What’s the nicest thing your significant other has ever done for you? This last week, my truly excellent missus, took the kids to see relatives, leaving me home alone. What did I do with all this free time away from the demands of a 6 year old and a toddler. I wrote. And wrote. Then planned some writing. The wrote some more. If you take a look down the column on the right you’ll see the results in my fiction in progess bars. 

I managed to finish and post off my entry to the Wells Festival of Literature Short Story Competition. Those of you who read this blog regularly might remember this was the story that originally emerged as a bloated 3,500 word beast that needed reining in. I set myself a goal on this blog to trim that story by about half of its word count. The final word count was 1,900. The resulting story a much snappier piece of short fiction. Special thanks to Jentropy for reading the early monster draft and providing thoughtful feedback.

The remainder of the five days have been spent finally starting a longer story. For a while I have wanted to write something I can read with my eldest son. The story has been rolling around in my notebooks and the cavernous interior of my head for quite a while and I used this opportunity to get this longer project underway. I even went out and bouught myself a cork noticeboard and file cards and have the whole plot pinned up in place; the beauty of which is I can move and replace cards as the story develops. Yes, I’ve gone all kinaesthetic writer. I’m 7,500 words with a target of 10,000 for the end of the week. I’m due to pick the family up from the airport later this evening so I’ll be trying to get as much of the remainder of my target done this afternoon as I can.

After spending nearly a week writing for large chunks of the day I am buzzing with enthusiasm and energy for what I am doing. It’ll be nice to have them home now though, the house was starting to feel a little empty. I can heartily recommend a writer’s staycation retreat. I have had six days to get to know my characters, work through their troubles and decide their fates. Without a two year old tornadoing around the house I have been able to spread my stuff all over the living room floor without fear of him eating my index cards or punching a hole in my corkboard. Best of all I have had time to think and let my characters emerge without time pressure.

The next few weeks will be full on summer holidays mode. Daytrips and activities with the kids abound. Here’s hoping I have the energy in the evenings to keep up the momentum. Somehow I think my characters will be clamouring for some attention.