Tag Archives: homelife

Another Book Launch and some randoms!

I’m at the launch of Shards of the Nightmare in Waterstones, Oxford from 7-8pm today (Monday 29th April) – if you’re in the area, do come along for a reading and chat!

The launch for No So Stories at Forbidden Planet in London was grand – I met a whole bunch of awesome people and thoroughly talked myself out, so Sunday was definitely an introvert day. The book’s available on Amazon and other retailers (including signed copies from Forbidden Planet!) if you’re interested in Kipling, mythology or modern, diverse stories.

And I’ve been musing on the GreenSky series over on the Grimbold Books Patreon page – it’s free to read, so go have a look 🙂

I am definitely going to be over-peopled after this weekend and today, but I have been given an important task for this week: feed my housemate’s fish! So I shall be feeding fish. They don’t talk to much, so I reckon I can manage this…

A Book Launch; and, “I get to read books and people pay me”

First, a book launch! I am (hopefully, barring sudden disaster or extreme tiredness) going to be at the launch of Not So Stories in London on Saturday! If you’re around the Forbidden Planet area, do come along and check out this anthology of Kipling-inspired stories.

And second, me! I’m currently in Uncanny Valley between “this is all strange and new and exciting” and “this is a normal routine day”, with an added dose of “EVERYTHING IS GOING TO GO WRONG”. It’s caused a little bit of We Need To Do All The Panicking but my brain has been coping quite well, for which I am extremely grateful…

I’m settling in to Oxford and moving to a friend’s room this weekend – as opposed to being on my wonderful friend’s floor, which while brilliant as a temporary thing is not somewhere I want to clutter up permanently. My commute is going to be down the canal, and I’m doing ok with the house (I love doing early-early, and it seems to be working well).

I still can’t believe I’m getting paid to read amazing books. Just….WUT IS THIS SORCERY OF A JOB?!

Everyone has been lovely and I’m still feeling a bit overwhelmed by that, too – being able to openly say “I’m a bit anxiety today” and the first reactions from everyone is “oh no, can we help?” – it’s just…amazing, and really helps. (There isn’t really anything anyone can do to help, and I manage my brain as best I can.) But it’s like being able to let out a breath I didn’t know I was holding: it gives me hope that someone else will have my back when my brain’s fighting me and I’m struggling. It’s not going to be another battle to fight on top of the ones I’m already fighting. I’m obviously going to do my best to not let it interfere with my work, but it’s not something I have to spend energy hiding, and that is one  less worry.

And I’m loving my job. I’m learning the ebook processes and KDP nuances (aka. it hates everyone and everything and WOE BETIDE YOU IF YOU ARE 0.00003 OF A MM OUT!) and getting sent things to read; I’ve been given one piece to edit already which is fantastic and I am really looking forward to reading, and I’ve been working my way through some current submissions and back catalogue books. It’s still very strange but it feels familiar, which I love. And I’ve had time in the evenings to work, too; I’m not feeling overwhelmed by my freelance and Grimbold bits, which is doubly nice.

I’m expecting a crash at some point because this is too good to last, but that’s fine – I’ll manage it when it comes. But for now, I’m good. I’m really good.

I’m going to go a read an amazing book now!

5 Happy Things: April 2018

It’s April! There’s sunshine! It’s not snowing! Happy days!

1. Oxford canal.

Oxford canal walk

I’ve been walking to work down the canal for the past few days, and it’s been lovely – there was sunshine and ducks and blossom! It wasn’t quite so nice in the rain last week but there you go.

2. I survived my first week at work!

Everyone’s been lovely, I’ve found a board game posse, I got to copy-edit (aka. read) a couple of amazing books…I’m still learning everyone’s names (and will be for a while) but so far, it’s a really nice place to work, and I’m enjoying the job.

3. Food.

I haven’t been doing too well with eating (stress and new situations do tend to bring out the feeling sick/not eating results) but I made banana bread while at my aunt’s this weekend, and I’ve been making sure I buy things that I want to eat – resulting in tempura battered chicken with gucamole and cream cheese in a pitta for last night’s dinner. It’s glorious.


My Solaris/Abaddon stack has gone down a little (har har…it’s promptly had more put on it) and I’ve had confirmation that I’m at least at the right publishers, because I LOVED most of them! (Dredd is the current exception, because he’s a dick).

  • Yoon Ha Lee’s Machineries of Empire series. I tore through this series, despite not usually reading (or really liking) sci-fi – it does confirm some of my biases, in that it’s complex, impenetrable and detailed. For the first few chapters of Ninefox Gambit I felt pretty lost, and I still don’t remotely get how a lot of the tech and politics works. However, the story and the characters, the worldbuilding, the structure…*happy reader* it’s wonderful. I love the details and the politics, and I loved seeing Cheris grow in the first book. The second follows different people (ish) but it’s a continuation of the same political plotline, and the third really rounds the series off nicely (it’s due out shortly – ARCs FTW!) Basically, for someone who doesn’t really do sci-fi, this has been a pleasure to read despite confirming some of my prejudices – and has been good enough to overcome them!
  • The Promise of a Battered Moon – it’s finally out! This one made me cry at the end, so therefore I’m going to recommend it to everyone just to share the misery. Sci-fi, again, with a whole mashup of planets and cultures and race; the story’s about an asteroid that’s going to hit Earth unless they can prevent it, except that Manon Fontaine knows exactly what it is…if she can get access to it…and just argh. Read it. I need other people to be wearing “I <3 The Dionnes” badges with me!
  • Food of the Gods by Cassandra Khaw *maniacal reader laugh* I LOVED this. Sarcastic, snarky, and a complete smorgasbord of mythology from around the globe. My grubby little paws are itching to start on some of the other authors who have done books in the same series…
  • And I got to read an ARC of Quantum Magician. It’s sci-fi, with a similar feel to Yoon Ha Lee’s, with almost impenetrable terminology that somehow makes sense – and it’s an Ocean’s 11-style heist, in space, with entire cultures playing. It’s amazing – one of the perks of the job is definitely advanced copies!
5. And me.

I’m actually doing ok at the moment, to my great surprise! I’ve been coping. I’ve been cheerful. I’m tired, sure, and I’ve had a few moments where I’ve wobbled – but it’s been a tiny one, a momentary pause and then I’m back on track again. I’ve been chatting to people and trundling along to games and doing freelance bits in the evenings, and doing scary things like going to new shops and going out with new people, and I’ve coped really well with a new environment at work and a new city. I’m cynically waiting for the crash (as this feels…weird) but it’s been nice to actually be able to cope. Is this what it’s like for people who don’t have wonky brain chemistry?! I think I’m still mostly running on adrenaline, honestly – I’m not sleeping brilliantly, so I’m fully expecting to crash sometime. But hey, I’m going to enjoy the smooth ride while I can before my brain decides to go back to normal.

So there’s April! I’m enjoying the spring blossoms, too, while they last. I hope that you’re enjoying the sunshine if you have it!

Ps. Don’t forget that you can pre-order Desert Sands & Silence, and that will make me even happier 🙂 Also, the first in the series – Green Sky & Sparks – is only £0.99 on Kindle at the moment!

Blog Birthday: Charred Begonias

Writing&Coe is 5! Also, this is Post Number 700 🙂 I think I’ve done pretty well for a random blog about writing, scribbles, geek and whatever else I feel like posting about! You guys are all awesome for reading, and I officially declare every one of you fabulous.

For the last few years I’ve done random freebies for my blog birthday: if you need something to read there are Dresden Files stories and Greensky shorts, and if you do feel like being extra lovely then you could always go and buy a Greensky novella

However, this year, I’m going to try something a bit different: I want to ask you a favour.

Dun dun duuuuuun…

(It’s ok! It’s a good favour.)

I’d like you to go to Hoxton Monster Supplies, and buy something. I mean, who doesn’t need a tin of Creeping Dread, right? Their profits go to the Ministry of Stories, which supports school clubs and mentors young writers in East London – so it’s a worthy cause as well as having some nice stuff, and it means that while you’re buying yourself that much-needed bottle of tears of sorrow (perfect to flavour any dish) you can do some good at the same time.

Also, if you don’t have Dragon Treats on hand, don’t come crying to me when you end up with half your back garden lightly charred. If you’re not prepared for random dragons, then you can’t complain about toasted begonias! Honestly. Some people…

So thank you for reading, thank you for being awesome, and thank you for getting Writing&Coe to 5 years old – and please go buy yourself some earwax to celebrate!


You know I have a huge reading list? And just got more from my new job? And have a pile of editing to read as well?

Well, I did the obvious thing under the circumstances, and bought more books.


Especially as it includes Cassandra Khaw’s “Rupert Wong: Cannibal Chef” and I’ve just finished the excellent “Food Of The Gods” by the same author and I LOVE IT – it’s an amazing, sarcastic, snarky romp through mythology and world cities and various bits of the underworld. So obviously I want more of that.

Anyway, it’s part of the Storybundle, which I hadn’t come across before – HOW DID I NOT KNOW ABOUT THIS – but the current World SF Bundle is only available until the end of the month, so get in there if you want awesome books!

So if you want me, I will probably be reading for the next….month? Year? Oh, who am I fooling. The rest of my life, most likely.