Wednesday 6 November 2019

(vol 6) CHAPTER 05: “NaNoWriMo 2019 – Day 6”

A lot of years that I do this, my first NaNo post falls within just a few days of starting, so there isn’t always much to talk about. Well today I’ve got almost a week of NaNo’ing beneath me and it’s going well.

Let’s see what I’ve been up to since the beginning of the month.

Day 1 – 2169 words
Well I do like to make things difficult, but this is the first time I’ve done something so extreme for a NaNo project.

Months ago I started a writing project that I liked enough that I decided to step away and save it for November. When October rolled around, I got to planning and prepping as much as I could. I was all ready to go and looking forward to where this year’s adventure would take me.

Then something happened.

I woke up on November 1st, thinking forward to my lunch break when I’d finally get fingers to keyboard and start writing. I had breakfast. I got dressed. I said goodbye to family, and I walked out the door. I walked to the end of my road.

And then a completely new idea for a novel popped into my head.

Now, I don’t know about you, but I struggle to let ideas go. When it happens, I didn’t consider it as a replacement, but something else I would look at in the future. So, I rolled it around in my head, discovered characters, explored settings, and found a pretty decent plot. By the time I got to work about 25 minutes later, I knew this was what I wanted to work on, and I flipped. And this story that appeared from nowhere on the first morning of NaNoWriMo 2019 is what I am still working on six days later.

With the working title BUNKER, I found my main character on the edge of a clearing, rifle in hand, waiting. I kept writing and gave him a father and a reason to be stood around. Then other people showed up. Then bad things showed up. And it all worked together to enrich this new world with its odd rules. 

Day 2 – 1859 words
Keeping with the free-flowing nature of the project, I sat down to write on the Saturday morning, wind and rain lashing at the house, and randomly decided to have BUNKER told from two points of view. So, after bringing a small group of people back to Bunker 24, one of these characters became my second point of view for alternating chapters. I don’t know if I’ll keep it going, or if it will survive the rewrites, or if it’s a good idea, but right now, almost a week in, its working very nicely. It builds the world easier having the perspective from one character from inside the Bunker, and one from the outside world. They’ve led very different lives up to this point.

Day 3 – 1689 words
Sunday was a busy day for me, and I only had the morning to produce anything. The chapter was a little bit of a slog to get through as it was mostly just scene setting, but the world I’ve created is paper thin in parts right now. So, there’s very little description in my description.

One good thing that did come out of if was the evolution of the main characters father. A lot of my NaNo first drafts have very 2D characters. They all sound the same and are limited in what they bring. They are mostly place holders. And that’s especially true of BUNKER which was born so suddenly that I’m still finding my footing. But when the fathers look and voice suddenly developed into a fully-fledged character halfway through a paragraph, it felt good. His dialogue and attitude immediately changed. I could hear him speak with every word I wrote for him. 

Day 4 – 1710 words
Another tough day to write as it was an inset day for my son’s school meaning writing wasn’t going to happen until the other half returned and I could sneak off for a bit.

This was also another day of struggling to get the setting down on page. It feels a little more like characters are rehearsing on an empty stage for now, as the sets are finished yet. I’m hoping to draw up an actual plan for the Bunker at some point over the weekend. This way I’ll know where everything is in relation to everything else.

On the plus side, the scene was a pivotal moment in the story as the first signs of actual conflict are revealed. I’m starting to picture the second and third acts now, so I’m beginning to put pieces in play that will carry our characters in the necessary direction of a finale. Of course, the beauty of NaNo is that it might all change again by the time I get there.

So the secondary character got revealed a little more but is still a bit of a mystery (more to the reader now, less to me). And I got to write the main characters father once more so that was a pleasure.

Day 5 – 1783 words
I managed to blag a late lunch (3:00-4:00) in the hopes that the canteen would be nice and quiet. It usually is. But when I grabbed my laptop and headed in, it was anything but. Add to that people thinking I was working instead of lunching, yet still talking to me about IT issues when I was doing my best to look busy, and I didn’t hit the 1000 words I can normally get done in my lunch break. 

Still, I carried on, getting down what I could. This scene was all about loss and is close to the end of the first part before a six month skip to part 2.

I got home, stuck on Jack Ryan, and headed towards my daily target (and a little bit extra). I’m already coming up with things that will cause a big rewrite of all that has come before as character and motivation seeps to the surface, but I’m looking forward to it. 

Stephen King always says that you find a story like a fossil I the ground. It’s already there, and you have to go gentle and see how much of it you’re able to reveal. I’ve never felt like that before until now. I finally get it. And I really like what I’m finding.

It’s all coming along nicely. For an idea that isn’t even a week old yet, it feels like I planned this one during October instead of the other project (which isn’t dead, just been moved down the list).

On a side note, I’ve been going through the NaNo forums a fair bit in the last few days, more than I normally would. The reason for this is I’ve found I’m not the only one who is having issues with the new look NaNo website. I’ve been looking forward to how the redesign was going to turn out, but so far, it’s been bad experiences for me and a lot of others. And one of the negatives from the overhaul is the loss of people friends list. As it stands today, I currently only have one Writer Buddy on my list (hello Liz 😊).

If anyone wants to add me, my username over at NaNo is just Brian S Creek. I’ve always struggled less when writing alongside buddies.

And let me know in the comments how your NaNo 2019 is going. Are you planning or pansting. And how are you finding the new look website for 2019?

Now, back to writing. My day 6 word count currently stands at 25.

See you in seven.

Wednesday 30 October 2019

(vol 6) CHAPTER 04: “Plans for NaNoWriMo 2019”

No matter how bad things get in life, no matter where I am or what I’m doing, since 2007 November always brings me back to NaNoWriMo. It’s almost like a reset now. It doesn’t matter if I haven’t written for ages, if I’m stuck on something, or if I’m dropping thousands of words on another project; as soon as November 1st appears on a calendar it’s 30 days to write 50,000 brand new words.


My ex has spent a lot of this last year getting into running as something she likes to do. She does a group run on a Wednesday, goes out on random evenings when she feels like it, and does charity runs too.

I couldn’t be prouder of her and what I’ve watched her accomplish. As the ‘proper’ running clothes began to appear, along with a smart watch, there then followed the certificates and medals. And then the distances she was able to push herself to, and the pride that showed on her own face at each step.

When she started doing well at it, I’ll admit I felt a little inferior. Sure, she might feel that she’s let herself down occasionally when an illness or injury stops her from hitting a target, but she’s just been non-stop with those stats.

But wait! No one likes stats more than me.

I watched her always pushing herself to go further, to go faster, and it began to dawn on me that I use stats to write my best stuff. Hell, using stats just gets me to write stuff, period. I can sit around for eleven months of the year, moaning that I don’t know what to write, moaning that I don’t like what I write, moaning that it all needs to be rewritten.

So how come when that November rears it’s head and calls out to me, I can stop everything and write 50,000 words in a single month?

Seriously; what’s up with that?

And yes, to you observant ones out there that notice all my past NaNoWriMo novels only exist on a couple of thumb drives, and no-one other than me has ever read them, well spotted.

But I write them. They still exist. 9 novels in at least first draft form. 

So while this year will be the 13th time that I’ve sat down and started writing a novel in November . . . 

. . . will it be the 10th time that I get to that sweet finish line? 


Every year I like to reminisce over the first drafts of NaNo past before talking about NaNo present. And this post will be no different. Though for my return I’ve made an effort to spruce up the article; no cut and past for 2019. This is a mostly rewritten article.
So, lets look back over the almost-failed, the did-failed, the winners, and the record breakers.

Brian Creek . . . this is you (NaNoWriMo) life!


I’ve always enjoyed writing.

When I was a kid, I used to write my dreams down. As I gained a few years, I started writing all kinds of things, taking what I’d watched on TV and read in books and mashing all my favourite bits together. Sure, most of it was blatant copyright infringement, but it was my way of finding my feet, of expressing myself on paper.

When I got to collage, it was all about the movies and so I switched to screenplays. I was into the whole indie scene around then, so the killer dolls and spaceships of my teenage years faded away, and instead I took inspiration from GOOD WILL HUNTING, BUFFALO ’66, and all those kind of films; real people going through real pain.

And then, as winter turns to summer, my screenplays turned back to novels.

It was while working on an idea about a normal guy who hated his job and was friends with a grim reaper that I discovered an article online about this writing movement born out of San Francisco. It revolved around silencing your inner editor and just writing shit down.

It sounded like exactly what I needed.

50,162 words

Upon visiting and finding out what they were about, I didn’t waste more time and signed up to their website.

I didn’t have the concept back then of what 50,000 words was gonna feel like to write. I judged books that I read visually; a book was thin, thick, or a Stephen King doorstop. I either thought that is wasn’t that many words so this shouldn’t be too difficult, or the more positive version where 50,000 words was a doorstop and I was gonna write an epic novel.

When I write in November, there are two types of projects; ones that I make up specifically for NaNoWriMo, and ones that I’ve struggled at some point during the other eleven months of the year and am getting nowhere with.

As I mentioned, this first one was a story I’d been moulding in some form or other for a few months but was getting nowhere after the first ten pages. In some versions the guy was meeting the Reaper for the first time. In others they were long time buddies. But I had no plot, no antagonist, no other characters. Just a scene and a pair of outsiders.

Despite choosing the idea as my project, other than those basics, I planned nothing else for the November 1st start date. I went full Pantster. All I had was ‘a guy’ is friends with ‘a Grim Reaper’ and that it be set in my hometown. It had disaster written all over it.

Despite this pissing into the wind attitude I’d adopted, it started well. I’d sit at my work desk and write ideas down between menial tasks, then take it all home, boot up the PC in the back room, and hide myself away as it all clustered together on the screen into something resembling a story, only leaving the keyboard for basic things like food and toilet breaks.

I picked up a new habit after a few days when I hit a roadblock in the story. I was starting to see further out in the plot, have an idea where I was headed, but there were still holes or missteps. So what I did was just step over them. It was a first draft and these things could get fixed later. I learnt very, very early on that momentum is the key. 

And sure, this led to some hilarious moments and real head scratchers in the first read through in the December, the most memorable being a character who was killed off and three chapters or so later was just in a scene minding her own business, very much not dead.

I did hit the most infamous of roadblocks around the halfway mark when I made the stupid decision to by a new games console. Present day Brian would have set the Xbox up as a reward, something I now do each year too. But back then I was new to NaNo and didn’t foresee how my new toy would derail me.

And derail me it did. It very nearly destroyed all progress.

But as well as finding some negatives about my writing that first attempt, I also found some real positives. Like how, when I really knuckle down, I can write a lot if the game close to being lost. With three days to go I, I realised what was a stack, stopped the video games, and knuckled down for two nights of intense into-the-early-hours writing sessions, and went from expecting to fail my first NaNo, to crossing the finish line on November 29th.

Every ‘win’ feels amazing. I always slump back exhausted, grin like the Joker, and maybe give a quick little fist pump if no one is looking. But that first one, that was real special and I’ll never quite get as close to the same feeling again, no matter how many times I do this.

Of all the things I have written or will write, DEATH IS JUST A DAY JOB will always be the piece I’m most proud of. While it still lingers in first draft limbo, I’m determined to dust it off one day and release it into the wild.

5 words

After November 2007, I thought I had finally found my mojo and the novels that had sat unfinished in my brain for the last decade would now just flow onto bookshelves. I mean, thanks NaNoWriMo, but I’m not waiting eleven months to go again. I got this.

Except I didn’t. Editing DEATH IS JUST A DAY JOB came to a halt, and any new projects I started just fell into the same issues as before; loss of interest or a complete block.

I began to think that my first NaNo win would be my only, that it had been a fluke. I definitely went in with more fear than the last time. I knew what it would take. I knew that I was my own worst enemy.

So, as November 2008 loomed in the distance, I knuckled down and tried to come up with a way to get a second win.

My solution was to right short stories that combined to make a bigger one. Bite size should mean less technical hitches over a linger piece. So I looked back through my binders at everything I’d worked on and abandoned and I found one little story that I thought would fit my requirements; THE ADVENTURES OF MAXWELL COOPER

Like the previous years’ work, it was an idea that had a worked and reworked opening 20 pages but no more. The first chapters had changed over and over again so much, as had the style and genre. But as November 2008 stepped up, I settled on a YA fantasy that was designed to be built of five different adventures across one single quest. It sees the titular character stuck in the world of his favourite novels and travelling backwards trough the series. I thought I could write it bite sized and get through it a little easier.


I didn’t make it past day one.

I’m not sure exactly why, but I’d guess that life was doing things and when that first day rolled around, I was distracted, and my heart wasn’t in it.

Thankfully that wasn’t the end of me and NaNo.

2009 - JUSTICE
50,160 words

I was even more anxious going into 2009. One win, and one no show. What was gonna happen this time?
I continued the theme of taking stories that I had started over and over again, and with Marvel kicking off the golden age of Superhero cinema, I took my love of the films and comics and decided it was time for me to write something I was really passionate about.

I had pictures and stories and characters from my collage attempts at my own comic book, and it was from here that I mined everything I might need.

Originally titled WHAT A HERO WANTS, I wanted to tell an origin story with a twist. Unlike heroes that stumble into powers, or are forced into situations where they finally become the hero, my main character wanted nothing more than to be a superhero and was close to realising his dream when a dramatic moment forces him to turn his back. From hero to zero. 

The love of the subject matter showed in how easy I found the story to write. I never had to work around anything, I never got lost or stumped, and I found the ending when I needed to. I like all the characters and where they ended up. I saw room to improve and enlarge the story. And as I wrote, my mind showed other stories in the same universe. A nice big playground to explore. I never found myself stumped and went straight from beginning to end in a nice, cohesive manner. Probably the smoothest NaNoWriMo project to date.

2010 - I AM BROKEN
57,149 words

One of the things people find difficult about NaNoWriMo is finding the time to write. When something comes up any other time of the year it isn’t too bad to miss a day. But under the time constraint, missing a day forces you to find somewhen else to write 1667 (or more words to make up for the loss.

That year I once again went into NaNo with an old beginning that I’d rewritten and rejigged several times over the years (seriously, I have a cellar full of these), but this time I had something else, something that meant I had no excuse to fail. 

None. At. All.

In September of 2010 I was made redundant and put on Garden Leave. No work, but still getting paid. So when NaNoWriMo coasted up 32 days later, I had all the time in the world.

I didn’t have the normal thirty days with work taking up a massive chunk of change. I had from when I woke to when I went to bed to write as much as I could. I was a gift and I was determined not to waste it.

In fact, I was so optimistic, I upped my required work count from the standard 50,000 to 60,000. 

I AM BROKEN was hard to write. Not physically. I wrote every day, set personal bests, and managed to be across 50,000 by November 30th. But it was a big story, bigger than anything I’d ever written before. And I don’t mean work count, though the 57,000 I made it too was impressive in my eyes. No, it was big because it was filled to the brim with characters and ideas and plot. I was layer and complicated. And things just kept adding. 

If everything I’d written before was ‘Carrie’ sized in its length, this thing was my ‘Stand’.

One thing that I found really helped, and it’s something I’ve used to assist me every year ever since, is writing to movie soundtracks. It really helped me write to a certain style and build the story cinematic in my mind. In 2010 I picked one specific soundtrack and played it on a loop as I wrote. 

Thirty days later I was done. At I didn’t make it to the 60,000, this was the most I’d managed to date, and I only had one lull around the two thirds mark. I crossed 50,000 on the 24th and just kept going. The only thing that makes me sad is that I never got to the end, even to this day, and that part of the story is still sat in my head. 

One day I will get it onto paper. One day.

15,150 words

As my fifth year of NaNo rolled around, I was beginning to feel quite confident in my taking part. Only one misstep out of four tries, and with a record-breaking previous win, I stepped up like I owned NaNo.

Of course, I had a job at this point, so that would be no all-hours-of-the-day writing. 

I changed my game and decided to fill the hole in the current collection by going back and fixing my one failure. Months before November I started planning THE ADVENTURES OF MAXWELL COOPER in more detail, ironing out all the kinks and making sure I knew exactly where I was going.

Once again, this story beat me. Again, I found myself distracted, and the story drifted away. My daily word counts were poor and the finish line moved further and further away. I tried to relight the spark gave me the idea all those years ago, but after two weeks, and only managing 15,000 words, I knew I was dragging a dead novel beside me and I decided to let go.

One day I will finish Maxwell’s story.

2173 words

If 2011 was bad, this one was much worse. I don’t like excuses, but for this one time I think you’ll agree that failing wasn’t much of a choice. With another idea from the cellar, I dived into DEAD DOLLARS, a zombie western inspired by the scene from A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS.

I say dived in but, due to the circumstances surrounding November 2012, I’m surprised I even thought about trying to write anything at all.

The wife and I had chosen to move in with her father while she was pregnant, and were looking for a bigger place to live. The space we had in my father-in-law’s bungalow was limited as was TalkTalk’s excuse for Broadband. This is in itself would have been a challenge for most NaNoWriMo participants but for me it was just the tip of the iceberg.

Add that to another redundancy in less than 2 years, and suddenly writing a zombie western didn’t seem like a priority in life. As November approached, I kept flicking between wanting to take part and thinking it would be crazy to add more stress, but in the end I knew NaNo was good for me and figured I needed something positive to keep me going.

So I began. It was as tough as I thought with limited internet access and nowhere to sit down and write comfortably. I’ll never know if I would have gotten to the end of the story as our son, who was due at Christmas of that year, decided he wanted out sooner. Right in the middle of November. 

Needless to say, DEAD DOLLARS didn’t get much further.

(to be continued . . . )

Wednesday 23 October 2019

(vol 6 ) CHAPTER 03: “Where have I been?”

He stands and looks out at the landscape he left behind two years ago. 
Has it really been that long? One minute he was right here, writing his heart out, planning on putting his stories out into the world. 
And then the next . . . nothing.
He was instead in another place. A faraway place. And the words never came. His ideas, his worlds, his characters, all stalled and trapped like he was. For all this time, the gap between these two places had been thin, and occasionally his ideas had escaped and found their way back home. But it was few and far between.
He stretches, both physically and mentally. He searches his mind, hoping that he didn’t come back alone. For a moment, when nothing replies, he feels breathless and empty. But there they are. Hidden away. Perhaps frightened, but they are there. 
His fingertips itch to get to work, yet he can’t just rush back in. He’s not as strong as he was before he fell away. He’s rusty. To throw himself into something old, or something too big could do more damage. 
Or worse, send him back ‘there’.
No, he needs something fun, something easy, where the rules aren’t so tight and restrictive. A playground where a simple spark can grow and grow with nothing but craziness and inspiration to accompany it.
Something created . . . by chance.


This blog has been a bit of a dead zone for the last couple of years, a place where words fell to the page as infrequently as rain falls in the desert. 
I ask myself how did it go from being so much to so little. 
Well, it started back in 2016 .
I had managed almost two years of blogging every single Wednesday. Which isn’t including all the extras like the story posts. And yes, some evenings I was cutting it fine, and yes, some posts weren’t my finest. But I showed up and got it done, with a big ol’ bag of consistency. 
Unfortunately though, as 2015 faded away in the rear view, taking those highly motivational Flash Fiction contests with it, I suddenly found myself without prompts, and with only my own original work to keep me company. Doubt began to creep back in. Confidence said it was popping out for milk and it never came back.
I was struggling with posting regularly, and as much as it hurt after keeping up the strict routine of posting every Wednesday for almost two years straight, I curbed my output and went fortnightly (in the process, killing my catchphrase “see you in seven”).
Halfway through that same year, just before we took our son away on his first holiday abroad, I discovered that it wasn’t the forced routine that had made me struggle with the blog posts, it was the content. I realised that I was talking the talk, but not walking the walk. That is to say that I was posting on how to write, how to do covers, and what I wanted to self-publish, but each year I ended unpublished. I felt like a fraud. 
So, it was with a heavy heart that I stepped back from the blog altogether and went on hiatus. 
Of course, I popped back in occasionally to make sure the digital flowers were watered, that the non-existent fan-mail wasn’t clogging up the hallway, and to continue annotating my NaNoWriMo journey come November. But the blog was effectively closed.


Around this time, the stress of my job claimed my sanity, and after an altercation in the canteen where I ended up losing my temper and being accused of something far worse than that, I was asked to seek help.
I spent the next few months attending Anxiety, Stress, and Anger meetings. In my mind it was a mistake, because the thing that could have cost me my job didn’t happen as was explained to my bosses. But listen they didn’t, and so I went along with it. 
Now I’m not saying I shouldn’t have been seeking help. I most certainly should have because anxiety, stress, and anger are easily my biggest problems. So I chose another reason to do it. I wanted to be better for my family. I worked hard at the end of 2016, despite coming out thinking it had been a waste of time, and then found people saying I was different, better.
I hid away from writing and didn’t think I’d ever find myself back to the way it been during 2014/2015, my golden era. But I did come back and not for the reason I ever thought. Two things happened to me in April of 2017 that knocked me down further than I thought I could go. 
Kidneys stones hurt me physically.
And the next day, my marriage hit the beginning of the end.


It was a tough few months of ups and downs. Shouting, tears, a lot of mental pain. I struggled to not let go of the hard work I’d done on myself at the end of 2016. It’s all a blur now, I know, but I remember that around the August I finally realised that I was fighting for a prize that no longer existed. I found myself stopping and taking a look in the mirror. After that, something weird happened. 
As the summer of 2017 was in full swing, the blog posts started building up once more when BRISK WORLDS, my collection of Flash Fiction stories, was suddenly shot into production and then released into the wild. It all happened so quickly. I had post after post in the build up as I planned my design and cover. Then, once it was out there, more posts followed as I chronicled my experiences of the process.
The negativity I’d been suffering from had gone away, and the end of 2017 seemed to be exactly where I’d been aiming for. BRISK WORLDS was to be the springboard I’d been trying to get to, the hump I’d been trying to get over, the wall I’d been so desperately trying to smash through. It was only a matter of time now before the first full novel came out. And the next. And the next.
Nothing was going to stop me now.
Except, ‘sigh’, that’s not exactly what happened.


It should have been a case of carrying on with the momentum.
2018 definitely started that way as I continued to post and back up to weekly. Well. At least for the first two weeks. Then it became monthly. Nothing of interest either, just weak, pathetic posts about how I was falling down again.
Then it was April, and a bunch of Superheroes pulled me back up again.
With AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR on the horizon, I did what any self-respecting geek was planning; watching all the preceding MCU films in a marathon for the build-up. With my blog parched, I thought perhaps it would be nice to chronicle the viewing, and post my journey and my views of it, as I went. It started so well as I discussed the highs and lows, talking about memories of when I saw them and what was so good about them in my eyes. 
Then, for some reason, even blogging about my favourite subject in the whole damn universe became a chore. What the hell was wrong with me?
The article is still a mess to this day. I did it a great disservice. What should have been a passion project ended up sabotaged and ruined.
And again, I stopped blogging. Again, I fell back into the showers. Again I thought it wouldn’t get much worse. I mean, come on; NaNoWriMo was on the horizon. That always picks me up, right?


Despite what ever is happening to me, November is my happy time. It’s my version of Christmas (surprise, surprise, I’m a Bah! Humbug). October is the count down, then it’s 30 days of me in a new world exploring and recording what I see. And it’s one thing that I’m not only good at, but always super proud of.
It also sees me return to post updates for just the month of November.
So why did I get two thirds through and stop posting? Why was the 21st November the last content on my blog until those garbled messages started showing up a few months ago?
Like all good stories, it was because of a girl.


As Divorce-ville was my main destination from mid-2017 until whenever the solicitor decided, I was pleasantly surprised to find a detour not marked on the map. 
It turned out that a work colleague/friend who was probably the only person in the world that I felt actually ‘got’ me, had feelings for me. And guess what folks? I realised the same thing about her. My spirits were more than lifted. I realised that I might not grow up to be a hermit, or that grumpy old next-door neighbour who never returns your football if it goes over the fence. I felt like I might actually be . . . happy!
And so began months of will they won’t they.
Now you’re probably thinking, “well bless him, he was so distracted by love, that he forgot all about writing and was just in a really good place”. 
Well you’d be f’ing wrong. Unfortunately, during the month of November, it was in the phase of ‘Won’t they’ so I was in an even darker place than normal when it came to fiction. And the novel I worked on (SHUFFLE, DEAL, PLAY) which somehow did make it to 50,000+ words, is the kinda thing you write when you feel like you’ve had your heart stomped on. I thought it might be therapeutic, or something, but it’s was a mess and should have just been taken out back and shot.
Actually, that’s kinda unfair. When things with the girl ended earlier this year (if she’s reading this, which I think she might just be, then I’m still going to the cottage on the hills) I looked back at the story with calmer thoughts and found something deep inside it that I might be able to remould into a pretty decent novel in the near future.


Which brings us to 2019 and things are a lot different.
I have a new job (still IT) which I don’t have to travel very far to. I have a new hobby (board games) which I’m loving right now. My family situation is . . . . peculiar (my mom still can’t get her head round it) and it would make a great sitcom. 
And I have an urge to write again.
But as I said in the intro, I don’t want to throw myself into anything complicated of epic, and the thought of trying something old, or something failed could also derail me. 
Luckily some chance things have combined almost effortlessly, and a project now sits on my 2019 NaNoWriMo page that I’m excited about starting.
I’ll go into a little bit more detail next week when I do my annual update on my past NaNo projects.
So I’ll just leave it there for now. I’m back and in a more positive place than I have been for a good couple of years. I’ve crossed into a new decade, and the end is nearer, so it’s time I got all these stories out of my head before they are lost forever.

See you in seven.

Wednesday 2 October 2019

(vol 6) CHAPTER 02: “Broken Transmission”


zzzzzttt . . . . . pzzztt . . . . . happpzzt . . . . . 

“—ave found a way back. If I can just manage to hold the portal open for more than a couple of seconds then I should –“ 

pzzztt . . . . . ffffftttzzzz . . . . . 


zzzzztttt . . .  

“How long has it been now? Two yea-“ 

pzzztt . . . . . “

_ _ _ SIGNAL LOST _ _ _

Wednesday 4 September 2019

(vol 6) CHAPTER 01: “Garbled message”


zzzzzttt . . . . . pzzztt . . . . . happpzzt . . . . . 

“-anged to bounce a signal. Don’t have long. I’m trapped in this place and-“

pzzztt . . . . . zzzzzttt . . . . . 

“nly way back. There isn’t much ti-“

_ _ _ SIGNAL LOST _ _ _

Wednesday 7 August 2019

(vol 6) PROLOGUE: "Mysterious signal"


zzzzzttt . . . . . pzzztt . . . . .  

“Hello? Is there anyone there? This is-” 

. . . . . ffffttzzzz

_ _ _ SIGNAL LOST _ _ _

Wednesday 21 November 2018

(vol 5) CHAPTER 06: "NaNoWriMo 2018 - Day 21"

This NaNo is starting to take it's toll.

While the story itself is chugging a long, that is also the problem. It's chugging a long. For the last two years I couldn't wait to get to writing each day. And I wrote, A lot for me. I never got stuck or felt like I was worrying about my 1667 daily target.

But this year it's almost become a chore.

Don't get me wrong. I like the story. And I think there's promise there. But I didn't plan as well as I could have, and so I'm almost treading water now, throwing ideas for scenes together, knowing that when I edit, a lot will be chopped out and/or rewritten.

I even have the regular issue where I've either forgotten a characters name from an earlier part of the story, or I haven;t even given them a name (Harrison's wife it sill called 'Harrison's wife' and I'm nearly 40,000 words in!).

But I'm not worried about hitting the target. The 12th was still the only day I didn't hit my target, and I'm not near the end of the story, so every thing should be fine.