A Grandads Journal, Book update, Craig's Blog, From The Toon To The Trenches, short story, Uncategorized, WW1 Journal

A New Year – A New Challange – Exciting Update – WW1 Journal from 100 Years Ago

lest we forgetHi Everyone,

I trust you all had a fantastic Christmas and I wish you all the very best for 2019.

Last year was a real turning point for me and my writing. I completed my first ever draft, set up this website, completed my Writing Course and produced a few short stories.

2019 is going to be even greater for me and my writing. I hope to improve with my writing style with experience and I have just sat down and planned out my whole writing schedule for the year, which I am going to monitor my progress against.

For 2019 my main plans are to complete the final re-write of ‘A Step into Darkness’ ready for returning to the Editor for review. I plan to complete the 1st draft of my second novel ‘A Silent Scream’. I am looking to self-publish a compilation of Horror stories in time for Halloween and I’m going to prepare and hopefully complete NaNoWriMo in November which will set me up lovely for my third novel.

Exciting Update

Back in November 2018, a close friend sent me a copy of his Grandad’s Journal from the 1st World War. It had been discovered by his cousin 100 years later. The reason my friend sent me the Journal was two-fold:

  1. He knew of my passion for all things related to WW1 and WW2.
  2. He knew I was a writer.

After reading the story two or three times I sensed that there was a real story crying out to be told. A one of heroism, courage and of the barbarity of life in the trenches during that time.

After gaining permission from the family, I have been working over the festive period, tinkering here and there, formatting, editing and adding some missing information.

This is now all complete and the Journal has been self-published on Amazon in the Kindle format under the title ‘From the Toon to the Trenches.’

The short story will be priced at 1.99p with all sales being donated to the British Legion.

For me, it as a wonderful read, sometimes shocking and occasionally humorous and I ask you all to have a look and share the word.

The link to buy from Amazon is:-

 

I am immensely proud to have been chosen to assist in the sharing of this forgotten Journal.

As always I wish you all happiness and I will update you soon with the progress of my work.

One Love

Craig

P.S. Please share as much as possible and encourage everyone to sign up to my website.

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

A Step into Darkness September Update

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

June Book Update – Craig Wrightson

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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.

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

Book Update -A Step into Darkness – Teaser 1

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The first ambulance left the scene with  lights flashing and siren blazing, desperately weaving a safe route through the crowded street.  At the end of the road the ambulance turned left, immediately speeding up onto the dual carriageway, making its way as fast as possible to the nearby General hospital.

The second ambulance however did not leave the street to the same fanfare as the first. No lights flashed and no sirens sounded. The ambulance left the scene under a sombre atmosphere. The gathered crowds silenced and lowered their heads respectfully, stepping to one side to allow it to pass.

No one in the street knew who was in the second ambulance, but they all secretly prayed that it was Gary Jackson.

Sadly the second ambulance contained Faye Jackson.

Her body at the age of twenty two was so severely savaged and abused, that in the days to come; her own mother would struggle to identify her.

Despite attempts to save her at the scene Faye Jackson had died minutes after the arrival of the ambulance.

Now unconscious, Gary was blissfully unaware of her passing.

#

Hi everyone. Hope you all enjoyed that little snippet from A Step into Darkness. Any comments would be greatly appreciated

Going back to UK tomorrow for 3 weeks so wont be able to write much, however plan to do a lot of editing and research in-between drinking copious amounts of good white wine and nibbling on French cheese and pate which are the things I miss the most from England when I’m in Baku.

Not certain but I’m hoping to make an announcement on my return…. Nothing major… well for me it is…so don’t get to excited ha-ha.

As always Id like to leave you with an inspirational quote.

the first step quote)

Thanks everyone and take care.

Until next time

Craig x

 

 

 

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

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

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