A Man’s Best Friend

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#quickfic Dog going on Holiday
#quickfic Dog going on Holiday

So Faber Academy run a #quickfic competition every Friday. They’ve been doing it for a few weeks now, but I’ve only just found out about it.

This week, the challenge was to write a story in 250 words or less inspired by the canine idiot in the picture.

I called mine “A Man’s Best Friend” and it’s an ironic insight into the human male’s disregard for relationships in the face of his single minded pursuit of more pointless projects.

I thought it was quite clever in its meta qualities as I was obviously procrastinating by writing it.

It didn’t win, but here it is…


A Man’s Best Friend

It took many, many hours spread over years to train him, but I finally did it.

Jasper could smell an item of clothing inside his little, blue suitcase and determine who it belonged to in a room full of strangers.

It was our party trick. He’d hold the suitcase in his mouth, sit on his haunches and take a few moments to stare at everyone before him, considering. Then, with a confident flick of his tail he would take the suitcase to the owner of the item.

He was always right. It was like magic.

I loved showing him off at parties. I’d get him to do it ten times over the course of the night, and all our guests would be delighted.

Yesterday I was surprised to see Jasper sitting on the cobbles opposite the cafe I’d stopped at for lunch. He was staring at me, with his suitcase hanging daintily from his mouth.

As if triggered by my attention, he jumped up, trotted towards me and dropped the suitcase at my feet.

I looked around to see if I could spot my wife grinning from some hidden vantage point, but there didn’t seem to be anywhere to hide.

I lifted the suitcase onto my table and opened it.

Inside there was a pair my socks with a note pinned to them.

“I’m leaving you.” The note said. “You can keep the dog.”

I scratched Jasper’s head and wondered how he’d managed to find me.


The winners are here: QuickFic Winners 17th April 2015


Procrastination for good, not evil

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In order to once more prove my procrastination credentials, I’ve spent some time trying to process my emotions when confronted by rejection… in video form.

Here is the result.

Strength through Joy!

Procrastination, Professionalism or Cowardice…

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Since coming home from Crete and getting back into mundane swing of normal life I have done very little actual writing. There are a few reasons for this, ranging from crippling curiosity about how my prospective agents are getting on, to genuinely urgent work projects or home tasks, and, of course, procrastination.

Ah, procrastination! My mortal enemy. If it were not for you I would be the emperor of Northamptonshire… if not the world. Why does the insignificant always take on such a fascinating sheen when I should be embroidering a blank page with magic? Why am I drawn to frivolous diversions like a chubby, flightless moth to the intoxicating flame of distraction?

Who knows?

So, today I have:

  1. Sent off another query to one other agent
  2. Added a little widget to my Excel spreadsheet of agent queries which now counts how many replies I’ve had on each day of the week… (5 for Mondays and Tuesdays, 2 for Wednesdays, 3 for Thursdays and 1 for Friday, Saturday and Sunday)
  3. Rejoined
  4. Written this blog entry
  5. Completed level 181 of Candy Crush
  6. Made my twitter page look lovely – (The photo of the sky is from the Scillies, the land from Crete)
  7. Spent a while looking up procrastination on the web… this is meta-procrastination.
  8. Sorted out my seldom used apps on my iPad
  9. Decided to do NaNoWriMo, so spent some time pondering what that novel should be about

Maybe 1 and 3 are prodding my writing career slightly forwards, but even though I’ve spent some time trying I don’t believe the others are. If I’d spent the time writing instead of doing these things perhaps I wouldn’t have got another rejection. This one from Gillie Russell at Aitken Alexander Associates. This rejection may have come out of cowardice though: I wimped out of writing that I’d chosen her because I thought she had kind eyes. So I’ll put this failure down to being too professional.