My mind and writing

Light in the dark

I decided to write this post because it nagged at me all day. A nagging feeling that told me to write a post, spurred on by the lovely sky of this morning!

For any writer, writing writing writing is the art of developing, learning from mistakes and getting to a platform that you are happy with. (I am way off becoming happy with my work, and like many, many others, will never be satisfied).

I am a useless sleeper, up the majority of the twenty four hours, working, reading, googling and also, writing. I decided to look into how much writing I did that was for my personal development and was shocked to find out it reached up to around an hour a day. That was not good enough!

I changed tact and looked at the areas where I can put more writing in. So I came up with this blog as an outlet for short stories and general nonsense (this being the latter, obviously). It is also prompts me to write. I feel the need to blog at least once a week, if I do not, I feel like I’m cheating myself. I am now writing up to three hours a day, either for this blog or working on stories.

Twitter is a site I am thankful for as I have made amazing contacts from the writing world who are super supportive and instead of being at war with each other, thrive to help each other with words of encouragement and advice. When tweeting, keeping words to a minimum gives you another style of writing to perfect.

I was then slightly pushed (pressured) into the November challenge of writing a 50,000 word novel in that month. I will thrive to reach that milestone and have set up means in doing so. The ever trusty pen and paper, the laptop, a writing app and anything else I can doodle on (if I fail, I’ll be bitterly disappointed with myself and crawl into a hole and never be heard of again)!

Read! Read! Read! Reading is another key to success. I now try reading a different genre each time I pick up a book to learn new and innovative styles and ways to develop my own knowledge. Reading writing blogs and news blogs keeps my mind working through the night.

When it comes to writing a short story, a full length novel or perhaps a screenplay, I must be 100% invested in my work. Many times I have started something but given up as I did not care for the world or characters. My mistake? Writing for the sake of it and to say I did something that day. I know now I need inspiration to write a story, but I have so many ideas I believe in, it’s finding the right one to choose at the time. To end this post, I will leave you with this final bit, but before I do, I want to wish everyone entering NaNO good luck. We all can do it with each others support!

Be honest with the words you write. Tell the story that needs to be told; a story, that no matter how much you push it away and make it wait in the wings due to procrastination, leave it on the sidelines to marinate or ignore it at night just to google instead, finally grabs you by the throat and demands to be written! It will be a story that drives you to the brink of insanity and beyond, but at the end of it, you come through in one piece, with work to be proud of! So grab that pen, pencil or writing device and write! Oh and have fun!

The Passing… A short story

I did not think I would be writing another short story so soon. I have suddenly got the feel for it and enjoying the quick bursts of joy that come from completing a work in such a short time scale.

The following story is of a Fantasy genre. One that I love to read but not great at expressing in words. However, once the idea stuck I knew I wanted to try it. This is more of a test, dipping my feet in the shallow waters of the genre I like but not ready to see if I sink or swim. Time will tell…

I hope you enjoy the short story and as always, feedback is most welcome.

The Passing

His magic was dying, and so was he.

It wouldn’t be too long until the sun settled in the east, the auburn sky took over and the last day of Sten Desi had passed. He ran a thin frail hand through his long greying beard as he looked down on the Forest of Whispers. There was a time, many moons before, where he had spent the evenings trekking through the woodlands, darting between fir trees, stepping over broken branches, skipping past traps left by hunters and finishing off at the River of Whispers. That was the part he cherished the most, but in his weak state, would fail to reach.

It was the location where he laid his wife Bloss to rest in a midst of flames, with the water and trees a perfect background. Sten could remember it clearly; the flames reflecting off the water, the trees standing tall as if guarding the proceedings, the heat of the fire against his face and the rose petal decorated white robe he wore for the ceremony. It was the outfit she requested he wore on special occasions and that night it suited.

Sten stroked the red scar that stretched from his right eye to the corner of his lips. It had long since healed but was still tender to touch. The emotional scars and wounds remained from that tragic day with Zeri, the wolf’s eye. Sten cursed himself for thinking of such an evil and refused to let his last thoughts be of that monster.

His mind moved on to the children and young adults who frequented the river in the evening. They would play at the river, sing, tell stories of the magic that once ruled and participate in salacious activities when the dark took hold.  The days had long gone since he treated them to a firework show, performing acts that tested their imagination and his prowess. He would always have a new act to show off, but would send them away happy with the Freedom of Light, a blistering shower of red and blue sparks. Entertaining strangers was the only way to take his mind off the past that haunted him.

Sten flexed his fingers and felt them tingle. His life would soon pass, his magic departing him each moment he spent on top of the hill. He thought of the dark days spent as the King’s right hand man, defending the kingdom, his battles with Zeri, and the beast itself, Deno. The days of light and hope shined through the darkness; from the moment he met Bloss, her stubbornness on their wedding day that led to more trouble than it was worth to the poignant days of her passing. His reverie continued as his mind drifted to the moment he was outcast by the man he had served his entire life. Sten gritted his teeth. Everything happened for a reason, he knew that. Sten held back the tears. He would be strong, for Bloss.

He felt his left leg throb with a numb pain. The pain amplified in each scar, in each wound. Sten had been told it would, by a man long departed from the world.

All for it to end now, Sten mused, as he looked at the dimming sun which allowed the auburn sky to peek through.

Sten pushed on the hilt of his sword to lift himself up from the crumbling log he used as his seat. The sword had served him well but was now more of a prop, a walking aid, than a weapon. His left leg almost failed him as a pain shot through from his foot to his hip. His vision dimmed and Sten took it as a sign to take in the beautiful landscape one last time.

The top of the trees wavered a little within the forest, as if they were swaying to a tune in unison. The forest stretched out for miles, filling the land he could see. Beyond the forest, the golden tip of the Kingdom’s palace was visible which complimented the dim red sky. The spire pointed towards the gods in the sky. Sten chuckled at the thought. The gods…they were no gods, they were not even men.

Sten looked down at his feet. Droplets of water spread over his black scuffed boots. He touched his face at the realisation tears had been flowing. Sten coughed, sighed and let out as much breath as he could muster. Time was almost up. As he stood upon the hill, gazing over the wilderness, a flicker of light shone through the trees. His eyes failing, he pushed from within and felt a sparkle of magic rise from his stomach. Sten’s eyes cleared, gaining a sight that he had not had in years, but making his body weaker.

The light flickered once more. Sten narrowed in on the location. His heart skipped a beat, not from his failing body, but from what he saw. From his vantage point and enhanced sight, the flicker of light was emitting from nearby the River of Whispers. Sten smiled. It was a sign from Bloss, he knew it. Sten closed his eyes and allowed his aural senses to take over. He could hear them. They were dancing, playing on wooden instruments and some were daring a swim in the River. Sten’s smile grew.

Oh Bloss. You are right, Sten said in his mind, thank you.

Sten opened his eyes and his hearing muted. The sign was enough for him to understand what he needed to do. If he was to pass, there was only one way that fitted his exit. He was to give everyone enjoying the night one last spectacular event.

Sten let go of the hilt and closed his eyes. The sword thudded to the ground next to his feet. He took in a deep breath and the aroma of bonfire filled his nostrils. Bloss’s favourite scent.

“I will be with you soon, my dear.”

Sten raised his hands in the direction of the forest, pushed from within and thought of nothing but red and blue sparkles. Sten opened his eyes as he felt the magic depart from his body one final time. Red and blue lights spread from his finger tips in the direction of the forest. His body started to switch off, the flickers of light slowing in motion and swirling in the sky.

His knees buckled, his heart stopped, the magic drained from his soul and the life from his body. His limp form crashed to the floor, a cadaver in the night, as an array of red and white lights swirled, sparkled and exploded, lighting up the night and giving the kingdom one final night of magic.

The children danced, they sung, and watched on in awe, for they would never see such a sight again.

A short, short story

It has been less than a week and another story has been posted. This time, a short, short story. I am unsure of how the concept came about. I started to write words in a sequence, found that they worked and turned it into a story.

Short stories are my weakness. I have never been able to write them. As ideas swirl around, I can always visualise a great story for the characters or situation which then either turns into a script or potential novel.

I needed to change this and found this a good forum to release works. I have also been teasing myself with the idea to post the first chapter of a novel on here to test the waters, but that can wait for another post.

So please, as always, provide feedback, good or bad(not rude, writers have feelings too) and let me know what you think.

Just a word of warning, the story below follows a horror theme.

Please enjoy….

The taste was metallic and the touch magnetic. A moment later he would be dead.

THE CUBE

The cube had been located at the back of an old shelter Den had been scouting. He was told by a reliable source that the shelter would be the perfect hideout after his next job and followed up on it. The structure was made out of rustic corrugated iron sheets, blood stained windows and a faded red painted door that hung loosely off the hinges. It had the feel of abandonedment from the appearance of the structure and from the overgrown shrubbery surrounding it. To say Den had broken into the premises would have given him too much credit. His thin frame was enough to squeeze through the gap he made himself when bending the door back.

The shelter was all Den had expected it to be. It was dark, damp and had a stench of urine and faeces, which was not necessarily human. The concrete flooring was scattered with debris and made it difficult to walk on. Each step was met with a crunch or a click which echoed throughout.

Den illuminated the area with a pocket torch, bright enough to survey the items and dim enough to avoid attracting himself to the outside world. The structure was empty with the few exceptions. Car body parts and newspapers were scattered around. A table resting against the back of the shelter caught his attention immediately.  A silver cube sat on it and he felt it radiate, not heat, but a magnetic source of energy that pulled him in.

The cube gave off a little shock each time Den placed his hand against the cool surface. He left his palm resting on it as the shocks vibrated against it. He had never been mesmerised by such an item before.

It was a cube, the size of a small safe. There were no markings, no idiosyncrasies, no stamp and nothing to identify its origin. It was beautiful and mystical. Den was transfixed.

Den removed his hand from the cube once it got too much and stared at his palm. It was cool to touch but once away scalded. He bit his lip, stifling a scream. The pain grew and grew. Den’s skin flaked and disintegrated in front of his eyes. The remaining flesh flamed, igniting his whole arm. Den could not hold on any longer. A wail emitted from his mouth, his arm flailing as he attempted to extinguish the torture. No matter long or hard his arm waved, the flame would not part, instead engulfing his shoulder and chest.

The heat was unbearable. Den felt his arms melting away, his clothes burning, catching his skin and fusing together. A metallic taste swirled in his mouth. It was definitely blood, but Den could not concentrate. The pain was too much.

He sensed himself falling, the motion of his arms slowing. Den staggered into the corrugated walls, his torch long forgotten on the floor as the flames lit up the shelter. Soon, his whole body would be aflame and his life would slow to a bitter end.

Den slumped to the floor, body engulfed in flames, skin blistering, pain soaring through him, his voice defunct and movements minimal.

His eyes dimmed with the last thought being of the cube and its power. The cube shimmered as if acknowledging Den with a knowing smile. The unknown can be a deadly thing…

A short story

This is my second post and the first in which I will share a short story. The concept came to me whilst driving to work in the dark and wet countryside. It was a what if? question. What if I woke up on an isolated bus with no recollection of how I got there?

The story wrote itself and within a short time it had been finished. I plan to share many more and would appreciate feedback on all elements; the structure, the flow, the concept, errors and any other information you wish to share.

Feedback is key to progression and I thank you in advance.

So here it is, for all to see…

A journey to the unforeseeable

Tish waited patiently as specks of rain lightly caressed the windows of the bus.

She rested her forehead against the cool surface of the glass and closed her eyes. The night had been blanketed in darkness with no sign of stars or moon offering light, so looking outside was futile. The only option was to wait. The low hum of the engine was a soothing sensation as was the vibration the bus emitted as it delayed its departure from the stop.

Tish had woken not long before, stranded on the bus, alone, with no recollection of how she ended up on such transport. Anyone else may have been alarmed, but not Tish. She remained calm, conducted herself in a professional manner and took her surroundings into consideration. The bus was unlike any other she had ever travelled on.

The width was of normal size, but the length stretched on covering three buses. Apart from her own, the seats were all empty, revealing a cotton fabric covering the seats with light blue patterns with white specks that made her think of a perfect summer day. There was no advertisement or screen to indicate where she was and no rubbish littered the floor or seating and the air was scented with lavender.

Tish checked her belongings to find none on her. Her bag had been misplaced, there was no sign of her phone or purse and all jewellery had been removed from her person. This did not affect her. Any other time she may have panicked, losing her composure to anxiety and trembling at the thought of being stranded. None of that was there. There was nothing but emptiness.

“It’s a quiet night, it seems,” a boisterous voice boomed at the front of the bus. “We usually get more takers than this. Don’t you worry though young lady, we will get you there soon enough and get you comfortable.”

Tish did not flinch or jump at the sound, but remained silent resting against the window. She thought of Jack, Joseph and Jenny, her three young creatures she had bred when she was such a young cub herself with Daniel Dann, her English teacher. They would be safe with him, she was sure of that. He may have made an abysmal husband and an even bitter rival in the courtroom, but he was a magnificent father and could not take that away from him.

The bus rumbled to life, the brakes were released and continued on smoothly as Tish’s reverie washed away and her eyes opened. The fine rain spatters had now transcended into large rain drops hammering against the glass as if adamant it would break through. It took Tish back to days stretched out on her window seat, listening to the winter rain fall as it soothed her as she read the most recent best-seller. Reading she would miss the most of her daily habits, even more so than her friends. Books were her closest companion; unlike people, they were always there for her, ready to take her mind off the troubles and take her on a journey that no friend could imagine.

Tish straightened herself, smoothed down her plaited skirt, buttoned her checked coat and lifted her hood over her head so it shaded her eyes. The pain that she had been feeling in her stomach hours before waking on the bus had finally gone. It was a relief to remove all pain but the feeling of emptiness was an unusual one. Removing emotion and sensation from a person left them in a blank space, as if life and soul had been depleted and all that remained was a casing of human flesh.

“We are almost there now,” the voice boomed from the front once more, jolting Tish out of her thoughts and back into reality.

As the bus decreased in speed, Tish collected herself and stood. Her legs were unbalanced as if she had not stood for days. She took a final look around the interior of the bus and was content. Her seat caught her eye as it was the only one that was stained with a sanguineous liquid. The bus halted abruptly but Tish remained upright. The doors hissed open. Tish prepared herself for the unknown and headed towards the exit without prompt, ignoring the driver and taking three steep steps into the blistering weather.

As the rain blasted her, the doors hissed shut and the bus continued on its journey. There was nothing but darkness. No sign of light, no sign of life. Tish took a step.

Light blinded her from above. The rain faded and the cold was replaced with warmth. Once her eyes had adjusted, Tish removed the hood from her head and was greeted by a short nondescript bald man in a cheap and creased grey suit holding a clipboard. The room she found herself in was a small box room, containing four white walls, a blinding light from above and a grey door that stood tall behind the bald man.

“Lauren Leticia Lomas of 16, Flat Road, Kent,” the bald man started in an effusive manner. “This evening you were struck with a bullet to your abdomen, rupturing your intestines and leaving you to bleed out. The second bullet, intended for your heart, pierced through your lung. You lay in pain for some time, your life draining away, until you finally passed. Your time of death was twenty nineteen on the fifth of October.”

This was the news had been waiting for, but without any emotion, there was no expression on her face. The feeling of emptiness remained.

“You have many options to consider before crossing over the barrier of life and into death,” the bald man said as he took a step back and pulled on the door handle of the grey door.

“It is time to discuss those options. Lauren Letitia Lomas of 16, Flat Road, Kent, my name is Cyril Syed, I will be your guide for the foreseeable future.”

The bald man allowed the door to creep open, took a step to the side and glanced at Tish with a smile. There was no welcoming light emitting from the doorway, just darkness. It summed her night up. There was no other option but to walk in and succumb to the unknown.

“Welcome to the afterlife, Lauren Letitia Lomas.”

Words

I would like to welcome you to my first blog.

I am new to this and need an outlet for some thoughts and general musings. For the first I would like to touch on a short subject…words. It is more of a rambling than anything else so please bear with me as I get to grips with the blogging world.

So here to open up the account is…

Words…

How many is a worthy amount to write a day? I guess that would depend on your lifestyle. I would love to say that I am able to tap away ferociously at the keyboard or scratch pen to paper and publish 5,000 words a day. I would love to say I Work 9-5 on my next big project or throughout the night where silence fills the air and the mind alights with a fire unmatched throughout the day. But these things are just aspirations in which I hop come true.

Today I managed 500 words on a short story that involves desires of the sick and mentally disturbed and where the villains meet their match. (Appropriate storylines and content shall be an upcoming blog). But why just 500?

Well, at least it is better than 499. I work 10 hours, have a house to look after, pets to feed, chores to complete and other lovely day to day activities that make us tick!

I do not have the luxury of free hours to hone my craft but do so in other ways. I read, I look at how the words make a sentence and to keep my ideas fresh I switch writing projects to remove the fear of becoming stagnant!

When it comes to words I say write as many as you can. Even if it is only 10, well that’s getting you closer than if you wrote 9! If you find words hard to come by, try changing tact. Try making notes, a short story or a script. Maybe even a blog ;)!

It is not all about writing but taking in the written word by reading or the spoken word. I do enjoy listening to articulate people and how they form sentences together. You can learn a lot from being the listener rather than the talker.

There is many ways to use your lifestyle to your advantage and then work it in to your writing time. I hope you managed to reach the end and I promise that each blog will get better with time.

Any subject suggestions please let me know 🙂

Good luck fellow writers!