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, 18 January 2015

Last nail in the coffin.

Happy Sunday! Yes, I know that last statement means I'm late with my Friday blog post, but I've been busy. I have to admit I've not been busy on writing, but busy catching up with life outside the house and friends inside. I'm pleased to say that the little flurry of snow that got a lot of children happily excited for half an hour on Saturday was beaten back by beautiful sunshine. Don’t get me wrong I love the look of snow and walking through the fields and woodland, but when it comes to diving in it and trying to get to work, well I would rather it didn't arrive. I'm still hoping we won’t get any, but one never can tell.

The last Windmill Writers meeting was great fun. We read our WIPs, shared rejection and participated in a writing activity, which gave us all a good giggle. This coming Wednesday, we are once again sharing WIPs and if time permits there may be a few writing exercises to try.
The time has come to share this week’s prompt. You will be using the phrase: Last nail in the coffin. To create a piece of creative writing. You can use it in whatever context you feel fit. However, to make it a bit trickier, you are going to attempt to write this phrase in three different ways.
  • 1000 Word short story.
  • Poem
  • A stream of thought. 

So there you are, give all three a try. Go on, get writing 

Friday, 9 January 2015

Stepping out and moving forward

So the New Year has begun and with it opportunities to develop. I'm aiming to look forward and not back to what has passed but to what is yet to come. That said, I'm putting my head down and preparing submissions this weekend. I've done all the editing, tightened and honed to the best of my ability, which only leave the submission. I've studied my market and selected my targets. I am submitting to some who have asked to see examples of my work and those suggested to me. I'm after good feedback and or representation, which would be a dream – of course after that even more hard work will ensue.

At the end of 2014 I have been able to get back in contact with many old, and I've known them for a long time, writing friends and will endeavour to keep in touch throughout 2015. It has been great to hear what everyone is getting up to and how their writing is coming on. Some great projects are developing and success has been made which excites and inspires me.

I hope you are getting on well writing up your journal every day or night and are making sure you are writing daily or as much as you can. I aim to write, think about my work or just scribble bits and bobs to keep my creative ideas alive. Doing this, I hope I will keep my writing fresh and flowing.

This week’s writing prompts are below.

  • Write the following words into a short story: Sinus – Candle – Donkey – Willow – Ink – Tools – Mouth
  • Use the following as an opening line: Two steps forward is what he said so, so be it…
  • Use the following as the ending of your work: “So drink, dance and be merry for tomorrow will never come.”

I hope you will have some fun with these prompts and please share my blog with others.

So go on, get writing.

Friday, 2 January 2015

Happy New Year 2015 - 1st Prompt of the year.

We have stepped into the New Year and I hope it will bring you all some good times, some great times and some amazing times. None of us know what will confront us in the future but I know that we must all go out there and enjoy every moment. I for one intend to take up as many invitations, offers and chances that come my way, well as many as I can and at the same time seek out a dancing partner.

On the writing side I will be setting out my writing plan to allow me greater time to write and not just think about writing, which I do too often. This weekend I am setting out what I’m going to be submitting and where to. I'm hoping that with this new approach will allow me to move forward in my writing career. As always I’ll keep you all updated, with the highs and any lows that come my way. One of the things that keeps me going are the great comments on my work last year and the critiques which have given me great direction.

The next meeting of the Windmill Writers is Wednesday 7th January at 19:00-21:00 but people can continue longer if they wish. If you are interested in finding out more about the writing group please email: windmill.writers.hertfordshire@gmail.com The group meets weekly and welcome, new, developing and published writers. If you write or have ever been interested in writing now is the time to get in touch.

As a writer, I always keep a journal of my daily experiences both good and bad. I find writing down my thoughts and feelings at the end of the day allows me to utilise them when I'm creating a piece of writing. I find when reading some of my yearly journals back I get quite emotional, not just upset, but angry and often have a little chuckle to myself. I recently read one from 2001 quite an emotive time in my life and now with fresh eyes I see some great material. Beware if you were around in that year!!

So I come to my first writing prompt for 2015.

You need to use all the following words in a short story. The choice of genre is up to you, but each word has to appear somewhere in the piece.

Wasted – Suck - Mouldy – Creaky – Vacuous – Frilly – Toe-nails – Icing sugar – Dexterous.

I hope you have good fun experimenting with this prompt. Feel free to let me know how you got on.

So go on, get writing. 

Saturday, 27 December 2014

Moving forward from 2014 into 2015

What a year! Some of it good, some not so good and some really confusing. On the writing front, nothing much has changed. I've submitted material, and had great feedback – up shot good writing but pushing the boundaries too far. I've going to take up the opportunity to submit to another agent, who is keen to see my work. So fingers crossed for the New Year with lots of hard work and determination moving forward to publication might just work.

The writing group I set up at the beginning of November is slowly growing and the quality of writing has surprised us all. There is still room for more members. If you are interested in more information about the group, please contact me at:  windmill.writers.hertfordshire@gmail.com   We are hoping to encourage new and developing writers and gain from experience from those of us in the group who have had experience of publication, conferences and other writerly knowledge. So why not get in contact and help other writers grow and enhance their craft. As writers most of us read and that is why even the novice writer can really contribute to the structure of the material being written. So come and join us in the New Year.

If you fancy a prompt to keep you busy for the quieter period between Christmas and the New Year celebrations why not look at the photo prompts below and see what you can come up with.

I will be starting the new writing prompts in the New Year starting on the Friday 2nd January. I hope you have had a wonderful Christmas and the New Year will bring you many opportunities, both in life and in your writing. 

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Prompt: I have struggled all my life and...

I am currently knee deep in Christmas cake making, the house smells delicious. I've had to have a few taster cakes to ensure quality and yes, they are yummy. Two batches down and one last lot to make. A batch consists of: One large cake, one small cake and eight cupcake cakes.
I have also made my mincemeat ready for homemade butter pastry. I can feel the pounds going on as I write this, but everything will taste so lovely.

The first official meeting of the Windmill Writers took place on Wednesday 12th November in Chipperfield, Hertfordshire. There were a number of us there at the pub where readings, discussion and general writing chat was had. We are looking to increase our numbers at the weekly Wednesday meetings. If you would like to or know anyone who might like to join our writing circle, then please point them in the direction of this blog or message me for more information.

The Windmill Writers also has a Facebook page: Windmill Writers if you would like to join our online presence the you'll find us on Facebook. 
This week’s writing prompt is to use the

“I have struggled all my life and all I have to show for it is…”

a: A bottle of Vodka and no fixed abode.
b: A child who I love beyond anything else, but only wish I was able to…
c: An empty mansion and a broken heart.

following as a starting point of a piece of creative writing.
You can write this as a journal, a contemplative thought process or a rant at someone. Let your imagination run riot. Make it light and humorous, dark and morose or thought provoking.

So, go on, get writing. 

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Using Dialogue.

A great evening with the Writers Workshop members and agents. This was more of a social than a networking evening with time to catch up, and opening line competition and opening chapter challenge. Once again I was inspired by some of the development many of the authors have achieved and by the gentle nudges from agents to get submitting more and chasing agents. This is my plan for the coming week. 
Add The image below is just a few of the attendees last night.caption
This week I thought you might like to use the image above to practice writing dialogue. As you will already know, the way people talk can enhance their character and tell the read more about the character than a stream of description can. However, to get dialogue right you have to practice. Look at the image above and select two characters, give them a topic to talk about and see where it leads you. 

Some ideas to get you going:
Oh, you have a dog!
So, give me a one line pitch.
I think I might be drunk. 

I'm sure you will get the idea once you start. So, go on, get writing. 

Saturday, 1 November 2014

The Windmill Writers

The new Windmill Writers circle will be up and running on Wednesday 12th November 2014. This has been a long time in development and I hope will allow writers to write, share and develop their own writing skills as well as encourage and guide others.

The circle is designed to give the opportunity to sit and write quietly, share work by read outs and discussions with creative/constructive criticism and workshop writing sessions. There will, in due course, numbers permitting, be opportunities to invite speakers and for members to run sessions.

Image by Nicki J Photography
If you are a writer looking for a chance to come out from behind your laptop and network with like minded people, and ready to share work and comment to help others, then this might be the group for you.
The Windmill is a lovely quintessential pub in the heart of a Hertfordshire village, England. If you would like to have the opportunity to join this group please comment with your contact details a brief description of your writing and your goals for the future. I will contact you closer to the time with further details.

This week we are working from my 'Topic Tin'. This requires you to use  the following to inspire creative pieces of writing. This is a timed task designed to last one hour. You have two minuets to consider the first option. What could you do with it. Three minutes to plot out a basic story arc. Ten minuets to discover your character/s and the final forty five minutes to write. Once your time is up. Stop. Then follow the same instructions with the next prompt. Do this for all three.
1. A grubby cucumber.
2. That last bottle of whisky.
2. The last train home.
All of the above are aimed at getting you running with an idea.

Once you've completed the writing, take time out to have a break. Then go back and review your writing. Do you feel that the work you have stared could be extended into a short story or has your simple plot got legs to develop further? If so, do it.

So, what are you waiting for? Get writing.