In Our Own Words

Getting Work into Print
Two pleasant surprises this morning: the first, a contributor copy of In Our Own Words (Volume Six), an American anthology of short fiction and poetry edited by Marlow Peerse Weaver. Marlow asked me a few months back if I would like to publish my story ‘Afterlife’ in his anthology. I said, “Yes,” and forgot all about it. Well, today, the package arrived. It’s a well-produced book and stuffed full of pieces from writers born between 1960 and 1982. Quite recommended.

Also recommended is the latest issue of The Quiet Feather. This is a small indie magazine with mucho p’zazz. Such magazines – those dealing with short fiction – aren’t as popular as they once were, for a variety of reasons. One reason, I must say, was demonstrated to me with last month’s Interzone. I picked a story at random and was astonished at the poor quality of the writing (the artwork also lacked imagination). The Quiet Feather, by contrast, is a cute publication stuffed with great piccies, short poetry and a comic strip. (OK, so I’m in it too; but only about 50 words, and the issue has lots to recommend it regardless.)

Update On Fiendish/Evil/Twisted Plan for Dominion of the Very World
As a second footnote to my largely pleasant dealings with Scott Pack, I’m starting to receive solitications from agents who want to know more about my work. Scott, as promised, has contacted several and sent them copies of my book – at least, he will when they arrive. Alas, there is still a significant delay between order and dispatch in the land of POD.

Next instalment of Déjà Vu
Chapter 11 is now up and running. Again, I’d be delighted with any feedback. Episodes have been downloaded 1600 times so I’ll continue on to the bitter end. Haven’t yet reached my bandwidth limit, but I’m getting close.

Feedback on Proper Job
Had a phone call today from my friend Daniel Graaskov (that’s a Danish surname, in case you’re wondering). He’s read latest draft of Proper Job, my Cornish coming-of-age novel, and enjoyed it. I focused on his criticisms, however, and I think I agree with them. It’s a good rule of thumb that, if you have an inkling about your novel and it is confirmed independently by someone whose judgement you trust, you can take that as a green light to tackle the project’s limitations. It’s impossible to catch them all, but with Daniel’s help I’ll certainly improve the manuscript.

Progress on my third novel continues. I’m reaching an action-packed set-piece, and I think the characters (six at the moment, bordering on too numerous) are going to collide in a manner that should be entertaining at the level of the story and, equally, at the level of the theme. As per, I partly excited and partly relieved that I came up with an idea in time.

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meterZokutou word meter
57,882 / 110,000

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Ian Hocking

Writer and psychologist.

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