Lost inspiration

OK, I’m not really at that point. It’s just half five in the morning and too tired to create but too tense to relax and stay in bed. 2014 is turning out to be a struggle. My father in law died suddenly on Saturday evening. My mother in law is in hospital having collapsed yesterday with all the stress. So we were up there all yesterday and need to go up again tomorrow to see the undertakers. My mother is ill with shingles and we are visiting her today. I’m unhappy at work, my relocation is a disaster.

Also, I published my latest book on Monday, my first on Amazon. I would have published it on Friday night or Saturday, but the US tax corms wouldn’t download so even though my book was uploaded and apparently passed the criteria, they wouldn’t publish it until the tax forms were available. This will probably be my last Amazon book. With everything else going on I can’t even be arsed to do the publicity that I need to do.

Anyway, on one of my Facebook groups, Writer’s Chest, someone was saying they had a contest to enter but had run out of ideas for stories. Well, I thought, I’ve got them coming out of my ears, too many to work on at once. This is a sample of my WIP and other ideas not even started yet.

Jake and Gill
“Jake and Gill” is a romance between two people who have worked in the same bank for 12 years but in different areas, she a rising star in management, he worked in the copy shop. He noticed her first, but she was married, she even brought her children into work in emergencies, who Jake happily looked after. Now Jake is a mystery, he doesn’t want to move from the copy shop even when Gill offers him a job, his department appears bullet proof even though Gill thinks the bank would make savings if they did the copying themselves rather than sub contract to Jake’s company, which appears to have a network of in-house copy shops throughout the financial and business sector. Everyone uses Jake for advice, which is why Gill is there in the first place, everyone says Jake has the answers. He does and takes Gill and her teenagers rambling, when they are not with Gill’s divorced husband, then fell walking (this is where my inspiration for the story started, Jake & Gill went up the hill), camping. Gill falls in love, but Jake doesn’t seem to respond. Circumstances lead her back to her ex-, but Jake is aware of her partner’s swindling scheme and things come to a head. About a third written novella, 10k so far, my current project.

Aunt Marina
This is my next novel, abandoned about a year ago and barely touched until tinkered with recently. About 40k written and I intend treating it like NaNoWriMo and slog out 1500 words a day for three or four weeks, then a couple of months editing. About a 49yo spinster who is perpetual aunt to her siblings’ children, who has just been made redundant. She sees her old beau on the local news, who she has not seen in 33 years. The only man she has loved, who date raped her and gave her a child who was stillborn. She wants revenge and plots to kill him. When they face each other he recognises her and takes her in, following a snow storm which strands, seems unfazed by her presence and ignores the rape. His daughter takes a shine to her and eventually confesses that she was drugged and gang-raped and pregnant and needs Aunt Marina to tell her father. Earlier, Marina had already agreed to do the same task for her niece. History seems to be repeating itself. Actually, the story is a lot more light hearted and humourous than the skeletal outlines seem to indicate!

The Tunnel
This is my vampire/werewolf genre story, another novella, about a quarter written, 6k so far. An ancient race, rather like the Neanderthals, have lived at the same spot for 20000 years, intermarrying with the humans, waiting in case a buried alien ship should ever break free. The race and aliens share a symbiotic relationship, basically as slaves to bring prey to the aliens. Their presence, plus the appearance of the moon, triggers a reaction and the Neanderthals become werewolves. Centuries ago the slaves rebelled and the aliens retreated to their ship to sleep until erosion exposes the ship again and the vampires can rise. The werewolves wait, their genes enabling their descendants to become the antidote to the infestation. But have they become too diluted? Now the building of the road tunnel through the hill which was thrown up during the ship’s impact, next to the entry crater, begins to stir the aliens and people working in the tunnel start to disappear…. Essentially a love story between two people who are attracted to one another but he is committed to the task of protecting humanity and she has obligations to her family to marry someone dorm her own station.

Breeze
Another genre departure for me. This is a YA fantasy about spirits, Mother Earth, mythology, gods and immortals. Basically about a child born of an illicit union between the daughter of the supreme leader of the pantheon of gods and our very own sun. Evil is at work too, to grab the child for their own nefarious motives, but in the battle she is lost. Rescued by a childless human couple, they adopt her. Followers of ancient religions recognise the child for what rather than who she is and take steps to hide her in plain sight, using their influence to legalise her human birth. Set in the West Country on the edge of Dartmoor, and full of great characters, like little Eddie, a lost wind sprite with ambitions to become a hurricane, Old Mother Mars whom Mother Earth tolerates living in semi-retirement, Toby a Londoner from a deprived background who is about Breeze’s age, Will o’ The Wisp, an agent of the Dark Lord who causes mischief and threatens to expose her, a demented headmaster, a female curate who is also an adherent of the occult and therefore a friend, plus a cast of other characters. I feel very positive about this theme but need to come up with more stories as at the moment I just have a lot of disjointed interludes plus a beginning and an end. It’s the middle bit that is bothering me at the moment. About 30k written.

Santa’s Gloves and I Dream of Santa
Are two Christmas short stories which I need to do for later in the year. The first is about a pair of magic gloves that gives the wearer, who inherited them from his estranged father, seven years of good luck, abilities to make or repair anything and enable him to know how nice people really are. However, an evil wizard who pretended to be one of Santa’s elves for centuries waiting for the chance to steal the gloves, wants them back.

In the other story a single girl in her late twenties has dreamed of Santa every year, so vividly she could almost touch him. He seemed to be appearing earlier and earlier each year but this was the final straw, on the last night of November! Then she realises that she first saw him on Christmas Eve 25 years ago when she was only 3, is it possible that there is a pattern to this and, if so, what does it mean? On her way home to her parents for Christmas, she breaks down in the middle of nowhere and the tow-truck driver seems awfully familiar….

Hitch
This another novel started and stuttered about 12k in. Involves a grizzled old Traffic Officer who picks up a sweet young Portuguese day nurse in a country lane and drops her off at the mansion where she looks after the child of a heavily pregnant housewife. He looks out for her every morning and gives her a lift, for no other reason than to protect her from an accident. Then one day she is upset, the rich owner is forcing her to have sex and finds she has missed her period. She tells him he has done this with other nurses who have left. She has been unable to leave as he holds some power over her. Angry, the Officer storms into the house to “sort him out”. Unbeknown to him, the heavily pregnant wife is the daughter of a Cabinet Minister who has received threats both to him and his family; therefore she is armed and when this huge man enters her bedroom and starts beating up her husband, resorts to emptying the contents of a revolver into him. Badly injured and with the girl doing a runner (she is Brazilian and working with forged papers), everyone believes he and the girl were either part of a larger plot or are lovers. He is tried and sent to prison and his wife divorces him. After the trial, the meat wagon taking him to the Isle of Wight crashes and he escapes. He works in a cafe for a while and gets the idea for revenge and getting his life back. Still awaiting ideas for that middle section. I have the ending though, well two endings, just not sure which way to go.

The Extra
This is a romance of which I’ve only written 4000 words. Set in a British TV soap “High Street”, where a middle age extra cum stage hand slowly but steadily (also somewhat reluctantly) falls in love with one of the stars, who has been on the show since she was a child. He had previously worked as an extra on a long-running soap in LA, before coming back to England after an explosive incident with an actor who was his actress wife’s lover. Among minor movie walk-ons, he appears for a very short run as an extra in the “High Street” show, but becomes very friendly with a carpenter and joiner who sets scenes in a furniture store around which much of the show revolves. The Extra started out as a cabinet maker before catching the film bug. The girl has just returned to the show after a sabbatical on her first Hollywood feature film. Coincidently, with the actor who was once the Extra’s wife’s lover. The Extra meets her in hospital visiting his furniture-making friend who is out of action for a few weeks and the Extra is the only one who can fill in for him. Only once on the set does the realise the girl he was attracted to in spite of himself isn’t the set dresser that he assumed she was but the biggest star on the show who is about to be given a major role with an on-screen romance with the son on the furniture store boss. All the fans of the show are expecting a Christmas wedding at least. Now his new girlfriend has to play love scenes on the show with an actor who boasts he always beds his leading ladies. This is too much like deja vu for the Extra. Also, out of the blue, his daughter, who is a similar age to the girlfriend, shows up from LA to complicate matters.

Planetfall
My futuristic sci-fi adventure, where a freed political prisoner is forced to guide a set of criminals to a hidden treasury. The ex-prisoner, once son of a duke, was trained to mind-merge with an alien species which enables worm holes to be created, essential for space travel. This is an art which was almost lost in the rebel revolution which destroyed the ruling classes that controlled trade. The rebels had embedded programmed consorts among the rulers as concubines, consorts or even Duchesses where they could, who could be triggered to kill off the heads of state simultaneously across the universe. Now the known universe is broken up into fiefdoms of petty warlords. Also on board is the financial backer of the venture, Selina, a professional consort, whose clients are mainly warlords. She wants to break free of what is in effect a form of slavery. Unbeknown to her partners in crime, she is the half-sister of the Duke’s son, daughter of the assassin who slaughtered his father, mother and siblings and also a legitimate daughter of the Emperor. While rebels broke the resistance of the titled classes, they could not hold the empire together as warlords quarrelled.
The ex-prisoner, the duke’s son, in turn had killed Selina’s mother, too late though to save his family or himself from penal servitude. He only survived because the planet’s treasury was empty and it was hoped the son would break and tell his new lord its whereabouts. But further rebellions ousted the new lord and eventually the duke’s son was lost in the penal system until Selina found him.
Once the treasury is found, though, will come the reckoning, the criminals will want to kill both Selina and the prisoner, although they do not know of her assassin training. Then she wants revenge for the prisoner killing her mother, and she has been trained from birth to be both consort and killer. She hopes the treasury will fund an uprising by loyalists and, as the old Emperor’s only surviving daughter, become Empress. The prisoner just wants to survive.

Porterhouse Pete
14k written so far about a not-very-bright night-club bouncer who ends up in hospital on Christmas Eve. Homeless, under threat of spending Christmas in the cells, the emergency doctor, new to the area, takes him home, just until the holidays are over, ignoring the warnings from people who know his reputation. That same night, his former girlfriend, a well-known celebrity comes home from Paris having caught her director husband in bed with another man. Next morning, Christmas Day, the doctor persuades Pete to take a present round to his daughter. Also he starts to work improving her rambling rundown house, which was once the old Porterhouse Restaurant, which Pete’s father used to run. On the beach that day Pete meets his girlfriend’s mother who invites Pete, his daughter, the daughter’s mother and the doctor for tea. Then the press arrive on a tip off.

Unfinished Business
A retired hooker, Shamirah, returns to her old still-unsold flat do one last trick for an old client, one who she declares to Max is special to her, and not seen for five years. Max, her long-term bodyguard, has loved her unreservedly, is incensed by her decision and declares to himself that this is his last time, he has finished with this business. She is also in love with her bodyguard, too but believes he could not possibly love her as he is an honourable man. She does not love the client but, unbeknown to him, he is the father of her teenage daughter and she feels there is unfinished business with him; should she tell him or not? Should she tell her daughter, even allow them to meet? She is not aware that her client is a British secret agent, licensed to kill, recently released from a foreign prison. He is still undergoing debrief but knows because of his extreme psychopathic profile he will be retired at the end of it, thereby revoking his license. He has always killed his former lovers, due to his tortured mind requiring closure, so with Shamirah he also has unfinished business. Meanwhile, her husband, who mistreated her years earlier and used her as a sex incentive for business purposes, has finally managed to track her down…. Written as a 2-act play, only the first scene written so far.

Other story ideas

“Tin Church” (a radio play of 30 mins’ duration) 1100 words so far about a near death experience near an old tin church, where an angry feckless youth in company with his mature and settled brother, meets his dead parents, at the ghostly wedding of his middle sister, who died as a child; all as ghosts, leaving him recovering from an electric shock. The experience alters his perception of abandonment and leaves him more confident and equipped to take on the responsibilities thrust upon him.

“Time Waits” 700 words so far. A time travel courier loses his party in the past and is sucked back to the present to find the industry closed down by the government. The party consisted of a history professor doing research, with his daughter along as assistant. The courier needs to break the law to get back in time to rescue them as he realises he is in love with the Prof’s daughter. He can only make a one-way trip due to the travel mechanism in the midst of being destroyed. However, he finds when he gets there that he is his own ancestor and has only months to live in that time. How can he avoid this impossible reoccurring cycle through his child and bring his lover back to the present so they can share their lives together without knowing every moment of their future history?

“Barry the Biter”, 400 word outline. Vampires have to start somewhere and Barry the baby bites everyone as soon as he starts teething and his mother has trouble getting him to react differently when angered, as that urge is always there. At puberty, though, the urge to bite takes on an edge that frightens even Barry, forcing him to avoid relationships, making him touchy and reclusive. A comedy, not to be taken too seriously.

“You are toast” – a poem that has 7 verses of 3 lines so far. I have sketched a toast of a piece of toast with an unhappy face on it for the cover

“On the beach”, two bikinied ex-call girls meet on an exclusive beach. Each boast how well they have married rich handsome husbands since retiring, and about where they live, holiday and how close their luxury yachts are moored. Both appear to have buried their past, and believe their husbands thought their wives wholesome businesswomen. Happiness all around until their husbands come back to meet them….

“Pearl and Dean” 500 words. Pearl is an internationally famous wildlife photographer, but is also a total bitch. She relies heavily on assistant Dean, who books the hotels, flights, transport, looks after her cameras, sets up the hides and shoots, even develops and retouched all the shots while she parties. That is until the day he decides he has had enough and resigns to set up his own company.

“Sticks and Stones”, Mary McCarthy’s a mess. Running away from her abusive husband, she finds her credit cards blocked and no money. Her best friend is entertainment manager, compere and DJ who has just taken a gig on a cruise ship about to take a two-week trip around GB, wangles Mary passage as her assistant. It is early in the season and prices are cheap. Mary is a shy girl in her late twenties, painfully thin and feeling sorry for herself. On the same cruise is a comic double act of Rocky Jones and Allan Shaw, together known as Rocky Shaw. This cruise is the only gig desperate enough to take them. Allan is the funny man, Rocky the fall guy who feeds him the lines; they’ve never been on a cruise before. First night out, in the middle of a storm, Allan is chronically sea-sick and can’t go on, Rocky is stuck and has nowhere to stay. Mary is roped in to team up as a duo, both realise they knew each other at school where they hated each other…. (Just an outline at the moment)

“BYLINE”, Junior reporter Arthur Bennett has set his heart on Maggie Allum, the publishers’ daughter on a local newspaper. She is a reporter, Art is a sports photographer turned reporter. She does all the big stories, Art is a correspondent, does all the mundane clubs, councils, magistrates proceedings, doesn’t even get a byline. Hopes he is making progress with Maggie until a flash new editor arrives from a city newspaper and impresses Maggie. Art accepts he has lost Maggie until he sees the editor out with another woman. Now how does the snoop use his scoop?…

“What tangled webs we weave”, a complicated potential novel, with sex, intrigue, murder, bribery and corruption. Peninsula Coastal town. Railway spur closed in 1957 and town died as a resort since. Enthusiasts, including narrator, have been restoring line, a few engines and rolling stock for 30 years and a new entrepreneur provides funds to reconnect with mainline and bring steam excursions to town. The entrepreneur is in partnership with owner of the main old fashioned hotel, whose father recently died, saddling her with death duties and in need of a partner who will fund a refurb. Her ex-husband owns a ships chandlers business, having given up his Marina and half his 50% stake in a web design studio in settlement, to hold onto the family business. The hotel owner wants to publicise the refurb and contacts her ex-sister-in-law, a publicity agent, to do the job. Naturally the new website with online booking will be designed by her ex- and his partner (poss woman, not decided yet). Narrator is publicity agent’s boyfriend, who is a graphic designer at the web studio, who is in charge of the project as neither partner want to be involved. The ships chandlers burns down, arson suspected, and a new chandlers opens at the old Marina the same week, owned by the entrepreneur ‘so as not to inconvenience our members’, part of new complex along with cafĂ©, restaurant, night spot, tourist shop, etc.

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