December 2003 Christmas Review

Web Page Progress

I will take this opportunity to wish those of you who visit my site a Very Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year. With luck 2004 will be better for everyone. I hope it's better for me, anyway. So far the 21st Century has been a bit of a downer. Both my parents were hit by a car in 2000, my father then died in 2002, and I seem to be working harder now taking care of my mother while making ends meet. There isn't much time for fun and frolicking. Anyway, that's life, and it only goes to remind me of the sentiments I expressed in “Family Memories” which you can find on the List Page. You never know when time is going to run out. However, I don't wish to sound too depressing, so I will press on and say that I am as hopeful as ever that things will improve. With the Christmas holidays to look forward to I hope to have more time for myself and for my writing. I hope we all get to enjoy the festivities and have a generally good and safe time.

After some considerable thought, I have decided to pay the small fee to my hosting company, Brinkster, for the removal of the adverts on my pages. So you should have noticed their absence recently. Another change in the offing will be to the pay system. At the moment I use WorldPay, but they have suffered a heavy and persistant denial of service attack that has made it difficult to get through to their pay pages. I will wait to see what happens in the new year but I may have to change companies or rethink the payment system altogether. If I do decide to axe the small fee to see the final chapters of my books, then I will probably replace it with some sort of email request system so that you still have to use a password. But I will see.


Mandy and I exchanged a few emails last month about the additional ten chapters of “The Friendly Ambassador” I put up on the List Page. What else we talked about I am not going to tell you. Well, if all you lot out there refuse to contribute, why should we share? Rotten, aren't I?

Remember, if you should decide to email me, use the email button on the left as it will get a booksandstories letter subject so I can pick it out of the spam dross more easily.

Writing Progress

Still no Short Stories this month and “The Friendly Ambassador” is now on to chapter forty-six. Its interesting that I still get new ideas for the story as I work through it. These ideas are not necessarily to do with the general plot, but with other events or scenes on the way. I am also concious that there isn't a single central character or relationship in the story that dominates, there are far too many characters and relationships for that. I wonder if this is a deficiency in the story, and so I am considering the revitalising of some of these relationships that almost seem to have moved into the background. I think the plot and the events on the way, rather like action scenes in a big movie, are pulling the emphasis away from the characters, and I want to pull it back a little. There is also the rather heavy decision of who survives and who falls as the story reaches it's conclusion. Any votes?

Incidentally, I have added a couple of maps of Eden to help with the story. These can be reached through links on the chapter bars that appear with the free chapter files.

See you in the New Year.

What do you think of it so far? Email me!