Monthly Archives: November 2016

Winner

 

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As well as being the title to my first Nanowrimo Project five years ago it is also what I am today. Today my word count shot over the necessary 50,000 words for the challenge, and I am pleased to say I have once more a NANOWRIMO WINNER.

The story is far from finished, being just over half way, in fat, and over the next month I will be finishing off, proofing and editing…. Watch this space for next year’s Blockbuster : FROM BERWICK STREET TO BARCELONA

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Getting there …

Sitting quietly at the laptop this afternoon I was suddenly aware of how dark it had become, yet wasn’t even four o’clock.  I went to the back door to check the weather and was greeted by the biggest deluge I have ever experienced in my time in Spain.

The heavens were tipping down both rain and hail and our drain was having a hard time handling it. At one point the water came level with the kitchen step.  I frantically brushed it away as best I could. One day a week with water inside the house that shouldn’t be there is enough. Luckily it didn’t quiet breach the threshold.

At one point the electric cut out. I heard  the fuse box trip as the lights went out so simply reset everything and so far it all seems fine. Sebastian could be needed again if not.

Anyway the weather didn’t interfere too much with my writing and I have now passed the 45,000 words point.  Over the five years of doing Nanowrimo I have written over 325,500 words. It’ll be interesting to see what the final score is for this year.

The writing is still emotive and emotional and at times I worry that I might not be getting the tempo right, but fortunately my best buddy Nick in Essex has been happy to check the occasional anecdote when I need. Huge thanks to him as always.

I’m well on course to finish the challenge this week, although not the full story. I am sure I will be writing well into December to get everything down, and then will have to start the edit and proofing in the new year (the part I like least):

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21-11-2016 Small Victories

All too often the days are difficult enough to get through without cracking up, so when something goes wrong I start that downward spiral even more quickly.

This morning Franki’s ball rolled under the sofa in the guest room/Office. I swore at him as I do for making me move things just because he can’t get the ball. I pulled the sofa out and found a puddle. As it had been raining most of the night I thought that Franki had decided it was too wet to go out and had peed in thee instead.

On further investigation it was clear that Franki had nothing to do with the puddle, but that the water pipe on the wall was leaking. I touched the pipe (Error) and it started to really squirt out. As in these case my first action is to swear and then panic. I did both, cursing my luck, then bump started myself into action. I turned off the water and called a man who can -Sebastian. He is the guy who has done all the work at TdM and the kitchen here and countless other bits and bobs.

Sebastian’s phone was off. I cursed my luck again and left a message. There was a chance he could be working at some distance from Vilanova where there was no coverage. LUckily he called me back within around ten minutes and promised to drop in within the hour.

True to his word Sebastian was here within the hour. He took charge; told me what he would do, rushed off to get the part he needed, came back and in ten minutes or so it was fixed.  Drama over, and he charged the smallest of amounts. While I had done very little to combat the situation,except call in the expert, it did feel like a small victory for me. Some days that’s the best I can hope for.

Meanwhile over at Nanowrimo my story is growing and yesterday I passed the 40,000 word point. If I write as I have been the past few days I will have written the minimum for the challenge by the end of the week. Of course there are plenty of things that can go wrong to keep me away from writing, like this morning, but for now I’m going to focus again. Back to ‘Berwick Street to Barcelona’.

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I don’t know how I’m going to get home…

Today’s prompts at our writing group (as supplied by yours truly) were phrases with which to start a story. We each chose a prompt at random and them wrote for the usual 30 minutes. This was my story:

I don’t know how I’m going to get home …..

‘I don’t know how I’m going to get home,’ I wailed inwardly. I’d stormed out of the apartment slamming doors as I left to make my point. I’m sure Mike understood that I was sorely pissed off by the time the final door slammed an I headed for the lift. Never before had he riled me quite so much as tonight.

I didn’t know why I let him get to me so much. Well I did but what I guess I mean is I don’t know why I let him get into my head space, why I allow myself to react like I do.  Most of the time during our five month dalliance we have been enjoying the ride, figuratively and literally, but every so often he’ll push a button and I lose it.

Tonight he had started to wind me up almost as soon as I came through the door and continued to wind me tighter and tighter with his comments as we shared the wine and food. ‘One more put down and I’m out of here,’ I decided. Within moments the next one came, ‘did I have to something or other,’ and I exploded with some of the best expletives I knew and that was how I ended up out here sitting at the bus stop, in the rain, without a coat and no money in my pocket. I hadn’t even picked up my mobile. I mean whoever goes anywhere without that. I hadn’t had the foresight to pick that up nor not my coat or wallet.

Sitting there inwardly bemoaning my lot I wasn’t immediately aware of the car pulling up to the kerb to my right until the driver spoke.

“Missed your bus?” he asked, having leaned over and wound own the passenger window.

I checked him out, well it would have been rude not to. As they say, ‘old habits,’ and all that.  “Something like that,” I replied, shrugging.

“Not the night for sitting around at a bus stop really,” he commented, pretty much unnecessarily in my opinion. “Especially without a coat.”

“I …., I…” I stammered. I neither wanted, nor felt I needed to explain myself to this stranger. “Need directions or something?” I asked impatiently. That’s why people usually pulled over to talk to strangers.

“Kind of,” the stranger smiled and winked. I was a little unnerved. “What I mean to say is I’ll need directions to your place if you want me to give you a lift home,”

I looked the guy over again. He wasn’t my usual type, but looked nice enough. He had a strong jawline, with at last a day’s stubble and blue, blue eyes, that were either piercingly attractive or despairingly cold.  I said he wasn’t my usual type, who am I kidding? My mind spun through a list of possibilities. I’ve no money and no other way of getting home: don’t look a gift horse in the mouth. You don’t know him from Adam, he might have a knife under the seat and only want to gut and skin you. He could be my saviour on this cold wet night, we’ll end up lovers and married growing old together. How I sometimes wished I wasn’t cursed with such ha vivid imagination. How long was I willing to sit here and freeze? It was clear Mike wasn’t coming after me.

“I don’t have an axe under the chair or a gun in the glove-pocket,” he smiled disarmingly, as if reading my thoughts. “It looks to me like you’re stuck without many options here, to state the obvious. You’re cute and I’m no axe murderer. Why don’t you jump in?”

“As long as you promise there’s no axe or gun in the car,” I joked. I had decided to not look said gift horse in the mouth.

“I’m Adam,” by the way the driver told me as he pushed the passenger door open.

“Steve,” I replied sliding into the passenger seat and pulling the seatbelt over my shoulder.

“There’s a joke there somewhere,” Adam laughed.

I pulled the door closed laughing as well. I settled myself into the seat, finding the warmth of the car more than pleasant after the cold and damp of the bus stop.

Adam put the car into gear and edged into the road. As he did so the door beside me clicked loudly.

“What was that?” I asked nervously.

“Just the kiddy locks engaging,” Adam told me.

A shiver ran down my spine as I wondered what the hell I had done getting in a stranger’s car on a cold wet night when no one was around and no one knew where I had gone.

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“Who’s that girl?”

Since the last writers group I’ve had such limted time for writing that not only did I get behind with my Nano… writing I also failed to add the story I wrote at the last group to the blog posts. I am now about to change that…

At the last group I facilitated and offered the titles of the current music chart as prompts, or if they didn’t resonate then a song title of our own choice. I opted for both. I had just been in the dentist’s chair when they played Annie Lennox’s ‘ho’s that girl?’. Immediately a story started to form in my head. However I still chose another song title by a random number, and managed to squeeze that in too. The title from the charts was ‘Rockabye’ about which I know nothing.

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Who’s that Girl?

It was a cold and dank Friday evening. From the clouds that had started gathering since midday it looked like there would soon be a downpour and probably a good storm. Steve had just finished a long week’s work and had arrived home shattered. He was as grateful as ever that the weekend had finally arrived. Pushing through the flat door he dropped his briefcase carelessly by the hall stand and threw his keys atop it.

“Matt? Are you home?” he shouted, not sure if his flatmate was in yet or not. At 35 Steve had always assured his parents that he was a late starter with women, and not gay as they had suggested one Sunday during his weekly visit. Moving Matt into his two bedroom apartment only fuelled their suspicion, but Steve had only moved him in to help with the monthly bills. It was true he was a late, and very shy, starter.

“In here…. I’ll be out in a bit,” Matt called from his room. “Just….” the sentence was left unfinished. “Oh and there’s some chilli on the stove if you want it. I overcooked again.”

Steve threw his jacket over a chair and moved to the stove to get himself a bowl of chilli, which he planned to heat up in the microwave. He was also more than keen to grab himself a bottle of wine and start his Friday night wind-down. He needed something after such an awful week. He tried to close his mind off to the week’s dramas.

Turning round with the bowl in his hand he reached for the microwave door. He stopped suddenly, almost dropping the bowl. Out of the corner of his eye he had seen a petite brunette sitting on the rocking chair in the corner and she had been staring wistfully his way. She had looked helpless, lost and vulnerable there. They had made just a second’s eye contact in which time Steve’s heart sped up and his mouth went dry.  Steve had been open-mouth shocked. He had no idea who she was but for the first time ever in his life he considered the notion of love at first sight.

In the split second in which he had noticed her he also heard her soft voice humming Rockabye, a lullaby that his gran had always sung to him when he was scared of something to help him sleep.

When he looked directly at the chair a second time his beautiful vision was nowhere to be seen. He stuck his head round the door jamb to see where she had gone. Nothing, although there was a lingering scent of delicious perfume.

“Matt?· he called out again putting the bowl of chilli on to heat up.

“I’ll be out in a minute,” Matt called back, slightly impatiently Steve thought.

“Steve guessed Matt had been out for an early evening drink and had brought someone home again, another conquest, another notch on his bedpost. If Steve’s parents had known how much of a player Matt was their suspicion about Steve’s sexuality would be gone in an instant.

Matt suddenly appeared in the doorway. “OK buddy?” he asked. “Another hard day?”

“Never mind that for now. Who is she?” Steve whispered.

“Who’s who?” Matt asked shrugging his shoulders and holding his arms out in the international gesture of innocence.

“Tonight’s conquest.” Steve clarified his question.

“What are you on about?” Matt truly looked perplexed, but he was an actor. Steve wasn’t fooled. “I haven’t been out tonight yet. I thought we could go out together and try our luck together. A Friday night out of season will work in our favour.”

“I saw her… ” Steve began. ” … she was sitting in the rocking char when I came into the kitchen. Petite brunette?”

“Sorry man, you are so wrong. There’s no one here but us. Are you losing it? YOU really need to cut down on that stuff..” Matt indicated the empty wine glass in Steve’s hand”OR perhaps take a break from work. You’re over-stressed.”

Steve didn’t believe a word of what Matt had told him. He  barged past Matt and knocked on his bedroom door. Pushing it open slightly he shouted through the gap, “You can come out now: the game’s up and I don’t bite.”

Nothing.

“Okay I’m coming in” Steve said and pushing the door wide stepped into Matt’s room. Despite being in it’s usual state of disarray the room was clearly empty. Had the wardrobe doors not been wide open Steve knew he’d have had to go across and open them. He was sure this was where the girl he had seen would be hiding.

Leaving Matt’s room Steve went to his own and then the bathroom. He found no one nor nothing amiss.

“What is wrong with you, man?” Matt asked concern in his voice. He had followed Steve from room to room unsure what the game was.

Steve explained what he had seen; someone sitting i the rocking chair.

“Well there clearly is no one here,” Matt said. “Time you chilled, or do I mean Chillied?” Matt tried to lighten the situation.

Steve moved across the living room to the rocking chair and set it in motion. Once again he sensed the delicious perfume. He knew full well in his own mind that he had seen her. All he wanted to know was, ‘Who’s that girl?’

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Back on track

Today I’ve spent a lot of time writing (3816 words to be exact), a lot of time cuddling the dogs and cats and very little time doing anything else. I am now well back on track, until the universe throws me the next curved ball…

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14.11.16 Nano… etc

My writing for Nanowrimo has been much more erratic this year. First it was interrupted by my back locking and me being unable to move, then I’ve had guests at TdM all week, but not just any guests. Hatty (Marion to everyone else), who I have known since we were both 4 years old and Rosie with whom we both worked back in the early 80s.

I hadn’t seen them for about four years so we had some catching up to do, and they wanted to come stay as they had been worried and wanted to check up on me. I’m not quite the social animal I used to be so we had a few lunches together, but I left them to do dinners etc by themselves. They both loved the apartment, and why wouldn’t they? and VnG too, same comment.

It’s always lovely to see friends and catch up but these days once they’ve gone I slip back towards depression as the realisation hits home once again about just how alone I am. YEs I have good, and amazing friends, but nobody can ever hope to fill Tony’s shoes, place in my heart. Today I have been writing to hold back the darkness, which brings me nicely back round to Nanowrimo.

As of yesterday I was around 5000 words behind schedule. Today I am back on schedule. Amazingly 5000 words doesn’t take that long to get typed up, especially once I enter the flow and my fingers start to fly across the keyboard faster than my mind can keep up, which results n the usual number of typos (goes back to edit).  I am currently just a few words short of 24,000. I may just hit halfway later today if I pick up the thread again, if not I will definitely pass that tomorrow.

ON another tack, I was back at the dentist’s today and had my crown restored. I am now a  happier queen. It took about an hour and a half to get it just so, but hopefully it will last at least another 10 years, may be even outlasting me.  IT wasn’t too expensive, but then again it certainly wasn’t cheap.

The next few days promise to be just as full as the last few with Catalan Classes, a trip to the Chiropractor (as soon as I can get one booked), cleaning up/out the apartment after the last guests, Friday’s writers’ group and all the other stuff that daily life necessitates. Note to self; must also book cats in at vets for vaccines over next few days and self for Spanish A2 exam next February.

 

 

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