Wednesday 14 January 2015

(vol 2) CHAPTER 01: “I have a drawer!”

2015 WORD COUNT = 1410 words

A couple of my posts last year may have mentioned things that would seem mundane to the non-authors of the world. In them was talk of my excitement when purchasing ring binders and notepads as well as that momentous occasion when I finally got a dining room table (aka ‘my writing space’) put together in my new home.

As I begin this year with a fresh bundle of excitement towards writing I can now announce that . . . I have a drawer.

Let me explain.

I have shelves and boxes full of notebooks and folders in various rooms, all containing projects I’m currently working on or, worse, those poor stories that have fallen by the wayside.

Last year was a good start to my big push towards publication but this year I want to step it up. There are many things I can and will be doing but the most important is Focus.

To this end I have set aside one of the three drawers in my little IKEA bedside unit that now contains the most important things I need this year.


Ideas can come at any time. The worst thing to happen to a writer is to be struck by an idea but lose it before it is ever written down. In case an idea strikes in the middle I have a specific little notebook and pen that are just for writing down ideas, whether they sound good at the time or not. Better to write things down and not need them then to beat yourself up over the one that got away.

When I started this blog I grabbed a 2GB memory stick that I never used and decided to keep everything on it. I have double backups (laptop and separate hard drive) but this little thumb drive is the main storage now for stories, blog posts, covers, spreadsheets, NaNoWriMo certificates and so on.

I also have a nice Moleskine notebook (Christmas present) which is being used for a secret project as well as a fully stocked pencil box and a couple of other little notebooks.


It’s a couple of weeks into the year and things are going alright. You may have noticed the word count at the top of the blog. I know 1400 words in two weeks looks crap but this only shows ‘published’ or completed work. So, although I’m working on the first episode of FALLEN SWORDS it won’t count until it’s posted on the blog. And my zombie short HUMBUG is still in its first draft so I won’t count those words until I press the ‘send’ button before the competition deadline.

Hopefully, as various projects and plans come together through 2015, and as I get more confident and focused (there’s that word again), the word count will increase at a more satisfying rate. Obviously my main target is to beat last years (100753) but secretly I want to smash it.


Another week at Angry Hourglass and another successful entry. This weekend’s SEEING THINGS got a Special Mention from judge Voima Oy who likened it to an opening scene from an X-Files episode. I also received several comments from readers regarding my dialogue, something that’s been mentioned over several of my stories recently. I used to struggle with dialogue so I’m quite happy that my peers have started picking this out as a strength in my writing.

(On a side note, my Winner page went up at Angry Hourglass. I have a winner’s page. Big smiles. Check it out.)

I also had a small piece put up on Paragraph Planet, a website that has published a 75 word piece of writing every day since 2008. I only did it on a whim after fellow FlashDog Avalina Kreska tweeted about her own piece being selected. With a New Year gathering to organise and the dreaded ‘going back to work’, I’d completely forgotten I’d even submitted so it was a nice surprise and kept me on a high after the previous week’s Flash Fiction win.

Of course the best piece of news this weekend was related to my main highlight from last year; The FlashDogs Anthology. Not content with having the anthology available for people to download all across the world, the collection of 110 Flash Fiction gems is now available to purchase in paperback. That’s right, if you head over to Amazon now and deposit the sum of £7.99, you will soon be able to hold the World’s Greatest Flash Fiction Anthology™ in your very own hands. And you can sniff it.

I have three copies on the way that have just arrived; one for me to show off to people, one for my son (when he’s older) and one for my mother who let me sit in my bedroom and write crazy stories throughout most of my childhood. Here’s a proper book, mum.


Before I sign off I would just like to give a big thanks to my wife.

Week in and week out she puts up with the constant verbalisation of my mind as ideas are chucked around the house during all hours of the day. She nods, she smiles and most importantly, she helps.

Since I started this endeavour last year she has somehow found time between raising our son,  looking after me (it’s been said I’m hard work) and working on the house to read through my stories and my blog posts, to suggest things and correct things, and to encourage me when I’ve needed it most. She lets me write when it’s sometimes not convenient and she lets me moan when things go south.

She is a legend, she is a star and I don’t know what I’d do without her.


So that’s that. A brief roundup of the week. I hope to get into more technical posts as the work starts emerging into the real world. Until then you should take a look at some off the sites I’ve mentioned and see if your creative juices produce anything worth entering. You can’t win unless you write.

See you in seven.

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