24hrFFC, the stories behind the stories: sleep, ebook and after

Posted: 5 April 2013 in 24hrFFC

So, that was it. Done. Finished.

Not quite.

As soon as Mitch had uploaded the final version of the album, and I’d uploaded the final story, we had the “get out”; everything had to be taken apart, packed up, packed into the various vehicles we had for transport back to Mitch and Clara’s.

I was babbling. I knew it. I’d done a quick ‘thank you and goodbye’ to the webcam above my writing table before we’d disconnected it, and I was so very pleased to see a couple of friends who’d stopped by with bagels, (smoked salmon and cream cheese). They’d been travelling for some hours, due to there being problems with the trains and got there just as the challenge was coming to its conclusion. I’m as sorry as they are that they couldn’t have been there for more of it.

But yeah, I was babbling. It was as if instead of the adrenaline leaving me immediately, as I’d expected it to do… it was ramped up a level, combining with the caffeine in my system and telling me “you’re no longer on webcam – you can do or say anything.” All I remember (confirmed this Tuesday night, by the way, by those very same friends, Stu Nathan and Andrea Burgess) was that I couldn’t stop talking, nor slightly shaking.

Then we were outside somehow. Another friend (Deborah Crook) was kind enough to run Phil home, back to Barnet. And Kerrie Cook eased me into her car for the short drive back to Mitch and Clara’s.

I didn’t fall asleep straight away when we got back. I was shattered, so bloody tired, but I didn’t fall asleep. Not quite yet. I mean, sure, there was an element of excitement that it had been done, and a greater sense of actual achievement at how much we’d raised, and what I’d done.

But over the next hour or so, there was a definite slowing down of mental processes. When I could hear myself slurring my words? Yeah, time for sleep.

And so I slept.

Not for a hell of a long time; about four hours, I think. Long after I’d intended to wake up though. Y’see, I’d assumed that I’d grab a couple of hours’ sleep, wake up, start on the ebook, bang it out in a couple of hours, and then go back to bed for a longer sleep. It didn’t happen. I woke up irritable, still dog tired, and ratty as hell. And that was pretty much me for the next twenty-four hours. It wasn’t until Sunday night that I got around to properly starting the ebook, and I’d already had several temper tantrums about forgetting how to use the ebook software.

I raised over £1,400 for Comic Relief. It’s worth remembering that. In fact, no, it’s not.

This is what’s worth remembering: You lot donated £1,400 for Comic Relief.

I was just the means that allowed you to do so. You lot deserve the praise, as do so many other people. So let’s do some thank you’s while I have the floor. Or the blog. Oh, you know what I mean.

To all the challengers – thank you so very much. The titles and words you challenged me with were as fine a selection as I could possibly have wished for.

You’re all very nice, wonderful, clever people, and those I haven’t met yet, I’d very much like to, to say thank you for this and for the enjoyment you’ve given me over the years.

So, thank you to Ian Rankin, Emma Kennedy, Kim Newman, Jon Holmes, Rory Bremner, Rufus Hound, Caitlin Moran, Lauren Laverne, Marcus Brigstocke, Laurie Penny, Sarah Pinborough, Tim Minchin, Dave Gorman, Andy Nyman, Andy Salzman, Mark Watson, Ben Aaronovitch, David Arnold, Robin Ince, Jenny Colgan and Robert Llewellyn.

There are three challengers’ names missing from that list – you’ll see why in a minute.

To those who donated money during the writing and who ‘bought’ the ebook – I can’t express my thanks enough. Just… thank you thank you thank you. Thanks also to those who followed us on webcam, or visited the venue, and gave us so much encouragement and support during the twenty-four hours.

To Hayley Gale and Darren Saunders – The technical wonders who kept a live feed going during the 24 hours during which this book was written. Thank you so much for your time, your efforts, your good humour and your friendship.

Here are two of the challengers who aren’t mentioned above… To Mitch Benn, Neil Gaiman, and Clara Benn – This book, indeed this entire project, would ever have happened without you; thank you for this as for so much else.

AND, finally, To Richard Curtis, Comic Relief and everyone who works there – thank you for being there and for doing what you do.

Here’s the ebook – I know that some people have downloaded it already, but I’m sure there are some who haven’t yet. It’s a free download and there’s no obligation to donate anything, but if you’ve enjoyed the stories, or expect to enjoy the stories, or even enjoyed the stories behind the stories, can I suggest a donation of a pound here?

UNFORTUNATELY, there are problems donating via that method if you’re donating from outside the UK, so you can either use a UK postcode (it’s been suggested you try W12 8QT) or Paypal me any donation on budgie@hypotheticals.co.uk

The links:

Twenty-Four Hours of Fast Fiction ebook – epub (for iBooks)

Twenty-Four Hours of Fast Fiction ebook – mobi (for Kindle)

I think that’s it. We’re done.

Any questions? No? Fine. See you next entry when I’ll post something that has nothing to do with Red Nose Day, Fast Fictions or anything to do with Twenty-Four Hours of Fast Fiction at all.



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