NaNoWriMo — Not this Year

This year, my first attempt at NaNoWriMo didn’t hit the goal. Winter always seems to be a time of heightened drama, in opposition to the slower, warmer, more reflective side I long for at years end. Quieten the noise, slow down the pace.
It doesn’t seem to matter the ingredients placed in the cauldron; there’s no slow and steady blending and simmer, it’s a sporadically exploding bomb — spewing shrapnel into the eyeballs and the roof, and right now it’s barely holding up. With that my focus was and still is in tatters, December may be more about finding all the pieces again and trying to fuse some sanity and peace.
Anyway, my Backyard Asylum novel project only reached 14k – quite a distance from the 50k goal! I beat myself up throughout November with exhaustion and lack of creative time to drive into it. That’s been quite prevalent this entire year more than just the month, but it did feel more saturated. Such is life; she likes her curveballs and depression likes to wrap her fingers around my throat for periods of total torment. She’s a cruel demon indeed. So, it’s been a case of prioritising basic practical needs over desire. Although creativity is certainly a need, when it’s embedded deep, which fuels desire — without the sparks of passion there is little will to trudge through the more mundane, life has to be more than that — the fight continues. I’m rambling now, this slump shall pass!
So, while Backyard Asylum is written in my head, I have to sacrifice some sleep, muster some energy from the ether and hit the keys — though maybe without the daily word-count pressure, which did me no good this first time around.
Regardless, I am happy with what’s down for this WIP novel — its bones are horrific in a promising way. There’s a lot to work through and develop, but I’m confident it will in time progress so I can nail this first draft and go deep into sculpting and editing through the rough edges. The characters have meat, and there’s some strong scenes pinned already. I spiralled off into research more than physical writing a little more than planned, such is the ‘panster’ way.
As much as I tried to avoid the temptation, I have my eye on a few open-calls for short stories. Nothing new and substantial has been written on the front yet, but there are some ideas stewing, so I’ve some snippets of poetry to go back to and work on to develop into a full-blown piece.

In summary, my first NaNoWriMo died in week two. But, the story itself will come into being, I am pleased with what’s been written so far, it’ll just take a little longer to get there. It’ll be a priority for 2021.

The Macabre Ladies – Drabbles of Dread

Upcoming release from the Devilishly Devine ‘Macabre Ladies’ is their Anthology ‘Drabbles of Dread.’

As listed in my Books page, it is live for Pre-order from Amazon now, for release on the 15th July 2020!

This will be the 4th Anthology from the talented duo – Eleanor Merry and Cassandra Angler, and I’m excited to be a contributing author in 3 of these; Dark Valentine, Dark Solstice and this upcoming Drabbles of Dread. From all accounts this one promises to be the Darkest yet! So, if you enjoy dark micro horror check out this collection (and their back catalogue!)

If you’re a writer and have a dark drabble you’re itching to share with the world, then submissions are still open for a few more days – check out their website or Facebook for details on how to submit!

https://macabreladies.wixsite.com/website

Lost Shadows: A collection…

My first mini collection has been published and is now live. Paperback and eBook available worldwide.

Link below.

‘Lost Shadows’ – Cover Reveal

Small poetry collection being released very soon, currently just awaiting the printed proof for final review before it goes live!

“This is a small eclectic collection from an Independent Scottish writer.

If you’re looking for inspirational poetry, words of deep wisdom, even good poetry, this book is probably not for you.

The contents are inspired by various topics including; mental ill health, relationships, lust, consumerism, commercialisation, veganism, family, death, politics and history.

While this collection is admittedly somewhat disjointed, it is also truly organic.”

Summer Sale

These two eBooks are 50% Off throughout July from Smashwords!

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/881522

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/914414

Work in Progress

A couple of writing and publishing projects are currently underway so I thought I would drop a brief update here.

The second ‘Concoction’ anthology is one which is scheduled for release December 2019. This time the prompts are most distinctly Scottish and will feature the same three writers as the first volume; G G Flavell, Natasha Sinclair and Andrew Taylor. As before it is open genre so we should expect a unique eclectic mix of stories. There is potential for a fourth writer to be added to the bill, will just have to see on that one. The initial story submissions have started coming in though and it’s looking pretty good! You can’t beat a good wee Ceilidh!

It is also very likely I will be releasing a mini collection of poetry and drabbles this year. These pieces have already been written, some have been published and some have never seen the light of day beyond the notebook. One again an eclectic little mix of material. Very organic in nature, as with my own style of writing. Themes running through those collected so far include; depression, relationships, politics, sex, freedom, nature and more.

Please look out for updates via here and on my Facebook page; https://www.facebook.com/NatashaSinclair/

Thank you, Natasha

Snapped

Laying the last body down on the bed, I studied them both, side by side. My beautiful loyal white pups. They looked as if they were peacefully sleeping. Dreaming still. You’d never know by this sight that I had snapped their necks. Still warm, the serenity of death. My wrist hurt. It was almost over now. There was nothing left to hold me back. I stepped up on to the vintage blue weaved wooden stool. Reaching above I put the prepared noose over my head to my neck and jump forward. Swinging and choking, why didn’t my neck just snap?

©Natasha Sinclair

New Order Disorder

Stuck in the mud; the heart is a-thud.

Another dud.

The tightening throat; tangled in knots.

Edit, revise, delete, repeat.

Sticking in loops; nauseating mud soup.

Shattered mind in broken tongue; where had it all begun?

Shards slashing on the way down.

Dead letters nestling in; stinging nettles grow within.

Type again, reply, no don’t…

Wait, that’s wrong!

Too much? Too little? Too dam late!

Let it go…

Letters in the grave; need to be ‘brave.’

Stick a label on it; Depression

Change the address.

Oodles of mess; time eclipsed by so much ‘missed.’

Misrepresented, mistimed, misdiagnosis, misunderstood, missed.

Return to sender 30 years later…

Wrong label, here’s a new one; ASD

New order from the so-called Disorder.

(C) Natasha Sinclair, all rights reserved.

Alarm

The obnoxious screeching tore through consciousness, wrenching from some distant dreamy place. One far more appealing than this. 6:00am screamed as heavy eyes flew startled open, red and dry. The Dead arm fought to shut that raging thing up. Fucking 6:00am!

Quiet now but that wasn’t to last, it never did. Soon I’d hear the echoes of other bellowing alarms chasing other slaves from sleep. Got to get the magic paper or the idea of it anyway. Pay service to the authorities, whoever the hell they were and contribute! To what, I don’t really know.

It’s all lies…

Lies that we follow almost mindlessly if not completely. Following until there’s nothing left.

I had only been sleeping two hours if I was lucky. Less in fact, I recall 4:00am, as I always do, so definitely not the round two. Desperately trying to empty my stupid head on to scrap pieces by my sunken bed. Open door at four. Evacuating this mad racket noise so I could sleep. The paper was completely drenched in scrawlings that made perfect sense at the time. Now appeared as if they were written by some foreign ghost. It was me though, it’s always just me. Even with the ghosts clambering and scratching at my exhausted soul, they couldn’t tell what was what. Scrambling for desperate scraps, something to cling to, or let go of. They weren’t the only ones. At least they were dead.

I never sleep enough, never was programmed for the job. Maybe that’s what came of all that screaming in the night or was just some missed connection before even then. It’s harder for this mind to shut up when everything else does. So much echo within echo bouncing off metal over and over again.

When will the 6:00am screeching be done with me? Maybe one day Death will cast her final shadow before it starts. Stuck for an eternity in that dreamy place before the alarm excitedly bellows; a surprise whip lashing my back raw. That will surely be more than two round hours…

Or I’ll be stuck somewhere else, scratching at your soul…

I hate alarms.

(C) Natasha Sinclair, all rights reserved

Out of Colour

She was so incredibly vibrant, effervescent even. Life cascaded over her and she soaked it up; osmosis from grey to all illuminating colour.

They couldn’t know of the tortured girl hiding behind long straggly hair in the corner depths of her soul. Trying not to breathe, holding her head still between her hands and knees; frightened little anchoress within.

She painted the outside with hypnotic kaleidoscopic colour. Energy was electrifying and luminescent. Rich from living, a friend to everyone, my love.

After the years of youth though; too much mayhem and noise, too much of that painted face. Too many troubles to keep buried behind a smile, she ran all out of colour.

I see her try sometimes. Try to paint it on. Her skin only soaks it into the dead grey; cracking, peeling, painful and raw. Hermit grey, only shade in the shadows.

There’s barely any precious life left.

(C) Natasha Sinclair, All rights reserved