As you probably know, I’m not really one to make a resolution. And don’t get me started on New Year, New You! marketing emails. This poem is more of a promise, really, to myself. Maybe make this your resolution too.
My only quest
for the new year
is to hunt my happy
I will seek out my song
and find the light that reflects
from the broken dark
I will slay my demons
with a sword of laughter
I will not seek to be more than I am
to please anyone but myself
Instead I will learn to love
every facet of who I already am
And know that is enough
My resolution this year
is to live fully
And taste every moment.
I don’t really know where this story came from. I guess since it’s Solstice today, I am pondering the nature of the festive season, and how it impacts invisible people. It doesn’t have a happy ending, but neither did The little Match Girl, which heavily inspires this story I’m, at least temporarily, naming Invisible.
Jack is as old as the wind, and a little older than the hills, and his beard could be no whiter.
His touch is cold enough to kill, so he bundles himself in thick furs and hide mittens. He won’t risk it happening again.
He can see her face even now, the invisible little match girl, lighting tiny flames to keep the cold away.
It has been a while since I joined in with Miranda Kate’s mid-week flash challenge, but this little piece – which I’ve called In The Liminal for now, but I’m not sure about that title-just popped up in my head out of nowhere. It wasn’t until I was halfway through writing it that I realised it was actually set in the universe of the very first novel I tried to write: Standing Room Only On The Soulbus. Maybe one day I will return to that long since abandoned novel, now that I actually know how to write one.
If you want to join in with mid-week flash, the General Guidelines can be found here, and everyone is welcome.
In The Liminal
When you die, there is a light. That part, people have got right. Everything else….Well. It’s a bit tricky to explain to a human, no offense, because your senses are really quite limited. We do our best to make it easy on you, but often we use…let’s just say visual metaphors. Not illusions as such, but stories, to help you come to terms with the incomprehensible.
A few of you may remember that a couple of years ago my short story, The Door, was made into a short film by BlackCave Productions. The pandemic of course, delayed the release, but now the short film – called Samsara- based on the story is here!
In 2020 I attempted – and managed- my biggest NaNoWriMo challenge to date: 80,000 words in 30 days, an epic sequel to my previous NaNoWriMo effort, which followed Malcolm The Werefox from A Tale of Two Princes. Along the way lots of fellow writers, and those interested in attempting the challenge themselves, asked questions about my process, but being caught up in it, I didn’t have time to fully respond. So in this mini-series I’m going to break down my processes step by step to help you make the most of NaNoWriMo 2021. This post is for the post NaNoWriMo slump, where you’re looking at a mess of words and thinking ‘Great, I managed NaNo! Now what?’
In 2020 I attempted – and managed- my biggest NaNoWriMo challenge to date: 80,000 words in 30 days. Along the way lots of fellow writers, and those interested in attempting the challenge themselves, asked questions about my process, but being caught up in it, I didn’t have time to fully respond. So in this mini-series I’m going to break down my processes step by step to help you make the most of NaNoWriMo 2021. This section focuses on the month of November itself, and my top 5 tips for smashing NaNoWriMo itself.
In 2020 I attempted – and managed- my biggest NaNoWriMo challenge to date: 80,000 words in 30 days, an epic sequel to my previous NaNoWriMo effort, which followed Malcolm The Werefox from A Tale of Two Princes. Along the way lots of fellow writers, and those interested in attempting the challenge themselves, asked questions about my process, but being caught up in it, I didn’t have time to fully respond. So in this mini-series I’m going to break down my processes step by step to help you make the most of NaNoWriMo 2021, starting with my Top 5 Tips to Smashing Your Preptober.
Regular followers of this blog will already be familiar with Miranda Kate (aka Miranda Boers) from my sporadic attempts at her regular Mid Week Flash challenge. You may not know she is also a fantastic, genre-bending author with a string of dark and twisty novels under her belt. Miranda Kate’s Pool of Players, sequel to The Game, is out today (1st June 2021), and I convinced her to take some time out of her launch day to come have a chat about the book, her attitude to writing, and what her favourite dinosaur is…
My Strange Notebook is the journal for those too chaotically creative to journal!
Contains creative prompts to help you get started with writing your own strange stories, doodle pages, pages to empty out your brain, and journal prompts to help you feel more confident, self-assurred and positive during these strange times.
Or you could just use it for your shopping lists. It’s entirely your call.
My Strange Notebook is 225 pages and the size of a standard paperback, making it easy to carry around wherever you go. The pages are fully bound so they won’t fall out, however rough you are with it.
“You look at the prompt, think “oh, that’s daft!” then think “Yes, but…..” & have a go, and accept the challenge, & lo & behold, you’re scribbling something! We all need a kick up the backside sometimes!”
“I really love this note book. Beautifully designed, very well made and the small touches, such as the creative prompts really make it stand out.”
“It’s chunkier & thicker than I expected & beautifully designed inside. I love it.”
Is A Moment a piece of flash fiction? Is it a scene in a much longer story? Is it a poem trapped in a cage of prose? I’ve no idea. But sit with me a moment and I’ll tell it to you, and you can decide.
Barefoot, she stands in the snow under the neon orange light of the lamppost, fingerless gloves hanging in tatters to hands that are gnarled by years of toil. She draws on the damp toothpick roll-up ferociously, drawing the thin blue smoke into her lungs as if it can warm her from the inside out.
Flow around the challenge in your path.
Wear a trail for others to follow,
Or take the path of least resistance.
Rise above everything sometimes.
See the world from a higher perspective.
Rain down and bring life,
Or wash things clean to start again.
Persist, despite everything.
Wear the mountain down into sand
With gentle, lapping waves.
Be still sometimes.
I realised halfway through writing this that this isn’t the first time I’ve used these particular monsters in a story and although I didn’t set out to I’ve almost written a continuation/sequel to the original here- hence this story being called The Show Must Go On (Encore).
The Show Must Go On (Encore)
Like most beasts, they are docile enough if you keep them well fed. It’s when they get hungry that they become aggressive, and then you really don’t want to be cornered by them.
She can feel me watching her. Her unease has been rising steadily over the 20 minutes I’ve been tracking her, I can hear her heart speeding up, her breath catching a little, the pulse in her delicate, delicious neck throbbing a little faster from all the way across the street, 50 yards or so behind her.
[Note, Red is a twisted fairytale, but it is not intended to be read by children. May also be a little NSFW, depending on the work.]
She buttoned her dress slowly; gnarled fingers, stiff with arthritis, struggling over each wooden button. It wasn’t the dress she had been wearing when she met him – that had been lost somewhere over the decades, a casualty of either the children or grandchildren playing dress up, perhaps, or else of the moths. It was similar though, pale yellow and button down, though the body it wrapped itself around was much different.
He probably wouldn’t notice the similarity anyway, men rarely noticed things. Over their many years together, she had changed many times – her hair, her body shape, her face, even the way she walked. He had never remarked on it. Perhaps that was just his way of being sensitive. Or maybe it was denial.