Banishing the tumbleweed

April 19, 2014

It’s been a crazy couple of months for WordWatchers as a whole. Julian has been frantic to finish his Work-in-Progress Sundial ready for the group to critique it in our May meeting. Sundial arrived in our inboxes a few days ago, not quite finished, Julian is hoping to get the last few paragraphs written as we read the main story… He described it as that wonderful scene from Wallace and Gromit’s The Wrong Trousers where Gromit is desperately laying track ahead of the speeding train on which he’s riding….

Charlotte has been desperately trying (and succeeding) in meeting her Publisher’s deadline for her fourth novel. I take my hat off to Charlotte, I really don’t know how she does it, she’s a superstar of perseverance.

Abbie, having secured her publishing deal back in January has been working her way through her edits with her publisher with little time for anything else.

Debbie continues to seek out every possible opportunity to further the brand of Alonzo the Chicken, while simultaneously finishing book 3 and dabbling in a rhyming book for younger children.

John Potter (along with Julian) has started a new job, bringing his writing bromance with Julian to an end and also, inevitably reducing the amount of time available for writing…

And so on and so forth, and this, I guess, is why there’s been tumble weed blowing across the WordWatchers blogging area for the last two months.

So this is a mini-blog, until normal service can be resumed and hopefully the rest of my fellow WordWatchers pitch in with a blog of their own.

Since my last blog my adventures in 75-word flash fiction has continued and I had my 21st  story published on the Paragraph Planet site on April 11th. Helen Withington, my illustrator for our WIP 75 Squared, continues to produce wonderful work for the book. We’ve been spurred on by the opportunity to present the finished work at the Yeovil Literary Festival in November (organised by fellow 75-worder James Brinsford). There’s a chance that some of my 75-worders will appear on bus stops around the city, the idea of which, just makes me smile every time I think about it.

I also entered a short story into the Bath Short Story Award (BSSA), I finished and tweaked one of my old WIPs and was very glad to have something to draw upon because I didn’t start working on it until a few hours before the midnight deadline. Why did I leave it so late? Well, I wasn’t planning on entering, but during the day BSSA tweeted that they were short of Science Fiction stories and I can’t resist a challenge to write something in my preferred genre.

Finally, today, I entered five stories into Mashable’s “Tweet a complete short story in 140 characters” (details here: I suspect they won’t win any prizes, but to come up with five different ideas in 20 minutes and squeeze them into less than 130 characters (you had to include the #MashReads tag thus removing 10 characters from your 140 character tweet/story) really does make you think about not just every word, but every character (at one point, in one story, I changed a past tense story to the present tense to save three precious characters).

Of course, all of this is tied up with the fact that my wife, Vee, continues to not be very well, so I find it easy to distract myself from the editing of my novel Endless Possibilities which is what I’m actually supposed to be doing…

Of course, I’ve managed to distract myself still further by writing a long overdue blog.

Until next time.

Rocket Scientist

John Hoggard ex-Rocket Scientist











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