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.

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

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