It’s all over now

nanowrimo 2019

The final week shuddered to a grinding halt yesterday, with not a single word more written since Thursday. ‘Life’ got in the way. 

Never mind.

The ‘life’ bit included trying to persuade people to help themselves to the free download of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone.’ I’m pleased to say there has been some success so far, and the offer will still be running for almost another 24 hrs.

Back to NaNoWriMo. I didn’t quite reach my hoped-for word count of 30K, but I’m beyond 25K and story-wise I’m reaching the mid-point, although there are a few blank spaces in the chapters I’ve written so far. Compared to last year, I’m about two chapters shy of where I got to with Following the Green Rabbit, so I’m pretty satisfied.

Of course it isn’t all over. The story continues to drip forth. I’m hoping to have something approaching a completed MS by next Easter. Then comes the tricky bit. To paraphrase one of Mr Shakespeare’s characters: ‘To query or not to query?’

If you were participating in NaNoWriMo on any level, how was it for you?

NaNoWriMo Week #3

nanowrimo 2019

Well, I’m pretty pleased with myself at the end of week 3. I have a further six chapters more or less completed, although obviously not polished, and the story is flowing now.

My characters are fleshing out nicely: they have quirks and foibles and they’re starting to spark off one another. Yesterday I nearly fell off my chair trying to imagine what it would be like to climb up the inside of a cave, and I became quite breathless swimming along an underwater tunnel.

It’s been fun!

I’ve fallen a little behind today, as I spent all morning chatting over rooibos tea and biscuits with one friend, and half the afternoon chatting over coffee and stollen with some other friends. I must take advantage of the sudden sugar rush!

On to the final week…

Enjoy, fellow NaNo writers! My tip of the week: cake helps.

NaNoWriMo Week #2

nanowrimo 2019

Well I’d be fibbing if I was to say it was all going swimmingly. And, in a sense this is more prevarication. So I’ll keep it short.

This week two things have been troubling me:

Firstly, the story I’m working on is set in a semi-fictional part of South Africa, which I know fairly well, and it’s sort of present day, but there’s something which doesn’t feel right. I’m not yet sure what it is.

Secondly, I’m having trouble with a couple of characters. I can’t quite work them out. I’m still waiting for them to speak to me. I’m sure they will. I need more conversations!

I just checked back to this time last year. I was doing better word-count wise, but I can see there were doubts in my mind.

Oh and my laptop is on a go-slow. Must be the heat: mid afternoon, 34C in the shade.

Okay, I’m telling myself it’s going to be fine, fine, fine. Just go with the flow and enjoy it! It’s not that anyone but me is piling on the pressure.

Going back to the writing ‘happy place’ for a couple of hours…

Onward and upward, fellow Nano writers!
(as I said this time last year).

To which this year I add:
Relax. Enjoy.

 

NaNoWriMo Week #1

nanowrimo 2019

Okay, I can’t stop long: brain to squeeze, imagination to let fly, words to get down…

I was feeling confident to begin with; I had a bit of a head start: the main characters were waiting for me and I already had parts of their stories. Some of you might remember, young Sam and his little boat, Johannes the retired engineer, feisty Albertina, the two little aunties and shopkeeper Abdul.

So I spent a day or two reviewing and re-writing. Big mistake! I wasn’t getting the flow. No-one speaking to me, so no-one was guiding the story ahead. (You have to remember, I sit back and let my characters do the work).

Temporary crisis of confidence. Why am I doing this? There’s nothing there! NO story to tell!

But then I ran out of old stuff and started out again. Now we are moving forward. Scenes are emerging before my eyes, there is an overarching theme, there’s going to be a road trip, and I can see a little vervet monkey sitting on a book shelf. The monkey tells me he’s called Felix, but I’m not sure where he fits in yet. But he will.

Oh, and there will be mystery… and magic… and a stick fight…

 

Heads back down, fellow NaNoWriters! I hope it’s going well.

NaNoWriMo here I come!

nanowrimo 2019

But not officially.

I’m going to write, write and write some more under the ‘NaNo’ umbrella, but just for me, just as I did last year. That was pretty successful. I have the recently released ‘Following the Green Rabbit‘ to show for it!

I don’t do unachievable targets. I don’t set myself up to fail.

I’ll consider around 30,000 words a major success. I won’t have finished a new book, but I’ll be well on the way. And that suits me.

I’ll be touching base out there in ‘twitter-land’ and I’ll post a little weekly update to brag (or shame myself).

And for a little light relief, I’ll be continuing with the what do you see?’ challenge, which has recently been revived by Sadje.

Good luck to everyone who’s doing this! See you on the other side.

 

No More Stories

say what you see 08.04.19 lunasonline chris hall

In the sodium lit, neon flicking city, electricity hums.
In homes where data downloads and Netflix streams,
everything’s on tap, content feeds.

No more mysteries, no more myths,
fables are unnecessary. All is explained
by an expert, a pundit or an app.

A glorious storm floods the dark skies,
unnoticed a lightning bolt flies.
A switch is tripped. Darkness.

Emergency lights click on, generators kick in,
faces are blue-screen illuminated.
No-one tells stories any more.


From  a prompt by Hélène Vaillant of Willow Poetry
https://helenevaillant.com/2019/04/02/11001/

Closer to heaven

what do you see 26.03.19
Source

Dawn approaches. You begin your lonely walk. The one for which you’ve prepared.

Snow crunches as you advance step-after-step towards the Cathedral.

Other figures approach; they have no single purpose like yours.

You have accepted that you are one of the Chosen.

You clear your mind. Your fate is not your own.

You bow your head. You shut out fear.

Step-by-step you advance. Steady.

Your will is not your own.

Over the threshold.

You Commit.

 


From  a prompt by Hélène Vaillant of Willow Poetry

https://helenevaillant.com/2019/03/26/what-do-you-see-march-26-2019/

The Beginning is Near

The beginning is near

Is it the end of the beginning or the beginning of the end? The Nameless Civil Servant asks himself as he lifts his head above the parapet and surveys the monumental mess before him.

He, the Great Man of Words, the Top Negotiator, the One who Won.

He had been. Once.

Years of precepts and precedents, chalked up challenges and crumbled contrary arguments. But now none will do. Now there is no way forward and there will be no winner.

The only way is back, he thinks. He glances back over his shoulder at the long-travelled road, its twists and turns. Maybe, he thinks, maybe.

Could he create a bridge, a bridge from the lobbies of enlightenment which would cross over the wall and into the abyss? To eliminate the wrongdoers and the naysayers.

He shakes his head.

This is a new beginning. Over which he has no control.

And it frightens him.


From  a prompt by Hélène Vaillant of Willow Poetry

https://helenevaillant.com/2019/03/19/what-do-you-see-march-19-2019/

which I first saw on  Sadje‘s Keep it Alive: What do you see March 19, 2019

There’s nothing under the bed

Sarah Youthed @xsjgy on Unsplash
Sarah Youthed @xsjgy on Unsplash

Jerry:     Repeat after me. There’s nothing under the bed.

Jules:     There’s nothing under the bed.

                [Pause]

Jules:     But there is, I tell you.

Jerry:     We looked. We looked again. There’s nothing under the bed.

Jules:     Just because you can see them, it doesn’t mean they’re not there.

                [Silence]

Jules:     I see them all the time. I know they’re there. All over the house. Don’t you ever                     see, you know, something flash past, out of the corner of your eye?

                [Silence]

Jules:     Like ghosts maybe?

Jerry:     I don’t believe in ghosts.

Jules:     Okay. Maybe they’re from another dimension.

                [Jerry sighs]

Jules:     String theory. There was that article. Or something to do with Dark Matter.

Jerry:     You watch too much science fiction.

Jules:     That’s science fact.

                [Silence]

Jules:     Are you asleep, Jerry?

                [Silence]

Jules:     Jerry?

                [Silence]

Jules:     Jerry?

                [Pause]

Voice:   You’re next.

                [Silence]


My prompt was The Haunted Wordsmith’s Story Starter Challenge #19

 

Cepha’s Revenge

Cepha's revenge

Cepha observed the two galleons turn broadside. As greed and hatred erupted into sea-churning canon fire, she flung a tentacle into the pool beside her, summoning the sisterhood.

They came, they writhed, and the sea boiled. They pulled timbers apart with zealous suckers. Masts crashed onto splintering decks. Water gushed in.

For the humans must pay: creatures, so new to old Mother Earth, now plundered her riches and fought over them.

Cepha stirred the pool again.

Coins and trinkets emptied from chests were gathered up by eager tentacles, while sailors sank into the murky depths.

Calm returned.


Written in response to The Aether Prompt: March 13th, 2019