Monday, September 14, 2009

Deathless Extract

Thought it was about time I got in the saddle again.

An extract of my novel did get printed in the magazine 'One Eyed Grey' it looks very nice. Only problem is in the contents page they gave me the wrong name! I am called Richard Woodward instead of Woodhouse. Rather frustrating. I have agreed to do some readings at the up and coming Ghost Week through the mag. so perhaps that will be of more use. I've ben very busy doing stuff for the East Dulwich Writers Collection and being on Jury service. I'll post more about both of those soon.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Deathless update 01

Well, the London magazine - One Eyed Grey - is featuring an excerpt from the book in its July issue. Which is nice. And Lulu have just contacted me to say they have chosen the book to go on the market place at Which is also nice. So things are ticking along.

I have been fighting off some virus (other than the usual) for the last couple of weeks so energy levels low and no writing to speak of. However this week I have been able to sort out the time line of 'Mr. Reed' and write more.

I hope to start recording the Deathless pod casts next week. Though I am concerned about the gastroscopy I am having done on Wednesday. I gather its not very pleasant. The doctors are just checking I have no intestinal bleeding. I think its very unlikely I have.

Never realised what a minefield web hosting is until today. I wanted to get a proper domain name etc. But its all so confusing I think I'll stick with my ISP free one for now.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Deathless is here

At long last I have managed to make my first novel, Deathless, good enough to be available to the public. Get it through the publish-on-demand provider, lulu. Follow the link on the right and buy it!

Deathless has not yet been picked up by any established publishers. The time has come for a second round of sending the manuscript out I guess. An onerous task. I have had an encouraging email from Macmillan new writers scheme but have yet to hear anything concrete yiegh or niegh. And the London Publication 'One Eye Grey' look like they may include an extract in their next issue. Fingers crossed.

On my website I now have a trial recording of the opening of the book. It is my intention to read the entire novel and put on itunes as a podiobook. If I release one a week it will take about a year to complete. Now I have sussed out all my recording equipment I just need to record the first four episodes. If the response to those is good then I'll carry on. It may not make me any money, but it should raise my profile.

I have stalled somewhat with my new project 'Mr.Reed' as I have been pondering on it. The voice I originally used for the piece now seems overblown. I wanted to bring in a Gothic tone but now feel I have gone about it the wrong way. This means even more rewriting!

The other thing that has been delaying me is the need too write an account of events from Louise's perspective. This has been quite a challenge because obviously its female. hope I can pull it off. After reading 'Lucky' by Alice Sebold for inspiration I have begun to write. Though the content of Lucky bares little resemblance to Mr Reed, the tone and style have been helpful. It occured to me how my novel is almost the reverse of Seblod's memoir. Her life was completely altered by meeting a bad man, in mine Lousie's life is altered from meeting a good man. Though so different there are resonances. Watch this space...

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Three Months Post Treatment

It is hard to believe so much time has passed. I feel guilty not keeping the blog going more regularly despite having little to say either medically or regarding Prometheus. However, there are few thing worth mentioning now.

I'll put the medical matters here and the writing ones in a separate post. I saw my liver specialist today and gained a better understanding as to where I am. He confirmed that my recent fibroscans show that I have scarring of the liver. However, combined with my normal blood results he does not feel it is severe and puts it in the 'A' category on what's called the Child Pugh score (see

This comes as no surprise as someone who has had Hep for 30+ years. He did say that when you get in the 'B' category they begin to consider liver transplant. I asked was this inevitable. He confirmed it was. As to how long my damaged liver will last it is clearly hard to say. He said the average would be around ten years. Perhaps if I'm lucky I'll reach 65. Then it will be time for a change of liver. I asked how long that new liver would last, again he said about ten years.

As for Hep C treatment. There is nothing they can do at present. There are new drugs coming through which should be available in three years or so, but they only have a 30 percent success rate at the moment. Will it be worth the heartache? How many more years will it really gain my worn out liver? Well I'll have to make that decision nearer the time. I was hoping for a viral load test, but he said it would not be worthwhile. Apparently the level of the Hep C virus has no bearing on the progression of the disease; unlike AIDS. This explained to me why they stopped treatment even though my viral load had dropped so much. Unless its at zero its not worth a lot apparantly.

All that said. I have to admit to feeling better than before I went on treatment. Its been years since I have had such a clear head and such sustained energy. I have to admit to being pleased. It is one of the reasons I have achieved so much with my writing recently (see next post). Of course it comes with the fear that it will not last or is an aberration. While it is here though I intend to enjoy every minute.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Feeling Better

What a relief it is to not take the interferon and ribaviron. My energies are returning more every day and my brain beginning to stutter into life. Hooray. Got a well timed email from my Chinese Medicine Practitioner and have arranged to see her on Feb 2nd. She will put me back on track. TCM has been very helpful to me combating Hep C over the years and I hope it will aid me in my quest to keep my viral load down as low as it is now. A viral load of 200,000 may not be good enough for the docs but if I can keep it down to anything like that level I'll be a happy man. I am lucky the Yuan Clinic is so close. (see link)

As for writing, I have printed off the whole of Mr Reed with a view of reading the whole thing prior to starting work on a Second Draft. Naturally, I have still been thinking about Prometheus and intend to develop detailed character backgrounds on the main characters. I want them really be grounded in me before beginning to write. I'll post the backgrounds here.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

End of Chapter One

Well, that's it then. Treatment is over. I saw my nurse, discussed all the ins and outs and, despite my viral load steadily reducing, my Log Number was way too low. As their Hep C expert said in his email, 'continued treatment would be futile.'

Having invested so much in this process I am naturally very disappointed. I recall at the beginning of researching Prometheus the issue of false hope arose. Now I understand it more deeply. It is odd how the mind creates all these unrealistic expectations. Even since finishing treatment I have had thoughts saying, 'The viral load is really low, perhaps I can clear it completely without the drugs from here, that would be one-in-the-eye of the doctors.' I guess its good to be positive, but one wonders where madness lays.

Now, I need to be monitored to see what the long term effects of this treatment will be. At least I have learnt this form of treatment is of no benefit to me. Of course, there are rumours of new treatments coming along that may help me. I expect at some point in the not too distant future I will be going through all this again. Dare I hope for a positive outcome someday? As Chris commented, this is only success postponed. Though I am aware my age is against me.

Speaking personally, I just want to get my life back. This difficult process has made me value living much more. It is clear my health is unlikely to ever improve much. This is the fittest I will ever be, so I need to enjoy it while I can. As long as my liver holds out I am determined to experience and enjoy this world.

As for the blog, I feel this is only the end of Chapter One. I will concentrate on the development of the novel until the new treatments come along. My normal Hep C state is at least better than being on Interferon, so hopefully I should begin to write more. Completing 'Mr. Reed' and 'Prometheus' has become even more important for me. They will be something worthy of leaving behind.

To everyone who has read and commented on the blog so far. Your support has been invaluable. I cannot express how grateful I am for it. I will try to continue to make the blog of some interest to you.

May Fate be kind to you all and Evolution bless your offspring.

This is not The End my friends.