Richard Wright

author of strange, dark fictions


Because Polar Bears

March 29, 2015 by Richard Wright in Journal, Writing

Words With PupSee the tumbleweeds bouncing around this website? Big, bouncing, invisible tumbleweeds that don’t actually exist and which you can’t see because this is pretty much just a page of pixels and jumbled thoughts? Those not-real tumbleweeds? You see them?

Ignore those.

Tumbleweeds get no respect. I’d hate to be a tumbleweed. They only show up when writers need a visual metaphor for inactivity. Half the time we’re they’re not even being honest, but are using the miserable tumbleweed to distract you from turning around and seeing that there’s actually loads happening just around the corner that we don’t want to talk about. Bloody writers. Bloody tumbleweeds.

Misdirecting tumbleweeds.

The worst kind.

My quietude here on this site has been all misdirecting tumbleweeds. I’ve been busy. The good sort of busy. For the last three months I’ve written no less than 500 words a day, six days a week. Unlike God, on the seventh day I didn’t even rest. I edited*.

Around about 47,500 words have been produced.

I’m just about to delete them.

Every single one.

No Rick!

That was you. That was what you just shouted. Even if you’re seated on a toilet in a busy public restroom, with the cubicles on either side of you occupied, you shouted that aloud. You’re being judged by those invisible cubicle users now. Heaven knows what they think.

Why Rick! Why would you do that! 

Seriously. Stop saying these things aloud in a public toilet. They don’t understand that you’re reading this blog on your phone. They’re thinking other things. Bad things, that would shame your family.

I always planned to delete these words, because they’re not for you. They’re for me. Last year I imploded a bit after returning to the UK. Things got on top of me. I needed to step away. When I started writing regularly again in January, I wanted to forget all about publishing and just make things up, for no reason at all. I wanted to find out whether I still enjoyed writing for the sake of writing.

I do. Very much. Mission accomplished.

So then.


It’s done now. I actually did it right there, just before I typed delete, in glorious live action.

The words are gone. Long live the words.

You’re sobbing now, aren’t you? Sobbing in a cubicle with strangers all around, and makeup running down your face**. I did that to you. I’m not even sorry.

In truth, the words aren’t really gone. The good ones will spill out again one day. The bad ones… well, they got what they deserved.

Deleting those words, good and bad, is liberating. I’ve been looking forward to it all week, and I’m not disappointed in the result.

Anyway, the point was…

Did I have a point?

Tumbleweeds something something public toilets…

Ah, yes, the point was that while there have been misdirecting tumbleweeds bouncing around here, I’ve been quietly finding a new groove. Those words achieved their purpose, and so might have been the most useful things I’ve ever written (may they rest in peace).

A new groove?

Indeedy. Now that the important thing – the actual writing – has been sorted out, I can peek out from under my rock and see some sky. I’m looking at my calendar right now. I’m planning things.

The first things are the remaining two volumes of The Lomax Chronicles, following up on last year’s The Flesh Remembers. These will be my book releases for the year. They’re both more or less written, and cover artist Vincent Chong is probably actually imploding at the long wait between his completion of the covers last year and their unveiling (sorry Vinny). I’ve maybe another thousand words on the concluding volume to add, and a massive amount of rewriting and editing to then get through. I’ll release one at the end of Spring, and the other at the end of Summer. I won’t be announcing them in advance, except to newsletter readers (email signup thingy is at the top right of this page – if you join, you might even get a special badge or something***)

The second thing to sort out is The 52, which has been sadly neglected since my implosion. Phase 2 will start up very soon (there will probably be a Phase 3 as well), and I’ll be reporting back on phase 1 even sooner. For the most part, my new words will be going into this project for for the forcible future.

So, yes. Ignore the tumbleweeds. They’re only here to misdirect you. Exactly like a simile which starts out promisingly, and which you think is going to go somewhere refreshing and relevant until it starts meandering and getting confused until… well, polar bears.

Absolute polar bears, all over your promising simile.

This is just like that, except tumbleweeds. Big, misdirecting tumbleweeds, which you should ignore.

Because polar bears.

Until next time.


*Perhaps this is why the world is so atrocious. That’s what happens when you publish a first draft.

**Even if you’re a man – the not-wearing-make-up sort of a man – which probably makes the whole experience of this blog post even more distressing and confusing. I’m still not sorry.

***There categorically is not a special badge. What you get is an email newsletter. Sometimes some free stuff. No badge though, sorry.

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