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Craig's Blog, Helping the homeless of Newcastle, Home for Christmas, living Rough, On the Streets, Uncategorized

Home for Christmas – My 2018 Appeal to Help the Homeless of Newcastle

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Hi Everyone.

This post is slightly different from the ones I usually post on my webpage. It is not about my writing in any way shape or form.

This is about another subject I am very passionate about – helping the homeless.

Where I live in the UK, the closest city I live to is called Newcastle Upon Tyne. It is estimated that nearly 200 individuals will be living rough this Christmas in Newcastle.

Over the years I have assisted charities like Barnardos (training) and The Peoples Kitchen (Cook and server on their mobile unit).

When I left the UK in the first week of December to return to work in Azerbaijan I was very upset at the prospect of not seeing my children over the Christmas period and not returning home until February.

This made me imagine what it must be like for the homeless during this period, where they see everyone else happy and in love spending time together – They will be sad, scared, cold, alone, sick and hungry. I could not imagine how I would cope if faced with such a prospect.

There are some great people and great support for the homeless in Newcastle, such as the Shelter and The Peoples Kitchen and there are some wonderful campaigns running at the present, generating excellent results and social media support, a current example is an idea from the travelling community for people to load up an extra trolley with food at Christmas to distribute to local food banks.

These are all great and bring much-needed support and happiness to our homeless people in this time of need, but I’d like to try a different approach to share a little warmth this time. My Initiative, thought up in the last few days, is to try and reunite homeless persons with their families and friends in time for this festive period.

My idea is cheap and simple. It may work, it may not, but if one person is reunited with their family, then for me this whole process will have been a success.

The idea, one in which I hope you will share as much as possible is:-
Give the gift of a postcard (with a stamp) and or a £5.00 / £10.00 phone card this Christmas.postcard

It really is that cheap and that simple and could change people’s lives by providing them with an opportunity to contact loved ones.

Below I have attached a short video and PowerPoint Presentation on how this should work along with tips and advice for succession.

I want people to share their stories with me, let me know their results, feelings, fears and challenges and I will post regularly on my website during this period.

Please email me at craigwrightson@laughcryandwrite.com

Again, I hope this is successful. It is all down to the power of social media once again to spread the word. It will be good to see how far across the globe this idea travels.

You will definitely brighten somebodies day if you participate in this but remember, you could brighten a families Xmas if it works.

Thank you once again for your support.

Craig Wrightson

One Love x

Craig's Blog, grave robbers, halloween, horror, scarey, short story, the resurrection men, Writing Inspiration

The Resurrection Men – A Ghastly Halloween Tale

creepy dark fear grave

Chapter 1
Jesmond Old Cemetery was deserted. Its gates were firmly locked, only one light from the watchkeepers cottage was lit.
The two men hiding in the shadows opposite waited patiently for the light to be extinguished indicating that the old watchkeeper had retired to his bed. They were in no hurry, they were prepared for the wait.
The night was airless, nothing moved, The clear sky above provided the perfect canvas to display the full moon in all its beauty.
‘When will that old bastard take to his bed?’ Murmured Arthur Price the leader of the two. The man supposedly with the brains.
‘Soon, soon. He will be having his little nip of the hard stuff now that he is all locked up,’ replied the man standing next to him, Owen Kelly, the brawn of the outfit.
Arthur nodded at his colleague, he had to trust him, it had been he who had been stood at this spot for the last two night’s making sure that all their planning and preparation was in order.
It wasn’t that he didn’t trust Owen, they had worked well together as a team for long enough, it was just that Arthur was all too aware of Owen’s fondness for the ale and he would not put it past him to give in to the urge for a nice pint or two beside a nice warm fire.
Arthur and Owen had worked together for the last six months. Without messing about with fancy job titles, they were merely grave robbers working in a field where demand vastly outweighed supply. They had met in a graveyard in Northumberland by chance, both creeping up on the same target. They had frightened the life out of each other and decided that the sensible thing to do, rather than fight it out, was to share the work and share the fee.
The development of medical science had plateaued, Doctors and surgeons were struggling to find fresh bodies for them to experiment with or to run trials on. By law, they had to rely on executed criminals or bodies that had gone unclaimed by relatives. In the quieter areas of the country such as Newcastle, this resulted in low numbers being made available, much to the frustration of the doctors and surgeons.
Soon a fee had been offered, many people in these parts did not regard this act as a sin and quickly took up the offers, others, so desperate for money that they would undertake any foul task proposed to them without a moment’s hesitation.

Arthur and James had been successful in their chosen field and always delivered results. Because of this, they were the first choice for a lot of professionals in Newcastle and the surrounding area.
When Dr Rueben had contacted them at the Rose and Crown three nights ago, a price had been quickly agreed and the promise of two fresh bodies, delivered to him by the end of the working week, for him to play with his specimens over the weekend.
Staring out onto the cemetery both men were relieved when the light to the watchkeepers cottage finally went out. They picked up their bags, checked that the streets were still clear and made their way to the far side of the cemetery.
Reaching the iron railings, hidden from view, Owen grasped two railings, one with each hand and gently pulled them free. He had sawed them both loose the previous night in preparation. He laid them quietly on the path and stepped through the gap, disappearing into the darkness. Arthur followed suit, bent down and lifted the railings from the floor and replaced them. To any passer-by, nothing would look out of place.
Arthur stood rooted to the spot, waiting for his eyesight to become accustomed to the darkness. There was a rustle in the bushes.

 He held his breath.

Owen stepped through the bushes grinning.

 

‘Don’t worry, nobody here tonight except you and me’
As both men ventured into the cemetery, they were unaware of the thin wisp of grey and black fog, that had appeared from nowhere and snaked it’s way behind them, catching up with them and wrapping itself around their ankles.

Arthur had to stifle a cough, the fumes of the dead were strong.
They attacked his throat and stomach, causing him to gag and retch.

Decomposing bodies and recently exhumed corpses caused toxic fumes to hover around. He withdrew his hankie from his pocket, pressed it over his mouth and nose and continued.

The fog had danced ahead of them by now, they were unsure if they were on the right track. The still air had been replaced with a fresh breeze that picked up everything around them and spun them freely in the air. Neither Arthur or Owen detected this as they blindly trundled along in search of their quarry.
In the misty darkness, Owen called out.
‘I can’t see a bloody thing with all of this dam fog.’
Before Arthur could reply, he heard a collision, and his friend cried out in pain.
Arthur was expecting the worse, ran to his friend. He located him lying down next to a fresh grave fitted with a Mortsafe.

He was rubbing his shins and cursing under his breath.

A Mortsafe was a crude and effective deterrent. An Iron frame encased around the grave to prevent grave robbers easy access… or if others were to have you believe… positioned to keep zombies inside.

These were often only removed after the corpse had decomposed.

 

Bending down, he gently lifted the hem of Owen’s trouser, revealing a small but nasty gash. Owen took his hankie out from his pocket and wrapped it around the wound to stem the flow of blood.
He looked up, annoyed and hurt.
‘Nearly fucking crippled me that thing. The grave we want is next door.’
Arthur walked slowly over to the next grave while Owen struggled to get up and joined him, they both stood for a moment staring at the cheap, homemade cross, who’s epitaph merely read.
Ann Simmons
Aged 8
Died 27th October 1844
Neither of the men experienced any remorse for the gross act they were about to commit. No sadness at the tragic loss of life at such a young age and no empathy for the grieving parents. Their only concern at this moment in time was how much their victim would weigh once recovered.
‘This is it. Time to get to work’. Instructed Arthur.

He dropped the bag that he had been carrying over his shoulder to the floor. He emptied the contents out and selected the wooden shovels and length of rope.
Selecting their tools, they attacked the fresh grave with vigour. It hadn’t rained recently, and the soil was still soft and comfortable to remove. They were silent as they undertook the labour intensive task, each lost within their own dream about how they would spend their well-earned bounty. Within twenty minutes they had dug the required six inches to reveal the coffin lid. The removed earth was in a neat pile ready to be re-laid once their job was done.
Jumping into the exposed grave, both men pulled the lid of the coffin free and laid it at the side of the opening.
Above, in the night sky, the moon slipped behind a dark rain cloud, reducing visibility in an instant.
The victim, lay motionless, eyes firmly shut, dressed in a plain but pleasant summer dress. A Single red rose had been lovingly placed in her hair which was swept back from her peaceful face.
Arthur and Owen each grabbed an ankle and attempted to slide her free of the coffin.

Nothing. She did not move an inch.
Cursing, Owen crawled further up the dead body.
‘Shit!’ he cursed. ‘She got a coffin collar fitted, she isn’t going anywhere.’
Arthur scrambled up beside Owen. Sure enough, a crudely fitted wooden collar was fitted around her slender neck. Heavy duty bolts could be seen, no doubt securely installed to the coffin base.
Arthur was just about to tell his friend to leave it when the moon passed from the dark clouds and illuminated the grave below

.
The red rose turned black.
Both men sat stunned.
As they watched, the right eyelid of the small girl slowly opened, revealing an egg white orb crisscrossed with rich red veins.
The eye stared coldly ahead, Unmoving.
Arthur and Owen both felt their stomach turn, and their bowels turn to water.
The right eyelid of the little girl also started to open slowly.
As both men stared transfixed, the eyeball was revealed. Grey and dark, dried out, partially eaten away in places. Matter and decay evident.
The eye fully opened to reveal the small sack of a spiders nest secreted within the corner of the eye, entwined in a fine web.
To their horror, a small black spider exited the nest, paused, looked up at them and opened its tiny jaws, revealing two rows of sharpened teeth.
Both men screamed.
Chapter 2
Arthur and Owen both jumped back in shock, hearts beating through their chests like a brass band.

Arthur gazed upon the corpse. She was lying peacefully with her eyes closed.

The single rose was once again red.

‘We need to get her filled back in,’ he whispered to his ashen friend.

Arthur turned and went to exit the grave. He was just about to lift himself above ground when he checked behind him.

Owen was bent over the fixed corpse pulling at the young girl’s arms.

‘What are you doing you fool, we need to leave.’

Without turning his head, Owen replied.

‘I’m not leaving here with nothing.’

Arthur leant forward for a closer inspection as to what his friend was up to.

He shook his head in disgust when he realised that he was trying to unclasp a small bracelet from the dead girl’s wrists. Fumbling around in the semi-dark he was not finding this an easy task.

‘You must have an urge to feel the hangman’s rope around your neck, my friend.’

‘Eh. What do you mean? Leave me be.’

‘You will swing if they catch you, you must know theft is a capital offence.’

‘They catch us tonight, and we will both hang.’

‘That is where you are wrong. What we are doing is a misdemeanour, What your doing is a felon…….punishable by death.’

Both men were silent for a moment as they weighed up the options.

Arthur was about to abandon his friend when Owen cursed and released the girl’s wrist. It fell limply back into her coffin.

‘OK. Ok. Let us get a move on then. There is still a profit to be gained from this night.’

They clambered from the grave and picked up their shovels. Scooping up the soft earth they quickly re-filled the grave. Hopefully, it would be a few days before any mourners returned, by this time mother nature would have taken over and hidden any signs of their presence.

Both men had a sense of urgency about them this time. The earth needed merely to be scooped up not dug out this time. They finished the job in ten minutes and stood looking for any signs that they may have missed that could give them away.

The air had become cold and still once more. Nothing moved in the cemetery. The mist that had followed them on their journey all night started to rise. Soon it entrapped both men and visibility was reduced as it swirled around freely in front of their eyes. They could barely see past the length of their arms.

Owen tugged Arthurs’ arm and pulled him in close.

‘Follow me. The next grave is just around the corner. I want to be out of here as quick as I can.’

‘Ok, Don’t worry I will be by your side, Something feels wrong tonight.’

Arm in arm they blindly stepped deeper into the foggy cemetery.

They had taken no more than a dozen paces when Arthur realised he had lost grip of Owen. He panicked and spun around. Nothing. Nothing anywhere, just swirls of fog.

He wanted to cry out Owen’s name, but he knew to do so, would be at risk of waking the watchkeeper.

Arthur took one step forward. From nowhere a giant winged skull loomed in front of him, hovering in the still air, silhouetted against a blanket of a grey.

Tonight it was his turn. He had been chosen.

Arthur closed his eyes tightly shut and flung up his arms in front of his face in an attempt to avert the inevitable.

A firm hand clasped his shoulder and pulled him back to safety.

Laughing Owen whispered ‘Watch where you are going, old man. You will hurt yourself.’

The mist shifted position, and the winged skull was revealed in all its glory, encased in a concrete gravestone.

Arthur shook his head. He was getting too old for this game. He had seen enough of the dark side to ensure he would have nightmares for the rest of his days.

Owen tugged him again on the shoulder and directed him to the next grave, the next victim that he had selected for them to plunder. This was five meters away from them, and they quickly covered the ground together.
Removing the shovels and rope from their bags, they started to dig again.

Arthur did not look at the gravestone, inside he just prayed for this night to be over.

The earth here was thick, more compact and harder to dig into. After five minutes both men were sweating profusely and removed their jackets.
The cold air assaulted their sweating bodies, and soon they were both shivering and cursing. They could not rest, they had to be gone from the area well before sunrise.

Owen’s shovel was the first to hit the cheap wooden coffin lid. Smiling he dropped to his knees and started brushing away the light soil with his hands, revealing an adult size coffin lid.

‘We have hit the jackpot here.’ He cried out triumphantly.

Leaning forward he curled his fingers around the underside of the coffin lid and started to lift it free from the top.

‘Be careful, slow down,’ whispered Arthur.

Owen could sense that tonight was going to be rewarding after all, he ignored Arthur and carried on lifting the lid.

Bang!

There was a loud explosion, the shallow pit filled with Gunsmoke and the smell of cordite.

Arthur wiped his eyes clear and observed Owen lying on his back next to him.

Most of his head was missing.

Chapter 3

Arthur was rooted to the spot, he stood staring blankly at first his fallen comrade and then at the exposed coffin. His mouth opened, but no words came.

The coffin torpedo had surprised them both. It had done its job well.

The second Owen had attempted to open the coffin lid, pressure had been released from the homemade booby trap, and the cartridge had exploded, instantly firing into his exposed face.

The cartridge had been crude but effective. It had spread upon discharge and travelled easily through his soft fleshy face, tearing away skin, bone and muscle. The charge had ricochet off Owen’s jaw bone and had been diverted upwards, where it exited the back of his head, dragging out the majority of his brain.

He had died instantly, no pain, no fear and no warning.

Arthur had heard rumours of such traps being placed by wealthy families in London, but like others, he did not expect their use to have travelled so far North as quickly.

He could taste iron in his mouth. He wiped the sleeve of his tatty coat over his mouth, and when he looked down, he was shocked to discover it was covered in warm fresh blood, globules of matter and bone clung to the fabric.

He spat the blood from his mouth, directing it to the wall of the grave and took stock. He knew he did not have much time. The gunshot would have woken the watchman and no doubt he would be hot-footing it to inform the peelers.

He glanced at Owen, the front of his face was an indistinguishable mess, He would not be easily identified. He decided to leave his friend where he lay. He did not have time to take him with him or hide the body.

If he did not hurry up, he too would receive the same fate as what his friend had in store for him.

Cut up and fed to the wild dogs that roamed the deserted streets or buried in a paupers grave, Where no one would know of his passing, forgotten and ungrieved.

Discarding the obliviated corpse of Owen from his mind, Arthur lent forward an hooked his arms around the bodies shoulders. He grimaced at the sight. The coffin contained the body of a male, perhaps thirty years old. He was of average build, but Arthur knew he would be awkward and cumbersome to lift, let alone carry.

The corpse showed early signs of decomposing. His jaw was locked tight with rigour mortis, and the once white face was turning to do a dark grey, the body was beginning to bloat as the gasses inside putrefied.

Trying not to gag, Arthur lifted the corpse from its resting place and manhandled it out of the grave, dumping it unceremoniously on the grass beside.

Knowing he would struggle to carry the body, Arthur gripped the still corpse by the legs and dragged him to the edge of the cemetery. He was aware of how eerie silent the cemetery had become, and he was sure the noise from the crunching gravel would be heard from miles away.

He braved on, never once stopping for breath. The clouds in the sky had disappeared, and the bright light of the moon illuminated everything.

He threw the body through the gap of the railings were it landed in a heap on the cobblestones outside. He clambered through and replaced the railings.

Glancing around, the street was still deserted, so he hoisted the corpse over his shoulders and crossed the road, bent double to the alleyway where they had waited earlier, and where their handcart was hidden.

Thirty minutes and with not a moment to spare as dawn was beginning to break, Arthur wheeled the handcart with the corpse wrapped up in an old tatty blanket, up a back alley to the side of his bosses house.

He knew his boss would be waiting for him, excited and eager to start work on his subject.

At the rear of the house was his bosses laboratory, private and secret, hidden away from prying eyes where he could be free to perfect his skills in medical science alone.

The door to the laboratory had once been painted black, the paint was now crumbling away, and dirt and grime clung to the decaying wood.

He knocked twice, careful not to be too loud. He heard a chair scrape on the floor inside and the sound of footsteps approaching.

The door opened, and a bright light shone through from the laboratory. Dr Reubens, dressed in a dark purple smoking jacket and slacks peered out.

‘Come in, come in,’ he ushered quietly.

He stepped back to open the door fully while Arthur removed the corpse from the handcart.

‘Where is your friend?’ He enquired taking in Owen’s shocking appearance.

Arthur could not look the doctor in the face, his eyes alone frightened him half to death.

‘He had to go home, he was feeling unwell,’ he muttered staring at the stone floor.

Arthur proceeded to the centre of the room where a lone ceramic slab hooked up to a single light, and a water hose was situated. He laid the body down detecting blood stains of past, still clinging to the whiteness of the slab.

Behind him, Dr Reubens slowly and quietly turned the key in the door.

He stepped back for Dr Reubens to inspect the body for the first time.

‘Excellent. Arthur, once again you have excelled yourself. He is perfect for my needs.’

He turned and looked around the room. His dark beady eyes missed nothing.

‘And where is my second body? I can only see one specimen before me.’

‘I’m sorry Sir, it has been a difficult night. We could only acquire the one body.’

Dr Reubens shoulders sagged, he did not turn around.

Quietly he chanted ‘No, No, No, this will not do at all.’

Arthur could tell his boss was disappointed with him and knew he needed to make amends quickly.

‘I will go back out tonight and bring you another body, Sir.’

A draft blew under the door into the laboratory, and the candlelight flickered madly casting shadows deep into the room.

Dr Reubens turned around slowly, a thin smile on his face. He looked straight into Arthur’s eyes.

‘It’s ok. I can make do with what I have in the room.’

Arthur sighed, He was scared of Dr Reubens, just now he could have sworn he detected evil in his eyes.

Before he could express his gratitude, Dr Reubens hand whipped forward.

Owen caught a brief glimpse of a scalpel he had concealed in his hand. It glimmered as it travelled through the air and he felt the tiniest of nicks against his throat.

Arthur stood transfixed as Dr Reuben stepped back, looking at him with a look of admiration on his face.

He lifted his hand to this throat and felt the tiniest of incisions. As his hand rested against his skin, he could detect a faint flow of blood starting to exit the wound.

He looked in disbelief as Dr Reubens stepped forward again.

Slash. Slash.

Arthur felt the wound in his neck open up. In an instant, his strength deserted his body, and he sank to his knees aware of the river of blood forming on the floor.

Slash. Slash.

Arthur felt as if his head was secured to his neck by a single twine only, sure that it would fall free from his neck if cut again.

His body felt cold, and he started to shiver uncontrollably.

He could see Dr Reubens standing over him, watching him slowly bleed out. He had a look of happiness on his face that Arthur could never recall seeing before.

Blackness finally engulfed Arthur.

For Dr Reubens, it was time to go to work.

He had a long day ahead of him.

The End.

I hope you all enjoyed this tale.

Feel free to share or tell your children.

This story was written on a whim. I have never written anything about horror before. It just goes to show that you can be inspired to write by almost anything.

All it took was an hour research on the internet and I had my story plot. Yes, the story isn’t perfect, it has had minor editing only and is probably littered with grammar errors and spelling mistakes, I just wanted to get it out there. Yet I feel I get across what I planned.

Happy Halloween everyone

Craig x

craigwrightson@laughcryandwrite.com

Uncategorized

A Step Into Darkness – October Update

clear emoji clips

Hi Everone,

Sorry for the lack of updates lately regarding ‘A Step Into Darkness.’

I received my professional editorial feedback from Jericho Writers.

The report was professional with good constructive criticism and feedback. For me, it was worth every penny spent.

I have a few scenes to re-write and I need to develop my MC slightly. I was provided with a few other pointers which I have taken on board.

I have been told that I have a really nice and strong central idea with the potential to really create a page-turner.

The statement above has truly lifted my spirits. I did expect to receive such praise and encouragement when I submitted the first MS as my first ever novel.

I think a month or so of hard work shall have the story ready for re-submission.

All part of the process which I am loving.

Thanks for reading and please feel free to like or share this post

Craig Wrightson 16th October 2018

http://www.laughcryandwrite.com

Author, Book update, Craig's Blog, Crime, Thriller, Uncategorized, Writing Inspiration

A Step into Darkness September Update

silhouette photography of people near body of water

 

Hi everyone. Sorry for the decline of my blogs and updates, August was a crazy month for me.

I’m pleased to announce that the editing of my debut novel is now complete. This has been submitted today for a professional edit.

My next step will depend on the feedback I receive which may take up to six weeks. I promise to keep you updated.

During this 6 weeks downtime I intend to start the planning and structuring for my next book.

Also during this time I intend to self publish some short stories I have been working on. These are in a complete new genre at the opposite end to the spectrum from my current crime thrillers. I’m going to publish under a  pseudonym which I don’t intend to disclose. This is merely for fun and I’m keen to see where it takes me.

Don’t panic though I have a growing list of crime thriller ideas that I intend to do justice to.

Thanks again for your support and patience.

Craig

P.s I know I have been trying to push everyone to write there own story….if this is not for you then I encourage you to read. Read as often and as much as you can. Trust me, the escape does you good.

Author, Book update, Craig's Blog, Crime, Thriller, Uncategorized, Writing Inspiration

A Step into Darkness September Update

silhouette photography of people near body of water

 

Hi everyone. Sorry for the decline of my blogs and updates, August was a crazy month for me.

I’m pleased to announce that the editing of my debut novel is now complete. This has been submitted today for a professional edit.

My next step will depend on the feedback I receive which may take up to six weeks. I promise to keep you updated.

During this 6 weeks downtime I intend to start the planning and structuring for my next book.

Also during this time I intend to self publish some short stories I have been working on. These are in a complete new genre at the opposite end to the spectrum from my current crime thrillers. I’m going to publish under a  pseudonym which I don’t intend to disclose. This is merely for fun and I’m keen to see where it takes me.

Don’t panic though I have a growing list of crime thriller ideas that I intend to do justice to.

Thanks again for your support and patience.

Craig

P.s I know I have been trying to push everyone to write there own story….if this is not for you then I encourage you to read. Read as often and as much as you can. Trust me, the escape does you good.

Author, Book update, Craig's Blog, Crime, Thriller, Uncategorized, Writing Inspiration

Book Update

man with fireworks

Hi everyone,

After a journey of almost 16 months I am pleased to announce that today I typed the words ‘The End’ into my debut novel A Step into Darkness.

This is a momentous achievement for me and a day I never thought Id witness before I started out. This road trip has been a roller coaster of emotions, but I have come out unscathed and a far better writer than when I first started.

Today I have fulfilled a life long ambition and I am excited for the future as I develop my skills in the craft of writing.

Sadly the process is not over. A short break is in order before I return fresh ready to embark on the editing process which again will be a whole new journey for me .

I will keep you updated on the editing process and any other future writing projects I embark on.

Thank you all for your patience and your kind words of encouragement. I hope I don’t let you down.

Onwards and Upwards!!

Craig x

Author, Craig,s blog, short story, Uncategorized, writers block, Writing Inspiration

Writing Inspiration No 4 – My Tips for Preventing / Overcoming the Dreaded Writers Block – Craig Wrightson

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I’m nearing completion of my first novel which has been a wonderful journey full of ups and downs. Having had to learn the craft of writing along the way I have used many different tools and resources to help me including writer blogs , tips and lessons. One of the main subjects I often stumble across during my research is the subject of writers block, those 2 little words that every author fears.

My own personal opinion is that writers block cannot be overcome by standard identified actions alone, it has to be unique to the writer and will differ from writer to writer. With that in mind I want to share what has worked for me in the hope that may help someone just starting out.

Writers block is not to feared it just needs to be overcome.

Re read your notes and research material. Is there anything that could trigger you to start up again.

Re read your previous chapter – For me this got me back into the feel of the story and my mind was ready to race over the finish line into the next chapter.

Go for a walk, blow the cobwebs away and let your mind run free. Do not be afraid to push the boundaries with your thoughts. It only needs one idea or moment of inspiration to make you want to turn around and race back to your manuscript. When your out walking take only your phone or tablet with you. You need to immediately record anything that might help. Record it on notes or voice recorder and email it back to yourself so it is sitting waiting ready upon your return.

Watch a movie or read a book on a similar genre to your story and look for prompts or ideas. By this I don’t mean for you to plagiarize. There is so much stuff out there that could easily be reworked, twisted around or adapted to suit your stories development.

Work with a story planner. I set up my story planner on PowerPoint which breaks down each chapter identifying key points and that I plan to achieve per chapter. Do this for your whole story. Revisiting this everyday and updating the planner has helped me loads.

You will know your story off by heart in your head and hopefully you will have a detailed story planner, the chances are you will have an idea on how other chapters start or how certain scenes later in the book will unfold. Write them down. Writing is writing and don’t be afraid to write out of sync.

Do not allow yourself get stalled at the beginning of the chapter, Sitting for hours and hours is just dead time, if you know the end of the chapter then write it down and come back to the start later.

When completing your target for the day, go beyond this and write one or two sentences or paragraphs into the next paragraph / chapter so that you can pick up the story straight away the next day.

Really really stuck, then leave it! work on a short story, a writing competition entry, prepare the elevator pitch for your next story. This is all writing and before long your confidence in your ability as a writer will return.

If all else fails. Save everything. Turn off your laptop, Drink a bottle of wine (for starters) and dance naked around the house. Writers block may still be there in the morning or it may not, either way you will have let of some steam.

ernest-hemingway-writing-quote

I hope this helps. Like I said this is what works for me. There loads of interesting articles out their so don’t be afraid if you encounter writers block – We all do. Why should you be any different 🙂

To continue receiving my blogs and updates please sign up to follow me at my website http://www.laughcryandwrite.com

Thanks and Take Care

Craig x

Author, Book update, Craig,s blog, Crime, short story, Thriller, Uncategorized, Writing Inspiration

June Book Update – Craig Wrightson

blank book bindings business communication
Photo by Lukas on Pexels.com

Hi Everyone,

Firstly I’d like to apologise to everyone for not providing regular updates as promised. It has been a hectic few months what with the F1, friends visiting me and my UK vacation. I am now back on track and raring to go now that the finish line is in sight for me.

A Step into the Darkness is now 75% complete. I have decided to set myself a deadline of the end of July to finish the first draft and I’ve also set myself a writing target of 2hrs a night in order to achieve this. Without setting this I was worried I would become easily distracted and loose the flow of the story. I am now clear and focused on what I need to do and where I need to be so fingers crossed.

In the UK I met up with a fellow author and retired Chief of Northumbria Police who supplied me with a clear insight on not only police practices but on how my story could be improved to make it more engaging for the reader.

With this in mind I am pleased to announce my story is set in my hometown of Cramlington. It was originally called Elmdene but as all the other locations and geographical references within the story were accurate and as I was basically describing Cramlington within the majority of scenes (Write what you know and where you know). Changing the name will make it easier for readers to identify with if they know it is an actual town not a fictitious setting. The only thing I have done is made all street names, characters and character names fictitious.

Once the first draft is finished I plan to put it away for a few weeks in order to clear my mind of the story (2 years in my head now) allowing me to start the dreaded editing process with a fresh mind.

Dame Vera Baird QC has kindly arranged for me to spend some time with a 24/7 Response Officer from Northumbria Police and this is something I’m really excited to participate in and is tentatively planned for when I’m back in the UK in August.

I intend to use the experience gained from this opportunity to fine tune and clean up any grey areas within the police procedural side of the story and I will hopefully capture it all in my first few edits. Not sure yet as to how many edits I will require as I have been editing throughout when I have not had the chance to write.

A Step into Darkness was originally planned to be a standalone novel and writing a novel has always been a dream for me since childhood but since I have embarked on this project and after taking numerous writing courses I now have many other stories which I plan to write and share. Entering short story competitions, passing conversations, news reports and things I have observed have all led to a number of ideas forming in my head that I feel I can do justice to.

Once A Step into the Darkness is completed I am ready to write my second novel and It looks like I may take a few of the characters from the first story with me and see if I can develop them more in future stories. At present unless anything changes or if new ideas appear my next book is going to be about rape, betrayal and revenge set over three decades!

At the same time as this I am going to research into a second writing project which is something new for me (I love the research and planning). I’m looking to write a compilation of short stories based on the Second World War recounting tales of valour and bravery from unsung heroes focusing on all of the countries from the Allied and Axis Powers that were involved. I want these short stories to be fast paced, engaging, exciting and as historically accurate as possible. The short stories are going to be a hybrid of non-fiction and fiction with multiple points of view written in both first person and third person.

I know I have set myself a major challenge here but if all becomes too much my priority will be the second novel.

If all goes to plan my next update will be tell you all I’ve completed the first draft.

Take care everyone and enjoy your summer.

Craig x

Book update, Craig,s blog, short story, Thriller, Uncategorized, Writing Inspiration

Eureka – A Short Story by Craig Wrightson

blackboard business chalkboard concept
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Hi All,

Apologies for not posting recently. I was having a wonderful vacation in the UK and got side tracked.

I will post my book update next week as a I’m now nearly finished the first draft and a few interesting things took place when I was home.

For now Id like to post a short story I wrote about Inspiration for a writing competition earlier in the year. I hope you all enjoy.

Eureka

Stubbing out his umpteenth cigarette of the day into the already overflowing ashtray, Dan pushed himself back into his leather chair, his mouth tasted foul and nothing was going to take away the feeling of decay inside.

Picking up his cup of tea, his face twisted as he spat the cold contents back into the cup.

‘Come on, come on” he forced himself.

His mantra fell on deaf ears; his plea for inspiration was ignored.

‘Give me something…anything…please.’

Glancing at the clock displayed at the bottom of his monitor Dan was gutted that only five minutes had elapsed since his last time check. He was confident that it would have been at least an hour.

Lighting yet another cigarette, feeling repulsed by the smell and taste, he started rocking himself back and forward on the castors of his chair whilst gripping onto to the front of his desk. Hey he thought, this could be a new office workout routine.

Snapping himself back into reality he rose and paced impatiently around his small office.

Yesterday had been the same. Same brick wall and same blankness.

Last night it had come to him though, deep in his dreams. Clear as day.

Why then was he struggling again today? He had entered his office full of confidence but now annoyance and frustration were starting to well up inside him.

‘Bugger this for a game of Soldiers’ he exclaimed and left the room.

Five minutes later, he was getting into a bath. Nice warm water, filled to the brim, encapsulated with bubbles from his Radox bubble bath.

He sank his head under the water enjoying the feeling of tranquillity that swept over him in an instant.

Five minutes later he leaped from the bath like a breeching Humpback Whale, water cascading over the bathroom floor.

Hastily pulling on his robe, he sprinted back to the office still soaked, trailing wet foot marks across the carpet, his unsightly bits jiggled from his exposed body as he jumped in front of his PC.

His fingers danced on the keyboard, the click of his key strokes non-stop.

Forty five minutes later, he was done.

‘Best get the bathroom tidied up,’ Dan thought to himself smiling like the cat that had caught the cream.

The End.

I hope you all enjoyed this. As always please feel free to comment and share.

Enjoy your weekend.

Craig.

#IAMDBB, Author, short story, Thriller, Uncategorized, Writing Inspiration

Old Mrs Coe – A Short Story by Craig Wrightson

Old Mrs Coe

Everyone towered above her, blanking out the light, hurrying to reach their destination.No time for manors, deeply focused on their own journey and ignorant of others.

Of course they could not see her, hidden so far down below tucked away in the shadows.

They had been late leaving today. The rain did not help either. The path was slippery underfoot, leaving her with no time to navigate a safe passage through the many puddles.

She wanted to pause to catch her breath but every time she reduced her pace she felt the sharp tug from her mother’s arm, pulling her along. To stop was to loose time.

‘No time for dawdling today darling,’ she said ‘so much to do and no time to do it all.’

They turned into the quiet road that led to her primary school. School insight her mother instinctively reduced her speed, the stress of the first battle of the day gone.

Hand in hand they walked down the quiet street lined with weeping willows and bungalows adjourned with immaculate gardens, lovingly maintained and in full bloom.

Suddenly she stopped dead in her tracks. Her mother’s firm grip unable to propel her on any further.

No. Something is not right, something is wrong today, she thought to herself.
‘What on earths up with you?’ demanded her mother, clearly not impressed.

‘Old Mrs Coe was not there today mammy.’

‘What?’

‘Old Mrs Coe was not there today. She is there every day.’

‘Who is old Mrs Coe?’

‘A kind old lady, she smiles and waves at me every morning form her kitchen window. She was not there today.’

‘Oh come on that’s ridiculous. You have school young lady.’

Her mother gripped her hand and started walking. No something was wrong. She dug her heels in and refused to budge.

‘Something is wrong mammy,’ she pleaded with her mother ‘we need to check’.

‘For god’s sake,’ her mother muttered but she led her by the hand to the house and knocked gently on the door. There was no answer.

‘Look. That’s the window she stands at,’ she said pointing to the long bay window at the end of the house.

Peering inside her mother let out a low ‘oh no,’ before turning to face her daughter.

‘You be a good girl and go sit on the wall. Mummy just needs to call for an ambulance.’

The End

Another one of my short stories. Hope your all enjoying them.

Please visit my website

http://www.laughcryandwrite.com

to follow me and receive book updates and blogs.

Have a great week and thanks

Craig