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To coddiwomple is to "move or travel in a purposeful manner towards a vague (or as-yet-unknown) destination".

At least, that's what we're told. The word has become popular amongst hipster posts on the internet but no one can truly say where it comes from. It could be accused of being a made up word, but that's asburb: all words are made up. Shakespeare made up his fair share, after all.

When my wife and I were first married and freshly moved to Cape Town, we would coddiwomple. We would load up the car and pick a direction, not knowing where we would end up but going purposely there, nonetheless!

And it seems that in this time we are living through, the uber-exciting 2020, is nothing BUT a coddiwomple. We don't know what the future holds, we can't see over the horison, but we're moving towards whatever it is. Some of us have taken a fatalistic come-what-may approach, others are planning, yet others are completely reinventing. Whatever it is, here we are: The Great Coddiwomple of 2020.

I'm finding myself in a strange position. I have four short stories (around 5 000 words), one novella (around 40 000 words) and one novel (80 000) words on my to-do list. They are there because I have been coddiwompling, and not sticking to a proper writing schedule and intent. My bad. Against my best advise, I took on too much.

So I am killing everything on the list in favour of finishing the novel this month, Book Two of my Rudi and Raven Series for teens: The Flat Earth Club. Book One, The Organ Grinder's Monkey, has been temporarily removed from circulation so that I can release both One an Two as part of a set. I think that makes sense all round.

And in order to fit in all of the things, the events, that I want to bring across in the new book, I have had to do something else as well, something I don't do too often: actively plan a layout. Not a big one, mind you, just an outline. It's still a coddiwomple, but a mild one.

So watch this space, as they say.

What happened last week?

Last week I put a video out on How to Write a Formal Letter. 

This is a massively important thing to know. It may sound archaic in this day and age, but sooner or later you are going to have to write one.

I have also updated the eBook with this lesson, and provided a task for you to get some practice in. Grab the eBook here!

And watch the video below.

A reminder about my Comptetition!

Right, let's get started. First of all, some T's and C's:

One: this is open to teen writers (no older than 16)

Two: refer to One.

Three: I'm giving you the topic.

Four: refer to One.

Five: closing date is Friday 14 August.

So what's on offer?

A copy of the first book in my Rudi and Raven series for teens: The Organ Grinder's Monkey. Check this site if you want to know what it is all about 'cos I ain't including it here. This newsletter is long enough. The book is in eBook format, by the way, because COVID stopped the presses and the distribution channels so I had no choice. Paperback will be out when it is out, and now you know just as much about the current lie of the land - when it comes to publishing dates and when I can do what I want to do - as I do.

What do you have to do to win?

Super easy. I want you to write me a short story. I want no less than 1000 words. Trust me, that's easy. 1000 words is nothing. I eat a 1000 words for breakfast. If you have four decent paragraphs you're at 1000 words already. But don't let that stop you. If you send me 2000, coolio. If you send me 3000, happy. Just don't go below 1000 and we can still be friends.

What kind of story am I looking for?

Go ahead and pick the genre of your choice: space opera, epic fantasy, mystery, period drama, romance, horror...it's your choice.

What is NOT your choice, though, is this: I want you to use the following opening lines, and then build your story from there. ONLY these opening lines. This is how your story starts. What happens from there is up to you.

And the opening lines are not part of your 1000 word minimum. Count 1000-plus from the point where my introduction ends.

Here goes:

I was sitting in the cafe, the late afternoon sun streaming through large bay windows. Dust devils danced and frolicked in the rays, just out of reach of a questing finger. As I lowered my glass a man sat down in the seat across from me.

I looked left, right, behind me. Tables were open. There was no reason for this guy to sit at mine. I opened my mouth to speak but he held up one finger.

"There's no time," he said. "You don't know me but I know you."

He leaned in. "Time is of the essence. So listen closely."

That's it. That's your intro. What does he tell you? What is the meaning of all this? What happens then? What happens next? What happens at the end?

That's up to you. And when you're done, send your story to me at adrian@rudiandraven.com. I'll announce the winner via email and video, on my channel, and I will include your story on my social media pages. If you are comfortable with it and your parents allow, I will put up a picture of you. If you prefer that not to happen, you can remain anonymous and I will respect that.

Internet safety is, after all, a given in this day and age.

And if you have two or three ideas for this instead of just one, then submit them. I will consider them all.

Just a little something to finish off with

And like I always say, if there is something you want to know about, questions you want to ask, you go right ahead.

Contact me if you need a quote on getting your copy up to scratch, be it your sales copy, web text, newsletters, and everything else and all in between. Click the About Me link at the top to see what I am about, click the Packages and Products link to see what I have to offer, and remember:

What your customers want – and what your readers need – is punchy work that flows beautifully, that draws them in and stimulates them, and that delivers your message in the clearest way possible.

Until then,
Adrian, Writer, Author, Editor, Coach
adrian@apartridge.co.za
+27 82 920 9816
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Adrian Partridge

Durbanville, Cape Town

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