Wimpy about WIPs
Yes, that's WIPs, not whips, though I can see how you'd leap to that conclusion if you heard the title rather than read it.
Last year I spent my time here rambling about where I live (Mid Wales), and how it inspires me with ideas, and I was even feeling fairly optimistic that by now I'd have reached at least the editing stage on one of them... but I've not; hence the title to this post. I really have been a big huge wimp this year over getting stuck into my WIPs. I was therefore determined, since I signed up to take part in Clare's blog month, to finish at least one short story I could share with you.
Erm... sorry, didn't manage that, either. Lovely story it is, all summery and fun and full of men wandering round with their shirts off, or at least their sleeves rolled up (it is set in the Home Counties, after all, with very upright middle-class folk rapidly approaching middle-age). I just couldn't get the tone right and kept rambling off on irrelevant side-tracks and deleting paragraphs at a time. So I put it to one side.
Two nights ago, I was sorting out (read: doing a brief check and then throwing in the pile for burning on the fire) my old lecture notes from University and I came across my favourite ever poem:
Once upon a tea cup
There sat a sugar cube
It waited and it waited
Until the tea was brewed
And when the tea was made
It jumped in to the cup
But sadly it was drowned
When someone took a sup
which was written for me by a friend who I've since lost touch with.
Reading the rhyme through, a new character started to form in my mind, speaking to me so clearly I grabbed a pen and started scribbling. "Great!" I thought, "I can share this on Clare's blog!" and I got so excited I even started looking for images to accompany it.
So... I hear you ask, where is it? and I'm afraid the answer is "Still on the paper." You see, light-hearted as the rhyme is, it turns out the story is rather less so. In fact, as it stands it's downright depressing so until the lady's son comes along properly to tell his story it ain't really the sort of tale you tell to celebrate a birthday month. Instead, have some brief synopses and/or pen-pictures of characters from my WIPs...
Charlie, Cal and Zetti (short for Donald – it's a story in itself)
I call these guys The Troublesome Trio because they've been living in my head for about eighteen months now. I know most of their life stories from their late teens (when they meet at University) until their early forties, and yet whenever I start to write something down about them they clam up and the tale drizzles off into bland nothingness. I think the trouble is I'm focusing on individual incidents and trying to force them into short stories, when in fact their tale is more one of long-term ups and downs played out slowly over a couple of decades and I need to figure out a medium & style for writing it all down in one tale.
A major antagonist in my Napoleonic War-era tale set in Montgomeryshire. George is the older brother of Rhys, and though absent for most of the tale it is his actions which drive the story and force Rhys and Henri to their fate. George is an officer in Wellington's army, and a very forceful character. He's not a man who can be influenced or swayed from his intended course, and has never known anyone to refuse his demands. When I first started writing this tale I was completely wrapped up in Rhys's point of view and couldn't work out why George was allowed to get away with behaving as he does, even taking in to account the historical setting, so I took some time out from writing to draw the main characters. Looking back at my sketches the next day I suddenly realised that George is an incredibly handsome man. In fact, he's utterly drop-dead gorgeous. Add to that his natural air of command and his undoubted bravery, it's little wonder the man doff their caps and the ladies swoon at his feet. If I weren't writing Rhys and Henri's story, George would be a classic hero.
John and Terry
If you've read British Flash, then you'll have met these guys. The word 'schmoopy' was invented for guys like this pair. Best friends for years before they got together, they're now utterly devoted to each other and, well, maybe I'll just let you read about them for yourself if you haven't already. It's a free anthology, after all ;-)
Her short story Slap and Motley can be found in the FREE flash fiction anthology British Flash, published in 2011 by UK MAT.
Sandra Lindsay lives in Mid Wales with her books, chickens, garden and husband.
From Clare: Like to stretch your writing fingers after Christmas' excesses? Fancy writing something for the visitors this month? It can be anything from a flashfic 3 sentences to a drabble of 100 or so, or even more. Any genre, any theme, any rating, any character(s). Maybe ones you already love, maybe the chance to try on a new character for size.
I'm holding a FREE FICTION DAY on the 28th, so send me new fiction - links to your existing work also welcome! - to clarelondon11 AT yahoo.co.uk and I'll post it all then :).
FOLLOW the Birthday Blog so far:
Jan 09: Lee Rowan shares her healthy resolution.
Jan 10: Rowena Sudbury and the beauty of a blue moon.
Jan 01: luscious_words shares some fabulous icons.
Jan 02: Jordan Castillo Price shares her experience of re-releasing books.
Jan 03: Mara Ismine wonders how important is continuity in fiction?
Jan 04: Jen shares her favourite Rom Com movies.
Jan 05: Karenna Colcroft introduces her unusual werewolf.
Jan 06: Stevie Carroll takes us on a pictorial tour of her favourite locations.
Jan 07: Tinnean quotes Jack Benny on age.
Jan 07: Josie makes a brave leap into a scary sport.
Jan 08: Elin Gregory finds inspiration at every turn.
Check up on:
Prior years fun HERE and
The 2012 Guest schedule HERE.
Want to join in but missed the original call? Email me at clarelondon11 AT yahoo.co.uk and I'll happily find you a space ♥
NOTE: most pictures chosen by me and credited where known, others may be used without direct permission, please contact me with any queries/concerns.