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.

Speed-Meat

Bumbling sedate-like, a year on, rotters are no different to the local junkies. Except, the rotter isn’t coming at you with its drooping face, skin pulling down at the darkened cavernous eye-sockets, hanging loose off the jawbone, slurring; “Any spare change pal?”

They’re still using that old line, except by change they mean anything that can be offered to dealers in exchange.

I prefer the real dead-walking — even they won’t touch a junkie for their fix. Shame, maybe that’d help us all; thin the heard. Though, I’m not prepared for the sight of the dead on something like speed-meat.

This drabble was first published by Reanimated Writers Press in their anthology 100 Word Bigger Zombie Bites.

Teaser – Concoction V2

I bring to you another teaser from the upcoming release; Concoction V2. This time a quote from one of Andrew Taylor’s short stories written for the prompt ‘Whisky.’

‘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.”

Damaged Goods


Discarded; damaged goods.

The lone whore bore foul, tainted, bastard fruit.

Shunned while still stunned from her whalers desertion.

Black lamb of the snow-white flock.

Abandoned for the call of the sea; another she.

Betty bid to follow suit with that ill seeded fruit.

As waves began to pour down her choking throat; peace called in tortured unforgiving song.

The final forbidden promise.

Lungs of fire burning; as blackened shadow blotted the sun.

A selfish rescue placed her back in hell; pulled from the mother’s largest well.

Need the ruined to give rest their good grace; a blinding disgrace.



© Natasha Sinclair. 2019.

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

Freedom

The illusion of freedom. The delusion of independence. This land is beautiful but it’s fucked no matter who the keys are handed to. Check the blood. Tick the box. Bend the knee. Wave the flag in servitude. A throne is a throne, no matter where the seat sits. By the Unicorn, by the Lion. Just as much a myth. Bow! Bow! Wave that flag with false pride, false hope and eat this pack of filthy lies! An unoriginal phantasmagoria. Throw coin at the mirage. Take this fairytale and make it your life! By the sword, by the knife! BELOW the flag!

© Natasha Sinclair 2019

Blue Hue

My Daughter in NICU, 2014

This picture doesn’t look real…
Like there’s a filter; to enhance, to hide, deceive the eye.
Shielding a painful reality; it was a painful reality.
The mind, like the camera, does this all on its own.
This picture doesn’t look real…
A reflection of how it felt; a blue hue, a hazy dream.
Everything thrown out of balance.
A reality that swallowed you up, yet one that could barely be touched.
Spinning lost through electrical sparks.
A new reality at the edge of everything.
At the edge of all the mattered and all that didn’t.
A steady calm or frozen panic; so close to the same.
Something else on the edge; the blurred borderline where the unreal is real.

© Natasha Sinclair

Read more about our experience through NICU in my deeply personal memoir, ‘One Step Forward, Two Steps Back: A story of love & survival through NICU.’

Wasteland Witch

Whisper they would; what harm is there in hushed voices?

Heard in the distance; with a smile towards my face, tightness around my throat.

To my door, each one of them would knock; in need of an ear, to shed a judgment free tear.

A closed mouth; their release and relieve.

Whispers feed whispers; taking wicked twisted form.

Filthy crooked fingers point in fierce accusation; neighbour and friendships turned sour.

Speaking in tongues; evil and lust for persecution, the execution.

Tales twisted unrecognisably; cures contorted to fatal blame.

It’s good to have a scapegoat and I’m one of theirs; purging their evils and guilt with gangland misdirection.

Trials fuelled by bloodlust and power; there was only ever going to be one verdict grown from whispers; “Witch!” “Guilty!” “Sentence her to death!”

Strung up naked, centre stage; a place I never wanted to be.

I only longed for peace, quiet, to be free.

Angry eyes burned back in hate; none of them seeing their burning Witch.

Inward looking desperate to purge their cruelties in my bodies destructive flames.

I am Issobella; their last Witch strangled and burned.

I am Issobella; their Wasteland Witch.

They claim to have learned but they still don’t see; times have changed them little, their Witch is still me.

(c) Natasha Sinclair 2019, All rights reserved.