Preview of ‘The Unexpected Pillow’

Fiona finished mopping the kitchen floor, pausing to examine her handiwork. The tiles were old and faded, but gleamed with cleanliness.

Satisfied, she turned to her next task, loading the laundry into the washing machine.

Fiona hesitated. As usual, there was an assortment of clothes filling the basket, but today, on top of the clothes, was a pillow.

Not just the pillow, mind, but the pillow case too, slipped off and folded over on top.

It was so jarring to Fiona that she set the basket down on the counter-top and stared at the offending item.

Fiona knew of course that it was Sora’a pillow. But Sora usually put both of her pillows in the basket once a month, and even than it was at Fiona’s insistence.

This single pillow represented a departure from everything that Fiona knew and was familiar with. It was a minor aberration, but it gave her an unpleasant feeling in the pit of her stomach.

And yet, the pillow was in the laundry basket, so she would have to wash it with the rest of the load. Assuming it would fit, of course.

Fiona snapped out of her contemplation of the pillow and loaded the washing machine. The anxiety that she’d felt started to recede as she found that there was room enough for the pillow and the clothes in the washing machine. Routine began to re-assert itself, as familiar as taking breath.

As she’d done before many times, Fiona filled the powder tray of the machine and pushed it back in. She selected the correct program, turned the machine on and heard the rush of water as it filled up.

Procrastination: An Opportunity?

So, as I mentioned on Monday over on Facebook, I’m not getting anywhere with a particular story which I started last week.

I saw my counsellor yesterday and we had an illuminating talk about it.

First of all, procrastination is a choice that I make, whether it’s because of conscious or unconscious pressures. Quite often though, it’s a choice made without any sort of self-dialogue.

If we say, for example, that the aspiring writer part of me is a comic book hero, and the procrastinating side of me is a villain in the same comic book, then it’s easy to give them voices. And since comic books are visual, it is easy to imagine the battle between the two.

Now suddenly there has to be a dialogue. It’s the done thing in comic books, right?

Let’s say just for the moment that Negatron has some logic for wanting Writimus Prime (me) to not write that story. What would that be?

Well, ‘The Unexpected Pillow’ is sort of a pivotal story. If I can write it, then I can write all the other stories that are on hold. At least, that’s what I believe to be true.

Any why would Negatron not want that? He doesn’t want to see me succeed, because guess what? It means even more work in the future. And Negatron is work-aversive.

Why is he work-aversive? Because he thinks that it harms my well-being.

Okay. Well, it’s true that too much work can get me stressed out. It’s true that sometimes I take on too much and just need to say no to one more project.

Negatron also says that if I finish this story, then I will lack a fresh challenge.

That is true to a certain extent. I don’t have a new hurdle to overcome once I get this story written. I should plan ahead and see what else I can do. It doesn’t have to be a writing challenge, but if it is then okay.

Negatron want me to chill out and take most of the morning off.

I would love to be able to take the morning off (or whenever it is that I wake up these days) but it’s becoming a bad habit to take the rest of the day off as well. So, no. Mornings are now writing time. Suck it up and wait until evening.

Giving voice to the force causing procrastination doesn’t make it stronger, it gives you the ability to spot the faulty logic, put the good points into practise, and override the desire to be idle. It’s an opportunity to fine-tune how writing fits into your life and vice versa.

Hope this is helpful. :)

Farewell Annabelle

I wrote a short story this afternoon on Wattpad!

Mari and Annabelle have been friends for a while. Sometimes, they have sex – if Mari wants to, that is.

Now, Annabelle is leaving to seek adventure, and Mari must bid her farewell.

P.S. Yes, they’re hobbits.

April is Here. Wait, What?

It’s been almost three months since my last blog post.

In that time, I haven’t got a huge amount of writing done, certainly not as much as I hoped I would. But that’s okay. I’ve been tired and getting no further forwards as to why I’m so tired, but it has started to ease since about mid-March or so.

I have in fact managed to write quite a bit of the first part of the Caroline and Vanessa story, and outline some of the second part. I’m feeling quite positive about it!

I’ve also managed to set things up for when I decide to start releasing books on the Play Store. Yes, after some consideration about the sort of story I’m writing, and the kind of devices that my audience is likely to be using to read it, I’ve decided that my main platform should be the Play Store.

Why? Because it’s present on practically all Android devices. I’m not saying that everyone necessarily looks in there for new books to read. Hell, I haven’t even bought one damn book from there myself. But since it’s already there, users don’t have to install anything else in order to read a book. So that’s a point in its favour.

I’m not expecting that my first release will be a bestseller, by any means. I can’t really justify spending exhorbitant sums of money on marketing, so I’m going to be rolling the dice and hoping that it will enjoy a little bit of popularity in its finished and polished form.

Speaking of first releases, I’m now leaning towards releasing the story in chronological order. That would probably mean Caroline and Vanessa would be the first up. And I think that may work well for me – it will be a shorter story, it’ll introduce the main character, and of course if it isn’t well received then it need not impact the other stories in the series.

I really need to come up with a better title for Caroline and Vanessa’s story. I mean, it’s desciptive for me, but not so much for the reader.

How about these?

  • Hologram of a Linguist
  • Deceiving the Linguist
  • Love, Lies and a Hologram

The first is really a description of an important item in the story which will be created when Vanessa asks Caroline to pose for a holographic portrait with a twist. The second describes what happens when Amber is introduced into the story. The third is sort of a mixture of the other two but is accurate all the same.

I’m not sure what sort of a cover image I would use for the story. I have a few ideas, but I think it’s too early to get started on it.

So, I’ve got a lot to be getting on with, but I basically wanted to touch base and say hi, I’m still alive, I haven’t vanished into a black hole, and so on. And also, what would you like to see here, anwyay? :)

A New Year: Onwards!

It’s a new year and I think I’m rested enough after the holidays to get back to some writing.

There’s something that I forgot about when I decided to finish off things that I’d started writing. I need to spend a little bit of time starting on new parts as well. Sometimes that first line can be the toughest, so if it’s already done then that alleviates the whole blank page anxiety. :-)

My special thanks go out to Google who made typing this post a pain in the ass. Have you ever tried writing tags using an on-screen keyboard? It’s drilling through to the symbols page to type the angled brackets that takes forever. Not to mention, I wouldn’t even need to be doing that if their browser supported the visual editor. Ah well. All the more reason to try out a different browser.

Hope you’re all having a productive start to the year. :-)

Status

Martin
Martin December 23, 5:22 UTC

The newest version of the Jetpack plugin seems to have a mobile theme, so I’ve enabled that here on the site. Hope it works for you. :)

Also, I’ve decided that the next story to work on is Pegasus. It makes sense, it’s been a while since it saw an update.

Status

Martin
Martin December 21, 0:32 UTC

Just posted the fifth part of the Maw of Despair. Enjoy!