- Shadows & Ink: Ed's Weekly Newsletter
- So this is the New Year, but I don’t feel any different
So this is the New Year, but I don’t feel any different
Shadows & Ink 2024-01-12
Happy New Year!
(Still allowed to do that until the end of January. Honest.)
Okay, so before I get stuck into the usual stuff, let’s start at the start.
#New Year News
First, Inside Ed’s Head is dead. It’s now Shadows & Ink. Wooo! It’s all spooky!
Second, I’ve left Substack. Why? Well, I’ve been using Substack for at least five years but I’ve been a bit uneasy over who has been boosted and monetised on the platform in that time. Then some stuff came out just before Xmas, where it’s revealed that actual nazis are using their platform. I’m not talking “a bit Brexity” or “your MAGA uncle”, these are people with swastikas on their pages which actively praise Adolf Hitler. The only real defence being the usual free speech nonsense.
One of my favourite newsletters, Platformer, has a better and more authoritative take on it than I could ever express:
I’m a bit sick of platforms going to ess aitch one tee, see Twitter, so they’re welcome to their platform and their lack of moderation because I’m going to express my free speech and bugger off elsewhere. Initially, I’ve migrated from Substack to an alternative provider called Beehiiv. Hopefully it’ll be a seamless experience, but apologies if anything goes wrong in the meantime! If it doesn’t work, then there’s a self-hosted version called Ghost, which might work, or I could use my existing MailerLite to handle it. I like trying out new stuff, though, so let’s see how this one works. At some point this year, I’m going to waste a ton of time retooling a lot of my stuff to work better for me, but that’s not now because I’ve got two books to finish by March. And I’m spending a lot less time on social media and more on things like this, which I enjoy more.
Third, the newsletter will come out on Sundays, rather than Mondays. Hopefully this will be a better day for you to read and enjoy my drivel.
Now, back to said usual drivel!
So many Christmas songs, but so few about the New Year. There’s this, there’s the band The New Year (who are fantastic), there’s Auld Lang Syne and I can’t think of anything else. But it’s a cracking tune:
Hope you like that – I was supposed to see them in March (I think!), but the singer either had covid or knackered his voice – can barely remember my name, more on that later. Hopefully the gig will be rescheduled. Hopefully.
#Last (few) Week(s)
I was supposed to do a newsletter this Monday, but I wasn’t well. I seem to get a brutal cold once a year and that seems to be in January. And it hit hard on Sunday after threatening to just bugger off with a whimper – maybe climbing Arthur’s Seat on Saturday after walking the dogs up the hill down here maybe pushed me too hard.
Anyway, today’s (Friday) the first day I don’t feel like death, so here’s me starting it by doing big-boy work like migrating to beehiiv and typing out this newsletter…
I had some time off over Xmas and it’s never restful, is it? Or restful enough. Back to work last Tuesday and Marshall 5 is hitting hard, up to over 40,000 words vs a target of 90k, so on track to finish it this month, which looks like a publication date of, say, 30th April. I’m not putting it up on preorder until it’s done. I’ve lost four days writing this week, but I’m trying to roll with punches rather than push myself too hard, like I usually do.
I’m full of New Year’s Resolutions this time – stuff like using my phone A LOT LESS, giving myself proper breaks, all of that stuff. New Year, New You and all that rubbish.
How’s the book reading, you ask? Well, I think it’s pretty solid. It’s maybe more of a book end to books 3 & 4 as much as it is a new start, but hey – that’s series fiction, isn’t it? Maybe one day I’ll write a low-continuity series like the Reacher books. Maybe.
My plan for this week is to get some serious writing done. I’d love 20,000 words, but I’m sure it’ll end up lower than that. A couple of appointments this week will curtail that, so maybe I’ll have to burn the candle a bit in the evenings to get some progress. Anyway, that’s for next week!
I want to add this section to give a few things to recommend, so I’ll start with some books.
Book-wise, I’m trying to read away from crime as it melts my head a bit when I’m writing so much of it. I just finished Cesca Major’s Maybe Next Time, a sort of romantic comedy take on the Groundhog Day time loop troop. It had a few hard emotional punches, but the real strength for me was how well it nailed the publishing world…!
Next up, I’m going to finish the Age of Madness trilogy by Joe Abercrombie. His First Law trilogy is in my top ten books ever (a bit unfair given it’s three books totalling about 650,000 but then again poor Peter F Hamilton gets the same treatment for Night’s Dawn and that’s 2.4m words), and it’s been a few years since I read book 1. Hopefully it won’t be too hard to pick this one up – nobody writes a big meaty character-driven epic like him.
Finally, I had intended to do a review of 2023 over the Xmas break, but I couldn’t be bothered. I’ll probably do it as part of next week’s missive.
Have a good Sunday and I’ll see you next week. Let me know if you enjoyed this slightly longer format?