A cold that was a writing break in disguise?

Hello,

So, around the middle of March, a snowy, windy, coldy, all-round menace of a weather thing that the media dubbed ‘The Beast From The East’ terrorised the UK. This ‘Beast’ caused a lot of snow and then ice and then more snow on top of the ice and so on. Usually, I enjoy the snow but when the ‘Beast’ came so did a nasty illness. I take pride in how little time off from work I have and keeping generally healthy. But this illness just hit me all of a sudden. I’m sure it was linked to the sausage and bacon barm I had for breakfast the day I got ill but it manifested itself as a banging headache, blocked nose, and tickly cough, which I have only just gotten over.

With all this happening, I said to myself that I would try to keep on writing. This did not happen. Sad face.

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In work, I stare at a computer screen. I could not bring myself to do that when I got home and the illness put me off doing anything for a few weeks. I found that I wanted to write but I couldn’t bring myself to do so. My WIP was constantly spinning around in my head, which I could not keep writing and it drove me a little crazy. But, as I dosed myself up each day, the illness slowly departed. It was like my writing inner beast was slowly winning the battle against the ghastly ill that ravaged my body. Those few weeks were also a writing break. Was it one that I needed?

It appears that the illness was…dare I say it…a blessing in disguise?

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I spent weeks feeling awful and it was all just so I could take a break? Was my subconscious working with the rest of my body to force me to take a break and recharge my batteries? I am beginning to wonder because of how ill I got and how quickly it just seemed to hit me.

I am now writing as normal and moving my WIP along at a brisk pace so it will be finished soon. Within the next few weeks hopefully. I am also looking forward to entering more competitions over the rest of 2018. Last year, I entered one competition. This year, I’m hoping to enter more and flex my old writing competition muscles.

So, I have a question, have you ever taken an unplanned writing break that turned out to be really helpful?

 

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Feedback Request: A story based on public transport and giant alien worms invading earth.

Hello,

Now, I’m always on the lookout for new ideas and usually, they just hit me from out of nowhere. As they always do. One day, an idea for a story came to me on the Tram on my way to work. This involved, for some reason, the Tram, and the Rockworms, which are one of the villains from the seminal Xbox game Gears of War 2. Combining these I found myself formulating an idea involving alien Rockworms invading Earth. Obviously. Not being sure exactly what would happen, I ran with it anyway.

So, the following is the first page of the first draft of the resulting story ‘They did warn us after all.’

If you have the time, I am interested in what your thoughts are on my work in progress. Also, if you want to, I would be happy to provide my thoughts on yours.

They did warn us after all.

“Maria? Are you okay?” Shouted Joseph, inside the mass of rubble and chaos that a rock worm had caused just minutes before. Their former office was slowly crumbling around them he rose to his feet with a shake and a moan. He stood and checked that he had his wallet, phone, and keys without realising they were not of much use anymore. The internet on his phone did not work and he jabbed and pressed until giving up. He heard something rustle not too far away and remembered Maria could be in danger. His fingers caught in the rip at the side of his green hoodie and he cursed under his breath. Numerous small cuts covered both of hands and only now did he notice the dull pain they produced. He took a step forward and what remained of the building swayed underfoot.

“Joseph…I’m here.” Maria said. He turned quickly and felt the floor buckle again. Her pixie cut brown hair was the only thing above the rubble. She struggled and managed to stand up and dust herself off. They both turned see a huge gap in the wall nearby. They both moved towards it but again the structure moved. Joseph held out his hand and counted slowly down from five. Maria took quick breaths to ready herself.

Sprinting over the broken wood and pieces of rock, they jumped out and onto the pile of debris outside. They managed to run down the pile before jumping as far away from the building as possible. The small quake ran through the floor as the building died in front of them.

“How are you feeling? You know…considering.” Joseph said. Maria jumped into his arms and kissed his neck. She pulled away as he winced in pain.

“Sorry. Force of habit.” She said.

“Don’t be sorry Maria, I can be the man you want me to be. That girl from the bar, I was just talking to her.”

“How can you be thinking about that? Look around you. The world is coming to an end and you’re still fixed upon something I told you I wasn’t bothered about.”

“I was only talking to her about the football that day…”

“Just….stop. Be quiet. We need to figure out what to next. Are you okay?” She said. Touching a few of many small cuts on his neck and hands.

“If they were all one cut, they would match that beauty on your neck.” He replied. Moving her shirt collar down slightly. “It looks worse than it is. Not too deep at all.”

“It doesn’t feel that bad. It will make a cool scar.” She said.

“I bet. Maria, I am not that selfish. And I have looked around me. Look at all the rock worms have done. Bloody government, why not just give them a home? They may have been helpful to us as well. I hear some of them are fiercely intelligent.” He said as he surveyed the piles of concrete, brick, glass, plastic and whatever else that made a building forming small mountains across the landscape. The mid-morning bright and clear sky showed Manchester for what it has become. Many buildings were still intact but more were reduced to rubble. No traffic or trains could be heard, which allowed them to listen to their own heartbeats with clarity.

 

 

The Training and the Writing combined.

Hello again,

My training for the Manchester 10k run on Sunday 10th May (https://www.greatrun.org/great-manchester-run) is going very well. I’m quietly confident I can improve on my time from last year of 54mins. I also have the added incentive that if I don’t beat my friend then I have buy him a trophy. I think this has made me run just that little bit faster considering I know how he can pull these things out of the bag. I don’t think he’s done a lot of running recently but I bet his best run ever will be on Sunday. Here’s hoping my training will pay off.

Along with my training, I’ve been moving along with my writing and editing.

I’ve taken up walking to work to help pay for a holiday to New York, which is at the end of June. This ends up leaving me, after walking to and from work at a total of 100 minutes, with the overwhelming sense of ‘can’t be arsed’ mode when I get home. I’m moving myself, albeit at a slow pace, away from this and have been editing and writing whilst tired. I was worried that my tiredness would make me write and/or edit below my own standard and I’d have to do it all over again. Meaning I’ve wasted my time. But my editing is coming along well. I’ve got till the end of June but I’m hoping to get it done by the end of May and get my story entered into the http://www.britishfantasysociety.org/the-bfs-short-story-competition-2015/.

My current story that I’m writing has also been moving along nicely and I’ve written my first action scene. Now, you must understand that as I huge fan of westerns I am almost always dreaming up of shoot outs and action sequences based in that genre. But somehow, when I came to write my first ever shoot out, it’s was something completely new. Something I have never thought of before. And something I am now quite proud of. I have always thought the way a cowboy would introduce himself in a film or book would be in his first shoot out. Showing the world, or in this case the small town, exactly what he is made of when it came down to defending himself. In my hero’s first gun fight he’s defending the honour of a horse and in turn standing up for the whole town, who have wanted to do such a thing for years. A henchman to the main villain, named Bronco, is scaring a horse by shooting at its legs. Cue our hero to save the day by showing him exactly how good of a shot he is. This is first act that will set up the rest of the story. I’m looking to push the pace faster and faster from here and build up to an almighty showdown involving everyone who is able to fire a gun in the town. I may even include the women. It could turn into the western equivalent of a Royal Rumble or a Battle Royal. Or possibly Battle Royale? I’m not sure. But as always I’ll keep you informed.

Right, all this talk of progress is making me hungry. To write and eat. So…

Good bye!