It has been a busy year. 2016 has flown by; the last couple of months in particular seem to have disappeared in the briefest of flashes.

My NaNoWriMo adventure in November was again successful, although I was unable to blog about the latter stages and my ultimate victory due to my website breaking. For the last few weeks I managed to get it to the point whereby visitors could access the site (albeit without any plugins working), and it was only once I was off work for Christmas that I had a chance to sit down and figure out what was wrong, tinker, and finally fix things so I can be writing this post right now. And with that, here are a few updates of what’s been going on.

The Fire That Scorched The Sky

My story for NaNo this year is one that I feel incredibly close to. It’s an idea I originally had long ago, an idea that grew and matured at an unbelievable rate when I visited Norway a few years ago and glimpsed (twice) the Northern Lights. I don’t think anything in nature has ever had quite the same impact on me.

Now, while the story is complete, and I have over 50,000 words, The Fire That Scorched The Sky is far from ready. NaNo was harder this year. I was busier. The plot was less planned out in my head. It needs work, but I feel that the core tale that I wanted to tell has come through as planned. This means that it will be worth the work. I will keep you updated on this one.

Cue laugh track! ‘Secrets’

In mid-November I received some rather nice news: my short story ‘Secrets’ had been selected as part of Tethered by Letters’ Dually Noted group-writing project. The entry conditions are simple: it is a 500-word (max) short story, and each one has to start with the sentence “Cue laugh track”. New submissions can build on previously published sections (which mine did a little), but can take any form the author wants. ‘Secrets’ was published as the 5th instalment of this project. Woohoo!

Dreams and Mirrors

A while back, I started thinking about dreams and what they could be telling us. I also came across a Japanese legend on Pinterest that has stuck with me ever since. It formed the basis of a new idea, one which is now realising itself as my new work in progress. More details on Dreams and Mirrors is coming soon…

The Magic of Christmas

Finally, my first novel, The Magic of Christmas has been up on Amazon since the end of October. It has been selling well through the Kindle Store. In November, I signed up with Createspace so that I was able to add on-demand paperback printing, too, so there are now real, physical copies of my book floating around in the world. As a new author, this feeling is incredible. It is encouraging and heartening, and I hope many more will follow!

Chris Phethean is a writer and blogger. He is working on a range of sci-fi, fantasy and adventure stories, and dreams of writing interactive narratives for video games. Find him on and Twitter.
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