60% Busy. 40% Lazy. 100% Writer.

‘Bless me WordPress, for I have sinned; it’s been sixteen days since my last post.’

‘Why, my child? Does the satanic evil plague you?’

‘No, I’m just a lazy bastard…’

*

OK, maybe that’s not 100% true.

I have been busy…at some points. 60% busy, 40% lazy.

What’s been happening then? Well…

College is still a Thing, as much as I’d like it not to be. Art installation is the forefront of our lessons, and I have thus far learnt these two things:  If I get a random woman to bite an apple and superimpose that footage over more footage of a snake, then that’s art, and secondly: the answer to any question I don’t know is “money”.

That and lessons in script writing, which, on my part (in definitely not a big-headed or up-my-own-arse way), is like teaching a monkey how to climb trees.

This isn’t just any further education, this is south-east London further education.

I’m writing, obviously. I’ve been asked to write an audio drama for Word of Mouth (follow them on twitter, @wordofmouthprod) , but I don’t think I can say else other than it’s going well. Maybe. I think. I hope. Anyway, it’s paid work, so rainbows and unicorns all ‘round.

I plan to release a collection of short stories soon, a word which here means “when I can be bothered”, which I’m hoping will be very soon indeed. I want each story finished before Christmas, definitely. Is that realistic? Probably not, but I’ll try. I can’t stand letting things get stagnant. The stories are sort of in the middle of being conceived; there’s baby vampires, witches, wizards, Death, an old hero in a Job Centre and prostitutes, all swimming around in my notebook. Soon, hopefully, soon…

I think the Book has been lost in the world of Rejection. There’s been no luck yet and an increasing load of rejection letters. When I think about it, I go from thinking that the whole poxy 70k word mess was a horrific tangle of characters and senselessness to remembering that passage, or that bit of dialogue that I actually don’t think was that bad. Either way, I’ve disowned it, left it on the metaphorical orphanage steps. It was an education, definitely. Next time – and there will be a next time, very soon – the manuscript isn’t leaving my house until I’m 100% sure it’s ready. Next time will be better…

In the meantime, Life has reared its head and is getting in the bloody way of everything. I need a job, because apparently just writing all the time isn’t a proper job. I’ve applied jobs. I still have no job. I’ll apply for more jobs. I don’t care what it is, so long as I get to write.

I don’t think I know how to do much else, really.

GHOST STORIES UK – AVAILABLE NOW!

I don’t usually listen to audio books. I think I’ve only ever listened to a little bit of Stephen Fry narrating one of the Harry Potter books on YouTube once, and maybe Neil Gaiman reading from American Gods at some point. I prefer reading off the page, really; I end up getting distracted if I only have to listen to stories…

…Until now, that is.

I think it was some point towards the end of August that I noticed Word of Mouth Productions on twitter, just by chance. They’re an audiobook production company that wanted writers. COMMISSIONING NOW! one of the tweets said. I looked into it; they wanted ghost stories from writers and – and here’s the most alluring part, I have to say – they were going to pay their writers.

I set to work, and my story was finished the day after. I submitted my pitch, they emailed a week and a bit later (much quicker than I thought they’d be) and asked me to send the story over.

I did.

They liked it.

And now I’m in the first volume of their debut production, Ghost Stories UK.

I’ve listened to the first volume, and instantly all attempts at professional, brooding writer go out of the window with bells on. I actually squealed, I high-fived my mother – it was much more cool and in-the-moment than it sounds, thank you very much.

It’s RIDICULOUSLY brilliant. The sound effects, the actual reading, the whole bloody thing is amazing. My story – The Mushroom House – is excellent. I couldn’t have hoped for more. But the other stories are even better! Every writer is so talented, and I’m sure they’re all as pleased with the results as I am.

To buy volume one – or volume two, or three, or four – then click here: http://wordofmouthproductions.co.uk/latest-audio-books. Each volume is only £3.99, a bargain for the amount of stories included and the quality of the production. There’s even a free Doctor Who-themed story in association with Children in Need (DONATEDONATEDONATEDONATEDONATEDONATEDONATE)!

And they’re still commissioning!

Right now they want sci-fi, horror and murder mysteries stories: click here > http://wordofmouthproductions.co.uk/currently-commissioning to read the full briefs. Get involved. You can get paid for your writing, they’re mega friendly (follow them on twitter, why don’t you? @wordofmouthprod) and they’re going to be really big – so jump on the bus now before it gets really packed and you end up one wrong move away from being arrested for inappropriate touching.

A Very British Post: Complain-y, Long-Winded and Slightly Funny

In the words of Shakespeare: “Forsooth, one doth wonder in the light of a thousand stars if one should not cast asunder thine destiny and wander into yonder path of go-go dancing, for this writing malarkey doth verily get on thine tits sometimes!”

I’m in a sort of twilight phase, but instead of having to watch an awkward Kristen Stewart or an enjoyably semi-naked R-Pats, I’m stuck – confusingly – between not being able to write at all and actually having written quite a lot. My point:

Number of short stories started: 3

Number of books in the planning stage: 1

Total number of words written for above: 18, 664

See? Quite good, yes? But hang on…

Number of short stories/planning actually finished: 0

Percentage of short story/planning content I’m actually pleased with: 30%

See what I mean? I’ve finished nothing. Very little of what I have written is what I’d call good.

But I can’t really moan because I’ve got another short story – an actually quite good one – coming out at the end of the month. I’m writing scripts that look like they’re actually going to get made into short films. I’m getting positive feedback for my writing – at least, the writing that I actually do get ‘round to finishing.

Diagnosis: Pressure? No, I don’t feel pressured. I’ve nothing to feel pressured about. Lack of confidence in my writing, then? No – I’ve got writing being published and brought to life in little ways. Not too bad for beginnings.

Then what?!

I don’t bloody know, what’re you asking me for?

Might I have too much to do? Maybe. But that’s not really possible, I think. Like I said, there’s no pressure to do anything. I could very well stick a very animated middle finger up to the universe and say “Bollocks to this” and turn my back on everything and not write again. No one’s really relying on me for anything.

I suppose it’s pressure I give myself, then. I am relying on me to get things done, to finish things, to start other things, and write more and more and more and more and more and more…

Like, lately, I’ve developed a habit of forgetting the words I’m about to say in every day conversations. I’ll be off on a tangent and then I’ll have to stop because the words have decided there are better places they could be, and then I’ll sort of flounce my hands around as if wafting the smokes of mental clarity towards me in hope that the words return. They usually don’t, and I end up saying something like “anyway, that thing” instead.

My Nan – she’s a wise old bird, and very probably (like most Nans) has a sort of sixth sense that allows her to know things before she’s told them and be right nearly 100% of the time – thinks I “do too much writing” and that I should “take a break” and that the reason I forget words is because they’re being pushed out by the subconscious-y thoughts I collect for writing*…

*My Nan has actually never used the word “subconscious” in her life. She probably said something like “Yeah, it’s because you think too much with yer writin’. Did you watch Emmerdale? Weren’t it good!”

…At that, I shrug her concerns off and tell her I like having a lot of writing to do. I do. And I’m not a bloody Kit-Kat; I don’t need a break. I wouldn’t know what to do with one.

Mum’s under the impression that I actually do very little because I’m seldom out of my armchair and off my laptop; she thinks short story publications and newspaper editing are cute little side projects that I do in between my bouts of laziness. She thinks I ought to get a job.

I have a job…

…I just don’t get paid for it, very much.

That’s still a job, though, no?

It probably isn’t. Fair enough. But it WILL be, and how am I supposed to get to the level of being paid for writing and be able to call it an actual job if I’m not allowed time to work with it and work on it and get things growing?

I’m enjoying college, but it gets in the effing way. I’m stuck in script-writing classes when I already know how to write scripts – I’ve not often not got a script on the go (blame Yasmin Afifi, director extraordinaire) – and I can’t help thinking that instead of sitting here learning to write scripts I could be at home, with a cup of tea and Loose Women on in the background writing a bloody script.

There’s a half-term break coming up. I’ve sort of sized it up, like a fat kid in a play ground (which, if you take away the playground, isn’t too far from reality); I’ve seen the lunch menu – it’s long and will take a while to get through everything on it – but I’ve skipped breakfast and am hungry. Things will get written, the list/menu of things to be written will slowly be whittled down and down like David Cameron’s prime-ministerial prospects come the next general election (That sounded very grown up, didn’t it? I suddenly feel like I need a wash) until I can see the other side…

…and if there isn’t cake there, then God help you all.

Writing! Lots and Feckin’ Lots of It! Woohoo!

Mood: venomous but with good glug of optimistic positivity.

Weight: None of your business, needless to say am not yet a threat to David Beckham, entirety of One Direction, similar.

Twitter Account: Unable to maintain steady number of followers; alternating between lots of and not a lot of, like callous and unforgiving Seesaw of Popularity.

Passing Thought: Unsure as to why I keep a blog. No one reads it, yet I post like a bloody religious fanatic just to appease about eleven people, half of which live in countries I’ve never bloody heard of. But I suppose it’s a matter of keeping at it, not giving up, waiting until viewing figures increase, blah blah bloody blah…(Venous with optimistic positivity, see?)

It’s getting colder. I prefer the cold, the long nights, the imminent arrival of Christmas, the prospect of snow that’ll never show up because this is Britain and the weather can never really make its mind up…

The return of college has been vexing. I’ve realised that – after four years of the bloody thing – I need a change. I want a job, but I hear those are quite hard to come by these days. I want to quit college, but the Powers That Be (i.e. Mum) have forbade me from quitting unless I have a job, so it’s a vicious and inconvenient circle.

But the writing is going well. There’s something about the sitting down, the flashing of the cursor, the making things up, people, places, things, stories, that’ll never be a tax. It doesn’t always go well, and there have been times when that effing cursor has just been asking for a smack, but it’s a constant and that’s nice, isn’t it?

I need to come up with an idea for a new script for Amazing Yasmin the Director; that should be fun. We’re SO close to shooting the Car Crash Film, so it’s good to have things in the pipeline, ready to be picked up, developed, shot.

What else? The new book’s planning has sort of stopped. I’ve been meaning to get back to it, but things have got in the way. This thing, in fact…

Did I mention my short story’s being included in Word of Mouth Production’s upcoming audiobook collection of ghost stories? “The Mushroom House” – an eerie and mega-creepy story about a blind girl who stumbles across a family of ghosts with a very disturbing past – is out on the 31st October, alongside loads of other great stories. It’ll be a lark, and perfect for a bit of Halloween scaring. Beside that, I totally get a cut of the profits from every copy sold, so feel free to buy a copy or twelve. Hark – a poster!

ghost stories advert

Mine’s in the first volume. There are four. And, if that wasn’t enough…

Word of Mouth Productions are now commissioning! They want sci-fi, murder mystery and horror stories – it’s a great way to get paid for your writing, and WOMP are new and slightly amazing so there’s going to be LOADS of opportunity to show off your writing flare! Go here for more details: http://wordofmouthproductions1.wordpress.com/category/currently-commissioning/

And that’s it. I’m off to look for a job, finish my own sci-fi entry for WOMP, try and get ‘round to finishing the new book’s planning, and try to come up with an idea for a script.

Fan-feckin’-tastic.

Rainbows and Unicorns!

PANiC ATTACK!

*

It’s terrifying what the mind can do when you stop paying attention

When the wave bares down; what you don’t dare to mention

It’s different for everyone, their causes and triggers

But the feeling’s the same as the panic grows bigger

It’s like you’re falling or sinking or running or crushed

And your mind doesn’t stop and your heart’s in a rush

To beat as fast as it can until you’re swallowed by fear

And you just can’t breathe and it’s impossible to hear

The reassuring voices of the ones that you’re near.

It’s the picnic bees

And the church bell’s chime

It’s the wolf in the trees

Just biding his time

It’s the knock at the door

And the black-draped mourner

And the creak of the floor

And the dark in the corner

And it won’t let you know when it’s coming to visit

Keep calm and carry on – yes, that’s the spirit

And pretend all you like that it’s left you for good

But don’t get excited. If only it would…

*

Still Not Bloody Published, College Charmingly Pointless

OK, I’m back. Obviously, you’ve missed me and my lengthy absence has undoubtedly cast a devious yearning for more meaningless blatherings over my readers*.

*All ten of you.

College is a thing again, and my tutors have wasted no time in handing out useless – and I mean useless – little meanwhile projects; our first being to film an apple. Yes, an apple. We can do whatever we want with it, be creative, whatever, just make a little two-minutes-or-under film about the apple. I have to deal with this sort of stuff until next July.

The book – as I’ve not stopped bloody talking about – is now in the hands of literary agents. So far, I’ve had four – FOUR – rejection emails. They’ve all been polite enough, but all of them feel automated and detached, as if they were sent by the Tin Man without a heart.

Rejection Email

The first…

Rejection Email 2

…the second…

Rejection Email 3

…third…

Rejection Email 4

…and fourth.

There’s still eleven more to hear from. How do I feel? Erm…not as discouraged as I was at first. I’ve sort of got used to it now. Onwards and upwards…

In the meantime, when I’m not filming apples and trying to bring out their artistic side (note: apples have no artistic side), I’m writing.

Scripts are being written, word doodles pass the time and the next book is being planned. It’s looking good; policemen, faeries, universe-eating pigs, sinister and murderous Met Police Commissioners, it’s a lark.

But, and this is a bit exciting, I’ve had a short story commissioned by a new audiobook production company. By chance, they followed me on twitter (you totally should too: @aaron_nelson95) and I saw a tweet; they were looking for writers to write ghost stories.

I wrote a ghost story.

I submitted it.

They liked it.

They commissioned me.

I signed my first contract – which is actually very scary, filled with legal jargon and numbers and official hoo-ha things about this and that – and now I’m getting my short story recorded and released in time for Halloween. It’s called “The Mushroom House”, and it’s about a blind girl and some very eerie ghosts. Mine will be out in the first volume (there’re four) but no doubt the other three will be just as brilliant.

Go here: http://wordofmouthproductions1.wordpress.com/2014/09/18/ghost-stories-uk/ and see the full line up. If you give them your email address and name, they’ll let you know when the first volume is available.

Rainbows and Unicorns!

I’ll Be With You In A Minute!

OK, it’s going to be longer than a minute. A couple of days, more likely. Sorry.

College is back. Already, there’s work to do. Did I really bemoan the length of the summer holidays? I change my mind: three months off is definitely enough! I’ll have another three, please. Thanks.

But I’m already getting creative, and that’s always good. Scripts, film ideas, plots; it all helps pass the time until I hear more from the literary agents…

Ah. Literary agents. Yes. I’ll tell you more about that soon. It’s going…Um…Well, it’s going.

Anyway, got to dash!