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The Love of Dance

Sunday, 24 April 2016

A tough week.

The last week has been a very tough one. On Friday 15th April my father was rushed into hospital, he later passed away in the very early hours of Sunday 17th. My sister and me were beside him, it was a peaceful end. We believe that he could hear our daft chatter towards the end and knew that we would both be secure and safe whilst we know he is no longer suffering.

I would like to thank everyone for all their kind thoughts on Facebook and the beautiful thoughts in sent in cards. These have meant so much to me and my family.
Needless to say, I haven't done any writing this week; apart from my journal and for the foreseeable future it will be on hold. However, should the inspiration kick in, I will be giving it a go. Dad loved my stories and he’d hate me to give up now.
Work has been hard, I've been in and out, which may seem odd, but I've needed to keep busy.

I have set a writing task for this week. Over the last month I've been chopping down things in the garden and hoping to have a burn up. However, the rain has had other thoughts, every time I've been out to light it, it has rained or the cuttings are too damp. The image below should inspire you to write a piece of poetry. Writing poetry was one of the things my father loved to do and he loved a good bonfire.

So go on, get writing.

Sunday, 17 April 2016

The weeks round up

This week has been full of great, frustrating and amusing moments. With my work, we have moved forward and things are, dare I say it, looking up. There is still a long way to go in some directions, but overall things are looking good.
Writing has been slower than normal due to the work load at work. But having said that, I have made small inroads into another new project. I have submitted one of my 7+ novels and as it is very quirky I am hoping the readers will find it great fun and see its potential.
The session at the Windmill Writers was once again full of writerly chatter. Lucy kicked us off with her children’s novel. This is shown in two peoples pov. One of the chapters had good balance, but the other needed work. The main thing was to show the other characters in the story instead of telling us what they were doing. This encouraged a great amount of chat and I think Lucy will not find this issue again.
Alan was next to share. He was writing the second in his picture book series. Like the first, it has a lot of possibilities but needs some hard pruning to use a horticultural term. Too many words for a picture book. Picture books are one of the hardest things to write as you have so few words and everyone has to count. Which is true for all writing, but especially important when writing picture books. I’m looking forward to seeing the much shortened version next week.
Then Nicki shared some of her first every YA novel opening. This has an interesting plot and feels like it will develop into an interesting story. She has always has plotted out the complete storyline and has created all her character’s beautifully. I'm looking forward to hearing more of this and the rewrite of the opening, just to tighten slightly. Bloody amazing for a first draft, but that isn’t unexpected with Nicki.
Lastly I read some of my 7+ novel that I've submitted to one of the publishing houses. It had one of my audience looking totally confused, due to the strange characters and language used. The other two giggled along with the story and said they thought it very inventive with a touch of the Roald Dahl about it.
Over all it was another active session and along with all the reading and critiques, we were involved in lots of interactive writerly chatter.
The writing task for this week, should you chose to take the challenge. This is a simple one. Keep a diary of a week and from that diary write a short story using many of the aspects you have noted down. Remember to go into detail with your diary recording.

So go on, get writing. 

Saturday, 9 April 2016

Looking forward to a burn up!

One thing is for sure, this week has been ridiculous! Simple as that, completely bonkers, but in a good way, work just didn't stopped coming in. Having said that, I have enjoyed it. Amongst this madness, I've had my physiotherapy and I'm doing well. Things are looking up; I just hope it will continue to keep improving.
I attended the YGAW meeting where we discussed submissions, chatting about keeping the plot and changing the characters and this was so inspiring that one of the member has now started writing their first YA novel. I have as previously mentioned in my last blog, I have a new synopsis and I'm sending this off later today with the opening chapters of a 7+ novel. I can only hope it will fall under the right nose of the right person at the right time and with a touch of luck, maybe it will find a home. Time will tell. I'm looking forward to getting on with improving my planning for my YA that has been on hold for a while and writing up the edits I did on my 9+ which will mean I'll be able to send that out soon.
Yesterday, Friday, after another long day I met up with my friend Christine and we spent a delightful three hours putting the world to rights. It was lovely to catch up and share what life has been challenging us with.

After my activities in the garden last week, I have been out and purchased a new incinerator and a large paving slab to stand it on. I have been chopping and breaking down wood to burn. I filled the burner and had a pile to replenish once the fire got sorted proper, however, no matter how hard I tried to get it started, it refused. It refused umpteen times! I stuffed it with paper but, no it wasn't having any of it. So I guess I’ll never make it as an arsonist and if that wasn't bad enough, it then started to rain. I will go out again later with a fire lighter in hand 
and if that doesn't work, I’ll give up


.

Today’s writing task is to find the third book, on the second shelf of your bookcase, turn to page 65 and from line seven select the sentence that starts or finishes on this line. Use this as the opening line of your piece of writing. Think about writing a monologue or non-fiction piece.

So go on, get writing.

Thursday, 7 April 2016

Meeting was cancelled so synopsis was attacked.

The midweek writing meeting at the Windmill Pub Chipperfield didn't happen this Wednesday. We were all off doing other things. 

After a long day at work, I did manage to get some writing done. My goal was to rewrite my synopsis which I have been working on for ages! And it has never gone right.

One of my previous attempts had been read at the last meeting, it was awful. So having tried again, I sent it off to writing friends and the feedback was okay, but one in particular rewrote the opening sentences and bam! there it was. I made a few alterations, very small and then the rest flowed beautifully.


I have once again shared it and I have tweaked again and I'm quite happy with it. I still hate synopsis but I’ll send this one out and with a pinch of luck it will be good enough to show what my manuscript is about. 

Saturday, 2 April 2016

Working hard in the garden.

I don’t normally write a weekend blog, but I've been working so hard in the garden today I wanted to share it with you. After getting the daily chores out of the way and having a visit with my Dad, he told me to go as it was his lunch time, so I left him to it. I got home and after a much needed cup of tea and a bag of ready salted crisps, I know how to live, I headed out to my poorly neglected garden.

I started with the mowing of the lawns. I say lawns, but to be honest it is mostly a mix of meadow grass, weeds and moss, but it still needs cutting. This was the first cut of the year, and I was surprised how well my old mower coped with the length and slight dampness of the grass.

After this I set about doing a little weeding and sorting out of pots, there are still many pots to sort out! I cut back the honeysuckle and pruned the baby pink rose and discovered the tulip bulbs have grown and have flower heads. They were hiding behind grasses and stinging nettles. And for once I didn't sting myself.

Then after an orange club biscuit I grabbed the loppers and started cutting back the second giant buddleia. It had to be at least 16’ tall, much bigger than me. I cut back with the loppers as much as I could, and then resorted to the saw for the larger branches that were four to five inches thick. This took rather a lot longer than I had anticipated. But it is down and now just needs to be burnt once it has dried off a bit.

 I didn't get to prune back the pear tree as I will need another pair of hands to ensure that the branches that I cut off are pulled away from the neighbour’s fence as I don’t want it smashing them down, as they were newly erected last summer. I did a little pruning of the lower branches but the larger ones, which are once again over 14’ tall I will need help.

I'm about to make up my new barbecue/log burner ready for use and make up my plastic greenhouse. I'm looking forward to growing my own seedlings this year, so I’ll be sowing seeds tomorrow on Monday.


I've loved my time in the garden. I'm looking forward to getting it looking beautiful once again. I must ensure I am more proactive with my gardening care this summer and going on into the winter. 





Friday, 1 April 2016

Persistence is the key to everything.

How is it that a four-day week always seems longer then a five-day week with overtime? I think it is because you try so hard to get everything done in a shorter time and push yourself close to the abyss in doing so. Having said that, it’s been an interesting, enjoyable week.

On the writing side I have worked very hard on getting the opening chapter of my thriller, pitch and mini biography to the best of my ability. I checked to find out if the novel had to be complete and thankfully it didn't so I was able to enter. I believe in this piece so I hope that it finds a friendly reader the other end. As always I’ll let you know if it gets anywhere. I am now working on a synopsis for another submission, and I'm finding it very difficult. Persistence is the key and I'm hopeful that with a visit to the YGAW group this weekend will help me get the balance right.

I had lots of times with friends last weekend, my birthday, doing me things and an unexpected communication from an old friend that made me smile – lots of memories, lots of wonderful people I feel blessed to have such good friends.

I've been shopping with birthday money. A new log burner come barbecue, three fire fly garden lanterns, which I can’t turn on as I can’t get the lids off. I think I need someone with stronger hands than me. I think the neighbour will be tasked with that tomorrow. I've bought a plastic greenhouse so that I can start sowing my seeds that I also bought. I’ll be trying the burner out this weekend. My main task for this weekend will be trying to get the garden tidied up from the ravages of the winter. There is so much to do. One of the main things is to cut down the second large buddleia and bring the pear tree down about seven foot. Me a ladder and a hand saw. It should prove interesting.


If you are looking for something to write about this weekend my writing prompt might just get you scribbling away. This beautiful sculpture was given to me by my sister for my birthday. Look at the three dancers and give each a character and write the conversation that they are having whilst practising at the barre. 

So go on, get writing.

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Windmill Writers, Hertfordshire write up 30/03/2016

Yet another small meeting with a new face to many and an old face to me popping in for the evening. It was lovely to welcome Clem to the fold for the night. Clem is a member of the Verulam Writers Circle based in St. Albans, as was I many years ago. It was inspirational to hear his comments on synopsis writing which is the bane of many writers. I will be using his insight tomorrow when I attempt to write a synopsis that is a synopsis and not just another telling of the story. I do so struggle with this aspect of the submission process.

We have a few more entries in our submitted – accepted and accepted & paid for book. This is now totalling 17 submissions. The aim of the book is to inspire the group to think of ways of getting their work out in the public domain and if possible be paid for it. In doing this you get to share the pain and delights that come your way with the group.

This week Alan started the show with a much improved version of his picture book text. He has worked hard on getting the syntax and rhyme right with this. There are a couple of tweaks needed just to make to a few of the stanzas but once that is done he will be submitting his first piece.

Sanjit was next up with the next excerpt of his WIP Malabar Spice. This again was emotive. It was beautifully written with some evocative sections. It was felt however that there were moments when the view point altered, if only briefly, and there needed to be a little more of the thoughts and feelings from Mamet as we are seeing the story through his eyes. I wanted a little more about the situation within the building and the bumps in the cart to be shown. This could all be easily be put right.

Clem then read some of his piece – Colin. This was solidly in the pov of his protagonist. It was humorous, slightly rude, very blokey, and had everyone engaged. He is a master of unique lines and beautiful sentence structure. Throughout the piece there was the peaks and troughs of tension, sex, inner thoughts and the introduction of the unexpected were nicely crafted into the work. It was interesting to hear everyone’s view on how the story would finish. We may never know; it all depends on when we next have Clem’s company around the table. I for one would love to see where he takes it from where he left us hanging.

Then it was my turn. I read my awful synopsis and thankfully everyone hadn't fallen asleep at the end of it, but it wasn’t good. Through discussion, I now have a better idea of how I will approach and this tomorrow I will settle down and give it a go.

Over all it was a good session. We missed Lucy, Marc and Nicki but hope they will be with us next time.