I can say what I like about any topic and use whatever language I see fit to use.
I don't appreciate people trying to tell me what I can and can't say or talk about. To you I say FUCK OFF.
To the rest of you - welcome and enjoy your stay.
Most of you know that I host a writing workshop (A Writer's Plot) at the Upper Hutt library... but I suspect not many of you know that I do so for free, or exactly how much time and effort goes into preparing for our fortnightly meetings, writing the notes alone can take hours. Having to think about things I don't normally think about - I just do. It's not easy.
In fact this last month - with the short story challenge running and then the critiques... I haven't been able to get on with my work at all really. (And that's frustrating as hell.)
For two reasons - the first being that this kind of workshop takes a helluva lot of effort to pull together and the second being... people. Issues that arose with people during the short story challenge and the critiquing and the narrow mindedness of one that caused me a lot of stress.
If you don't want to write fiction - then go read a book or watch TV, don't come to my group. I don't have time to waste on people who aren't interested in learning and improving their craft.
If you're not going to enter into the challenges in good faith and try to complete them to the best of your ability - don't come to my group I don't have time to waste on anyone who is prepared to cut corners and not try.
If you are so closed minded that you can't handle a bunch of diverse and interesting short stories - then what were you thinking my joining a writing group hosted by a crime thriller author? My group is not for you.
This last week has been hellish to the point where I seriously considered stopping this right now because it's taking too much of my time and energy and all I was getting out of it was grief... trying to decide how best to approach certain people about issues and knowing damn well it'd go badly, no matter what.
So now everyone is doing a 50K challenge. And I really hope everyone DOES this challenge the way it's supposed to be done... because the thrill of getting to the end and being able to say "I wrote that" and to know yourself that you did it, the whole thing, in a month, is awesome.
Getting to the end and saying "I wrote that" doesn't have the same impact if you've cut and pasted half of the story from an existing file or taken another story and edited it a bit to make it "different".
It's not about winning.
It's about producing new writing that can be smoothed and polished into something fabulous.
It's a sense of achievement that comes from looking at a big .doc file and knowing you wrote every word in 30 days... it comes from knowing you knuckled down and worked.
It's your achievement.
And one last thing - if you're not part of A Writer's Plot - and you don't like my style of writing or any of the stories you read while part of the group ... then why on earth would you be reading my blog?
Is it to find something to complain about?
You'll love this:
An excerpt from Killerbyte:
“Hurry the hell up.” I disconnected and shoved the phone back into my pocket.
“Can he get in through any other doors?” Mac asked.
I shook my head. “Unless he breaks a window.” My mind ran over the layout of my home, checking all scenarios.
But there was another way.
“There’s another door at the back of the house, through a storage room. It’s a solid door with an internal bolt.” An unfaltering air of calm swept over me. “I’ll go check.”
Seconds later, I stood in the storage room. Something scratched and banged on the door leading to my back yard. I released the interior bolt. The noise outside turned my blood to ice. A loud squawk pierced the air. The scratching ceased and screeching started. Wings beat against the door. Anger rose in waves. I slid back the last bolt and pulled the door towards me. The noise from the door was deafening. The screeching reached scream pitch. Feathers flew in all directions from the extended wings. I winced as I pulled the trigger. A single round ended the struggling bird’s torture.
“I’m sorry, Abigail.”
The bloodied carcass nailed to my door jerked.
“You sadistic fuck!” I screamed into the yard before slamming the door and shoving the bolt across. Abigail’s body thudded against the wood.
“Ellie!” Mac called. “You okay?”
I hurried back to him.
“He nailed Abigail to the door!” I said. “She was still alive!”
Absolute disgust registered on his face. He leaned back on the wall and ran a hand through his hair.
He glanced sideways at me and asked, “Who is Abigail?”
“My chicken,” I said. It was unbelievable anyone would be so cruel to an animal. Wasn’t it bad enough that Carter and his insanity had caused me to trample all over Abigail’s eggs? Now my chicken hung like some horrid voodoo warning, her lifeless body flapping in the wind.
Mac exhaled. “Oh man! I thought it was a person.” He checked himself. “Sorry, Ellie.”
It had become eerily quiet. At that instant, it felt as though we were in the eye of the storm. The silence created some sort of bizarre void. Minutes dragged by.
Mac jolted to full alert. “Did you hear that?”
Copyright Cat Connor 2009-2012