A quick update and then bed

31 03 2008

I’ve not really done much save work (rather harder than I wanted to at the moment) and work on The Woodsman.

The latter has been fun as it’s going rather better than has done in a while, I’d pretty much ground to a halt around hitting the point where the second draft encounters the first of it’s major flaws but as fortune would have it this happened around the time of Eastercon. A number of interesting panels and some-pretty-good-advice-on-where-to-direct-my-research later and I’m flying again.

Of course it’s got very dark as expected. The decapitation scene I just wrote may need toning down.

Anyway, other than that not been up to much. Oh and I’ve started to think about my trip to New Zealand to see long time friend C and hubby M (her hubby not mine, that would just be weird). That’s only a mere five weeks away now.

Bed now though.

First you, then the world…

30 03 2008

lol rat

They’re coming for you, oh yes…(photo courtesy of G)


30 03 2008

Apparently today is the 30th March. Constant readers will know this was meant to be my self-imposed deadline for finishing The Woodsman.

I haven’t hit it, have no chance of hitting it given I’ve only got as far as the end of chapter six, but it’s not all a lost cause. Having the deadline in mind has spurred me on and I’m learning loads -mostly by mistakes admittedly. I’ve also really enjoyed the process of teasing out the themes and fixing the problems of earlier drafts. That I can see what needs to be done to finish it helps.

Most importantly what’s been done to date is better than what went before.

So new deadline.

It took me around eight weeks to get to chapter six and I have around seven to go but I also have other short story projects backing up…let’s go for June 15th. No particular reason other than I’d like to have it finished in time for the Arvon course I’m attending in July.

Anyway, chapter seven beckons…

Just a moment…

29 03 2008

My blogroll seems to have gone awol…

Bear with me while I find out where the pesky critter’s gone.


OK. Fixed now. I really do need to pay more attention. Apologies to anyone who wasn’t feeling the linky love.

I’m going to hang my head in shame.

Friday Flash Fiction: Burned

28 03 2008

This post has moved. You can read the full story here: http://www.neilbeynon.com/fiction/burned/

If you missed last week’s flash, it can be found here.This week’s piece was written at Eastercon for the Friday Flash Fiction workshop we ran to launch Illuminations. Not one to ask others to do what we would not, each of us wrote a story whilst the attendees crafted their own compositions.

As ever I’m not sure this works but here’s mine:

By Neil Beynon

The city burned. Fire like fingers pawed the sky, knocking down buildings in clumsy haste to grab the velvet black. Hot ash danced down alleys, coalesced in squares and throttled the hapless few.

“What happened?” screamed Amanda over the city’s howls.

“I don’t know,” said Pete. His eyes not on her but drinking in the amber riot in front of him, watery orbs listless and lost.

Amanda tugged at his arm.

“We’ve got to get out of here.”

This post has moved. You can read the full story here: http://www.neilbeynon.com/fiction/burned/

Eastercon Photos

27 03 2008

One of the people in this picture is excited and the other has just seen the size of the queue. You work out which:

Neil Gaiman and G
The Friday Flash Fictioneers of the Apocalypse:

Friday Flash Fictioneers

Left to right: Gareth D Jones, Martin McGrath, Paul Graham Raven, Me, Gareth L Powell, Justin Pickard and Shaun C Green

Eastercon: China, Neil and Charlie oh my…

27 03 2008

So over at Nostalgia for the Future, Justin has an excellent write up of Eastercon and nicely distills China’s keynote. China was a bit of a revelation. A fascinatingly literate and erudite speaker; I spent a lot of the weekend coming out of his panels with a list of words that I hadn’t known existed.

But that’s a little flippant, and something you can work out from reading his stuff and/or searching on youtube for footage of him speaking.

The other thing I learned is that he’s a thoroughly nice man. Over the course of the weekend I saw him taking time to speak to various fans, even when he was trying to grab a quiet five minutes in the bar. And showing remarkable patience. If you ever get a chance to hear him speak you should take it.

Then there was Neil (Gaiman – I’m not talking in the third person again). *coughs* You may have noticed that I’m a bit of a fan. And there seems to be an ongoing strange phenomena where by our paths pass very close to each other but we never actually meet or exchange words. This happened all weekend to the point where I believe if we ever met it would cause some kind of causal break in reality, you know: You must never cross the Neils or the universe will end.

Anyway, I’ve seen him speak a bunch of times therefore I was concerned that I’d just hear a collection of anecdotes I’d heard in other sessions. I was wrong and it was good. The Graveyard Book sounds great, very dark and possibly something fairly different from what he’s done to date. His panels were fascinating and it was cool to see him get all fanboy over Hitchhikers.

And he was very kind to the moderators, some of whom were understandably quite nervous.

Charlie Stross was fascinating. Smart in an entirely different to China but equally compelling manner and a fellow alumni of Bradford university. Although I struggled to keep up in places – I’m really more of fantasy guy than hard SF – the panels I attended were just engrossing. And I love that phrase “the rapture of the geeks”.

And a good time was had. Save for the whole bleeding thing.