Mighty August

When Julius Caesar's successor accended to become Emperor he changed his name from Octavius to Augustus. August is one of my favourite months and not just because my birthday marks the end of it. It must surely be the best named of all the months; August, meaning 'respected and impressive' (not my words, the OED) from the latin 'consecrated or venerable'. Moreover it marks the height of summer. It's the holiday month. The only month of the year that I do not have to work a single day if I don't want to.

All of this is partly why I'm a little puzzled that I spent part of this morning cleaning toddler poo off the carpet after my dear daughter decided against wearing her nappy. I'm sure this sort of thing shouldn't be happening in Mighty August.

As far as writing goes August has seen a slowdown in progress for The Aggressive. I've stalled at 51K, albeit purposefully. I've decided to take a few weeks to focus on writing some short stories. It's my hope that the quicker turnaround of the shorts will have an invigorating effect on The Aggressive. Which is to say, I'm procrastinating.

The first half of the month has been spent on a piece of detective fiction. Crime and mystery really isn't my comfort zone but I really enjoyed putting the story together. It was a little refreshing not to have to invest thousands of words into world building I have to admit. Combined with a rather low word limit I ended up with a very terse, pointed story - just the way I like it.

That piece has been sent to a small publisher in London for consideration in a forthcoming anthology. I hope to hear back sometime in November, so fingers crossed for that.

Next, I'll be addressing some stream of conscious transcendental phenomenology for a very different project. By that I mean I'm writing a story about the mind, the self, death and near death experiences. The subject matter is an area I'm very familiar with, however, the first person stream of conscious style will be something new.

I'm really looking forward to it, although the nature of the subject matter means that I'm finding it more difficult to get my head in the right 'space' to begin writing. Over the past few months and certainly throughout this August, mornings have been the most productive time of the day. Yet I know that traditionally I have been a night creature with my writing. Especially in respect to anything dark, fantastical or philosophical. Unfortunately, between childcare, exercise and early mornings, my creative juices are less than overflowing come the wee hours. Maybe whisky is the solution?

I'll finish with a couple of list:

Things I have done so far in August

  • Written 3k on The Aggressive
  • Created a to-do hit list of short story submission deadlines to organise my writing
  • Completed, beta'd and edited a crime short
  • Submitted the above crime short to publisher
  • Rescuscitated this blog!
  • Written three posts for this blog (including this one)
Things still to do in August
  • Complete stream of conscious short story
  • Write 2-3 more blog posts
  • Get to 55k on The Aggressive
  • Continue to look after tiny children
  • Go on short holiday in Sunny Scotland


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