MØ15: Duties, Meditations, & Other Bits

 
Photo on 24-07-2017 at 06.35 copy.jpg

MORNING ØUTPUT #15

MORNING... -_-

The Duties Of A Kondor

I’ve been reading Marcus Aurelius’s Meditations. If you’re not familiar they’re basically his personal diaries. They’re the bits and pieces of advice he gave himself in single paragraphs. 

Snippets of Stoicism.

From what I can tell, Marcus was constantly reminding himself what it means to be a good man, human, something, and he’s always realigning himself with what he believes he needs to do to live a life for the gods and to his nature.

So it got me thinking about the things that I need to do realign myself to be a happy, functional, a person of creativity and ambition. Here are the duties I got. Some may be relevant to you. Some not.

Leave smiles where possible

In the morning - Take dog for a walk, eat breakfast, drink coffee.

Experiment with creativity. Always

Read and write

Say I love you

Kiss

Speak to family once a week

Meditate

Be grateful

Forgive

Realign

Fight resistance tooth and nail both artistic and otherwise

Embrace the currents, man, embrace the currents

See through the pomp -- of which most of it is

Be useful

Run

Eat, rest, reconnect

Write short stories. They are your sketchbook, your colour palate, your experiments.

You verb therefore you noun. You want to be something, then do something.

Stretch your comfort zone like you would an elastic band. Don't snap it!

Work to projects — ones that need to be chipped away and others that need a concentrated thrashing (7-Day Challenges, NaNoWriMo, etc)

Build a cabinet of curiosities … but with your curiosities

ABC - Always Be Creating

Don’t get precious; don’t smother

Get out of your own way

Breathe


Social Media Diet A Success! 

For the most part. I snuck on Twitter here and there but I never lingered. And it’s the lingering that’s the problem. I do kinda miss Instagram, though.

I’m going to keep on the diet a little longer. I’ve reinstalled the apps on my phone and if I find myself getting sucked into those little black holes, I’ll abort the whole thing, re-delete, re-delete!

 
 

Of the few times that I did go on Twitter, I saw this corker from Philip Pullman. Inspiration is for arseholes who put too much ego into what they do. Be humble. Take the you out of it. Build some habits and remember… a body in motion tends to stay in motion. So fingers on keyboards tend to stay on keyboards.

S'all I got!


Some merch we're producing over at H&C. Some inspiring merch for writers. This here is a mockup of a notebook. Would you like one?

Some merch we're producing over at H&C. Some inspiring merch for writers. This here is a mockup of a notebook. Would you like one?


NARRATIVES CONSUMED

WATCHED

It Follows

I'll be talking about this on our next Horror Hangout recording but it's pretty damn great. I have some niggles of criticism, but it's one of the best horrors in recent memory. Also, a Disasterpeace soundtrack is always going to be a win for me.

READ

Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

About halfway through. Stoicism feels like the philosophy I've been working to most of my life without realising it.

The Great & Secret Show by Clive Barker

The weirdest Barker I've read and one of the best too. About halfway through.

LISTENED

It Follows OST by Disasterpeace

And pretty much Rich's entire back catalogue. I honestly think in the years ahead, this guy will be looked upon in the same way we look at Morricone. Too much?

Lost Themes II by John Carpenter

What's not to love about John Carpenter? Some great writing tunes on here.


That's all I got for this week. I'm still deep into They Ruin, perhaps the most violent and gruesome book I've ever written. Also check out the latest episode of The Other Stories. The only story I've ever considered NOT releasing because I felt I might be pushing it a little too far.

Anyway...

Until next time,

Luke & Family.

 

MØ14: The Creative Battle

 

MØ14: The Creative Battle

MORNING.

The picture above is about as pensive as one can look whilst waiting for one's coffee to brew.

I was walking the dog this morning. It was 5am. The sun was peeking its head over a waiting bed of clouds. The ground-mist stood four feet high. My feet were soaked in dew. It was nice.

I found myself listening, once again, to Tim Ferriss interviewing Robert Rodriguez.

There are so many golden nuggets of wisdom in that interview and it’s nice to see my own philosophy on storytelling and creativity line up with his so well. 

Psst. Did I tell you? It was about a week after I read Robert Rodriguez’s book that I made Keith. I got so pumped up on his DIY attitude to filmmaking that I decided I had to just make one myself.

Anyway, today’s nugget of wisdom:

Robert said that “Knowing is half the battle, and the other half is NOT knowing.”

Now… I think what he means is, that knowing is the easy part. Knowing = what we want to make, what our intentions are with the project, that vague outline, idea, etc.

And the NOT knowing?

That’s the unknown of going into any project but still proceeding. That’s the fact that it may fail. It may be bad. It may not work. That’s the faith in saying, “I don’t know if this will work, but I’m going to do it anyway.”

The knowing is half the battle, sure, but having faith and courage in the process is the other half.


Failing My Word Count & My Social Media Diet

I aimed for 15k of this current novel this week and I got just over 10k. I got a little lost towards the end of the week and didn’t quite know how to progress the story. 

Now, what I should’ve done is spent some time brainstorming, mining for ideas of what to do next, figruring it all out, whereas what I actually did was diddle around on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, for a while.

I caught myself on Twitter the other day, scrolling through a bunch of tweets I’d already read. As in, stuff that was mostly nonsense on the first go-around. What the hell is wrong with me?

Well… I tell you what I think it is. I think it’s Pressfield’s resistance. The thing that you find yourself doing when you really should be head down and in your work.

So…

I’ve deleted all the apps on my phone (which pretty much just makes it a fancy alarm clock) and I’ve decided to limit myself to one quick burst of social media (5-10 minutes) in the morning and one burst in the evening and that's it. I don't want to look back on my life and think, "Well I sure as hell tweeted a lot". 

Sometimes you gotta put those blinkers on and hunker on down.

...The Work Begins in Earnest.


NARRATIVE CONSUMPTION

WATCHED

Let The Right One In

I gave this an A+ on our Horror Hangout podcast. I was enthralled throughout the entire film. It's sweet, gross, nostalgic, romantic, scary, and sincerely moving.

As Mark Kermode said, "It's a story about children, and vampires happen to also be in it." 

Fargo Season 2

I've got one more episode left and then I'm on to the latest season. The last episode was a strange one. UFO's?

READ

The Dunwich Horror by HP Lovecraft

Maybe my favourite Lovecraft story so far. Perhaps. 

Nailbiter Vol 1

Really interesting concept and well executed. Also, the art is absolutely bob on. Think I may have to pick up the second trade soon.

A.D. After Death Book 1

A literary half-prose half-comic. Beautiful and understated. Also, has an element of Lost to it which I'm digging.

I'll be honest, I'll read anything and everything by Jeff Lemire, especially if it has some of his art in there.

LISTENED

Fleet Foxes - Crack Up

Now I'm getting it. It took a few listens but it's working its magic on me.

Jamie Lenman - Waterloo Teeth

A beast of a song from one of my all-time favourite creatives.


That's about it for now. I've got to crack on with this short story I'm writing for the H&C patrons. It's a sorta Gordon Ramsey fan-fiction / horror story.

Until next time,

Luke & Family.

 

MØ13: 10,000 words later

 

MORNING ØUTPUT #13

Good morning

This week has been a busy one. And I say that with a teary-eyed chuckle because I’m well aware that this upcoming week could well be much much busier. 

I started work on the first draft of the next Rotverse book. It’s going to be the fourth of our KonCocktions* and I can already tell it’s going to be the most horrific. Maybe all these horror novels have been rubbing off on me? 

As I finished a chapter yesterday I sat back, looked at what I’d written and gasped.

“Wow,” I said. “Well, that’s horrifying.”

But I think that means its good. If it’s affecting me, it’s sure as hell going to affect the readers, right?

So I’m 10k in and I’ve just got to keep getting my arse in the chair and I’ve got to keep tickling the keyboard. Eventually I’ll either write a novel or lose my mind. Let’s see how we do.

*KonCocktions — Literature and other works produced by the mind-joining of Luke Kondor and Daniel Willcocks. A painful complex operation that requires a conch, a sterilised rubber glove, and a boatload of ether (for the aforementioned pain).

2. my wants list 07/2017

I’ve got so many ideas for cool things I want to make bouncing around my head and if I don’t write them down somewhere I’m going to explode. So here we go (not including the stuff I’m working on currently):

  1. A hardback The Other Stories anthology
  2. A 60-page horror comic anthology.
  3. This London novel I’ve been thinking about for nearly two years — imagine a much darker Murakami.
  4. A narrative podcast that’s so complex it’s almost like a puzzle-box.
  5. An anthology film based on 5 or more episodes of The Other Stories.
  6. A 30-page one-shot comic based on my Dog Done Bad short story.
  7. An ongoing weekly web-comic.
  8. This Sleep Paralysis VR game that we started on but didn’t get to finish.
  9. More KonCocktions.
  10. More El Marvo.
  11. More TOS.

Deep breath in.

At least the intention is out there. 

You listening universe? I’ve put my cosmic order in. Get to it. I’m waiting.


3. El Marvo is OUT.

Our post-apocalyptic luchador story is out. I spent a good chunk of this last week packaging up KS rewards and shipping them all over the world.

By the end of it I really got into a great flow with it all. 

Batching, labelling, paying (oh my, the paying was painful), dropping off big handfuls of awesome to the Post Office. I was fast-becoming a pro.

It was pretty amazing to send our little babies out there to readers all over the world and even cooler to start getting feedback.

So yes, El Marvo is out. You can grab a copy here (with optional cutout mask).


4. ÎNPUT

WATCHED

Castlevania Season 1

I never played the games so I had literally no idea what to expect. And it’s pretty damn good. It’s gory. It’s funny. And it’s kinda nice on the eyes too. Also if you’re a Warren Ellis fan, you know to expect a bon mot or two.

READ

The Hellbound Heart by Clive Barker

I had to take a couple of days off reading after finishing Stephen King's It but I'm starting to get back into the swing.

So I started with a small one. The Hellhound Heart. A short read but a good one. Doesn’t add or subtract from the film in any way but definitely worth a gander. It’s also got me back in the Clive Barker mood. Thinking of picking up Imajica or The Great and Secret Show soon.

Comichaus #7

An indie British monthly comic full of homegrown undiscovered talent from the UK Small Press Scene. Always great to see the home team put out something of such a high quality.

LISTENED

Fleet Foxes - Crack Up

Not quite as newbie friendly as their last albums. I’ve listened to it a couple of times through and it’s not quite caught me yet. Most people might write it off at this point but I tend to find it’s the albums that take a little working out that I tend to develop weird obsessions with. So I'll give it a couple more goes.


So that's it for this week. The battleplan is to get 15000 words further into the new novel and to get ahead and record a few podcasts. I might even try and draft up a short story if I get time.

So...

Until next time,

Luke & Family

 

MØ12: Handling Your Thing

 

MORNING ØUTPUT #12

And how are you this fair morn?

It's 05:49 here in Manchester (as I write this) and I've taken the pup for a walk, written down some words, published a new episode of TOS, and am literally now writing this that you're reading.

Off to a good start, I reckon.

1. Handling Your Thing

We got the print copies of El Marvo #1 through. The courier dropped them off without a wink or a biscuit, having no clue he was about to make my damn week.

We've been working on El Marvo since... I believe the Ben proposed the character around Jan 2016. So a long time, and after much writing, much Kickstartering, we've finally got them, in our hands and wow it's pretty magical.

Digital copies are now available from the H&C store. Physical copies will be available after the KS backers' copies have been shipped.

2. I finished Stephen King's It

Took me a month to finish It, but… well I mean it's a masterpiece. Seriously. 
When I went into the book I thought it was going to be a story of four or more loser kids who come together to fight an evil demon vampire clown who's terrorising the town of Derry.

Well, yes, it was about that but I had no idea just how much myth and scale and history was in the story. We've got a story that spans 100+ years (not including the smoke vision), demons from outer space, interdimensional entities that sick up universes, and some of the best, no kidding the BEST characters I've ever read.

The Losers Club is what makes this book what it is. Sure, Pennywise, Derry, the horror, all work together to make for a tasty book, but the Losers and their friendship really take it to the next level. I think that bonding might have something to do with the 1300 pages we've spent with them but still, we've bonded!

Standout moments and pieces for me:

The classic opening scene with Georgie.
Richie Tozier not shutting up even when he's about to get straight-up murdered.
Ben Hanscom's love for Bev.
The apocalyptic rock fight and Mike getting his own back for his dog.
the interludes that travel through time to tell different stories of Pennywise throughout the decades.


Full on 5-star book.

Man, that Stephen King. He's not half bad, is he?

3. Battleplans 

This past week I managed to get all my chores done like a good little boy. I wrote my 22-page script for the Top Cow Talent Hunt, I helped launch a book, and I even went for a run.

But this week it's really on. I'm shaking just thinking about how much I've got to do.

I'm starting the first draft of the third Rotverse book today and aim to have 50k words written by the end of July so I want to start the month with a nice breezy 10k. On top of that, I'd like to get El Marvo shipped out, get the podcasts recorded (got an interview with the amazing Chris Fox on Wednesday), and get the cover design underway for mine and Dan's first none-Rot story, Lazarus.

I won't tell you too much about it just yet, but here's some feedback from one of our super early beta-readers:

...also I have finished the first reading of Lazarus. I have to say it really bowled me over I'm still digesting it and will give proper feedback eventually when I re-read but I have to say I think it's the best thing I've read in long time and that I've read a few recently that have tried to write along similar themes but were unconvincing at best and just cliche at their worst. Lazarus was neither, it was convincing and terrifying but felt familiar as well.

So fingers crossed you guys like it too.


👾*  **


Oh, yeah, just a quick one. I've seen a few people post this on their own newsletters and I think it bears repeating here:

…Montaigne, who writes in his essay ‘Of Practice’:
What I write here is not my teaching, but my study; it is not a lesson for others, but for me. And yet it should not be held against me if I publish what I write. What is useful to me may also by accident be useful to another. Moreover, I am not spoiling anything, I am only using what is mine. And if I play the fool, it is at my expense and without harm to anyone. For it is a folly that will die with me, and will have no consequences.

It's the answer to the question of why?

Why write this newsletter?

Why publish something that isn't a well thought out Listicle?

Why don't you keep all your nonsense inside your own head and not in my inbox, eh?

Eh?!

Well, because this is how I learn best and I want to get myself all learnt, dun I? 

Reading - Postal

Watching - Twin Peaks S3EP8 (Holy shit!)

Listening - Kendrick Lamar's DAMN

So then, that's it. Until next time,

Luke & Family

*Watch out for deadly aliens. 

**Deadly aliens are deadly.

 

 

MØ11: Don't Try... & Other Advice

 
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MORNING ØUTPUT #11

I don’t know what was happening last week, but I just did not feel the motivation to write anything. I set myself a little goal of writing 3x short stories but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. 

I opened up my Scrivener file, looked at that (stupid fecking) blinking cursor, and thought, “I just don’t want to look at this right now.”

Here’s the thing. A lot of people might’ve put this down to Writer’s Block as if they weren’t feeling inspired, or they’d been cut off from the muse, but this wasn’t that. This felt more like fatigue. 

Which is fine.

Sometimes we get tired and I don’t think it’s healthy to force it. As Bukowski so wisely had engraved on his gravestone, “Don’t try.”

I think what he meant was, don’t force something that ain’t happening. If you’re not feeling it, it probably means you need to do something different. Maybe you need to eat, sleep, or rest, or even head back to the creative well and start filling it back up by reading great books and comics, watching great films and tv, living life and gathering new experiences and epiphanies. 

And so I did that.

I read a lot, watched a lot, ate great food, drank some beers, snoozed, played with the dog, and somehow, I still managed to get the stories done… in a fashion.

I wrote a short story about Tony Robbins. I wrote a flash fiction about a breathing laptop. And I wrote a 5-Page Comic Script about a much darker, sorta more brutal, Monsters, Inc.

So yeah… don’t try… maybe go fill up that creative well, yeah? 

#Advice


 

FUNERAL & FAMILY

 


This Friday we celebrated the life of my wonderful Grandma. The whole family came together in a truly lovely ceremony. There was a guy (humanist?) who gave a little wikipedia summary of her life with a few jokes and winks thrown in. It was really cool to hear little bits of her life that I had no idea about. A whole secret life that I would’ve liked to ask her if I had a little more time.

RIP Sylvia Wain.


Marvel Unlimited

As part of my filling the creative well, I buckled and signed up for Marvel Unlimited. It’s 10 dollars a month for access to Marvel’s entire back catalogue of comics. I feel like I’ve entered a digital library of the future, like I’m wearing cerebro and have ultimate access to some of the greatest storytelling minds on the planet.

But that’s kinda the problem. Too much access. Where does one start? 

Well, I’ve been reading Warren Ellis’s Nextwave: Agents of H.A.T.E and it’s been one of the most sublime comic reading experiences I’ve ever had. It’s incredibly funny, irreverent, and there was a panel with a man straddling a giant six-shooter that almost had me in tears. 

Will I stick with Marvel Unlimited? I dunno. It depends if I keep finding great books to read on there.


💀


Battle-Plan

So let me just get this out the way first:

That's right!

We have just launched They Remain (well, as of the 27th, not as I write this). This is book 2 in our Rot series and as a nice spicy enticement to the books, we’re giving away book 1 for FREE and book 2 for the discounted price of 99c/99p.

So just to recap:

They Rot is FREE.

They Remain is 99p/99c.

Go here to check them out.

And while all that book-launch craziness is happening, I’m going to put together a super rough draft of my Top Cow Talent Hunt script and oh yeah, El Marvo #1 is off to the printers. How cool is that? Soon enough we'll be holding that floppy bad boy in our hands (wait, wut?).

Here's what I've been consuming this week:

 

Reading - Nextwave: Agents of H.A.T.E & Stephen King's It

Watching - Fargo S2 & Don't Look Now

Listening - Everything We See Will Die

 

And that's about all I have the energy to tell you about for now so keep doing what you're doing, whatever it is that you're doing, and ... yeah ... keep smiling, okay?

Until next time,

Luke & Family.

 

MØ10: DAVID LYNCH WON'T STOP TALKING TO MY SOUL.

 

MORNING ØUTPUT #10

19/06/2017

afternoon

It’s been a hot one this week. We’re riding at 28℃ (82℉) and for an Englishman like me, that’s dangerous stuff. That’s the kind of temperature that’ll turn me pink, plug me up with pollen, turn me red-eyed. 

So as I sit here with tissue in one hand and a cocktail of antihistamines in the other, I’m going to try and make sense of this past week and look forward to this one we’re already falling into.


Progress!

They Remain (Book 2 of The Rot Series) is set for launch on the 27th June. That’s like, less than two weeks away. Deep breaths. Hand me that sick bag.

We’ve got so much left to do before launch but I’m really looking forward to getting this one out there and into the readers' hands.

I’m proud of this little post-apocalyptic Britannia we’ve built and in this book we really turn the screws on the main character, Colin. And that’s what we really like to see, eh? Our characters sweat... and bleed.

“It's not the despair, Laura. I can take the despair. It's the hope I can't stand.”John Cleese
 
 

Also, the new H&C website is up and running and we are now selling signed print copies of They Rot. Grab a copy HERE.


And a Haiku to you, too

I want to be a great writer. I want to squeeze everything out of the art-form. I want to bleed it dry and swallow its remains whole. If there's one thing I think I'll be doing on my deathbed, it's opening up a laptop and jotting down ideas, stories, and maybe the odd joke or two. 

But poetry... that's my biggest weakness. I don't read it. I don't understand it. I don't ... I just don't.

It is something I’ve done in the past, but in a sort of silly personal way. I write poems for Cat (rarely!) and I’ve been known to write the odd little piece of nonsense here and there after a glass of red but I’ve never given it any serious consideration until recently.

So I figured I might try a tipple. And what's the simplest form of poetry? The easiest? 

I dunno, but I figured a haiku might be a nice place to start. Here's what I came up with:

 

I wake to the smell

She's fixing the coffee dark

Breaks the day in two

***

She wants hot bena

The sweet, sticky kind that tastes...

how the snuggles feel

***

It settles down good,

the green, reds, and vinegar.

He pats the belly.

***

Okay, I know. Poetry about coffee, salad, and hot Ribena, is hardly ground-shaking stuff, but it's a start. I might have to pick up a poetry book sometime and have a gander. Anybody got any recommendations?


👽


David Lynch won’t stop talking to my soul

I’m loving the new season of Twin Peaks. Its reminded me why I love David Lynch so much. The slow builds. The dread. The quirk. Special Agent Dale Cooper (even though he’s not quite Cooper… yet).

I think I love David Lynch’s work for the same reason I love listening to Bon Iver and for the same reason I love reading Murakami novels. These guys, in their own mediums, have found a way to tap into something unique and odd and yet wholly recognisable to our spirits. It’s like they’ve found a way to speak to our souls.

Other soul-speakers: Kafka, Kaufman, and maybe Bowie. 


Itching to make a film

I told myself I wouldn't make any films in 2017. That I would focus on the other stuff — books, comics, podcasts — but I’m feeling that familiar itch. I think I might try and knock out another 7-Day story challenge. The same way I made Keith — no ideas and no money. I love it. It’s immediate. It cuts the crap. 

And hey look, I have an iPhone. I could make a found-footage/vlog style film. 

Hmm...

Watch this space.


PROJECT365 is done

For the past year I've written down a story idea every single day. 

The ideas could be shit, detailed, loose, tight, scenario-based, character-based, or could just be a single line of dialogue which might later unfurl itself into a glorious tendril of butt-tickling wonder-magic … or something.

Here's how I ended my streak:

STORY IDEA #365: A man writes 365 ideas down and then finds he's used all his ideas up. That's it. He has nothing left. Oh dear. He then has to go through his life without having a single idea.

Let's hope that isn't quite true.

If you want to check out 365 story ideas of varying quality, I put them all up HERE.


Battleplan

This week I'm going to finish off my short stories for the quarter and nail out three more. I'm also going to prepare myself mentally for starting the first draft of They R*** (Book 3 of The Rot). Also I have a funeral to go to. So there is that 😕.

READING - It by Stephen King

WATCHING - Twin Peaks/House of Cards/[REC]

LISTENING: The “Wizard” of Hollywood, Robert Rodriguez interview on the Tim Ferriss Podcast

DRINKING - Coffee dark


Buh-bye now...

Back to the keys, as is the way for a key-jerk like myself.

Each episode of the new season of Twin Peaks ends with some obscure indie band playing us out. And the latest episode had such an amazing song to end on, I figured I'd go and steal it.

Until next time,

Luke & Family.

x

 

MØ9: Weights or Foundations & El Marvo is Finished!

 

MORNING ØUTPUT #10

Hey there, easy now, where yer from?

It’s Monday again and I think someone pressed that 30-sec skip button (podcast reference) a few too many times and now we find ourselves in June… as in the middle of the year! The speed of this ride is going way too fast for my liking and I don't like it one bit.

Scream if you want to go faster,” the operator’s voice booms and I really don’t mean to, but I just can’t stop screaming.

In other news:

I had an idea for the name of an autobiography.

Mansfield Bitter.

It works in a number of ways which I won’t go into right now but let’s just say it’s a beer, a state of mind, and a place in which I am from.

Screen Shot 2017-06-12 at 17.14.34.png

EL MARVO IS FINISHED!

Well, the interiors are.

Dan (Vanguard) Butcher has just finished all of the pencils, inks, colours, lettering, (everything!), for issue #1 of our post-apocalyptic luchador story, El Marvo.

It’s difficult not to read through your first illustrated story and grin from ear to ear like a drunken buffoon eating his favourite flavour of crisps but I just can't stop myself.

Just so damn tasty.

So now we, sorry, I mean Ben will put all the art together in one nice little package to be sent off to the printers. 

And then, hey presto, we have a comic. 

Oh yeah, and for you people asking, “What now?”

Wel,l I guess it’s time to work on the next book, because if there’s one thing I’ve learned throughout my time as a pencil-jerk is that there is always another book.

My top-ten favourite films.

A friend and fantastic director, Mustapha Kseibeti, is asking people to post a handwritten note of their top ten favourite films. Of course, it’s incredibly difficult and I’m already realising I missed out Life Aquatic. Here’s what I was feeling at the time:

... -_- ...

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My Girls

& other family stuff.

I could stare at this picture all day. Just look how happy they both are — my fiancée and my pooch — my girls. 

We recently lost someone very dear to us and it’s got me thinking about just how fucking great my life is right now. I love my little house even with its leaks and its ants. I love my fiancée even with her habit of kneeing me in the forehead. I love our animals even if they don’t really see eye-to-eye. I love my city even though there’s a slight chance something terrible might happen at any moment. I love my writing and our projects even though it’s a helluva lot of work and I sometimes think, ‘wouldn’t it be nice to lie in in the mornings?’.

As quickly as 2017 has flown by, I feel like I’m on the right track with things. 

I reckon the biggest lever that triggered whatever forward momentum I'm experiencing now was realising that all this stuff, this life stuff, is all a foundation to build-upon, rather than a weight to pull you down.

***

That's it from me for this week. 

The battle plan is to crack on with my final edit of They Remain, get El Marvo off to the printers, and to finish off some Mailing List and website bits and pieces. 

Take care,

Luke & Family.

READING - It by Stephen King

WATCHING - Twin Peaks

LISTENING: Faster Than Light OST

DRINKING - Earl Grey Tea

 

MØ8: Stephen King's IT, our Publishing Schedule, & oh, the World's still Ending.

 
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MORNING ØUTPUT #8

 

Welcome back to the world! 

If you made it this far then I salute you. It’s getting more difficult and a little scarier every single week, it seems. Still, at least Coldplay can make us feel nice and we ain’t dropping our pints for no dum-dum terrorists.

 
 

I’m dedicating this week to two of my favourite cities — London & Manchester.

Stay strong.

In other news:

THE HERNIA

Buh-beep. Buh-beep. Buh-beep.

That’s the sound of the doctor pressing his ultrasound scanner against my pelvis. He jammed that thing so hard it looked like he was trying to scan some warped barcode on a dinged up tin of beans.

“Is it a boy or a girl?” I asked.

He didn’t reply. He’d either heard it too many times or didn’t hear me at all. Oh well.

So after the big run last week I finally got myself booked in for a scan of my supposed hernia. This is the year of trying to get myself back to some sort of working health levels and this damn hernia is on the list of stuff to sort out. I feel like a rusty old beat up car in someone’s garage. 

“He won’t pass the MOT in this state. Not at all. Lots to do. Lots to do.”

Once this is sorted, it's back out and running. Can't wait.

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THE IT READ-ALONG

Right now I’m joining a bunch of readers over on Instagram who are reading Stephen King’s It (all 1300 pages). I started on the 1st and just clocked 270 pages and I have to say, it’s a flipping great book already. 

Stephen King writes like nobody else. He really takes his time to let his characters develop but it never feels like he’s stalling. It all adds to the tension. It all adds to the feeling of, “I really don’t want these characters to get hurt”. 

I can already tell this is going to be one of those game-changing books for me, and I'm so glad I decided to experience it through the book first, instead of the film which is just around the corner.

 

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H&C BUSINESS

We’ve been in business at H&C for about 18 months now and we’re finally making money. Nothing major and definitely not enough to pay anyone, but it’s paying for itself now and that's something. I don’t have to shell out so much of my own money to keep the wolves from the door. 

So with that said, we’re now looking for ways to push things up a notch. We’re talking better book delivery for our free books, better Mailing List automation, a fresh coat of paint on the website, and whatever else we can think of to really try to push the business to the next level.

Speaking of... 

 

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THE PUBLISHING SCHEDULE

This could be interesting to you guys. It might not. But it could be. 

We've put together a publishing schedule for my books and comics:

2017 Publishing Schedule

They Remain 27th June

El Marvo #1 1st July

Lazarus 1st August

[REDACTED] 1 5th September

[REDACTED] 2 3rd October

[REDACTED] 3 31st October

They Ruin Nov/Dec

So for the next six-months this is pretty much going to be my full-time gig — putting words on pages, editing, launching, repeating. And this doesn’t include my short story work and any other extra-curricular activities.

 

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BATTLEPLAN

So this week it's all about getting through my final edit of They Remain and putting some notes down for Book 4 (the end of the series?). I'll also be finishing the website and signing off on the El Marvo artwork.

 

READING - It by Stephen King

WATCHING - Dracula (1931)

DRINKING - Coffee & Water & Apple/Ginger Juice

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THAT’S ALL FOLKS

Let's get through this, shall we? Another week without death and destruction, please and thank-oo-very-much

I'll leave you with a writing playlist that Dan put together.

Until next time,

Luke.