What’s cooking?

It might be worth saying what’s under development, what’s in the kitchen so to speak.  Like many writers, ideas just stream from the imagination and thoughts of ‘there’s a book in that’ often come to mind.  However, as always, it’s not ideas but implementation that’s the real problem: the ideas need to be filtered and what’s being worked on must be brought into focus, onto the hob or into the oven. I keep the ideas in the spice rack; the sketched and outlined in the cupboards; the ‘back burners’ on the kitchen worktop; and what’s cooking at the moment either on the hob (having to pay attention to it -maximum four rings) or in the oven (it’s bubbling and will come out soon but I only pay intermittent attention to it).

There are too many spices so they are not listed below.  However, almost everything else is. Oh, the cupboards are a bit full, too, so not everything is list there either! 🙂

On the hob

First and foremost are the outputs for the MA at BCU.  These are all mixed in the same stew so I think they take up two hobs, one on the front and one on the back.  This work currently includes:

  • Possession: Abduction – a creative response to Possession:A Romance by A.S. Byatt.  This was originally Possession:A Bromance but became too wrapped up in the situation and the insidious ways that people are possessed by abducters.  It’s set somewhere in a strife-torn zone in sub-saharan Africa where both civilians, rebels and government forces are all affected by the poverty. The focusee and the main affector (my terms) are UN aid workers… (5k words)  In addition, there is a 2K word reflection/analysis on the mix between A Romance and Abduction.
  • Four Reviews – on three books we’ve looked at from four on the course plus one more of our own choosing.  The additional one is interesting as I do not know what to choose, yet!  (Each 500 words)
  • Gay Garments in Sir Gawain (alliteration intentional – read Sir Gawain and the Green Knight if you wonder why!) – an analysis of the swathes of detail used to describe clothing, body-covering and armour in Sir Gawain and other poems written by the same, anonymous, author.  This is proving to be a much bigger undertaking than I thought and I may not be able to fit much into the allotted 2,000 words.  It arose when I noticed that the technical terms used in the text when describing the armour worn by Sir Gawain placed the armour very precisely within a 30-year period in English history – 1370-1400. Which is when it is believed the poems were written.  Fascinating.

On the other front hob is a full-length science fiction novel, currently having a working title of First Centurion.  This is a reworking of a script written for the screenwriting module and, in turn, is feeding back into a modified version of the screenplay that I can use as a sample script.  The hero is Marcus Steadman, a First Centurion in the Star Legion, a human army corps who are under the strict tenets of the Protected Worlds Treaty – laws like Star Trek’s Prime Directive.  The major difference is that these laws are actively monitored and enforced by a deadly oversight group known as the Invigilators. This is already turning out to be merely one in a series of Protected Worlds novels. One of the readers has described it as ‘a Romantic novel and a Murder Mystery meet science fiction’.  It’s a third finished and just have to keep stirring when I can.  🙂 By the way, if you’d like to be a reader, let me know!

On the fourth ring, the other one at the back, is My Little Book of Pain, a short book about Pain Management from a practitioner’s viewpoint.  I thought it may help if I put extracts from this up on this blog under the ‘Pain Management’ menu to the left.  The first excerpt from the first chapter is Accepting the Truth.

In the oven

  • A radio play coming from the Radio Writing undergraduate module on which I have been allowed to sit and, at times, even take part.  Thanks, Greg!  This is called Going Round in Circles (from a song by Manfred Mann’s Earth Band) about a trio of removers in a large removal van who find that something in the furniture or ornaments they have on board is cursing them to stay on the M25 forever – they just cannot get off…
  • Articles for Seaxe Magazine. I’m writing a science fiction series on How to Build a Universe. This is fun and I’m currently a couple of issues ahead so can afford to just leave others on the worktop for a couple of months, I think.

On the worktop

Another science fiction book, An Idle on Idyll. Based around the activities of Dana Vestlin, an investigator in the audit division of a metacorporation.  Dana is given Corporate Crisis authority to find out how and why a top scientist disappeared on the holiday world of Idyll.  The investigation proves to be more difficult than first thought and Dana discovers there is more about her corporate training and implants than she ever knew…

In the cupboards

Other Protected Worlds novels.  Honestly, my Scrivener storage structure is likely to get complicated!

A mystical romance, currently with no title.  It’s based on Dartmoor and concerns a guy who has shut down his emotions after the death of his wife.  He buys a retreat, and old Dartmoor longhouse, and meets its inhabitant, a lost ghost who falls in love with him. The trouble is, so does the estate agent. Things get a bit hairy when it turns out the builders who renovated the place also stashed some stolen goods within a cavity in the 3′-thick walls.

Another radio play is the Wind Under my Wings.  The partner of our hero (a very close couple) has had a long-term, serious illness but finally goes into remission and is given the all clear.  On the day they celebrate our hero is diagnosed with a life-threatening condition but is keeping it quiet.   We discover the truth at the party to celebrate his partner’s all clear…

Loads of shorts. Honestly, loads, including Doug the Duck, about a, well, Duck looking for love; Dragons and Ice Cream Don’t Mix for my eldest grandson; Stonechat, a childrens’ novel about the lives of little people living on Dartmoor; Heartstone, a fantasy novel which is currently in idea phase but I am not comfortable writing fantaasy though I have tried to play with the genre.

I think that’s enough for now, though!

Have fun, if you can, and take care.  🙂

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