Thursday, August 30, 2012

Thursday extracts. Sexual security

We lay there afterward, laughing and sweaty and out of breath and then he encompassed me in sleep, the weight of his big arms pinning me to the bed. But far from feeling trapped, I felt comforted and safe, as though nothing could ever harm me as long as I stayed in the shadow of this man, this sheltering cave of flesh, where I was tucked away until morning without waking once.
A is for Alibi
Sue Grafton
(SPOILER ALERT! It's a shame she ends up shooting him.....)

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

A 'look' meme for fun

I found this idea on Michelle Gregory's blog Beautiful Chaos. You have to find the first use of the word 'look' in your WIP and post the surrounding paragraph.  Here it is:

What information I have managed to draw together I have put into narrative form, so that it makes for an easier read and holds more colour than a list of dry and dusty facts, figures and dates. Perhaps I have embroidered slightly along the way to make my past seem a little more exciting, since it seems I have limited future to look forward to. Wherever possible, however, I have remained faithful to the truth as I have discovered it. There are no outright lies, although the story contains a few unavoidable assumptions, and there is some padding, based on historical circumstances.

Friday, August 24, 2012

FFF55: Divine intervention?

She was almost blind and her limbs trembled constantly, but she knew she was doing holy work. She knew her god would guide her hand if she was weak, so she continued with her mission. But gradually she began to doubt. Perhaps trying to restore the church fresco wasn’t such a great idea after all.


An 80-year-old Spanish woman has ruined a painting of Christ on the wall of her local church by attempting some 'restoration' work.  The image by painter Elias Garcia Martinez now looks more like "a very hairy monkey in an ill-fitting tunic" according to one observer. More details here.

These 55 words have been written for The G-Man's Friday challenge. Go visit him to see what other people have offered.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Thursday Extracts: Seeing things from a dog's point of view

At the Level of Hems

When small dogs are permitted
in dark vintage shops

they find at the level of hems
more than we can know

who look at fraying collars, faded colours
and indecipherable price tags

we who only think of bargains
novelties or a talking piece

miss life at the leve of hems
where linen smells of small rooms

and cotton is a field
where lovers run between

bubbling creeks and find their way
in muddy unmarked hollows

where mended cuffs and crankshaft oil
smell of a hard day

and tiny threads of silk are pulled
where the hemming needle slipped.

Ann Nadge (1949 - )

I love this poem. The mark of a real writer is to show you things from a different point of view.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

FFF55. If anyone knows...

It was a wedding and everyone was supposed to be happy, weren’t they? But she knew
the real truth behind all of it. She knew what the guy was really like – but would she tell? She’d hurt a lot of people if she did.
The vicar was saying: “Speak now, or forever hold your peace…..”

I'll be away Friday at a wedding (!) so I'll not be at my computer. Here's my 55 words for the G-Man. A little early. Go see what other fictions people have written.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Thursday extracts: Eeyore on writing

Eeyore was saying to himself, "This writing business. Pencils and what-not. Over-rated, if you ask me. Silly stuff. Nothing in it."
Winnie the Pooh
A A Milne

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

A writer's dilemma

It's a good job I'm not god. Quite apart from all that miracle working and omnipotence stuff, I just can't handle being responsible for too many people at once. Take my latest WIP, for example. Cast of thousands. OK hundreds. Well, maybe one hundred. At a pinch.

I'm trying to tell everyone's tale over four generations to bring about the whole point of the narrative. For once I know how it's going to end and I'm not having to write it to find out. The thing is, only the direct line of descent is relevant to the story, but everyone has to have brothers and sisters and cousins and aunts and they need to be woven in somehow. Some of them are easy. I've dismissed a few in just a couple of short paragraphs. But the bit I'm writing now - that's causing me trouble. One poor sod, who we'll call Percy because at the moment that's his name, has already suffered an industrial accident that made him move to a new place to live so he could meet his wife so he could have a son who lives in the right place at the right time. (Are you following that?)

He meets his wife alright and they have a really happy marriage until, well never mind that bit, you'll have to read the book when I'm done. But their happy marriage has resulted in several (in fact seven) children because - well it did, back in the 1930s. Only two of the children are relevant, so I've just had to write off (literally) another three. (There are still two more but I know what happens to them.) I simply couldn't think up enough tales to cover the remainder. So I threw in an air raid and got rid of them all with one stray bomb.

See what I mean about god? It's a good job he doesn't wipe us all out because he can't think what to do with us. Or maybe that was what World War II was actually all about.

Friday, August 10, 2012

FFF55. Billy's challenge

Big Mike Bigelow stared at Billy’s offering  for half a minute that seemed to stretch for hours.  If Mr Big accepted the gift, Billy knew he’d be accepted into the gang.  This was his only chance. The big man opened a cigar box and proffered it, nodding a direction to drop the severed finger in.

My 55 offering for this week. (Virtual) blood dripping, in the hope that the Big G-Man will accept it. 
It's actually adapted from something I'm working on elsewhere. Huge chunks hav appeared in a different format on my Thinking Ten page. But for this version, go visit the G-Man to see what other people have offered.

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Thursday extracts: what dolphins think

For instance, on the planet Earth, man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much - the wheel, New York, wars and so on - whilst all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man - for precisely the same reasons.

(the late, great) Douglas Adams
Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

There's nothing I can add to this man's talent.

Friday, August 03, 2012

FFF55. Later

Better late than never, my mother always said. On the other hand she was always very angry if we were so much as a minute overdue for anything. Makes a child very confused.  Just what am I supposed to do?  It also created a permanently guilty adult.
My 55 words are late.
No excuse.

Check out less hurriedly composed 55s than this at the G-Man's blog

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Moot point

“Does a rumour have to be false?”

The newsroom was quiet: one of those days in high summer when journalists sit around waiting for a disaster, just to have something to do. It’s not so much that we want bad things to happen, it’s just that they make better copy. And easier stories too. A good train wreck writes itself. But today was off: not exactly silly season, but close to it.

People outside the business think that journalists spend all day in a noisy office with a phone glued to their ear, a cigarette hanging out of their mouths, a cold coffee in one hand and typing with the other, but those times are long gone. Well, maybe the phone and the coffee bits are true.  And press rooms are noisy, that’s for sure. When we’re all typing hard it’s like thousands of hammers going fifty to the dozen. And people shout at each other: orders, insults, and questions, lots of questions. Like this latest one.
Exact definitions of words matter to us, even though most readers think we’re hacks. A swift discussion broke out about the meaning of rumour but failed to reach a conclusion, so somebody got out a dictionary. Honest. I told you, we care.

“Says here it’s something that has no grounding in fact. Without proof. What’s the sentence you’re putting it in? Can you rephrase?”

“Don’t be daft. It’s not for a story. It’s just that I know something about one of the guys in the print room and I know it’s true. But I hate to gossip!”

From today's Thinkig Ten prompt