It’s been quiet here and I bet you’ve all been wondering what I’ve been up to.

Well, firstly I’ve been re-reading a Vonnegut novel I haven’t read since my early twenties, Cat’s Cradle, hence the title of this post.

Secondly, I’ve been drafting my submission for this. The first Machine of Death collection was a heady cocktail of short fiction all under the delicate umbrella of the core idea – a machine that accurately predicts cause of death in those who take its test. Fingers crossed my story is good enough to find a place in the second collection due later this year.

Thirdly, I’ve been hammering out first drafts of short stories. I now have five (not including my MOD2 story) in first or second draft form. The plan is to redraft them over the summer and have a good fistful of short fiction to submit while I sink my teeth into the first year of my part-time MA.

Fourthly, lots of appointments, most of them dull, one or two of them rather brilliant, all of them time consuming.

Fifthly, been cracking on with the preliminary reading for my MA. John Mullan’s How Novels Work is a rather great slice of literary criticism in the guise of a collected volume of newspaper articles. It’s already given me a fair bit to think about regarding my novel in progress and how to better tackle its narrative.

Lastly, my July post for write Anything is already up. This month the focus is on Plot. In my post I wax lyrical about the nature of Plot and why each plot (whether it be a novel or a short piece) has to be custom built for the story your telling.