1st Line Thursday: First lines written, snow, and other firsts of March!

Welcome to the first Thursday post of March! How is everyone? Buried under 6ft of snow? Me too! (Well maybe not that much, but more than I’ve seen in years!)

tree in the snow
Image: A tree in our garden that looks like a bit like a palm tree, standing in the sun surrounded by snow.

The first Thursday post of each month is about firsts: The first book I picked up, picture I took, blog article I read, short story I wrote last month, and so on! But first, an update.

I had big plans for February, but I didn’t achieve much. 2018 has been difficult so far. In January my granddad got pneumonia. He’d been in and out of hospital since then, but last week doctors discovered he had an aneurysm. They couldn’t operate because his heart was too frail, and he died on Monday, aged 88.

My Nan had been with my granddad since they were 18. That’s a lot of years, and it’s sad to think about. Between that, worry over my mums health, and fears over my fiancee’s job security, it’s been a tricky month. When I’m stressed I either withdraw and do nothing but write, or barely write at all. Lately it’s been the latter.

Hopefully March will be different. Anyway, here’s some fun firsts!

The first film I watched in March:

Thor Ragnarok. I’ve only seen the first Thor film. Ragnarok is the third. I’ve also fallen asleep through the Avengers. Twice. I’m not a big Marvel fan: I loved Iron Man, Dr Strange and Punisher, but disliked a lot of the rest. Anyway, my fiancee suggested we watch this. Unlike me, he’s a big Marvel fan. I wasn’t doing much anyway so I figured why not.

Ragnarok is awesome. Like super awesome. There were a ton of laugh out loud moments, Dr Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch!) made an appearance, and there was a ton of Tom Hiddleston as Loki. I love Loki. He’s one of my favourite characters of all time. If you can see this film, do. I recommend it, and I don’t recommend anything lightly!

The first book I picked up:

A ‘How to Train Your Dragon,’ picture book. I kid you not. It’s World book day today, and our local supermarket had the cutest little book:

toothless
Image: My new How to Train Your Dragon picture book!

I don’t care how old I am, I had to have it. It’s probably less than a thousand words, but I’m counting it as one of my books for 2018 because dragons always count!

The first lines I wrote:

My first lines this month are from a short story I’m working on for Sunday’s blog post: 

Percy sighed and rested his head on his hands. ‘You always tell such fantastic stories.’

Myrddin smiled, but it didn’t reach his eyes. ‘They’re not stories, they’re the truth.’

‘How do you know?’

‘They’re my past. My memories.’

‘Give over. Your stories happened centuries ago. No one’s that old.’

‘They could be, if they had magic.’

My goal for March is 20000 words, including 5000 for my masters application. It’s clear that with everything going on my expectations were set too high. In an ideal world I’d finish my first draft by the end of the month, but I think it’s more realistic to aim for the end of June now.

The first picture I took:

These cute little paw prints in the snow. We don’t have a cat. I’d feel sorry for this one being left out in the snow, but there’s one cat in our neighbourhood that’s practically wild and stays out all the time anyway. She was out there last night, and she’s probably out there now!

pawprints-in-the-snow.jpg
Image: Cat paw prints in the snow.

The first article I read: (plus bonus short story)

I missed Author Toolbox Blog Hop last month in favour of binge watching The Punisher on Netflix (I was ill too!), but the posts are always interesting so I’ve been catching up on reading them. Today I read Get in your character’s head by Megan Morgan. It’s an awesome post covering how to show not tell, with examples! If you want more help with this topic, Mica’s blog is the place to go: She has a whole series on Show vs Tell, and it is epic!

I also read a chilling short story by Mike Senczyszak in 150 words. It amazes me how writers can tell a story in so few words. The lowest word count I’ve ever managed is about 800! 

My number one goal this month:

Finish my masters application. I have to answer 5 questions and write 2000-5000 words of fiction. The fiction will be easy. I write a short story a week, and fiction comes naturally to me. The questions and cover letter? I’m struggling. How do I put in words why I deserve a place?

I’ll also write 15000 words for Merlin. I’ve tweaked my plan again so progress should be easier!

Hashtag game spotlight: #FlashFicHive

I’ve mentioned #FlashFicHive before on this blog. It’s a hashtag game on Twitter, hosted by Anjela Curtis, which used to run every other month with daily flash fiction challenges. Starting in February FlashFicHive changed format to a weekly hashtag game, on Thursdays.

Flash Fiction is a story usually between 200 and 1000 words. Trying to keep within the word count is a challenge, but one which improved my writing. I didn’t participate as much as I’d have liked in February, but I hope to get back into it in March.

The first short story I wrote last month:

My first Sunday Scribbles post of February was based on a typo that inspired me: ‘I thought my pinning was obvious,’ when the writer meant ‘pining.’

SS featured image rose

My main character pins blue roses, and other things, to his noticeboard. He’s pining for his flatmate and thinks his feelings are obvious. They really aren’t! Read it here: The Pinning of the Roses.

Excerpt:

You’re supposed to be at work.’

I would be, if someone hadn’t poisoned me,’ John replied with a glare. He clutched his stomach and struggled to sit up.

Will frowned. ‘That wasn’t my intention.’

John searched his face, but Will’s surprise seemed genuine. ‘You didn’t eat any, so I thought-’

No. Can I get you anything?’

Water. Painkillers. Bananas,’ John replied. Will nodded and turned to leave. ‘Will?’

Hmm?’

Don’t try to cook again, yeah?’

I did a little research about roses and their symbolic meaning before I settled on the mysterious blue rose in the story: The Colour of Roses. It was a fun piece to write!

scales divider copy

Thanks for reading!

What are your goals this month? What are you most looking forward to? What’s the first line you wrote, article you read, or picture you took? Let me know in the comments!

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