Update on Writing

I missed yesterday too, though I’m not blaming myself for that. I was home for a total of 3 hours yesterday. One of those went to lunch, one to sleeping, and one to getting ready to go out again. Even if I’d forced myself to sit in front of the computer and write, it’d have been terrible.

I’ve come to the conclusion that writing every single day is not a feasible goal for me at the moment. Certainly not for a 100 day period.

And I guess it was kind of silly to think that it would be. I mean, I went from writing once every few months to writing every day with no build up. It’s no wonder that I’m struggling to keep up the creative flow and motivation.

Also, the lack of leeway to miss the occasional day is no fun. I do seem to have a day every few weeks where I have multiple back-to-back functions and there’s no way to cram the writing in there.

And then I miss a day and that’s getting me used to skipping the writing, which is the exact opposite of what I’m meant to be doing.

So. New plan. I’m taking a few days to a week or two off from posting. Then I’ll start posting again. Posts will go up five days a week (Sunday to Thursday), but unlike at the moment, I’ll be writing them in advance. I’ll still be aiming to write most days, but this will give me the leeway to plan for excessively busy weekends (like this one). Also, I’ll be able to do some editing, which I’m increasingly keen to do.

Stage 1 – Take 3 – Day 1 – During – Scratched Deposits

God. Damn. It. I missed last night again. This kitchen will be the death of me. Or something. I don’t know. This weekend’s going to be tricky too, it’s jam packed full of activities to distract and tire me.

Anyway, today’s piece continues directly on from day 2-2.

Creepiness aside, Empire Bowl has several points in its favour. I’m intimately familiar with it, the manager’s office is easily defended, and it’s inside an all-physics zone. That last point is extremely important to me. Many who survived the end or who were born after it have various powers. People claim that many had them before the end and us ‘normals’ just didn’t know any better. I’m not sure about that, but you only need to see someone sling a fireball in your direction once to be convinced that they exist now. But they don’t work in Empire Bowl. And neither do the weird sci-fi guns the Scions of Earth carry around. Which is to my advantage, as all I’ve got is a mediocre left hook, a trusty shotgun, and a leather duster. Cliché? Sure. But when you’re a mercenary wanting work, it pays to look the part.

I had stopped in to Empire Bowl to deposit my payment for escorting a man and his daughter through the Orange Swamp – a month’s food and a fine bottle of scotch. I was covered in grit and grime and stank like the swamp. This was to be a momentary stop before heading to Bethany’s Brothel – which, despite the name, sold no sexual services but did have running hot water and soft beds.

The last thing I love about Empire Bowl is the quiet. It makes libraries sound like packed stadiums. Which is why the faint scratching sound I started to hear moments after opening my safe got my undivided attention.

Stage 1 – Take 2 – Day 2 – During – Memories

Today’s piece follows directly on from day 2-1.

Anyway, I’m getting side-tracked. Empire Bowl is the creepiest place in During. You see, it burnt to the ground almost twenty years ago. My boss, Hugo, and I locked the place up one night and went home and the next morning I heard on the local radio station that it had burned down overnight.

And here it was, twenty years later in During. Looking not like it had burned down that night, but instead like it had simply sat abandoned for two decades. Like it had been the home to wild animals and looted by the occasional passer-by.

That’s enough for it to creep me out. Even without the ghost that looks exactly like Hugo and goes through his normal routines endlessly. He ignores most who enter the alley, though if you stand where the counter used to be, you can get him to go through the process of selling you a few games. He’ll even hand you shoes. If you’re lucky, instead of a few grunts you might get a short sentence or two.

He doesn’t ignore me. We have repeats of old conversations. It doesn’t matter whether I stand silent or say something, he just yammers away like a recording. It scares the crap out of me.

But Empire Bowl has a safe. And I know the combination. It’s the only place I’ve got to store things that won’t be looted in this hellish world we live in. And so, every few weeks, I get a stark reminder of my teenage years. That’d be bad enough if it wasn’t also a reminder of everything we lost when time ended.

Stage 1 – Take 2 – Day 1 – Prompted | During – The Bowling Alley

If you ask me, the bowling alley is the creepiest place in all of During. Empire Bowl it was called. I worked there twenty years ago when a was a pimple-faced teen. Serving customers, cleaning shoes, trying not to get caught noticing Lorelei Reinhardt She’s now married, divorced, and married again. She has four children and, if Facebook is anything to judge by, a large pack of assorted dogs. Of course that was Before. Who knows if she even survived time’s end. We never did hook up. I went to talk to her one day and Ken Williams, one of the many banes of my high school days, gave me a black eye before I even got to say hello. She did smile at me though. That made my year.

I’m not so lame any more. I’m a bit of a bigshot here in During. Everyone likes to think that if the apocalypse happened tomorrow that they’d be amongst the kings and erstwhile survivors. Of course, most people end up broken and limping from meal to meal and shelter to shelter. I got lucky and stumbled across some useful tools when time ended and During became our new reality. That’s why they call me Lucky Luke. In this new existence, the right tools can be the difference between living like a king and dying like a pauper.

This piece was from another /r/writingprompts prompt. Obviously, there’s more to come, because we haven’t gotten very far with the whole bowling alley thing yet.

In unfortunate news, I went to bed yesterday, after 12 hours of working on my kitchen and as I lay there, all but asleep, I suddenly remembered I hadn’t written yet. After a moment’s thought I said fuck it and a few moments after that it was the next morning.

So, I’m back to day 1. Sigh. I was thinking about changing the rules for this next take. I’m wondering if I wouldn’t get better results by posting a longer piece on three set days of the week and making that the challenge. But I can’t decide and I don’t want to stop writing whilst I make up my mind – ‘cos if I do that, I’ll never start again. So, here we go again.

Amusingly, 100 days from today is New Year’s…

Stage 1 – Take 1 – Day 27 – Miscellaneous – Ode to Shower Beer

I wrote this piece whilst quite tired. I’d just spent 15 hours working on my new kitchen. Then I had a shower and a beer. It was glorious.

You’ve worked a long, hard day. You’re tired and sore. Covered in little cuts, scratches, and bruises. Abrasions, itches, and grazes. Marks and lumps ‘n’ bumps. Your feet ache, your muscles are tight, and your brain is dead. What are you to do?

Shower beer.

Shower beer, to me you are so dear. Shower beer.

You’re asleep on your feet after a full day’s work. You laboured in the sun. Lifted and squatted. Cursed and muttered. Heaved and spluttered. The sun’s turned your arms brown and the back of your neck red and your legs feel like lead. What are you to do?

Shower beer.

Shower beer, to me you are so dear. Shower beer.

You stand in the water’s sweet caress. The scalding stream, swaying as you dream. Eyes closed. Muscles relaxing. Beer in hand. It tastes so sweet. Like a day’s work done. The dust and dirt washes away. Grit and grime flees from your hair. Your mind floats and your skin wrinkles, thanks to:

Shower beer.

Shower beer, to me you are so dear.

Shower beer.

And now your beer is gone. Your work is done. Your day is won. You can rest now, sleep now, dream now. Dream of:

Shower beer.

Shower beer, to me you are so dear. Shower beer.

Quick Update

So, my kitchen is currently under construction. And my modem normally lives in my kitchen. In fact, we cut the phone cable this morning.

I’ve written a piece today, but with internet only on my mobile, posting it is harder than I can be bothered (especially after my second day in a row spending 12 hours renovating).

My internet should be restored tomorrow sometime and I’ll start posting again then. The first piece up is entitled ‘Ode to Shower Beer’.

Now, if you’ll  excuse me, I need to go and pass out.20150920_204655

Stage 1 – Take 1 – Day 26 – Fractured Earth – Burning Darkly

Ick. I’m so far past tired it’s not even funny. It took me three goes to write the opening sentence to this piece because I’m too tired to word.

On the one hand, I’m glad I didn’t give myself any slack and that I have to write every day. Otherwise I fear that on the somewhat difficult days, I wouldn’t write. But as it stands, I end up having to write on days when I should be unconscious in bed. 

Ah well. Live and learn. Today’s piece follows Fiona as she flees with her father and continues on from day 23.

I don’t know why I ran with him that day. Equal parts fear and fascination I suppose. It didn’t take long for me to realise they really were after us. We sheltered in a nearby house – he broke in after deciding that we couldn’t outrun them at the moment. So we hid. I watched from safety as three men broke into my apartment. They emerged a few minutes later and had a short discussion with a fourth. One of them returned to the apartment briefly and then all four left. Moments later there was a loud whumpf and flames leapt from my apartment windows. I watched the few of my neighbours who weren’t at school escape the building. By the time the first fire truck arrived, the building was lost.

It became fairly apparent at that point that the people chasing my father were not the good guys. I wasn’t sure if that made him a good guy by default, but at least I hadn’t seen him burn a building down yet without regard for those inside.