Archive | December, 2013

Choose your direction

30 Dec

As a writer, this is something you must do each time you create a new story.

Which way do you look?

Do you look inwards, at yourself, examine your thoughts, your motives and your actions?
Or do you look outwards, at the world, see how life works, put society under the microscope?

So in the end, that’s the simple choice we are all eventually faced with.

Which way will you look?

The Weight Of A Memory

29 Dec

How much does a memory weigh? As a piece of mere data stored in the brain, it should weigh nothing.

But a memory can weigh less than nothing, being so uplifting that it raises your spirits and your hopes.
Yet a memory can be the heaviest thing, so heavy it can break your heart.

Never overestimate the importance of a memory.
It may be something you hold onto as tightly as life itself, yet is so fragile it can slip between your fingers like grains of sand.

The Year Of Living Bradbury

28 Dec

I’ve finally made a concrete decision. Not easy for someone like me whose moods swing up & down like a demented roller coaster but I’ve been thinking the idea over & have now decided to do it.

Ray Bradbury once said you should try to write one story per week to improve your writing, even if you didn’t write very good stuff every week at least at the end of the year you’d have 52 stories and SOME of them would be good, if not excellent. As I see it, it’d also get you into the habit of writing on a more regular basis, a good path to becoming more writing orientated. Be a more consistant writer, a more focused writer.

So I’ve decided I am going to try this next year. 1 story written and finished every single week of the year. 7 days to write something, regardless of genre is a decent amount of time. It allows for thinking, implementation, editing and realistically isn’t a massive hard deadline. There are lots of places that have writing prompts and I also find places with quite inspiring images so no shortage of things to get ideas from.

I might find myself writing things very similar. Not a new occurance but something I’ll have to get used to. I’m going to need to set a few rules and guidelines so I can’t cheat, either myself or you, my loyal readers and supporters.

RULES:-

From January 1st 2014 to December 31st 2014 I resolve to write ONE story every week.
The story MUST be completed before midnight of the final day.
Definition of “a week”:- A week being a period of 7 days.
Definition of a “story”:- At least flash length, 100 words minimum. There is no maximum.
Definition of “completed”:- Story must be fully written, showing THE END. The story may be spellchecked & proofed after this.

Stories can be in any genre.
If the deadline is missed at any point during the year, the challenge is deemed to have been failed.
(Close only counts in horseshoes and handgrenades, as Jesse Ventura once said)

I am probably completely insane for even thinking about attempting this, let alone actually attempting it.

Some likely questions addressed

What is going to happen to these stories? Initially, nothing. They will be collected & released as an anthology eventually.
Will this effect monthly free releases? No, these are already finished & ready.
Will there be blogging about these stories? Probably just on their status, ie:- Finished or not. If I have time.

Anyway, there’s the intention. I may well regret this and change my mind in the next 4 days. We’ll see.

Resolving 2013

26 Dec

There was no actual New Years Resolution as such this year.

I eventually decided to stick with 2012’s resolution, release at least 1 ebook per month. More than achieved with 18 releases this year.

The stuff that got accepted by the flash web sites was just a bonus to be honest but the knock backs on the ideas I thought were sure fire were very difficult to take. But I’ve taken them. Anything the flash market says no to can always be reused as a book eventually. Or go in an anthology if it’s very short.

Next years releases are all finished (yes, already!), in fact Januarys release already has a cover. I had a bit of a sort out and moved some stuff that was potentially going out in 2015 to next year and I am hoping by some time next year to have written enough to release the “Nine Regions” anthology which may well end up being a pay title.

There are no actual definite plans for next year as far as writing goes.
Everything is subject to mood, time and health.

I probably will do the minimum 12 releases again. I’ve had 2 successful years of doing it now. Hopefully sometime next year I want to search my room for my Invisible Knight novel work. I have a vague idea where it might be.

I’m going to earmark enough money to pay into my bank account so I can cover next years broadband bill after the price increase. This will at least keep me online another year, no matter what.
I should get the results of my MRI early next year, no idea what to expect there.

As long as I can see and type, I’ll carry on writing and releasing.

Update and an Xmas flash fic

24 Dec

News from 365 Tomorrows was a no on the Mythbusters story, sad but there you go.
Here’s a festive short I wrote last year to get you in the spirit of the season.

Little Green Men, A Flash Fiction Story by Raymond Daley

In the largest hanger at Groom Lake Air Force base they still puzzle over the vehicle they found at Roswell.
“They say it’s red and made of wood?” said the first guard.
“No wings, yet it flew!” said the second guard.
“Piloted by a little green man?” said the first guard.

Somewhere under the ground, in a cell, the voice screamed for the millionth time.
“OK! I stole the Sleigh! Just let me out! Santa’s gonna go crazy when I take it back!”

THE END. (Wed, 13 Jun 2012 02:09:02 GMT)

The Dream Of The Life That Never Was

24 Dec

The Dream Of The Life That Never Was

Regret is a terrible thing and hindsight is the clearest form of vision, this much can a glaucoma patient tell you.

Some of you may know I served in the Royal Air Force as a clerk on the same station for my whole career. I made good friends there, the people made it a better place because the job was quite frequently terrible but no more frequently than how terrible I was AT the job.

Yes dear friends, I was in fact, a bloody AWFUL clerk. Constantly put into jobs where I could cause no damage or serious harm to the rest of the RAF and only relocated when the need absolutely demanded it. I attribute my failure to not getting recoursed during my trade training at RAF Hereford.

I should have been put back at least a week or even two and made to retake my end of course exams and actually pass most of them instead of failing all but one.
Let me set the scene.

My father was ill, he had a bad heart amongst other things.

Our relationship was hardly the best, in fact I hated the man. He threw me out of the house I’d called my home for my entire life up to that point after a massive argument started by the smallest of things. So I went to a sister and slept on her sofa that first night.

My mum was convinced that it would blow over and I’d be back within 24 hours. But I wasn’t. I’m as much of a stubborn bastard as my father, a trait I inherited from him no doubt. So I got a couple of days max on the sofa of my sister before my welcome was overstayed and I looked for another roof over my head. This time with my brother, his wife and my nephew.

So I slept in a downstairs back room, I went out and looked for work every day, I found, started and left the worst job of my life all in one day (as a cleaner in a nursing home) but it was clear I couldn’t stay there long. So off I went again and looked for another place to stay, which turned out to be several months with another sister (I have 6 of them, by the way) and I worked on and off until I had some money and got my own place.

This was a flat above a butchers shop, just 1 room with a shared toilet & shower, and I struggled to find work and earn money. The situation became desperate and I looked at my life and examined the alternatives, the greatest of which was death.
Oh yes, I was suicidal.

There was a very a tempting bridge I used to run over ever day, ‘One day’, I thought ‘I’m just going to chuck myself off it, it’ll be over in a flash.’ And that was my life, if you could call that living.

Then I had a REALLY stupid idea.
I’d see if I could join up.

I had some skills, I was fit, I could cope in the military. But which branch?
Not the Army, I didn’t fancy being cannon fodder.
Not the Navy, I’d never sailed and wasn’t a good swimmer.
And I already had friends in the Air Force, so why not use their insider knowlege to get an easier ride?

So I wound my merry way to the RAF Careers Information Office and asked about joining.
“What would you like to be?” asked the nice man.
“An air cartographer please!” One who makes aerial maps from photographs, it sounded cool and undangerous.

So I did the medical. And didn’t make the grade. My colour vision wasn’t good enough.
“Did you have a second choice?” asked the nice man.
“Data Analyst please?” says me, knowing it sounds computery.

So I took the aptitude tests. And failed by half a percent according to the nice man.
(I’ve since discovered after requesting my RAF documents that he lied to me.)
“I’m sorry, was there another trade you wanted?” asked the nice man who I still trusted at the time.
I was unsure.
“There’s Personnel And Administration Clerk, that’s like Data Analyst?” suggests the nice man.
So I say yes please and they do the background checks that are required.

A few months go by into a new year and my landlord tells me to call my mum. Who tells me I’ve been accepted!
So I sign the form, 6 years of my life on the line for Queen, Country and the chance to get away from the shit existance I am currently living. I take the oath and am off to recruit training the next day for 6 weeks.

Or not.
In week 5 I hit a stumbling block, the rifle range.
I fail my 3 attempts and am reflighted back a week.

I get the miserable kick in the teeth of seeing my mates pass out as I prepare to take the range yet again.
Week 5, version 2.
Again, 3 attempts, again I fail. Again I am reflighted back a week.

I am now in week 7 of 6.
I pass, not by my own skill but at the order of someone with more power.

We do our real week 6, pass out and I get to go home for the weekend.
The first time my father and I have spoken since he kicked me out.

On the Sunday I travel off to Hereford to start trade training.

I am now the furthest from home I have ever been. I am alone.
But determined to do well.
As my course progresses I make frequent phone calls home, I don’t go home much because it’s a long trip and it’s expensive.
My dad is in and out of hospital with his heart, my poor mum sounds scared and I feel like a complete shit because I’m not there to help or support her. Every day I am convinced I will get the phone call from my mum, that dad is dead.

But this is not to be, at least not for another five years. I told you he was a stubborn bastard, didn’t I?

Anyway, all this distracts me to the point of failure and I am sent eventually to my unit where I am unprepared and scared witless.

But my career could have been very different. I was offered a choice, to go to a different unit.
And this is the dream of the life that never was.

The LAC Daley who chose Support Command, who had a nicer SNCO and who eventually thrived to the point of promotion from Corporal to Sergeant.
But he never existed.
Except in my head.

The SEE method, writing a story in 3 steps.

18 Dec

SEE. How to write a story in 3 steps.

Step 1 – Situation.
Step 2 – Explanation.
Step 3 – Exposition.

“And it goes BING, then it’s finished.”