This month is just starting to disappear, and once again, I don’t feel like I’m going to make any more progress than I did the last.
Winter has all but disappeared, and Spring is around the corner. Not as cold as Lake Louise in December, but it feels like it.
What were my expectations last month?
I had set a list of projects for the month, more episodes for the three continuing stories, and a start to the next episodic story, ‘Motive, Means, and Opportunity’, though for this story I have brought together all the writing I’ve been doing in past weeks. But like most of these fringe stories, it has reached a point where more research is needed, and I have too much else to do.
Then there is the completion of ‘The things we do for love’. It’s finally finished and needs a read-through before going to the editor, but making time to just sit and read…?
The same applies to ‘Strangers We’ve Become’ and it is in the same time-consuming basket. It needs a final read-through, so it’s on the to-do list.
It would be easy to blame COVID-19, but that’s not the problem. I’ve been home and had the time, but there have been a number of distractions and ideas for new stories that seem to divert my attention from what I should be doing.
It’s not writer’s block. It’s not laziness. It seems that I just don’t want to work on them, and that might be because there are problems with the narrative, and I’m just not ready to address them.
What has got my attention then?
I’m not sure how or why, but something triggered the idea of passing through a portal into another time, in the past. I think I might have been looking for photographs to write another photo/story, and I came across a covered bridge, which led to looking for photographs of ghost towns. What topped it off, there was an old western in black and white, High Noon, which provoked a whole lot of memories of many westerns I’d seen in the past.
What other reason do you need to write your own story?
Then, when visiting my grandchildren, we just happened to do some star gazing, using Google Sky Map, and picking out the planets. Somehow I managed to take a photo and looking at it, took me back to the days of Star Trek, and the many series, which sort of gave me an idea for another story, which has been running off and on over the last month. It now has 53 episodes, and I need to write more, yep, on the to-do list.
Equally, I’m always on the lookout for photo opportunities that I can use to write short stories, and these continue apace, the latest being published this week, number 146. These are being formed into anthologies, stories 1 to 50, and stories 51 to 100. The first has been assembled into book form and is awaiting the editor’s first reading and report. I’m still working on the second.
Meanwhile, another 50 have been written and awaiting publishing in volume 3.
Perhaps some of the time has been spent keeping up with Twitter, where over the last six months, and more recently, sales of my books on Amazon have been increasing. Not to best-seller numbers, but people are reading my stories, and the reviews have been very good.
It has, of course, pushed me to work harder on marketing, and that had consumed some of my time, which unfortunately takes me away from writing. It sometimes feels like a self-defeating exercise, but it is the same for all of us.
Oh, and something else that cropped up this month, my brother has been digging into our family history, and around the middle of the month, he found some interesting revelations about some family members, including a pseudo-Luddite, and then later on, when chasing down the places that we, as a family, lived, and this brought out some very interesting information about our father.
It also seems we may have had a distant relative on the ship that left after the Mayflower to Plymouth Rock, USA, at the very beginning. That will be remarkable if it is true.
I’m discovering for what I’d always assumed was an ordinary man, had done a lot of very interesting things in his life, and not only that, I’ve been fictionalizing the story. I have potted pieces written over various stages, and, one day, they might come together as a sort of biography. It is astonishing just how much you don’t know about your family, until much later on, at least for some of us. Our relatives have always been a mystery to me, and it’s fascinating as each one is brought to life with new detail here and there.
Looking back on what I’ve just written, perhaps the passing of the month had been more productive than I first thought. It just seems like nothing major has happened.