Relaxation and the Writer

Plus a 2016 Round-up

I cannot relax. No matter how hard I try it just makes it worse. There are only two things that help, one of which is the actual process of writing — I put the headphones on and am lost to my own little world — it never fails, the other is running.
When I resigned my job to become a better, happier me and do my best in the world of literature, I made the decision to also run every day. I did not want to lose my fitness whilst sitting about as it would have been counterproductive to the whole reason for making the sacrifice I did. In my old life, I was very active, too active. I did everything myself and would never have others do more than me. Running had a lot to do to fill this void. The good news is it has.
I get a lot of enjoyment out of running early each day before other people are up, watching the dawn etcetera, stopping off for a coffee, where I answer my social posts, then running home. It provides a routine — I like routine — and helps clear the headaches I suffer with.
When my wife gave me her old fitness tracker I never expected to make use of it, but have. Just lately it informed me that I’d run the length of Japan since first wearing it, and today that has improved to India. Wow!

I don’t know where my writing or running will take me next, I’m not sure I want to know. One thing is for certain, though, if 2017 and all the years that follow provide me with the same surprises 2016 has, I’ll be happy, and that’s all that really matters.

Role Call
1: Two Books Published
2: Fifteenth overall in the ReadFreely 2016 Poll of Best Indie Books
3: Numerous short articles published
4: Nominated for the Golden Book award for 2017 (PS if you want to vote, I’m in the fantasy category: here is the link Golden Book Awards. Just scroll down to the fantasy category, click next to The Eternals and vote. Thank you in advance.
5: Met loads of great folks here.

Thank you for reading
Richard
Richard M. Ankers author of The Eternals Series.

Book 1: The Eternals
Book 2: Hunter Hunted
Book 3: Into Eternity (Soon)

Advertisements

The Writing Regime

I often receive emails and Facebook messages from people who are just starting out writing asking for advice. I always say just keep writing and don’t let anyone ever tell you, you aren’t good enough. Even Michael Jordan couldn’t dunk baskets aged two, it took time. Then I usually go through the, What are you asking me for? routine, I’m no better than anyone else. That’s because I lack confidence, and don’t always appreciate that people think otherwise. The one thing I do have, however, are lots of credits to my writing resumé, I just don’t always consider them. To me, they were and are steps to a greater finale. In fact, I can’t even bear to read them. But that doesn’t mean they were easy to get, they weren’t. I had to work hard for them. Fortunately, the one thing I don’t lack is determination. I’m always striving to do better. ALWAYS! We all should.

A big part of the latter is being regimented. I am a great believer in if you want to achieve your dreams, you have to work hard. In my case, this is write, write, write and write some more. Don’t slack off and don’t give up. But you do have to have balance, which if you are a bit robotic like me; same things at the same time, you have to make an effort. The thing I made and still make an effort for is running.

Running offers a freedom that I would otherwise ignore. I have had to make myself do it, but now would struggle to stop. Receiving copious amounts of dawn air is a great fillet to life and also helps stem the headaches that plague me. This has now become  (wait for it) part of my regime. Another plus to having, in particular, an early morning regime is I get to see views like this, which can’t help but lessen the burdens that sometimes come with life. I hope you like the images (he shakes his fist / you better!) because I actually stopped to take them just for you. If you can’t find inspiration to write after seeing this on a morning, don’t bother getting up.

IMG_2367.jpeg

IMG_2359.jpeg

Sorry the pictures aren’t great but it was freezing. They are horses in those fields, or if you’re looking on your phone, small slugs with legs.

Summing up: work hard, write lots, take breaks and enjoy it when you do. Results will come and even if they don’t, you’ll still have those mornings that nobody can take away. Or nights, however you set your stall out.

Richard

Richard M. Ankers author of The Eternals Series.

The Eternals

Hunter Hunted

Moments of Faith

 

I am not a religious man and would not pretend to be for the sake of others. That does not mean I don’t have faith. But there are times in our present day world when faith is a hard commodity to hold. There are some terrible things happening and for a person who is not like that, they are also very hard to accept. Personally, I don’t care what someone looks like, what colour, race or creed, they are, only that they are good people. I have always been that way. I also still firmly believe there are more good out there than bad. It is just that the bad often have the loudest voices.
This morning, I was out running early, as I always am, and was stewing over some bad experiences of the last week — I often stew. Some of the bad I have mentioned above had got to me, coupled with some very intense editing of my second book, to have it ready for the publisher by next week, terribly humid weather, which I hate, and various other things, and was just glad to be outside and alone. I ran through the estates, down the main road, and turned left into a quieter area of a common and fields. I saw this, and I make no apologies for my own flamboyant retelling.
To my left, behind a hawthorn hedge already spewing forth berries, lay a common — a large, open grassed area with livestock, in this case horses — which was immersed in a layer of mist. The horses periodically emerged from said spectral veil only to disappear almost instantly. To my right, the preparations for a flood catchment area had been paused and the fields they were set in were catching the first licks of dawn. Above, a flock of seagulls (not the eighties band) were flying overhead in almost quiet. My footfalls were silent, my breathing relaxed and everything just seemed to fit into place. I realised how lucky I was to be alive, to be happy, and to be looking forward to writing when I got home. Just then, I thought, do you know, I couldn’t give a **** about the bad folk because the ones I’m closest to are good. That was a special feeling.
Never forget the good. It will always outweigh the bad.

Thank you for reading my ramble.
Richard

Richard M. Ankers, author of The Eternals

A Flower in the Snow

I often get accused of not talking much about myself. I don’t like to, so it doesn’t bother me. But for once, I will, because something marvellous has happened, at least, marvellous to me. My long wait is over.

All of you who know me well will be aware of my love of snow and also of my rubbish memory. When I took the decision to resign from work and take up writing full time it was with three wishes: be happy, be published, and the following. 

One of my few early memories was of sitting in class at about age seven. Winter had set in and snow was in the air, a rarity. I happened to look back over my shoulder to see large snowflakes falling outside. There was nothing, and I mean nothing, I wanted to do more than play in that snow. I had to wait.

When I made it out of class the snow was knee deep, (that’s probably only shin deep now, but that’s by the by) and I had to get home. I used to walk on my own about two miles and my trudging that day was wonderful. But where I live in England never had such deep snow again. Only once did it come close about five years ago and I was secreted at work.

I have dreamt of writing for years, sitting in my front room, looking up and seeing the snow and of being free to drop everything and go out in it. Today I did. There was only a quarter inch, no more, a mere covering, but that was enough. I set off.

I ran for six miles, about fifty minutes, which for me is appalling, but I didn’t care, all the more time to savour it. I ran out of the city and into the outlying area, then back again, and loved every last inch of it. I could see across the wolds, (a low set of hills we abut) at all the white fields and it was stunning. Half the run was in slight snow and half in bright sunshine, which added to my enjoyment.

I would love to have run in more and hopefully one day will. But, I can cross another happiness off my list and will always have it.

I realise some people will think this a silly post, but it isn’t to me. I’ve never held great stock in wealth, or belongings, or much at all like that, happiness matters most. I like the little things: a view, the quiet, a smile. Today I am happy. I am not happy very often. It makes it all the more special.

NB: The image is of crocuses in my garden that are less happy about the snow than I. However, now it has melted. I have my one day memories, whilst they will regrow all the more hardy for the experience. I think we’ve both done all right.

 

Little Mice

The strangest thing happened this morning. I ran for my morning coffee in the pitch black of predawn. It was and horrible wet. By the time I reached my usual haunt, I was saturated from my socks upwards. But, and here’s the thing, I had the comfort of a warm cafe and lovely coffee to look forward to. The little mouse I startled that ran across the shop hoardings frightened, wet and cold had no such luxury. I watched it scurry away no bigger than my thumb, and wondered if someone looked down on me the same. Are we not all little mice running in the rain? Makes you think.

November 25th: Early Morning

  

 

Cool and crisp, the darkness awaited the pitter-patter of my Nikes on early morning pathways. I left home whilst still night. 

A slight breeze stirred what few leaves remained on the trees and made skeleton’s fingers of the naked branches. It was perfect.

There were very few folk about, just a spattering, no more; the world was mine. And I ran. 

The occasional ghost of a magpie flew by, a rabbit or two scurried in the hedgerows, but my arrival at the precinct was otherwise undisturbed. 

Ignoring the many sale signs in every shop window, my sense of smell drew me on towards the caffeine. Sweet relief. 

But a miracle had happened in the short time it took to pay: the clouds glowed with life. My coffee would have to wait. 

It only lasted a few minutes, but I counted each moment in bliss.

50 Word Stories: The Race

It was me against the squirrel: me in Nike Flex trainers running on the path, he in bare feet running on the fence edge. There could only be one winner in the morning race to end all races, one people’s champion. 

I hate that squirrel!

PS. No rodents were harmed in the making of this post, I couldn’t catch them.