Not Visiting Church, A Wardrobe and Not Tyres

Yesterday I saw a church virtually on the top of a hill in the middle of nowhere and was intrigued. I took a shot from distance. In retrospect I wish I'd spent twenty minutes walking to and around it. Looked it up when I got back home and found out some interesting things. It was Llangelynnin Church, which is 12th or 13th Century and even has a holy well along with loads of interesting features. Next time I'm up there I'll definitely take at least a quick look.

Church

Been reading C.S. Lewis 'That Hideous Strength' the last couple of days. First thing I've read of his since the Narnia books when I was a kid. Really enjoying the story - another one that's been on my shelf for a while (I think I got it in an Oxfam in Lancaster a year or two ago). I just thought of him as a children's writer I'm glad to have found out differently. It is the third of his 'Space' trilogy and I haven't read the others. Plenty of reviews (and the preface itself) says it's fine to read as a stand-alone and I concur. Looking forward to seeing where it goes and how.

CS Lewis

...and also whether anybody or anything will climb through a wardrobe.

Not quite gone to plan again today. Took day off to go and get tyres sorted and told "Oh, no. You can't just ruck up. It'll take a few days to book something in." Can't I just turn up at an ATS or similar? "Nope. A man will be in touch and he'll tell you a garage you can go to." What's the bet it's and ATS or similar I could have just turned up to anyway? Grrr.

I have my two writing projects to get on with, which both have deadlines this week. So that's another couple of hours to work on them then.

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Some Writing. Some Bull.

Bit of a bulshit day today. Was told to go in late for work. Then told. Ah, sorry there is no work for you. Enjoy the day off. Bull.

Anyhow, meant I could do four things a) do some writing b) update the website c) catch some of the World Cup and d) get my haircut.

I have a writing project I'm working on which is due for finishing over the next week so I've got stuck in with that. This afternoon I've eeked out 1700 words on it, which means I'm about 1/3rd through and have sketched out a little where the story will go. Have been using Scrivener for it, along with another 5000 word project. I must say I do like the writing environment and also the appearance of the finished product. Once I've finished these two medium sized (for me) projects then I'll get stuck into a larger one and see how Scrivener really works with though. Doesn't need any bells and whistles for a short story.

Have got the song buffering up to ten again for Class Song of The Day and updated the website with this week's songs from the Beatles - and then this blog of course.

Just watched Belgium ease past Tunisia in a quite enjoyable match. Now it's time to print off today's story as it stands and go get my haircut.

And maybe catch up with some more footy later. Maybe? Of course I bloody will.

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A Malenky Bit of Reading

Well it's only ten days short of six months and I've read 17 books this year now I've just finished 'A Clockwork Orange'. With all the quasi Russian speak in it, it was definitely the time to read it during the World Cup. Now I'm a malenky bit confused that according to Goodreads I'm only one book short of where I should be if I'm going to hit my aimed for 40 books this year. So in the next nine days it's expecting me to complete two books? I think not likely - and doesn't add up, surely I am at least two books down?

Clockwork

That said, I've a few smaller non-fiction books which I could read to get me back on track (if it is all about the numbers, which it isn't). However I've got some serious writing to sort out over the next week or so which need to take some sort of priority. So we will see.

Reading June18

Today whilst looking after a mates poor foster dog I intend to do some editing of a story and maybe work on another. And now's the time for that, since I've updated the #ClassSongOfTheDay page with the Beatles pic and written this wee blog.

Onwards and upwards, my horrorshow droogs.

#amreading
#amwriting
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The Forecast Calls for Flash

This Saturday is the seventh annual Flash Flood event, where flash stories are posted on the Flash Flood website throughout an entire day to spread the goodness that this writing provides. I've been up there previous years, including last year, but I'm actually not sure how many times.

The deadline for submitting was last night at midnight after being open for a week. Needless to say I only got around to thinking about it late last night. After a mean furrowing of eyebrows I thought
why the hell not? I've plenty of flash stories from over the years, but I didn't want to go too far back. As previously published stories were allowable I decided the easiest thing to do was to revisit some of the FlashFeed stories written for the FlashDogs challenges. Messages on Twitter yesterday suggested that maybe some upbeat stories would be welcomed given a surfeit of death, destruction and Donald Trump (ok, I made the last bit up) had been coming in, so I found three feel good-ish (or at least no 'impending doom' laden) stories and did a quick check on them. Made a couple of minor tweaks then sent them off; with fully 1 hour and 56 minutes to spare. Loadsa time!

This afternoon I received an email to tell me the good news that one of my stories has been accepted for the Flood and that it will go up around noon (BST) on Saturday. Excellent.

I won't tell you which story it was. You'll have to wait and see.

Keep an eye on Twitter and follow the flood at:

http://flashfloodjournal.blogspot.com

Well done to all who have made it. Expect we'll see a few Flash Dogs there.

Woof!
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Am Writing/Am I Writing

This morning I managed to scramble out a swift 1450 words to add to the Memoirs piece I had started on Turkmenistan. So 1450 words is good right after a week with barely a jot in the Bullet Journal (yes that is still going)? To be fair it's now a 2300 piece and I'm not at all sure it will hold up that well as it's been written in two ad hoc moments from various smashed jar fragments.

I've printed it off now and will give it a proper read and see about editing it - so don't be surprised if you see another blog saying Turkmenistan memoir finished. It'll be deja vu all over again. Maybe get it down to 2000, then again if it deserves more then really it is more about structure and telling a story. Last week I finished reading a book about writing fast. The key take-home from that was planning the pieces you write. Er the exact opposite of what I've done with this one. Ho hum. You live, you learn, you forget (or ignore).

For the next bit of writing (fiction) I have started planning. We'll see how that goes shortly.

Have to decide too - once I'm happy with the Turkmen story - what Memoir piece to write next. I'm thinking maybe a Russian one given the World Cup coming up there next week.

Expect colourful (okay maybe black and white) views of Moscow, Perm, Vogograd and er... Yefremov.
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Dirty Ole Tunes

So far this week has been very poor for writing. Hoping to get an hour or two done this weekend - at some point.

Finished reading Neil Gaiman's 'Fragile Things' which of course was excellent - and makes you realise how good short stories CAN be. Now I need to get more practiced at it. Pen to paper, mate.

Been an odd week with a few things. But whilst writing and reading has been a bit limited I have at least managed to update the website a little, especially getting Class Song of The Day up to date. So far Year 2 has been a breeze. As well as 'Buffering' the next ten songs I've selected the following 32. I'm keeping up with keeping up.

This weeks songs have been from The Pogues. Let's face it, who doesn't like them? An easy job for me then. Now get yerself drunk crooning, no need to remember the words just grunt along folks.

Pogues

Next week is one of my fave singer songwriters and underrated guitarist... but I won't spoil the surprise. You'll have to wait until Monday for #ClassSongOfTheDay on Twitter
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Frank Turner Week #1

CLASS SONG OF THE DAY YEAR TWO: FRANK TURNER WEEK

'
They've started raising walls around the world now
Like hackles raised upon a cornered cat
On the borders, in our heads
Between things that can and can't be said
We've stopped talking to each other
And there's something wrong with that

So before you go out searching
Don't decide what you will find
Be more kind, my friends, try to be more kind
'

Lyrics: 'Be More Kind'

So after the glorious harmonies of the Jayhawks along came one of my favourite singer songwriters (and I mean of all time even though he's only a young pup right now) the wonderful Frank Turner. He is a prolific writer and performer and the quality doesn't seem to be a problem. He keeps track of all his gigs and currently as I write this he's up to gig #2183 (in Baltimore). I've been lucky enough to seem him at five of those gigs and they were all boss (Bath, Liverpool, Glastonbury (Secret gig) and Glastonbury (Second Stage)).

FrankTurner

That's four not five. Well yeah. The first time I saw him was incredibly at Wembley Arena on April 13, 2012. I'd gone down to watch the Liverpool v Everton semi-final at Wembley and found that the night before Frank was playing the Arena. A very lucky accident. It's hard to get over how bizarre this gig was in some ways. I mean a folk(ish) guy without big record company backing and not that well known filling out Wembley Arena through little more than word of mouth. It was a fabulous gig. A massive singalong from start to finish. Support was great too with Beans on Toast, Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip and Billy Bragg. I was lucky to keep some of my voice for the following day (when Liverpool of course beat Everton).

The seven songs I chose were:

  • Glory Hallelujah!
  • Plain Sailing Weather
  • I Knew Prufrock Before He Got Famous
  • Get Better
  • Long Live the Queen
  • Reasons Not to Be An Idiot
  • Mittens

Click on the pic to go to the Class Song of the Day (Year Two) and check them out. He's so prolific and great that I'll be having a second Frank week later in the year.

Frank Turner & the Sleeping Souls are a brilliant live act. If you get a chance to see them don't think twice.

This week's songs will be from The Pogues.
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Sunday Morning

Today's plan is based around my normal 'Ideal Day' type:

  • Coffee
  • Read a bit
  • Write a bit
  • A couple of ales

We'll see how I go.

After waking up early I got to the bit coffee early doors. Eventually I prised myself away from Twitter to get a whole hour (whoopee-do) of reading. Currently reading Neil Gaiman's 'Fragile Things' (a short story collection). I am still behind in my reading this year, but getting some done. Onward and upward.

Next up was looking at updating some Class Song of The Day stuff. Selected another couple of artists and sorted the picture for next weeks band, which I'll upload onto the 'CSOTD: Year 2' page shortly. It's a band I was well into back in the 1990s and have seen in a few places - whatever the venue invariably there was chaos with this lot.

Next up there was this little blog update. It's important to keep it a little bit alive, isn't it?

Following this the remaining plan is a wee bit of writing. Maybe 1000 words? Got a competition piece to consider as well as getting back onto the Infernal Clock story. I've also got to finish of the Turkmenistan memoirs piece for the Memoirs section (it's been half finished now for an age) and also type up 'The Origin of the Carbonatite Magma'. But that's not for today.

After completing some writing I'll be rewarding myself with a pint and meeting a mate in Liverpool centre.

I'll report back how the writing, and the imbibing, goes. Laters ...

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