Writing Update, June 2017

I just want to get my novels OUT there.

bulletNovels completed

In August 2013, I signed up for Misha’s 5 year project. My goal was to finish writing a novel and to get it published. Since then, I’ve written and published a number of non-fiction pieces, and I’ve actually completed two novels:

  1. The Reluctant Scribe: a historical novel set in the Tang Dynasty, 6th century, China, following the fortunes of a young boy who dreams of becoming a warrior.
  2. The Orbital Contract: a YA sci-fi novel, set in a futuristic world and full of spaceships and danger.

Continue reading “Writing Update, June 2017”

Desperately seeking a final story

Yesterday was the last day of NaNoWriMo


Apart from one day of panic, when I thought I might have sucked my brain dry of inspiration, I’ve done pretty well during this NaNo month.

30 short stories in 30 days is no mean feat.

Yesterday, it was time to come up with my final story and I turned to a wisp of an idea that’s been gentle wafting through my mind for some time.

It involved a woman searching for her tortoise. And finding love instead.

Anyway, that’s it. #30days30shorts over and done with. Now follows the most important part of any writing spree: the dreaded editing!

Illustrating the stories

Somebody asked me where I found the illustrations I used in this series of NaNo posts.

  1. I searched for Creative Commons Zero images (CC0) on sites such as Unsplash, Pixabay and Pexels,
  2. opened them in my Corel PaintShop Pro programme,
  3. modified them with line drawings on my Wacom pad,
  4. and experimented with various photo manipulation tricks.

It’s been great fun finding suitable images and converting them for each piece.

Creating the illustrations took almost as much effort as writing the stories themselves. Should have really called this project #30days30shorts30pics Anyway, here’s a gallery of them all:

Are fortune-tellers really con artists?

Or simply excellent interpreters of psychological ‘tells’?

fortune-teller-gif-500 What if a fake fortune-teller suddenly discovered her fortune-telling wasn’t a trick after all? What if she discovered she really could see into the future?

That was the starting point for yesterday’s NaNoWriMo short story.

But… as usual, the story ran away from me and insisted on becoming something different. So, instead of my fortune-teller being in possession of a supernatural talent, she turns out to be just really, really good at sniffing out the truth.

Sigh. I do my best to write about magic and the paranormal. But I guess this proves you can take the woman away from the science, but you can never take the science away from the woman. Or something!

Anyway, only one more day of NaNo left and one more story to go in my #30days30shorts challenge.

Marrow wars – day 28

Bill and Alf are neighbours, but not friends.

bill-and-alf-gif-500Bill was convinced his marrow would win the prize for best vegetable, but Alf had pipped him to the post and then crowed – positively crowed – about his achievements in the Ruddy Duck.

So Bill decided it was time for a bit of sabotage.

(Yes, these things really do happen.)

That was the starting point for my 28th NaNoWriMo short story. It was one of those funny little plots that’s been worming through my mind for some time. Good to get it out at last.

Today’s story is also done. I’ll post a summary tomorrow. Only one more day to go… can’t believe I’ve nearly finished #30days30shorts

Eleven things I don’t remember

Day 16 of NaNo and 11 things I don’t remember

No, I’m not losing my memory.
It’s the title of my latest story.

At only 700 words, it’s a very short story, again written with a Writing Magazine competition in mind.

The inspiration was a wonderful novel written by Joe Brainard, called simply, I Remember, in which every paragraph begins with the words…  ‘I remember’. Continue reading “Eleven things I don’t remember”