Friday Photo Blogging: walk this way

Well, I was hoping to have photographs from two different gigs to pick from this week. Unfortunately I was denied a photopass at the first one, and the second one was cancelled.

So, no gig photos; instead, here’s a demonstration of how PicoCon’s organisers ensured no one got lost between the tube station and the venue:


Who says science fiction fans can’t keep it lo-fi, eh?

Writing about music:

Less gig reviewing than initially expected – see above.

Been battling to keep up the one-album-review-per-day regime at TDP, and have just kept my head above the water; I need to play catch-up over the weekend to give myself a buffer zone again.

I had the opportunity to revisit Gary Numan’s Replicas – how groundbreaking was that album? And I don’t care how dated the synth patches are, the signature riff from “Are ‘Friends’ Electric?” still stirs the neck-hairs every time.

Writing about books:

Technically zilch. Have hardly read more than a chapter of Wolfe, either.


Various behind-the-scenes stuff continues apace at Futurismic, though at a somewhat reduced rate over the last week.

Just a few final adjustments to make over the weekend, and then it’s the return of original fiction to Futurismic on Monday! wh00t!


Despite the sparseness of the above, this week has been absolute bedlam and panic in Velcro City Towers. But the deadline was met; the task completed; the dragon slain.

What was I doing? Oh, you’re just going to have to wait to find out, I’m afraid … 🙂

Books and magazines seen:

Nowt of note.


If this all seems a little sparse and disappointing to FPB fans, I must apologise; this week has essentially been a game of survival against the odds.

The afore-mentioned deadline of doom (combined with a mild bug I picked up at PicoCon) meant all my efforts have been devoted to not dropping any of the metaphorical balls.

Frankly, I’m proud to have made it to Friday having achieved exactly that, even if it meant skipping out on FFF for this week.

So while there’s plenty to be done over the weekend, I’m feeling pretty relaxed right now, safe in the knowledge that I don’t need to be sat at this here keyboard until past my bedtime just to avoid calamity.

I think I even have enough flex in my schedule to pop out for a beer or two with the gang before coming home and sitting down to an hour or so buried in a book before bedtime – ah, decadence! But first things first – yesterday’s (comparatively) healthy repast must be counteracted with The Friday Curry Of Tradition And Merit.

And d’you know what? This week, I really feel I’ve earned the damned thing.

Have a great weekend, folks. Hasta luego!

[ * Yet Another Clandestine Project. ]

Massive expungement of writing tips linkage …

… because, as I’m sure many of my readers know, only one thing procrastinates better than a writer, and that’s an ill writer with twenty mission-critical deadlines breathing down his neck.

Posting this will, believe it or not, be therapeutic – and it will help me toward clearing the RSS backlog, which is surely trying to tell me something:

Google Reader in league with Beelzebub OMFG

Enough banter – bring on the freakin’ links, I hear you cry! Well, alright.

First of all, if you’re going to write fiction, length is an issue (yes, ladies – even for you). Jay Lake has the low-down on story length, so you can tell your novelette from your novella, and so forth.


John “Electric Velocipede” Klima has been involved in some lengthy discussions about the genre short fiction market, and has summarised the initial debate and posted his further thoughts on the matter.

Not so much about the mechanics of writing, but useful for thinking about the markets realistically. The take-away? Don’t get into writing short fiction unless it’s something you love to do, because it’ll never make you a living.


If, like me, you find it hard to find the time and focus to write regularly (hah!), perhaps the advice of the Write To Done blog will be of use to you – “write just one thing today, and write it well“.


Stuck mid-story in need of a character name? Happens to me all the time – but hopefully this crafty hack from Gareth L Powell will not only cure my fiction of Enid Blyton-style names but give me a reason to love my spam folder.


La Gringa supplies a list of attention-getting tricks that will not get an agent to be more sympathetic to your query letter:

  • Using the phrase “This is not representative of my best work” in the query letter will probably not help your cause.
  • A Xerox of your photo from your high school yearbook will not help sell your book. It will, however, live on in infamy on the intern’s refrigerator door, where a steady collection of lunatic query letters has been growing since December.



Last but not least, the indispensably avuncular Jim Van Pelt has a round-up of pithy quotes and aphorisms about writing accrued from books, real-life meetings and elsewhere.

Sensible useful advice, delivered straight and friendly. This is the van Pelt way. Nuff reshpeck, innit?

OK, mania and panic beckons seductively from the to-do list. As the old joke goes, “tea-break’s over, back on your heads!”