This was a nightmare that I wrote down and fleshed out:
The oppressive heat hits me as I cross the train station. Like me, I assume, it sweeps over the platform hoping to catch the next train and escape the dead town that beyond the tracks in front of me. Even it has given up trying to fight this lonely desert.
I catch the time from a clock that hung over the station’s entrance. It tells me I still have three minutes to go. I collapse onto the nearest bench, exhausted. The last miles was the hardest. My legs weren’t used to that. Still, anything to ensure I caught this train. I couldn’t miss it. There were reasons. Today, I had to escape. The clock may tell me I had three minutes remaining, but for me, this town had run out of time.
Impulse turns my head to the left. Or fate. Choose whichever. Two benches sit between us. The length of this small town train station. Our eyes meet. Mine catch the briefest of bashful smiles, told with her eyes as much as her lips. For reality, the glance lasts only a moment. For me, it lasts a lifetime. And with that smile, if she weren’t already the girl in my dreams, she becomes her immediately. Another soul waiting to escape. It must be so. She’s beautiful for it. But to find out who she is? It seems such a disservice to fate, to interrupt this moment. There will be time.
The train pulls her eyes from me as it sweeps into the station and blocks the town from view. A brief escape.
A phone rings, its bell echoing throughout the station. Our gazes meet again, this time to share our confusion. We both stand up. Hesitate. Nothing passes between us, yet somehow, between us, a choice is made. The train is long distance. It won’t leave immediately. I have time. Still, I hesitate to turn away. The phone continues to ring.
It takes me longer to find the phone than I’d expected. Not long, only longer. Tucked behind a pillar at the station’s entrance, it rings one more time. I watch the final moments of a conversation between the girl and a train conductor before she ducks into the carriage. I lift the handset off the receiver hook and place the speaker to my ear.
She reappears, taking a seat at the train carriage window in front of me. She turns to look out the window. Our eyes meet again.
Click. The phone goes dead. Too late.
The station clock shows the hour. Blithely, I press the headset onto the hook. My attention elsewhere, it bounces off and drops the ground. One voice tells me to leave it. The rest insist I stay and fix my mess. I should have stopped listening to them a long time ago. The question then, is would I have crossed paths with the girl from the station? I put the phone back and dash across to the train carriage.
“I’m sorry sir. I can’t let you on without a ticket.”
“The next train is in an hour,” he interrupts.
Four floors burn down
Three seconds burn a friendship
A kiss burns two
But only one burns to confess
Some good friends of mine have just opened up their own online business, Simpsons Sensory & Emotional Relief, selling a number of products that provide help and relief for children with various autism spectrum disorders. There’s some fantastic products and ideas that have been developing lots of great feedback since they’ve started. If you’re reading this and might be interested, go check them out and support.
Did I mention work was tough lately. It’s taken all the energy out of me, which means less writing and less updates. Mentally exhausting. Certainly no fun.
I wrote a nice little passage for Viridian just then, but I’m still along way behind where I’d like to be.
I was talking about writer’s block and writing on another one of my online haunts, and wrote this little explanation that perhaps give some insight into my writing process:
It’s worth pointing out that my ‘style’ isn’t free writing. I just don’t plot the story chapter by chapter before I start. A story idea for me is a beginning and an end (or really, a climax). I’ll write down scene ideas along the way. When I’m writing a scene, I’ll know what I want to happen in the scene and where I want to go for the next scene. Writing the scene then becomes:
Transition in -> Scene event -> Transition out to next scene.
It’s that transition out where I most often block, specifically, the moment the scene moves from event to transition out. That’s normally where I work myself into a hole.
Feathers Fall is now available in paperback through createspace. And with that, it’ll show up on Amazon shortly as well after it goes through the usual process.
Feathers Fall @ Createspace
So I had some inspiration in the shower the other day, in much the same way that Feathers Fall came to me. It was enough to bang out a first chapter that is thoroughly entertaining.
Working title Four Floors. Strangely similar Feathers Fall. What is it about showers and alliteration?
Work. Real work. The stuff that actually pays. Not something I talk a lot about. But lets talk it for a second.
Work is stressful. Hard? Perhaps not. Challenging? People are challenging. My work demands that I sit politely while people try their best to tear my ideas apart. And I’m ok with that. For the most part. But it wears you down. Essentially, work requires that I’m “ahead of the curve”, so being challenged isn’t about telling others that they’re wrong, or finding out that I’m wrong. It boils down to slowing down to teach others and bring them up to speed. To pull them ahead of the curve. I swear though, some people seem to want to be behind.
Flex, roll, adapt. If you want to work in IT, you need to always be ready to do so, even at the 11th hour.
In more positive news, this feedback for Feathers Fall made me smile – because deep down, it told me I’d nailed the story:
Ok so you got me… I cried. Not just a few tears, mind you, but outright sobs. I found myself so emotionally attached to the characters!
Beautifully written, Ben. Thankyou for writing this story. X
That feels good.
So I just dropped $350 on a steampunkish styled costume. Well, arguably it’s straight Victorian era. But hey. Close enough.
Also, I just dropped $350 on a costume. Ouch :S
I’m on the hunt for reviewers. It’s time to try and get these stories in front of more people.
Every year, Lifeline do a bookfest where they offload all their donated books for cheap in a massive exhibition hall.
This year, I got quite the haul.