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Craig,s blog, short story, Uncategorized

Fight with the Devil – A Short Story by Craig Wrightson

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Fight with the Devil

Day one

This is easy I tell myself. I can do this…I need to do this.

Confidence emanates from my every pore. My stride is purposeful; I’m driven on by my acceptance, confident that my battle will soon be over. The thought of my new life ahead excites me. I won’t be beaten again.

Not everyone shares my enthusiasm.

‘You’ve tried before.’

‘You’re not strong enough.’

Today I won’t let the negativity of others stop me from achieving my goal. Fuck them! I know better.

I head into town, shaking my head dispassionately at the number of weak people I observe consumed by their addiction, oblivious to how stupid they look, uncaring towards the damage they are inflicting onto their already weekend bodies.

I needed this walk. I needed to see what I’d become, and what I needed to leave behind.

This is easy I tell myself. I can do this…I need to do this.

Day 2

I can do this. I want to do this.

I feel good today. I’ve had to change my routine but I’m sure I can manage. I already feel fresher…even healthier, which is an unexpected bonus.

First meeting of the day does not go well for me. My worked load has increased and I can feel my stress levels rising.

Why now?

Why when I’ve just started out on this journey?

I’m starting to feel anxious and irritable. I consume myself with work hoping to block out the darkness inside of my head.

Doubts start creeping in. Maybe the time isn’t right. What if the others are correct and I am weak, destined to always be a slave to my addiction.

I feel an emptiness burning away inside.

My phone rings, other problems to attend to. I’m snappy and end the call quickly.

I didn’t feel like this the other day. I was happy then.

I’m starting to analyse my doubts. What if they were right I think to myself?

The feeling of euphoria from the previous day is long forgotten. The doubt has now consumed my soul, my every thought.

I open the draw of my desk where I know my emergency hit is sitting awaiting my return.

Feeling like a weight has been removed from my shoulders, I reach into the draw, decision made.

I want this…they do not own me…it’s my life…my choice…I can stop smoking whenever I want…Just not today.

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Hope you enjoyed my short story which I wrote a few months ago. Sadly based on my last battle.

Would appreciate any feedback.

Enjoy your week everyone.

Craig x

Craig,s blog, music and writing, short story

BAKU Street F1ghter 2018 – Grand Prix F1

street fighters

Hi Everyone.

This week has been a slow one for me with regards to progressing A Step into Darkness. I’ve mainly been concentrating on some last minute research due to a plot change in the middle of my story that presented itself from nowhere and seemed to good of an opportunity to miss (all hush hush at the minute).

The main reason that I have been unable to write is that I am getting ready for the arrival of two of my closest friends who are flying in on Friday morning to visit me in Baku and watch the F1 Grand Prix which is now in its third year of running here.

As I’ve been present at them all, and fingers crossed I will be here to attend many others in the future I thought I would share my experiences from this fantastic and highly anticipated event.

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The F1 in Baku is set in the best parts of the city. It heads along the magnificent Boulevard and then goes off into the narrow cobbled streets of the Old City.

The streets are lined with stands and the whole length of the Boulevard is set up for the fans with everything ranging from merchandise shops (ripping everyone off), bean bags for lounging in the sun, DJ’s blasting out tunes, various food and drinks outlets and for me the best thing of all…the Johnnie Walker Cocktail Bar.

To say the atmosphere is electric is an understatement. Locals, expat workers and tourists from all over the globe convey together in full party mode.

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I had a drive down the track on Sunday and a walk along the Boulevard and everything is progressing well and the place looks great.

The best thing for me about the F1 is every year after the racing finishes there is a end of day concert and so far some pretty cool Artists have played here. These have been open air concerts but this year the event has been moved from June to April and as the weather is somewhat unpredictable here just now the concert venue has been moved to the Crystal Hall which is fairly new having been originally built for the Eurovision Song Concert. I’m as yet undecided if this venue will work.

The price of the F1 tickets for me as an Expat are so cheap. I don’t know how it fairs against other circuits around the world but a 4 day ticket cost me 250 Manats which is just under 100 GBP! The cost of this ticket covers a Pit Lane walk on the Thursday, Friday Practice Sessions, Saturday F2 racing and F1 Qualifying Round, Sunday main Race AND access to all 3 concerts.

Id like to finish of this short blog by giving my expectations of this year’s Artists and my reviews of the Artists from the last 2 years . (I have add to edit this section twice to remove all traces of swearing).
2018 Artists

JK

Liked his music years ago. Sadly though he really irritated me at the same time. God only knows how I will react on Friday night.

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I couldn’t remember her at all (Shocking guys I know). After looking at her on YouTube last night I don’t really care what she signs like. Didn’t realise she had had so many hits. So should be good.

DL

Have recently heard her songs in bars out here but never knew her name. After an education from my Daughter I am now familiar with her music and think she will go down well here.
2017Artists

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Tarkan – Turkish singer. Too cheesy for my liking but the locals loved him so fair play.

Nicole scherzinger – couldn’t make out a word she said but she redeemed herself later.

The Black Eyed Peas – Absolultly rocking. Had the whole crowd wild. Will never forget the memory of having my 73 year old mother bopping away at my side singing along happy as Larry. Nicole Scherzinger joined them for the missing Fergie parts and linked with them brilliantly. One cool night.

Mariah Carey – worst artist I have ever seen. Total diva. Couldn’t sing a tune and was like mutton dressed as lamb.
2016 Artists

2016 celebs

Chris Brown – Made everyone wait for over an hour to turn up. Then came on stage and did nothing but grab his bits and refer to everyone as motherFu**er and Bitch. Fair to say he didn’t go down too well with the locals.

Enrique Iglesias – Im going to be honest. I did not want to watch him. Everyman hates men who are more good looking than themselves. I can’t tell you what my dad used to call him. Went along at the last minute and you know what…he was really really good and a genuine nice guy. Everyone loved him and his music

Pharrell Williams – closed the weekend out and was my favourite for that year. Had everyone dancing. He was lively on stage and when he brought some local children on stage for one of his songs it was emotional.

Hope you have all enjoyed my review and rest assured I will be back on track with the final run in for my book very soon.

Take Care All

Craig x

craigwrightson@laughcryandwrite.com

Craig,s blog, short story, Uncategorized

70 Days – A Short Story by Craig Wrightson

Car 1

70 Days

Stepping out from the elevator, straight into my street, I light my first cigarette of the day, drawing the warmth of the smoke deep into my lungs, stirring my body into life. At 05.50am it will be another few hours before my brain attempts to wake up and function normally.

Stepping off the curb onto the road, I nearly go over on my ankle, correcting myself at the last minute. I remind myself that the curbs here are all different sizes; some you can lightly step off, some are so high, you need a parachute to control your decent.

Walking to my pick up point, I take in my surroundings, Giant apartment blocks surround both sides of the street, entrapping the community below, blocking out sunlight but allowing the relentless wind to pass through.

Everything I see is drab, dead or dying. No colour or life is permitted to prosper in this street.

My lift is waiting for me. Jumping into the back I greet my fellow passengers and co-workers good morning. Today I’m lucky, they return the greeting. Normally it is just acknowledged with a nod of the head. After nearly 10 weeks of the same routine I can hardly blame them.

Reaching to my side for my seat belt, I panic, it’s not there. Today, the car supplied has had them removed. “Who needs seat belts” the driver says” I’m number one driver”. I doubt this, for Christ sake you can buy a licence here for less than a hundred bucks.

Just to relax me even more, my driver leans forward and kisses the religious beads that hang from his rear view mirror.

Setting off at a hundred miles an hour, we immediately bounce over three pot holes, which jar every bone in my body.

Nearing the turn at the top of a hill, the driver flings the steering wheel to the left as a car exits a side street, narrowly missing us with no lights on and proceeds to reverse down the road. A corrupt police officer parked opposite watches on in ignorance.

Once the car hits the highway I allow myself to relax a little, cars overtaking inside and outside, driving with no lights, and the constant beeping of horns tends to keep you a tad nervous.

Arriving at our destination, I exit the car, only another 70 days to go. Welcome to my world.

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Hope you enjoyed my short story which I wrote late last year. Will share others with you also.

Would appreciate any feedback.

Enjoy your week everyone.

Craig x

#IAMDBB, #massiveattack, #mavericksabre, #petshopboysftexample, #texasftmethodman, music and writing, Uncategorized

Writing Inspiration Part 3 – Writing and Music – My Current Top 5 Tracks when Working

 

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There is a long standing debate in the writing community as whether you should listen to music whilst your writing. Some are all for it and some totally disagree. Sure there is no hard and fast rule that must be obeyed and I’m in the middle with this theory.

Those who are in agreement with the music and writing collaboration working well together claim that the music promotes inspiration and enhances the mood of the writer. I can see the logic of this, I know that sometimes when I’m watching an epic movie, the soundtrack behind it if chosen correctly will conjure up all sorts of thoughts and memories. No one can argue that the music from Jaws does not provoke a sense of fear within them and will continue to do so no matter how many times they watch the movie. Listening to my favourite music in the car often causes the hairs on the back of my neck to stand up as it is so empowering to me as an individual.

My own personal thoughts on the matter is if a writer is fully immersed within his / her story, plotlines and characters then he / she will have already evoked all of the required senses and feelings required to do the story justice and if like me, he / she will already be living with the plot and characters fully embedded in their mind 24/7 during the whole writing process.

For me on my journey I have tried both options, writing with music and without music and I have to admit that I feel I write better without listening to music.

I like to write on a large table or desk with all my notes laid out in front of me and my chapter planner at hand. Before even starting to write I quickly jot down a list of what I want to achieve that day (What is the status at the start, what needs to change in the middle and  what needs to happen at the end I also note what do I intend to portray to the reader). Once all this is done it’s a quick refresh of the notes and Im off! I don’t like interruption or distraction though I can tolerate a small amount, I wont stop writing until I have achieved everything  identified on my list.

Music is a big NO NO for me when it comes to editing. I have to do this alone in total silence, first checking the text on my screen quickly rectifying any glaring errors and typos. After printing out the section I plan to edit, I read it out aloud, very slowly. This can be highly painstaking as it may take 2 or 3 attempts to satisfy me that everything is good and how I want it to sound. By this time, the print out is littered with numerous scribbles , notes and cross outs which I immediately transfer onto my laptop to make the last edits before saving.

Now one part of the book writing process where music does work for me is at the Planning Stage. I use an assortment  of playlists stored on my Spotify App and the type of music I select depends on what stage of the story I am planning. For example when planning a sad scene I will listen to something completely different than if I was planning a fight scene. Like I said at the beginning of the blog at this stage of the writing progress the correct music will inspire me and enhance my mood making me feel more in touch with my story. I can often be found strutting around or mincing around my apartment writing down snippets of ideas (not a nice thought).

Now at the end of my blog it seems that my statement of improved writing without music is correct but I do embrace music in my writing process. Hence that is why I sit on the fence on the whole debate of writing and music. Each to their own and if it works for them then that’s great.

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I have went through my Spotify playlists and have identified what music I have been working to for the past 2 month. It’s a bit of an odball list but I want to share my current top 5 musics tracks with you – My readers and my friends

No 1 Massive Attack – Unfinished Sympathy


No 2 – Texas ft Method Man – Say What you Want


No 3 Pet Shop Boys ft Example – Thursday


No 4 – IAMDDB – Running


No 5 – Maverick Sabre – Come Fly Away

 

Hope you have found this fun.

Till the next time

 

Craig x

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

Breaking News – Site Update

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Hi All,

Hope you all had a great weekend and that your Monday hasn’t beaten you just yet.

Just to announce that over the weekend I have further updated my website http://www.laughcryandwrite.com

After reading my Author Bio page I was shocked to discover how sad I had portrayed myself. Therefore I have taken the massive step of sharing more information on myself such as hobbies and interests (Scary thought) and added some further photographs and pictures to stop all my readers from falling asleep.

Small update on the book progress as well.

Please feel free to visit my site at your leisure. I would be grateful if you can send me your comments on the site and blogs so I can find out what you like or don’t like and identify what works for you – the valued reader.

Don’t forget to click on the Follow Me button to receive further updates and blogs.

As usual I will leave you with another inspirational quote.

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Have a great week everyone. See you all soon

Craig x

craigwrightson@laughcryandwrite.com

Author, Book update, Crime, Thriller, Uncategorized, Writing Inspiration

Writing Inspiration Part 2

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In one of my previous blogs I shared some information about a humorous tale that highlighted the fact that inspiration can and will appear unexpectedly and how as writers / story tellers we must learn to identify this moment and act upon it immediately before it is lost for good.

This incident which I am going to share with you is about being prepared to act, it also reinforces what I said in my Author Bio section of my website Laughcryandwrite.com about having the right tools at hand such as notebooks, post it notes, camera, dictaphone etc.

In one of the earlier chapters of my book I was introducing my second protagonist (in this case a local police detective) I wrote what I thought was a rather entertaining scene. In this scene my protagonist encounters a somewhat unique character. I wrote about this character with the intention that my readers would feel sorry for him. In this case he was caught up in something rather seedy and disgusting to say the least.

After reviewing this section of the story a number of times it just didn’t feel right to me. For my readers to truly identify with the character I felt they needed more depth in order to visualize him in his true glory by engaging all of their senses.

No matter how many times I rewrote the character description I just didn’t feel that I was giving the character and my readers the justice they deserved.

Honestly this took up most of writing schedule for a week and was slowly starting to drive me insane.

I knew I would be disappointed with myself I didn’t get this right, even though it is such a small part of the story. If I accepted second best now early in the story I was worried that I’d be tempted to do this again in other sections if I started struggling.

I always knew my first novel was going to be a learning curve for me anyway, so I was happy to keep chipping away at it confident in my writing ability.

For me it’s not about blasting out a story out as quick as possible, it’s about finishing a story knowing you have put your heart and soul into it, where I the writer am confident that the story is a good as it is ever going to be.

That Saturday I was a work and a colleague whom I had not seen for some time wandered into my office for a coffee and chat. I was engrossed doing something but the second I looked up from my desk I immediately thought ‘Here is my pervert.’

As I looked at him, everything I wanted to portray in my character jumped out at me. I half listened as he chatted away; concentrating instead on describing everything I could about him, noting his height, build, wacky hairstyle, walk and voice. I made a mental note of his facial expressions and all of his individual mannerisms.

The minute he left my office I put all of this down into my note book that I try to carry with me at all times and when I got home I had the character completed just as I wanted within twenty minutes. Result.

This just goes to show you even the slightest moment can trigger something. Be prepared to embrace every encounter and experience and utilize them in your story development.

I would just like to point out that my colleague who allowed me to visualize my character properly for the first time is in fact a very decent, down to earth guy and in no way a monster. He just happened to be in the right place at the right time. I won’t name my friend after my character assassination of him but thank you anyway. It does bring a smile to my face now every time I see him now as I can’t but help picturing him up to all sorts of seediness.

I’d like to finish this blog off by sharing my top 5 Stephen King quotes that I found both dark and thought inspiring.

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6834-Stephen-King-Quote-The-scariest-moment-is-always-just-before-you

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I hope you have all enjoyed this blog and I look forward to the next one.
Take Care
Craig x
craigwrightson@laughcryandwrite.com

Uncategorized

Writing Inspiration Quote

Typography Photo Instagram Post

For the full blog on writing inspiration please view https://laughcryandwrite.com/blog/

or even better

sign up to follow me on my Home page and receive regular updates

Thanks Craig x

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Book Update and Writing Inspiration Part 1

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Hi everyone.

As promised I’m sending out my book update for the week with an extra little piece added below that I’ve written for any aspiring writers out there.

This week has been good for me in the terms of productive writing. I originally planned a slow comeback after spending the past few weeks neglecting my writing.

Sadly I bottled out of my planned plot change. I was worried that after so many weeks of not really writing much that this would be too big of a step for me to complete correctly. My thinking was that if I ease myself in slowly with my writing at first, then hopefully everything will come together next week a lot more easily regarding the planned plot change. Fingers crossed.

Starting out the week I decided to deviate from my storyboard planner and write out of sync, something which I’ve never done before. I selected sections of my story that I felt comfortable with regardless of where they were located within the story and set myself away making some good progress.

I’m pleased to announce (and also quite chuffed) that I easily surpassed my daily word target of one thousand words and finished the week. Tomorrow night is editing and planing for next week.

By my own admission these words are well written and structured. This for me was a rewarding outcome.

In between my writing I have been researching for future chapters of my story. Frightingly this has found me looking at some very obscure topics such as wounds sustained by samurai swords (I hope that has got you all intrigued and pricked your curiosity).

For the last section of my book update I want to share with you an experience that happened to me this week. The sensible part of my brain is telling me to shut up and remain quiet but I believe it delivers a strong message.

Where I park my car is a ten minute walk to my apartment. Earlier this week I had just locked the car when I sensed I was going to need the toilet rather urgently. To prevent this from being an uncomfortable if not embarrassing walk home I started thinking about an unwritten chapter in my book. I just selected a chapter randomly and let it play out in my mind. Before I knew it I was back home. I raced through to the toilet stopping only to pick up my notepad. When I exited the toilet ten minutes later I had written down over 500 words and had clearly planned out the remaining part of the chapter.

Is this sad? – Definitely! Humorous? – Maybe a little!

This just shows that you never know when inspiration will strike and you should always make the effort to embrace it and not let it slip by.

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Writing Inspiration Part 1

Before I start I’d like share with you a very good inspirational quote for aspiring writers.

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I have stated on my website that I believe every person has a story to tell.

I’m sure that if you were to spend a quiet moment reflecting on your lives or even just your day there will be things you’ve witnessed or done, stories you’ve been told, people you’ve met and experiences that you’ve shared, that something will jump out at you making you think ‘hey that was cool / good / interesting / different etc.’.

Great. When they do…WRITE THEM DOWN!

There is nothing more rewarding than reading your own words. Don’t panic at the thought writing for the first time. By writing, I don’t mean setting off with a full blown novel or Biography. Write in a style that suits you right now. Whether it is simple notes or bullet points, key or memorable words, single page essays or a short story, find the style that suits and just stick with it for the time being until you feel more confident to progress.

Also don’t worry about minor things like poor spelling and grammar. These can all be addressed easily at a later stage. As you develop as writer / story teller things like your writing style and prose will all improve through time. Right now the main thing is for you just to get your words out there and for you take notice and appreciate how good you actually are and how rewarding it feels to see your own words written for the very first time. Try it I am sure you will be shocked by the results.

Hey! Just an idea. Why don’t you try this?

Think about today. Find one thing that made you laugh, smile, cry or angry and write it down from your own point of view. This is an easy exercise to start with. Don’t look to write word upon word. Keep it simple and write until you think that you have covered everything you need to in order to portray your story correctly.

If after reading this Blog anyone is encouraged to write and participate in my little writing exercise I suggested please share your thoughts and views with me on the comments section of my webpage. I’d love to hear how you got on.

If this blog can inspire just one person to pick up a pen and paper or open up their laptop and type away then it will have been worth it.

Finely I’d like to share the first Pinterest Pin that got me motivated to start out into my journey. Try it. I’m confident that in no time at all you will have progressed from point one and will be pushing yourself further up to point eight.

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Thanks for reading this.

Enjoy your weekend and see you next time.

Craig x

Craigwrightson@laughcryandwrite.com

Uncategorized

Site Update

Hi everyone. Please don’t worry I don’t intended to inundate you with blogs every day. After this one I will be concentrating on completing A Step Into Darkness.

I Just wanted to inform everyone that tonight I finished the website Laughcryandwrite.com and that everything should be operating smoothly.

I have added a contact section for you to get in touch with me but also more importantly I have completed the book update page (the whole purpose of the site), where you can find a brief synopsis of the story and my progress.

If you visit my site and like could you please sign up to follow and share on my behalf. Many thanks to everyone who has joined already.

Feedback so far has been greater than expected and I’ve already had hits as far away as South Africa, United States, European Union as well as from the UK and Azerbaijan.

Well thanks again and have a great week.

Craig x

Uncategorized

Easter Greetings

Happy Easter everyone especially my family and friends in the UK. I hope you all have a chocalicious day.

No chocolate for me so far but I did receive a welcomed skype call from my kids who excitedly told me every single detail of their Easter Egg Hunt….of course I was not jealous in the slightest.

Easter is not celebrated until next week in Azerbaijan but today is an important day for them and I went of to church this morning to see the difference. Was a very humbling experience and discovered a tradition that I really liked and thought I’d share.

Today is Palm Sunday but I was informed they call it Willow Sunday for the reason below.

The streets lining the church and the church itself were lined with flower sellers.

The tradition here goes something like this.

When Jesus arrived in Jerusalem he was welcomed with Palm Leaves. In Russia where Orthodox Christians don’t grow Palm Trees they celebrate with branches from a Willow Tree. These are bought and taken home for one year where they believe the Willow branch will protect thier home. After one year the branches are laid at the graves of thier loved ones and a new Willow branch is bought again to continue the cycle. Due to the history of the two countries this practice has also been introduced to Azerbaijan.

What a wonderful tradition this is and one I could really respect.

These were the other flowers for sale which are the first flowers of spring and bought for decoration.

Hope you enjoyed.

For me it’s back to the book. Planning a major plot change that I have been avoiding but plan to ace it tomorrow night.

Take care everyone x