The Ray Bradbury Challenge: Week 11

It’s something of a mixed bag this week. I’ve taken to listening to essays and speeches in audio form- there’s something about listening to old recordings of speeches with all the pops and interference that’s surprisingly pleasant to listen to.

What I wrote:

  • The Story: Sorry
  • The Genre: N/A
  • The Prompt: “I love you,” she whispered into her pink cell phone. Nothing but music and the rustle of paper returned what she thought was an open and honest expression. “Did you hear me?” she paused. “I said I love you.”

What I read:

Saturday 29th July (day 74):


Sunday 30th July (day 75):


Monday 31st July (day 76):


Tuesday 1st August (day 77):


Wednesday 2nd August (day 78):


Thursday 3rd August (day 79):


Friday 4th August (day 80):

Accountable August

My whole life is a rough draft, and I am okay with that.
Accountable August, huh.

Well, I suppose I should considering last month I didn’t keep track of my accountability at all. Nor did I set myself any goals, and boy does it show. I got nothing of worth done all month.

Okay, I got four short stories written, but they’re part of a challenge so they don’t count.

So what are my plans for August. Well, first and foremost, less social media. It’s fucking exhausting with the constant politics, fighting, and whining (but that is another very long rant for another blog at another time) so I’m limiting my time on all of that. My own health is more important to me than what the latest scandal is so I’m being unapologetically selfish about it, and fucksticks to anyone that has an issue with me for being so.

And with that out of my system, onto the proper stuff:

Writing

accountable august novel plottingRight, well, if you’ve seen my twitter feed over the last few months you’ll have seen a theme in how much of a love/hate relationship I’ve been having with the first Cassie Winters book. That book has now been scrapped. We’re leaving cold New York in Cassie’s past where it belongs. Instead her present (and the action of the story) is set in sunny, warm Italy. At least to start with. You can tell I’m serious about this book from the plotting I’ve already done. Also I really like using a white board. When I start writing Hallow it’s going to look like a policeman’s evidence/case board.

I’d usually have a couple of other projects on the go, but this book and these characters are the bane of my life at the moment. I’m purging my mind of them so I can finally get back to Cherry and Hallow.

All that to say I’ll be working on the new Cassie Winters story, and publishing my usual challenge short stories to my website as usual.

Art

I have a couple of projects going at the minute. Mostly, however, I need to wait a bit for some moulding and casting stuff to be delivered before I can carry on. I plan to keep sketching and practising though, working on a few concepts- some for book related work, others more for animation ideas I have for a cartoon show.

Other Stuff

I’m prioritising at the moment, so podcast related stuff is on the back burner until I can afford some better recording equipment and there aren’t people fighting outside every time I try to record. Much as I want to do SlendFRO from the get go, I think I need to do something that isn’t quite as grand in scope to start with. Also, I’m ripping out the wardrobe so I can turn it into a soundproof room.

I also want to get back into cosmetic/soap making, but again, that’s a time/space/money issue to replace my stock of ingredients. I am, however, having fun dipping candles. It’s quite therapeutic.

Health

I’m getting back into going to the gym. For three months I’ve been really bad about it, but I’m not getting any younger and even though I’ve accepted I’ll never be super-model skinny, I’d like to be thin and healthy enough to live past 35. I’ve always been big, but now my body feels wrong and decrepit. I don’t like it. Time to do something about it.


Theme for the Month

It’s that time again- my tarot card of the month. This one fell out of the deck while I was shuffling. Obviously there’s a message trying its damnedest to be heard so who am I to question it?

Sometimes the message is gentle, sometimes it slaps you round the face. accountable augustKeywords: Clearing the old, Making way for the new, Transformation, Initiation, Intense Passion, Avoidance or Fear, Weariness, Stagnation, Pessimism, Depression

I love this card. I love everything about it. Transformation- moving from one state to another. I’ve been stuck in a rut for a long time and only recently begun feeling like things are shifting. My mental health has been incredibly low, my physical health worsening, so this card and all its symbology is quite prescient.

My main take away from this is that it’s time for me to stop being a wimp. I need to embrace my creativity (the cauldron) since that’s where I am truly happy, and let go of the clutter holding me back (skull).

So that’s that. Stop worrying, embrace the changes and evolution of self and circumstances. Don’t be afraid of failure, they’re only lessons after all. Enjoy the process of shedding useless stuff, and accept the new, hopefully improved, you that’s along for the ride (the adder)

The final lesson, I think, is that I need to stop expecting things to happen. I need to work to make what I want happen instead of falling into a funk every time something goes awry. I have the image of my future in my head. Now I need to make the decisions and put in the work to get me there.

Final Thoughts

For a few years now I’ve tried to be something I’m not: Sensible, pragmatic… I lost my passion for art, and creating in general. I did, for a time stumble my way into writing things that weren’t enjoyable to me. They were more geared towards commercial fiction and that- that just isn’t me. I don’t like saccharine, weak willed, clichéd characters. I love writing utter bastards and bitchy cunts, more broken than whole and with chips on their shoulders so large they’re falling under the weight. I’m a genre girl- blood, guts, bad attitudes and cynicism all the way and I think I lost my love of writing when I stopped writing what I want to read (which is blisteringly obvious in hindsight, but not when you’re in the middle of a melt down that makes even your suicidal partner take a step back and tell you to chill).

I’m not sensible- not all the time. My penchant for dark, macabre things, is as strong as my love for airy fairy things. I love making a mess and then creating something out of that mess so I don’t have to clean up. I adore grim dark aesthetics as much rainbow unicorns. I’ve had amazing and meaningful conversations with close friends and strangers who’re polar opposites to me in almost everything.

I’m learning to accept that I’m a contradiction, that I’m flawed, and contrarian in nature, and that it’s all good because every person on the planet (whether they’ll admit it or not) is all of those things anyway. And who the fuck really cares? We are all going die in the end, nothing we do is lasting or forever and I think that realisation is the most freeing and life-enriching thing there is.

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The Ray Bradbury Challenge: Week 9

It has been a weird week. I’ve been feeling run down for ages but this week it finally came to a head and I spent a couple of days shiver-sweating with a fever. After that I had a couple more days sitting with my nan and having a plague party because she’s also ill and even at 80, deals with illness the same way she deals with everything else detrimental to her health: tells it bollocks and carries on as normal. So, we’re a little late posting this week. That said, I am quite liking the idea of a Friday posting day. Wednesdays are becoming busier so I’m switching to Friday posting from here on out.

What I wrote:


What I read:

Wednesday (day 57):


Thursday (day 58):


Friday (day 59):


Saturday (day 60):


Sunday (day 61):


Monday (day 62):


Tuesday (day 63):


 

The Ray Bradbury Challenge: Week 8

Welcome to Week Eight of the Ray Bradbury Challenge. This week we’re working on a slightly different prompt that has left me with a small flash piece of fiction. I don’t generally write flash as I tend to word-vomit, but I actually enjoyed writing this piece. It was fun to just take a scene and write without context or thought for further development. It’s not my favourite form of story, but one I’ll definitely play with now and again.

What I wrote:

  • The Story: Master of the Stage
  • The Genre:  n/a
  • The Prompt: Blood trickled down her delicate chin.

What I read:

Wednesday (day 50):


Thursday (day 51):


Friday (day 52):


Saturday (day 53):


Sunday (day 54):


Monday (day 55):


Tuesday (day 56):


I would definitely recommend the UK True Crime Podcast. It looks into the less famous crimes that occur through the UK, and ranges from murder, to financial fraud. What I like most about it though, is that despite the subject matter, it’s actually a very relaxing podcast to listen to, being just the narrator’s voice. It’s not overly produced, there’s no sound beds or dramatic music, and the odd vocal stumble is still there, giving this a very British feel and realness.

The Ray Bradbury Challenge: Week 7

What I wrote:

What I read:

Wednesday (day 43):

 

Thursday (day 44):

 

Friday (day 45):

 

Saturday (day 46):

  • Short Story: If you Build a Robot by Lawrence Allan Pontius
  • Essay: Blackberry Magazine with Alisha Sommer – Late Night Library Podcast
  • Poem: London by William Blake

 

Sunday (day 47):

  • Short Story: The Ivory Humming Bird by Caroline M Yoachim
  • Essay: Belzhar with Meg Wolitzer – Late Night Library Podcast
  • Poem: Acrostic by Lewis Carroll

 

Monday (day 48):

 

Tuesday (day 49):

The Ray Bradbury Challenge: Week 6

What I wrote:

  • The Story: No Rest for the Wicked
  • The Genre: N/A
  • The Plot: After a belligerent pop star buys a grumpy elephant they are pursued by a troop of girl-scouts.

I’m not entirely sure what to say about this short stort. It started out as one thing, and then poor mental health happened and it started morphing into something else filled with (probably) too many themes that are half formed and not really leading to anything. That said the “world” this is sort of set in seems like it has potential for development. It’s something to think about at least.

What I read:

Wednesday (day 36):

  • Short Story: Shadow over Innsmouth by H. P. Lovecraft
  • Essay: Assassins of the Mind by Christopher Hitchens
  • Poem: August by Peter Cole

 

Thursday (day 37):

 

Friday (day 38):

 

Saturday (day 39):

 

Sunday (day 40):

 

Monday (day 41):

 

Tuesday (day 42):

The Ray Bradbury Challenge: Week 5

What I wrote:

  • The Story: Letters on a Wall
  • The Genre: N/A
  • The Plot: A sinister bookworm loses a legendary sword and discovers the world.

I… I have no words for this one. I just. ~hands~

What I read:

Wednesday (day 29):

  • Short Story: The Blue Unicorn by Bruce McAllister
  • Essay: The Importance of Maps in Fantasy from Start Writing Podcast
  • Poem: Pictures by Jessica Guevara

 

Thursday (day 30):

 

Friday (day 31):

 

Saturday (day 32):

 

Sunday (day 33):

 

Monday (day 34):

 

Tuesday (day 35):