Clarion Write-a-thon Update: Numero Cuatro

4546841695_d006ab6a1d_zFirst order of business in this update is to send a big shout-out of thanks to my two sponsors! Many, many thanks! Have raised $30 thus far, and am delighted! That’s two flash pieces to write after the write-a-thon is finito. Exciting! I am all the exclamation marks. 🙂

Second order o’ business. Words. How have I done? Hit my target again, thank you very much. By the skin o’ my teeth, thanks to a day out Wednesday. Seems I can quite easily hit a 7k per week (1k for each day) even with days like Wednesday, and today, which has been all about making my house look less like a herd of Mammoth charged through with wrecking balls on their tusks. I’m happy to report the Mammoth WB posse would be well pissed at mah disaster aversion skillz. *smug face*

Now if I’m honest I’d probably prefer to have written a little more than 7k (OK, a lot). My deadline of July 31st for a first draft is looming and making me all the nervous and agitated. But, I’m going to pull all the stops out next week as my Spawn break up for summer on Tues and have been informed that they can wait for summer fun till August. Can you imagine – ALL DAY WRITING SESSIONS! Bliss. I am SO fun. 😛

How’s ESCAPOLOGY going? It’s going well. I’ve already pointed out I’m not writing quite as fast as I wanted, but I am writing steadily, and it grows every day. I realised this week, having worked out the trajectory for part two, that part one needed to be split, so there’s now three parts. There’ll be a part 4 too, maybe even a 5 – pushing the boat out! It’s a complex old beast this novel. Lots going on, by thunder!

At the mo, as I said I would be last wk, when I finished part 1, I’m working my way  through what  was part 2 and is now part 3, to the second big moment of catastrophe, the catalyst moment for my protag Shock. He thinks he’s in some rare old trouble already, boy he don’t know the half of it. Truth be told I’m having a blast writing this, despite many moments of frustatration. The characters are all so challenging and different, and all so important to the story in their own ways. I like an ensemble cast, even if they’re not quite ensemble yet. They will be.

O’Course, all this week I have been in various stages of liquidity thanks to the sun and, as you can imagine, this makes the business of getting words down ever harder. Melting brains don’t like making nice with the word production. Honestly thinking of tying a bag of ice onto mah brainz this coming week, as apparently it’s going to be equally torturous. Why is it that good old Blighty thinks an open window constitutes air con? Seriously, in summer all an open window constitutes is an open invitation to anything with wings and a sting or a penchant for human blood in a five mile radius. I’m all about the live and let live, but I like my skin free of giant, red, itchy bumps dammit! Darned thieving mozzies, swiping my Type O Neg.

Right, nuff of the moanin’, time to whack up a wee taster. I believe I mentioned last Sunday that I might get to sharing things from earlier on in the process, just for shits and giggles and maybe a tantalising peek of context, and so I offer you an earlier moment this week. Oh yes indeed. Generosity is my middle name. Actually it’s Cunningham. Yeah…it’s pretty awful as middle names go. *sigh* Anyhoo, this week I’m treating you to a little taster of Amiga again, because I’m kinda over-fond. She’s arrived at the home of her boss, Twist Calhoun, with a somewhat late delivery, only to find she may be slightly out of favour. Or is she?


Twist’s home is on the fifth level from the top. He likes to look a little less affluent than he is, but only a touch. He’s a past master in the psychology of wealth, sitting in that happy area where those who think they have more tolerate him because he’s no threat to their wealth, and those who have less aspire to be him but are to afraid to try and take what he’s got to get there. Twist operates in neutral zones, grey areas, the spaces between hot spots, and thereby controls those less controlled than him. When she’s not on the alert avoiding his wrath, Amiga watches him closely, trying to learn how he does it. Neutral would be a blissful situation from where she’s standing, stuck in emotional fifth gear.

She waves her hand at the gate. It cranks open and Geo, the Muscle, a great big German with a square head like the butt-end of an anvil, comes out flanked on either side by two of the Guns. She doesn’t know the names of these two, they’re Twist’s personal guards. Slender girls, with flat amber eyes and neat black ponytails. Not Asian. Puerto Rican or something. She’d know if she’d ever heard them speak, but they’re either mutes or deaf and they communicate in rapid, graceful PSL or ASL, she wouldn’t know which. Geo understands them but can’t make the signs, his hands are too damn big and clumsy, so they read his lips just like they read hers.

‘Hi. Here to see Twist.’

Geo sniffs. ‘’Course you are. He sent an escort.’ He gestures at the Guns, who nod. Amiga nods back, but her stomach looses from its moorings, dropping into the bowl of her pelvis. Still, she hangs on to her cool.

‘For me? Thoughtful, but unnecessary.’

A shit-eating grin devours Geo’s outcrop of a chin. ‘Just for you, babe. You been a bad girl? Not cleaning up after yourself?’

Amiga hefts her bag. ‘Cleaning just fine, thanks. Maybe you wanna look?’

The German swallows and steps back. He’s a squeamish one, that’s why he’s Gate Muscle. Easy, bloodless shit. No one would, or could, threaten Twist on his home turf. ‘You keep that for Twist. And fuck off. He’s expecting you.’

Amiga shoulders her bag again and steps forward between the Guns, showing no fear as they walk up the elaborate stones of the path and in through a front screen painted with a perfect copy of Hokusai’s “Amida Waterfall on the Kiso Road”. Usually Amiga takes time to admire it and the many other Hokusai repros painted on the house’s inner screens, but she’s too distracted. Acquainted as she is with Twist’s techniques, she knows the Guns are merely intimidation of a sort; if he wanted her dead, she would be. It still stings though, and she’s still afraid. Uncertain too. He’s never tried to intimidate her before. He’s never had to. So why now? Being late for drop off is nothing compared to other stunts she’s pulled. Perhaps she’s no longer a favourite.


There we have it then. A leetle longer perhaps than usual, and hopefully enough to whet the appetite. If you’re not one of my heroic duo of sponsors, you really need to grab a cape and join them in their fight for Clarion’s continued brilliance! Go on, who doesn’t look good in a cape? Remember that donations made from my profile button – found here – coming in over the $10 mark get you a free flash from me. Free because ALL this money goes to Clarion West! Yes indeed. So go on, grab that cape, shell out some moolah and grab yerself a personalised flash (choose three words/terms/whatever and I will write it from those and those only! Only for those who pledge $10 or more to Clarion West!). It’s all in a damn fine cause.

That’s all for this week. Here’s a cat in a cape. Doesn’t he look spiffing!:



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