Monthly Archives: December 2015

Christmas break – Harry Potter, Star Wars and reading

I’ve had a Christmas break from the writing.

On Christmas Eve we went down to my wife’s daughter and her husband, and their sixteen month old granddaughter, who’ve recently returned home after several years in New Zealand. They now live in Abergavenny (in South Wales). We stayed for a couple of days. No chance of writing there.

Despite the very wet weather, I managed to take the dog up Ysgyryd Fawr. At 1594 feet it’s not much of a mountain compared with what we have on our doorstep, but it rises quite high and steep from the surrounding land, and looks quite spectacular. The recent rain had made the track to the top very muddy, and that, together with the fallen leaves on the lower slopes made it a slippy route. The dog was covered in mud when we got back to the car just over an hour later – you’d never guess she has white paws! Exhilarating walk, especially on top where the strong wind blew across the barren surface. There was once a an early Christian church on the top. I can’t think why anyone would build a church in such a location to make it hard work to attend.

Before going down there, we’d started watching the Harry Potter films on DVD. We’ve done three of them now, and I guess we’ll go right through to the last one. Gail (my wife, it’s easier to give her name than keep referring to her as ‘my wife’) is also listening to the audio book of the first one. I’ve caught snippets of it when we’ve been in the car together, like driving to and from Abergavenny. It’s interesting to hear a version that is sometimes quite different from the visual version (I’ve never read the books). I kept thinking (and saying out loud) ‘that wasn’t in the film’, or ‘it didn’t happen like that in the film’. It struck me, it must be quite a task, re-writing a story for the screen. What a job that must be – changing a well known author’s work.

Yesterday, we went with friends to see the new Star Wars film. I won’t post any spoilers for anyone who hasn’t seen it yet. All I’ll say is, it was worth seeing. Much better than the last few films. I’d even go so far as to say I probably enjoyed it more than the original. As an author (now!) it seemed not too difficult to spot bits of the film that didn’t bear close scrutiny. But for sheer entertainment, it was brilliant. Just don’t question some of the things in it – just accept them.

I’ve also been doing some Kindle reading, I’ve read ‘To Honor You Call Us’ by H. Paul  Honsinger, and ‘Quantum Lens’ by Douglas E Richards. Two quite different books within the sci-fi genre, I enjoyed both of them. I might get round to giving a bit of a review of them in the near future. This post is getting a bit long to include thoughts about them here. I’m reading ‘Great North Road’ by Peter F Hamilton at the moment. Compared to the other two, it’s quite a long book, so I don’t know if I’ll reach the end. I have a habit of not finishing long books. I guess I want to move on to something else quite quickly and a long story delays that variety.

With regards to my own writing, I’ve rather neglected the short stories and am still in the process of editing the third one, which is almost complete, I’ve been concentrating on the second book of the Supremacy trilogy. What I’m doing is basically a bit of an edit on the bits I’ve already written, and writing, for the first time, the chapters which connect what I’ve already done together. It’s a bit of a disjointed process, I know. The new chapters have a bit of an affect on what I’ve already written, so changes have to be propagated through the story (not major though). Does anyone else write by doing the key parts first then join them altogether?