The last two weeks have been a lot of fun. I went to the UK for a couple weeks, and was lucky enough to spend some time with Simon Rogers and the Pelgrane folks, before heading off to Eastercon. Eastercon, for those who don't know it, is a fantasy and science fiction event that takes place every year at Easter, hence the name, and its writer's track is phenomenal. I have to go back next year. I don't think I've seen that many fiction creators in one place before. I now have plenty of material for a few reviews, which I'll be posting shortly.
One quick digression on the subject of reviews: one author whose works I picked up there and have since read is Janine Ashbless, whose work includes mainly erotic fiction. I won't be reviewing her stuff, not because I didn't enjoy it or because of the subject matter, but because she's been a friend of mine for years, and I don't think I could fairly review a mate. That said, I can recommend whoever I want, and I definitely recommend her novel Heart Of Flame, particularly to those who like their Arabian Nights fantasy colored with a little Lovecraftian horror, by way of Robert E. Howard. The plot is straightforward enough: a beautiful princess has been captured by a djinn, and its up to our hero Rafiq, and his sorceress companion Taqla, to get her back. But first they need to find the answer to a simple riddle ... I wish I'd also had the foresight to pick up Named And Shamed, as Janine held a reading of it on the last day, and it sounds really interesting. The setting is alternate history present, with our heroine having to tread carefully around the scheming Good Folk. Tansy stole a poem that the old people really, really want back; but she hasn't got it any more. A man's life is at stake, and now Tansy has to decide how far she's prepared to go to return the fair folk's prize. Given that this is the sort of fiction that features BDSM as well as debauched dryads, "how far" is a phrase laden with meaning ...
Now, digression over. One thing Eastercon taught me is the necessity of getting things done. My writing's been doing really well, recently; I've had plenty of articles in the Escapist, and my Pelgrane work is going great guns. I have several pieces in with them right now, some of which should see the light of day before the end of the year. One of these has the working title Storm Of Steel, an anthology - print this time, not .pdf - which will include several of the Great War scenarios, an expanded rule set, and other good things. In fact, I talked with the YSDC folks about that while I was in Bradford, and there's an interview due out at Yog-Sothoth very soon, which - if you're a patron there - you'll be able to listen to. I'll also be re-starting my Bookshelf segment at YSDC, on a monthly basis.
So I have every reason to be pleased with how things are going, but it's not enough. I keep telling myself that I ought to work on something larger, and each time I try to get started, there's something that delays it. If I'm truthful, "delay" is - at least in part - a stand-in word for "procrastinate". There's no excuse for it, really, try as I might to find one. I've met plenty of authors in the past few weeks, and while all of them were excellent people, none of them did anything that I couldn't do myself. I need to get started, and the best time for that is now.
The working title is Witchfinder General. It's alternate history, set in 1980s America. There are eight months left in the year; time to get this show on the road, and if I haven't broken the back of this particular project before Christmas, I'll know the reason why. It won't be because other things got in the way. It will be because I let them get in the way.
There are some things that must be done, and this is one of them.