Thursday, March 31, 2016

My Targets in 2016

My Targets in 2016

In December 2015 I decided to try and write ONE MILLION WORDS by the end of 2016.

I wanted the personal challenge, I wanted to find out what was possible, I wanted to be an example to Boot Campers and anyone else who might take an interest.

I started December 7th 2015 and in December wrote 86,667 words at an average of 3,467 words per day. January started with a rush but then in the last third of the month I wrote


and I felt something was wrong. February was a disaster and I wrote less than 20,000 words in 27 days but managed a "save" with 11,000 for the last two days.

I had been quite ill for 6 weeks but now, today, the last day of March, I am a few hundred words short of writing 140,000 words for the month.

My total is now 341,359 words and I am scheduled to reach the 1,000,000 mark some time in November.

113 Flashes
054 Poems
039 Stories

Many articles, lots of writing about writing (and this process)

It is really tough. I have sore eyes, sore fingers. I have to go for walks and go to the gym every day to make sure my body doesn't seize up. I've lost weight.

But I'm showing myself what can be done, and there is NO FALL OFF IN QUALITY.

Far from it. When I am in the zone the quality INCREASES. I have written already, the equivalent of 3-4 novels, a few books of shorts, and the standard remains close to my best.

Always aim higher.
March Prompts 6926-6950
Thursday, March 31st, 07:15

6926 This is the last time, or the time but one
6927 We are almost there, but now be there dragons
6928 The clouds that still remain
6929 Will you enter the caves with me?
6930 It is a washed-out town, colours drained to grey

6931 You, skin electric-tight, breathless
6933 The city calls down the bomb
6934 You’re having a bad time?
6935 What is over the next hill, or “What’s in the fridge?”

6936 You make a choice. The important thing is deciding.
6937 And in your mouth, a foulness
6939 The Bayonet-Polisher’s Apprentice
6940 This is what dying feels like, a disappointment

6941 It was too delicate, a dream, light smoke
6943 When once the world was so much larger
6945 But not the children from the terraces

6946 The machines chug outside, eating garbage
6947 A bowl of fresh strawberries, a little too much cream
6948 Let me do this. I got this.
6949 Picnic

6950 Those of you who do not sleep, attend!

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

March Prompts 6901-6925
Wednesday, March 30th, 08:30

6901 Why the oldest friends should never sleep together
6902 There is something vulgar about all this
6903 A kind of Karma, or God balancing out
6904 But, by chance, not Kokura. Think about that.
6905 Orange Juice for Nana, but Nana sleeps

6906 The cyanide secreted in his vest
6907 Three bluebells, plucked by a child
6908 Commit this to forgetting.
6909 The All-Clear Sounds on a cloudless day
6910 There is nothing of note here

6911 North-West of Iwo Jima
6912 Stare at a dark ceiling. Do not close your eyes
6913 Press, then withdraw promptly. DO NOT RUN
6914 Let’s waste time, do more of nothing slowly
6915 Above, cold stars, here clouds, below flimsy buildings

6916 In case of problems they will divert 
6917 Make Love. Fuck. But copulate?
6918 We could try singing?
6919 It is a long dark tunnel. You will need to be resolute
6920 Men will doubt you, but so will dogs.

6921 Remove the plug marked “DO NOT REMOVE”.
6922 The sweetness of the small things
6923 Hyacinths.
6924 The moon is not interested
6925 A small white bird, God choosing

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

March Prompts 6876-6900
Tuesday, March 29th, 07:30

6876 Imagine if you stopped me. Whose victory would that be?
6877 The gleam, the smell, the air of the right three words
6878 April Fools
6879 The sun through my window, glory rising
6880 Whatever you do, don’t lie in today.

6881 Nevertheless, I went. I do not regret it
6882 If this is how it is, we must endure it
6883 Just Don’t Do It!
6884 And what if they succeed, the children of the damned?
6885 What would Jesus have done?

6886 It wasn’t what I had imagined, but it was OK
6887 I suggest you exit forthwith, Sir
6888 Cheques and Balances
6889 The most beautiful, beautiful, home-made chicken soup
6890 Imagine you were a nice person. What would you do then?

6891 This isn’t death, but it is a kind of death
6892 There are other ways this could be, be not narrow in your thoughts
6893 Pocohontas
6894 A thin layer of leaked thoughts on the bedroom floor
6895 Hearts to not creep, they bound even off a cliff

6896 Listen! Someone, somewhere is trying to help you
6897 I saw old people, one a former wife
6898 SHARP!
6899 She talks out of the corners of her eyes

6900 Leave the bottle, shower, sleep

Monday, March 28, 2016

March Prompts 6851-6875
Monday, March 28th, 06:20

6851 Let’s start afresh, deep breath, head up, forward!
6852 I wake up, still not knowing
6853 Costa Encounter
6854 Maybe fifty years ago, when I was 79
6855 Something Churchillian, Bull Baffles Brains

6856 Before we were lost, this was beautiful
6857 The Clapham Omnibus
6858 Twats in sunglasses and Hawaiian shirts
6859 I have friends from Tibet, but none living there
6860 The wind whistles round the house

6861 The fire has gone out
6862 The dark deep rumbles of the gut
6863 The obscene cost of every square foot
6864 That’s the thing with sound effects
6865 For Spring and Summer, Winter

6866 We are on a runaway train. This doesn’t end well
6867 Confucius, he say
6868 The memory is too strong, too bright
6869 Newcastle Brown
6870 Certain noises gave her migraines. She hated the sound of chewing

6871 Let’s just whisper that we are done and drink our coffee
6972 I have dreamt of the wrong things
6874 This is the only poem that matters

6875 This is not the end, or the beginning of the end

Saturday, March 26, 2016

March Prompts 6826-6850
Saturday, March 26th, 14:00

6826 England Awaits.
6827 The Joy of Sacks
6828 Various incidents in Delhi
6829 The Great wall of Texas
6830 I’m sorry. I know I’m rushing, but…

6831 Mary Mary Quite Contrary
6832 The Chinese girl I almost loved
6833 Prozac Central.
6834 When you meet someone who met someone
6835 Under a Coolabah Tree

6836 Beatles, Stones, Simon & Garfunkel…
6837 Complete, unadulterated, honest
6838 Fucking Kangaroos
6839 I was thinking about Churchill. He was fat.
6840 It all is building to a cracking finish

6841 As he said, like a patient on a table
6842 Play an anthem, salute the fucking flag
6843 In Lanzarote, I believe
6844 Sometimes there is something missing
6845 What she keeps in her old brown tin

6846 Ma-Ma, Hu-Hu
6847 It sounds better in Chinese
6848 Second is better but first is OK
6849 PLUM

6850 Play something that surprises me
March Prompts 6801-6825
Saturday, March 26th, 06:05

6801 There will be a great silence, sound only imagined
6802 Devils Birds, the cries of fruit
6803 The dogs sense this
6804 I am old, but I am not waiting
6805 I am not expressing myself that well

6806 The gas fire sputters
6807 You must hold something real, feel the heft of things
6808 As the plane was crashing the farmer was thinking of his crops
6809 No, it is worse
6810 I have this overwhelming urge to close my eyes

6811 My son is arguing: these are the best times
6812 Mary is making toast
6813 Pillow, Blood
6814 There are windows open all over the world, music
6815 I am on the floor and they won’t let me up

6816 They have taken so much away and replaced it with bad jokes and music
6817 Hammer, Nail, Ointment
6818 It is more, far more than your statistics
6819 I know what I know, not how to say it
6820 Nye Bevan, Foot, Benn

6821 Do you really believe that shinier means better
6822 I feel devoid of the weight of what should matter
6823 This rash, these headaches, are real
6824 Show me something amazing
6825 When in 1947 they said, “No matter what, it shall come about.”

Friday, March 25, 2016

March Prompts 6776-6800
Friday, March 25th, 16:35

6776 I think it is time for one of us to sleep
6777 They are coming. There is nothing you can do.
6778 Popular Mechanics
6779 We were lovers. We just didn’t have sex
6780 A Good Day in the Field

6781 The graph is slowly downwards and so am I
6782 A dark against the candles
6783 The History of the British Empire
6785 If I liked you, Sir, I’d be pleased to see you.

6786 Try this. If you don’t like it there’s no downside
6787 Beano
6788 Every spring they painted the house the pink of their cherry-blossom
6789 A dark old dog, limping
6780 In 1953, there was a great gale.

6791 No, that’s one place I have never been
6792 The Eagle
6793 Imagine it’s 2016. Try.
6794 When the water breaks upon the shingle 
6795 There is something dark here. I cannot stay

6796 Hold me. Let me imagine what it’s like to be loved.
6797 Exchange & Mart
6798 We both have pain but your will end
6799 Let me make some tea and then we’ll talk

6800 If I should be buried in a sunken ship

March Prompts 6726-6750
Friday, March 25th, 06:15

6751 For a change, let us start at the beginning
6752 Today the cross would be recyclable
6753 Between these things there is love and slaughter
6754 My feet are hot, my eyes and cheeks are burning
6755 This time we will finish at the end

6756 You may be dying in a fire
6757 Jesus’s Sister Amanda
6758 Here in the fiction mine, working with goblins
6759 Or maybe crack a joke, or say, “Did you hear that?”
6760 When the customers are the same as yesterday, and so are you

6761 “The Devil has all the best tunes”
6762 The Imperious Machine
6763 A woman who lives in the forest, shits behinds trees
6764 You will have to dig to find the writer, hopefully alive
6765 Men of Harlech

6766 Name that Tune!
6767 How the numbers fall and rise again, and fall
6768 You may think words are just word
6769 I ache, wife.
6770 The bombers last remarks. Are they silent in the taxi

6771 Hi, this is me, your second victim
6772 What we spoke of earlier
6773 You might be a poet but you won’t wake up a poet
6774 Your alternate world where you are dead and live of old age

6775 We have been activated a day or two early

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

March Prompts 6701-6725

Wednesday, March 23rd, 19:35

6701 Whenever, wherever 
6702 Venus, bright as a distant planet
6703 It is what it is
6704 The view from the mountain is not the valley
6705 Play some old sad songs

6706 Keep Calm and throw out your Keep Calm Posters
6707 Not defeated, never cowed
6708 The night dies at 03:30
6709 Banana Moon
6710 There may be something coming

6711 Oh, love, and you so far away…
6712 JOY!
6713 Fat yes, but not as fat
6714 We go on, limping
6715 She had walked into a door. Called Frank

6716 She bent down to tie her shoelace
6718 I need a cheap room, as dirty as possible
6719 Eurovision, the cultural Icon
6720 Unwashed knives, crust forks and a rancid spoon

6721 My lover is worn out. May I borrow yours?
6722 There is more to come
6723 It’s not the cough that carries you off
6724 Insensitive Care

6725 Coughing into a bucket
March Prompts 6651-6675

Wednesday, March 23rd, 07:45

6651 My mirror talks, no biggie
6652 We are doing our best here, Sir!
6653 Pale nights, a TV buzzing, old soul records
6654 I exclaim. Because I can! Twice!!
6655 Hey why don’t we order a take-away poem?

6656 It has come to my attention
6657 Workmen in the street
6658 Fuck This. Fuck That. In fact fuck fucking.
6659 Walls lined with skin, art so dark like the Devil’s Diary
6660 Bring it on! (But not ‘till next week…)

6661 I should buy right new bedding and a few loud CDs
6662 Tea. TEA. TEA!
6663 Brought up by wolves, but later barbarians
6664 I have a seat at the head of the table
6665 I was twenty-one, she nineteen

6666 The axe swings. So?
6667 A high-chair once
6668 It will be eight o’clock, soon. What then?
6669 Will you be my lover?
6670 When the faintest whiff of tweed or “snowing down south”

6671 The Executioner plays with his children
6672 I have no use of this. Do you want it?
6673 Under the castle, water
6674 One day I was on patrol, when in aisle 17, I…

6675 This, I should counsel you, would be ill-advised

Monday, March 21, 2016

March Prompts 6601-6625

Monday, March 21st, 16:37

6601 For every flower, a worm
6602 What sounds a little like music, drifting in the trees
6603 A quiet, leafy island, a small shingle beach
6604  A heart, a firm hand, time for each other
6605 This is a little too solemn for me

6606 Queen of our alley for sure
6607 I’m broke, but I can knock you off a poem…
6608 Just kids running, voices like bells
6609 That “tread softly” thingee
6610 Back before I’d ever had a broken heart

6611 He came towards us, a huge setting sun at his back
6612 DIXIE
6613 One of us to die, one of us to choose
6614 MARIA
6615 Aw, lovey, run it under a tap

6616 I’m going to fuck off and build a cabin on an island
6617 His old brown shoes, his old brown dog
6618 When you are middle-aged and turning fat
6619 I am ready!
6620 I am just trying to stay dry, that’s all

6621 Let me call you brother. Let me feed you.
6623 The Mad Flannery O’Driscoll
6624 WILL! DUCK!
6625 When the car is still shiny


March Prompts 6576-6600

Monday, March 21st, 06:17

6576 Walking there, towards gold windows, possibility
6577 A mug of hot, sweet, tea
6578 Like the snow disappearing from the hills
6579 When the ambulance waits by the cliffs
6580 The air in my chest at the gates

6581 How can I deny it any longer?
6582 Hubble Fucking Bubble
6583 A quiver of rough arrows on my back
6584 He came across as real, a man, no spin, just a man
6585 No, I’m just tidying up a bit

6586 It’s that way! Start swimming!
6587 The Fool is the luckiest man
6588 I am slowly disappearing
6589 Does “cunning” come from…?
6590 I am jealous of myself

6591 You’re dressed to the eyeballs, to go shopping?
6592 A small boat, a huge ocean, a big heart
6593 If you go, I’ll go
6594 Love hot, death cold, the first does not last like the latter.
6595 As we near the end the road gets steeper

6596 The lines and circles, the space between
6597 This will do
6598 The clock is ticking, the water runs out
6599 The politics we don’t see, dictators in pairs
6600 Owl, Bat, Toad, You.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

March Prompts 6551-6575

Sunday, March 20th, 09:12

6551 We should open with something beautiful
6552 When it’s too cold for poetry
6553 Spanner
6554 The Zen of Shitting
6555 What will you do? What will you do?

6556 Now be patient. Plants. Will. Grow.
6557 We may dispense with profit for the good of our society
6558 Four miles at nigh across dark bogs
6559 If there must be painful times, disperse them
6560 I have heard your species mates for life

6561 A dozen messages, pended by the machine
6562 The Magic of Waitrose
6563 Do not wait for the bugler. Rise up and he will follow!
6564 Egg White for the glaze
6565 That is not your book. This is your book

6566 I hear the click of the bathroom door
6567 Sleep’s borders are different in the day
6568 We step out into the dark, or heads into the mouth of the lion
6569 Cinnamon!
6570 I am sorry. I feel weak this morning

6571 A small shudder as my core shifts
6572 No exclamation marks! Are you kidding?!!!
6573 The sorrow is about what might have been, not what was lost
6574 Something soft, a sleeping baby of an idea

6575 Imagine! Milton Keynes!

Friday, March 18, 2016

March Prompts 6526-6550

Friday, March 18th, 07:17

6526 It is hard to find romance here; not impossible
6527 And I would float upon your oceans
6528 Colours to make a man cry
6529 As the lovers step from the trees, buzzing softly
6530 I should start a huge project and throw myself in

6531 I close the door slowly
6532 When the Barrista barrists
6533 Children looking for eggs
6534 A white-white, a black impossibly black
6535 I came at words differently then

6536 Just once, for the experience
6537 I am old, my house is old, my thoughts are old
6538 In that amazing ‘plane, weightless, different
6539 Joe, not that young, one of those who saw the meteor
6540 I the view to your liking or should I change it?

6541 British Bulldog, the way the Scout Leaders liked to tumble
6542 It is a good day for killing
6543 Can I borrow your tomorrow? I have extra days next month
6544 The skill of egg-blowing
6545 There is something angelic, magical about fog

6546 After the Scout Party, in a Sweet-shop
6547 It is after sunset, the time God likes to show off
6548 Musical chairs, the impossible moments sitting on a lap
6549 How we cut down trees and sold the wood
6550 This could be good, better than good.