Welcome, Lee Dickinson!

From Lee’s WIP:

Looking at the Stars

(the first 500 words of a short story)

The stars are my chandelier as I stare from the skip I call home.

Gamma Leonis hogs the sky until something flashes across it and toward me. Earthly and hurtling. Glinting as it plunges. Instantly hypnotic. There’s a boomerangy whoosh-whoosh. Louder as it gets closer. Heading toward my … head.

I half-duck, half-roll. That’s either called a droll or a rolluck, I guess? Anyway, it does the trick, and I’ve drolled/rollucked across the mattress to safety to stare at the would-be guillotine. It’s badoinged through the spongy fabric, swaying with deathly energy from its buried corner. A photo frame?

It gleams as it rocks, smudging a reflection down one edge of the multi-storey block it must’ve been hurled from. The reflected version of the flats looks intriguing, even from here, so I scramble back across the mattress, with a metallic rumble of block junk clattering beneath me. And there’s a snapshot of high-rise life, right there, flickering along the frame’s bevelled side. It’s a bit like when you’re bombing down a rainy motorway and the white and red lights get all arty before the wipers wipe.

Reminds me of something. Yeah, the lights on a one-armed bandit – and it’s mesmerising. I have to snap back to reality, reminding myself that, hey, if I’m that interested in the good people of Cairnie Court, I can get a better look direct.

My eyes detach from the frame as I start to scan the building, slowly from the first floor to the top, the tenth, taking in the whole of the sheer face and the Friday night, 4pm-ish, soap opera of each light. I’ve created a life behind that light – drug lord with a string vest fetish – when he turns it out. But the thing with my high-rise neighbours is, you know there’ll be another light. Soon. And there it is – this time it’s an out-of-work actress who wants to get into biscuit design. Someone should tell her the likes of the bourbon, and the custard cream, are design classics, so you can’t just wander in from a life of stage and screen and be expecting to disrupt that industry with your fancy new dunkers.

So many stories. So many lives. And, somewhere among them, someone’s throwing a photo frame out of a window? Hmm, now, which one? Probably one of the lit ones, because no one’s gonna risk missing the window by hurling ornaments in the dark. So, a lit, open window, within chucking distance either side of my skip. Narrows it down to three, but it can’t be the fourth floor, because that’s the ventriloquist, and you can’t hurl with accuracy with one arm while your other’s “Gottle ‘a geer”-ing a rubber-faced elf. Process of elimination – that leaves the sixth floor, there, and the nin …

Something stops me as it flashes through the light on six. The biscuit-dunking actress. I corner-of-eye see it, but now watch its silvery, shiny form taking shape as it drops.

Writer’s WIP Questionnaire – 2

  1. In the past two weeks, I have felt mostly happy about the progress of my WIP.

1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10

Comment: Like all of us, I’ve been too busy. Despite setting time aside, the last two weeks have been a time of inglorious failure on the writing front.

  • In the past two weeks, I have mostly managed to balance my writing life with the rest of my life.

1 2 3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10

Comment: It’s been imbalanced, with all the time given instead to my job. All writers seem to be familiar with this one.

  • In the past two weeks, I have made drastic changes to my WIP.

1  2  3  4  5  6  7 8 9   10

Comment: I pretty much know where I’m going with a manuscript because I’m a planner rather than a ‘pantser’, so there’s usually no need for drastic changes.

  • In the past two weeks, I have mostly suffered from ‘writer’s block’.

1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10

Comment: Controversial, but I don’t believe in writer’s block, although it might be a phenomenon that targets pantsers more. I prefer to think of ‘writer’s block’ as, merely, thinking time. I wouldn’t call it a ‘block’, in the same way I wouldn’t call pondering what to add to my shopping list ‘shopper’s block’.

  • In the past two weeks, I have focussed on one project.

1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10

Comment: It’s one at a time for me. Or, as mentioned above, none at a time for the past two weeks.

Thanks for taking part, Lee, and I for one can’t wait to read the full story!

Lee Dickinson

Author bio: Lee Dickinson is a 51-year-old former journalist who now works as a fiction editor at bookediting.co.uk. Like all of us, he’s only doing that until he gets his million-pound book deal …

Find Lee at http://bookediting.co.uk

Published by morwennablackwood

When she was six years old, Morwenna wrote and endless story about a frog, and hasn’t stopped writing since. She’s the author of bestselling noir psychological thrillers, The (D)Evolution of Us, and Glasshouse, has an MA in Creative Writing, and can usually be found down by the sea. Her third novel, Underrated, will be published by #darkstroke on Valentine's Day, 2022. She often thinks about that frog.

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