Archive | August, 2014

An old RAF poem I rediscovered

31 Aug

This Afternoon We Burned Our Files (author unknown)

With nods and becks and wreathed smiles,this afternoon we burned our files.

They told us we could only keep, what could be carried in a jeep,
but when we’ve got our bed rolls in, and packed the old chye swindle tin,
the space that’s left is far too small, to carry any files at all,
and so we took each file we’d got, and sacrificed the ruddy lot.

It is not often that a clerk, can leave his desk for such a lark,
but I for one would never tire, of casting files on the fire.

To stop the papers blowing round, we dug a deep hole in the ground,
and to be sure that they would catch, poured petrol on and struck a match.

What joy, what unimagined bliss, to hear the whole combustion hiss.
What other climax, what elation, can compare with this cremation?
The greatest moment of our lives ,the arson of admin’s archives.

See the stiff red covers wrinkle, watch the papers catch and crinkle.
Now they’ve vanished with the flames, and all their silly pompous names.

Reciepts and issues, Stocks at parks, Orders for the Duty Clerks,
Battle Orders and locations, Establishments at Delta Station.

Aircraft–Blenheims and Marauders, Middle East Accounting orders,
And last of all the fat extraneous, Correspondence Miscellaneous.
All gone and now we’ve got a box, To keep our underclothes and socks.

The filing system’s in the grave, and we no more can be its slave.
Nor will there ever be a stir, if signals come which cross-refer.
If we don’t know what they’re about, we’ll never book the blighters out.

And now, we thought, we all stand equal, but the story has a sequal,
for of course there came one day, a signal for the AOA,
and written right beside the date, was Ref, my T.Q 68.

The harrassed duty clerk said *?&? it, I’ve no files and I can’t flag it,
and unsuspecting took it in, the AOA turned black as sin and said
in mortfying style: ‘I want to see the ruddy file.’

From here of course the story’s plain, We’ve opened all our files again,
and no longer have we got a box, to keep our underclothes and socks.


Filling in the gaps

31 Aug

Not every story is going to be born fully formed, coming into the world kicking and screaming with every last detail locked down. Chances are MOST of your stories are coming to come into this world as just the middle, just the end, just the start or even less.

What I call “fragments“. So what do you do then?

You’ve got part of an idea and you aren’t sure where it goes next or where it came from.
I’ve talked about the five W’s before. Who,What, Where, When, Why.
These aren’t JUST questions. These are the tools you need for storybuilding. Look at what you have.

If you have a place, where is it?
If you have a character, who are they?
Why are they there?
What are they doing?
Where are they going next?

The five W’s will help you turn a few sentences into a proper story.
Just keep asking questions.

If you found this post useful, feel free to follow me on twitter @RayDaleyWriter

Unexpected stories

30 Aug

So I was tidying this pile of paper from my desk prior to binning it.

I was about to bin the lot.
Then that little voice in my head, you know, the one that normally gets me into trouble,  says “Best you check that lot, make sure it IS rubbish?
So I do.

And discover three sides of handwritten story. FINISHED! From last month.
I’d clearly put it there to type up and then promptly forgotten it, gradully covering it with similar bits of paper that were already typed up stories to throw away.

So it was a good job I listened to that voice for a change. As it resulted in a 929 word story.
A weird little horror-ish number 😉


Ray Bradbury Challenge, Week 35.

27 Aug

Just finished this weeks story, it was from an idea I wrote down in early February!
1415 words in total, quite happy with that.
A fairly open ending too, not too bad.

Got a few ideas to write down, several to finish too.

I’m keeping busy.

Oh, and considering it’s only week 35, I’ve written 100 stories this year.

Taking rejection in your stride

26 Aug

Received word back from Fantasy & Science Fiction Submission.

C.C. Finlay had some very kind words, but in the end it was a rejection.
Some nice comments and I’ll definitely be submitting again when he does this next time.

Just makes me more determined to write something even better.

“Who Goes There?” is a good story. It’s different. Someone will like it.
They might even pay me money for it.

All writers know this:- There’s no such thing as a sure thing.
You will NEVER know what’s going to be a hit.
Stuff I’ve written, hated & still released has got good reviews. 5 stars!
So you never know what others will like.
So just keep writing, just keep trying.

To quote Bjork “One day it’ll happen, one day it’ll all come true.”

Have a poem!

25 Aug

Sitting in my little boat, I will need my overcoat,
If I sink or if I float, I will sail my little boat.
The little boat; it is my life, the stormy sea; the waves of strife,
They can sink me if they must, In myself I know I trust.

The Ship, A Flash Fiction Story

24 Aug

The Ship, A Flash Fiction Story by Ray Daley.

“The ship’s not working, can you check the instruments please Bob?”
“We’ve got a drum kit & a nord synth. You know what that means Rob?”
“Yes Bob, of course I do. It means we’re both fucked.”
“Great Rob. In that case I just wanted to say I never liked your mother.”


An up and down day. More down than up

21 Aug

I typed up a story I handwrote in bed late last night/early this morning.

I mainly did it to keep my mind busy this morning. As this afternoon I attended my oldest sisters funeral. Possibly the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. Barely held it together.

Anyway. Writing. A whole story, 908 words. A decent-ish ending.

I’m keeping my nose to the grindstone, I don’t want to let this low hurt my productivity.
I don’t think my sister would want us to do anything but live our lives as normally as we are able without her. She is with me in my heart forever.

Ray Bradbury Challenge, Week 34.

20 Aug

Not long finished this weeks story, inspired by another reddit writing prompt.

Came out at 1410 words. Not long, but long enough to say what I wanted it to.
Not entirely terrible, not great either.

It won’t set the literary world on fire.

At least I am done for this week.
Now I’ve got to get my head into the right frame of mind to attend my oldest sisters funeral tomorrow.

This isn’t going to be easy.

Ray Bradbury Challenge, Week 33.

14 Aug

Just finished this weeks story, 4408 words.

I had a different idea on Wednesday but it just wouldn’t fly. There wasn’t enough to it to make it work, no matter how I approached it.
I waited until today and wrote this one fairly easily apart from the ending which is pretty terrible and will need work.

But it IS finished.

I wasn’t sure how I’d manage this week after the death of my oldest sister.
I’m sure she’d want us to carry on living our lives as normally as possible.

I’m more determined than ever not to fail this far through the year now.
I want to succeed. Not just for me.