Tempus Fugit

image

 

The alternative working title was “Dead Blogs and Englishmen” after a January hiatus. Time flies works better; a year ago today….

Those that know me well, or indeed partially, or not all all, as the case for many may be, will know that I write. In the past it was science publications. Now it’s fiction.

Note to readers of my writing. Feel free to bypass the preamble and drop to the bottom if you just want a sample of my fiction proper.

My genre band seems wider than first imagined. In the three books and assorted short stories residing in my slush pile, I’ve dropped into fantasy fiction, psychological thriller, romance, YA, dystopia and horror…not gore; I’m not over keen on gore. Although, having just read Kings “The Dark Half” it’s not impossible I have a personal George Stark waiting in the background.

I digress. Writing, I used that word deliberately because it’s the more accurate descriptor. I have yet to publish. In fact, I have yet to decide upon how or where to start with that. Imagine the track “I’m on My Way,” by The Procrastinators, and you have arrived at that wall of self flagellation. (Yes, I know it’s The Proclaimers…I write, literal manipulations and word play; started with Dead Blogs and Englishmen above. You noticed that right?).

Last January I had a two year game plan. Simple enough really, start building up an author platform in year one; I’m told people in the industry like that. Like all good New Year resolutions I set up blog, Facebook author page and Twitter accounts.

2017, January, the blogiversary, which was last month. Tempus Fugit, twelve months already. Hard to believe really, but itΒ left me with a firm grasp of Twitter nuances and a shade more blog know-how than a year ago. The Facebook thing, well it’s Facebook…never quite sure about that one. Same with Instagram, Pinterest, Google Plus, GoodReads and Linked-In; all of which I’m on now too; although in most cases it’s pretty recent.

 

Year one game plan; follower results of the main three;

Blog 714

Twitter 5,683

Facebook 487

No idea if that’s good or bad, if we treat it purely as a numbers game. Blogging, as it turned out, had an unexpected twist. I found the people behind the blogs amazing. Not just as blog post writers, but in their hearts. Support, friendship and good banter; and that is across all borders, religions and cultures. No prejudice, no hatred…just people getting along and enjoying it. Out of it I have new friends and colleagues from across the globe.

Did I say, “That caught me out?”Β Not just a numbers game then. It does leave a new dilemma. What next?

 

Achievements in 2016 related to writing.

  1. Platform building; rightly orΒ wrongly it seems to be working.
  2. My second book, “The Assent of Rose Marie Gray,” was moved to the proofed phase and sits as a manuscript waiting for publcation. #procrastination.
  3. The Bequest, my NaNoMoWri novel, is almost complete.
  4. Thoughts on my first book, no working title apart from “Magnum Opus in Waiting,” continues to expand as a concept and has ensnared both other books with connections; even though they are both stand alone.
  5. The short story series involving paranormal brothers Allan and Joseph Carmichael took a deliberate pause because their future depends on a third brother in the past (in “The Bequest,” chronology is everything…savvy?) I suspect large re-writes will be in order. NaNoMoWri 2017 project and turn it into a novel…maybe.

 

Ambitions for the 2017 (year two game plan)

In my book (pun intended…I write, right!) the principal one is to validate my abilities, or lack thereof. The need for professional scrutiny to move into the published circle of authors. By that I mean approaching literary agents, publishing houses or maybe the indie scene. The search for “Better Days,” (The Procrastinators again) and an end to uncertainty of purpose. That and to complete “The Bequest” and at least one new novel.

We shall see.

In the meantime I will offer a second taste of The Bequest; the short blurb and an excerpt containing one of my favourite characters; Rowena the Goth. It has appeared on my blog before, when the concept was being visited in the mind palace.

Remember friend, this is first draft material; unedited. That journey begins at The End. Tasters just ask anyone who gets this far if they like the feel of the exerpt.

 

Short Synopsis “The Bequest”

Emma Strickland’s late father was a professor of archaeology and modern day Indiana Jones, specialising in the occult. The family home, MarshBank House, fitted his interests closer than imagined. It collected the past, stored it and waited.

On the death of her mother, Emma inherited it all; unaware that not every bequest is part of the chattels.

Something is reaching out, beguiling Archibald Cleethorpes, a man who once unearthed a mirror in Rome while collecting with the professor. A mirror with a past. A mirror that shows death; more precisely people that are living, until the voyeur, thinking they are witnessing an accident, becomes the assassin.

Emma has the mirror now and Archie, haunted and possessed by a reflection he once saw, will do anything to get it back.

 

Excerpt

Adrian “Ade” Johnston was a bright kid that mixed with the wrong ones after his parents took their eye off the ball. Easy to do moving from toddler through to adolescence. Those days are cute. Maybes not at the time but looking back Pamela and Carl figured those were the times before “Get out of my bubble” and “What do you know?” appeared. The omnipresent realisation that every new teen cracks open. Older folk were always old and don’t know the minds of teenagers. How could they? They’re old.

Ade knew this to be true though. After all his generation were obviously the first to actually be sixteen…ever. Thirty seemed past it, unreachable, never going to happen. But folk older than that were just wrong. They were the ones running the world and screwing it up. They should all be put in homes until they get too old to have a say. Might be folk would just get along fine then. Only grandparents knew stuff. Well they had when he was a kid. Tales of the war, real stuff from history that even the Internet knew about. Gramps had been in it. Really in your face, up to the eyeballs, proper in it. He had medals too and that way of avoiding details which, to an empathic minded child, says hey, you really were weren’t you. As opposed to the hyperbolic crap most of his current mates said. Teens for you though. They all did it and they all knew they did it and that was just fine.

What was not fine, in his parents view, was how they had managed to watch good grades slump in the key years leading to examinations that counted. Ade knew why though. Love was money. It bought him stuff as a surrogate. Bespoke room that, in fairness, was the envy of his mates but when he needed help a new video game or bag of sweets didn’t cut the mustard. Then again they were in the age bracket that should be in homes to safeguard the planet. When you looked at it like that then what could you expect? The age of got to have the latest gadget, car, just so house was running. Any fool looking at 24/7 news could figure it out. Spend more get less; earn more do less. Wasn’t rocket science. Not to him and his mates at any rate. Politicians sucked, world leaders sucked and idiots that voted were sheep indoctrinated like religious folk. Dare to say something was wrong and boom. Off they went in the rhetoric of what the heck would Ade know at his age. They did though. Ade and his pals. They knew plenty. After all they were the first kids ever to be teenagers.

It started going off the rails when gramps passed away. Nothing sinister or untoward. He was just old. That didn’t make it hurt less because of all the people in his family who ever gave him any time to talk about stuff gramps was the only that chewed the fat. Ade thought that was a war thing. When you saw that up front it was bound to change you. A mate blown to pieces in front of you. One you had the crack with over breakfast, gone in seconds. There one minute, gone the next.

Get your head round that people.

The smell of fresh rain on mud, the chill of the air blowing a gale in wet clothes, boots full of water rotting your feet, the actual smell of flesh lacerated with bullets and screams of soldiers lying in the dirt waiting for medics that were just to damn busy. If movies came with smell-o-vision punters would be chucking up all over the place. Ade saw it all in gramps eyes and the way a rustic index finger tapped the side of his nose when a question got too close. Gramps remembered the carefree days before and then the bloodshed after. They were there. Ade felt it sitting in the living room when he visited. Living room. That always threw him too. So quiet, a bit like he imaged a morgue with just a clock ticking the time away until the moment to drop the coffin came. He often wondered if you could ever really come back after an experience like that. Yes, Ade sure missed gramps a whole heap of ways.

That was when Rowena the Goth found him. One afternoon after lunch at school when he was leaning on the railings at the furthest edge of the playing fields. Having some time out away from everything, lessons, mates, people. Space to just say cheers gramps and thank you for being the real parent; the one that cared.

“Go on then” came a soft voice behind him.

Ade took no notice. He was there to be alone. Besides girls didn’t speak to him outside class very often. The owner he couldn’t place anyway.

“Are you gonna jump the fence or not?”

“What?” Ade hoped that had some proper fuck off irritation in it.

“I’ve seen you here everyday for the last two weeks at least. Figured you were working up to blowing this joint.” She was still behind him.

“Yeah, well I might just do that. Life’s a bitch then you die.”

“Thanks”

Gramps cut him up there. Young un, t’aint her fault. It rolled round his head for a few before he replied. “I didn’t mean bitches as in girls. It’s just stuffs fucked up a bit.”

He turned round and things changed. Rowena the Goth as he’d never seen her before. Well, he had, just not paid any attention to her in school uniform. Her reputation was after hours. The black gear with silver bangles and purple highlights. Not forgetting the nose stud. Here she was kinda normal, uniform in the uniform and, well, fucking gorgeous.

“I know that one Adrian.” She smiled.

Fuck, she knows my name. A freaking girl knows my name. Gramps tailed away. “What do you know about it?” Imbecile, why did I say that?

“This and that. Being the weirdo that everyone laughs at for a start.”

“Do they?” He was looking into her eyes. He liked the way they stared back. More than that though, they reminded him of the light in Gramps. The one that said I know more than I let on young ‘un.

She laughed and he was hooked. “Yes they do.”

It may have been the glisten of tears in his eye that moved things on. Nobody cared before, and Rowena the Goth was hope.

“I lost my grandad not long ago. Best friend I ever had.”

“Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to intrude.” Except she moved closer. He saw her arms move in the way his mums once had when he was upset.

“No, don’t apologise. I’m glad you did. It’s just hard with parents that don’t give a toss.” There, he’d never told anyone that before. It felt good.

Next he knew she was hugging him. Rowena the Goth, weirdo extraordinaire was embracing him, Ade, by the railings at the furthest point from school you could get without going truant. He clutched her back. Get your head round this people. Me and a girl…a real live girl.

“If you ever need to talk Adrian,” she left it unfinished. Not that a sentiment like that needs terminating. It is what it is. An offer of friendship, maybe more. The school bell ended lunch. They walked back holding hands, until they neared the main buildings where they separated. Not cool to be seen with a girl during school. That’s a tease job waiting to happen. Sixth form acceptable, but year too early.

Fuck the world, he thought, that’s crap too, like the lock up ages.

He reached back, took her wrist and slid his fingers back into place. Rowena smiled and schoolwork went out the window.

 


Β© G Jefferies and Fictionisfood, 2016. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

135 Comments

  1. Hi Gary, sorry I have been so absent of late from popping over to your blog. Generally finding life way to busy, started a full time job to raise some cash for promotion etc, and getting my paperback ready! Wishing you all the best for Nanowrimo and all your writing endeavours. Enjoyed your excerpt oh and anything with mirrors in it is bound to pique my interest as mirrors tend to feature in my writing too! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Never any need to apologise Marje, I was aware of your commitments. A mirror features heavily in the previous book and has a fleeting grimace in my first one too. In fact I have quite a slush pile forming!! I’m hoping NaNo will get time it needs… that of course needs real life to cut some slack lol

      Thank you so much for the kind words too πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you enjoyed that and can see why she is a favoriate. I have found blogging has helped me focus more on my writing. I put it out there I have to do. Total agree fellow bloggers (yourself so included in this) have been so supportive. I’m going to do NaNoNo this year have a bit of a outline for a story and looking forward to it. Have you considered self-publishing on-line? Amazon? Smashwords?

    Liked by 1 person

    • The support is invaluable; especially if you suffer from anxiety or that writers mind that skews in uncertainty. Mine does which is why I risked putting things on here. Comments act as sounding boards.
      I am considering, and have been a while, self-publishing, There are still a few things I need to sort out and that’s where I’ve got behind. I’m aiming to start seriously moving in the publishing direction in the New Year. Get NaNo done and just not over stress about publishing at the moment. Come at it with fresh eyes as it were.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Absolutely, engagement is the driving force for me. One reason my lost rate is low is because I end up on other people’s blogs all the time! I keep thinking I need to find a better balance, but good reads are hard to leave! Thanks for the comment, knowing something is a good read really inspires more 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  3. You have perfectly captured this teenagers angst and grief Gary…Like you I write supernatural but no gore and need to finish it,…Everything seems to have got in the way this year and nano write would have perfect but I just knew I couldn’t give the time..maybe next year…I do hope you finish yours πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ah I love this. I love how you’ve captured teenage angst. I can actually really relate to this character. I always thought my Grandmother was the only one that cared (don’t worry, I know better now) and I love how he connects with Goth Girl. I want to read more now!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Ruth; I think you are right too; when I live by only my own goals its easy to lose the path. I found NaNo doable because of the buddy up system and support that offered. On here I love reading other authors stories on how they approach things and keep motivated. I did a course a while back and that really hit at finding writing buddies outside of family and friends because they tend to feel obligated to be nice rather than objective. Absolutely spot on though. Ambitions and achievements are really important to all life goals πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much indeed πŸ™‚ I found that writing novels is pretty rubbish for regular blogging so the title just popped out! I aim to finish this novel over summer now. Time got sucked in with my other completed book The Assent of Rose Marie Gray and what to do with it!! Hopefully be reorganising this theme too in order to let people find my writing much easier… πŸ™‚ xx

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for such a generous comment Cathleen and a pleasure to see you here too 😊 Feedback from writers is always appreciated, although it’s writing matters that have reduced post rates recently. Time being the adversary and all that! Have to say I’m enjoying blogging nevertheless. Never ceases to amaze me how supportive people are. The excerpt this book is from is almost first draft complete too. Got side tracked with one that’s ready to go out in search of a publisher!! Exciting and scary times ahead πŸ˜‡

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Gary!! I’ve been a terrible follower, I’m just brushing up on all of your writings! You’ve been busy and I love your aspirations and ambition for 2017. This is why I’d love to nominate you for the Versatile Blogger Award. i know you might have already received this award, but I feel like you deserve the recognition. Follow this link:http://wp.me/p7OhSP-1k4 for the rules and requirements of the award. I’ve also listed your blog in a link on my post. You are amazing and very very talented!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good grief, never say terrible follower as I could levy the same. I often have far less time than I need to regularly catch up with bloggers. It’s a trade off between real life, writing and blog hopping. Neglecting fellow bloggers is terribly guilt inspiring!
      Thanks for the nomination too, I’ve not engaged too many of those (my nemesis time and writing) and have a few to catch up with. That said I might do this at the weekend. I need to get back into more regular posting. Many thanks for the shout out too and for popping over. Really appreciate that! Including the very generous words 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh, Gary…..I am so pleased that you posted….I love, love, love, love this!!!!!!!!!!! I know I’ve said it over and over, but you really do have such a natural and wonderful gift for writing stories….everything reads like a hit novel…by the by, I read The Dark Half eons ago (something tells me more than once…I love your writing like I love Stephen King….seriously, that is as true as true can be….stay the course, my friend….through dark, dim, light, and bright….it is all bringing you closer and closer to your literary breakthrough…I’m so proud of you…thanks for sharing πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Too kind as ever Truly. If I had half your positivity I’d be further ahead already! But I have my planned strategy to work with. Year two was always going to involve that anxiety of will it be published. I’ve over thought that many times instead of sticking to the plan. I must now condense the bigger picture into the smaller steps to get there. Thank you for the positivity 😊

      Liked by 1 person

        • I seem much better at advising than doing and taking my own advice at the moment!! I’ve about run out of thing to procrastinate with now too, which is most disturbing!!! Be nice if I was just able to stop worrying about things and just write safe in the knowledge that I knew what was happening. Uncertainties are very paralysing at times.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Yes, uncertainty is a hard pill to swallow…sitting with it is soooooo challenging….it makes it hard to sit still and hard to get mobilized….and, I think it is easier for most to say rather than do, because we have greater objectivity when on the outside looking in…which can leave us forgetting the complexities of the psyche….it’s never as easy as black and white when one is wrestling with what ifs and how comes etc. You are a gifted and sensitive person, and you’re bound to worry….you’re human and you are growing and that process is rife with stress….but, you are also great at connecting and sharing and people are drawn to you…you aren’t alone….everything is going to turn out amazingly, I can feel it πŸ™‚

            Liked by 1 person

            • That it is. Has the power of incapacitating rational thinking and inserting strife and angst. I think you’ve nailed the psyche too, although given your job, I’d rather expect you to have a wealth of thoughts on the subject too. I think my makeup is to wrestle with worry. The trick is not to let it overwhelm and perform mental interventions. Easy to say. Thanks again for the positive thoughts. I appreciate that and once I’ve decided on what to do things will find their course 😊

              Like

  7. I smiled when I read ‘not gore; I’m not over keen on gore’; me neither. I also share your love for psychological thrillers πŸ™‚
    The excerpt: well done! I don’t like cliffhangers, so hope you will finish this story(book) soon πŸ˜‰
    And looking at your lists; that are some serious goals to achieve. Good luck! Will keep my fingers crossed for you.
    XxX

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lol…gore is too easy and leaves nothing to imagination in my opinion. I prefer to let imaginations fill in the gaps…bit like the Hammer days of yore. Psychological thrillers offer much more (my opinion) if you get the reader to identify with the protagonists then you can take novels almost anywhere and still hold interest. My plan is to complete this first draft in the next four weeks. There are a few other snippets if you search my blog for “The Bequest” I put those up ages ago when I was first trying out characters for this book. It took NaNo to draw things out into a novel. Really appreciate your comment and if I manage to achieve any goals I’ll be blogging about them for weeks lol. X

      Liked by 1 person

    • Don’t undersell yourself….social media requires a lot of time to build…not everyone can juggle life and that all the time. This was my first post of the year due to other things taking priority. Thank you for the positive thoughts though. It’s those that give me a pick up when I start overthinking about the key goal….publishing!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Hi Gary,
    You are a busy guy. It sounds like you have Great Expectations for 2017 (Are you a Dickens fan?) I am definitely a King fan. I have read many and even own a signed King. We have that in common. I hope you’ll keep me apprised of how your ambitions progress toward realization.
    Janice

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Janice,
      Brilliant to hear from you and I’ve also dropped onto your meet and greets of late too. Finding the mojo….not a January person lol. I do enjoy Dickens when the mood is right yes….although Moderate Expectations is more accurate…but a signed King book…ooh deep envy! I will certainly be keeping you in the loop of progress. At least every two weeks on your blog 😊 Thanks for taking time out of your busy life to pop over. Really good to see you !

      Like

  9. Your numbers are great from my perspective. Having been in this thing for a year, I am short of those numbers. Although I don’t put too too much stock into them.

    It’s quality rating you’re putting out, so I’m not surprised that you’re following. I just started writing a lot more section myself. Although, it’s nothing to put it on the blog which tends to be called nonfiction personal essays.

    Great work! Yummy fiction.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re so right Mark…the numbers game can be very distracting and if you pay too much attention to it things can have motivation impact. I only really took stock of things because I’ve started reviewing my social media in an effort to streamline things a bit and refresh things. Thanks for the positive thoughts on my content. Writing is a weird job….you do it and think yes, that’s good…then you you go back later and it’s WTF is that gibberish! Blogging allows me to put snippets out and see what total strangers think. Scary yes, but that’s the nature of the beast yes? Oddly, after a year, some of those strangers have become friends now too. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment. It’s really appreciated!

      Liked by 1 person

    • You are too kind my friend. Really appreciate your comment as, like many writers (I’m told) have tremendous self doubt about their own work. I’ve fallen in and out of love with this book so many times it’s done my head in! Currently I’m at ind with it again so hoping to finish it over the next few weeks. Thank you so much 😊

      Like

  10. Amazing job with characterization and imagery (as always)! I can’t wait to know what Archie saw in that mirror and I am excited about the relationship forming between Ade and Rowena. (Rowena has been such a powerful name in literature. I am curious to see the impact she makes in your tale.)

    Thank you also for voicing your writing goals. One of my favorite adages about goal setting is, “It’s not a goal until you write it down.” Keep up the good work!

    Liked by 2 people

    • You are too kind indeed. Thing about book writing is I want to expose the whole plot with characters I like, but that would be provide ruinous spoilers and defeat the point of wanting people to see it all in one go! Only got about four chapters left to do in order to complete the first draft of this now though. As for writing goals, prior to this post I was mentally unstructured. You are quite right in saying writing them down makes them more real and potentially reachable. Better than having a melting pot of thoughts all cascading together and overwhelming things to a standstill.

      Hooked up on linked-in too, thanks for the invite although my presence there is very much a work in progress. Very new to that place and also on my list of organise social media better. Thank you so much for popping over too. I must get back into the habit of posting!

      Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s