Confession… I Failed NaNoWriMo

Yes – all that preparation, all the practice and warm up, and it didn’t add up to a win. A lot of stuff going on personally and professionally, plus I’ll admit there were more frivolous distractions like Red Dead Redemption 2, (great game), also listening to the Lord of the Rings novels, (great story, but so horribly written).

I made it to 28,469 words, and at the point where I stopped, I was still ahead of target. It wasn’t that I’d fallen behind, and just couldn’t catch up, I just disengaged and couldn’t get restarted after that.

In fairness it didn’t start great, struggled to get going until day 3, but with a sudden change in plot I flew off.

So, next up I’ve got to start writing again. No good dwelling on it, this post is to put a line under it. Going forwards I’m going to put the failed novel on the back burner – it was promising for a while, but it needs a good rewrite to fix some problems and let it flow again.

So, have some ideas for stories I’m going to explore with some plotting, and maybe the odd short story will come from those as a beta test. Also there’s an old story idea I want to revisit, if I’d written at the time it would have been very forward thinking, still is – but instead of being predictive, now it’s more stretching reality to it’s limit. Really have to strike while the iron is hot with an idea.

Anyway… went away to do NaNoWriMo, and should have come back earlier – I didn’t, but I’m back now. Let the writing commence.

And lastly – a sentiment just saw online – fail better. That’s definitely the goal for the next project.

Daily Flash Fiction Challenge: An update

For the past few years I’ve done my best to maintain a work life balance. I’ve worked hard to be fast and efficient at my job so I’m able to fit more into my working day, limiting the amount of work I have to do outside of working day.

However, this new year has been getting busier and busier at work. My to do list will soon make me look like a short arse in comparison, (and I’m six foot four). Ultimately this has led to my work-life balance going a bit out of kilter, in favour of work. Lots of hours, and when I’m not working, I’m mentally exhausted.

It’s why I’ve gotten behind on writing again, and it’s annoying. I know I’ll catch up, but it’s a blow when I’m trying really hard to write everyday. And it’s not like I don’t have time, it’s that after a long day I don’t have the words. I write what i can, and that’s usually at least something each day, so when I come to catch up, like tonight for instance, I can follow through on the idea I had.

It’s not going to get better until Spring is gone either, but I’m not surrendering the challenge, I just have to acknowledge that some days I’ll miss target, some days I’ll have to double and treble and quadruple up, and realise that’s okay.

So for those that read my blog, (hey, lovely to have you here), bear with me, eventually normal service will resume.

P.S. Yes, in the time I’ve taken to write this I could have caught up – but no one’s perfect.

P.P.S. To those that balance writing everyday with work, university, zoo keeping child rearing, and what not – you have my full respect. You do amazing things.

Daily Flash Fiction Challenge 51: Bait and Switch

This is the 51st a series of 365 Flash Fiction stories I’m writing. You can find out more about the challenge here.

The Bleeding Heart, by Jonathan L. Lawrence, 21st January 2012

Word count: 950

Theme: lost cause, grief, road less travelled, determination, love, serendipity

The story:

I was hoping, almost beyond hope, that my luck would change.

I was having the most crap of weeks, and it was hard to see how it could get worse, which is a silly thing to think. I should also point out that I had no idea how it could improve either. I’m not sure if I was an optimist, or a pessimist, I guess it’s academic now.

I guess I should give you the rundown, here goes, in one week:

  • I got made redundant, (and told the company was folding so no redundancy payments)
  • Broke up with my girlfriend of three years, (she didn’t want to be tied to someone she needed to financially support, I kid you not, her genuine words)
  • My car died, (and it’s going to cost a grand to fix)
  • My favourite television show was cancelled, (okay by orders of magnitude this is minor, but it all adds to the pain)

The list goes on and on, every little thing seemed against me. Let me tell you, it sucked the proverbial donkey nut, and then some.

But hey, for once in my life, I didn’t take it lying down, I decided, actually made a decision, to pick myself and get out there. After two days wasting away in my flat of course.

My indulgence of repeats of my show, served as grieving for the show itself, but for the way my life had suddenly gone as well.

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Daily Flash Fiction Challenge 46: Coward’s Courage

This is the 45th in a series of 365 Flash Fiction stories I’m writing. You can find out more about the challenge here.

Coward’s Courage by Jonathan L. Lawrence, 15th January 2012

Word count: 645

Theme: risk, hero, self doubt, self depreciation, police, crime, robbery

The story:

Jackson never sought out to become a hero, even a minor one. Things just turned out that way. That day started off like any other, he got a call about a small problem, and went to deal with it.

“Breath deeply,” Jackson told himself, “Then cut the wire.”

Snip.

“Okay, first one down now the next, just stay steady,” he braced himself.

Snip.

He pulled himself out of the cupboard.

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Daily Flash Fiction Challenge 45: The Furthest Man

This is the 45th in a series of 365 Flash Fiction stories I’m writing. You can find out more about the challenge here.

The Snow Angel, by Jonathan L. Lawrence, 15th January 2012

Word count: 1,000

Theme: exploration, the first, technology, tribute, hope, drive, future, determination

The story:

“Charlie Whiskey Tango,” Captain Peters said into his microphone, “It’s oh nine thirty seven, I’m on final approach.” He settled into to the final manoeuvres that put him on course for entry into the planets atmosphere.

Captain Peters was five hundred light years from home, and on course to be the first man to set foot on an alien world outside the Sol system. Even with faster than light travel it had been a four year journey to reach this point.

The mission had started out as the brain child of Augustus Medley and John Bradley, two PhD students in Manchester, England who had devised the engine. Claire Cowley had joined later, being the person who had discovered the first supposedly habitable planet other than Earth, thus both the planet and the mission were named after her. The ship was named after its designers, the Augustus John. The planet Captain Philips was now fast approaching.

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Daily Flash Fiction Challenge 38: Meaning

This is the 38th in a series of 365 Flash Fiction stories I’m writing. You can find out more about the challenge here.

Meaning, by Jonathan L. Lawrence, 8th January 2012

Word count: 925

Theme: technology, listlessness, future, hope, meaning, striving, determination

The story:

It wasn’t a glorious childhood, but nor was it a Dickensian tale of woe, abuse, and suffering, but it wasn’t glorious. It was kind of bland, you know? Just like five billion others out there. I guess that’s why I did it.

It was never planned, not early on anyway.

I was like everyone else, I woke up in the morning, showered, brushed my teeth, had breakfast, had coffee, then drive into the office. It was a nine-five job, only it never worked out that way. That said, when I was honest with myself, I didn’t actually know what my job was. It was one of those meaningless jobs, I attended meetings, spouted sage-like nonsense and plans, listened to other people make sage-like nonsense and plans. Then we’d make actions, and go bug other people. Invariably it would all be very exciting, and buzz words would fly around, names would be dropped, and ultimately nothing would happen.

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Daily Flash Fiction Challenge 37: Exercising the Demons

This is the 37th in a series of 365 Flash Fiction stories I’m writing. You can find out more about the challenge here.

Exercising the Demons, by Jonathan L. Lawrence, 7th January 2012

Word count: 911

Theme: technology, drive, determination, Freud, military, race, run

The story:

“Ten miles in ten minutes,” Colonel Alexander Addingham reported into Mike Koslowski’s ear piece.

“I can get this thing faster,” Mike responded.

“Just bring it back, even pace, don’t push it,” the Colonel replied.

Mike turned around, and started pounding the tarmac back to the testing base. The suit almost floated around him when it was in motion, a mixture of repulsors and mechanical supports did their best to make the suit disappear. The sensor package interpreted the users will and servos kicked in, empowering the user to move faster, and bounce further. Mike’s will was somewhat strongly inclined towards pushing it, and without honestly meaning to, the servos kicked in.

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