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Couch to 80K – Week 1 Day 4

This year I am working through Tim Clare’s Couch to 80K Bootcamp– a course where you write for 10 minutes a day.

By following Tim’s prompting, the aim is to work through from basics until you reach the ability to write an 80,000 word novel.

Apologies: it may not actually be that interesting to read…

Make a list of interesting descriptions

His eyes were narrowed, like the business end of a knife.

A blazer, faded from the sunlight of too many summers.

Grime, deeply embedded. Not simply dirt, but the change in colour to skin once the dirt is absorbed. Part of you.

Attached by a string so flimsy, it was surprising the wind didn’t take her hat away with every breeze.

Shiny buttons, shiny enough to show fingerprints, all down his chest.

Her every movement sullen. Resentful. An anger towards each moment that had brought her into this situation, painted on her face.

Its legs twitched, the wolf running in its dreams.

The screen had a hairline crack, running from the bottom right corner to the middle of the display.

His hobbling gait gave the impression of one leg shorter than the other, which was exactly the impression he was aiming for.

To those that knew her, the slight curling of her lip betrayed an irritation she was struggling to conceal.

The trousers were irregular and patchy. No wonder – Calvin Klein still doesn’t make clothing for 3 legged aliens, even though first contact was nearly a decade ago.

It landed silently, legs coiled ready to leap again.

 

 

 

Couch to 80k – Week 1 Day 3

This year I am working through Tim Clare’s Couch to 80K Bootcamp– a course where you write for 10 minutes a day.

By following Tim’s prompting, the aim is to work through from basics until you reach the ability to write an 80,000 word novel.

Apologies: it may not actually be that interesting to read…

Generate some problems

Running away from the ever-so-slightly faster bully at school.

Finding the right sized spanner to adjust the engine torque on the racer. That Kreb racer you just boosted.

Pouring the right amount of sand into the trap to allow your friend to climb free. Enough to climb out, not enough to suffocate.

Choosing the correct opening sentence for your whistleblowing letter.

Three cave entrances. Three possibilities. Two lead to certain death, the other? Escape.

Gasping, reaching, your lungs burning, to turn on the emergency oxygen supply.

The fire roars, in between myself and Agron. Do I try to jump it, or should we escape separately.

“Priority Call” flashes on the display, before being replaced with a red flashing “Low Battery”. Do you answer?

As I turn it once more, the screw starts to bite. Two more twists. It’s hard to get it in any further. Seems solid. But is it strong enough to support a grown man’s weight?

Hands shaking, she reached for the syringe. She hated it and wanted it, in one furious mix of emotion.

Have you ever pushed a car? Like, really pushed it? For miles and miles and miles? I considered just leaving it by the side of the road, but what if someone found the body in the boot…

It hurt, every time she dug the spade in again. There was this area of her hip that was sore from the unfamiliar labour. But how else would they reach the hidden door?

 

Couch to 80K – Words I like or dislike

This year I am working through Tim Clare’s Couch to 80K Bootcamp– a course where you write for 10 minutes a day.

By following Tim’s prompting, the aim is to work through from basics until you reach the ability to write an 80,000 word novel.

Apologies: it may not actually be that interesting to read…

 

Make two headings. Words you like. Words you dislike.

Words I Like

  • Snazzle
  • Fight
  • Explode
  • Inject
  • Dynamic
  • Heron
  • Overarching
  • Badger
  • Smash
  • Environment
  • Dive
  • Hope
  • Peace
  • Keep
  • Crater
  • Cancer
  • Vermin
  • Volcano
  • Murky
  • Change
  • World
  • Weathered
  • Crimp
  • Cavernous
  • Carrot
  • Potato
  • Speech
  • Campaign
  • Chasm
  • Project
  • Device
  • Post
  • Entry
  • Display
  • Calculated
  • Calibrated
  • Gallop
  • Grim
  • Record
  • Click
  • Silence
  • Knapsack
  • Haversack

Words I Dislike

  • Urn
  • Feel
  • Lime
  • Yearning
  • Cloy
  • Ream
  • Longer
  • Piece
  • Deem
  • Irradiate
  • Clink
  • Stem
  • Canker
  • Sloped
  • Dreary
  • Dim
  • Callop
  • Grizzled
  • Coil
  • Burgeon
  • Dessicate
  • Petunia
  • Soliloquy
  • War
  • Dip
  • Projecting
  • Phone
  • Hanger
  • Set
  • Designed
  • Vinyl
  • Release
  • Select
  • Quiet
  • Bag

Couch to 80K Day One – Names

This year I am working through Tim Clare’s Couch to 80K Bootcamp– a course where you write for 10 minutes a day.

By following Tim’s prompting, the aim is to work through from basics until you reach the ability to write an 80,000 word novel.

Apologies: it may not actually be that interesting to read…

Couch to 80K Writing Challenge in text

List as many names as you can.

  • William Herbertso
  • Igron Defo
  • Ma’Rie’Taar Seree
  • Tom Williamson
  • Billy McTrinket
  • Dundo Melee
  • The Great Vorg
  • Hilam Sylaget
  • Mohammed Al Assar
  • Arnold Phillip Wimblebury
  • Susan Sanders
  • Elsie McGrieg
  • Ryan Devlin
  • Mr P. Hartington, Esquire
  • Badge Raynor
  • Gee Flinty
  • Flin Longsight
  • Fee
  • Esmerelda Dimongato
  • Sam Smithe
  • Nice Pokes
  • Ecgree-Rynor-Delta
  • Peter Isomole
  • Oragnor Remflip
  • Hilnor Uppingthwaite
  • Daisy Tumbleweed
  • Org
  • Miss Cecilia-of-the-Undergrowth
  • Pintop
  • Harmind Ectinor
  • The Smoothness
  • Bryn Powell
  • Alan Degre
  • Luna DeGresse
  • Semet Ho Fla Go
  • Arkron399
  • #ff~b
  • Clone 7
  • Hussar Marvete
  • Erag Smite
  • Esme Pinthread
  • Goldum Baker
  • Vilhelm Gran de Vin
  • Smarta
  • Clebhorn Nuttle
  • Taz Derrick
  • Boz Smasher
  • Daze Thinline
  • Cazzack Enteraire
  • Felix Lighthammer
  • Felis Edgeleaf
  • Feccle Nutjammer
  • Friar Holdsbare
  • Steve McNair
  • Ivor Randick

Homeland – a poem

homelandI couldn’t sleep last night, and found myself (foolishly) doomscrolling. Something Shane Claiborne posted niggled at my soul:

It lined up perfectly with the text immediately presented to me in the book of Hebrews.

In a manner that is unusual for me, all that thought and emotion suddenly formed into a poem in my brain. At 2am.

Homeland

There is a homeland that I’m searching for.
Not hallowed ancient ground or some distant shore,
But here, so present here, stained feet red raw.
With the pace by which I seek this place

Confused disrupted noise misleads my way.
My thoughts alone enough hindrance to decay.
A life, misspent, or – doubt screams – “Mislaid!”
Hope alone can ease this heaving chest.

Opportunity to return? I don’t desire home;
For good enough is not good enough.
The painful road threads by not received promise.
Disappointed or greeted from afar?

Spirit grant that feet and heart contend,
To step boldly into better country.
Desire instead be of the not ashamed.
By those exiled hands and bleeding soles,
Our city is prepared.

(I’ve included the Hebrews passage below, with relevant words highlighted).

Hebrews 11:13-16

These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. 

If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to returnBut as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city.

You Have No Authority Here! RPG

This is a role play game about Parish Council meetings. It’s for 3-10 people who pretend to respect one another.

Together, you are the members of Little Ranting Parish Council – a hotbed of passive aggressive argumentation, and petty discrimination. You will play round a table or via video chat. The meeting is about to start, but before it can, you need to decide who will Chair it! Who would be brave enough to try… and do they have enough AUTHORITY?!

The idea is loosely based on the recent Handforth Parish Council meeting that went viral, with the infamous quote “You have no authority here, Jackie Weaver!”

FREE DOWNLOAD

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Comrades-in-arms

This is a piece of microfiction from my upcoming project The Die Decideswhich is live on Kickstarter now!
We rolled a ten sided dice and it gave me the directions of 500 words in the category of “On The Allotment”, with the theme of “Acceptance”…

Comrades-in-arms

Slugs. Don’t talk to me about slugs.

Last year I had enough broccoli to fix a famine. Finest crop I’ve ever managed. Every plant? Perfect.

Then I was away, and it rained like the dickens. They thrive in the wet, y’see? Come back and it was like someone had taken a strimmer to the plot – the Battle of the Somme but with brassicas. I barely salvaged enough to balance up your standard roast dinner for one.

There’s too many of them, that’s the problem. I’ve heard on fancy vineyards they keep an army of ducks around. Just there to munch on the slimy scumbags. Good work if you can get it.

Don’t think I’d get permission from the General Allotment Committee for that though. Snooty barstools, the whole lot. In it for the power. I can hear them now, all “Against regulations”, and “Your army of ducks ate all my tomatoes”. They wouldn’t know a good crop of broccoli if I dropped it on them. Not that I can, thanks to the slimy criminals on my patch.

Thing is, can’t be much of a life. I mean, I’m retired now – course I am, shuffling around a veg patch, muttering about gastropods – but in my glamorous professional career I was a traffic warden.

No, not even – I was a “Parking Enforcement Officer”, they retitled us, very grand! My job satisfaction went through the roof with that one, no doubt. Would have preferred a pay rise, but you take what you can get. “I’m a P.E.O., you know?” I’d say, to bulldog builders as they swore at me for ticketing them for blocking the ambulance entrance to the hospital whilst they nipped somewhere for an emergency sausage roll. I like to feel there was a new begrudging respect in their eyes as they threatened to physically intrude on my anatomy with the afore-mentioned ticket.

So I suppose I understand the lettuce grubbers more than I let on. I used to step on them, but can’t bring myself to these days. More satisfaction in tossing them onto Mr Chairman’s fancy railway-sleeper raised beds. Few more tomatoes’ll be good for them, I’m sure.

Truth be told, since the wife moved on, company has been somewhat thin on the ground. Say what you like about slugs, but they’re not complainers. “Always on that filthy allotment”, she’d say. Easier to stay quiet about that, but well, there was no one to nag me in the shed. Slimy they might be, but they know how to hold their tongue like no-one’s business.

I’d not admit it publicly, like, but there’s sometimes the day I’ll cook up a cuppa, and perch one of them on the potting table. I’m not mad, I know its just a big mindless worm; but its still nice to sit with someone sometimes, right?

I like to think of ‘em like old rivals, comrades-in-arms, almost. Reminiscing about the battles we’ve fought.

I’d never have eaten that much broccoli anyway.

 

Thanks for reading! Did you enjoy it? If you’d like to have your say in what the die decides for me to write next, please check out The Die Decides on Kickstarter!