Five years ago, a struggling would-be novelist started a blog all about fiction in general and writing in particular. He was by no means an authority on the subject and never in his wildest dreams imagined that his little side-project, which he lovingly dubbed Penstricken, would ever last a whopping five years and earn the kind of respect it has from bookworms, novelists and even teachers.
It was, after all, originally intended to be nothing more than an exercise in writing to a regular deadline. Being something of a perfectionist, I was never good at sticking to self-imposed deadlines, which meant I spent a lot of time writing yet never quite managed to finish anything. Publishing a post on Penstricken every Sunday come hell or high water forced me to produce a completed piece of writing on a regular basis and helped me to develop good habits. It also served as a kind of writers journal where I was able to reflect on everything I had learned about writing. In short, writing Penstricken made me a better writer.
However, that was five years ago. I didn’t have a daughter five years ago and I only worked 15 hours a week. Now I do have a daughter and spend almost two hours a day commuting to my full time job which leaves me with barely enough energy to make myself a cup of tea before I collapse on the sofa every night. What little time I have left to write is devoted to frantically trying to knock out four weekly posts for this blog, to say nothing of keeping up with my regular correspondence with authors to whom I’ve promised reviews or interviews. The blog has grown arms and legs and in order to maintain it, I’ve had to sacrifice my novel and short story writing; the very thing Penstricken was originally intended to support.
So, I’m taking a break. A long one. I was actually thinking of canning the blog altogether but I am proud of what I’ve created and the domain is all paid for now until next summer anyway, so while you won’t be getting any new posts from me until at least July, I will be reblogging old posts every day between now and then to keep the blog ticking over in my absence, so I will probably look busier than ever. We’ll see what happens after that.
I am also knocking together a little e-book of the collected flash fictions I’ve published on Penstricken over the years. That’s still a work in progress but if you enjoyed my writing, do keep a wee eye out for it.
In the mean time, enjoy the relentless reblogs. I’ll not be monitoring Penstricken’s social media or e-mail very much so please don’t be offended if I ignore you.
Thanks for taking the time to read this post. If you enjoyed it, why not help support Penstricken by buying me a coffee? You can also follow Penstricken on Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest and like Penstricken on Facebook.
Looking for a gift for the author or fiction lover in your life?
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Due to a recent surge in interest, I am presently committed to a significant number of reviews/interviews over the next couple of months. If you would like an interview or review, I would still love to hear from you, though it is unlikely that I will be able to begin work immediately.
You can check out our previous interviews here:
- Sharleen Nelson, author of The Time Tourists 
- D. Wallace Peach, author of the Shattered Sea duology 
- Jacob Klop, author of Crooked Souls
- H.L. Walsh, author of From Men and Angels 
- G.M. Nair, author of Duckett and Dyer: Dicks for Hire
- Georgia Springate, author of Beyond
- S.E. Morgan, author of From Waterloo to Water Street
- Megan Pighetti, author of Fairy-Tailed Wish 
- Nancet Marques, author of Chino and the Boy Scouts [VIDEO]