Sunday, May 30, 2010

Flash Fiction No.8

Flash fiction statement was provided by Didrik McCay Wickman on my Facebook Fan Page.

As I pondered the red liquid, I realised that in hindsight, I should probably have checked if this person had any sickness transmittable by blood...

“Does it shock you?”

Eric looked up. He didn’t know whether to be afraid or pleased that we had chosen him. It wasn’t something that he had expected that night as he lay quivering beneath his bed sheets. There had been a creak on the stair. Creaks on the stair weren’t unusual at night in the old shabby house, but this particular shriek of wood had been a louder groan than any caused simply by old timber.

Somebody had stepped on it.

Eric had heard a soft hiss and a rasp of the lips as he’d shrunk further beneath the sheets. He’d thought about running through to his parents’ bed. If there had been a monster in the house, it would surely have devoured him before he could reach the safety of his mother’s duvet. Of course, there had been more than one monster in that house

Friday, May 28, 2010

The Cadence Rolls In Broken

Broken like the peace and quiet in my house currently is. You may remember that my dog, Ollie, passed away recently. Our house has felt kind of empty without a dog, despite the five cats... and now it is definitely not empty.

The reason for the lack of entries is: the day of my last entry, I went with my mother and her friend all the way to Castleford to get a West Highland Terrier... When we got there, we had the choice between two little boys. My mum was only supposed to get one because we couldn't afford two. But I fell in love with the one my mum didn't really like and we ended up convincing her to get both of the little boys. They're brothers and a bit boisterous. My dad has not been told how much they cost. Nor will he be told. My brother is similar with dealing with the puppies. Except, in my brother's case, he refuses to listen to how he is supposed to deal with them so he's making it incredibly hard to get them to socialise properly with the cats and vice versa. He comes in making loud noises. It's ruined the easy introduction I was going for.

This caused a huge fracas the other day, wherein, my brother threw a mug of hot coffee over me. I don't really want to go into any more detail, but suffice to say that it was a bad night.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Sharp As A Knife & You Fit Like A Glove

Today, I feel pretty tired and I think my back and shoulders might be mildly sunburnt. I haven't been into the light yet to see. In fact, I'm typing this whilst in my pyjamas. I will get out of them shortly, but I'll finish writing this first.

It's quite obvious that summer has hit England. We're all complaining about it. Being British, we will happily complain about anything but our favourite thing to complain about is the weather. We hate it when it's so hot that we can barely move and our fair skin turns red and crispy. We hate it when it's cold and wet and our clothes are soaked through. We hate it when it's overcast and the sky seems to be a melancholy mix of miserable. We hate it when it snows because then it is too cold and we never do get any sunlight... except, of course, we do get sunlight and then we fall to complaining about that again. It's quite dreadful, really. We should just learn to be happy.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Flowers In The Window; It's Such A Lovely Day

You're probably expecting me to regale you with the boring tales of my life that I usually tell, but today I'm not going to do that. Instead, I'm going to let you look at the many pictures I took of my garden in the sun yesterday. So you get a nice break from me wittering on about stuff you probably don't give a damn about.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

I Should Be Hoping, But I Can't Stop Thinking Of All The Things I Should've Said That I Never Said

Many apologies for the lateness in posting this week. It's been a bit hectic, to be honest. I've spent time cheering friends up, feeling a bit rubbish and, today, baking again. A good friend came over tonight and we replenished my house's stock of Australian crunchy (I've even included the recipe in case you want to make some for yourself). Basically, it's a flapjack type thing that you top with melted chocolate. I made some in my baking session at the beginning of last week and it got pretty much eaten within twenty-four hours. So, today, me and my handsome assistant, Mr Jonathan, doubled up the recipe...

Friday, May 14, 2010

I, Who Loved The Sparks.

Tonight, one of my favourite programmes is on and it is the penultimate episode. I'm quite excited. I'm also finding it relatively hard to concentrate on what I'm writing at the moment. Some people might say it's writer's block. I know it isn't (but it did give me the opportunity to post one of my favourite Cyanide & Happiness comic pieces). It's more that I'm distracting myself. Occasionally I get very scatty and end up staring into space, which means I'm not doing what I'm supposed to be doing. It usually involves circular thoughts, as well, about situations I cannot change for whatever reason. It's these circular thoughts that kept me awake until about four this morning. It may be the reason why I am feeling so distracted today.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Flash Fiction No.7

Flash fiction statement was provided by Henry Saro on my Facebook Fan Page.

One by one the stars of hope landed on my heart...

He brushed the napkin against his upper lip, smoothing away the curl of moisture. The tip of his tongue delved out to wrestle the taste lingering upon his mouth. He dipped his head forward as he reached inside his pocket for something. The action caused his dark hair to graze his forehead. He looked smart in the crisp white shirt and noir suit jacket. His black tie wriggled against the sharp contours of the white material.

He smiled a whisper between generosity and joy. His fingers folded around the napkin and he returned it to the table, smoothing out the tablecloth. Leaning a little way across, he cracked another joke to joyous laughter. Glittering eyes crinkled into narrower lines, enjoying the giggles of mirth trickling around his dinner companions.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

When I Am King You Will Be First Against The Wall

I've sent an email query or two today. This is after receiving an email rejection from an agent. As much as this isn't what I wanted, I am glad that the literary agent in question got back to me as quickly as she did. In fact, I'm just glad that she got back to me. I appreciate that agents are busy people and that they might not be able to get back to everyone, but sometimes just the impersonal rejection letters are appreciated. After all, that means they've definitely looked at it and that it hasn't somehow been missed and overlooked. That's perhaps one of the things I worry about most. I also feel bad for those people who are rejected just because they have no idea how to write a proper query letter. I admit that I was one of them and without joining twitter and following agents and writers I would still have absolutely no idea. I also admit that I'm terrible at writing letters. I always spend time worrying how I come across in them. With snail mail, this worrying is prolonged. At least with email, I have the chance to redeem myself quickly with a response and an apology for my cackhanded (this means dreadful and is probably a colloquialism) approach.

On another note, the computer mouse is aptly named. One of my cats, Baby (he's a boy despite his name), enjoys watching the mouse on the screen. It's quite amusing. He likes to follow it with his eyes. He's very much a laptop cat. Sometimes he even sits with his paws on the touch pad and watches the mouse move as he moves his paws. He also likes youtube videos of other cats.

I must also apologise to the readers of this blog. I am aware that I have gotten slightly carried away with the political things going on in the country at the moment. That's mostly because nobody seems to know what the hell is going on. Even the politicians are stumped. Still, I promised a new flash fiction piece and I shall certainly be writing one soon. My intentions were to write one before now, but I have regrettably been quite busy. I started writing Absolute Power and I am getting rather excited about it. Absolute Power is a critical book in regards to the series. Lots of things are due to happen in this book and I am going to relish them all.

(Lyrics in the title are from Paranoid Android by Radiohead... but I prefer Sia Furler's version)

Friday, May 07, 2010

Corner Street Societies

It was the election yesterday. It's the first time that I've ever voted. I went ahead and voted Conservative, I don't mind telling you. They are now the biggest party; however, they did not win enough seats to take a bigger majority in parliament. This means that we have a hung parliament. Now, apparently, this means that nobody is specifically in charge. The Liberal Democrats, however, are the ones who seem to have the most power at the moment. Out of the three main parties, they have the fewest seats, but this means that they could align themselves with either Labour or Conservative and form a government using both manifestos. I'm hoping they decide to and that they decide to do so with the Tories (Conservatives).

There were also a lot of people who got turned away from voting and places that didn't have enough ballot papers. I think this was absolutely ridiculous and I'm surprised there haven't been calls for another election to be held to sort the whole thing out.

I'm also glad that the Green Party managed to win a seat down in Brighton. I reckon that, in a few years time, the Green Party will win more and more. I really hope they do.

One of the weirdest things that happened during the release of votes in each constituency was that I saw Jesus. And I bet you think I've gone mad now, but I haven't. I'm deadly serious. I was watching them release the result in David Cameron's constituency and at first I was only amused by the fact that he was having a hearty discussion with the candidate from the Monster Raving Loony Party in the background... and then I saw him. On the end of the line of candidates there was a guy literally dressed like Jesus. I didn't know if he was from the Christian Party or what, but it was the most bizarre thing I have ever seen. I've looked it up, though, and it turns out it was Aaron Barschak. Click that link and you'll see the bizarre picture that I was faced with. It did amuse me. I don't think that was his point in dressing in such a way, but it certainly alleviated some of the drudgery of the evening.

In other news, I've started writing Book 4, which I decided to call Absolute Power. I've written the prologue and I'm in the middle of completing chapter one already. So far, I'm happy to say that it is going really well.

(Lyrics in the title are from Lady by Regina Spektor)

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

& The Cure Ain't Aspirin

It's been days since I made an entry. For that, I'm sorry and apologise intensely if you felt you were missing out on my incredibly exciting life, but, if truth be told, I really haven't felt much like blogging. This is really all because of Saturday.

I went out to see a friend on Saturday during the day. I hadn't seen him in quite a while so it was nice to have a catch up, plus I think he needed to have a chat and get some things off his chest. Poor little worrier, he is. Anyway, it was nice to have a chat with him. We rarely see each other because we lead such busy lives... apart from me. So really, only he leads a busy life. He has a habit of forgetting to see his friends a lot, though. Most of the time, I don't think he does it on purpose. He's just a bit scatty. Anyway, my intentions for the day were to see him for a catch up and then watch Doctor Who followed by writing a piece of flash fiction. The last two things were not achieved, as you may have guessed.

My dog hadn't been well since the previous day. He was getting really old and his back legs were going through arthritis, but on the Friday.. he just refused to eat. He didn't want to eat anything. Even stuff he really likes. By about five o'clock on Saturday my mum was getting really upset about it. So she called the vet... And we ended up going to the emergency clinic with him in Bridlington. We had to use a blanket to lift him up into the car because he couldn't do it with his back legs... and the vet had to help us get him out of the car and across to the surgery. It was horrible. She said he was just old and that it was best just to... well... put him to sleep. So my mum, who was really distressed, agreed. And we both ended up crying. And we stroking him when his heart finally stopped beating. It was horrible, but at the same time it was the best thing we could have done for him.

When we got home, my brother turned around and accused my mum of murdering the dog... which distressed her even more. She asked me if I thought we'd done the right thing. We had. We really had. According to the vet, there seemed to be something wrong with his liver too. Sadly, he was such a big dog that we couldn't take him home to bury in the garden. Instead we agreed to have him cremated so we can scatter his ashes. I guess it sounds silly wanting to do that for him, but we loved him. He'd been a part of our family for eleven years and now the house seems empty without him. My mum has been rearranging furniture, which is her way of dealing with something that upsets her. Now we just have to wait until we get Ollie's ashes back so we can put them somewhere nice. I think the cats are missing him.

Anyway, as you can imagine, I really didn't want to blog about it much and I had nothing else to talk about really.

Other than that, I've been revising how to write a proper query letter thanks to reading the Query Shark's blog. I think I've managed it. I damn well hope so. It's been sent to an agent in the hopes that she decides to say yes. If she does, I'll be ecstatic. Still, that is only the first step, I realise. After that there's the fact that the agent needs to be able to get a publisher onside. Still, I'm hopeful. I've been getting quite a bit of positive feedback about the excerpts I put up on my site. I linked to them on my facebook recently and there are quite a few people who've sent me positive comments on them. If you've read the excerpt and you liked them or didn't like them, as the case may be, please do comment below (you don't have to log in to post a comment). I really like getting feedback. It helps me to know what I've done right and what might need improving.

My plan for the rest of the day is to make some dinner, editing and sending my CV etc for a job, edit Secrets & Ghosts a bit, possibly organise plans for book 4, and then to possibly write a piece of flash fiction to post tomorrow (this latter may or may not get done).

Also, thanks to those people who have given me their condolences over Ollie. I really appreciate it.

(Lyrics in the title are from Here We Go Again by Pixie Lott)