the church door.” I don’t know where that came from, but there’s something in there that has caught my attention.

I write these lines down as soon as I can, because if I don’t do it right away they’re gone. Forgotten. A maybe it was a little seed of a poem, or that description that my prose has been missing. Either way, if you don’t reach out and grab it right away, it’s lost. Inspiration is hard to come by, so it’s be a shame to see those little freebies go to waste.

On a side note, happy mother’s day to all you mothers, moms and mommas out there. Have that second cup of coffee, read a book. Relax, if you can.

That’s all for now. Happy writing.

Thoughts on a Sunday morning

It’s almost noon, and I’m sitting outside with my coffee. Cars are driving by, there are ducks flying, and it’s one of the warmest days we’ve had this year so far. I really enjoy slow, lazy mornings like this one.

I figured since I’m not really doing anything productive, I’ll make a little update here about what I’m working at right now.

I posted yesterday about my new collection of poems that I’m editing and finishing, but I’ve got some other stuff in the works as well. I’ve been making an effort to post more chapters of my fantasy novel The Keeping of the Light lately, and with good reason: I’ve written more chapters. I’d been on somewhat of a hiatus from the novel since early last year, and have been focusing on other things. That changed a couple of weeks ago when I started reading over my progress so far.

When I stopped writing last year, my plan was to take a short break from the project to decide a direction for one of the main characters. However, a short break became a long break and that long break turned into a year.

Coming back to the project after all this time, and reading my work up until now, the direction is clear. Honestly I can’t believe it took me this long to figure it out.

Now, I’m posting at least a chapter a day until I’m up to my current progress, and then i can finally start posting the new chapters. I’m really looking forward to seeing things how things turn out from here.

On top of that, I’m also prepping another book review, something I’ve only done once so far. Keep an eye out for that.

And hey, look at that: my coffee is gone. Damn. Should I grab my computer and get to work? Should I get another cup? Maybe I should just sit here for another hour and read for a while.

While I’m trying to decide what to do with my day, I hope you enjoy yours, wherever you happen to be.

Happy writing.

“Whalesong” and other poems

Yesterday I found myself looking through old notebooks and found scribblings of old poems I was working on throughout the last few years. After spending so much time away from them, it was exciting revisiting those notes with a new perspective. I’ve been going through them casually, rereading and rewriting, and I’m looking forward to having a new batch of poems to release soon.

The first of these is “Whalesong”, posted last night. I haven’t had a chance to set up the link from my “poems” page yet, but that should come soon. Maybe I’ll group these new/old poems together in a collection of sorts. We’ll see.

It’s been interesting so far, coming back to those notes after such a long time. I feel disconnected from them, but perhaps also have a better understanding than I did when I started scribbling them out. It’s hard to explain, but it’s an interesting experience. I usually write poems very quickly, in a day or so, but I’m liking the results so far. Hopefully you do as well.

Happy writing.

Horrible, Nasty Things

I’m quite happy at the moment, all thanks to short fiction. I’m feeling very inspired.

I’ve spent the last couple of months revisiting some short fiction works from my past (most of which were prescribed reading during school days) and have more inspired than usual to write some short stories. When I write short stories, I almost always write horror.

I don’t know what it is about short horror fiction but it’s really quite the formula for atmosphere. Those fleeting glimpses of a larger story draw you in and open your mind to possibilities and… end. They leave you after a handful of pages with so many unanswered questions, so many possible explanations and backstories lingering in your mind. It’s totally intoxicating.

My little journey in rediscovery started with HP Lovecraft via the delightful “HP Lovecraft Literary Podcast” and rereadings of works like Dagon and The Outsider. Other works that I dug up from assigned readings included WW Jacobs’ The Monkeys Paw and Will F Jacobs’ Side Bet and… was every short story I read in school authored by somebody called Jacobs?

I’m getting off track. The point is, short fiction is fun. Horror is fun. Short horror is fantastic. Since publishing my last horror piece “Deep Sleep” online, I’ve spent a lot of time exploring what I can do with my own short stories. I’ve got so many ideas I want to try out I’ve actually started plotting them out ahead of time, which is something I never do.

I’m not exactly sure what my intent was with this post, but I’m in the writing mood and wanted to share some thoughts before I get started.

There’s a thunderstorm going on outside my window right now, and the lightning is flashing on the trees outside. Time to get to work.

Happy writing, ghoulies.

Finding the (right) time to write

Our environment influences us, no doubt. It changes our mood, our attention span and our train of thought. I’ve come to find (without too much surprise) that it has a direct influence on my writing.

I’ve spoken before about atmosphere and writing – with respect to music and background noise in particular. But location isn’t the only thing that changes the way we write. For me, time of day is extremely important. Depending on whether or not I can see the sun shining, how long it’s been since I’ve slept, the knowledge of what’s going on in the outside world… all of those things can play a role. In my experience it really depends on the type of material I’m writing, but knowing the right time to write can be just as important as finding the correct place. Let’s start at the beginning.

Morning.

Mornings are damn productive. Get up and go. My preferred method? Empty stomach, lots of coffee, empty cafe. For some reason I do my best long prose writing in the mornings. This is when my novels get a boost. It’s a great time for brainstorming and even better for a high word count in a short amount of time. Mornings seem to be a great time to express a lot of emotion and thought without over thinking things. It’s easy to get into a flow. My favorite time of day for poetry.

Afternoon.

This is prime dialogue time. I’ve had my coffee, I’ve had something to eat. People are moving, talking, commuting all around. This is when I can really focus on word choice and character building, making conversation-writing a dream. In the morning I let my imagination run wild with ideas, and in the afternoon it all comes together. Not a good time for poetry, I’ve found. Stream of consciousness is much more predictable (and less interesting). I love writing fantasy in the afternoons, as this is when I do my best technical thinking and problem solving.

Evening.

For me, this is the least productive time of day. In the evenings I enjoy reading other people’s works, watching movies, listening to music. It’s nearly impossible for me to focus on my own writing in the evening, unless I’m especially inspired or have found the perfect location. This is when my mind is on other things.

Late night.

This, my friends, is where the horror happens. After-dark writing produces an atmosphere that I just can’t seem to tap into at other times of the day. Emotions are easy to unlock, settings become much more vivid in my mind and – perhaps most importantly – I’m tired. This is when the thoughts that come at the end of a long day – thoughts that we tend to push out of our minds in the lighter hours – start to creep into full view. If I dim the lights and turn my back to an open door and start typing, I can really unsettle myself at times. When I start glancing over my shoulder and double checking to make sure the door is locked, now I’m in prime terror territory. Poems and short stories thrive here.

Of course, this is just my experience. You may find that your right times for writing are totally different. Whatever the case, try out different things. If you’re stuck in a rut or running out of ideas, leave it for later. Get up early the next morning and try again. Have a go after supper. If that’s not your thing, wait until the lights go out and try again. Style is a tricky beast to master, but experimentation will help you figure it out. And if it doesn’t work? Try again later.

Happy writing.

Some Things Wicked This Way Are Coming (short stories, for example)

It has been quite a while since my last post, but I wanted to make a little announcement on the site to note some future changes.

First of all, I’ll be posting more of my short stories soon. As of right now, only “Loon Habour” is available on the site, but I have two other horror pieces that I’ll be sharing here soon: “The Balcony” and “The Forgotten” are two short stories originally published on creepypasta.com. Also, I just published a new story on creepypasta a couple of days ago that has attracted a bit of attention, titled “Deep Sleep.” I’ll be posting it here in the next day or so.

Next, I’ll be posting more chapters from my online fantasy novel “The Keeping of the Light,” originally published on bookie.com as a work in progress.

In the meantime, I’m working on a second part for “Deep Sleep” and another short story that will revisit the Seal Cove Police Department, first introduced in “Loon Harbour.” I’ve got big plans for this sleepy little seaside town!

Cheers.

What NaNoWriMo Taught Me

This could be a huge post, but I’ll keep it moderately short, as my education via NaNoWriMo can be summed up in one sentence:

I can’t write a book in a month.

Now, there’s a few reasons. One is my style. I’m a slow writer without a doubt when it comes to large projects. I get excited, then work frantically, then lose interest, and then become absent for a while. Then the cycle starts anew. It’s probably the most important reason I’m not a professional writer – I’m not reliable when it comes to time constraints and deadlines for a story.

Next is my inherent inability to judge scope. What I mean by this, is that I constantly over or underestimate the size and scale of my projects when I start them out. One of the novels I’m working on started out as a poem. After two pages, I decided to make it a short story. Eighty pages later, I’ve decided I may as well give in and admit it’s a full-length novel. The Keeping of the Light is facing a similar dilemma: I keep telling myself it’s a one-off, but the truth is clear: the story is too big, and the lore is too complex. It’s almost definitely going to become a two or three-part series.

And then came Everwander, my NaNoWriMo project. I thought that writing a story in my pre-existing fantasy universe would speed things along and make me spend less time on lore and mechanics, but what happened is the exact opposite. Since stating Everwander, I’ve spent more time working out magic systems, languages, cultures and geographies than ever before. With TKOTL, I opened a can of worms. With this project, I’ve started dissecting the worms.

Needless to say, I’ve come nowhere close to finishing the project this month. NaNoWriMo has been an unsuccessful venture for me – but I won’t say that it’s been a complete failure. I’ve learned a very valuable thing from this experience: I can’t rush my writing.

As many times as I’ve impatiently waited for the release of a new novel or part of a series, I can honestly say now that I see why deadlines get pushed and wait times are underestimated. I started out the month planning to write at least 50,000 words, and ended up writing only 7,134 words. Also, I haven’t written so much as a chapter title since the 6th of November. My stories are going to take their time, whether I want to or not.

So I may as well take my time and do it right. The book will be finished, but who can say when. When it is, I’ll let you know. Until then, keep looking for new chapters posted here. Thanks for reading, and happy writing. Cheers.