At the beginning of 2012, I received an SMS from one of my friends , suggesting a new year's resolution we could both try. 'We shou...

At the beginning of 2012, I received an SMS from one of my friends, suggesting a new year's resolution we could both try. 'We should start a blog,' he said, 'where we set a theme once a fortnight, and before that fortnight is over, we have to write a short story on that theme.'

I'm sure you can understand the apprehension I felt. I didn't sleep for days, tossing and turning, wondering if this new year's resolution was the right one for me. Would I have time? Would it make me hate writing forever more, being forced to write a story on a specific theme 26 times in one year? There were so many things to consider, I almost went insane. But then I made my decision.

I jumped at the idea, and that day, was born. 

In the year that has passed since that fateful day, I am the only contributor to the site who has taken part in every theme. I have written 26 short stories for in 2012, and it's the first new year's resolution that I've made and kept to in my whole life. If that doesn't prove I'm a real grown up, I don't know what does. Granted, some of them are rushed and ill thought out, and the Christmas one is just a load of shit written down, but some others, like The Writing Club, are among my favourite short stories that I've written. 

So why not set yourself the same challenge? will still be running throughout 2013, even though I will no longer be regularly contributing. Everyone can join in, and if you want to get into writing, or if you already write and want a new challenge, maybe this is just what you need!

Whether you'll be joining in or not, I hope everyone has had a fantastic year, and I wish you all the best for 2013.

Other significant numbers from 2012

  • I received one lovely rejection from a publisher this year, in a year of very limited query letter sending. I'll be sending them out with more vigour this year, so we'll see how that goes. 
  • I wrote exactly twice as many posts this year as I did last year. Either because I had more to say, or because I was more desperate for attention. You decide.
  • I published 3 apps onto the Windows Phone marketplace, which have been downloaded a total of 705 times. Not bad, considering they're just apps for small blogs on the least common smartphone OS available. Android versions will be coming in 2013, and we can see how they perform in comparison.
  • As of 23/12/12, the official destroyedordamaged Twitter account has 339 followers. That could rise or fall dramatically before the end of the year, and often does at very short notice. But if you're a loyal follower, thanks for your support. I'll be rewarding you with more bullshit spilling from my brain all through 2013.
  • This site broke the 10,000 visits mark in October. It's now at 12,143, so I'm getting a lot more visitors these days than I used to. Again, thanks everyone.

    ‘It says here that the world’s first ninety inch television has just gone on general sale, Geoffrey. Have we ordered one of those yet?’...

   ‘It says here that the world’s first ninety inch television has just gone on general sale, Geoffrey. Have we ordered one of those yet?’

   Geoffrey sighed inaudibly, twiddling his fingers behind his back as he eyed the bald spot on his employer’s head. In all the years he had been serving Humphrey Beauregard, he had never known his master’s memory to be as bad as it had been since that little dog Scuffer had died following a mouse into the open fire.

   ‘Yes, sir; it was delivered last Tuesday, and now takes pride of place in its box in the Technology Room.’

   ‘Excellent, Geoffrey. Most excellent. Did we pay a good price?’

   Geoffrey juggled the consequences of lying and being honest in his head for a few seconds before realising that whatever he said, he would receive the same response. The old man didn’t care how he obtained any of the things he owned, or how much he paid for them; he just cared that he owned them. Without that, his life was worthless.

   ‘No, sir; we paid much more than we should have, because supply was limited and you wanted to receive it before the royal baby was born. You said you wanted to watch it live, sir,’ the butler replied, honestly.

   ‘Excellent, Geoffrey. Most excellent.’

   The aging billionaire was riffling through a catalogue of shiny new things that any fool with too much money and not enough sense would desire within seconds of seeing; only, it was a mystery to the patient butler how the old man was seeing these things at all – the eye that hadn’t been irreparably damaged in that hunting accident two decades ago was so myopic that it was basically a decorative marble. The butler had to do everything for his master these days, from clipping his curling yellow toenails to changing his outfit every morning and evening. But that was all part of serving the Beauregards.

   ‘Oh, look, Geoffrey! A new Jaguar!’ A chubby, wrinkly finger poked the page of the magazine resting in the old man’s lap, and the butler didn’t even look down before he replied.

   ‘It looks just splendid, sir.’

   ‘I must have it. Do we have space in the garage?’

   ‘We do not, sir. We bought a Fiat 500 in every colour and pattern, because you saw the advert for them on the television and thought that it would be nice if the two of us could drive around with such flair.’

   ‘Have we done so yet, Geoffrey?’

   ‘Not yet, sir.’

   ‘I see. Well, if you could, please arrange for another garage to be built, and order one of these Jags. There’s a good chap.’

   The butler sighed again. He knew that to order the Jaguar and to build the garage would not be in his master’s best interests, but he knew also that it wouldn’t hurt an old man to get exactly what he wanted, whenever he wanted it, in the final years of his life. If Humphrey Beauregard had the means and the will to waste money on extravagances time after time, who had the right to deny him that privilege? With that in mind, the butler turned on his heel and made to leave the drawing room and make preparations. As he reached the huge double doors of the room, he was halted by his master’s call.

   ‘Oh, and Geoffrey?’

   ‘Yes, sir?’

   ‘What of love?’

   ‘Love, sir?’

   ‘Yes, love. Can one buy that, yet?’

   ‘No, sir. Not much has changed since we last enquired. Love still cannot be bought.’

   ‘I see,’ replied the old man, his disappointed voice barely audible above the cracking and popping of the fire.

   ‘Would we like to order a prostitute until the situation changes, sir?’ Asked the butler, knowing the answer he would receive, since the two men had had the same conversation every other night since the passing of Mrs Beauregard in the early 80s.

   ‘Excellent idea, Geoffrey. Most excellent.’