Welcome to my writers blog.

Writing to entertain and encourage other writers. To keep you informed of events, workshops, retreats and conferences available for writers.

Sunday, 20 April 2014

A Chance Encounter

Happy Easter. So far although I have a little Cadbury’s Chocolate Rabbit, sitting on the side I have yet felt inclined to bite its ears off. I'm saving that delight until later when I’ll have a cup of tea and bunny ears!
I had some new ideas about the design of my garden and have started to put them in to practice. I have managed to burn much of the dried wood from the ‘vicious’ pruning of the shrubs last September and the four fence panels that came down during the high winds more recently. I have a nice little burner and managed to get rid of most of the wood, but still have enough for another burn up. However, that will have to wait as the rain has come down today and everything is wet again. I'm going to be creating a new patio – it won’t be perfect, but I will have done it on my own and as long as I can put a patio set on it along with a couple of plants in pots I will be happy. Thankfully I'm a girl for the simple things in life. A good job really!

This week’s writing challenge is to write about a chance encounter. This is to be written in the first person and allow the thoughts and feeling of your character to show through and to engage your reader with them. There are two encounters you can select from or try both. Chance encounters can be exciting, enlightening, disturbing or downright boring. How you deal with the situations below is up to you, but whatever you do make it real.

1. You are standing looking at the train information at Euston Station when a famous person comes over to speak with you only you don’t realise who they are until halfway through your conversation. What do you do?

2. You are standing in the Victoria and Albert museum in London admiring the collection of Samurai Swords when you hear: “That’s what you plunged into my heart when you left?” What do you do?
Remember to use all the bells and smells with this, emotion must be at the forefront of you mind which will allow your reader to involve themselves with your story.

I hope you have fun with this, so go on, get writing. 

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Cat or Mouse tale?

Thankfully I've fully recovered from a very vicious stomach bug or food poisoning. Whichever it was, it was not very nice!

I have been working on some of my edits this week and by the end of the day I’ll have finished. As I was doing some tidying the other day, I came across the plotline of a YA that I’d but right to the back of the cupboard. After stopping and reading, I found it to be quite good. I think that might have to be my next project until I hear about the chapters I've recently sent out. One thing is for sure, I have started writing again proper which is wonderful. It has been a long time in coming.

One of the other passions, although I'm not that good at it, is gardening. I'm a sort of plant it and hope for the best type of gardener. Over the last couple of days I've been out mowing and blew up the mower, it is now in the pile ready for the tip. I'm hoping the grass doesn't grow too quickly until the end of the month when I can go off and purchase another mower. I've also been cutting back shrubs, planting up a few tubs and visiting the garden centre to see what plants I can get.

I was surprised to find my old ‘Mouse Trap Game’ from my father’s house when we were up there on Thursday. I have bought it home and put it down on the sitting room floor to await a game or two. However someone had discovered it too.

You might have already guessed, but if not, this is your writing prompt for this week. Use the image to create a piece of poetry or prose dependent upon your preference.

So go on, get writing. 

Saturday, 5 April 2014

An image with a story to tell.

A productive week – hope that is a good sign. I'm sure it isn't just me that realises that the weeks are racing by. Often it stars off at Monday morning with the familiar sound of groaning as we all stumble out of bed to begin the working week, only to suddenly find that it 3 pm on a Friday and we are only a few hours away from the weekend. This is great, however I've found that the precious weekend appears to be going even quicker - now that just isn't cricket!

During this manically busy week I have written in the evenings and I'm about to carry on typing up edits. I've sent a piece of work out and caught up with people I've not seen in a long while. It has been great.
For this week’s writing challenge we are using a photo to stimulate our creativity.  Look at the image and write its history.

This can be a factual piece or a piece of creative writing. What has this chair endured over its life time? Did it belong to a much loved/hated grandfather or grandmother? Was it the first chair in which your lover first sat on your lap? Was it the chair brought specifically for your much love pet? Has it been in the family for generations and has been privy to many a story? Use your knowledge to draw a life around this chair. Show us what it has seen, felt and endured.

So what are you waiting for, get writing. 

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Four people in a café

Due to many birthday activities, I have been very remiss and as you will have realised, I didn't get to blog last week. I was out partying. Oops! But it was fun. Lots of champagne and good food. Catching up with great friends and really taking time to chill out. A real me weekend.

I have recently passed out a few of samples of my current WIP. This has received mixed reviews. Some love the extra detail, others preferred it as it was before the reworking. I know which I prefer, but wonder if it would be worth trying again to get a better balance.

On the upside one of my 9+ novels is shaping up nicely after its jigsaw puzzle re-edit. I just need to get all the edits typed up, reread and sent out.

So this week’s writing challenge is to see how the dynamic changes in a room. For this you need to select four friends and bring them into a café one by one until they are all in the same room at the same table. One of your characters has to pass on a message about another friend, who is having an affair, but before they can pass on all the juicy details another person joins them. How do they get the message across? And when they do how does that change the atmosphere? How you get them there is up to you. Will they all know each other or will the first two know each other and notice another friend who they introduce into the group. What happens to the energy these characters create? Do they all get on? What happens when one goes to order/to the loo or nips out to the car? Will they all leave together or will one leave before the rest? What happens to the conversation? How do the new characters bounce off each other? Don’t forget to use all the bells and smells for this piece.

So go on, get writing.  

Monday, 17 March 2014

The Dark Side.

Sorry, sorry, sorry, I've been so busy editing, cutting and re-editing that the weekend has just disappeared and suddenly it is Monday evening! How does that happen? On the upside. I think the new opening of the thriller has improved, but I'm still unsure if it is right. I can only hope that when I send it out it will be favourably received.

I have also been working on a children's book which has been a WIP for a good few years. It has changed from a 500 word competition winner to a 20,000 completed 9+ novel. I have over the years taken it thrown it up in the air, many time,s and put all the pieces back in many different orders. I've added and removed scenes and written and rewritten my characters, until they all, at some point, drive the story along. I've loved the process and once again, will send it out and see what the response will be.

For this weeks writing challenge. We are looking on the dark side.

1. He had brought her out here for one reason only.
2. She could see beads of blood appearing where the binding was cutting into her wrists.
3. Nolan's VX-Car hovered above the ground as he looked down at the crumpled body oozing blood.
4. He bent low to avoid the club that flew towards his head, but his low wasn't low enough.

Pick one or have a go at them all and see where they take you.

So go on, get writing.

Saturday, 8 March 2014

The person within the character.

I'm feeling so much better this weekend, it is about time, and I've been making the most of it. Apart from the normal household chores which always have to be done, I've been out in the sun making the most of the natural warmth. I've put the garden tables out, all three, I've scrubbed them down and cleaned the chairs. I've brushed over the back yard with a good stiff broom. I've pulled down sections of broken fence panels and prepared an area for future potting up. I'm keen to get the gardens looking good again, it’s been a couple of years since I've really managed to get out there and look after it. This year I want the garden to look neat and pretty this summer. It used to look like this, it doesn't any more.
I'm also going to make changes to my much neglected front garden. Today I've marked out the sections I'm going to dig out and where I'm putting the weeping mulberry tree and the delicate white blossomed cherry tree.

Tomorrow will be a day for friends and writing.

It was a comment from a friend today that gave me the idea for this week’s writing challenge. We are going to look into the qualities of those around us, but not the visible ones, the qualities that they themselves don’t realise are there.

Character development is a very important section of any piece of writing, get it wrong and you work will not be character driven and it is the characters that the reader, loves, hates or admires, whichever way you portray your characters make sure the reader feels the way you want them to. For this challenge you are going to show us three characters from the outside and at the same time let us see the sections that they don’t know they have. Are they kind beneath the hard exterior, are they stronger than they realise, when others might think them weak or lacking.

As the second section of this task, using one or more of the characters write a piece that shows how they are made aware of the their inner self. Will they like it, be surprised by it or horrified?

So go on, get writing. 

Friday, 28 February 2014

Threads, Blood, Youth.

For a moment yesterday I thought I might be spending a long, cold weekend, but thankfully to a very diligent and capable young gas fitter, I'm all cosy and warm. Now don’t go reading anything in to that, he fitted a new circuit board and filled the expansion tank with water and everything warmed up nicely. I'm actually going to write to the company and let them know what a good job he did. I also got some really good advice regarding gas cookers. I was unaware that they give off quite a bit of carbon monoxide. When cooking you should always have a window open and not just an air vent.  That is also why you shouldn't use them to heat the house if you get a power cut, or like me, the boiler breaks down. I don’t have an extractor fan which I'm sure would help lessen the risk, but I for one won’t be using the cooker for anything else than cooking.

Writing task:
Below I have put three sentences. Read each and pick one that you are most drawn to. Once you have selected allow yourself time to think of the possible ways this could be used in creative writing. Try firstly a piece of poetry, followed by a monologue and finally aim to develop a conversation between two people with opposing viewpoints. Remember to use all the bells and smells to engage with your readers.

1.       Threads of shadows crawled forward edging closer with every tussle of wind.
2.       Blood of innocence swells through veins of despair.
3.       Youth, fortune and fame what’s wrong with having it all?

Remember for each of the above you are to write a piece of poetry, monologue and a conversation.
So go on, get writing.