They’re Closer Than You Think

Photograph ©Jaroslaw Datta http://jaroslawdatta.com/

I thought I would share the small piece about Poseidon’s Standing Stones that I was asked to contribute by fellow writer Gregory L Norris. The story has been recently published in ‘From The Corner of Your Eye – A Cryptids Anthology’ by Great Old Ones Publishing, It’s a damn fine book which stands next to Lovecraft’s Necronomicon and Barker’s Imajica on my writing desk and features some pretty creepy tales about those creatures that exist on the edge of our consciousness. ‘Ere’s ‘wot’ I wrote:

Holidays to the coast as a kid had me searching the flat-line horizon for sea-monsters. I found none, so I imagined them. Years later, I imagined one again. I then gave her a place to live, a modest social life including friends from English legend, and of course, a leisure interest. Every monster needs a hobby. All this, I thought, ought not to stretch one’s imagination too far since individuality is embraced by the society I live in, and neighbourhoods have become extremely transient. Maybe she would live unnoticed in a town, possibly making weekly trips to the Benefits Office. Maybe she would be saddened by the lament of the gull or be comforted by the gentle shush of the sea. Maybe she would find love. Or maybe not.
And here we are. How was I to know things were going to happen as they did? After all, she is a cryptid and they’re supposed to stay hidden, aren’t they? Something about the corner of one’s eye, or is that just myth?

To explore what inspired the other authors to write about their particular beasts, please do visit Gregory L Norris’ blog.

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The FWC – Who Are You? Blog Hop

Did someone mention The Collective?

Did someone mention The Collective?

A Frome Writers’ Collective: what a great idea! It has always surprised me that I could never seem to find writers, or local resources for them, in the Frome area especially as it seems to be a cauldron of creativity and free-thinking. Even using the interweb thingy (as an elderly relative calls it), other local writers were perhaps tucked away behind bookcases or lurking down plugholes. Then, last June, I picked up the wonderful local rag which forever informs us of wonderful goings-on in our wonderful little town full of wonderful people, and there it was: a small article about the FWC launch at the library. I went along and have now found Frome’s writing community.

FWC logoI’m proud to say that I am a member of the FWC and would like to thank and praise the Collective’s Trustees for all they have achieved in its first nine months.

The FWC – Who Are You? Blog Hop is a chance to visit the online homes of many of the talented members of the Collective and learn a little more about who we are.

And it looks like I’m kicking it off.

Frome Writers’ Collective is home to a range of writers, poets, illustrators, editors, and publishers. Which one best describes you?

Writer. I tend to write dark stuff which is best described as Speculative fiction. I have been working on short pieces for the past year building up a catalogue of work to put an anthology together. There’s definitely some horror stories in there and a few urban fantasy ones, too. After that, I intend to revisit my novel which I have been sitting on for the past year. Hopefully, I will have worked up enough courage to start the manuscript’s ninth edit by that time.

Apart from the Speculative angle, I have a predilection for humour – especially black comedy – which can be a hinderance when I’m working on a really tense scene and am desperate to turn a crucial sentence into a punchline. I just have to be tough with myself. As Frank Herbert said in Chapterhouse: Dune, ‘Seek discipline and find your liberty.’

blackbags#2

This artwork reminded me very much of my WIP. Child of the Moon by Marina Malares http://marinamolares.com/

What are you working on at the moment?

Nothing to Fear During Daylight, a short story, primarily for a particular British small press market which I would love to crack. The idea for the piece started with a prompt for a US themed anthology which I was considering. During a discussion about the prompt with my children, the youngest asked the question, “What if the night was scared of itself, Daddy?” Oh, what fun we could have with that little gem, I thought.

At the moment, I am on the fourth draft and with the help of the Nameless Writing Group, it has taken shape nicely. Unfortunately, the little ones who gave me the idea aren’t allowed to read it because of the content.

Jack London said that “You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.” Would you agree?

I think so. Take a rope along with you as well because inspiration can be a wily little git. I often trap it by looking for submission calls on the internet through such sites as The Submission Grinder (a resource for writers of all types of fiction, non-fiction and poetry), Dark Markets, and Facebook. When I find a submission call that appeals to me, I research the theme and see what I can come up with. Of course, if I’m researching for more than two weeks then it probably means that I’m procrastinating, and need to start writing.

Staring at a blank page can be daunting. How do you get from brain to page?

By writing. It’s as simple as that. Doesn’t really matter what I write: it could be a piece of dialogue, or I may look out the nearest window and describe the view, or I’ll try a new voice to give me an angle or a different style. The important thing is not to stop – not even to edit; not even if it doesn’t make sense – because it is the flow of words that entices the real story from the tangle of brambles in my head. Hell, I generally don’t use most of this initial writing when putting together a first draft. I’ve realised that the ability to let go of words, sentences, paragraphs is a crucial skill that a writer must learn.

FWC 800px-Kilroy_Was_Here_-_Washington_DC_WWII_MemorialYou’ve finally stopped procrastinating and you’re ready to get creative or tackle that manuscript. Have you a particular place where you like to work?

At the kitchen table, in a half-light, looking at the back garden through the French doors. The view isn’t that great on account of it being dark when I normally settle to write and all I see is my reflection peering over the top of my laptop like some modern Chad doodle. But it seems to work. I manage to get two hours a night, if I’m not distracted by wanting a mug of tea, or social media, or children, or food. Which reminds me of a quote about discipline.

Thanks for stopping by and spending the time to read the first FWC – Who Are You? Blog Hop interview. Next Sunday be sure to hop over and say hello to two more FWC members, the intriguing B. Anne Adriaens:

To the outside world, B. Anne Adriaens works as a freelance translator and editor, but behind the scenes, she writes dystopian stories with a fantastical twist, makes the occasional attempt at poetry and has a blog on the theme of exile, under the pseudonym Nuala Rayne.

While working on finding a home for her last novel, which was written in French, she has started on her first novel in English and so far, it’s going quite well.

She found out early on that an excess of imagination is something that needs an outlet. Too many stories, characters and ideas bottled up in one mind would drive any poor soul mad – hence the necessity to write. She firmly believes that it’s the safest way for her to keep her sanity.

Online, you can contact her via her blog https://nualarayne.wordpress.com/ , Facebook under B Anne Adriaens and Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/b-anne-adriaens/ , where you will find (among other things) photos of the derelict places which inspired her.

and the awesome Piotr Świetlik.

Piotr Świetlik is a Silesian science fiction author, DJ, father and husband, in
no particular order of importance. He was born in the Silesian city of Chorzów,
Poland, but has spent the last decade living in Somerset. He loves good
literature, psychedelic trance and lager. His favourite authors are Roger
Zelazny, Stanisław Lem and Philip K Dick. He spends his days trying to remain
sane and working on his first novel. His blog is here: https://piotrkswietlik.wordpress.com/

Don’t forget to visit them on the Sunday 15th March.