First 1000 words of “The End of the Garden”


Since I was last posting I went through a series of Depressive Episodes before I found a regimen of therapy, meditation and supplements that helped. I’ve managed to go a couple of months without SERIOUS suicidal thoughts – actually considering the means etc. I have the odd few death wish thoughts but the’re relatively mild.

In other news I attended a discovery day for new authors held at Foyles, Charing Cross Road where Literary Agents Curtis Brown did a meet, greet and read for authors. The line was through the door and there were timed slots all through the day. I gave them the first three pages of my novel and they loved it. I need to try and get it finished this year and then submit it. They’ve given me a name to submit to so I’m now very motivated to think, act and plan as a writer rather than as a wannabe.

So pleased to present the beginning  of “The End of the Garden” by Yusuf (Smiley) Yearwood. (1st novel on backburner, 2nd novel cooking nicely) Continue reading

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NYC MIdnight – The departure Lounge


Yeah – I’ve been quiet again, but this time it was a good kind of quiet – busy writing.

I’ve been involved with the NaNoMoWri event working on my novel and I have also been contibuting the NYC Midmight screenplay competion.

Below you can see my submission “The Departure Lounge” – let me know what you think!

INT. HOTEL ROOM. BLINDS NOT DRAWN. VIEW FROM WINDOW SHOWS NIGHT-TIME CITYSCAPE OF LOS ANGELES.
Luggage and clothes are strewn across the floor and ARTY is lying on the bed fully clothed in a suit, (but shoeless), face down and awake staring at the clock radio on the bedside table. The digital clock face flips from 02.59 to 03.00.
He groans and gets up. He pauses for a moment on the edge of the bed head hanging down and takes a deep mournful breath. An determined expression resolves across his face. Hands on knees he gets up with a grunt and walks across the room to the minibar As he opens the minibar door

CHILD
*Laughter* (Out of shot)
Arty looks up with a start and turns towards the door. The drumming footsteps of a child can be heard in the hotel corridor.
With a curious look on his face ARTY walks towards the hotel room door and opens it.
INT. HOTEL CORRIDOR.
The corridor is empty.

ARTY
Hello?
He looks back and forth, sees no-one and moves to close the door.

CHILD:
*Laughter* Hurry it’s time(Distant O.S)
Arty turns sharply and sees a shadow move across the wall at the end of the corridor. He steps into the corridor to try and get a better view and his room door suddenly shuts behind him.
He panics and pushes against the door but its firmly closed. He pats his pockets in his trousers and suit. His face falls and his shoulders slumps as he realises he has nothing in his pockets at all. Dejectedly he turns and heads down the corridor.
A SIGN ON THE WALL POINTS IN THE DIRECTION HE’S WALKING. IT READS “37TH FLOOR – LIFT TO THE LOBBY”
As he turns the corridor he sees two children in nightdresses standing by the lift with a huge yellow box kite. The nightdresses are archaic, Victorian lace. They are identical girls approximately seven or eight years old. The box kite is taller than they are. One girl is holding the kite and the other is weighed down with a huge coil of string that she has draped over her shoulder like a bandolier. Both Twins have are pretty with large loosely curled hair-dos. One down, one up in a bun revealing her pointed ELVISH ears. As ARTY approaches she quickly looses her hair ties allowing her hair to fall and cover her ears.
The down button on the lift has been pressed.
Arty and THE TWINS stand looking at each other. Awkwardly Arty puts his hands in his pockets and rocks back and forth on his heels and toes as they stand staring at each other.

ARTY
Nice night to fly a kite.

TWIN with kite
When else would you try?

ARTY
(Hesitantly) During the day (tails off…)

TWIN with coil
It’s not open then.

ARTY
The park?

TWIN with kite(to Twin with Coil)
Shhhhhh!
Arty looks confused. After a moments thought his brow furrows in concern.

ARTY
It’s three in the morning. Do your parents know where you are?

TWINS (in chorus)
Yes, that’s the problem

The Twins look at each other, grin mischievously and walk into the elevator. After a moments pause Arty walks in after them.
INT: ELEVATOR. ARTY PUSHES THE BUTTON FOR THE LOBBY STANDS IN THE BACK CORNER AND ZONES OUT. THE TWINS LOOK AT EACH OTHER PRESS THE BUTTON FOR THE BASEMENT AND STAND IN FRONT OF THE BUTTONS SHIELDING THEM FROM ARTY’S VIEW
INT. HOTEL LOBBY

The hotel lobby is empty save for one bored young EMPLOYEE at the desk reading a textbook. Arty steps out and starts walking without looking behind him.

ARTY
You know I think it would be best if we call your parents

Arty looks behind himself and realises the doors are closing and the Twins are still inside. He looks up and sees the lift indicates they have gone to the basement. He runs back and hits the lift call button. He shouts back to the Employee

ARTY
(Shouts) Hey

EMPLOYEE
(Looks up, Shouts back)Sir?

ARTY
(Shouts)My names Arty English. Im in room 3712. Can you call the parents of the Twin girls on 37 and tell them they’re in the basement

Arty runs into the lift and the doors close. The Employee hurriedly taps on his console trying to locate the Twins. He pauses, frowns and looks up.

EMPLOYEE
There aren’t any children on the 37th floor?
BASEMENT
INT. BASEMENT CAR PARK
The lift doors open to an amazing sight.
The basement is full of Elves of all ages and sizes. The basement is full. The TWINS are standing on top of a truck hood holding onto the coiled string they were holding earlier. It coils beneath them om the floor and reaches up above them. The kite is nowhere to be seen
Arty looks up and sees the that the roof of the basement above the twins is a shimmering mirrored pool on the ceiling and the rope leads up into it.

ARTY
(Shouts)OH MY GOD

All the elves look around in shock. The twins scream out in chorus

TWINS
(Shouts)NOW! EVERYONE.
The elves swarm towards the Twins and the truck. Most perform amazing leaps straight into the pool in the ceiling. Some climb the rope while the Twins hold onto the bottom. Arty watches dumb struck in amazement. After only a minute or so dozens of Elves have disappeared into the pool on the ceiling. The Twins look at Arty, grin and then yank hard on the rope twice. They both hold on and wrap their legs as if to climb and the rope lifts them into the pool. The long rope which is coiled on the floor is quickly being pulled upwards.
Awestruck Arty walks to the truck and looks up into the pool. The pool is clear and the view is as if looking upwards to the surface from the bottom of a swimming pool.
Arty doesnt notice he’s standing in the coiled rope. With a sudden violent rush the rest of the rope is drawn up snagging Arty’s legs pulling his feet out from under him and dragging him screaming and upside down into the ceiling-pool.

Writing 101: How’s the novel going?


One of the goals of Writing 101 is to tap into new and unexpected places for post ideas. Today, let’s look to Twitter for inspiration. Don’t worry — you don’t need a Twitter account to participate in this prompt. Below, you’ll see five tweets: each tweet is interesting in its own way, and we hope one will elicit a response from you. Today, write a response to one of these tweets. Shape your post in any way you choose — agree or disagree with the tweet, or use it as a starting point for a story, personal essay, poem, or something else.

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I read somewhere that you should in your mind already be what you intend to be. Something along the line of “there is no try”. People often ask me about my writing and I point them towards this blog and tell them the novel is in development. Truth be told it could be written in a month if I was of the right mindset. I took a week off work last year and sincerely intended to pit in the work and get it done but the was nothing in that week except Box sets and boxes of biscuits.

There was nothing stopping me now, that lost week, or 20 years ago for that matter. I simply didn’t believe enough.

If I had one lesson for anyone – writers, artists, entrepreneurs amybody at all it would be that you can’t get there on your own.

You need to have encouragement.You need to have support. You  need to have guidance.

I wanted to be a writer since I was child and I knocked out a couple of award winning stories in my school days. There is only one reason why I didn’t and it was I never believed it would work. Writing couldn’t pay the bills. There’s a reason why they’re called “Struggling Writers”. Stereotypes often (not always) have a grain of truth in them. From the youngest age I was taught these stereotypes. Writers get screwed, robbed, defrauded, cheated. They’re weak and mocked and lonely.

0.01% billionaires, 0.1% millionaires 98.99% working in Walmart and Aldi and Starbucks (Chuckle)

Truth be told, it’s writing events like this one that get me going. Like the spark that starts the idle car or taking a run up before jumping the chasm I need events like this to get me writing.

So before I forget. I’d just like to say Thank you.

#OnRepeat: Have Mercy


Dream interpretation anybody?

I was driving with friends, (none of whom I recognise), from Dover – for some reason we had crossed the channel but I couldn’t remember how. There was a hump in the road and then a bright headlight and I stopped the car because I was blinded and when I could see again I was parked halfway up the stairs on the pedestrian footbridge at Harlow station – and all but one of my friends are gone. We get out of the car and apologise to the security guards who look bored and then roll the car down the bridge and out of the ticket hall. I’m really freaked out. The friend sits down and he’s now wearing motorbike gear. I asked where the others are and why he’s got a motorbike and he says we discussed this already…

He says calm down have something to eat and hands me a huge mango. I peel it but its empty. I look at him and he’s also got a mango which he’s opened and which is also empty, however he’s bitten into seemingly empty space and there’s now juice running down his chin and then I really start freaking out.

And then I woke up. Anyone hazard a guess?

#Onrepeat: Reflecting myself


The gaps in the noise of the world are the windows of opportunity that allow me to hear my thoughts. Meditation helps some of the time. Often though there’s not the opportunity because of the pace of daily life.

Actually that’s a lie. It’s all about power. Having the power to slow down or speed up at your own volition is outside of my power while I’m working a 40 hour working week.

I envy the ability, the privilege to move at ones own pace.

More and more realise that the source of my depression is from the realisation of how unfulfilled my life has been. In fact that was the root behind the age reboot last year, 40 is the new 30 (The last 10 years have been awful I’m declaring a do-over)

Being Black British rather than African American I’ve been playing catch up with some of the vocabulary and cultural memes.

Nothing describes my current state of despair as well as the phrase “A dream deferred is a dream denied”

In other news the novel is taking shape, in a practical “I’m actually doing something sense” rather than the procrastinating “I’ve thought about it” sense. I can honestly say I only feel happiness these days when I am writing or reading. Everything else in my world is a numb blur rushing past my minds eye. Like a brain damaged patient doing physical therapy as I organise whats in front of me whats behind my eyes begins to organise itself into a steadily more coherent mass rather than the mess I usually wake up as.

Every now again when I’m unsteadily steering my way through my own personal storm I’ll think out loud.

More often than not I’ll say “I don’t even know who I am”
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#OnRepeat: By the way…


Meanwhile back at the Batcave…

Since I’ve last written I’ve been mostly trying to get my head straight.

It’s been a tough couple of weeks and I’ve now reached out for help on that score. Watch this space for more on that. Save to say I have now accepted the fact that I am big “D” Depressed not llittle “d” depressed and I can’t figure it out on my own.

On the writing front I’ve now decided to use Roz Morris’s novel writing process to help me get  me pass my writing block. I went through a dozen or so possibilities but Roz impressed me the most with her readability and structured approach.

Nail Your Novel – Why Writers Abandon Books and How You Can Draft, Fix and Finish With Confidence

Using her approach I am now scoping out my ideas and working on my synopsis in a orderly fashion rather than bouncing in and out – though rather than keep all my ideas in a hat I’m using Evernote – same principle

I’ve spent way too much time procrastinating on twitter and Facebook but I like to think its better than not writing at all.

 

 

 

#OnRepeat: Blog Tour Award!


Shout out and respect to Karen for nominating me! Her blog is excellent and I can’t wait to read her novels when they’re ready, I recommend you check out her blog now!

The rules:

  1. Pass the tour on to four(ish) other bloggers.
  2. Give your nominees the rules and a specific Monday to post.
  3. Answer four questions about your creative process which lets other bloggers and visitors know what inspires you to do what you do.
    • How does my work differ from others in my genre?
    • How does my writing/creative process work?
    • Why do I write or create what I do?
    • What I’m working on at the moment?
  4. Compose a one-time post on a specific Monday (date given from your nominator).

1. How does my work differ from others in my genre?

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We all have a unique, inspiring, terrifying, awe-inspiring, voice inside of us. We just need to lose out fear of using it. For me the time to open my mouth and scream came when the pain of writing was out-weighed by the pain of staying silent. This is my long drawn out silent scream. My cramped inner child stretches and flexes and runs out to play. It’s better to live out loud and crash rather than exist safe, quiet but ultimately unsatisfied.

2. How does my writing/creative process work?

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I scroll through Spotify until I find a tune that matches my mood or the mood I’m trying to invoke and I leave it #OnRepeat and then I start writing. I’m researching methods on structuring novels so I can get this damn book out of my head. Once I have found the way of working that works for me I hope that writing stops being my means of escape and becomes my means of living.

3. Why do I write or create what I do?

kermit-typing-on-a-typewriter-like-crazy-animation

“What happens to a dream deferred?” I can’t live the life I’ve been living anymore. I can’t stay quiet anymore. I can’t knuckle under anymore. I can’t pretend to be happy doing the 9-5 anymore. I’ve always daydreamed, always imagined scenarios, always imagined but only sometimes have I written. I had a chance to be writer when I was doing my film degree but I let that opportunity pass me by without realising what I’d loss.  Write or Die.

4. What I’m working on at the moment?

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I am working on a novel

The Monday I choose for the nominees is June 8th Post anything you want on this particular day! Just pingback your own Blog Tour Award post on that day! 🙂 

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