I have big plans for January.
Whether or not my energy levels will allow me to bring all these plans to fruition, now – that’s a different thing. For a variety of reasons, I’m starting this New Year already feeling a little tired and under the weather, but I can’t let that hold me back. I’ve got to find the rhythm of the year, and fall into step with it.
Just like everyone else.
One of the things I’m determined to do is get back into my habit of writing fresh short stories every week; I’m fairly good with keeping up my Wednesday Write-Ins (Christmas Day and New Year’s Day excepted), but I’ve totally let my Flash! Friday stories slide in the last few months. One of my resolutions for 2014 was to get back into the habit of challenging myself every week with their fiendishly difficult picture prompts, made even more fiendish this year by the addition of a mandatory word prompt, too. Luckily, I’ve just managed to complete my first Flash! Friday challenge of the year, so things are off to a good start. I’ve just got to remember not to drop the ball again.
I haven’t so much as thought about ‘Emmeline’ since before Christmas. Other stuff – life stuff – took over my brain and squeezed out any chance I had of worrying about my story. So, right now, I’m going through my usual terror at the thought of opening up my Word file again and rummaging through my WiP, looking for the severed threads of the story in order to pick them up and start the tapestry afresh. I’m pretty sure I’ll manage to get started again, but I have to navigate this no-man’s land before I can reach that blessed point, and I hate that part.
I have books to submit to agents. I have agents to follow up with. I have a book to finish. I have competitions to enter. I have opportunities to explore.
I can do this.
Oh, and just in case you were curious, I’ve shared my Flash! Friday entry below. This was the image prompt:
Anatomy lesson being given in 1829 by Antoine Clot (Clot Bey) in Egypt
The prompt word we were to use, along with this prompt image, was ‘Discovery,’ and all we had was 140-160 words, exclusive of title, to do it in.
And here, without further ado, is my entry:
One Red Finger
The anatomy room was hot, expectant. All had come to see the wonder of Clot Bey, to learn from the master. I had secured a front row seat, and I fought to hold it amid the jostling.
The subject – barely dead – lay mere feet away. Silently, I thanked him for his sacrifice.
Then, dreamlike, our teacher appeared. My body strained, keen, eager. His very stride was an instruction. His fingers touched the scalpel and raised it, bright as heaven’s dart.
But the blade trembled as it fell, kissing the corpse’s skin uncertainly, tentatively.
Confused, I searched our teacher’s face. Too late, I saw the unnatural flash in his eyes and the cracking, lolloping grin.
Shouting, I rose to my feet, pointing at the impostor in the body of Clot Bey. In a single blink, the human shell fell away to reveal the fiery carapace beneath.
Amid the screaming tumult, the demon smiled at me, beckoning with one red finger.