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Monday, 23 October 2017

An Apology, A Confession, and An Excerpt

I've been hiding.

At first it was politics. The election and subsequent scandal upon horror upon disaster have left me feeling scraped raw and staked out on the mountaintop for buzzards to eat my intestines.

So, yeah. I started hiding from Facebook and Twitter, because most days it felt like the news was just pouring acid into open wounds.

I've read blog posts by other authors who said that they've had trouble writing in this political climate - they've had trouble feeling like anything they do could possibly make a difference. It's a sentiment I totally get, and something I struggle with too.

I wasn't writing - or at least, not seriously or with any kind of intention. Maybe politics had something to do with it, maybe it was because I'd finished a series into which I had poured heart and soul, or maybe I was worried I wouldn't be able to pull off something new. In any case, I have 20,000 words of Bas' novel, the first couple of chapters of a contemporary political thriller, and two short stories to show for the last six months.

And boy, have I been feeling guilty.

Writing short stories was an interesting switch to make, and I think they were the things that gave me back confidence that I can do this - I can imagine a story, create interesting characters, wrap them up in a compelling plot, and actually finish the thing. My stories been been submitted to two different short story competitions, so I can't publish them here until the results are announced, but I'm pretty proud of them. One is about the deadliest female sniper in WWII, and one is about a last meal.

If any of you are writers, aspiring writers, or you know aspiring writers (including kids and teens), here are some links to writing competitions. They're pretty valuable resources, and worth checking out: Stephie Smith's Contest List and Winning Writers

So, as most of you have figured out, when I went into social media hiding, I stopped talking about writing, and not talking about it fed into the downward spiral of not doing it, which led to less talking, and then even less doing.

I'm so sorry I haven't been communicating. My excuse is guilt, which is a very poor excuse indeed. And since guilt - especially of the self-induced variety - is one of my least favorite emotions, I'm pretty much done with it. Also, I've missed interacting with readers. I've missed you.

So, this is me now - out of hiding, because I'm finally writing on purpose, with intention, and fully inspired.

Also because Ringo's voice - his adult voice - finally swam up and broke the surface, and now he's smirking at me and challenging me, and daring me to go ahead, try not to tell his stories.

His stories are novellas, which means they're faster to write and faster to edit. My plan at the moment is to publish the first one in January, and get the next two out fairly soon after that. I'll let you know more as soon as I've put dates on the calendar, and in the meantime, I'll keep writing, and keep talking about writing, and hopefully we can pick up our conversations with each other where we left off.

Thank you for your patience while I figured out how to shut Pandora's box on all the scary stuff, and just focus on listening to the voices that inspire creativity.

Ringo's voice is pretty inspiring. So is Oscar Wilde's:

     I looked up to find the enormously amused Oscar Wilde smiling down at me. “Oh dear, I do hope I didn’t frighten that poor child away from whatever nefarious task you had planned for it,” he said cheerfully.

     “She had just successfully picked my pocket. I was merely attempting to restore a shred of my dignity as a reformed thief while relieving her of the ill-gotten gain,” I said, as I straightened the infernal cravat.

I'm going back to work on Ringo's book, and look for more newsletters soon with some other story bites. In the meantime, have a wonderful week, and Happy Halloween!

1 comment:

  1. Dearest April thank you for the info about story competitions that sounds good. I don't think you need to feel guilty at all cos everyone needs time out without all the issues you mention. I too have hidden away for the last six weeks and not wanted to really be on facebook and not doing my admin roles either. Also feel very depressed about the politics and our future both here and in the USA. My daughter wants to move to the States but she is younger and think it will be good for her. I have just been ill too which does not help. Anyway you have been missed and can't wait to read your latest gems cos you are a brilliant writer and done so much. Stay blessed from one loyal fan called Judy xx

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