November 2014 – Midnight Freight

The ghost have been blown away on the wind, the bats are back in their roosts, the vampires are safely stowed away in their coffins and the skellingtons have been packed back into their closets. Now it is November, a time of flame, fireworks and dangerously large amounts of writing. Yes, once again NaNoWriMo rears its bestial and hoary head from the wordy loam in which it has slumbered. It has let outs its keening howl to call writers to arms. It is a call which I have once again responded with: “No! Not again! You can’t make me!” Once is enough. I turned my will upon the task and triumphed once. never again, I am not strong enough to survive another attempt and the looming spectre of possible failure.

That is not to say I won’t be writing in November, I am always writing. It is required. It is mandatory. The Pictonaut Challenge is so much easier to manage, and requires a much, much smaller investment of time. Should you feel that NaNoWriMo might be just a little bit too arduous a task, then you should join me, join me in exploring the wonders and mysteries of “Midnight Freight.

39 - Nov 2014 - Midnight Freight

This month’s image is by Swedish artist Simon Stålenhag, and is titled “Gaussfraktarna.” Stålenhag’s work tends to focus around robots, mechs and dinosaurs combined with the everyday, giving charming pieces which make these wonders look commonplace and almost ordinary.

We have two people meeting in a dimly lit car park, against the back drop of a distant city and three massive hover-ships. Does it put you in mind of a clandestine conspiracy? Or do you wonder what cargo those ships carry? Are you filled with thoughts of friendships and the minutiae of socialising? Or is your eye drawn to the back of what looks like an old Saab 900? There are many opportunities, many angles.

This month’s wordascope holds the rare distinction of being finished before time, as opposed to in a mad dash the night before the month ends. By the standards of some of my pieces over the last few years it is quite short, clocking in at just over 830 words. But I said everything I wanted to say and did everything I wanted to do, so I saw no reason to pad it out just for the sake of it. The story is broadly in the sci-fi vein, but it’s mostly background window-dressing to the interactions of the two characters that appear in it. While writing it I took a sudden and unexpected swerve into the realm of romance (an area which I do not frequently explore) and just ran with it. It’s also my first tangling with a same-sex couple. When there is an opportunity to include diversity, it should be embraced, not shied away from. I’m just hoping I haven’t accidentally done anything super offensive or represented any sub-set of society in an unfair light. I had a friend of mine proofread it just to be safe. I’m told it’s all fine and good. But you know what paranoia is like don’t you? You do? How do you know?! WHO TOLD YOU?!

The Rogue Verbumancer – Shipping out

James Clayton – Pink Slip, Marigold War <Edit: Added 20th Jan 2015>


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