My Writing Year – 2016


The updated catalogue:


As I did for 2015, I gave myself ten targets for 2016:

1.   Publication of A Life of Choice – Part One

2.   Production of Codename: Koki by Malcolm Beadle

3.   Revision of each of my novels.

4.   Publication of A Time for Courage: and other military stories

5.  Produce artwork to accompany Whisper Wood, my submission for the IASD Children’s anthology

6.   Produce a short story for the next themed IASD anthology

7.  Produce one of my present novels as a paperback using CreateSpace

8 Ongoing maintenance and improvement of the IASD website / blog

9.   Read and review more titles from the IASD catalogue

10. Support of the IASD members in whatever capacity I am able


How did the reality match up to the good intentions?


In terms of writing it’s been a year of the series for me, and apart from those mentioned, I’ve been working on Beyond The Law: Consequences, which will bring the trilogy to a close. I found writing a sequel a daunting task, but the final part of the story is proving more of a challenge. I aim to produce the book in early 2017.


1.  I created the artwork to accompany my poem Whisper Wood for the IASD Children’s anthology.

2.  I revised and heavily edited my published work which took between two to three weeks for each book.

3.  In conjunction with the other Admins, I made a few visits to the IASD blog/website to update and keep members abreast of our news. The Featured Author will be continuing in 2017.

4.  An unexpected occurrence was becoming the mentor for a newbie erotica author. I read the debut title and found the story and writing failed in several areas. The few public reviews were praising the story, but none were justified in my opinion. Instead of damning the book publicly I left a comment on another reader’s review.

The story author got in touch and was keen to know more. I told him I wasn’t an expert, but his work needed more substance. At his request I provided a critique of the story. He pulled the book from Amazon, reworked it and sent it to me for a second opinion. It was much improved and he’s now working on his next title.

5.  I was the beta reader for a couple of our IASD authors, and I read and reviewed several books by members.

barn-owl-96.  I’ve taken brief breaks by drawing and by updating my Tom Benson Author website and my Creative Writer and Artist website.snowy-owl-004


In certain areas I achieved more than I expected, but there were casualties in my battle-plan.


1.  I spent two months revising and editing Codename Koki for Malcolm Beadle, but it appears my mix of honesty, integrity, and expectation were too much. I haven’t heard from Malcolm for a few months, but I’m sure he’s working on the story and other projects.

2.  I have yet to create a paperback, so perhaps 2017 will be the year for me to try CreateSpace.

Blogging A to Z 20164 . On the social scene I had a timely reminder I am not a blogger who writes, but a writer who blogs. I entered the 2016 A to Z Challenge with the best of intentions, but after a few days I abandoned the attempt. Having completed the challenge before, I recalled many hours spent responding and reviewing and in honesty, I couldn’t justify the time. I had difficulty maintaining an interest.


5.  Among my aims I wanted to cut down on casual social networking, and concentrate on reading and writing. I’ve been true to my goals for most of the time. This year I’ve tried to strike a balance. Not many reviews will have been seen from me because I’ve dipped into my TBR, but I’ve also read from my large collection of paperbacks.

I have an allegiance to the Indie Author Support and Discussion group, and it will remain the exception to my personal rule about social media visits.

Exposure of my writing has been assisted by my monthly ‘Freebie’ weekends on Amazon. I’ll be continuing my monthly giveaways in the coming year.

What do I have planned for 2017?

Once again my year will be dominated by ‘series’ but I’ll give more detail in my first blog post of 2017. I have an ambitious number of titles lined up for completion. A lot of the groundwork is laid and I continue to work across titles

Retirement late in 2017 means I’ll devote more time to my passion, and to my renewed interest in cycling, which is where I do a lot of my thinking and scene setting.

As always, thank you for your time, and comments.


H is for … handing over


H is for … handing over ….

I’m handing over the reins to the rest of the participants in the April A to Z Challenge 2016.


When I completed my first attempt in 2014, it was hard work, because I had nothing prepared in advance. My topic was ‘writing’ and the whole idea of the month-long challenge drove me on. I completed the alphabet and, met some great people.

I didn’t attempt the challenge in 2015, mainly because I had too many projects underway.

This year once again I had work in progress, so I prepared all my posts in advance, having already chosen to write about natural history – another topic close to my heart.


Why stop now?

As I’ve said before, I have a blog, but I’m not a blogger – I’m a writer who blogs. This site is a platform to me and, not as it is to some people; a website based journal.

I don’t give up on things, but my heart is not in this challenge. I’ve had a handful of people stopping by to ‘like’, or even comment, but if I continued I’d be doing so for the wrong reasons. I’d feel uneasy and, insincere.

I’ve been following eight other participants, and instead of enjoying the experience, my assessment is – I’m losing writing time each day. It would make no difference how many people I followed, because it feels like a task – which it should not.

If I visit a blog, I leave a meaningful comment. I cannot honestly go from one to another and write ‘Good post’ and move on. It would be the equivalent of leaving ‘Good story’ as a book review on a novel.


This will be my final post in this challenge and, I’ll get back to my writing.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you if you’ve been one of the few who’ve paid any visits to my blog over the early part of the challenge.

I don’t harbour any negative feeling regarding the challenge, but, I believe this second attempt has proven to me it’s not for me. I did it once, enjoyed it and, I’ll leave it there.


I apologise to you Damyanti for dropping out, but I did start out with the best of intentions.

As always, I will respond to any comments and, for now, I’ll leave you all to get on with your next posts.