Aheila’s Drabble Day Challenge – Classifieds.

😉 Good way to get back into blogging after a couple of days’ break is to do my mate Aheila’s Drabble Day. J This has become slightly addictive I have to add. If you want to participate in it, I would suggest that you go over to The Writeaholic’s Blog. It’s released every Saturday (at the moment). You can also check out Aheila’s online fiction – the stories are very enjoyable. I’d classify them as urban sci fi. 😉

My drabble on the word classified.

Classifieds.

There were no clothes anywhere. None.

I stood there in my nakedness, staring at the hotel room, hearing the words of my ex in my head:

I will give anybody who photographs her naked ten thousand dollars!

I felt cheap somehow. I was worth far more than that…

Hmm…

I knew that the photographers were coming. A first glance revealed nothing which I could use to cover myself but then, I saw the paper. I lounged for it just as the door opened. He was with them, but he was going to be surprised. I undid the sheets and wrapped the paper around me. When I stood up, cameras flashed but I was ready for them, the word Classifieds protecting my… Classifieds.

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The Project.

So, I’m doing something that I haven’t done consistently in years.

I’m writing original fiction.

It’s not a short story. It’s not fan fiction. It’s not a fly by night decision.

I’ve been planning this for years.

It’s a strange sensation, working with characters and a world which is my own. I’ve dabbled in short stories over the past couple of months, but none had the history and backbone of my current project. And, it certainly didn’t have my stamina to back it up. But, I’ve decided (inspired partly by Aheila) that it’s time to take my hands out from underneath my but and work on something that’s my own. I can do it, I know I can.

And, I most certainly want to.

I want to have something that’s my creation. Something that I can use to try and attempt to walk this long road of ‘getting published’ on. And, I have to write this story. It literally came to me in a dream and it has not let go ever since I woke up that morning. So, this year, I decided to make it part of my writing goals. I’m still going to carry on writing fan fiction, because really – I have quite a lot of readers and I’m not quite willing to sever myself from that line of feedback, but I’m going to start to work on something that I can take home and put my own stamp on as well. It’s time to put all these hours that I spend in front of my computer to good use…

What I’ve decided is to give myself a short goal. Write a minimum of 1000 words in this story per week. That would amount to 52000 words in the year. That’s not a lot, but it’s a start and, I know myself, it will get more as the time progresses. So far, I’ve already written over 5000 words in it, technically 10% of where I should be and 2.5-3% of what I want for it in total. The goals aren’t unreasonable and that I believe is the key to potential success.

The biggest mistake that people make when attempting any project is to set their own standard too high. If you keep striving towards an unreachable goal you’ll never get there. So, take a step back and do something that you can. It’s almost like wishing to run a marathon. You can’t leap away and run 50 miles in a day. You have to start small, short. If you don’t, then you can injure yourself and never run again.

So, that is what I’m trying to accomplish with this. Even if it never goes anywhere, it’s a plan and it is mine. And will be mine when it’s finished. J

Let’s see where this goes shall we?

Enter the Dragon Part 10

Hello everybody,
And – here we go, part 10. 🙂 You can find Part 9 here with a list of where all the others are as well. When I have holiday, I’m going to sort out the ease of browsing a bit.

Enter The Dragon, Part 10

Minias stared at her for several seconds then, said quite smoothly, in the most articulate tone she had ever heard him use;
“No.”
Alyssa blinked. “Just like that?” she queried.
“Yes,” Minias said simply, but crossed his arms, telling Alyssa that he expected retaliation on her part. “No.”
Alyssa wasn’t going to take that as the easy answer. “Yes or no?” she said queried, even though she knew what he meant.
“No,” Minias said again. “You wanted a dragon, you take care of it.”
Alyssa gave him a look. “I didn’t want him,” she said. “He wanted me. Or my room anyway.”
Minias raised an eyebrow and shook his head. “But you let him stay,” he said. “You didn’t want to kick him out.”
Alyssa made a sound in the back of her throat. “Last time I checked,” she said coldly. “I let you stay too.”
Minias smiled at her, though it wasn’t a pleasant look. “But, you asked me to stay,” he pointed out. “Which I have to say makes me feel as if we’re on even grounds in this.”
Alyssa hesitated, realizing that her side of the argument was slipping a little. “But, I don’t charge you rent,” she said.
“But, I hardly take up any space,” Minias pointed out. “I have my own rooms Alyssa, I just pass through yours to be sociable.”
Alyss’s eyes narrowed. “And catch me naked I’m sure,” she said dryly. “And for that privilege, I would ask you to please take care of my dragon.”
Minias raised an eyebrow. “What?” he queried. “To see you naked?”
“No!” Alyssa snapped. “To pass through my room! Please Minias, I just need you to take care of Will for a couple of hours.”
Minias looked at her blankly. “No.” He said again. “And, really Alyssa – you’ve never asked this of me before, normally he stays in your room. He’s perfectly happy here.”
Alyssa nodded with a touch of dismay and looked at Will who had gone to worry Nikki out of her basket. He wanted to play with the sausage dog (still believing that she’s a dragon) but Nikki was having none of it. She waddled outside and went to lie in the weak winter sun.
“I know,” Alyssa continued her side of the conversation. “But, Will’s been following me around all day. I went to the garage store with almost disastrous consequences. I really want someone to keep him here in my room.”
Minias frowned and looked the young woman up and down. “You’re going riding?” he queried to which Alyssa nodded, making him smile.
“But, that’s perfect Alyssa,” he all but purred. “There’s a lot of space there, you can take him along let him get some exercise. He hasn’t spread his wings properly in all the time he’s been here.”
Alyssa snorted. “If you’re referring to flying,” she said. “I’d rather he don’t attempt that in my room. It could be disastrous.”
Minias raised an eyebrow. “So could me taking care of him,” he pointed out. “Take him with you Alyssa, otherwise let him go entirely because then you are not doing him or his kind a justice keeping him locked up in your room.”
Alyssa growled at him, but realized that he was right. Sighing, she grimaced at Will who was still pestering Nikki. Now that he was outside the room, he was the size of a pony again and the little dog didn’t like it.
“Fine,” she said and grabbed her bag, turning around so that she didn’t have to see Minias’ smug expression. “I just don’t know how I’m going to get him there.”

It was the Week after NaNoWriMo…

And not a word was written.

Or, not a lot anyway.

For someone who had hit 50K words in the first 9 days of NaNo, I found myself at a distinct loss for words. The honest truth was that I’ve drained myself a little bit. Writing takes so much energy that blasting out 140K words in 30 days seemed to have taken most of my reserves. I had anticipated this luckily and hadn’t set out a lot of writing projects for December. I had finished my largest one just before NaNoWriMo and the rest… Well. They could wait for the New Year.

What I’m experiencing isn’t actually all that uncommon. A lot of NaNoWriMo writers don’t indulge in their creative juices again for a full year until the next NaNoWriMo. Projects are abandoned half way, the dreams of becoming a published author sliced with the reality of every day routine. Worlds are left as they were, sometimes never visited again.

I find the latter incredibly sad but not as sad as those writers who abandon their keyboards and stories. The great thing about NaNoWriMo is that it gives you the ‘oomph’ that you need to start your ‘One Day’ project. The problem with NaNoWriMo is a lot of times it leaves you in the middle of it and because you drained away most of your writing energy in the past 30 days, you can’t make yourself go back to it.

The truth is that although writing is a great hobby, it’s also like work sometimes. It’s certainly become a little bit like work for me, even though I really enjoy it.

And, it’s a discipline, a routine that you need to establish.

To try and get over the NaNoWriMo Blues, I have a few suggestions that I would like you to try out, if you feel that you want to continue writing but can’t make yourself start.

  1. Give yourself time to relax. Make it a set time like 14 days, or 31 days (the whole of December). If you’ve set down a time, stick to it. Turn on your computer directly the day after. If you post pone, you’ll be doing it your whole life.
  2. Set yourself a goal. Don’t make it a ridiculous one – make it easy and achievable. Remember, this is not NaNoWriMo anymore, it’s about your own personal time and your own personal goals. Mine is 7000 words a week which equates to 1000 for every day of the week or 1400 per day if I don’t count weekends (which I don’t write in a lot to give myself a break).
  3. Keep track of your goal. Set up an excel spreadsheet and enter the amount in every day. You laugh? It works! There’s nothing more motivational than seeing what you need and what you have. Some days you can sit back, open a proverbial (or physical!) bottle of red wine and go: I did good. Other times you can brew a cup of coffee and type out that extra couple of lines that you need.
  4. Find a writing buddy. Share your goals and your triumphs. Give each other reports. It helps having someone checking up on you every now and again. Humans are strange like that because we don’t like it if others see our failure. 😉
  5. If you can – join a writer’s group or a writing workshop. An author I know called it ‘author group therapy’. We need people like ourselves to keep encouraging us. No offense to you non writers reading this, but you just don’t always understand. We need that understanding sometimes.
  6. Don’t give up. Ever. Keep on writing, keep on trying, keep on setting goals for yourself. It will pay off in the end.

A good friend of mine, Aheila (who you can find in my links page) did just this. She set up a goal for herself and she’s stuck with it through thick and thin. She’s not published her first short story and I believe that she’s well on her way to becoming a published author. She’s shown me that it can be done, and I would like to hold her up as an example to all of you.

Go to her blog, see what’s she’s done.

Remember that, although writing is patient, some stories aren’t and when you have an idea you need to put it down into paper now.

Otherwise you’ll lose it, and that would be tragic. Like the mass murder of dozens of characters that the world will never know. So, please – continue on writing. If you have the NaNoWriMO Blues – sulk, but then step out of it.

There’s still a whole world out there for you. 😉

Alyss

The Road of Fame Reloaded.

I’m getting a bit tired with my NaNoWriMo tale, and decided as a treat to a good friend of mine who reads this blog that I’ll post this continuation of my NaStySuMo story. To recape, NaStySuMo was a writing project I participated in during August where the challenge was to write a story where the characters had super powers. My character was a young woman called Fame who found herself in a little bit more trouble than she could deal with. You can find the whole story in my Nastysumo catergory. J

The Road of Fame Part 10

Staring at the Wanderer, dreading the outcome of the next couple of minutes, Fame gave the young woman one last look and stood up, carefully reaching out to touch her. The Wanderer braced herself and closed her eyes as Fame closed her own. She tightened her hand on the young woman’s shoulder until, quite abruptly, she felt the woman disappear. When she opened her eyes it was only she and Lara in the room. Glancing at the Tomb Raider, Fame took a deep breath and slowly sat down on the floor, clutching her shoulder. She had slipped the game controller into her sling next to her PSP but didn’t reach for it immediately.

“It hurts.”

Lara grimaced and went to the kitchen to pour her a glass of water. “I’m not surprised. You better get on with it.”

The young woman looked at her and sighed, looking at her television screen. “What if ah can’t bring him back?” she queried and gladly accepted the glass Lara offered her. The game character’s face was very stoic as she shrugged, not giving away a shred of her own doubt and worry.

“We’ll answer that when we know,” she said simply. “Come on Fame.”

The young woman grimaced and took the control again. It only took her a couple of seconds to find another loaded game, but it took almost a full minute to load it.

It felt like the longest minute of her life.

When she paused the game, staring at The Wanderer’s computer generated hands, she grimaced and stood up again, fighting the sense of vertigo that threatened her balance. Lara didn’t join her, but remained in the corner of the room, watching as Fame went closer to the television screen and carefully rested her good hand on it. Closing her eyes, Fame took as deep a breath as she could and focused.

There was a lengthy pause and then…

“Did it work?”

Fame opened her eyes and turned to find The Wanderer standing behind her, her eyes wide with hope. Looking around the room, Fame glanced at Lara who shook her head. “I’ll try again,” she said. “Just stay here, I’ll see if I can pull him out.”

The Wanderer’s eyes were dark as she regarded Fame and crossed her arms. Biting her lip, Fame looked at the screen and took another steadying breath. She reached out to touch the television screen but was interrupted by a knock on the door. All three women blinked and looked at each other. When the knock came again, Fame quickly stepped away from the television and moved to the door.

“It must be Dr. Walker,” she said. “Just stay back; ah don’t want her seeing you.”

She linked in the security chain and opened the door and, as expected she saw her doctor standing in front of her door, peering through the crack she had made. She smiled when she saw Fame and made a motion down the stairs.

“Are you ready to go Amy?” she queried.

Fame grimaced and shook her head. “Ah just need tae finish up with a couple’a things,” she said. “Ye can wait for me in the car if ye want. Ah’ll be down in a second.”

Dr. Walker raised an eyebrow and put her hand on the door. “Why don’t I wait inside?” she said. “I can help you finish up then if you want.”

Fame refrained from showing her irritation and quickly glanced back at the two game characters. “Ah’m almost done,” she insisted. “Ah’ll be down in a second, really. Ah just need to… finish up.”

Again, the woman gave her that look in which Fame could immediately see that she didn’t believe her. “Fame, please let me come in,” she said. “I’m not going to wait for you in the car.”

Defiance burned inside the young gamer as she glanced back at Lara and The Wanderer. They had both had their weapons drawn, but Lara sighed first and put them away, motioning to The Wanderer to do the same. When the girl didn’t comply immediately, Lara pointed her finger at her in a ‘careful’ kind of gesture before she motioned to Fame that she could let the doctor in.

Sighing miserably, Fame nodded at the doctor and closed the door so that she could slip off the chain. Then, when she let Dr. Walker in she stood back, also giving The Wanderer a warning look. Rolling her eyes in an exasperated fashion the young woman holstered her pistols, following Lara’s example. The two crossed their arms and didn’t smile when Dr. Walker saw them.

“Dr. Walker,” Fame said quickly before anybody could say anything. “These are friends of mine, they’ve just… come from a gaming convention in Cardiff. They came round to see if ah’m alright.”

Dr. Walker studied the women’s apparel with a critical eye. She glanced over The Wanderer but looked at Lara with a little bit more attention.

“Lara Croft I presume?” she queried.

The tomb raider smiled and stepped forward smoothly, holding out her hand in greeting. “Trying to be,” she said with a small smile. “I take it you are Amy’s doctor?”

Fame glared at Lara for using her name, but Dr. Walker smiled and nodded, taking Lara’s hand and squeezing it briefly before turning to Fame.

“For the moment,” she said. “I’m here to take her back to hospital, we had an agreement. Didn’t we Fame?”

The welsh girl sniffed stubbornly, turning her face away from the woman so that she could look at her television screen. She couldn’t help but think suddenly that if the power went out without warning, she was going to have to explain a lot.

“Ah haven’t found m’dog yet,” she mumbled. “Ah can’t go back now.”

Dr. Walker seemed to grimace and shook her head. “Amy,” she said softly. “If he’s no here love, then I can’t see you finding him within the day. It’s really time that I get you back, you’re as pale as a sheet. If you let me take you back, I promise that I’ll go to some of the shelters myself and look for your dog. Your friends can come with me if they want – I’m sure they’ll be able to spot him quicker than I would.”

Not wanting to tell the woman that that would not be a very good idea, Fame shook her head tiredly. “Ah just need ten more minutes,” she said. “Please Dr. Walker – ah’ll be at the car in a moment. Just give me a little bit more time.”

The doctor looked ready to protest when, without warning, there was another knock on the door. Knowing the two women, Fame could see that it took a very visible effort from both of them not to draw out their guns in the presence of Dr. Walker. She too had to show an intense amount of self restraint not make it known how intensely irritated she was. She could not stop herself from cursing as she stormed to the door.

“What dumb smuck’s here now?” she drawled. “My apartment’s small enough.”

Once again she put the security chain on the door and glancing back at the three women in her small living room she threw it open, her irritation clear on her face. She looked at the person for a moment or two then said abruptly.

“Who the bloody hell are you?”

To Be Continued…