Just An Update

Hi there friends! As I’ve mentioned in my newsletters, I’ve been working on some old short stories I wrote while in high school. That was a good 26 years ago now since I finished up there – and more for some of them, since they were written between 1987 and 1989! Here’s a quick update on my progress, and a little news on a few other matters!

I usually used to make and keep copies of the essays and compositions I wrote for English (and Afrikaans) class, and so there is a bit of a collection! Language was my forte’ at school – unlike maths – or to be more precise, algebra. How are my skills at algebra? Well, let’s see now…

If an apple takes a bus at 10:30 from Hinton, what time will it arrive in York on Thursday if it is raining? Purple!

Yeap – that’s pretty much what algebra sounded like to me. Gibberish!

Anyway, the pile is surely but steadily growing smaller – and no, I’m not kidding – there IS a pile! Old hand-written notes – and the occasional typed (that’s right, not printed – TYPED) copy decorate my writing desk, and seem to generate even more dust than they came out of the box with! (Yes, that really is a miniature hand-made book with “Caesar’s Revenge” artfully drawn on top of the question mark – yes, the one wearing a laurel wreath! Give me a break – I was 12!)

In January I finished redrafting “Code Red” (originally a composition for English class in 1988), and just last week I finished “Mercury Rising” (originally a short story from 1987 I called “The Curse” back then, but may have been thinking about algebra).

I only recently got into writing actual horror-sci-fi. I’m mostly sci-fi/fantasy and use horror elements (ghosts, vampires, etc) – or so I thought… and so, last week, I just casually sat down and finished writing a short piece (27 A4 pages) with zombies in it for the first time!

The original didn’t have zombies in it, although they were implied. I mean, what else would you expect when your ship runs across an abandoned space ship drifting in deep, unknown space, that vanished mysteriously decades earlier, and is filled with mysteriously well-preserved corpses?

Mercury Rising” was so much fun to write, it was easy for my fiancee Wendy K. Gloss (notice I said fiancee’ and not ‘girlfriend’ or ‘PA’? 😛 ) to convince me to write a series of sequels and put them out in a collection called “Panic – Horror In Space”! This she would not have been so keen to do if the story hadn’t scared the pants off bejesus out of her, so I know it must be good – in a horror sense this time, and not just in a sci-fi sense! I’ve already started with the sequel – “Mercury Resurgent“, but who knows how long it will take to finish? At any rate, I’m thinking “Panic” will come out near the end of the year – although which year is still unclear!

Kay and I got engaged on the 9th after being together for a year! March 9th was our anniversary, and so it was the perfect date to do the deed!

Also on the pile are two one-act plays from high school days: “Villa Of Terror” and “The Traitor Loyal“. Villa is based on an ancient Greek story about a haunted villa in Athens I read as a child, and Traitor is a WW2 play set in occupied Paris. Nope – no sci-fi (or zombies) in there.

Several short stories, namely “U.F.O.” and “The Sickle“, “Dysfunxion” are there on the pile too – and then also a couple of other new ones that popped up while I’ve been busy! I tell you, inspiration just pops up at the craziest times – it’s like, I’m working on a scene in one story where characters are in scenario ‘X’, dealing with ‘Y’, and suddenly a solution to a problem I was experiencing in another story – or sometimes a whole different story concept – just pops into my head and I have to open a new text file to jot down my idea before I forget it!

Meanwhile, since my fiancee’ (see, there I did it again?) has been painting a lot lately, I decided to give it a whirl too. Now bear in mind, I haven’t picked up a paint brush (the artists kind of paint brush – not the sort I frequently use to paint walls and things around the house) since I was about 8 years old, and painted barely recognizable flowers and trees on paper! That said, I think the result of my 3 hours labor is quite rewarding and even (maybe) a little impressive! “Bleeding Heart” is acrylic on A4 canvas. At least I’m proud of it, so I’m sharing it with you below, nice and big, like:

For those of you who are wondering, the next title in The Quantum Series, “High Steaks” will be out in June, so you have until then to catch up with “Prodigal Sun” which came out in February – or to read the previous four titles (that was a hint)!

Well, that’s my latest update for you. It’s Sunday night here and it’s off to work for me tomorrow. Have a lovely evening and a wonderful week!




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