As promised, it’s the 15th, so I’m writing a little update post about how everything’s been going. First things, first: writing. I’ve been writing pretty consistently this month. I think I’ve written around 10,000 words of fiction since the 1st. I should have made a note of how many words each day. It would have been really good to see how many words I had written by the end of the year, but alas that idea didn’t come until the year had already started. Maybe next year. I’ve been writing both Magic in London and Once which are both going well.
I’m currently at 39,000 words on Once and heading into the final part of the story. I really don’t like that title, it was just something to name the word file, so I will probably have changed it 6 times before anyone reads a word of it. Still, I’m really happy with how it’s going. I think it’s the best thing I’ve ever written and I’m very nervous to let people read it. Unlike most things I write, it’s not horror or fantasy. It’s a completely grounded story about a writer who’s nearing the end of his twenties and travels to London to see some friends who he hasn’t seen in a few years. It’s also different as it’s the easiest thing I’ve ever written. It feels very natural.
Magic in London started as a writing exercise just to get something written when I had half an hour free one evening. I didn’t really intend anything to come from it, but as I was nearing the end of what I was writing a story started to unfold in my mind. I don’t really know where it’s going, but I do have some plot points in my head that are constantly shifting. I’m hoping to publish one part of it every Friday for at least the whole of 2023. Each part will be around 1000 – 1500 words each. If you haven’t already, please check it out. You can find the first part here: https://ashleymanning.com/2022/12/23/magic-in-london-whistling/ I would really appreciate any feedback you have about it. Good or bad.
With reading, I’m well on my way for finishing 4 books in January. I’ve read two and an about a third of the way through the third one. I’ll write more about that on the 1st Feb, along with what I plan on reading in February.
The other thing I wanted to write about today was going to see the musical George Takei’s Allegiance yesterday in London. Tabby and I saw George Takei talking about the musical while we were at Wales Comic Con last year, and Tabby said instantly that she wanted to go. So that was her Christmas present sorted. The musical is inspired by the internment camps that Japanese Americans were placed in after Pearl Harbour during WW2. It’s a really dark piece of American history. George Takei spent his childhood in one of the camps, and he’s spent a lot of time bringing awareness to what happened, and the musical is another part of that. The story is fictional, but it’s inspired by true events. It’s definitely strange to tell such a dark and sad story as a musical, but it does really work. It’s just as uplifting as it is sad and I did enjoy it a lot.
We saw it at the Charring Cross Theatre, which has a unique set up. The stage is in the middle and the audience is on either side of the stage, and no matter where you’re sitting you get a really great view of what’s going on and the production makes really good use of the box like stage. It’s a full on musical with big numbers and dance sequences. There’s funny parts and darker moments. Tabby cried a lot during it, as did some of the others in the audience. It’s really about how this tragic event caused tensions and division in families and how the effects of the camp were felt long after they were shut down. Definitely a memorable trip to the theatre.
After the show, George Takei and co-star Telly Leung stayed around to sign things and take photos with fans, which I was quite surprised about because it was a matinee performance and there was another one later the same day. We met them both, and they were really nice and then went on our way to get some food and head back home.
I hope everyone’s 2023 has been going well so far and I’ll catch you all again in the next update in mid-February.
Thanks for reading!