You would think that in a country like the UK, where the weather can be extremely unpredictable, that we would come up with sports where bad weather is not an inhibiting factor in determining if it is played or not – Cricket, Tennis, I’m looking at you.
“Rain Stops Play” is a very common phrase to hear in the Summer, particularly during Wimbledon fortnight, or during an English Cricket International series being played on home turf. However, it is less common to hear this at the end of October concerning a series of short stories. Unfortunately for me, this is exactly what happened this week (in a manner of speaking).
For the last seven weeks, I have been working on the first short story in my new series, The Eternity Mirrors. I set myself the challenge to post a new part each week for the whole of September and October, with Part 8 due to go online today. Up until last Friday, all was going well.
And then Life decided to throw me a curve ball and… well, rain stopped play.
Not literal rain, but close. I came home from work last Friday to find it was in fact raining inside my flat. I have a ground floor flat and the one above mine had sprung a leak which, thanks to Gravity, was trickling (gushing, cascading) down into my kitchen and living room. I did as much as I could to clear it up and tried to alert my upstairs neighbour to the problem, but couldn’t get hold of him. It wasn’t until later when the water found its way through the ceiling light in my living room that I fully appreciated just how big a problem it was.
Anyway, by Saturday morning the leak had stopped and the long process of drying everything out began. One week on, the dehumidifier is still going and exactly zero writing has been done. It turns out a cold, damp, and slightly smelly flat is not conducive to the writing process – who knew, right? Each night this week as things have settled down, I have tried to get going on Part 8 of The Forgotten Fairground, and each night I have struggled to focus.
I was (until Thursday evening) determined to finish and post it ‘on time.’ But then my best friend gave me this to think about:
“Do you want it to be done by Saturday, or do you want to be happy with it? This isn’t your homework, you know.”
She had a point. During college, I had turned in work that was on time in terms of the deadline set, but that I felt could have been done better if I had had more time to do it.
So, I gave myself a break and began to feel much better for it. Self-set deadlines and targets are a great way to keep motivated, but as I found this week, there are times when you do need to put the pen down and just walk away for a little while. Now, after a couple of days of not beating myself up about it I am ready to pick up where I left off and carry on.
And after a cobweb-clearing walk along Newcastle’s Quayside this morning, followed by an hour and a half in the City Library, Part 8 is well and truly kick-started and in the pipeline. All being well, it should be posted in the coming days.
But this little home-based disaster has not just caused my short story plans to change. It was my intention to take part in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) in November. For those who have never heard of this, the challenge is to write 50,000 words in one month. It is a brilliant writing event that has been running for a few years now (check out their website here for more information) and this was going to be my first ever stab at it. However, over the last few weeks, with focusing on The Forgotten Fairground and then my mini-flood, I have not been able to do the kind of prep work necessary to make a good go of it. Add into that the fact that a lot of November is now going to be taken up with re-plastering my kitchen ceiling and re-painting my kitchen and living room, suffice to say I will no longer be joining the NaNoWriMo Adventurers on this particular quest. For anyone who is taking part this year, I wish all the very best to you. I look forward to hearing stories of your progress and success.
For me, instead, once I get Part 8 done and dusted, the time I have in between redecorating will be spent reacquainting myself with the novel I have been writing for the last few years. At the very least, this will keep my mum happy for a while. She proofreads* for me and has been asking for some time about what happens next in my book. I had said to her that I would not be going back to it for a while as I was exploring other things, but now with NaNoWriMo off the cards, it seems like the right time to take it off the shelf and have another look at it.
Then, of course, there is this blog. I will be carrying on with posting random thoughts and points of interest on here, so keep your eyes open for these as I go.
For those of you who have been enjoying The Eternity Mirrors so far, I can tell you that Part 8 will be the final part of The Forgotten Fairground, but there will be more to come. I already have Episode 2 in the works and the aim is for that to start in January. That is, of course, barring any further disasters (natural or otherwise) befalling me in the next couple of months. I will keep you posted on that score and will let you know closer to the time when I will be rolling it out.
Anyway, until then, and until Part 8 is done, do take a look around at some of the other stuff on here. Also, feel free to get in touch with any comments or suggestions of things you’d like to see on this site.
Are there any books that have been turned into films that you think I should review in by Books -v- Film section? Perhaps there is a particular aspect of Sci-Fi you feel should be explored in Geekery.
Or maybe you have some brilliant DIY tips I could use to fix my flat! Those would be more than welcome too.
But until normal transmission can resume:
And keep writing.