A Year of Writing: Days 251-260

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Day 251 and I wonder when Ms Hayashida will reveal the truth and how she will reveal that she is a kodama, a spirit of the trees (we are not in Tolkien land here), a kodama is something that can bring terrible curses on the world but when the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the curse of a new world, a new technological age was thrown against the old world. The old ways of doing things and the forests burnt, and the spirits died, except for this one that entered a small child and made her a living human kodama. It plays with the idea that spirits sometimes take on human form. We have it in our own culture, faeries were and are something to be feared, no matter how we make them into household gods.


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Day 252 of #ayearofwriting and how powerful are old folk tales? How much do they stay with us and take on new forms? Folk traditions and even christian traditions have a dark side, formed of the knife and the gallows, of the bog and the sacrifice, of the dark months of the year where survival meant death to some.

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Day 253 of #ayearofwriting and the Ms Hayashida first draft comes to a sticky and weird end. I am not happy with it but I shouldn’t be happy after the first draft. I have to learn as a writer that being happy with something doesn’t always make it the right thing, that the world of fiction is built one brick at a time. New images create new questions that should be answered. Drafts should be treated as a thinking process as well as a writing one. We put too much onus in creative writing that the idea must be getting there by the first draft, that the bare bones should be there and let’s face facts, this is fiction, we are making it up. We may do research but we are imagining the world and the characters, filling in the gaps, sometimes writing feels like you’re a detective with a John Doe on your hands.


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Day 254 of #ayearofwriting. Sometimes abandoning an idea gives rise to a new landscape, a new world of the story.

Day 255 of #ayearofwriting and I am ten days away from having written every day for a year. Back in 2017, I committed to #100daysofwriting. That means when I hit Day 265 I have been writing non-stop for 365 days. It’s been a hard month, in terms of personal loss; my Dad died with no warning, no illness. Where to go from here…

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Day 256 of #ayearofwriting and after stripping wallpaper in the bedroom, a place I often write in, I notice these fifteen holes on the chimney stack. I wonder what they are, why they are there. The holes are not deep and are too far up the wall for hanging something. The holes are not deep but what if they were? This is how ideas begin, join in if you wish.

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Day 257 of #ayearofwriting and holes in the bedroom wall leads me to look at strange holes around the globe. No wonder our ancestors thought these were gateways to the underworld. In SF there is a misleading trope that we look to the starts but the New Wave movement and Ballard turned it in on ourselves but what if we turned it down to the very earth itself? We know so little about it for all our blister and dominance. There are stranger things in heaven and earth…

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Day 258 of #ayearofwriting and it has been a day of scribbles and now I am laid in bed watching Indiana Jones and wondering about the link between myth, fact and fiction. Listen for the feet of mad men and follow in silence.

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Day 259 of #ayearofwriting I am retiring to the library.

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Day 260 of #ayearofwriting and tonight the work is all about hidden secrets.

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