Saturday, 12 December 2015

A Winning Autumn! NaNoWriMo and Flash Fiction

So it is nearly Christmas and what have I done?  Quite a lot as happens, I've surprised even myself!

To get the bad news out of the way, the third Aten Sequence book - 'Tomb of the Golden Osiris' is still in bits on my laptop awaiting radical revision and rebuilding. A project for the dark winter nights of early 2016!

For the first time this November I participated in National Novel Writing Month - NaNoWriMo.

The aim of this challenge is to write 50,000 words of a novel from scratch between 1st and 30th of November.  NaNoWriMo was set up to get writers writing and words on the page.  The goal is to get the procrastinators amongst us to commit to their writing and produce something.  Who doesn't have folders on their laptop that have the first five pages of that brilliant idea you had back in 2002 or outlines of plots? All you need at the end of the month is 50,000 words, not a revised, edited, fully polished novel - that comes later.

Like everything in life, it is probably best you have no clue what it is going to be like until you do it. I signed up, calculated I would have to write 1667 words a day and talked about it a lot. 1st November was fortuitously a Sunday, but also the morning after the night before.  I managed a whopping 469 words and realised I had a challenge on my hands.

I won't lie, NaNoWriMo does take over your life for that month, but you get to know how you like to write and when, what excuses you make for not writing and how to push through when you really do not feel like it.

With a lot of support and encouragement from my friends I made it, with one day in hand and can now call my self a NaNoWriMo Winner. I also raised $313 in sponsorship, which goes to helping keep National Novel Writing Month going and run creative writing projects with young people. Thank you so much to all the amazing, generous people who sponsored me - you know who you are!

So now all I have to do to finish 'The Jackal Code' is write another 50,000 words, revise, edit, edit some more and then send it out there.  A busy 2016, me thinks?

Watford Writers Flash Fiction Competition - 'Revenge'

The flash fiction competition theme for Watford Writers on 7th December was no more than 300 words on the theme of  'Revenge'.  There were many excellent stories entered, with some truly fiendish plots and twists.  Don't upset some of these people, I'm telling you!  So I was thrilled to have won first place and big congratulations to Steve Clifford and Rachael Muirhead who came second and third.

So have read and see what you think.

Christmas Morning

By the time the body was taken away, the poor sod had been dead for hours.  I knew it didn’t matter.  The piece of shrapnel that took half his head off had seen to that.

It was Geordie I was worried about.  Geordie, who had held the bloodied corpse to his chest and rocked it like a baby.

‘What’ll I tell his Mam?’ he’d asked with bewildered eyes. ‘I promised I’d keep him safe.’

It took the sergeant, threat of a field punishment and hot tea laced with rum before he’d let go.

‘I made him join up,’ Geordie said.

‘Nobody’s fault, it’s this bloody war,’ I replied.  I saw the CO thread his way down the trench to rouse the men for stand to. ‘Pick up your rifle or you’ll cop it.’

Geordie stood up and shouldered his weapon.

‘I’ll kill those bastards.  Then his Mam will know I tried.’

‘Don’t talk daft! They’re soldiers, like us.  That shell was fired from miles away.’

Expecting the order to prepare for ‘morning hate’, I looked around. The Captain was huddled with the NCO.

‘A cake’s been sent over from the German lines. They want a truce for Christmas morning.’ I heard him say.

Geordie turned pale.

‘No bloody Christmas peace for them, they killed my mate,’ he screamed.

Before I could stop him, he had pulled the pin from a grenade and scrabbled over the top.  It detonated seconds later. I wept silent tears as blood-stained debris rained into the trench.

His shattered body hung on the wire, lit by the rising sun.  Down the lines the German soldiers started to sing a carol; its message of hope and love too late for Geordie to hear.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for leaving a comment and your interest in 'The Aten Sequence' books. Please be aware that all comments are moderated before posting and any containing abusive language, deemed to be spam or linking to adult/illegal content will be deleted