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, 5 April 2015

A little Easter time writing.

Another great week overall.

Firstly I have been writing well, small amounts but it feels like my current WIP is solidly moving forward. I'm particularly pleased as this is the work I've been jigsaw puzzling. Only when I've finished putting the puzzle back together will I know if I have actually achieved what I have set out to do, but currently it looks like it is heading in the right direction. I'm enjoying the journey with this one and hope the end result will be all I hope it will be.

I have submitted some of my picture books for consideration to a publishing house who are accepting manuscripts from authors direct. I felt this was worth a look. I’ll let you know what happens here.
I have been out with lunch with friends again and found another lovely place to eat in Berkhamsted. The Kings Head. The interior of the pub is a blend of old worldly with large open fire which welcomes you in on a cold Saturday lunch time, to leather and solid wood. The restaurant is tastefully done with large glass floor to ceiling windows, nicely spaced out tables and attentive staff. The food was delicious. I have allergies and they worked around those to ensure my meal was perfect. I had lime, coriander & chilli chicken (succulent) with sweet potato chips, side salad and a chilli dip. For desert a rather naughty Sticky Toffee pudding with vanilla ice cream. I couldn't fault it and will certainly go there again.

For this week’s prompt I am giving you the choice of three things. Take one of the first line prompts and continue with the story. You could make it as difficult as you would like by adding a second or third opening within your work. Make sure you include sight, smell, feeling, sounds and weave them into your writing.

  1. The parliamentary candidate appeared on my door step just when…
  2. The accident happened right in front of me – I was running late so…
  3. Jessica had lined her Easter eggs, all six, on the windowsill, before we went out for the day, the sun came out an hour later and chocolate devastation had occurred.

So go on, get writing. 

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Writing Wonders with Afternoon Tea

What a lovely few days I've had. It was my birthday and I've been spoilt by both friends and family. Eaten too well, had a few glasses of vino and it hasn't finished yet. I'm off to Lussmann’s again on Friday and Saturday with two separate friends. I'm a lucky lady. I fear that I might have to do a bit more exercise over the next two weeks to make up for all that delicious food. 

I've taken time off from work to enjoy some much needed ‘Me Time’. I've managed to get quite a lot of writing done and I believe I'm getting closer to sorting out the soggy middle in my WIP. I'm doing it by the jigsaw method! That is my name for it. Pull it apart take out bits that don’t work, rewrite and edit what is left. I think it is working, but time will tell. The most important part of all of this is that I am having fun with it, and if that can shine out of the writing then I have achieved my goal.
The Windmill Writers meeting this week was a mish-mash of readings, discussions regarding plot developments and editing processes. It is interesting to hear how other people develop their work.
For the writing prompt this week you have a treat in store.

Set yourself up a table for afternoon tea – eat alone or invite a friend. Cakes, sandwiches, tea etc. then sit down and partake. But, you have to make note on what happens. What things taste like, smell like, do the smells complement each other clash? What sort of conversation do you have? Or if you are alone, what are your thoughts during this experience? When you have finished your writing treat, you need to incorporate all the notes you have made into a short story for a magazine. However, before you set to writing, you will need to research which magazine you are going to submit your work to. Each publication will have its own house style for which you will need to work too.

So, if you are up for the challenge, go on get writing.

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Behind locked doors.

I have been very busy this weekend. Out for an early birthday lunch with my sister at Lussmann in Harpenden. The staff are always very attentive, but not in that annoying way of overcrowding, but in a discreet and unobtrusive manner. The food, as always was delicious and the portions perfect. One of my favourite places. My intention is to go there more often – well as often as I can.
I've been up in London, Richmond with my son. We had hot chocolate on a boat on the Themes and looked around, next time I go up he is showing me around KEW. It was a good day.

On the writing front, the meeting on Wednesday of the Windmill Writers was full of fun. Spontaneous writing from objects found inside a yellow cloth bag. A blind fold was placed across the eyes before dipping the hand into the bag and withdrawing an item. Then to feel, smell and taste if you fancied, before looking to see what you had selected. Then five minutes to write a description of what you have found using all the bells and smells. It was good fun and much laughter was had. This is an activity we will do again.
This week’s topic task is another photo prompt. Look at the image below and create either a short story, poem or just describe what you see. With all of these remember to make the piece come alive on the page. Make your reader believe you are there as you write.


So go on, get writing.

Saturday, 14 March 2015

What a week! Issues everywhere, but it is over and done with now and I'm able to take the two days to recuperate. During this madness, I have managed to send of my submission. I have chosen to try an agency who are currently accepting unsolicited manuscripts and are looking to nurture new writers, because that is how I see myself . I know I have had some small successes with publication, but not for my novels. I am positive that there is so much more for me to learn and to gain the support of an agent willing to work closely with me to shape and edit as required is what I am looking for. This isn't going to be an easy task, but I will strive to find the right support for me and therefore develop as a writer. I have the passion and hope that one day children will be able to lose themselves inside my books for a journey that helps to encourage their own creativity. (I miss working at the school, where I could share my writing with the children)

I now need to re-join SCBWI UK - I was a member, many years ago, but have been away for a while. I am awaiting an email response to see if I can either re-establish my lapsed membership or re-register as a new member. I hope to hear very soon.  

For this week’s writing prompt I'm asking you to look closely at the photo prompt below. Select a person or group of people in the image to write about. What are they doing? What is their issue? Why are they there? Or who are they going to meet? These are only some of the questions you need to be asking yourself before you start putting pen to paper or fingers to the keyboard.

So what are you waiting for, get writing. 

Saturday, 7 March 2015

It has been a good week. The sun has been out most days and as I write, it is streaming in through the sitting-room window. Its warmth taking away the frustration of having a cold, which sneaked up on me last night. The gardening today will have to be replaced by writing and perhaps I might be able to get out and plant up my rabbit hutch planters.
There is so much to do out there if I want to have some nice late spring, early summer flowers.

The tulips are well on the way up as are the bluebells along with the daffodils.  I noticed yesterday that the bleeding heart taken from my father’s garden when the property was sold has just pushed its head out from the ground. I'm pleased to see it has survived the winter frosts.

Last autumn I changed the position of a mock cherry tree that had been struggling in the back garden and replanted her in the front. I checked her out last weekend and found she is in bud. I'm hoping she will now thrive. I have many plans for the garden this year, no funds to do the changes I would like, but I love the idea of making changes even if I have to do up-cycling inexpensive ways to achieve the look I want.

The Windmill writing group are producing some good work which gives me direction. The discussions are helpful and constructive, no coating it with sugar, just honest opinions, which often conflict – giving food for thought. It is inspiring and enables me to push forward, however slowly. I have decided to work on my children’s writing for a while so that the thoughts around the Thrillers can mature before going back to them. First submissions are eminent.

I am giving you three writing prompts for this week. You can do all, two or one of them. I hope you will be inspired to write. Remember to put in the bells and smells. Sounds, thoughts, feelings and the smells. Don’t hold back on dialogue but don’t overload your writing with it. The key is to find the right balance.

  • Five little words: Drain – wine – Slim – Passport – Cards. Put all of these words in a story aimed at the magazine market.
  • Take it or leave it. Use this as your starting point of a piece of writing from the point of view of either a male or female. If you are male, try writing as a female and vice versa.
  • Photo prompt: 

So, what are you waiting for, go on, get writing. 

Saturday, 28 February 2015

Big decisions, right or wrong it has to be done.

What a busy couple of weeks! Preparing manuscripts to submit, contacting agents and getting responses, which have made me rethink a little, but also being constructive. Needless to say this will mean more thinking and decision making. Which of the three thrillers do I run with? This is a very hard choice as I feel they are all demanding to be completed. I'm trying to work out which is screaming loudest. So with that in mind, I'm putting them all away for three months and working on material that is complete which only needs another read through and tweaking prior to submission.

I'm very excited about going back to my writing roots which is for children’s manuscripts. I have selected three of the novels and will be checking, polishing and sending. It is time I took control of my writing back and make it work for me.

I've had a lovely few days doing things I wouldn't normally do, which has inspired me and refreshed my batteries.

For this week’s writing task I'm giving you a photo image and the opening line and then you take it from there. I hope you find it inspiring.

“I bought her a coffee, she took a sip, made her excuses and …”

So, there you are, the only thing you need to do now is to get writing. 

Saturday, 31 January 2015

The three prompt challenge.

Due to illness last week, I didn't post. In fact this week hasn't been much better, not me ill, but my poorly father has gone downhill rapidly. I went to see him today and I can happily say he has started to fight and was engaging. I have only managed a small amount of writing, but have been doing a lot of work on structure for my YA. It was at the Windmill Writers meeting that I discussed with members and came up with the right way forward. This has been an issue for some time so I am happy to have a set direction in which to go.

There has been some amazing work coming out of from the Windmill Writers and sometimes it even surprises the authors. Which isn't a bad thing. My aim for this week is to send two manuscripts out and write for at least one hour a day – even if what I am writing isn't as good as it should be. I need to get back into the swing of it.

I am taking the opportunity to send some samples of my thrillers to a couple of people who have expressed interest and I believe will give me honest feedback.

Onto this week’s prompts. I am giving you three ideas from which you are to write one story using all three prompts. It doesn't matter which prompt you start with but at around 500 words you need to incorporate the second one and then the third 500 words later. This can be tricky, but it is worth giving it a try. You can keep with the same characters or bring in new characters, but whatever you do it needs to flow naturally.
  • Lightning struck just as…. 
  • Mould interlaced its way…
  • Blood oozed across the…

I hope you have fun doing this challenge and feel free to let me know how you faired.