Re-Evaluation

Hello, hello, hello!

It’s been too long. But I’ve been in a massive rut and I don’t really think I’m out of it yet. But I think I’m getting there…

I’m doing without the 500 words of writing today, and going back to a plain old blog post. My writing excerpts wll undoubtedly be back, just not today. Today I just need to brainstorm and write my thoughts out.

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about what I’m doing (or evidently not doing – it’s been nigh on a month since my last post!). I’ve thought a lot about my life and writing and if it’s the right path for me. I love writing, and after a lot of hard thinking and doubting and stress, I’ve decided that it is what I want to do. I love it. But I come up with all these ideas and I never do anything with them. I might make a blog post or two, tell myself I’ll work on it, and never do. It’s disappointing and it puts me off, quite frankly. This blog is great; it helps me get my thoughts out there and everything, but I’m finding myself stressing out because I haven’t made a post in weeks and I have nothing to write about, so I end up forcing myself to write something, which is horrid. I should write because I love it, not because I feel I have an obligation to do it.

Therefore, I’m not going to worry about it anymore. If I don’t put a blog post up in a few weeks, so be it. If anyone is still following this blog at this point, you’re used to it anyway! So fuck it. I’ve always said, this blog is primarily for me. I love that there are regulars that follow it, and I love seeing new people on here or my Twitter; it makes me feel less alone. Nevertheless, this blog is documentation for my own sake.

So, today I decided to revisit the first draft of the only novel I’ve written. It’s not where I started as I writer, but it’s one of my proudest achievements, despite how garbage it is. It’s a little over 50,000 words – the longest piece I’ve ever written – and I wrote it for NaNoWriMo in 2012. I’ve mentioned it before. I’ve even mentioned revisiting it before, but I’ve actually started on it already. Before, it was a nice idea but I never did it; now, I’m doing it before even thinking about it. This novel, or idea or scrap or draft or whatever you want to call it (because let’s be real, it’s far from a novel) was the most work I have ever put into my writing. It made me happy and it infuriated me and it made me love and hate writing within the space of seconds. I was seventeen when I wrote it. I wrote it in a month. It’s not good, but no first draft ever is. I tried editing it in early 2013, and because I had no idea what I was doing, I gave up. And then I tragically lost all of my notes and research and world-building when my laptop broke and I doubly gave up.

I’ve not touched it in a good four years. But I think now is the time where I need to go back. I need to go right back to basics and revisit that joy and achievement. I’m not expecting to get a novel out of it any more than you can expect to get blood from a stone, but I’m hoping it’ll reignite that spark inside of me that made me love writing. I want to love it again. I want to feel proud and accomplished and productive. I want to write for the joy of writing again, not because I have to. I have anther month and a half until uni starts back up, so I have all this free time. I hate forcing myself to write, so I’m taking a huge step back.

I’ll revisit my successes and see where it leads me. And if I don’t make a post on here for another month, so be it. When I come back, I want to come back loving the game again, not forcing myself into it.

Until next time, then!

Artemis

Hello!

I recently received my exam results and while I passed, which I’m glad about, I didn’t do well on the Creative Writing question.

It got to me a little, because writing is what I love and what I want to do, so to see crappy marks made me feel a little downhearted. But we only had around forty minutes for the question, and writing theory, and then drafting, writing and editing a piece from scratch in forty minutes is very hard. I’m trying not to feel too bad about it…

Nevertheless, it’s not going to stop me from writing!

So, today I thought I’d try something a bit different. Children’s fiction!

I’ve never really written anything for children, and let me tell you; it’s hard! I’m used to writing more young adult/new adult fiction, which is more my demographic so writing for younger children is something completely new for me.

This piece sprang from nowhere and I’m not completely sure it makes any sense, but it was fun to write! The theme of Artemis worked its own way into my writing; I was only looking for a name! Nevertheless, I hope you enjoy!

“I’m not great at anything! I’m just small.” Artie said, a scowl marring her face.

The man with the scraggly beard laughed softly and placed his hand upon her shoulder. He crouched onto one knee and looked her in the eye.

“You may be small, but you have a great heart. There is magic inside you, Artie, never forget that.”

Artie smiled hesitantly. She wished her parents could see the magic inside of her; she told the man so.

“Adults are funny beings. They only believe in what they can see with their own two eyes. There are few and far between those that glimpse the magic in the world. If you always remember what I have told you, I believe you will be one of them.”

“Are you one of them? Do you believe in magic?” Artie’s eyes widened hopefully.

“Everyone has potential inside of them. You can achieve your dreams if you put your mind to it.”

“But do you believe?”

The man smiled widely. “I do. But you must believe, too.” The man stood, then, and brushed off his knees. “Remember your greatness, Artemis, for those who forget fall far.”

Artie didn’t know what he meant by that, but in that moment, she swore to herself she would always remember. She could feel his words like a bubble in her chest, and she thought it would never burst.

The man made to walk away, but Artie called after him.

“I don’t know your name!” she cried, panicked.

“You may call me Pan.”

Artie grinned widely. “Thank you, Mister Pan,” she said. It was a funny name, she thought, but Artemis was no better, though she loved her name greatly. “Will I see you again?”

“Oh, I don’t doubt it,” Pan said with a glimmer in his eyes. “Look for me in the forests.”

What a strange thing to say, Artie thought, but she agreed nonetheless, and bade him goodbye.

Pan’s words stuck with her through the years. She would often find herself scouring the treeline behind her house, looking for a glimpse of a scraggly beard. She never found him, but once or twice, she swore she saw a goat watching her.

She never told her parents of the strange Mister Pan; she knew they would never understand. When she was older, however, she asked them why they had called her Artemis; it was an extraordinarily unusual name.

They told her a story of a goddess who wielded a bow and arrow, who was fierce and protective and strong and kind. They hoped their child would be as great as the goddess, and wanted the world to know their daughter’s strength.

“You can do anything, Artie,” they told her.

Artie was ecstatic. Her parents had seen the magic in her all along! She knew from that day forward that she really could accomplish anything. Her parents’ story of her namesake inspired her, and at twelve years old, she picked up her first bow. She was a natural.

As with all my posts, this is just a single scene; it’s not a complete story (thought I suppose it could serve as one).

I tried to put a moral in there, and worked around the idea that you can do anything you put your mind to, and I hope that shines through.

I’m determined not to let my poor marks affect my confidence. I just need to work on my writing a lot more!

Until next time!

Assessment of Ancestory

It’s July! That means it’s Camp NaNo time! Unfortunately, I’m far too busy to participate, and to be completely honest, I had forgotten about it until only a few days ago. I’m currently between interviews for a new job, I’m still trying to sort out the collosal mess that is Student Finance, and I simply haven’t prepared anything. So I’m sitting this one out. However, I’ll still be writing in my own time without the pressure.

Today’s blog post is a little weird. I’m just going to say it. I wanted a meeting between the primary protagonist and antagonist, discussing ancestory, and while I have done that sonewhat, it’s not quite what I wanted. But this is what happens when you write; your characters tend to take the lead and you’re just holding the pen, so to speak.

But we do see the return of Audrey and Fenix! I’m not really liking their names, but I have no idea what to change them to, so I’ve just left them for now. This little scene would happen before either of the other scenes with the characters, just for a little context. But without further ado, here it is!

Audrey smiled widely, continuing her tale. “—and every night, Mother would ask me what I wanted to read; each night I said I wanted the ‘Trees’. Of course, I meant the Book of Genealogy with its family tree of my heritage. And you can see, sir, quite plainly, that the Great Torpia is my Great-Great-Great and so on Grandmother!”

Fenix snorted derisively. “She ain’t your great nothing, lass,” he said, folding his arms. He was clearly unimpressed.

“Of course she is!” Audrey retorted, frowning. She opened the massive tome to her name, right at the end of the book. “See? Here I am, and here she is.” She flicked back many pages, her ancestors kicking dust into her face.

“Look, I’m tellin’ you, kid. You ain’t related to that bitch. Nobody is related to her. She din’t have kids, see? And she ain’t all that great if you ask me.”

Audrey closed the book with a snap and drew herself up to almost the same height as Fenix. “Well, I didn’t ask you, did I?”

“You’re here to impress me, lass. You want your bit o’ Magiq? You gotta go through me to get it, and as far as I can see, you ain’t nothin’ special. Get out of my sight with your fairy tales. You aughta get your head out the clouds, lass.”

“You’re lying,” she spat.

“You got no idea, kid,” Fenix snarled, “but I ain’t lyin’ about this. You ain’t a descendant of her. Now go. I got others to assess.”

Audrey was ready to leave with her tail between her legs, but then something occurred to her.

“No,” she said firmly, turning away from the door and walking back over to Fenix. He looked imposing in his crisp lab coat, and she faltered for a moment, but she didn’t lose her nerve. “No, I won’t go. I have just as much right as anyone else to a Magiq power. Whether I’m related to the Great Torpia or not, I still have rights. And I have the money. You can’t just turn me away because I don’t fit the bill.”

Fenix’s right eye twitched as he grinned, and Audrey thought, for a split second, that she had won. At least, until Fenix opened his mouth.

“You ain’t getting nothing out o’ me with your sob story, lass. I ain’t got no heart for that. You either get out, or I call Jestin to make you get out.”

Audrey had no idea who Jestin was, and his name was a funny one, not exactly fear-inspiring, but, angry and humiliated, she spun on her heel and left. She hadn’t heard the next candidate entering the room, but in her haste to leave, she clashed shoulders with another girl, beautiful and fair, with the Institute’s emblem scarred into her forehead. She mumbled an apology, but it made no use. Just before the door closed behind her, she heard, quite distinctly, “Get out of here, mongrel!” and two laughing voices.

I’m going to let you figure out who the mystery girl at the end is. It’s probably extraordinarily obvious, but I’d like to hear your opinions!

I’m not overly happy with this piece, but I’m not mad at it, either. It’s one of those bits of writing that you write without really thinking about it, and when you get to reading it back through, you’re very unsure about it. That being said, I hope you enjoy it!

Happy Camp NaNoWriMo to those taking part!

Until next time.

Writing Personal *Trigger Warning*

In this post, I talk briefly, though frankly, about self-harm. If that makes you uncomfortable, please do not read. Thank you.

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When you write something, be it a song or a poem or a story, you always put some aspects of yourself into it; writing is a personal thing. Well, this is as personal as it gets, as this post is about me. It’s a little unconventional, I know, but this is my blog, after all. I’ve always said I started this blog for myself. The fact the other people read it and follow along with my writing is wonderful and I appreciate it immensely, but it is my own space to write what I please. Today, what I please to write about is my tattoos!

As you will see, my ink has great significance to me. My tattoos are more than just ink on skin. And hey, who doesn’t love to know more about the writer? I always read the author profiles on the back of books or on the sleeve of a dustcover. I love getting to know little tid-bits of information about my favourite authors.

You may know by now that when I write about myself, I can be quite brutal. I’m brutally honest when it omes to my past, and I have my reasons for that. But that’s for another blog post at another time. Today is about my ink.

Now, I love tattoos. I’m not elitist when it comes to tattoos (though I do have certain opinions and there are certain things I would never personally get inked) but tattoos that have meaning are the most important, in my mind. I only have a few, because tattoos are damn expensive and I just don’t have the money, but the few I do have mean a hell of a lot to me. Today’s post explains some of the signicance behind them. I hope you enjoy seeing into this part of my life!

When people see my tattoos, they often ask what they mean. Three of my four tattoos have deep personal meaning to me. The first tattoo I ever got is the Irish saying ‘ar scath a cheile a mhaireann na daoine’. It means under the shelter of others, people survive. People share a shadow, a shelter. You are not alone. Now, it’s reasonable that people will ask what it means, it not being in English, but whenever I tell people, they always give me a look. You know the kind; the kind that tells you they’re thinking I’m odd, that it doesn’t make sense.  Well, it makes perfect sense. I am not alone. I needed a reminder in a dark time that no matter what, I am not alone. No matter how lonely I am, I am not alone. I have people with which to share my shadows.

My second and third tattoos are just as meaningful. I decided to get the lyrics ‘the things we do just to stay alive’ surrounding the cover art of the singer, City and Colour. It was just the other day that one of my work colleagues looked at it, laughed a little, and said, ‘ain’t that true?’. Well, yes, it’s true for everyone perhaps, but there’s a lot more to it than that. Everything about this tattoo has meaning to me, right down to its placement on my arm. You see, the tattoo itself covers the majority of my self-inflicted scars. Self harm was a large part of my childhood. It’s awful and saddening to think from the age of ten years old, I was harming myself, but I don’t regret it, because I am still alive today. I am here, and I have the scars to show I fought hard to make it to where I am now. The tattoo may cover many scars, but I know they’re there; my scars and my ink alike are not for other people; they’re for me. They’re a daily reminder that though I’ve gone through hell, I kept going, as Winston Churchill once said (which is another tattoo I want someday, when I can afford it).

I also have a semi-colon tattoo. Project Semi-Colon (;) is a pretty well-known project by now. It’s been on the news (at least here, in the UK, it has been) and has had celebrity backing, but just because it’s popular, it does not make it any less meaningful. A semi-colon is a punctuation mark that continues a sentence on instead of ending it. Amy Bleuel, the founder of Project Semi-Colon, said, ‘We see it as you are the author and your life is the sentence. You’re choosing to keep going’. It’s a sign of hope and determination and strength when facing mental illness. But for me personally, it has another, more simple meaning; I am a writer! I love writing; it’s my passion. This tattoo not only reminds me of my own strength, but reminds me of what I love.

I’ve stuck to my 500-words (I’m surprised I’m still keeping to it, but I really enjoy doing it!) but I could have written an entire essay about my tattoos alone. My tattoos and my writing are some of the most personal things I have and do, and sometimes, though they are for myself, as I say, I like to share that personality!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post. I know it’s a little on the nose, perhaps, but I am unapologetic about who I am.

Until next time!

Jack Be Nimble

Hello, all!

I am a person, like many, that loves Pinterest. It’s great! I use it for all sorts of things. I make character boards, I pin writing advice and arts and crafts tutorials and funny memes. One thing I hadn’t thought to use it for, however, is writing prompts. Today, that changed. One simple search and I was inundated with wonderful, inspiring prompts. One of them caught my eye, however, and I knew I had to fill it.

Use the first line of a nursery rhyme as the first line of a dark narrative. 

I love it! If you’ve been following this blog for a while now, you probably know I like darkness and twists and I can be rather morbid. I know I’ve talked about putting twists on fairy tales before (I never did get around to that, by the way) but this spoke to me on another level. Many nursery rhymes, and many fairy tales, for that matter, have dark histories and deeper meanings, but I like putting my own spin on things.

Suddenly inspired, I looked up a few nursery rhymes before finding an old favourite, Jack Be Nimble. It’s short and sweet and holds so much potential! As soon as I saw it, I knew what I wanted to write. And so, here you go; my dark narrative, based upon a simple nursery rhyme.

Jack, be nimble!

Jack ran. He ran until his lungs felt fit to burst and he could think of nothing but the pain in his legs. And still, he continued to run. The sun had just set behind the horizon and darkness was sweeping across the land, blinding him, making him trip and stumble through the woods. He could hear them behind him, hear the dogs chasing him, their legs not tiring like his, their lungs not starved of oxygen.

Behind the dogs, the guards raced; Jack had to believe that they, too, were suffering as he was.

Jack, be quick!

He daren’t look behind him. Any moment of hesitation and the hounds would be upon him, ripping the flesh from his bones. He willed his legs to keep moving, sucking in as much air as he could. He was fighting an almighty stitch in his side. Everything was burning; every fibre of his being was telling him to give up. He wanted nothing more than to stop. To succumb. For it to all be over. But somehow, in the dredges of his mind, something pushed him forwards. His feet crunched through fallen twigs. He ran through low hanging branches, and they whipped him in the face, their spindly fingers catching on his torn shirt, tying to hold him back. The trees wanted to give him to the hounds, but he wouldn’t let them.

A burning arrow narrowly missed him. It whizzed by his left ear and lodged itself in a tree. The sudden light burned his retinas. A second later, the darkness swallowed him again. Another arrow was fired, and again, it missed. The dogs and their guards were gaining on him. Jack was slowing; he couldn’t help it. His body was screaming in pain.

He could almost feel the dogs’ breath on the back of his legs. He could hard the guards shouting, almost mocking him. Their arrows continued to fly, missing by a hair. Jack weaved between the trees, trying to make some ground up, but everything hurt. All Jack knew was pain. The air felt like sandpaper in his lungs.

And then an arrow hit him, and he fell. It burned. The pain inside him intensified tenfold. And then the darkness took him.

Jack, jump over the candle stick!

He awoke to crackling. Blearily, he opened his eyes. It was still dark, but he could see, by the guards’ torches, a large stake stuck in the ground. Guards were piling kindling around the bottom of it. With a sudden, overwhelming sense of dread, Jack knew what was coming. He struggled with all his might, but running had exhausted him. Nevertheless, he writhed and fought, but his hands and feet were tied, and three guards held him in place. He could not get away. He had exhausted himself for no reason. He wished, then, that he had let the hounds get him.

This candle stick, he thought, would not bring good luck. He could not clear it.

My own narrative is simple, but I’ve tried to capture Jack’s desperation. I could almost feel my heart racing whilst I writing, and I hope it evokes the same urgency in you.

Until next time!

Subtext

GUESS WHO’S BACK!

YES, IT’S ME!

So, it’s been about a month since my last post. I do apologise for that, but I’ve had a heck load of revision and everything going on, but the exam is over! I’ve officially finished my second year at uni! Exciting stuff!

I don’t find out whether I’ve passed or not until July 19th, so it’s a bit of a wait, but fingers crossed I’ve at least scraped a pass. It was both horrible and not as bad I was expecting at the same time. I got to the point where revision wanted to make me cry, so I gave up and accepted my fate. I’m not entirely sure I answered the questions properly, which is one of the main things they tell you to do – answer the set question! Instead I kind of dumped everything I could remember into a kind-of-structured answer… Oh well. It’s all over now!

Starting October, I’ll be doing A230 – Reading and Studying Literature, and I’m both stoked and nervous. We have eleven set books, and some (see: most) of them I’ve never even heard of, but it’ll be great to get into the stuff I want to be doing instead of topics I couldn’t care less about.

But until then I have four months off! Aside from reading the books, which I’m hoping to get through before October, I have plenty of time to relax and write for fun!

Something that came up in the exam was writing dialogue and we had to include subtext and make an interesting conversation about making plans. It was awful, An awful topic, an awfully short time to write it in… I just thought it was awful. But subtext was something my tutor said I was lacking in my Creative  Writing assignment, so for today’s post, I thought I’d try some subtext. It’s not a conversation, but I’ve tried to pile on the subtext. I’m not sure if I got it right, but I enjoyed writing this, even if it is really depressing.

I hope this is a good post to wean my way back into writing!

“Uh, hey. I’m glad you’re not in. That makes this easier to do. I know it’s been a few months but there’s a good explanation for that. I don’t know what that explanation is, but I’m sure there is one.” There was a pause, followed by a small, sad laugh. “I’m sorry, okay? I know sorry doesn’t make everything better, I know sorry won’t fix everything and bring us back together but, y’know… I don’t know what else to say. So, I’m sorry. I can’t come back. You know that as well as I do. What happened is final, and there’s no coming back from what I did, but I just want you to know, from the bottom of my heart, that I’m sorry, and none of it is your fault.

“The thing is, I don’t know why I did it. I just saw an out and I took it. I could see the way I was treating you, the way I was treating everybody. It was like I didn’t care, like you didn’t matter to me. But truth be told, you did. You do. You all do. And I think that’s why, in the end. I think that’s why I had to do it. Not to save myself, but to save you. It sounds ridiculous, I know, but there’s only so much one person can take, you know? And I know I was stretching everyone’s patience, and I know I was being wholly unfair. But I’m selfish. I always have been.

“I want to know about your life now, though. Are you happy? I hope you’re happy. I still remember that dopey smile you used to give me when I made you laugh or made your favourite breakfast. I hope you were happy with me, at least in the beginning. But that doesn’t matter anymore, does it? I want you to come see me, sometimes. Give me all the details. I’m a great listener. I hope you’re happy. Have I already said that? It’s true, regardless. I think about you sometimes, you know, happy. That smile and the way you would smack my arm when you laughed so hard tears sprang to your eyes.

“Oh, shit, my time’s running out. Uh, I guess this is goodbye, then. I don’t expect you to come see me, by the way. But it would be nice. One last hoorah for old time’s sake? You probably want nothing less. But the offer’s there. You know where I’ll be.

“Oh wait, I forgot to—”

The phone line went dead.

The phone line always goes dead. She never finishes her sentence.

That was the last time I heard her voice.

The setting sun was the only indication of how long I had been sat there, in our own world.

I glanced around, taking in all the other stones, some new, most worn by time, before turning to hers, only a year old.

“Hi, mum,” I said softly, touching the grave. “It’s been too long.”

I’m not sure if this is more foreshadowing than subtext, but I tried!

I’m hoping to update more now that I have the time, but you know what I’m like!

Until next time!

My Girls

Hello, hello, hello!

I warned you I had a lot coming up recently, didn’t I? I hope I did. In the past two weeks, I’ve had back surgery (again), a funeral, and the mother of all assignments. In the next four weeks I have my stitches coming out, a day school, revision and the dreaded exam. Hopefully, after June 2nd, I should have a lot more free time. My second module will be over (if I pass the exam) and I can devote more time to this blog. Whether or not that will happen is yet to be seen, but I can wish. I love writing, and I love everyone who reads this blog and for sticking with me, even if I don’t post for weeks at a time. One day, I’ll be better. One day!

But I digress. We have a few new characters to add to the Magician’s world! Exciting news! Audrey and Candace (though the names are by no means set in stone) have joined the world in a flurry of action. Audrey is a little ball of energy, ready to climb up the ladder to be the best. Candace is your typical ball-of-rage-but-actually-really-sweet girl, who loves Audrey to death. I love these two. I may have only just met them, but I love them dearly already. I hope they’re permanent residents in the world, but who can say for sure?

I hope you love them as much as I do!

“They’re coming!” Audrey whispered furiously, grabbing Candace’s hand. “We have to go!”

Candace glanced around the packed ballroom, her body falling into its natural fighting stance. She nodded once and followed Audrey out into the corridor. “We can’t just leave, we have no supplies!”

The smaller girl stopped, dropped Candace’s hand and tugged her dress up past her ankles. She had always hated these stuffy dances and heavy gowns, and they certainly didn’t make for a quick getaway.

“Right. Come on, then. We’ll take the servants’ stairs.”

Both girls ran as quickly and silently as possible through the halls of the institute. The servants’ stairs were narrow and creaky, but provided access to the entire building from between the walls. They quickly reached Audrey’s rooms, and burst in.

They were too late. Three black-clad, masked figures jumped back from their rifling of Audrey’s belongings.

“Ah, there you are,” one of them drawled. It was a woman’s voice, which Audrey assumed was supposed to put them at ease, women banding together and all that, but it just served to make her angrier.

“I wish you’d piss off,” Candace said, the nonchalance in her voice clashing with her fighting stance.

The woman chuckled mirthlessly. “Yes, I suppose you do. And we’ll go, once we have the girl.”

It was Candace’s turn to laugh. “You really think you can take us on?”

The woman’s whole demeanour changed. Though it was impossible to see her face under the mask, her voice grew cold and her shoulders stiffened. Audrey had the impression she was offended.

“This had nothing to do with you, sweetie,” she spat. “Just give us the girl and we’ll be on our way.”

Candace threw a hand out sideways and Audrey felt the cold sensation of a shield being erected around her. She took a step backwards, hoping the woman’s attention was focussed on Candace, but her two cronies, of whom Audrey had almost forgotten about owing to their sullen silence, noticed, and rushed her.

It was pandemonium. Audrey saw the woman throw herself at Candace before she was thrown off her feet by the bigger of the two bodyguards. The shock of being attacked had obviously interfered with Candace’s concentration, and the shield had failed.

Panting, she tried getting to her feet, but one of the bodyguards had gotten the better of her, and pinned her to the ground with his foot. He grunted at the other to “help Mary”. Struggling for breath under the brute’s foot, Audrey lay helpless.

The was a sudden yelp of pain and a crash, and Candace came into view.

“I’ve taken two of you down. Don’t think a second I can’t take all three,” she snarled, getting ready to take on the world.

The brute laughed gruffly, and increased the pressure on Audrey’s chest. She tried to gasp for breath, but nothing happened. Stars were forming around the edges of her vision but in her oxygen-starved haze, she saw Candace being thrown across the room.

I’m thinking of making Audrey the main character. I have a plethora of character ideas, however, and there’s no telling who will and won’t make it into the final cut. I’ve barely even scratched the surface with planning, so who knows? Not me, that’s for sure!

I’m hoping to make at least one more post before my exam, but I have a lot of revision I need to do, so that will, unfortunately, be taking up a lot of my time. If I can’t, I hope this is enough to assuage your undoubtable desire for my writing until then! (I’m kidding, thought it’s a nice thought that there’s at least one of you who waits patiently for my next post…)

Until next time!

Randomly Generated Inspiration II

I keep sitting down to write posts, and getting distracted by other things. Luckily, though, recently I’ve been studying, so at least I’ve been doing something productive. I’ve got a lot coming up in the next few weeks, but maybe one day we’ll have frequent posts being made…

Having frustrated myself by being unable to think for myself, I returned to the world of random generation. I stumbled across a website that feeds you a random line from a random book – usually classics – and decided to use that for today’s inspiration!

I’ve actually written near 1000 words, but I’m only going to share 500 of them; at that’s one thing I’m sticking to, eh? The line is from War and Peace, which I’ve never read and know nothing about (though I can hazard a guess… It’s kind of terrible I don’t know anything about it, being a literature student) and I’m pretty sure my Prince and his trustful servant are not what Tolstoy envisioned. Nevertheless, here you are. Like most of my writing, I hashed it out, skimmed through it and am now posting it. Editing is not my friend.

Today’s line: “We start tomorrow and I’m giving you a place in my carriage.”

James gazed at Merrick, surprised.

“You mean that, sir?”

“Yes, James. You will ride with me tomorrow eve, and accompany me across the country. Are you prepared to defend me with your life?”

“Of course, sir! I will not disappoint you, sir.”

“You had better not. Now come, we have much to do before we leave.”

James followed Merrick dutifully, the corners of his lips turned upwards. To join his master was a great honour, and he swore to himself in that moment that he would not let Merrick down.

As James half-ran to keep up with Merrick’s long strides though the castle, he glanced this way and that, trying to commit the hallways and closed doors to memory. He had never been permitted into this part of the castle before, and he kept asking who lived behind this door, of whom was that painting, where are we going?

“James, if you don’t stop your jabbering, I will forget about letting you join me. Now shut up and hurry your steps.”

James’ master had always been brazen and blunt, but he knew that beneath the stony exterior, Merrick cared greatly for his people.

After losing track of the twists and turns they had taken, they finally stopped somewhere in the west wing, near the top of the highest tower. James wondered who they were here to see. Merrick knocked twice before entering. His companion hesitated a moment before following, unused to just waltzing into other’s rooms without permission. The room beyond the heavy doors was plainly decorated, not unlike his own home. He knew the towers of Merrick’s castle housed the mages and tinkerers, and he could hear something boiling and bubbling in a corner out of sight. A potions master, perhaps?

As James was marvelling at the shelves filled with strange objects and trinkets, his master had disappeared.

“Through here, you moron!” he heard Merrick’s voice to his right, and followed it into a small bed chamber. Upon the bed was a slumbering woman, clearly nude, laying on her stomach.

“Sir! I don’t think we—”

“Shut up!” Merrick hissed, bent over the sleeping lady. He reached out a hand towards the woman’s pillow.

Quick as a flash, a small hand with slender fingers shot out of the coverlet and gripped Merrick’s wrist tightly.

“I wouldn’ do tha’ if I were you, lad,” she drawled. She peeked out of one eye before sighing. “Oh, it’s you.” She released the prince’s arm and pushed herself up until she was sat on her knees. “Wha’ d’you want’?”

“Milady, I was hoping you could provide us with some… help.” Merrick didn’t seem fazed by the woman’s nakedness, but James didn’t know where to look. “I heard tell of you provided certain services—”

“Sir!” James said, outraged. “You keep whores in your castle?”

“You little bastard! I ain’t no whore!” she said, her eyes flashing malevolently. She turned her eyes, then, to Merrick, narrowing them suspiciously. “Wha’ is it you want?”

“Speed.”

I feel like I could work this into the Magician’s world, but I doubt I will. This was just a bit of fun. But who knows? Maybe James and Merrick will cameo! I don’t know where I’m going with the Magician’s thing, and I don’t have a lot of time coming up to really focus on it. But I am attached to the idea, and really think it could go somewhere.

Until next time!

Missing?

Life always finds a way to get in the way, doesn’t it? Couple that with the fact that I am terribly unorganised and you end up with a blog post more than a week after I sad I would post more often!

Nevertheless, I’ve been hit quite often with tidbits of inspiration for the Magician’s idea I came up with a few posts ago. It’s deviated a lot from my original fairytale-type novel idea, but I’m really liking the way it’s heading!

If you can believe it, today’s post does indeed fit into the Magician’s idea, but in a very unexpected way. I’m not going to elaborate very much, because it could very well all change again, but I really enjoyed writing today’s 500 words.

I’ve been reading quite a few ‘whodunnit’ books recently, which surprised me, to be honest. They’re not usually my type of fiction. I enjoy a good plot-twisting film, and of course plot twists are great in books, but the whole ‘I’ve been set up and I’m being framed’ trope is not normally my cup of tea; as you know, I’m much more into fantasy.

However, my recent delve into a different genre has emerged in this piece of writing a little. My ideas usually revolve around some kind of journey with spells and battles and elves and things, and I supposed there are elements of that fantasy world in my current idea, but not how you would expect them to be. But I’m not going to divulge too much information.

I did enjoy writing today’s piece, and I did, in fact, end up wanting to carry on with it, and I certainly will do that in my own time. But for now, here is the latest 500 words!

MISSING.

I read the word over and over. To be lost. The posters had only just been pinned up – I’d seen someone, our local Police Community Support Officer, putting them around the village only minutes ago – but the steady rainfall had already gotten beneath the tape, smudging the ink a little at the edges. I didn’t even know they used standard posters anymore. Nowadays, everything is digital. I continued to stare at the picture, the word, the plea for help from a hopeless family.

My hopeless family.

It was a missing poster for me. I didn’t understand. I am right here! How could I possibly be missing? If posters were already being put up, I must have been assumed missing for a while now. But it was impossible! I ran through my last forty-eight hours. I’d not really done anything of note, to be fair. I’d been holed up in my room for most of the weekend, studying. I didn’t see my family yesterday, but that’s not unusual for a Saturday; mum worked a twelve-hour night shift at the university lab on the Friday, testing the latest strand of Magiq, and spent most of Saturday sleeping, and Sarah usually went to see her girlfriend all day. I saw mum this morning, though, I know I had!

I didn’t talk to her, and she didn’t see me – she was late for her yoga, like always on a Sunday morning. But I had seen her – I lived in the same damned house as her, how could she think I was missing?

My head started to ache and I was shivering. The rain was coming harder now, as though it was reacting to my turbulent confusion. I looked around quickly; I wasn’t sure how long I had been stood, staring at the poster, but it suddenly occurred to me that to someone looking at me from a window, I was stood stock still in the rain, staring at a lamp post.

Slightly embarrassed, it took me a moment to remember what I had been doing before I found out second-hand that I was missing. I thought hard, but the shock of my discovery must have overwritten my previous actions. All I knew was that I had to clear this matter up. I couldn’t comprehend how this had happened, but all I had to do was speak to my mother.

I drew my phone from my pocket, pulled up my mum’s number and hit ‘call’. Nothing. My service bar was full, but there wasn’t even a dial tone. I frowned and tried again. I waited but there was just silence. Huffing, I decided instead to call my sister. Once again, I was greeted with silence.

If I couldn’t call them, maybe I should call the police? I looked around the street again, but the PCSO had disappeared. I pulled a packet of cigarettes from my pocket, lit one with difficulty in the rain, and set off down the street to find the police officer.

I have very little knowledge surrounding missing persons and the police, I’ll admit, but for the most part, this is just a small piece of a much larger puzzle. I feel that the police themselves won’t have a huge role in the story, but who knows? Even I don’t know. I’m constantly changing my mind, scrapping ideas and coming up with new ones. I’ve learned not to become too hung up on any one idea, at least until I get a solid foundation set.

I do want to apologise once again for being very unorganised and not keeping to my word about updating more frequently. The coming weeks are going to be quite busy for me, but I do hope, in the long run at the very least, to post more often. I need to keep up with my writing, after all, and this idea might just give me the motivation to do that!

Until next time!

Randomly Generated Inspiration

Hello all!

I am incredibly sorry for my absence of late. If you follow my Twitter,  you’ll already be aware that I took a fall at work and hurt my ankle. Being the klutz that I am, I fell down the stairs and severely sprained it.

I’ve also had an incredibly inane and long-winded group assignment to participate in, which is now, thankfully, complete. Between that and the pain of my ankle, I’ve had a very hard time concentrating on anything, but I’m back now! I’m healing slowly, and had my first day back at work today (though I avoided the stairs at all costs).

I always feel terrible when I don’t write for an extended period of time, and even worse when I don’t put up a blog post. This blog is first and foremost for myself, but I know there are people following this blog (yes, I see you! Hello!), and it makes me happy inside to know that you enjoy my writing.

But I digress! Having been unable to concentrate, I’ve not really thought about things to write about, and I’ve been debating with myself for a few days now, but then I had a thought. I often look for writing prompts, and most of the time, none of them really stand out to me, usually being something along the lines of ‘write about a holiday’ or something basic. So, instead, I decided to try something different.

Whenever I’m lacking inspiration, or just want to mix things up a bit, I’m going to grab a book from my shelf, use a random number generator to give me a page and a rough line, take the nearest sentence to that line, and use it as a basis for 500 words. I might continue on from that sentence, I might just use it as inspiration. It doesn’t matter whether or not I know the book or it’s characters (I have MANY books on my TBR list), because it’s purely inspiration; I’m not going to be writing fan-fiction.

Today’s randomly generated inspiration is from… Harry Potter! (It was the closest book to me at the time, plus my love for the Wizarding World is never wavering.) I’ve not used the characters – infact, I’ve made up my own – but in this case, I used the sentence as an opening line (though I’ve not included it in the 500-words limit).

I think it’s a great idea, if I do say so myself. I don’t doubt that someone thought of it long before now, but for me, it’s a stroke of genuis. Plus this way, depending on the book I chose and the sentence given to me, I’ll be widening my genre-writing, too. It might be fantasy, it might romance, it might be contemporary.

So, without further ado, today’s writing!

From the moment the article appeared, [she] had to endure people […] quoting it at [her] as [s]he passed them, and making sneering comments. (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, JK Rowling pg. 276, lines 26-28)

It had taken Theresa almost the whole term to work up the courage to submit her work to the school paper, and now she was being ridiculed for it. She hadn’t expected her fellow students to be supportive, or even kind, but she had expected some quite of quiet respect. Surely, they knew how hard it was to come out and say the things she had said? To talk about the horrible things she had been through, the abuse and neglect and hatred just because she was queer?

But no; children are children and they don’t understand, and so upon the article’s release, she received more of the same.

“Alright, rug-muncher?” one particularly nasty boy called, shouldering his way past her in the corridor. His gang of miscreant friends sniggered and made crude gestures. But she continued to class, head held high. She could put up with a few names.

“No wonder her mum gave her up; I could tell from the first time I saw her that she was a dirty lesbian! She couldn’t handle the shame, I expect,” a girl from the year above said, making sure to raise her voice and smirked evilly when Theresa glanced in her direction.

On and on it continued. Just let them have their fun, she thought, willing the clock the speed up with every wicked name and vindictive comment. But their fun lasted longer than one day.

The bullying only grew worse as time went on. Two weeks after the article had been published, and upon the fourth time of being spat at from the top of the stairs, she had had enough.

She wasn’t ashamed of who she was; being gay didn’t change a thing about her. But the bullies were starting to wear her down, and she was becoming sick of it. She approached her form tutor first.

“I suppose you’re here about the article? It was very brave of you, you know, to write that stuff. I’m sure you’ve received lots of support!”

Theresa nearly choked.

“You’re kidding me, aren’t you, sir?” she asked, bewildered. How was it possible that he had not heard nor seen the raucous chaos that followed her down the halls?

Mr. Wallan just stared at her, his face impassive. Theresa sighed heavily and walked out of the room. Feeling tremendously let down, she instead went to see Mrs. Baker, her Head of Year. She was much kinder; a portly old woman with a pinched face.

“Ah, Miss Riley. I already know why you’re here. One of your fellow students reported the happenings to me this morning. I want you to know that we do not stand for this kind of behaviour here. What you wrote was incredibly moving, and I am proud of you.”

Again, Theresa found herself dumbstruck, but for completely different reasons. Someone had reported the bullying on her behalf? But who? She had no friends. No one had stood up for her in the past two weeks, so why now?

It’s not nitty-gritty or full of details, but sometimes, stories tell their own tale. This, I think, is very apt for today’s society, and, remeber, it’s only a section of writiIt’s not a story all but itself.

I could have gone on and on with Theresa; it’s a very personal piece of writing. But I’ve limited myself as a challenge (and to keep the blog posts from going on for too long) and I think it’s okay. It’s not the best thing I’ve ever written, but it’s something! Baby steps, eh?

Now that I’m back, I want to start doing  posts more often. I know I’ve said that before, but once a week, if that, is not often enough. So, try and hold me to this now! I will try my damned hardest to write more often, and thus make more blog posts, too!

Until the next time!