I like to keep a lot of different writing goals going at the same time. Last year I had eight, and this year I've tried to narrow it down to the most important five. In fact two of those goals are six month goals, so it's only four at a time, and the big goal is to fully edit the novel I wrote for NaNo last year.
It's been taking up all of my writing time for the last three months and I've made some great progress. But I went to check in with my goals I realized that I hadn't been writing any flash fiction.
So this weekend I sat my butt down in a chair with a pen and paper and wrote three pieces of flash fiction. I could feel the cogs starting up again, parts of my brain getting oiled and used for the first time in too many months. But then, it all started to click. The words flowed and I ended the day thinking, "This is what I've been missing. Writing my heart out and not worrying about an outline or the next scene or even the next chapter."
I didn't mean to get into a writer's block, I was simply too focused on a goal I considered more important for my writing career at the time. Now that I see what it was I'm glad to get out of it. Writing is in my blood, and writing every day is my meditation, and if I don't switch gears occasionally I forget that.
In the last few weeks I have had a series of disasters. I managed to break to cars in the same week I got a $46 paycheck! I also came unbelievable close to losing something very important, my novel.
I let my husband borrow my lap top for a few days to work from home during a snow storm. The lap top was also doing a major hardware update. In the middle of this update he called to me from the other room. The screen had frozen. The machine wouldn’t do anything, not even turn off. I began to panic.
Not only do I use this computer for work, but all of novels and stories are saved on it. In the first second of panic I realized that my latest work, one new novel, one edited novel, and my updated encyclopedia, were not backed up! I was terrified that al of this work was gone.
Thankfully I was able to get the computer working again. The first thing I did was e-mail my work to myself. I will never again forget to back up my stories, they are too important to lose.
Let my story serve as a reminder to you. No matter what way you choose to do it. Whether you use e-mail, a flash drive, google drive, a hard copy, anything. DO NOT FORGET TO BACK UP YOUR WORK. I was lucky, but not everyone is, and I know no one wants to lose their stories.
From The Koh-i-Noor Diamond website
While doing research for my new WIP, I met a King, a Shah, who crossed desert and mountains from Afghanistan into India and across India to Delhi where he sacked and raided Moghul treasure valued at over $500 billion. That's in today's dollars, but it was no less valuable then, in the 1730's. One of the most impressive pieces in this hoard was the Koh-i-Noor, the largest diamond the world has ever seen. In spite of it's beauty, it is coated in curses and war. There are tens of thousands of hits on the internet for the diamond, which is over 105 karats, and is housed in the Tower of London, where it sits atop the crown of the Queen of England.
There are many stories about how the Koh-i-Noor (alone or with other treasure) made its way from the stolen Moghul treasure to Afghanistan, Pakistan, and eventually to England. There is some agreement among scholars and writers that in about 1740, Nadir Shah brought an intimidating army of Abdali Clan soldiers into India, sacking Delhi and taking every gem and rupee he could carry in a vast caravan back across the Hindu Kush to his kingdom. One of his guards and family members, Ahmed Shah Durrani, is reported to have murdured Nadir Shah in his sleep, and grabbed the Koh-i-Noor for himself. Meanwhile, armies from Persia were approaching, so Ahmed Shah supposedly had his men bury the treasure somewhere between Bimyan Valley and Kandahar, maybe in caves, maybe underground. It is said that every man who assisted was murdured, and others say that they were paid to remain behind, to guard the treasure. There are not many actual details; the clues that have been found are scattered, vague, and coded. Durrani himself eventually became King in Afghanistan, united the provinces into the country we recognize today. Unfortunately, the curse of the Koh-i-Noor hit Ahmed Shah hard, and he died an excruciating death from cancer of the face.
Since that time, many people, including members of Al Queda and the British government, Russian archeologists, and many Afghans, have searched for the buried treasure. The Koh-i-Noor eventually made it's way, through treaty, gift, and war, back to India where the British Army confiscated it when they conquered the Punjab in 1849. The British had it recut several years later to a more brilliant design, shaving off several karats. In spite of it's incredible size and beauty, though, it has brought death and suffering to every man who has ever possessed it since Ahmed Shah Durrani. It is therefore worn only in the crown of the Queen or King's consort.
Fascinating history - the potential for an enormous treasure hunt - and a very rewarding adjunct to my WIP, this type of research is invigorating and brings history to life. My characters and their life stories feel more real for bringing history into my writing, and maybe I add to the intrigue and fame of this incredible piece of history. Research like this takes writers on a very personal voyage through time. As Bill and Ted once (or twice) showed us, history is fascinating when it's personal.
A Haiku is a Japanese form of poetry. It has 17 beats, 3 lines with 5 beats in the 1st and 3rd lines and 7 beats in the middle. It's the only type of poetry I have any success writing. They are quick and easy for anyone to dabble in, even me.
Here are a few examples on the Japanese Haiku.