Juggling Deadlines

Been a little quiet recently. A combination of the shock of going into schools for the first time (which I will write about in itself), combined with the sheer number of deadlines that I’ve had to write to, both academic and fictional.

So, what have I been up to?

First there was the Black Library submission. For those of you who don’t know what the Black Library is, it’s the publishing house that deals with Games Workshop publications, be it Warhammer and Warhammer 40k fiction or rule books (at least, I think it deals in those since you buy digital editions through them, as well as physical copies). They opened up their submissions window over the winter, from early December to late January, calling for short stories about the Deathwatch. So, naturally, as an aspiring author I submitted something. We were supposed to submit a brief overview of the plot, as well as a short extract of the best part of the story. Whilst I will not post the plot here (because spoilers!) what I will do is post up the extract that I sent them:

As soon as the door to the waste processing plant opened, an acidic smell filled Inquisitor Ralos’s nostrils. She felt like gagging, but the need for focus outweighed her discomfort. The signal emanated from this place, like a psychic beacon calling out to her. It was here.

Captain Fervo and his Kill-team had already fanned out and secured the opening, covering both the door that they had entered through and two corridors that split off to the sides of the entrance room. The room was dark, dimly lit by a single glow-globe against the opposite wall, and accompanied by the dim sounds of machinery whirring and clanking in the distance.

“Fervo, take your team and scout the building, I require time to divine our next course of action.”

“Yes, Inquisitor,” Fervo replied, rallying his squad’s attention. They immediately split into two, having done so on so many occasions before that it came as second nature.

The two trios made their way down the narrow corridors. They were quite spacious, but designed for the use of regular humans, rather than the hulking mass that a Space Marine occupied. Captain Fervo led one team down one corridor, whilst the other three managed to squeeze through the opposite corridor. Sirenus’s heavy bolter ammunition supply scraping against the ceiling periodically as his group made their way into a larger, more open room.

Inquisitor Ralos had sat down before the Space Marines had made their way down the corridors. Captain Fervo had come to trust her sight and did not question her instructions leading to her solitude. She brought a small deck of cards from a coat pocket and tossed them into the air, cards immediately separated and dispersed around her, forming elliptical patterns around her body with a faint trail of blue, psychic energy. At the focal point, the Inquisitor sat, eyes closed and totally calm. Centred.

In the distance, the pair of Space Marine teams had started to diverge, Fervo and his squad heading for the old workers’ quarters whilst the rest headed towards the core processing plant. The level of light towards the core processing plant had dimmed even further now, the heightened senses of the Space Marines coming into their own in the difficult conditions, however the corridor had opened up wider to the relief of Sirenus. Darkness enshrouded the Space Marines, but the rhythmic whirring of machines grew louder, drowning out even their own heavy footsteps. For Fervo, the opposite was true; light levels heightened, but the whirring was almost dimmed into complete silence, only the sounds of their heavy footsteps remained.

Inquisitor Ralos reached out and grabbed one of the tarot cards floating about her, a lightning reaction catching it perfectly mid-flight. And another. And finally a third. She brought them up and looked at what she now held, the remaining cards still orbiting her form. Her eyes widened.

The call over the vox was almost synchronised. Ralos and Sirenus screaming down the channels simultaneously.


Second was Opening Lines. Opening Lines is a BBC Radio 4 show that showcases first time writers and opened submissions around a month later than the Black Library window. I had a lot more freedom with this as it was not set to a specific universe, so I went ahead with my own. However, it had to be suitable for a wide audience of all types and all ages. It also had to be between 1900 and 2000 words, so as to fit into a short window on the radio should it be selected as one of the three to be read out live on air. Again, I will not post the entire story, nor the plot (because spoilers!), but I will say that it is set in my cyberpunk universe and follows a corporate security agent named Renée (who may be seen later on) on a typical night in Neo-London. If it doesn’t get published on the Opening Lines website or read out on air, then I will post it up here. However, until then I’m going to keep everything quiet. You’ll just have to wait and see!

Unfortunately now I am working towards an academic deadline. My teacher training course has assignments too, unfortunately. Whilst not nearly as enjoyable as writing fiction, it has to be done and it shouldn’t be too difficult. Work never ends 😉

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