Every month The Rogue Verbumancer posts a photo on his blog and demands the people of the internet write a short story about it, posting links to every entry at the end of the month for all to see. He calls it the Pictonaut Challenge and you can join in too, if you like, for it is open to all. This is my one for January.
As December finishes, it is time for another entry to The Pictonaut Challenge.
For those who don’t know what that is – every month The Rogue Verbumancer (also known on the Twitter as @Glempy) posts a different picture on his blog and invites people to write a short (around 1,000 words) story around it. Entrants post their attempts on their own sites, or can send them to TRV if they don’t have one, and at the end of the month he does a post linking to them all. It’s a nice way to flex your writing muscles, particularly if you are working on something that is doing your head in or if you are stuck for ideas and would like a fixed exercise to get you thinking. It’s also really interesting to read the different ideas people take from the same image.
I began writing my December entry during breaks at work, but when I went to finish it today realised I didn’t actually email it to myself. So I wrote a different one, in about an hour (using my favourite app, Write or Die, to get to 1000 words in just over 20 minutes and then revising it in the remaining 40), which I have posted below. It is really not my best work, but such is the nature of the first draft, and hopefully the rawness will help you understand why the fact I have drafted all these books does not mean they are ready to read yet… Continue reading “The Psychedelic Lady” →
We are now into the third month of Glempy’s Pictonaut Challenge, and what a month it is. I don’t know what this is a picture of, and I don’t darn well even care, but I wrote a short story about it anyway. I look forward to reading your one.
I don’t have a guest post for you today, so instead you shall have another story. This one was written for Emily Dodd, who said “You know those dog multi-leads? Well a man used to come into my bedroom with wolves on a multi-lead or sometimes… sharks. The sharks swam in air. Thankfully it hasn’t happened for 20 years or so, he’s probably working in Disney land (:” Enjoy.
Once Upon A Time, there was a little boy called Bartholomew Benjamin Crannington-Hill, a name he had inherited from Irish-American parents along with a small leather suitcase and a pair of green and white striped pyjamas. Unfortunately those were the only things he had to remember them by, for Mr and Mrs Crannington-Hill tragically died at sea when their son was only a baby.
This is one of the short stories I wrote last month for my horror compilation. It is dedicated to Jim Connick, who has a fear of going round a corner quickly and being impaled on a pointy thing, which he blames on the film Dog Soldiers.
I’m running for the last bus, slipping and sliding on wet concrete in old cons wi nae grips, hurdling knocked ower bins and homeless folk and piles of vomit, breathing hard as my tired lungs gasp in cold night air.
Today I present for your consideration another short story from last month. The inspiration came from a bit of graffiti I noticed one day on my walk home from work. I am a fan of graffiti, but I’ve got no idea what the deal is with this particular tag. You see it all the time around Edinburgh, though.
I can see the concentration in his shoulders as he marks the last letter of his tag on the door. He’s using silver marker pen to painstakingly write each letter, S-I-N-E.
In broad daylight. Near a busy train station.
Something tells me he’s not a seasoned pro.
One of the stories I wrote for October’s horror book. I found a T-Shirt I hadn’t worn in ages and couldn’t remember whether it was mine or not, and because I am a banal sort of person at times I tweeted about it, prompting the suggestion a creepy story was to be had.
“Mmm?” I say, turning away from her and snuggling down into the nest of blankets.
I should have known she wouldn’t let me get away with it that easily.
“The neckline is wrong,” she says. Her voice seems unnecessarily loud in the quiet dark of the morning, like she’s shouting, although she probably isn’t. “It’s my size, but none of my stuff has a scooped neckline like this.”
I sit up with a sigh, bleary eyed, reaching for my glasses. It’s an early winter morning, and the only light comes from a side lamp with a strange blue bulb, but even with that I can tell there’s nothing the matter with Vicky’s shirt.
“See?” she pulls at it insistently.
“Maybe it’s one of Katie’s?”
I am promoting 12 books all over the place at the moment it seems. Tonight I’m going to be chatting to Simon Fielding about how it’s all going live on Leith FM between 8.30 and 10pm, so please tune in online if you have the time.
I also did an interview with Milo at The Clear Minded Creative in which I gave out advice that I should probably follow myself…
And I wrote a story about a haunted house for Howl-o-ween 2011 at Books, Biscuits and Tea, a book blog by Vicky Torzsok.
Having clicked all those, you may now read a short story I wrote for my sister, who is currently road tripping across Canada and texted me the quote in italics from the Maritime Museum in Halifax, Nova Scotia.