February update: singing, short stories and reading

Short stories: I’m currently working on a short story for Fox Spirit – the prompt was “You left you biscuit behind“. I originally looked at a story in our world, but then it occurred to me (of course, once I’d planned the damn thing out) that I could set it in Greensky… so I did that! It provides a nice look at Ziricon, the status of slaves, the relationships between people in the city – and a dose of mystery and whodunnit. It’s still very character-focused, as my writing always is, but it is nice to write something a little different. I’m struggling with the word count at the moment as I’m only on 3,000 and I am wondering if I’m going to reach the 6,000 required, but we’ll see. I’ve got another two weeks to work on it, and even if I don’t submit it then it’s a nice addition to my Greensky range.

Singing: I’ve had four singing lessons, gone up two grades and increased my range by an octave. Not too bad for a month! I was pretty much right in my original assumption that I mostly needed confidence and a bit of direction; I’m improving by leaps and bounds now that I know what to focus on. My breathing’s getting stronger, my practise while walking is helping a lot, and my range is growing as everything else strengthens. I need to work on my diction, my confidence and my breathing – but I’m still really enjoying the lessons, so that’s all good.

Reading: I’ve been borrowing books from work and also have a stack of Grimbold ones to read, so I’ve been having fun! I read The Amulet of Samarkand by Jonathan Stroud last week and have The Eye of Ptolemy in my to-read pile; I love the contrast between Bartimaeus and Nathaniel’s POV and the ever-deepening pile o’shite in which they both find themselves, so I’m looking forward to reading the second one. I also read The Starlight Conspiracy by Steve Voake; imaginative, although I found it quite a flip-the-pages read and wouldn’t read any more by him…it’s not bad, it just didn’t really catch my imagination – but then I’m not entirely into mysteries, aliens and baddy-chases anyway. I’ve also just read Strange Tales from the Scriptorian Vaults, which I really enjoyed due to the steampunk theme and diversity of mysteries and characters – and the overarching story, which tied everything together. The next Grimbold book I’ve got is The Art of Forgetting by Joanne Hall, which I am very much looking forward to!