NaNoWriMo – 2022 – The day after

Am I glad it’s all over for another year?

Yes and no.

Yes, it was a lot of hard work, sustaining a word count moving forward, especially when the was nothing coming through from brain to fingers.

Writing to a deadline, with a required number of words to be done each day, every day, is daunting. Especially when you write a tract of words that you don’t like because they were written just to make up the numbers, then go to bed, sometimes four or five in the morning, with the thought that the next tract is going to be just as bad, or worse, you can’t think where the story is going to take you.

That method of writing that is known as being a ‘pantser’ can be a struggle or a boon.

But it’s not something I will give up on, even though the previous book last year was written to a plan, but like all plans, the course of the story veered off plan when the characters took over half way through.

The main thing is that it gave me a reason to get out of bed each morning.

Like has been, for some of us with immune system deficiencies, very isolated and at times difficult to deal with the lack of interaction with others. By nature, I am a loner who doesn’t like the idea of going out and mixing with others, and the life of writing suits me, but during the pandemic, I found myself having to live with others who were also forced into isolation.

I guess I made adjustments and got to like the idea of having people around.

Now, with the pandemic supposedly over, and back to being on my own, it doesn’t seem the same.

OK, enough about my problems.

The story can stew away in a corner somewhere, and I will revisit it, perhaps in another three months.

What to do next?

A few short stories, maybe, or continue with the projects I started before November.

Enough, at least, to keep my mind off everything else.

NaNoWriMo – 2022 – Day 30

All’s well …

After an uneventful trip back home with some friendly Russians, it’s back to business for David and Alisha.

There’s the compound in rural England, the one with the fence that would normally be impenetrable.  David and the team, forced into action because of a basic mistake, take the fortress by storm, and discover … nothing.

The birds have flown the coop.

Well, they think they have.

Then there’s the castle, and discreet movements at night means something’s afoot, and there’s yet another fortress to be stormed.

And, in the process, David is reunited with an old acquaintance.

But, a search of the new buildings finds something David never expected to find.

Back in London, David goes to visit Prendergast, not so well protected these days, at his private residence.  After a meaningful chat, the association between them is over, and Prendergast has played his last game with David.

Then it’s simply a matter of going to pick up Susan from the airport, and Boris getting the word she can come home.

They, too, have a meaningful chat in the car back to the London residence, and then the Castle, where Boris has accepted an invitation from David for a short stay.

Skeet shooting is only one of the things David has lined up.

Then, after a few months, life returns to normal in an unusual place, far, far away on the other side of the world.

Words written today, 3,699, for a total of 76,418.

There will probably be more because I feel there are parts that were written too hastily, but that will be rectified in the first edit.

After Christmas.

NaNoWriMo – 2022 – The day after

Am I glad it’s all over for another year?

Yes and no.

Yes, it was a lot of hard work, sustaining a word count moving forward, especially when the was nothing coming through from brain to fingers.

Writing to a deadline, with a required number of words to be done each day, every day, is daunting. Especially when you write a tract of words that you don’t like because they were written just to make up the numbers, then go to bed, sometimes four or five in the morning, with the thought that the next tract is going to be just as bad, or worse, you can’t think where the story is going to take you.

That method of writing that is known as being a ‘pantser’ can be a struggle or a boon.

But it’s not something I will give up on, even though the previous book last year was written to a plan, but like all plans, the course of the story veered off plan when the characters took over half way through.

The main thing is that it gave me a reason to get out of bed each morning.

Like has been, for some of us with immune system deficiencies, very isolated and at times difficult to deal with the lack of interaction with others. By nature, I am a loner who doesn’t like the idea of going out and mixing with others, and the life of writing suits me, but during the pandemic, I found myself having to live with others who were also forced into isolation.

I guess I made adjustments and got to like the idea of having people around.

Now, with the pandemic supposedly over, and back to being on my own, it doesn’t seem the same.

OK, enough about my problems.

The story can stew away in a corner somewhere, and I will revisit it, perhaps in another three months.

What to do next?

A few short stories, maybe, or continue with the projects I started before November.

Enough, at least, to keep my mind off everything else.

NaNoWriMo – 2022 – Day 29

I know what you know

When a façade cracks one of two things will happen.  First, it will stay in one piece long enough for the artisans to fix it before it falls down, or, the most likely scenario, it will all come tumbling down.

In Nigeria, David’s captor gives away several pieces of information which, in itself, might not mean very much, but when taken with a number of other unexplainable events and actions, gives David a lot of pause for thought.

And he will have plenty of time for that because the team have to leave the compound and get back home by a stealthier means, and this is where Boris can lend a hand.

If only Prendergast knew!

But, three events are set in motion, one monitoring Prendergast, the second, monitoring a compound in the English countryside, a recent Featherington acquisition, and thirdly, intensive surveillance of the castle.

Susan is back in Moscow, so no need to worry about her yet, but just in case, David has Boris keep her there on a minor pretext, and take away her means of communication until the situation becomes clearer.

Just what is going on at the country compound and who is residing there?

Just what are all the new buildings at the castle for; it seemed unlikely the stables really are stables even though from the outside they looked like stables?

And, what is Prendergast really up to? It’s time to ask some pertinent questions.

Words written today, 2,987, for a total of 72,719

NaNoWriMo – 2022 – Day 30

All’s well …

After an uneventful trip back home with some friendly Russians, it’s back to business for David and Alisha.

There’s the compound in rural England, the one with the fence that would normally be impenetrable.  David and the team, forced into action because of a basic mistake, take the fortress by storm, and discover … nothing.

The birds have flown the coop.

Well, they think they have.

Then there’s the castle, and discreet movements at night means something’s afoot, and there’s yet another fortress to be stormed.

And, in the process, David is reunited with an old acquaintance.

But, a search of the new buildings finds something David never expected to find.

Back in London, David goes to visit Prendergast, not so well protected these days, at his private residence.  After a meaningful chat, the association between them is over, and Prendergast has played his last game with David.

Then it’s simply a matter of going to pick up Susan from the airport, and Boris getting the word she can come home.

They, too, have a meaningful chat in the car back to the London residence, and then the Castle, where Boris has accepted an invitation from David for a short stay.

Skeet shooting is only one of the things David has lined up.

Then, after a few months, life returns to normal in an unusual place, far, far away on the other side of the world.

Words written today, 3,699, for a total of 76,418.

There will probably be more because I feel there are parts that were written too hastily, but that will be rectified in the first edit.

After Christmas.

NaNoWriMo – 2022 – Day 28

You’re a sight for sore eyes

Here’s the thing about stubborn people.

Whether right or wrong they eventually get what they want.

It’s clear to David by the time he reaches the compound, that firstly the girl who was supposedly a prisoner is not there, probably wasn’t there in the first place, but that’s no surprise, secondly had they caught Alisha, then she would be on display when they arrived, and thirdly, there was always the weasel type interrogator bristling with overconfidence waiting in the wings.

And if there was a fourthly, it would be that he would receive ‘the softening up’ process before the first interrogation.

He was not disappointed.  The second in so many weeks, or what felt like it, the bruises on the bruises were like a badge of honour.

But that’s the problem with weaselly interrogators who think they hold all the cards, when the tables are turned, they become cowered cowards.

He underestimated David’s resolve.  He underestimated Alisha’s determination to remain uncaptured, and he didn’t know about David’s secret weapon.

That is until they came knocking on the door.

His overconfident interrogator, thinking that he held all the cards and that David would be leaving in a body bag, spills the beans.

Words written today, 2,776, for a total of 69,732

NaNoWriMo – 2022 – Day 29

I know what you know

When a façade cracks one of two things will happen.  First, it will stay in one piece long enough for the artisans to fix it before it falls down, or, the most likely scenario, it will all come tumbling down.

In Nigeria, David’s captor gives away several pieces of information which, in itself, might not mean very much, but when taken with a number of other unexplainable events and actions, gives David a lot of pause for thought.

And he will have plenty of time for that because the team have to leave the compound and get back home by a stealthier means, and this is where Boris can lend a hand.

If only Prendergast knew!

But, three events are set in motion, one monitoring Prendergast, the second, monitoring a compound in the English countryside, a recent Featherington acquisition, and thirdly, intensive surveillance of the castle.

Susan is back in Moscow, so no need to worry about her yet, but just in case, David has Boris keep her there on a minor pretext, and take away her means of communication until the situation becomes clearer.

Just what is going on at the country compound and who is residing there?

Just what are all the new buildings at the castle for; it seemed unlikely the stables really are stables even though from the outside they looked like stables?

And, what is Prendergast really up to? It’s time to ask some pertinent questions.

Words written today, 2,987, for a total of 72,719

NaNoWriMo – 2022 – Day 27

Not according to plan

In the spy business, it pays not to make solid plans, just have an idea of what you might do, and execute it.

When it goes wrong, as it inevitably does, then you can always say, “I knew it was going to fail” and feel good about it.

Expecting a plan to work without it going south is like winning the lottery.  What are the odds?

What you can rely on every time is human nature.  Yes, sometimes the bad guy is thoroughly bad and goes off the reservation, but that’s the exception.  Counterspy measures always include an element of ‘what’s in it for me’ when an opportunity comes up.

So, David and Susan get captured.  It’s the easiest way in.

Then Susan escapes in the middle of a freak storm with torrential rain that has a visibility range of ten feet at best.  Enough time for her to disappear.

It’s all part of the plan.

Others search for her, while David is taken to the main compound, assessing the odds and situation as he goes.  He ends up in a cell, left to ponder his fate, and then dragged out for interrogation.

Not exactly part of the plan, but he does learn something new, and quite disconcerting.  Someone close to him is a traitor.

Words written today, 3,541, for a total of 66,956

NaNoWriMo – 2022 – Day 28

You’re a sight for sore eyes

Here’s the thing about stubborn people.

Whether right or wrong they eventually get what they want.

It’s clear to David by the time he reaches the compound, that firstly the girl who was supposedly a prisoner is not there, probably wasn’t there in the first place, but that’s no surprise, secondly had they caught Alisha, then she would be on display when they arrived, and thirdly, there was always the weasel type interrogator bristling with overconfidence waiting in the wings.

And if there was a fourthly, it would be that he would receive ‘the softening up’ process before the first interrogation.

He was not disappointed.  The second in so many weeks, or what felt like it, the bruises on the bruises were like a badge of honour.

But that’s the problem with weaselly interrogators who think they hold all the cards, when the tables are turned, they become cowered cowards.

He underestimated David’s resolve.  He underestimated Alisha’s determination to remain uncaptured, and he didn’t know about David’s secret weapon.

That is until they came knocking on the door.

His overconfident interrogator, thinking that he held all the cards and that David would be leaving in a body bag, spills the beans.

Words written today, 2,776, for a total of 69,732

NaNoWriMo – 2022 – Day 26

I ought to be on holiday

Now that David has finally worked out what it is that Prendergast wants, and what is required to get back to living in the London residence, though he’s not sure he really wants to go back, arrangements are made by Alisha’s trusty assistants.

Of course, Alicia has to go too, despite the short recovery time, but it seems everyone wants to get back to work, and David realizes that being at the coal face is really what he’s been missing.

Nigeria is probably not the best place to be going, and the head of station there is a rather odd fellow who doesn’t quite understand the subtleties of secrecy.  He’s also Prendergast’s man and that means he can’t be trusted.

David pulls in some old friends he used to work with, and the team assembles in Lagos, and will be travelling to the vicinity of the guerrilla’s camp in the Nigerian Delta by float plane landing near a village whose people have been having trouble, and who will take them by boat to the ‘back door’ of the camp.

It seems the villagers have been petitioning the Queen to help them as members of the Commonwealth.  It provides David and his team a perfect excuse to go there if anyone is asking.

All of this works like clockwork.  And the means to gain entry is simply enough, they are going to present themselves at the gate, and allow themselves to be ‘detained’.  As for being shot on sight, David understands the local warlord ‘type’; he would use David and his team as a bargaining chip with the British Government.

Not that it was going to happen, the warlord was about to discover what war was really like.

Words written today, 3,123, for a total of 63,415