Category: November Writing Challenge 2010


I walk through town, I think about things.

I think about how quickly a city can fill with people.  I wonder what it would be like to live in the city centre, with all these people.

I buy freshly baked warm bread and sit on a stone bench.  Although the sun is out, the centre is always in shade except around noon: the buildings have crisscrossing shadows that mean it is always cold in the morning.  Sitting on the stone bench for too long eventually gets painful.

I eat my bread and throw crumbs at the pigeons.  I wonder if it’s really illegal to feed pigeons in Sheffield city centre.  I imagine that this is because some arse at City Hall got fed up of having his car shat on, and for no other reason.  There is a simple pleasure that comes with providing food for another living thing.

I like about fiction.

My story KASHKEI AND THE FIREBIRD, AT PEACE, one of the thirty stories I wrote during my 2010 November Challenge, was this month published by Mirror Dance magazine, a prestigious publication I’ve wanted to get into for a while.

Another story, THE TRANSDIMENTIONALIST, was picked up by Estronomicon to be printed some time this month or next.  This is a kind of successor to BLEACH, printed in Aphelion back in 2008.

Sitting on the bench, I realise that I’ve neglected to update the website with these.  This is now corrected.

I think, ‘What if I had my own fiction magazine?  Could I edit it?  Would I have the time?  Would people want to read it?  Would I be able to get enough people to contribute to it?  What kind of fiction would it showcase?  What kind of writers?  Would it have illustrations?  Would I showcase artists?  Who would make awesome covers for me?  How do you go about publishing an e-zine?  How much would it cost?  Would I be able to advertise so that I could pay my writers?’

I think I’ll give it a go.

If you’re a writer, reviewer of literature or artist, get in touch.

–db

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I’d like to thank everybody for their support during the November Challenge.   I’ve had a lot of messages regarding one story or another, and some blog comments, and I’m overwhelmed at the response!

Although I came within one or two seconds of failing on certain nights (seriously) I did manage to upload a story a day for every day in November, no later than midnight.  A few facts and figures:

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Stories Completed: 30

Stories Failed: 0

Shortest Story: Da Bomb at 1,039 words

Longest Story: Big Dog at 6,825 words

Total Number Words Written:  79,381

Favourite Few: Love is an Eye That Doesn’t See, Time Fears the Pyramids, Follow The Sun Underground, An Account of a Curious Encounter, Endless Bodies, Broken Bug

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The stories will be available until 31st December, but not promised any later – a few might make the website permanently, but that’s not likely.  This is your last week to get your hands on them, free, before the New Year.

To help you choose which to ponder, here they are divided by genre, with word-lengths beside.  Enjoy!

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MAINSTREAM:

A Quiver of Graves – Written November 1st: 2,000 words

The Fabulous Voyage of the Paper Lantern – Written November 7th: 1,259 words

The Glass-Handled Sword – Written November 10th: 2,569 words

Follow the Sun Underground – Written November 13th: 2,524 words

The Woman Who Couldn’t Remember Lightning – Written November 14th: 2,128 words

Telling Signs – Written November 15th: 2,242 words

Her Majesty’s Agent – Written November 18th: 3,157 words

Da Bomb – Written November 19th: 1,039 words

The Word for Wizard is Woman – Written November 21st: 1,194 words

Through the Brittle Grass – Written November 23rd: 1,714 words

Sudoku: The Movie – Written November 28th: 1,321 words

One in a Million – Written November 29th: 1,100 words

 

SCIENCE FICTION:

Amelia Amongst Machines – Written November 3rd: 4,742 words

Big Dog – Written November 4th: 6,825 words

Exposure – Written November 11th: 1,629 words

An Account of a Curious Encounter – Written November 16th: 4,448 words

The Endless Bodies – Written November 22nd: 2,040words

 

FANTASY:

Love is an Eye That Doesn’t See – Written November 2nd: 3,560 words

To Fly Away and Never Come Down Again – Written November 5th: 3,834 words

Kashcei and the Firebird, At Peace – Written November 6th: 1,651 words

Time Fears the Pyramids – Written November 8th: 5,643 words

Upon the Hill – Written November 9th: 3,862 words

Living With Monsters – Written November 12th: 2,301 words

The Cave of Wonders – Written November 17th: 2,885 words

Moon’s Djinni – Written November 20th: 2,381 words

Mountains Won’t Move – Written November 24th: 2,370 words

A Dream Did Weave a Shade – Written November 25th: 2,339 words

Matryoshka Man – Written November 26th: 2,841 words

Raphael – Written November 27th: 1,659 words

Broken Bug – Written November 30th: 4,188 words

–db

NOVEMBER CHALLENGE 2010

A story a day, for thirty days

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30 days, 30 short stories – I did it!  November has been a month of trials, not least massive snowstorms today and yesterday that have cut shorter my usually short window of time between getting home from work and going to bed.

A minimum of a thousand words a day, each story different, has been a real challenge.  Yet somehow I’ve managed to accomplish what I thought I never would, and achieved my own wild goal.

Today’s story – the thirtieth and final story for a little while! – is a little special.  I can’t take credit for the main character, Ginko, or for the tiny invisible creatures of which he is master: mushi.  These are the invention of Yuki Urushibara, whose books you should read.  And although I usually balk at fan fiction, of which this is basically an example, I thought that this month would be the opportunity to pay my tribute to a fantastic set of books (which in turn was made into a fantastic television series).

I urge you to read the source material, and hope you enjoy my tribute to this incredible world.

“Broken Bug” is a tale of Mushishi.

[Edit:  Sorry, you are too late to read this story.  Some stories may be retained on the website.  Some e-mail requests for copies of the stories are being granted (spinning.lizard@yahoo.co.uk).]

For the .pdf copy of the story above you can read online (you’ll need Adobe Acrobat Reader) or download to your PC, laptop or e-book.

The website is up to date now with all thirty storys – Go to Stories and then follow the November Challenge link for the full list.  Now that it’s nearly December I may start taking down the ones I’m not fully pleased with to save myself some embarassment.  Those that make the cull will be available for a while longer but no later than 30th December 2010.

I really would love to hear your thoughts on any of the stories either on this blog, or via the website’s forum.  I’ve been creative and want your creative input.

Enjoy, and thanks for all your support this long, long month – without your interest and encouragement I would have given up weeks ago.  Thankyou for helping me keep my promise, and best wishes to you all in this chilly season.

— db

NOVEMBER CHALLENGE 2010

A story a day, for thirty days

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Holy testicle Tuesday, tomorrow is the last day of November!  I’m nearly free!  FREEEEEEE!

Seriously though, I’m enjoying it.  I can’t believe I got this far.  I’ve decided to celebrate with a very special story for a very special girl.

For Lisa:

[Edit:  Sorry, you are too late to read this story.  Some stories may be retained on the website.  Some e-mail requests for copies of the stories are being granted (spinning.lizard@yahoo.co.uk).]

The website proper will be up to date by the time I post the final story tomorrow.  For the .pdf copy of the story above you can read online (you’ll need Adobe Acrobat Reader) or download to your PC, laptop or e-book.

The stories will remain available for a minimum of 30 days but no later than 30th December 2010.  I would love to hear your thoughts on any of the stories either on this blog, or via the website’s forum.

Enjoy, and thanks for reading,

db

NOVEMBER CHALLENGE 2010

A story a day, for thirty days

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Today’s story complete, dear God they’re getting harder to write now!  I’m drying up.  This is it.  After today, two more stories to write.  The last hurdle approaches.

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGH

Okay, here’s today’s:

[Edit:  Sorry, you are too late to read this story.  Some stories may be retained on the website.  Some e-mail requests for copies of the stories are being granted (spinning.lizard@yahoo.co.uk).]

It’s a preview of a film, believe it or not.  I received a DVD copy in the post yesterday and watched it last night.  Consider this a story for the purposes of this challenge.

The website proper is still up to date.  For the .pdf copy of the story above you can read online (you’ll need Adobe Acrobat Reader) or download to your PC, laptop or e-book.

The stories will remain available for a minimum of 30 days but no later than 30th December 2010.  I would love to hear your thoughts on any of the stories either on this blog, or via the website’s forum.

Enjoy, and thanks for reading,

db

NOVEMBER CHALLENGE 2010

A story a day, for thirty days

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And so on the 27th day, after 27 stories, the ideas begin to dry up!  I’m surprised it didn’t happen sooner.

And yet, something came to me this morning, I don’t know how.  I spent an hour looking for inspiration online, just some line of a poem, or a piece of concept art, or something in the news or a historical fact from November 27ths past…

I do not know what the inspiration was for this story.  But it occured to me that as the legends are built up over time, some ‘factual’ from the original Book, but most fictional accounts by writers wanting to explore these rich stories, there is a little gap that we haven’t covered yet, between the moment God chose to cast Lucifer from Heaven, and the instant of the deed being done.

Who had the job of cutting off Satan’s wings?

[Edit:  Sorry, you are too late to read this story.  Some stories may be retained on the website.  Some e-mail requests for copies of the stories are being granted (spinning.lizard@yahoo.co.uk).]

For this .pdf copy of the story above you can read online (you’ll need Adobe Acrobat Reader) or download to your PC, laptop or e-book.

The stories will remain available for a minimum of 30 days but no later than 30th December 2010.  I would love to hear your thoughts on any of the stories either on this blog, or via the website’s forum.

Enjoy, and thanks for reading,

db

NOVEMBER CHALLENGE 2010

A story a day, for thirty days

_______________________________________________

[Edit:  Sorry, you are too late to read this story.  Some stories may be retained on the website.  Some e-mail requests for copies of the stories are being granted (spinning.lizard@yahoo.co.uk).]

For this .pdf copy of the story above you can read online (you’ll need Adobe Acrobat Reader) or download to your PC, laptop or e-book.

The stories will remain available for a minimum of 30 days but no later than 30th December 2010.  I would love to hear your thoughts on any of the stories either on this blog, or via the website’s forum.

Enjoy, and thanks for reading,

db

NOVEMBER CHALLENGE 2010

A story a day, for thirty days

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I wrote two stories today.  That’s right, two!

Actually, one and a half.  The story I started, as it happened, turned out to have no ending.  There was just no way to finish it.  There were no facts to support it.  My research attempts failed.  It is a failed, unfinished story, that will never be told, because in the real world it makes no sense.

On the other hand, a story in which life is only a dream makes perfect sense, and I’ve attached it for you right here:

[Edit:  Sorry, you are too late to read this story.  Some stories may be retained on the website.  Some e-mail requests for copies of the stories are being granted (spinning.lizard@yahoo.co.uk).]

The website proper is still up to date.  For the .pdf copy of the story above you can read online (you’ll need Adobe Acrobat Reader) or download to your PC, laptop or e-book.

The stories will remain available for a minimum of 30 days but no later than 30th December 2010.  I would love to hear your thoughts on any of the stories either on this blog, or via the website’s forum.

Enjoy, and thanks for reading,

db

NOVEMBER CHALLENGE 2010

A story a day, for thirty days

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I am lifting, rising, ascending towards a light that is … November 30th, from where I am no longer obliged to write stories.

I say that, and yet I’m still enjoying myself.  It still doesn’t feel like a chore.  The ideas are still coming harder, but this is one I’ve had for a while.

[Edit:  Sorry, you are too late to read this story.  Some stories may be retained on the website.  Some e-mail requests for copies of the stories are being granted (spinning.lizard@yahoo.co.uk).]

The website proper is still up to date.  For the .pdf copy of the story above you can read online (you’ll need Adobe Acrobat Reader) or download to your PC, laptop or e-book.

The stories will remain available for a minimum of 30 days but no later than 30th December 2010.  I would love to hear your thoughts on any of the stories either on this blog, or via the website’s forum.

Enjoy, and thanks for reading,

db

NOVEMBER CHALLENGE 2010

A story a day, for thirty days

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For a long time I didn’t want to write this story.  I had the idea studying the Apartheid during my first degree, as part of Bretton Hall university near Leeds. For years it went unwritten, and now I’ve had the excuse to write it.

[Edit:  Sorry, you are too late to read this story.  Some stories may be retained on the website.  Some e-mail requests for copies of the stories are being granted (spinning.lizard@yahoo.co.uk).]

But then, the history is not nice, either.

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Connie Mulder, the Minister of Plural Relations and Development, told the House of Assembly on 7 February 1978: “If our policy is taken to its logical conclusion as far as the black people are concerned, there will be not one black man with South African citizenship …  Every black man in South Africa will eventually be accommodated in some independent new state in this honourable way and there will no longer be an obligation on this Parliament to accommodate these people politically.”

The 2007 UNAIDS report estimated that 5,700,000 South Africans had HIV/AIDS, or just under 12% of South Africa’s population of 48 million. (source)

In 2007 it was estimated that 1,400,000 orphans in South Africa were orphaned as a direct consequence of HIV/AIDS. (source)

“Soldiers, for example, are of a sexually active age; they are highly mobile and away from home for long periods of time; they often valorize violent and risky behavior; they have greater opportunities for casual sexual relations; and they may seek to relieve themselves from the stress of combat through sexual activity.” (source)

“One of the most striking aspects of recent armed conflicts in Africa is the deliberate targeting of civilians and the widespread use of rape, which has been employed as a systematic tool of warfare in conflicts in Liberia, Mozambique, Rwanda, and Sierra Leone.” (source: Douglas Farah, “A War against Women,” Washington Post, April 11, 2000, p.  1.)

“In the Rwandan conflict, observers have suggested that between 200,000 and 500,000 women were raped.” (source:  Manuel Carballo, Carolyn Mans.eld, and Michaela Prokop, Demobilization and Its Implications for HIV/AIDS, Linking Complex Emergency Response and Transition Initiative (CERTI) Crisis and Transition Tool Kit, October 2000, p.  16, n.  5; and Lisa Sharlach, “Rape as Genocide: Bangladesh, the Former Yugoslavia, and Rwanda,” New Political Science, Vol.  22, No.  1 (March 2000), p.  98.)

Other references:

http://www.stefanelbe.com/resources/ISElbeAIDS2.pdf

http://www.africaresource.com/jenda/vol1.2/lovgren.html

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