Category Archives: deadlines

Day Seven of Nano – plenty of words and rain too, but what’s the time?

nanowrimo-crest-05e1a637392425b4d5225780797e5a76I’ve been here in Turkey for seven weeks now, and in that time it has only rained on two days. Every other day it has been sunny. This is so good for the spirit, regular blue sky and sunshine.

Even as I write I can see some shafts of light piercing the heavy pillows of cloud. Yesss! The sun may appear, but more writing will be done if I am confined to barracks because of rain.

My laptop is determined to tell me I have more hours left to write than I actually have. I keep resetting it to the correct time and it keeps changing it back when I’m not looking.

So today, knowing that I am in the Istanbul time zone and knowing that I am actually in western Turkey I have had to pretend to the laptop that I am in Minsk. Minsk is the sno-hands-clockame as Baghdad and Moscow so I hope the laptop doesn’t notice and allows me to stay three hours ahead of the UK.

And now to rain more words on the Nano novel.

And thank you, Simon Haynes, for telling me about FreeMind , the marvellous mind mapping tool that I have used to plot and plan my novel.

Day seven input here I come…

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Filed under clocks back, deadlines, fiction, Free writing, Istanbul, microadventure, mind mapping, NaNoWriMo, novel, perseverance, success, time zones, Turkish, Uncategorized

Robert Louis Stevenson might have sat here

As I always carry a notebook and pen with me I often capture my thoughts when they amount to something. Yesterday I sat at the harbour in North Berwick and looked across the Firth of Forth to the massive slab of rock that is the Bass Rock. It’s an uninhabited volcanic island that is home to thousands of seabirds and was an inspiration to Robert Louis Stevenson. It featured in his 1893 novel, Catriona, which he wrote as a sequel to the more famous Kidnapped.

word in-notebookYesterday, this sombre edifice three miles away inspired me, too.

The sun shone on the green-swathed headland to the east, it bathed the northern coastline of the Firth of Forth in golden light. Even the harbour wall at North Berwick gleamed on this bright February afternoon.

But Bass Rock was brooding. Solemn and grey against the blue of the winter sky it lay in the shadow of a single blanket of darkness, the only cloud in sight. It was as if the rock was sulking, waiting for someone to switch the light on.

And then a shaft of light trickled over the top of the tiny island, sneaked down the vertical cliffs to the sea and the rock smiled. Warm at last. Gloom dissipating.

 

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Filed under adventure, Bass Rock, deadlines, fiction, flash fiction, Kidnapped, North Berwick, Robert Louis Stevenson, Sci-fi, Science fiction, short stories, short story, Uncategorized, work, writing, Writing problem, writing resources

I want to write science fiction stories

I am a scientist and I love science, medicine, drugs, technology and learning about their use and mis-use. I wrote two stories last year using science as a base and I enjoyed doing it. Two different subjects and quite different stories.

Then I ran out of ideas. I surprised myself that the well of imagination was dry. Why?

long DNA colourI did research in two or three new areas that I have some knowledge of so that I would be up to date in those fields. The research excited me and thrilled me with possibilities. I spent ages online and printed off lots of useful background and even drew up a list of possible story plots.

But my pen wouldn’t write about them.

  • what if my science was rubbish?
  • what if the story had already been written by someone else?
  • what if my story was so scientific it was boring?

But when it comes down to it, why don’t I just write it and then ask those questions? Not all of my stories are boring so why should these ones be? aaarrgghhh

Resolution for February 2016 – write at least one science fiction story. And don’t be such a wimp.

 

 

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Flash Fiction – why not?

flash fiction

I like short short stories and today I wrote my first 100-word story for a competition. It was great fun and it reminded me of some of the writing exercises we have done in workshops. There’s nothing like a deadline and a prompt to get me writing.

I think I should always have some urgency to write because I produce words more readily under pressure. Well, here’s hoping my foray into short short stories will prove fruitful in 2016.

I must thank Cathy Bryant for her super site cathyscompsandcalls. Already I have had a success with one of my stories being accepted for publication in one of the literary journals that Cathy recommended in her list of opportunities for writers. Thanks Cathy!

After submitting over 50 entries for magazines and competitions in 2015 I am hoping to up my success rate this year. And in January I saw my first little success, so that bodes well. Thanks especially to Linda, my writing buddy who keeps me on the right track, and who has seen her own measure of success rise too.

Onwards and upwards, I say.

Linda and I are off to Durhamhill for one of their marvellous residential writing courses in March. Really looking forward to that!

 

 

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Filed under competitions, deadlines, fiction, flash fiction, new year resolution, short stories, short story, Uncategorized, winning, writing, writing courses, writing resources