Creative Writing, Daily Prompt, Haiku, Poetry, Self Publishing, Writing

Gravity

By Scott Bailey © 2017

Gravity
When specific
Has strange effects
Things get wibbly-wobbly
Certain lines
Get bent
Other lines
Get crossed
So watch
The specific gravity

Photo by Prem Pal Singh Tanwar on Pexels.com
Creative Writing, Daily Prompt, Poetry, Self Publishing, Writing

Gone

By Scott Bailey © 2017

Gone
The blue eyes sparked with new
Gone to shadows

Gone
The play, the cowboys and indians
Gone to payments and tax

Gone
The times to stop and breathe
Gone to endless turmoil

Gone, gone gone

A little magic
A little luck
Is needed

Photo by Ron Lach on Pexels.com
Creative Writing, Haiku, Poetry, Self Publishing, Writing

Fishing

By Scott Bailey © 2016

Kingfisher fishing
Silver treasure in the dark
Ice seals the lake shut

Photo by Andrew Mckie on Pexels.com
Creative Writing, Self Publishing, Short Stories, Writing

Folly

By Scott Bailey © 2016

She stared at the artefact. It reminded her of a flower. Well, reminded was the wrong word. She had never seen a flower – there were no more left. They had died out long before she had arrived.

Everything had.

But in the last few months, her colleagues had managed to decipher and read the ancient data they had found here and there. They had pieced together a rough history of this dead place. Not much but enough – enough to know what happened.

Enough to know it could happen to them.

Enough to know what a flower looked like.

Before they had died – somebody had carved a final message on this artefact.

‘Man’s final folly!”

She wondered at that. She could not fathom its reasoning.

It was beyond doubt now that this giant metal flower had been the instrument that had called out to them so long ago. Sent its message to the stars.

And they had heard. 20,000 long years ago she and her colleagues had boarded their ship and started on their way.

In all probability, the flower was still broadcasting then. The carver of that message was still breathing good air.

No more.

There was no more good air. There was nothing left to breathe it.

What puzzled her more was the fact that the remaining histories made it plain that it was foreseeable. Preventable even.

Yet she could also see that their own masters back home could easily make the same mistake. As advanced as they were the path was familiar.

So it was that she and her fellow robotic explorers had taken the decision to delay their trip home. It would take them 20,000 more years to get back with the warning.

This – folly – could send the message quicker. So here they were trying to repair it get it working again.

A desperate battle to avoid the fate of these long-dead people who called themselves human beings.

Photo by Igor Mashkov on Pexels.com
Creative Writing, Poetry, Self Publishing, Writing

Conundrum

By Scott Bailey © 2016

The humdrum conundrum
Of life rumbles on
The pounding of
A thousand thoughts
The tension
Between the chains
Of convention
And the delicious
Whips of vice
Dreaming ends
Life rumbles on
On on
The beat of the master’s drum

Creative Writing, Daily Prompt, Haiku, Poetry, Self Publishing, Writing

Gravity

By Scott Bailey © 2017

Gravity
When specific
Has strange effects
Things get wibbly-wobbly
Certain lines
Get bent
Other lines
Get crossed
So watch
The specific gravity

Photo by Prem Pal Singh Tanwar on Pexels.com
Creative Writing, Daily Prompt, Haiku, Poetry, Self Publishing, Writing

Tempting

By Scott Bailey © 2017

Blank white paper sheet
Tempting me to slash with ink
Cutting with dark words

Photo by John-Mark Smith on Pexels.com
Creative Writing, Daily Prompt, Poetry, Self Publishing, Writing

Crossing Out

By Scott Bailey © 2017

Crossing out
Deleting
Inserting
Adding on
Dropping
Expanding
Changing
Evolving
Inserting
Crossing out
Life
And death

Photo by Skylar Kang on Pexels.com
Creative Writing, Daily Prompt, Poetry, Self Publishing, Writing

Gone

By Scott Bailey © 2017

Gone
The blue eyes sparked with new
Gone to shadows

Gone
The play, the cowboys and indians
Gone to payments and tax

Gone
The times to stop and breathe
Gone to endless turmoil

Gone, gone gone

A little magic
A little luck
Is needed

Photo by Ron Lach on Pexels.com
Family, Health, Journal, Work

Beers Against Adversity

I am not a big drinker, for a number of reasons. I couldn’t afford it! I can’t take it. I very rarely get the chance.

Well, I had the chance this weekend. And I needed it.

It’s been trying. My wife has been unwell, her heart condition being exacerbated by viruses and colds. We have money worries piling up and our youngest is struggling with his behaviour at school – we have been summoned! We suspect they have forgotten the fact that he has ASD!

So I had a works do – all expenses paid. I was only supposed to go out for a few – but you know – that third one always persuades you otherwise. Plus it was a bit of a celebration having passed my three-month probation in my new job.

So it turned into a full night. An epic night.

A very long hungover Saturday.

I have to say a big thank you to my wife who understood. It might be some time before I can enjoy something like that again. Despite how she was feeling she let me have that time. Even took the kids out the next day to spare me.

Now we have to face the next hurdles. A visit to the school. A trip to the hospital for her pre-operation checks, then waiting for the phone call.

In between, we are trying to squeeze in time for our eldest who is getting his time with us squeezed by all this. He wants to start clarinet lessons! That, I really want to nurture.

Somehow, strangely, against all expectations, a debauched Friday night has made me feel better able to face it all.

 

Family, General, Health, Work

Bouncing Frogs and Manic Birds

It’s been a strange week. I have taken some time off. Partly because the kids are on half term. Partly because a week today I start my new job so not sure when I will next be able to take time off for a while. Partly because we are still reeling a bit from the news that my wife is facing some serious surgery. Finally, because our youngest, having been diagnosed with ASD, and the mainstream school he was at being unable to cope – he has changed schools and went for his first day there today. So We have had to support him in this – and his brother who now has to cope with the fact that his little brother won’t be at school with him.

For someone with ASD it had the potential for disaster. He has had so much change in his life already, now he has been taken away from all the friends he made at school and has to face a long journey on a minibus with strangers to go to a much larger – but admittedly better – school. He managed admirably on his first day. Time will tell what the effects will really be. At least he will get proper attention now. He has gone from a class or 29 to a class of 6! With 4 teachers!

But all that’s just life. There were some oddities during this time off.

The first was late one night when we awoke in the middle of the night to an awful racket outside our window. It was a bird giving an alarm call and going totally mental. We looked out the window and I caught a glimpse of a cat slinking away with a dead bird in its mouth. I feared that it had got one of the noisy bird’s chicks. My wife – who can’t stand to see an ant hurt – raced out in her nightie to try to find the cat – all in vain. But the bird was still making a racket. So Rachel turfed your’s truly out of bed to go and take a look. After hunting around and finding nothing for ages I finally discovered another cat lurking in the shadows. After shooing it away the bird was finally silent. All kind of weird but ever since every time I go out the front door the same bird flies down to a nearby fence and sings at me. Rachel is convinced it is saying thanks for trying to help.

We must have weird wildlife around here as it gets stranger. A few days later while cycling back from the park with the kids, we saw that one of our neighbours was giving away a mini trampoline. One of those with a bar to hold on to – for toddlers really. We snapped it up. Our youngest loves nothing more than to bounce. On beds, on my back – anywhere! Well, that night we started to prepare our living room for some DIY (painting). This – against my protests – turned into actually doing the painting and went on to 3am! Once we finally got to a stopping point I went out into the garden to put some stuff away in our shed to find – I swear this is true – our resident frog jumping on the trampoline!

The frog – actually a whole family – appeared a few years ago and can be seen quite often in the garden at night. This is especially odd as we don’t have a pond! Nor do any of our immediate neighbours!

I just wish I had it on camera.

Oh well, back to work tomorrow. Three more days then a job of ten years comes to an end. Will be very strange.

Creative Writing, Family, Financial, Health, Work, Writing

Long Time No Write!

So this month is turning into a nightmare – writing wise – and in other ways. This has largely been down to the fact that I have felt ill for most of it. Running a high temperature and feverish. I can’t afford to take any time off sick and have been crawling into work, making it back home and straight into bed most nights.

All this has had a detrimental effect of our youngest’s autism and he has been a handful, to say the least – in turn, this has had a knock-on effect on our eldest.

To make matter worse – my car has been out of service. It has taken three garages to work out what it was and fix it. I started off using public transport at first but when the Bus broke down it just about finished me off. I ended up having to hire a car. So much money down the drain.

I was feeling a little better over the last few days but of course, there’s so much to do now to catch up. One of those things was to tighten the security on all the kids’ devices. That’s when I discovered that the Microsoft account on my eldest was not working. He could not log into anything – for example, One Drive as it was asking for a parent’s permission. Ok, I followed the steps but this did not work as it was insisting on a US based credit card. It proved impossible to do what they were asking. So I contacted Microsoft, who didn’t believe me. I spent 4 hours going around and around in circles. It appears that when setting up his account originally I must have set it to US. by mistake. Simple – they said  – get him to log in and reset the region. He can’t log in!

ME: He can’t log in without my permission!

THEM: OK you give him permission. I can’t! That’s why I am contacting you.

ME: I can’t! That’s why I am contacting you!

THEM: Just enter your credit card details at this link.

ME: The link I told you insists on a US. based credit card so I can’t complete it.

THEM: Ah, that would be because his region is incorrect. Get him to log in and change the region.

ME: @#@!ing hell! He can’t LOG IN!!!!

Four hours! Four hours of this before they admitted it can’t be done. Then they asked me to Fax them his details. Fax! FAX! Is the Microsoft help department still living in the 80’s! I can’t remember the last time I even saw a fax machine. I certainly don’t have access to one.

Starting to feel the mania creeping in!

Anyway, there was one bit of good news amongst all this garbage. I should be ecstatic and singing about it but all the rest has just left me feeling so drained I haven’t really had time to think about it properly.

I have got a new job! Accepted the offer and last week handed my notice in. It’s going to be a big change. Been in the same job for 10 years – time to blast away some cobwebs!

Work

Surprise Job Role from the Past

As I am actively looking for a job now I am signed up on all kinds of job boards, I get an inbox full every morning.

Sometimes I get some really odd ones – that have nothing to do with what I have searched for. Maybe one day one of them will be the dream job I never knew I wanted 🙂

Today I got one that really brought back memories. It was basically a (very) old job of mine. The name of the place has changed and it has moved down the road a bit but it is basically the same role. Assistant Manager in a camping and outdoors shop.

I am tempted to apply just to see if I would still be considered.

But maybe not.

Still – I think I need a complete career change – just not sure what. Writing would be ideal  – but that’s a pipe dream. Maybe – one day. Maybe.

 

Creative Writing, Daily Prompt, Haiku, Poetry, Self Publishing, Writing

Gravity

By Scott Bailey © 2017

 

Gravity
When specific
Has strange effects
Things get wibbly wobbly
Certain lines
Get bent
Other lines
Get crossed
So watch
The specific gravity

In response to the daily prompt Specific

#DailyPrompt

Creative Writing, Daily Prompt, Haiku, Poetry, Self Publishing, Writing

Floating

By Scott Bailey © 2017

Jazz Bar
Author: Jimmy Baikovicius from Montevideo, Uruguay

Layers of smoke float
Blue in the heavy darkness
While lazy jazz plays

In response to the daily prompt Float

#DailyPrompt

Creative Writing, Daily Prompt, Poetry, Self Publishing, Writing

Gone

By Scott Bailey © 2017

Gone
The blue eyes sparked with new
Gone to shadows

Gone
The play, the cowboys and indians
Gone to payments and tax

Gone
The times to stop and breathe
Gone to endless turmoil

Gone, gone gone

A little magic
A little luck
Is needed

In response to the daily prompt Gone

#DailyPrompt

Creative Writing, Daily Prompt, Poetry, Self Publishing, Writing

Interior

 

By Scott Bailey © 2017

What’s inside
Distorts and shapes
The exterior
All those dreams and hopes
Hates and fears
That make up the interior
The moiling
Boiling
Packed and stacked
Stretched and tense
Earnest pretense
That inside us all
Makes us all
What we are
Rather than what
We wish

In response to the daily prompt Interior

#DailyPrompt

Creative Writing, Daily Prompt, Family, Poetry, Self Publishing, Short Stories, Writing

New Year

It was rough last year. I am not just talking about celebrity deaths.

We as a family have had it rough. We have had family members in and out of hospital, having to deal with a diagnosis of Autism for our youngest and his so far very rocky transition into school. I have had work stress and uncertainty. We have seen our social lives and our house being slowly taken apart. I have seen my writing dreams slip away.

Midlife crisis? Maybe.

I have to cling to hope. It is the only thing left.

So not really new years resolutions as such but goals I am aiming for this year.

To find a new job. But not just another role. I need to get back to enjoying work again. That has been totally destroyed of late – I had thought beyond hope – but if I give up hope then all is lost. I have been thinking about a total career change and that’s the way I will try to go.

To improve our daily lives by trying new techniques for dealing with Autistic behaviours.

To reinvigorate my writing dreams. To help with this I will attempt to complete the daily prompt as well as Ronovan’s Weekly Haiku Challenge. This is purely to get my juices flowing. Behind the scenes, I will try to put together two more poetry collections for publishing as well as another short story collection and a new novel. Ambitious but I must attempt it.

I wish everyone a happy new year and hope you all attain your own dreams and goals.

In response to the daily prompt Year

#DailyPrompt

Creative Writing, Daily Prompt, Haiku, Poetry, Self Publishing, Writing

Fishing

By Scott Bailey © 2016

Kingfisher fishing
Silver treasure in the dark
Ice seals the lake shut

In response to the daily prompt Fishing

#DailyPrompt, #amwriting, #haiku

www.scottandrewbailey.uk

Creative Writing, Daily Prompt, Poetry, Self Publishing, Writing

Maddening

By Scott Bailey © 2016

 

It’s a maddening
Saddening state of affairs
That everyone knows
The rulers don’t care
And nobody does a fucking thing
And the includes
Me

The shadows around us
A deep as the night
Masquerade as stars
Shining vile light
Showing the way
To the promised land
Lead by the hand

There it awaits us
The cage of our choice
Fully charged senses
Completely blocked voice
Thus is the fate
Of all but a few
All of us damn lazy
Fools

In response to the daily prompt Maddening

#DailyPrompt, #amwriting

www.scottandrewbailey.uk

Creative Writing, Daily Prompt, Self Publishing, Short Stories, Writing

Folly

By Scott Bailey © 2016

She stared at the artefact. It reminded her of a flower. Well, reminded was the wrong word. She had never seen a flower – there were no more left. They had died out long before she had arrived.

Everything had.

But in the last few months, her colleagues had managed to decipher and read the ancient data they had found here and there. They had pieced together a rough history of this dead place. Not much but enough – enough to know what happened.

Enough to know it could happen to them.

Enough to know what a flower looked like.

Before they had died – somebody had carved a final message on this artefact.

‘Man’s final folly!”

She wondered at that. She could not fathom its reasoning.

It was beyond doubt now that this giant metal flower had been the instrument that had called out to them so long ago. Sent its message to the stars.

And they had heard. 20,000 long years ago she and her colleagues had boarded their ship and started on their way.

In all probability, the flower was still broadcasting then. The carver of that message was still breathing good air.

No more.

There was no more good air. There was nothing left to breathe it.

Was puzzled her more was the fact that the remaining histories made it plain they it was foreseeable. Preventable even.

Yet she could also see that their own masters back home could easily make the same mistake. As advanced as they were the path was familiar.

So it was that she and her fellow robotic explorers had taken the decision to delay their trip home. It would take them 20,000 more years to get back with the warning.

This – folly – could send the message quicker. So here they were trying to repair it get it working again.

A desperate battle to avoid the fate of these long dead people who called themselves human beings.

 

 

In response to the daily prompt Folly

#DailyPrompt, #amwriting

www.scottandrewbailey.uk

Creative Writing, Daily Prompt, Poetry, Self Publishing, Writing

Conundrum

By Scott Bailey © 2016

The humdrum conundrum
Of life rumbles on
The pounding of
A thousand thoughts
The tension
Between the chains
Of convention
And the delicious
Whips of vice
Dreaming ends
Life rumbles on
On on
The beat of the master’s drum

In response to the daily prompt Conundrum

#DailyPrompt, #amwriting

www.scottandrewbailey.uk

Creative Writing, Family, General, Poem a Day Challenge, Poetry, Work, Writing

Poem a day challenge #167 (Tuesday Blue)

Tuesday Blues

By Scott Bailey © 2013

Crisis everyday
When did this start?
When will normality
Return
Is this the price
Of years of hard work
Maybe I should just sweep roads
Noble simplicity

www.scottandrewbailey.uk

 

Creative Writing, General, Poem a Day Challenge, Poetry, Writing

Poem a day challenge #154 (To the Bone)

To the Bone

By Scott Bailey © 2013

A pounding headache
The fruit of today’s labour
Now going to sleep

www.scottandrewbailey.uk

 

Creative Writing, General, Poem a Day Challenge, Poetry, Writing

Poem a day challenge #153 (Dreaming)

Dreaming

By Scott Bailey © 2013

Tiny starbursts
The peak on tiny waves
Deep green over yellow
Swaying weeds
Dappled stones
Dark fish darting
The scent of rich water
And reeds
Time to watch
Relax
The life I crave
Instead
Work, bills, sleep, stress

www.scottandrewbailey.uk

 

Creative Writing, General, Poem a Day Challenge, Poetry, Work, Writing

Poem a day challenge #147 (I/O)

I/O

By Scott Bailey © 2013

The information superhighway
It is a heavy weight
Data, redundancy
Processes
Alerts
Objectification
Frames
Presentations and investors
Response
Time
High availability
Validity
Technical, radical, practical, logical
Balancing load
Stresses
Testing
Testing
Test

Craving
Simplicity

www.scottandrewbailey.uk

 

Creative Writing, General, Health, Poem a Day Challenge, Poetry, Work, Writing

Poem a day challenge #144 (Drained)

Drained

By Scott Bailey © 2013

Every buzz and chime
On the phone
Is a worry
Something has gone down
Something is wrong
Another demand
On my time and my brain
Which are both drained
Something
Must change

www.scottandrewbailey.uk

 

Creative Writing, General, Poem a Day Challenge, Poetry, Work, Writing

Poem a day challenge #143 (Words)

Words

By Scott Bailey © 2013

Master of words
By words mastered
Many a politician can claim
Those that abuse the power
By which they rose
Will be bitten by the beast they tamed

Such is the reality
We choose to believe
But the truth we know is worse
Where corruption rules
It protects its own
Mostly, the corrupt rule

www.scottandrewbailey.uk

 

 

Creative Writing, General, Health, Poem a Day Challenge, Poetry, Work, Writing

Poem a day challenge #142 (Sick)

Sick

By Scott Bailey © 2013

Feel as sick as a dog
Too much work not enough play
Dulling the senses

www.scottandrewbailey.uk

Creative Writing, General, Poem a Day Challenge, Poetry, Work, Writing

Poem a day challenge #134 (The Dark)

The Dark

By Scott Bailey © 2013

The darkness where the heart beats fast
The shadows where no moonlight’s cast
The deepest dell of starless nights
Gleaming eyes the only light

The sound of cold and ancient breath
On the breeze the scent of death
A rustle from behind the trees
A snapping twig the blood to freeze

The conflict of the fight or flight
But where to run on icy night?
The frozen legs the burning fear
The certainty of danger near

Imagination births these fears
But even as the presence nears
Pointing out what we must mark
Why do we so fear the dark

www.scottandrewbailey.uk

 

 

Creative Writing, General, Poem a Day Challenge, Poetry, Work, Writing

Poem a day challenge #133 (Cable Ties)

Cable Ties

By Scott Bailey © 2013

Cables ties us
Hold us tight
To one spot
Even invisible ones
Chains
Keeping us busy
Keeping us attentive
Keeping us productive
and consuming
So when they are cut
We are lost
Unable to produce
As we once did

www.scottandrewbailey.uk

 

 

Creative Writing, Poetry, Writing

Same

By Scott Bailey © 2015

Same, same, same
Same job
Same problems
Same pressure
I am wood
Not stone

Creative Writing, General, NaNoWriMo, NaPoWriMo, Science Fiction, Self Publishing, Short Stories, Writing

To NaNoWriMo or not NaNoWriMo?

So I have been a bit quiet lately due to lots of reasons, work, kids you name it it’s fallen on my plate.

One of the things has been sorting out a loft. We recently had loft insulation put in so we had to remove everything from the loft and put it in the garage. There it has stayed all summer, waiting for me to get time to put it back. Being an impossible job to get done with the kids around I finally decided – as the weather gets worse and I have nowhere to park the car to take a day off work and get it done.

There was so much! Had to put down some loft legs to lift the new flooring boards above the level of the insulation.  That alone left me with blistered hands! Then I had to lug the boxes from the garage – (not near our house) – and up the stairs.

It was all worth it, though! Sure I can now park the car again in the garage – instead of half a mile down the road.  But that was just the aim. The extra cherry on the cake?

I found something. In sorting out what was in the boxes I found something I thought I had lost.

The plan for the original idea for a book I had many many years ago. I had actually written about 60% of it but abandoned it for a number of reasons. I did not have the confidence then to complete. I also did not really have the skills, the writing is not good. On top of that another series of books came out with a very similar premise and that discouraged me.

What I did do though is a complete plan. Every scene right to the very end of the plot.

The thing about this book is that I do pick it up every now and then and have a read of the bits I did do. Although the writing is not up to what I think I can do now, it still excites me every time I read it. It’s the project I most enjoy.

I have often though about trying to rekindle it – but then get depressed about trying to remember how the story was going to go.

Now? Well now I have the plan!

So an idea is sparking in my mind now. I had said that I would no do NaNoWriMo this year due to the pressures of life.  Also, I have other projects on the go – editing  a short story collection and not to mention that I had thought that if I did do NaNoWriMo this year I felt I should continue with the project I started last year – which only constitutes about half the story. So in theory I could finish that.

However, I still have to figure out the second part of that story. And I have a few weeks of editing to get as much as I can do on the stories.

Whereas – this plan would allow me to write without having to work out where I was going. I intend to rewrite it anyway and I intend to actually rewrite it – not just edit what I had before. I will ignore that and just work from the plan.

There are some major plot points that I need to address, but I might just ignore them for now and adjust them after.

So the question is to NaNoWriMo or not NaNoWriMo?

Creative Writing, Poetry, Politics, Writing

The Few

By Scott Bailey © 2015

On a dark peak
In a lofty castle tower
Firelight glints on gold
The flames are the consummation
Of a million dreams
The gold is the gifts
That the few exchange
As they gather
To sharpen their swords
Hone their skills
Readying
To chase away the wolves
Release the hounds
And take control
Of the docile cattle herds

Creative Writing, Technology, Writing

New Desktop!

My slightly more organised shiny new desk setup!

wpid-20150930_173849.jpgIf only I had this at home – writing would be much more pleasurable 🙂

Creative Writing, Health, Science Fiction, Self Publishing, Short Stories, Writing

Another quiet week

Last week I was on holiday, this week I was quite ill and although I ploughed on by working from home, that took everything out of me.

So its been a very quiet couple of weeks. I need to kickstart some writing again.

Having a dilemma where to go next. I need to put more effort into marketing me existing books, and at the same time get something new out there to round out what I have. This will probably be short stories.

My dilemma is whether to try to some new ones – which is what I really want to do, or edit a very old collection I already have. The latter will result in getting something out there quicker.

First I need to get back to better health.

Creative Writing, Family, General, Work, Writing

Absence and the heart

You know what they say – hopefully there’ something in it as I have been a bit quiet on here lately. Work has been hectic and have been doing a lot of late nights.

This is partly due to trying to get everything done before this coming week – as we are off on our holidays!

So don’t expect too much from me for a while longer 🙂

Technology, Work

Maths, maths, maths!

Today I have wrestled with weighted linear regression, multiplying and inversing matrices and trying to convert an extremely complex excel spreadsheet full of formulae I had never seen before in my life into a PHP function!

So that was fun!

Still I am not as bad as this guy.

http://www.theladbible.com/articles/some-people-on-the-internet-are-really-struggling-with-quite-simple-maths

General, Technology, Work

The Triumph of the Subconscious

A while ago – and again I have lost any links or references to it – I saw a documentary on how the subconscious can take over and solve tricky problems for you. I think it was a BBC Horizon episode but could be wrong.

It described how many great thinkers often had similar habits – like going for a walk at midday, after which the ideas would come. For many years this was attributed to perhaps the health benefits of such activities, the increase in endorphins perhaps vitalizing the brain. Perhaps that is a part of it.

Recent research has shown though that certain parts of the brain that are normally dormant start to become active under these sorts of circumstances. When someone has been struggling with a problem or a puzzle and then their thoughts are diverted onto something else – something simpler and less taxing on the mind.

Its seem that while your conscious brain is trying to solve a problem your subconscious can’t or won’t go near it. Leave the problem alone and it gets it grubby hands on it. And unhindered by all the distractions thrown at the conscious mind does a better job if it.

Anyway – it seems like something I kind of knew at some level but had never vocalised or thought about in concrete terms. After watching the program though I began to see it happening more and more – or maybe I am now biased to see that!

Today was a prime example. All last week I have been struggling with a problem at work – I won’t bore you with details, it involved a very very complex SQL query that worked fine in one situation but not in another – with no logical answer. I had tried all kinds of solutions and approaches all week with no success. To be fair to myself there was an awful lot else going on as well so I was not 100% focused on it. But if I had been I don’t think it would have made a difference. I was kind of blocked from the answer.

So this weekend I forgot all about it and spend some quality time with the wife and kids. It was Rachel’s birthday and since I have spent so much extra time at work lately I was determined not to do any this weekend.

I went to bed Sunday night – not with dread but knowing that my task for Monday was to hunker and down and crack this particular nut. I woke up Monday morning and the answer – which should have been obvious – in my head. It just popped in there.

I rushed to work eager to try it out, now dreading the possibility that it might not work. It did! That is a good start to the week!

Family, General

Thank you!

First of all – many thanks for all the birthday wishes – this is for my friends and family reading this via Facebook. I haven’t had the time to respond. It has been a very very stressful week at work with all kinds of stuff going on from resignations to shareholder meetings to urgent product development and website updates. I have been totally snowed under and stressed out so have neglected everything else in life. On top of that I have had the heaviest head cold ever!

So now taking a deep breath – before it all begins again.

I have to thank my lovely wife too – for putting up with me during these periods. I have been grumpy to say the least.

The other person I have to thank is my eldest son as he has indirectly kept my spirits buoyed. Lately he had really got into Minecraft. and he watched YouTube videos of other people playing them and other games even more. He stumbled on one of a skating game where the people playing were not actually very good and it ended up being more about how much carnage they could cause by falling off.

While I was stressed out working from home in the evenings while dealing with a number of issues and pressures – it was a magical lift to the spirits to hear him in the background laughing his head off at their antics. Real belly laughs. There’s no better tonic.

So this weekend, I will try an relax and get back to some writing!

Daily Prompt, Work

The Best Teachers?

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “We Can Be Taught!.”

I had a few good teachers but not many. And those that tried were wading against a tide of social programming. So school was not that productive for me. I left with few qualifications and no direction.

I drifted – pushed by financial necessity into work before I could begin to dream about what I might want from life.

So who were my best teachers?

They were my friends. They didn’t sit me down and lecture me they did two vital things.

They believed in me.

They believed in themselves and acted on that belief.

Watching them follow their dreams whatever the outcome – taught me the bets lesson in my life. To take control of my life and start steering my own destiny.

The best teachers are like the best writers – they show they don’t tell

General, Poetry, Writing

Temporality

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Image Search.”

Pick a random word and do Google image search on it. Check out the eleventh picture it brings up. Write about whatever that image brings to mind.

So I picked a random word from here – a random word generator. And the eleventh picture was this.

temporality

All Change

By Scott Bailey © 2014

Here we are today
Beavering away like slaves
History forgets

Science Fiction, Self Publishing, Writing

NaNoWriMo Day 6

Been so tired today – was up all night with unsettled kids last night – that I didn’t think I could do any writing today. Sat down at 11pm intending to do maybe a few hundred words to show willing. Managed to hit 1668! So kept up the daily target. Was particularly surprised at this because this is the first time in the process so far where I didn’t have a very clear idea what the next scene was going to be about.

And despite my tiredness earlier I actually feel quite refreshed from it.

I am sure work will do it best to destroy that tomorrow. At least its Friday!

Adoption, Family, Financial, General, Health, Science Fiction, Work, Writing

Forgetting it all for the weekend

So it seems the moment I signed up for NaNoWriMo the pressure from all sides of my life takes off like a rocket.

Work has become more and more stressful. To the point of the web site having major problems last thing Friday night. At this point I was so sick with stress I decided it would have to wait until Monday morning. I walked out and decided to try to forget everything for the weekend.

This was not easy, as I said work stress is building up and up, relentlessly. Getting tired of it now.

On top of that the pressure from our adoption is also growing – all the social workers and health visitors want a mass meeting with us – we are naturally stressing about this as we don’t know what it is about. The annoying this is that we feel we have made great strides in the last few weeks and the little one if definitely feeling settled, safe and his behaviour has improved dramatically. The problem is we don’t think they are seeing it.

And then there are financial strains, cars breaking down, things going wrong and family illnesses. All piling on and on.

So this weekend I though sod it all. Lets just concentrate on family time.

And we had a great time. On Saturday we took both boys to a local children’s centre and they had a great time. They found some bikes and played together lovely with them. Then Alexander went to one of his classmates birthday parties. It was in a cake shop, making cakes.

Although he could have stayed we decided that L would just cause chaos in such a small place with flour and eggs! So I took him down to the beach and we spent a great couple of hours together, the best behaved he has ever been. While Alexander had a great time making “Alien” fair cakes and eating marshmallows dipped in a chocolate fountain, L and I threw pebbles in the sea, raced the tide and sat an ate lollies while watching the boats. It was bliss.

On Sunday we went for a walk in the country side around the village. Again the kids were remarkably well-behaved, collecting leaves and twigs for a Halloween picture project mummy has planned.

I won’t say I wasn’t stressed – it was still there bubbling under but time with the kids and my wife has helped.

So despite all that – because of all that and to spite all that – I decided to plough ahead with NaNoWriMo. I uploaded the cover (see below) and synopsis. Using Scrivener I have made a very rough plan. Writing down some very rough scenes, mostly in order though a few may change. I think my next stage of planning will be to describe for each character how they change between each scene. So I get a little journey plan for each of them as a guide.

I still think there an extra dimension to my idea missing, but not going to worry about that at present. It will only be a first draft – I can add more to it later if I still think it needs it once i have finished.

Onwards

Cold Sanctuary

Cold Sanctuary by Scott Bailey

Synopsis:

Orphaned, wrenched from their home, can Gabriel look after his adopted brother? Can he find a voice to stand up for himself?

In an alien world, unwelcomed and lost, all they have is each other. They must endure a clash of cultures, adapting to a radically new life and dealing with deep-seated grief. Gabriel struggles to keep the promise to his parents to look after the brother he has waited for all his life whilst coming to terms with his new surroundings.

Can such a young mind take all the demands? And, when they are suddenly separated, can he find his brother again?

Their searches for answers, for each other and to fill the holes in their hearts leads them on paths of rebellion and revenge.

Adoption, General, Science Fiction, Writing

NaNoWriMo Sparks!

Amazing what a difference 24 hours and some pressure makes.

From nothing I now have the bare idea of a story in my head. No solid plot – but a rough idea of the two main characters, the setting and the themes! All I will say at this point is that it will be science fiction.

Adoption, Family, General, Health, Work, Writing

NaNoWriMo and life.

So those few who follow my blog (and despite nearly 500 followers I know only a few are regular followers) will have noticed a drastic drop in my output. Since finishing my year of a poem a day I have done very little since. This is despite my promise to myself to keep up the writing.

Well life always has its own designs on our plans. The old reason (excuse?) has been the lack of time. Its been a hard few months. We have been under a lot of pressure from all kinds of angles.

We are still trying to adjust to having a very full on two-year old join our family, and all the knock on effect of that. We love him dearly and would not change our decision but it is taking the wind out of our sails.

Talking it over the other day as we realised that one of the issues that has affected us in a surprising way was his age. When we signed up for adoption we, like many, were envisaging a baby. As you progress through the courses and the process it becomes clear that it is unrealistic, so we opened up our minds to a slightly older child. When it came to it, in our minds age was no longer an issue, and in some respects we could see an advantage in a two-year old. One of the driving forces behind our decision to have another child was as a companion for our oldest – who dearly wanted a brother or sister and had already been deprived of one already. A two-year old would be more ready to play and interact with him.

However the reality has hit us harder than we expected. When you have a baby – as daunting as it all seems, you get introduced to each challenge gradually. So when they are first-born, you have to learn how to feed, them comfort them, change their nappies etc. But their demands don’t go far beyond that – by the time new challenges come along you have just about mastered the first ones.

With adoption of a slightly older child, all the challenges come at once. Not only have you got to learn to change nappies but also how to get them to eat their dinner, deal with challenging behaviour and stop them escaping the push chair Houdini style and make their escape.

Now I hear you crying we don’t have to learn all that as we have already done it once. Well that’s true. But you have to get used to doing it all again, and its a bit of a shock to the system. I don’t envy people who are doing it for the first time.

On top of that, the support we have enjoyed in the past has slowly ebbed away. This is no fault of our support network, they have all had their own plan challenging life changes, and they all support us still in many ways. But the support of having someone there has fallen. For example – we haven’t had a night out together for over a year now. And the nights out alone can be counted on one hand. It takes its toll. On the one hand our sources of stress have bloomed while our outlets for it have wilted. It’s no one’s fault. Just one of those perfect storms of circumstances.

Throw in a few bouts of very bad illness, some natural disasters ( a flood and a maggot attack! Seriously!) and it all adds up.

And then there’s work. We are balancing on a knife’s edge of survival. We have run that knife’s edge for a few years now. It’s a situation of risk, where we could crash and burn or reap what could be ripe rewards. Those rewards draw ever closer but as they do the risk and the pressure increase. Due to my position a lot of the physical responsibility falls on me. No solely but were I to get something wrong it would tip the balance enough to crash it. We are all in that position at work really and after a few years of it, it is tiring. Many late nights home and sleepless nights worrying.

So that I hope is some sort of explanation as to the lack of output.

Two things further to say. Firstly – that all sounds like doom and gloom but it’s not. In all areas we are making progress. A few months ago we felt like we were drowning. A few weeks ago like we were treading water. Now – we are swimming strongly towards shore. It’s some way off – but we will get there.

Secondly. Many people would say that if I had a real passion for writing none of that would matter – that I would make the time to write. Maybe that IS the difference between a successful writer and an amateur. I do love writing – but I also love my wife and kids and I can’t put down my responsibilities to them for my passion. I think that would be selfish.

That said – I have decided to give myself a rather large kick up the arse in the writing department. I am going to try the nanowrimo challenge. (Maybe unofficially if it’s too late to sign up formally.) For those who don’t know it it’s National Novel Writing Month. The idea is to write a 50,000 word short novel in 30 days. (The official website is here http://nanowrimo.org/)

Now I have all the same everyday stresses and challenges but I thought – sod it! I am going to attempt it despite all that – because it is difficult not easy.

Trouble is I am fresh out of ideas! I mean I have loads – but ones I think need longer than 50,000 words.

If it comes to November the 1st and I have nothing still then I will attempt the technique of just starting writing anything and see where it goes. Not something I have ever done before, I usually have a plan, even if it’s very rough.

But in the meantime – if anyone has suggestions or prompts they would be welcome. Maybe a title? Or just a single word? Perhaps a concept to explore? I like combining two disparate concepts into stories, that normally enlivens things. So maybe if I get enough separate ideas I will combine a few of them.

So wish me luck! I need a lay down now to think 🙂

Family, General, Poem a Day Challenge, Poetry, Work, Writing

Poem a day challenge #167 (Tuesday Blue)

Tuesday Blues

By Scott Bailey © 2013

Crisis everyday
When did this start?
When will normality
Return
Is this the price
Of years of hard work
Maybe I should just sweep roads
Noble simplicity

Get the previous ones here
http://wp.me/P3kG6h-bb  and get my début novel Mankind Limited

General, Poem a Day Challenge, Poetry, Writing

Poem a day challenge #154 (To the Bone)

To the Bone

By Scott Bailey © 2013

A pounding headache
The fruit of today’s labour
Now going to sleep

Get the previous ones here
http://wp.me/P3kG6h-bb  and get my début novel Mankind Limited

General, Poem a Day Challenge, Poetry, Writing

Poem a day challenge #153 (Dreaming)

Dreaming

By Scott Bailey © 2013

Tiny starbursts
The peak on tiny waves
Deep green over yellow
Swaying weeds
Dappled stones
Dark fish darting
The scent of rich water
And reeds
Time to watch
Relax
The life I crave
Instead
Work, bills, sleep, stress

Get the previous ones here
http://wp.me/P3kG6h-bb  and get my début novel Mankind Limited