Archive | May 2010

Fiction Friday – 28th May

I’m doing this early as I’ll be away on Friday and know no matter how good my intentions are, I won’t get to write anything. The prompt is:

A writer’s computer begins to flash messages on its screen, as if trying to communicate.

I actually didn’t have that much time writing, so there’s not a full story like I usually do,  but just five or so minutes of what came out of my head from the prompt. Let me know what you think anyway, would you be interested to read any more, have I managed to get some intrigue in?

            ‘Frank’

            One single word. Just 5 letters, one syllable. It was hard to believe what it was about to start. Tony started at the computer screen. He rubbed his eyes and pinched his arm, he was definitely awake, and wasn’t seeing things. He had hoped this day would never come, but it had, and he had to face it.

            ‘FRANK’

            The word was repeated. This time more aggressively in capitals. With every bone in his body, he wanted to ignore it, but he knew that wasn’t an option, not now.

            When he’d imagined this moment, he’d thought of 100 different ways it would play out, none of them had been like this – with a computer flashing the name Frank. He thought it would happen in public, not when he was at home alone. Alone he had time to think, in public he wouldn’t have had any.

            So who was it? He had no idea. He didn’t know enough about computers to be able to even work who was sending this message. Or how. How? That would stump him. It must be through the internet, but how it was coming up on Notepad was lost on him. He knew there were people he could call that could look into it, but that would involve explaining the name – he couldn’t do that. Not yet, not if there was a chance he could keep this a secret.

            Who could it be? He didn’t know, he thought that it was dead and buried, hoped it was anyway, but obviously not. Someone somewhere knew his name was Frank not Tony, and now they were telling him they knew. Did they know all about Frank too? Could this person wreck everything he has? It had taken him years to get this level of success and fame and he didn’t want to give it up, there was no way he was ready to give it up. But he knew if the truth came out, he’d lose his fans – he’d lose them faster than overnight, he’d lose them the second they found out.

            He didn’t know what to do. He had to communicate with whoever it was, but how could he do that? Type into Notepad too?

Arrivederci!

Yes that’s goodbye in Italian, for I am on my way to Italy. Well, I will be in the morning. Yay.

I’m not going to put any pressure on myself to do any writing while I’m away. I probably will do some, but I’m not going to feel bad if I don’t. I’ll probably do lots of reading though. I’m halfway through one book and would like to finish that and at least start another one. As I said yesterday I’d also like to get a start on editing Italian Infatuation (very fitting – even though I’m going to Rome and it’s set in Tuscany), but I don’t know if I’ll be able to set up my printer tonight to get it printed off. I’m probably going to take my laptop with me, so that will take away that excuse. It’s so nice having a light laptop that I know won’t be a struggle to take away!

So, have a lovely few days people. I’ll see you on the other side (next week)…

Writing Weekend

OK, that’s a little exaggeration. I didn’t spend a weekend writing, but I did write at the weekend. Twice. Once on Saturday and once on Sunday. And on Sunday I didn’t have my laptop on me, so I did 350+ words BY HAND! I know, I’m still in a little shock myself. Still, I’m sure (knowing my track record) it won’t last!

Speaking of laptops – I am loving my new laptop. It’s so fast (unlike my old one) and quiet (ditto) and pretty damn sexy. I love it. Except, the keys are a little weird. I think they’re just a smudge too big. Or something. Just means I’ll have to do a lot of writing to get used to them! And to stop pressing CAPS when I try to hit ‘a’ – that’s driving me mad.

Everyday I’m trying to write 250 words, but because I’m not actually working on anything, each time I need to think up something to write. For some reason I’ve started to use these writing spurts as a bit of getting to know the background of the characters from Italian Infatuation. So far I’ve written short squirts from the lead up to FMC splitting with her husband MMC talking to his wife before she dies and MMC trying to get over his wife’s death. I don’t know why I started doing that, but I think it’s a great idea. I’m even starting to think the story of MMC and his wife would make a great book in itself; but lets not go down that route now. Not when I’ve got so many other ideas floating round that old brain of mine.

I had a thought over the weekend, and I think I’m going to follow it through. Now I’ve got a laptop with a decent wireless card (or whatever it is that makes the wireless internet happen – technology is not my forte) I’m going to be able to set up my printer. I couldn’t before because I need to go online to find the program to load it (or something), and my laptop’s wireless didn’t work in my room. Tonight, or maybe tomorrow night, I’m going to set up the printer… and… (if there’s any ink)… print out Italian Infatuation… And take it on holiday to re-read… and… START EDITING. Wow. I really think I’m going to do this. Eek. Agh.

Lets just go over that bit there – go on holiday. Yeah! I go to Rome on Wednesday! Woopie!

Fiction Friday – The Dark

The prompt from Write Anything for today’s Fiction Friday is –

A boy and his father awaken early to watch the sunrise from their mountain campsite, but they begin to panic when the sky remains dark long into the afternoon.

The first draft of my story which, along with the guidelines for Fiction Friday is completely unedited, is here –

 ‘Ok dad, We’ve had lunch now what?’

‘I don’t know son, I don’t know.’

‘Are you scared?’ Frank looked at his son and didn’t know what to say. Yes of course he was scared. The sun should’ve come up hours and hours ago, and it still wasn’t there. Toby was too ill to move yet and there was no phone signal or other people this far out. He was terrified. But he couldn’t tell Toby that. It was his first camping trip, he didn’t want to put him off for life. Although if the damn sun didn’t come up soon, he wasn’t sure there would be any more life.

‘Dad?’ Toby whispered.       

Frank ruffeled his son’s hair. ‘There’s nothing to worry about, this happens sometimes.’ He inwardly winced at the lie, but knew he had to keep Toby from getting too scared.

‘Why?’

‘No one really knows Tobe. Something about the sun spinning too fast round the world.’

‘You mean the earth spinning round the sun?’ Damn Toby for being so attentive in class.

‘Course yeah. Was just testing you. You passed.’ Toby wasn’t sure, but at eight he thought his dad was god – he’d believe him if he said anything – so he shrugged and pulled the sleeping bag further over his shoulders.

‘Are you cold again Tobe?’ He didn’t want to worry his dad too much so shook his head.

‘Nah I’m ok.’ He was a big boy, he wasn’t going to moan that he was cold on top of everything else. He couldn’t believe he’d got so ill they couldn’t move, couldn’t go home. He had to start feeling better soon. They had to find out his mum and sister Becky were ok. Although he and Becky argued constantly, right now he was so worried he’d never see her again. He had to get better so he could tell her he loves her. And where her Malibu Barbie was.

They fell into silence and after a while Frank fell into a fitful sleep. Dark shadows flew across his dreams, nasty echos and screams made him crouch and cover his ears, burry his head in his lap.

He woke suddenly feeling a bear pulling his arm.

‘Get off. Off!’ He shook his arm vicously before too late realising it was Toby on his arm. He knocked him off balance, but the boy was ok – better than ok, he was smiling.

‘Sorr…’ he started to say before Toby jumped up and knocked the wind out of him giving him a hug.

‘Look. Look Dad.’ He followed his son’s outstreched arm and nearly fainted with relief. Hardly visable in the distance behind him was a hint of a sun.

‘YES!’ he couldn’t help shouting and pulled Toby up so they danced round together.

Before they could stop their celebration dance they heard some clattering behind them. They stopped and looked between the trees where the noise was coming from.

A man was striding towards them followed by what was presumably his two sons. They both looked to be teenagers, but the excited chatter between them showed they were still young enough to enjoy a camping trip with their father.

‘See. See Tobes, I told you everything would be ok. There’s other people around, the sun’s coming up. You seem like you’re feeling better?’ Toby nodded his head and jigged a little to prove he was ok.

‘Morning campers!’ the father shouted towards them as his family got closer. Frank and Toby stayed rooted to the spot. Morning? He’d just said morning? But it was 5 in the afternoon.

‘Don’t mind if we join you do you? This is the best spot to watch the sun rise?’ Without waiting for a reply the father set his stuff to the right of their bags and fire. His sons followed swinging their bags happily.

‘How did you know the sun was going to rise now?’ Frank asked warily.

The father looked at his sons who laughed immediately at this.

‘Well, my man,’ he obviously was hiding his own laugh, ‘The sun rises every morning at five am in the summer.’ He looked back at his sons who had got over the joke and were now getting out the camp fire and food. He looked back at Frank and Toby and their stunned faces. For a second he looked puzzled, then he broke into raucous laughter.

Frank and Toby looked at each other while Frank but a hand on his son’s shoulder indicating him to take a discreet step back. They didn’t know this man, and he was acting a little mad. They had to be careful so near to the edge. 

‘Sorry, sorry,’ the man said, his laughter subsiding. ‘You don’t understand sorry. I’ve been where you are now, it’s just so funny to see someone else do it.’ Thoughts flew through Frank and Toby’s heads – where you are now? Do it? What? They took another step back in time with each other.

‘Let me guess,’ the father started, ‘You had a campfire last night?’ They both nodded. ‘And you used the wood from the forest behind us?’ They nodded again, Frank wondered where he was going with this. ‘You didn’t by any chance get some wood from that large tree over there? The one with the purple flowers?’ Frank looked at Toby, who nodded at them both. ‘I’m sorry to tell you then, you poisoned yourselves. The bark from that tree is highly toxic when burnt. Have you been ill?’ He asked just Toby.

Toby nodded again. Frank went white. He’d poisoned his son. Oh no, and he’d thought he’d just picked up a bug from school. Tracey would never forgive him.

‘Don’t worry. The toxins go out of your body within 24 hours. I bet you’re feeling better already aren’t you champ?’ Toby felt like a nodding dog he was repeating the movement so much.

‘But that doesn’t explain why you were laughing at us,’ Frank said. ‘You can’t think an eight year old boy getting sick is funny?’

‘No, no I don’t. But he’ll be fine. I was laughing at the other side effect of the toxic fumes. They knock you out totally. Even burning the smallest amount of wood will send you to sleep. Judging how much you’ve got there,’ he pointed to the dead fire behind them, ‘You burnt enough wood to send you to sleep for…’ he closed his eyes and flicked his head from left to right.

’22 hours!’ One of his sons shouted from their stove. No one had realised they were listening.

‘Yes. 22 hours. So you woke up at what you thought was 8am – I’m guessing you both have analogue watches? – but you’d actually woken up at 8pm. That’s why it was so dark.’

 Please, let me know what you think. I can’t wait to read other people’s stories, see if they had the same idea as me!

Shiny, New and Red

If you don’t follow me on Twitter (@new2writinggirl) you may not have heard the exciting news today: I’ve got my new laptop. It’s luuuurrvely. It’s Advent (which my last one was so I know they’re good) and shiny (so shiny when you touch it you leave a mark – maybe not so good) and Red (yes red gets a capital here – cause you know, I can!) It wasn’t supposed to be red, it was supposed to be black, but you know, I love the red now. And I’ve got a very sexy pair or red shoes that will totally match it (cue strutting about the house in my shoes holding my laptop).

I’ve got it – that means I have to start editing Italian Infatuation. I said I would when I get it and get it set up. Ha, see what I did there, left myself a loop-hole to NOT start the editing just quite yet. It’s going to take a couple of days for me to get everything set up on there properly, and I’m going to Rome on Wednesday, so I’ll start it when I get back. I know you could look at that as putting it off, but it’s not, it’s being realistic. I have to play, and transfer everything over from my old one. I’m happy with that. I’ll start in June (well 31st May, but you know).

Oh. I’m actually going to do this… Eek. I’m going to start editing my novel. Eek.

I’m really loving the book I’m reading Loves Lies by Adele Parks. I’m wondering though if the beginning of it is a little too close to what I’m going through in my at the moment, and have a feeling the end won’t be good for me.  I doubt the next section’s going to feel like me – she falls madly in love with a pop star and moves to LA with him (Robbie, where are you?). How nice would that be actually? Then I could give up work and write all day. Now, where do pop stars hang out…? Good thing I’ve done my writing for today (and productive writing – my course), I may spend the rest of the afternoon day-dreaming…

Migraine Unproductivity!

I’m doing an early shift today; usually  that means I’m really productive – once I wake up anyway. But today I got a migraine first thing. Ugh. I’ve not had one for a few months so thought I was over them. What worries me the most is once I get one, I generally get a couple more in the following week or two. Gutted.

I’ve done nothing of any use today. Oh, you know, except surf and read. Ha. Head’s feeling better than it was now, so I should start on something, but I still don’t feel like it. I just feel wiped after having one. I was going to go for a run tonight but that’s probably not going to happen now either. Damn.

On a slightly chirpier note, I started Love Lies by Adele Parks last night. I’m really enjoying it. I’m pretty sure it will become a can’t put down-er.

I have just remembered the book I should have picked up is 1984 by George Orwell. I’ve got it at home in my TBR pile AND it’s the book of the month for the Novelkicks book club. I’m actually really annoyed with myself for forgetting that. I’ll just have to make sure I read this one quickly so I can start on it soon!

Something Strange…

… seems to have come over me today. I was walking back from the library (I know…) and thinking that I’ve never written a story that’s idea came from people talking in the street/on the train/tube/in a coffee shop. I hear that’s how a lot of writers get ideas, so was thinking I should try it.

All of a sudden (well, not really suddenly) two people were walking towards me. I heard the women say ‘Her name was Maria, but…’ I didn’t hear anything else. So my mind went into overdrive and after discounting an idea where Maria was actually Martin, I thought of a story. Two hours and 1,600 odd words later it’s all on paper. Roughly, but it’s there. And there’s a pretty pleased with herself person typing this.

I may have to try that more often. I do think that sometimes, usually when I’m sitting on the tube. But, not that many people actually talk on the tube, and even less speak in English! Still, it’s obviously something well worth doing.

Back to the library then. I had to go today and take some books back. *stifles giggle as knows what’s coming next* I returned three… and got out… wait for it… only two. Wow. That’s pretty good for me. Last time I went there with the intention of getting nothing I came out with 4 books – although they were mini read small books, so really the amount of time it took me to read them, they should only count as one.

One of the books I got today isn’t even fiction – it’s an Italian translation book. Hey, have I mentioned I’m going to Rome? I may have done. Did I mention I go a week tomorrow!  Wooo Hooooo! So, yeah, one language book. The other one is Love Lies by Adele Parks.

It’s no small coincidence that the book I’m reading now is an Adele Parks and the next one I’m going to read is by her too. The current one is ‘Mrs Whippy’ one of those short novellas that I picked up. It’s great, and it reminded me that I’ve still not read Love Lies and that I know they have it at the library. Yay for libraries.

Right, I suppose I should go and do some work now. I love having a job where I can write so much if I want to; next time I complain about the hours or the pay (which is actually pretty good when you consider how little I do), I’ll have to remember today. Oh, and every Friday where I spend a LOT of time writing!