Since I purchased a laptop a few years ago, I hardly write at a desk any more, preferring to slouch out on the settee or sit out in the garden. But that’s the thing about writing, you can do it anytime, anyplace, anywhere. The imagination knows no bounds.
I do still have a desk though, on which are a number of lucky charms, stones and knickknacks that I’ve picked up over the years. There are also skulls, which for some reason I’ve always bought in one form or another (perhaps it has something to do with growing up in a house in a cemetery – or perhaps I’m just naturally macabre). Some of the items were bought because they relate to something I’m writing about and help serve as a physical reminder of the story. Now I don’t know whether lucky charms work, but hey, I’m willing to try anything, and they certainly can’t hurt – on the wall above the desk there’s a ‘dream collage’ which has titles of my novels and pictures representing what I want to achieve. One of the pictures is a film reel. While writing this, I’m two days away from flying out from the UK to San Diego to see some of the film shoot for my novel, The Kult that started shooting on September 27th, showing that dreams can come true if you believe enough.
This is the view outside, and as you can see, there’s something with sharp teeth lurking among the foliage. Inside the house there are similar strange items, such as masks lining the stairs and on the walls, like the one in the photograph.
My day is a constant battle between working a shift job, writing, surfing the net and reading emails. When I’m not at my full time job, surfing the net often wins. But the internet has changed many things since I started writing. Gone are the days when I had to post a submission to America and include International Reply Coupons and wait days for it to arrive, never mind the response time. Now I send something by email and it’s there in seconds (the responses can still take weeks or months though). But the internet has changed the way I work significantly. I would never have found many of the places I submit to if it wasn’t for my friend, Google.
As for the writing itself, I work from a rough outline, but that just allows me to have an idea where the story needs to go, but the route itself can change dramatically, and in so doing, sometimes the destination changes too. But that’s what I like about writing, as the story can lead me in directions and into situations I never would have imagined. When I’m in full swing, I like to write at least 1,000 to 2,000 words a day, but I commit to a minimum of 500, that way I know it’s an easy target to reach, and if I go over I can feel better about myself. If I’m writing about something I don’t know about, I enjoy the research (and it gives me another excuse to surf the net).
Now that we’re in the month of October, Halloween fast approaches. It’s a shame, but it’s not celebrated that much in the UK, although it is growing in popularity, mainly I suspect because shops have realised that there’s an untapped market from which they can make more money. Although I’ve never gone overboard on Halloween, we do hang decorations around the house, but I wouldn’t be doing my reputation any good if I didn’t do something (remember, I grew up in a house in a cemetery, and I write dark fiction). Usually I arrange a little party with my better half and our son with grotesque looking concoctions that taste better than they look. And last year we celebrated by visiting an adventure park that featured a haunted hayride, a field of screams and a haunted house. Strangely, I felt right at home.