Update – One Thing at a Time

Hello, everyone.

It has been a while since my last post, and I realise that the frequency of my posts has dropped in recent months. There is a very clear and simple reason for this, and that is that I am taking on too many projects at once.

I am quite ambitious with my writing, and I like to keep myself busy with some project or another every day. However, I have come to realise that I am spreading myself too thin when I should be concentrating fully on each project as it deserves. Too often I am making myself anxious because I haven’t found the time to work on a new story for my blog, or wasting time being concerned that it must play second fiddle to my novel writing, or my writing course, or my competition hopefuls. My writing should be enjoyable, as it was when I began posting on this blog, and not the source of stress that it is rapidly becoming.

I have had a long think about all of this, and I have decided to cut myself some slack. It sounds daft and obvious, I know, but it has taken a while for me to realise that it is okay to do so. I want to keep this blog up and running, as it has helped me grow in confidence and ability since I first made the plunge, and I genuinely feel as if I am part of a vibrant, exciting online community. I have made some wonderful acquaintances on WordPress, and some of you I have had the great pleasure of meeting in the real, unedited world, too! I do not want to put and I end to that, but I need to let myself breathe and not worry too much. I will continue to write fiction for this blog, but it may not be very frequently, as I have other scintillating projects which will require my attention. This blog will remain my refuge, my sanctuary if, and when, I start to become buried again. I hope it will not happen too often.

Thank you to every single one of my followers and even to those who casually stumble across this blog. Your comments and feedback keep my feet on the ground whenever my head is in the clouds!

Have any of you had, or are having, similar problems to this? I’d love to hear from you, not least because it will prove that I am not alone! Until next time, thanks for reading!

NaNoWriMo Success!

Hello, WordPress!

As some of you may be aware, I took the plunge this year and took part in National Novel Writing Month (Nanowrimo hereafter), a challenge in which participants aim to write 50,000 words of a novel in 30 days. Today I am ecstatic to report that I am one of those who succeeded, as this afternoon I validated my word count at 50,116 words! My novel isn’t finished but I am over the moon and filled with new confidence about my writing. I now know for certain that I can make time to write every single day regardless of what I have going on. It’s an eye-opening and exciting thing to realise!

However, putting in the effort has had some downsides. First of all, my poor blog has been neglected this month despite me promising myself to add and update or two. To be honest, everything got put on hold for Nanowrimo: WordPress, my social life, my various smaller projects and my music practice all had to be shelved for the duration of the challenge. I still managed to find time to read, though, as I can’t be doing without books! Nonetheless, I have no regrets over taking part as I have thoroughly enjoyed it and I have great pride in myself for seeing it through. I plan to right some of these wrongs starting today, and I’ll return to writing short stories to post on here shortly. I’ll also be kick-starting my ‘Fiction Fursday’ posts once again and doing my best to keep up with any writing competitions and challenges thrown my way. I’m planning on catching up with you wonderful people on the blogosphere, too, so that will be great fun!

Anyway, thanks for taking the time to read, as always, and I’ll look forward to interacting with you soon! Well done to anyone else who took part in Nanowrimo this year. Win or lose, you’re all writers to me!

Fiction Fursday/ Brick Wall

Hello everyone! As some of you may have noticed, I recently celebrated reaching 100 followers. I’m still very excited about this news and thrilled that so many people have enjoyed my scribblings thus far. I wanted to find a way to write more regularly on my blog, as I am always writing but not finishing work very quickly. I feel like I need something to focus my creativity, a bit of pressure to get the cogs turning in my head. I’ve been following some wonderful bloggers for a few months now and if they can manage to write a blog post every day whilst juggling their own busy lives then I can at least write one short story every week!

So, from today I am launching a weekly project which I have very cleverly named “Fiction Fursdays”, and I will require a bit of help. Upon completing the A-Z Challenge set during April, I found that prompts from other bloggers not only fired up my imagination but also helped me to feel part of the wider blogosphere. So, I’d like to request that you lovely people send me suggestions for my Fiction Fursdays! I’ll take on board every suggestion given and store them away for the upcoming weeks. This will not only give me a big group of stories to be getting on with but it will also provide me with a DEADLINE for each of them. I seem to work quite well when a deadline is set so I think this will be a good move for me!

So, if any of you would like to propose a story for me to write about in the upcoming weeks, go right ahead! I solemnly promise to give each and every suggestion a bash, regardless of the genre or narrative style etc. Anything you think I can tackle or would like to see me attempt to write just let me know. I’m very excited about this! I’ll be posting a short story which I wrote a while ago underneath this main post, which will then be the first and (hopefully!) last “Fiction Fursday” short I put up here.

Sorry for the rambling, but I wanted this post to convey my excitement and eagerness to get started! I do hope you’ll honour me with a suggestion, whoever you are! Of course I will give a shout-out to anyone who suggests something to me.

Now that that’s out of the way, here is a piece of flash fiction I wrote few months ago for a competition. Sadly it wasn’t placed, but it was fun to write. I hope you enjoy it.

Brick Wall

By Adam Dixon

John padded into the kitchen, blinking at the morning sunshine. He scratched his unkempt hair, followed by his bare stomach as it growled audibly. ‘What to have for breakfast?’ he thought, casting his eyes lazily across the room. He shuffled towards the fridge and wrenched it open, examining its contents. ‘Hmm…bacon and eggs, maybe?’ he pondered. ‘Nah, not today. Cuppa tea, though.’ He took out a bottle of milk and put the kettle on. The clip-clop of shoes on tiles announced her arrival. He didn’t turn around.

“John, we need to talk,” her quiet voice floated into the kitchen. John plonked a tea bag into his mug and began opening cupboards. ‘Hmm…cereal? Frosties or Coco Pops? Hmmm…

“Things…haven’t been going well between us for a while now,” she continued hesitantly. She took a step into the kitchen, placing a small pink suitcase next to her smart black heels. “I feel like we can’t talk to each other properly anymore. Do you know what I mean?” John took out the box of Coco Pops and looked at it briefly before he put it back.

“I think…I think we should have some time apart,” she persisted, speaking quickly. “You know, to think about our futures…because I don’t know if I can do this anymore.” Her voice cracked slightly as she spoke. John poured boiling water into his mug and hummed to himself as he added the milk.

“John? Are you listening to me? This is important!” John continued humming. ‘Actually, bugger it, I will have bacon and eggs!’ John smiled triumphantly and fished about in the fridge once again.

“John? John! Why won’t you say anything, for Christ’s sake?!” Her heeled shoe stamped down on the tiles. A single tear followed it, splashing onto the white marble. John cracked two eggs into a glass bowl and began to whisk eagerly, still humming softly.

“I can’t believe you…how can you stand there and make fucking breakfast while I’m suffering over here? Is this why Jenny left you? And Suzie?” John stopped humming. He paused for a moment mid-whisk, before scraping a generous lump of lard from the packet and into the frying pan. The humming resumed. There came a long, exasperated sigh from behind him.

“I don’t know why I bother. I loved you, John, but I can’t talk to a brick wall. I’ll send someone round for the rest of my things.” There was a hopeful pause before she picked up her case and clip-clopped out of the room. A moment later the front door slammed.

John scratched his stomach and added bacon to the frying pan. He began whistling as his breakfast started to come together, and the mouth-watering smell of bacon and scrambled eggs filled the kitchen. ‘Oh yes’, he thought cheerfully, ‘today is going to be a good day!’

 

And now for something completely different…

This is just a quick post to express my happiness at having reached two milestones this week.

Fist of all, I wrote, edited and posted my 20th short story. Whilst there are several wonderful writers on WordPress who have written more than my humble offering, I am brimming with pride over this achievement. When I began posting my stories back in June 2015, I had no idea how they would be received or whether or not anyone on the blogosphere would actually read them. It was a rather daunting feeling to begin posting on this platform without fully understanding where I would be going with it, or indeed whether I would continue posting at all.

Which brings me to the my second milestone: I have somehow accrued more than 50 followers to my blog. This is wonderful news, and I am simultaneously humbled and excited by it. It is incredibly affirming to have so many brilliant writers, poets and networking geniuses visiting my blog and taking the time to read through my offerings. I felt like these milestones deserved a little something, so I’ve given this blog a fresh lick of paint and I am planning on posting more regularly in the future.

I thank you all for your kind words when you comment, and I assure you that I will be writing more and with a huge smile on my face!