Blog Talk

Whats on the Cards for 2023?

2023 is here and I am ready to get started!

As I said in an earlier blog, December is the month of reflection and planning.

I’ve already reflected on 2022 and found it to be a major success of the year. The only part I wish I’d done better at is the physical fitness side, for while I started attending the gym and going for walks my consistency at these tasks has been … well inconsistent. But coming away from a year with one partial failure is still pretty damn good.

So what’s on the horizon for 2023?

On the writing and horror side…

I’m going to work hard to sell more short stories this year, I’m hoping to get at least six if not more sold. I’ll achieve this by increasing my output, streamlining my editing process and increasing my submission rate. I want to be submitting at least once a week, but ideally more.

Walk in the Woods will be going out to agents in June/July 2023 if I can stay on track, hopefully, one of them will love it enough to pick it up.

I’m also going to be getting the first draft of The Grey House (Working title, hopefully, a better one will present itself) done by July 2023.

I want to keep increasing traffic to the website and beat last year’s figures. I’m hoping to achieve this by improving the quality of my content. I’d also like to keep doing podcasts and blog tours and become more involved in the Horror and Writing communities. The experience I’ve had so far has been very welcoming and supportive and I’d like to put back what I take out.

On the personal side…

As I said in the reflections blog, one of my goals last year was to get out and do things more, which I did. But I stayed close to home, trying to both get out more but still be responsible given the situation.

This year I want to go further afield. We are planning a trip to Rome in late spring/early summer, and we are planning an autumn trip to Cornwall to celebrate Mr Sherlock and I’s tenth anniversary. Cornwall was the place we took our first holidays a couple and we’ve been back many times since, so we are picking our favourite places and effectively doing a tour of them. Most of my favourite places are pubs.

I want to continue to explore different restaurants and will be making an effort whenever the opportunity presents itself to go out to new places rather than keep returning to old favourites all the time. I also want to keep up the habit of going to the theatre, which is a hobby I’ve had for years and unless something unforeseen happens I doubt it will stop anytime soon.

I have also signed up for alerts from the little independent cinema so we can keep going there and seeing new and interesting films that might not always make it to the local Odeon.

Regarding the day job, I had a glowing end-of-year report so my main goal is to keep up the standard of work. Though I have requested a nine-day fortnight which is when I get to work nine days over two weeks rather than ten. I still do the usual 40hr week but work longer days with the bonus of having an extra day off every other week. It’ll help a lot with all of the other work I’m doing.

Concerning the house, we’ve got a lot of projects lined up for this year. The main ones are to redecorate the office and insulate the conservatory. We also have further plans for the garden which in a nutshell will be us putting down as many wildflower seeds as possible in the flower beds and using the planters for veggies. This way we hope to make the garden nicer for insects, so they can have an easier time of it. Hopefully, this will help balance out the damage the cats do to the local insect population.

Lastly, in the miscellaneous category, I can’t wait to get my half-sleeve tattoo, which will incorporate my existing small tattoos and turn my right arm, at least the the lower half, into a horror tribute worthy of the writers it reflects.

I need to get my fitness habit on a better track, to that effect I’ve been gifted a Fitbit for Christmas as a way of monitoring my already existing efforts and triggering my internal desire to see my numbers improve.

I sincerely hope that I manage to get onto the PhD course I’m applying for and that I can secure funding for it. I want to do this and have done everything I can think of to get on but the nerves, are increasing!

I became carbon neutral by contributing to Wren last year, this year depending on finances I want to become carbon positive, which means I help get rid of more carbon than I put out. I’m hoping to increase my donations and am investigating more carbon-friendly ways of heating the house and lastly, and most painfully I am looking at changing my car into a hybrid, though it will be heart-breaking to see Dante go away, he was my first car and I love him.

So that’s the current plan for 2023, let’s hit it head-on.

Classic Horror, Famous Horror Writers

Famous Writers: Clive Barker

Books of blood

I first wrote to you to discuss famous horror writers back in January, when I wrote about Bram Stoker, today I want to talk about another horror writer, although calling him just a writer is selling him short. I am of course referring to Clive Barker. Clive Barker is one of my favourite writers.

He is well known for his horror short stories, collected into anthologies, namely Books of Blood volumes 1 through 6. His Hellraiser books & films, and my personal favourite book The Thief of Always.

One of my other favourite writers Stephen King has been quoted as saying “I have seen the future of horror and his name is Clive Barker.” This quote appeared on the Books of Blood.

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cliches, Horror Writing

Clichés: Werewolves

Hoooooowl

We’ve been talking a lot about various clichés recently, horror clichés, fantasy clichés, and cliché male and female characters. Today I wanted to branch out more into the horror genre and talk about a creature that turns up in a lot of horror stories, werewolves.

But before we start, I want to stress that I will be talking about the werewolves that tend to turn up in books. The reason I am making this definition is that there is something I have noticed. In books werewolves tend to appear as actual wolves with a human consciousness inside, the pack dynamic is regularly explored and the mannerisms of actual wolves make up a large part of the characters behaviours and traits. Whereas when they show up in films and video games, they appear more like a cross between man and wolf, they tend to be huge, walk on two legs and are pretty mindless save for a need to kill. There’s rarely a pack dynamic and they are often portrayed as stupid beasts completely separate from their “human side”. There is the odd exception to this, the movie Wolf with Jack Nicholson being the one that comes to mind for me.

Anyway, now that that point is out of the way, let’s roll.

Continue reading “Clichés: Werewolves”