Score card 2012

Okay, so it’s January, which means, as I sorta promised last year, it’s time to see how I got on with my rather ambitious goals for 2012. In summary I hoped to:

Novels: Finish Queen Of Clouds and have started The Poisoner’s Road
Shorts: Write and publish 10 short stories
Band: Release 2 or 3 Murnie eps
Cabaret/Musicals: Write two musical shows.

So how did I do? Well the answer to that is quite an interesting exercise in what can happen with long term creative projects, especially ones you’re not contracted for or that are collaborative efforts. In short, stuff came up. Both obstacles and opportunities. On with the confessional.

Well, Queen of Clouds didn’t get finished. This is partly because I’m still learning how to plot long stories, and the plot for this one took a while to come together. And also because the central character was, frankly, rubbish. So a lot got revised and reworked, and then–just as I’d got myself geared up for the final push–an opportunity arose to work on something else. An opportunity with a real timescale. So, QoC has been waiting. Relatively patiently. The other business, which has involved more work (and rework) than expected, should be done with this week, so I anticipate starting back at the novel imminently.

The delay hasn’t done The Poisoner’s Road any harm. In the manner of things bubbling away on the back burner it’s gathered ideas, got richer and more flavoursome. And I’m hoping it’ll be a simpler, easier book to write too.

All of which is a long road to arrive at the same goal for 2013 as last year: finish and submit Queen of Clouds, and hopefully get at least the first draft of The Poisoner’s Road out too.

So, ten stories published was a tall order. In the end I wrote and published four new stories (plus a notable reprint), and have another coming out in the Solaris Rising 2 anthology in the spring. I also wrote but didn’t complete two other stories which just needed to percolate a little longer. So four out of ten. Not great, but still better than recent years, which was the reason for the goal in the first place.

The goal for 2013 is exactly the same. Ten stories at least accepted for publication. I have at least that many in progress to one degree or another, and some of them I’m pretty excited about. Fingers crossed I get the opportunity to get them all out into the public domain.

I’ve also quietly been sussing out interest in an anthology project which I hope to get going soon, but more of that at another time.

Yes, we managed two eps this year. Sundaymouth and Crackle. I’d hoped to make it three and finally clear out the album archives, but that gives us something to do this year. We’ve certainly got on far enough to allow ourselves to write new music now. In fact I’ve already started. I have an inclination to make the next batch of material substantially different in tone to what we’ve done before, just to keep things fresh. And also to write with recording in mind, so that we can capture the new songs much more faithfully, not to mention easily.

So goals, well it’d be good to keep the release wagon rolling. We’ve got the last of the album songs earmarked for one, and I don’t see why we can’t squeeze out a new material release too. There’s no point really in setting a goal for writing songs – that just happens anyway, but if we have enough good ones for an ep, I’ll be happy.

Also, it’s probably about time we had a gig.


Well there were plans to write a couple of shows. Markee de Saw and Bert Finkle performed Israphel’s Book at both the Edinburgh Fringe and the Glasgow Cabaret Festival, and we were delighted with that. For various reasons the other collaboration didn’t take off as planned, but I hope we can pick it up again in the future. As far as Markee and Bert are concerned I think we’d like to tinker with them a bit this year and expand their potential.

Going forward

So, for the sake of giving me something to gripe about in 12 months’ time, here’s what I’m hoping to have achieved in 2013:

– Queen Of Clouds submitted and The Poisoner’s Road at least drafted.

– 10 new stories

– anthology project under way

– 2 murnie eps

– new material for Markee and Bert.

God loves a trier, eh?

15 thoughts on “Score card 2012

    1. Couldnt do it without the day job, Gio.

      Mind you I only got it half done last year. I have higher hopes.for success this time round.

  1. not bad neil not bad at all.good luck with this years endeavours.
    gosh is that a year ..i remember reading this. a years not long in creative terms.
    oh btw if you guys ever need a cheap video for song promotional purposes im always sick of doing my own ones but just cannae stop.its a bleedin curse this creative malarky.

    1. Ooh, thanks for the offer, Ian. I’ll talk it over with the boys and let you know.

      And yes, a year. I can’t believe it either. It just flew in.

  2. If you need motivation for your short fiction goal… I challenge you to a productivity competition. One point per story submitted (for the first time) and one point per story sold in 2013. Loser buys the winner a meal at the 2014 Eastercon.

    1. Sounds like a challenge. I still intend to be spending most of my year writing novels, but if it helps me get short stories written and out there, I’m all for it.


  3. I’d accuse you of jumping the gun, if I didn’t already have something slated for publication in March/April. 😀

    1. Ah, I missed what Ian said. So mine doesn’t count (it was a sale last year). So points awarded for first time submissions (which indicates the story is ready for consumption) and sales

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