Things to do when it’s raining outside

It’s one of those grey, dark, wet mornings where you can inadvertently sleep in because the bedroom remains dark for an extra two hours.

That could be a problem if you have a day job, like most of us.

But, today is Friday, and it’s just what I need.  The news is telling us that six months worth of rain just fell in one hour.  That’s a lot of rain, but it isn’t going to break the drought.

But that’s not a topic that can make a story work.  I need something poetic, dramatic, or a catalyst.

Time to mull over the latest storyline, marshal my thoughts, write the prose in my head.

OK, that not working for me.

The rain is getting heavier, and is splashing outside; the steady waterfall of overflow from the gutters is taking away my concentration.

 

Rain, rain, go away …

 

I have two different visions.

A cold, grey day in London (is there any other sort of day?) waiting for a train, and seeing the woman of your dreams go past, standing in the doorway, and in that fraction of a second your eyes meet, a connection is made.

I suspect it has fuelled many a song such as ‘The Look of Love’.

The second is on a desolate section of coastline as for north as you can go in Scotland (yes, I am a glutton for punishment), and she is standing on the cliff top gazing out to sea, hair blowing in the wind.  Silent, strong, resolute.

 

Rain gone.

Notes hastily scribbled in a notebook for later reference.

Time to go out and check if the garden has derived any benefit at all.

“Sunday in New York”, it’s a bumpy road to love

“Sunday in New York” is ultimately a story about trust, and what happens when a marriage is stretched to its limits.

When Harry Steele attends a lunch with his manager, Barclay, to discuss a promotion that any junior executive would accept in a heartbeat, it is the fact his wife, Alison, who previously professed her reservations about Barclay, also agreed to attend, that casts a small element of doubt in his mind.

From that moment, his life, in the company, in deciding what to do, his marriage, his very life, spirals out of control.

There is no one big factor that can prove Harry’s worst fears, that his marriage is over, just a number of small, interconnecting events, when piled on top of each other, points to a cataclysmic end to everything he had believed in.

Trust is lost firstly in his best friend and mentor, Andy, who only hints of impending disaster, Sasha, a woman whom he saved, and who appears to have motives of her own, and then in his wife, Alison, as he discovered piece by piece damning evidence she is about to leave him for another man.

Can we trust what we see with our eyes or trust what we hear?

Haven’t we all jumped to conclusions at least once in our lives?

Can Alison, a woman whose self-belief and confidence is about to be put to the ultimate test, find a way of proving their relationship is as strong as it has ever been?

As they say in the classics, read on!

Purchase:

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Sunday In New York

Writing about writing a book – Day 6

It’s been a long morning, and I sleep in.  I think the extra time is warranted because I wrote until there was nothing left in the tank.  Then, I let the plot unfold in my mind as I slept.

I had a dream.

I have IT experience.  I know the how hard it was, in the early days of networking, to get it right.  And all of the factors that have to be in place to keep it working.

I become Bill Chandler.

Servers, server software, wiring, Ethernet. Internet, wan, lan, hub, switch, meltdown.   The days when desks had terminals, not personal computers, and then the sudden disappearance of the mainframe, to local area networks.

The bottle of Scotch in the bottom drawer of the filing cabinet (in the days when occupational health and safety was not so strictly enforced) for celebrations when it worked, or commiserations when it didn’t.

 

So, today I’m expanding on the plot lines:

 

Chandler, recently divorced, and now on his first holiday on his own, contemplated what he’s going to do.  It doesn’t last long and is recalled to the office to manage a crisis.

Back in the office, Benton unavailable, Chandler goes to see Aitchison, Security chief.  There he learns of Richardson’s murder, of which suicide, the police theory, the least likely cause, and that of Halligan, whose death is also questionable.  There is also a question over the computer network and that of another running within their current system.  This is something Chandler knows nothing about.   There is a way of finding out if such a network existed.  Meanwhile, the implications are frightening, and Aitchison is clearly afraid of something.

OK, another character has popped up, Halligan, but we’ll worry about that later.

Back on familiar territory, Chandler gets down to the job of finding out what information he can.  Before beginning the physical search, he is questioned closely by Gator, the policeman, on external communications involving their computer systems.

OK, that’ll need a bit of background on Gator and what information he has.

After Gator departs, Chandler goes to find Jennifer.  By now, the whole network is down and they discover several servers have been tampered with, in fact, the very ones believed to be the gateway to the ‘hidden’ network.  Alas, the evidence had been removed.

Deciding there was nothing that could be done because the maintenance contractors have been called in, Chandler and Jennifer go to lunch.  Chandler runs into a very frightened Aitchison who cryptically says he fears for his life.  About the same time shots are fired, Aitchison is killed, and Chandler seriously wounded.

 

Wow, I’m getting better at this planning stuff, though it’s early days yet.  There are several ideas about the ramifications of Bill getting shot, but that can wait till later.

Time to flesh this plotline out in words.

Doesn’t look like Sunday is going to be a day off.

 

© Charles Heath 2016 – 2019

In a word: Incline

When you first think of this word, it is with a slippery slope in mind.

I’ve been on a few of those in my time.

And while we’re on the subject, those inclines measured in degrees are very important if you want a train to get up and down the side of a mountain.

For the train, that’s an incline plane, the point where traction alone won’t get the iron horse up the hill.

Did I say ‘Iron Horse’?  Sorry, regressed there, back to the mid-1800s in the American West for a moment.

It’s not that important when it comes to trucks and cars, and less so if you like four-wheel driving; getting up near-vertical mountainsides often present a welcome challenge to the true enthusiast

But for the rest of us, not so much if you find yourself sliding in reverse uncontrollably into the bay.  I’m sure it’s happened more than once.

Then…

Are you inclined to go?

A very different sort of incline, ie to be disposed towards an attitude or desire.

An inclination, maybe, not to go four-wheel driving?

There is another, probably more obscure use of the word incline, and that relates to an elevated geological formation.  Not the sort of reference that crops up in everyday conversation at the coffee shop.

But, you never know.  Try it next time you have coffee and see what happens.

NANOWRIMO Supplementary – Day 5

nanowrimo-blog-banner-2019-journal

I’ve managed to come back from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (where I’m deeply immersed in another story) for long enough to continue writing the last few chapters of the NaNoWriMo project.

Today, I wrapped up Chapter 33 and went through the aftermath of the latest attack on the main character, with a little assistance from a new operative, and one I’m beginning to like more than I should.

I’m hoping this is not a bit-part player whose going to steal every scene she’s in.

Then it’s onto chapter 34 where we get to sit down and discuss what happened and why.  Sometimes we tend to overlook the obvious, and not realise that what seems too good to be true generally is.

And where the title of the book gets justified.

There’s more than one betrayal going on here, and it’s going to be a hard pill for one of the characters to swallow.

“Echoes From The Past”, buried, but not deep enough

On special, now only $0.99 for the next few weeks.

 

What happens when your past finally catches up with you?

Christmas is just around the corner, a time to be with family. For Will Mason, an orphan since he was fourteen, it is a time for reflection on what his life could have been, and what it could be.

Until a chance encounter brings back to life the reasons for his twenty years of self-imposed exile from a life only normal people could have. From that moment Will’s life slowly starts to unravel and it’s obvious to him it’s time to move on.

This time, however, there is more at stake.

Will has broken his number one rule, don’t get involved.

With his nemesis, Eddie Jamieson, suddenly within reach, and a blossoming relationship with an office colleague, Maria, about to change everything, Will has to make a choice. Quietly leave, or finally, make a stand.

But as Will soon discovers, when other people are involved there is going to be terrible consequences no matter what choice he makes.

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