flash fiction

Days 29-34

Another multi-day void before getting back to the café and the laptop today. 1459 words in a bit over an hour and a half, and I only stopped then because after two cups of tea I urgently needed to pee. I couldn’t leave my stuff unattended so had to pack up. It was time to go and get on with my other commitments for the day anyway. But I do like it when the words flow and I don’t want to stop.

I mentioned a medical test I had the week before last; turns out I’m completely fine so I don’t need to worry about that.  

I never seem to get any writing done at home so I just need to force myself to get out of the house and sit in a café or library for the morning. It seems to work when I do.

Day 24-28

Day 24, last Friday, I got out my laptop at home and opened the document. Sat and stared at it for a while. Absolutely nothing. Gave up.

On Saturday I had a little while between dropping child off and picking child up. I went to the local library, returned some books, borrowed some books, sat and read one of the books for a while, finally did 15 mins of writing. Really struggling with that scene.

Sunday, no writing.

Monday I went to the good local café and did a great hour and a half work. I think it was 1156 words. I just skipped the scene I was having trouble with and moved on to the next one, which worked well. I forgot to pay for my cup of tea and had to go back later – don’t want them to ban me from the café, it’s my new favourite!

Today, Day 28 = Tuesday, I went to the National Library, my other favourite writing spot. An hour and a half, 975 words. Not as many as yesterday but I also did some character description work. I went back to the tricky scene I’d been having trouble with and the words flowed. It was the right decision to take a break from it until I knew what I wanted to say.

Feeling good about the last two days. If I can keep up that pace I’ll be back on track to get this book written (first draft) by the end of the year.

Day 21-23

No writing on Tuesday. Can’t remember my specific excuse. Had a stressful dentist appointment but it didn’t take up the whole day.

On Wednesday I went to that café that had been ram-raided the week before. The windows had been replaced. It is a nice spot, overlooking the local lake (not the bigger lake beside the National Library). Not overly noisy. The tables are a little high for comfort, but not too bad. I was able to sit facing a partition, right next to a window so I could look out sideways when I wanted. Fascinating conversation behind me as young man went on and on about his troubles to an almost-silent female friend (most definitely not girlfriend). Nice tea and cheesecake.

I got stuck into writing and the words were flowing nicely, and fast too. 511 words in half an hour. Then the computer battery ran out. Totally my fault for not recharging. Very annoying.

Thursday, day 23, I spent the morning at pathology having some tests. Left me feeling quite unwell for the rest of the day. I’ll talk about that more when I get the results. But no writing again. Not a great track record so far.

Day 20

I wrote for an hour at home, between unpacking and washing all the dirty clothes and shopping etc. 640 words.

I am not entirely happy with my writing, the words on the page, but I am convincing myself to push on instead of fixing and polishing at this stage – only halfway through chapter one! The time for editing is later. This is the time to get the ideas down. I’m particularly conscious that I am just laying it all out there in a fairly bare framework: this happened then this happened and then he said this which explains how magic works etc. But I’ll beautify it in the next round.

Also still struggling to do more than an hour a day, or even to sit down to work at all. I let everything else distract me. But a bit every day will get it done eventually.

School holidays, and a trip to Sydney. I took the laptop but was so tired each night from all the walking that I went to bed at the same time as the kids (one night 7.45pm!) so I did no writing.

Highlight of the trip? The kids glee at seeing an elephant urinate at the zoo. It went on and on.

Day 13

(Days 11 & 12 were the weekend)

It’s still the school holidays but my husband is home this week. This morning he took the kids to a movie I didn’t particularly want to see while I did some writing. I had planned to go to a café that I had used to write in once a couple of years ago, it is across the road from a lake so has a nice view, and I remember the tables as being a good height for typing. But when I got there the shopfront was cordoned off, a couple of police were making their way inside, and a local TV news cameraman was taking footage! I drove past then pulled over and tried to find information about it on my smartphone but there was nothing yet.

I drove to the local library which wasn’t to open for another quarter of an hour so I sat in a different café next door. It definitely wasn’t a good writing location. Although nearly empty, it was one of those bare rooms that amplifies noise. The scattered patrons had to raise their voices louder and louder to hear themselves over the echo of the chatter and the growling coffee machine. I just had a cup of tea and read the news which now talked about the ram-raid of that café, then moved into the now-open library.

I managed 840 words in the hour I had left before the movie finished. Basically all of Chapter 1 scene 3, although I’m sure more will be added later. I am not letting myself pause too long to find the perfect word or phrase. I just keep going and know there will be plenty of time to edit and rewrite later. I’ve already gone back and added or altered things in the first couple of scenes as they occur to me, but I am also not letting myself be a perfectionist about it. One of my problems in the past has been going over and over chapter one and never getting any further! My focus is the get this book on the page, I’ll perfect it later.

Days 9 & 10

Yesterday I thought I would have more writing time as my mum was visiting for few days and she could mind the kids. But what we ended up doing took my time as well. I had half an hour at one point and I used it, but neither my kids nor my mum understand the concept of not interrupting me when I am writing, so I managed 175 words.

I hate that this is starting to look like a series of excuses about why I’m not getting my writing done!

Today was so much better. I took them to Questacon, which is an interactive science museum, really awesome for people of all ages. It is right next door to the National library, so instead of going in with them and having fun I sat in the library and WORKED. It was so productive. Over 1200 words in about 80 mins. By far my best session so far. The words were coming much more smoothly. I have now finished chapter 1 scene 2 (and scene 1).

I’m liking using YWriter. You write scenes rather than chapters, I like having the huge novel divided into manageable chunks like that. I’ve introduced my heroine and gotten her into a sticky situation already!