Richard Wright

author of strange, dark fictions

Journal

The 20 Day Novel: Day 7

Glasgow helicopter crashWoke up this morning to confirmation of the news we’ve been expecting since the weekend. Colin Gibson, a friend and colleague to Kirsty and I over several years, is among the nine people known to have died when a police helicopter crashed into the Clutha Vaults pub in Glasgow on Friday night.

Colin was a smart and colourful man, often larger than life, but deeply sensitive to any injustices he perceived in the world around him. He could turn indignant when those injustices weren’t addressed, and was always happy to go to bat very tenaciously on behalf of others when he saw a need. I liked him enormously, and was horrified to read today that he was only 33. I thought for some reason that he was older. Had I ever expressed that in his presence he would have stamped, and shouted at me, and been mock-appalled (while inside, probably actually being appalled). It hurts that I won’t be able to put that to the test next time I see him. The world needs more people like Colin, not less. He was a well loved man. There are many people back home who were closer to him than I who will be waking up to bleak, shattered days. My thoughts are very much with his friends and family.

So, it’s difficult to drag myself to the keyboard today. It doesn’t feel like it really matters very much. I’ll try to put that aside. Yesterday was a bad day, and I can’t really afford another. At the moment, The 20 Day Novel is 21,566 words long. Scrivener is on its hands and knees, begging me to complete at least 5602 words before I pack in today.

11:00 -11:50. 0 words. Actually, about 600 words, all deleted now. For some reason I started writing the whole scene from the point of view of completely the wrong character. I may be a little distracted. Need to start over on all that, unfortunately.

12:30 – 13:30. 850 words written, but I feel like I’m clawing for every one. There’s no joy in it today, but that’s no reason not to keep going. Time for lunch, see if some fuel perks me up.

16:30 – 18:25. 1718 words (2568 total). Fuel failed to pick me up, but my friend Jackie staged a late-afternoon intervention through Facebook which stopped my thoughts spiraling inwards and gave me freedom to get back to the book. So, a chapter done, with many mistakes confessed and hearts broken. I’m going to stop there for the day.

So, only 2568 words done today. It brings the manuscript up to 24,134 words, nearly a quarter of what I’m aiming at. For the last few days I’ve been getting further and further behind schedule, but you know what? I feel a bit better this evening. I have a feeling I’ll recover this tomorrow. Come back and find out.

And it won’t be forgotten that, however things progress now, I owe Chapter 9 of The 20 Day Novel to the lovely Jackie B. Long may she lurk.

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