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, 27 July 2014

Abruptly woken!

I had a lovely six days off and feel very chilled, hope the feeling lasts. I have been reworking one of my children’s stories and feel the plotline is now right. It will take a lot of revision and time to ensure throughout the book all areas that need work are changed this should strength the whole book.

I'm still awaiting news from my recent children’s submissions and as promised will let you know the outcome, good, encouraging or bad. Six to eight weeks is a long time to wait, but that is the usual time that elapses prior to any feedback. However I did once get great feedback after seven days, but that was for a thriller, they loved my writing style/voice, but weren't keen on the plotline. I have since then written up three new plot lines and a fourth idea along with opening chapters for the first three. Once I hear from the children’s agent, I will consider submitting these.

The digging in my garden is almost done, and the black matting, weed protector, will be put down this weekend. No more digging – Yippy!!

This week’s writing prompts are all to do with waking abruptly in the morning. Below you’ll find four prompts. Select one and write a short story between 1550-3000 words. As an added challenge for this piece of writing you are to find an outlet for your work and submit.
  1. That wretched bird!
  2. The agricultural burglar alarm – again!
  3. Can’t you shut that dog up!
  4. Go back to sleep, Henry!
Hopefully the three prompts above will inspire you. So go on, get writing. 

Thursday, 17 July 2014

It all happens in the garden.

Weeks have shot passed and I've been working so hard in the garden that everything else has gone by the wayside. That I know isn't good, but the result is that the garden is looking very pretty now. On the downside, I have been nipping to the garden centre as a 50% discount week has tempted me to buying more plants. This isn't a bad thing, the bad comes when I spend even more time in the garden potting up, trimming back and tying in when I should be writing. Having said all that the fruit that I'm getting is very tasty and the pear tree has an abundance of pears, just hoping they will grow and ripen without being targeted by the wasps too much.
I now have a few days off so I will be out continuing my attack on the front garden – more digging, black matting and stone finish. Then to think of the planters and plants.
I'm also hoping to get time to write and edit another children’s book. I recently sent off two samples of my children’s work to an agent and hope to hear positive news soon. If not, some guidance.
Your writing challenge this week is to look at the image and incorporate the following in to the piece of writing.
“Why did you invite them!”
“I told you to get the smaller one, that marquee won’t fit!”
“Have you seen how much drink they have brought? It’s obscene.”
This can simply be a garden party, a wedding, charity event, a neighbourhood party, a family reunion or any event that is to be held in a garden.
The aim this week is to be humour into the writing but keeping it real. Select your characters well, drawer them out prior to using them, know how they will react in any given situation. Don’t forget to use the sounds in and around the garden. Wasps, bees, those horrid flies! Smells from surrounding areas. The local farm mucking out! The unsociable neighbour and their bonfire! How this event/party turns out is entirely up to you, but have fun with it and remember to ensure the reader see what you want them to see and feels any awkwardness and if possible laughs out loud for the right reasons.
So go on, have fun with it and get writing.



Saturday, 28 June 2014

Thatched Cottage - Who is watching?

Happy Saturday to you all. It has been a good week at the day job – my decision making was upheld and it was good to use my brain for a while.  

I've been consciously trying to eat better, drink more water and exercise daily. For the last two weeks. It must be working as I ache gently – not a burning, just that nice tender ache that tells you that you have actually been toning up. Added to this exercise plan, I have been working in the garden and walking up and down the stairs at work. So hopefully I'm getting a little fitter. I was at work yesterday and was trying to explain to someone that I was doing planking. After failing to describe it effectively I dropped down on the office floor and did it, in high heels! I'm not very good at it yet, but I'm trying.

As promised last week, I have sent off two of my children’s novel samples with synopsis and covering letter. I hope they will be favourably received. I love both and hope they will too. I’ll let you know how it all turns out. In the meantime, I'm starting work on my next WIP which is a piece I've had dancing around in my head for a long while, now is the time to give her legs.

So to this week’s writing prompt. I have selected an image supplied by a friend of mine John Corkett of a thatched cottage at the junction of a road. 
Image by John Corkett
Look at the image. Imagine yourself living there, the furniture inside and the cottage garden that is surrounding it. Outside is a figure just out of view watching. What happens next? Who are they? What do they want? How long have they been standing there? Will they approach and knock on the door or enter through the window late into the night? Friend or Foe? Make this story light or dark but ensure you show us what is happening, remember to use dialogue and all the bells and smells to make this piece come alive.


Go on, get writing. 

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Update and conferences

Okay, okay, I know that I've not blogged for a while, but I have been writing and juggling many other things in life that couldn't be put on hold. A while back I promised to let you know how my attempt to change of writing style went. I sent it in, even though I wasn't sure about it and as it turns out, I was right. The agent, wanted to love it but really didn't. I then made her laugh when I said I hated it too! I was attempting to slow down the pace and make it more immediate but failed on all bases. I will be looking at this again, shortly.

I am now looking for a home for two of my children’s novels. Which I am hoping to send off tomorrow, 20th June 2014, to an agent for comment. Once again, I’ll be posting the results of my endeavours on here. Good or bad.

The craft of writing isn't easy, so it is important to keep on pushing forward, honing your skills, attempting something new and never, never give up. If you love the craft, keep on learning and creating and with every submission you will move a little closer. It isn't easy, but like trimming the waistline, you will learn how to trim your work so that is will shine and attract those who can help you move into print.

 This weekend the annual writing conference in Winchester is running which is a great place to immerse yourself into the writing process. There is something there for everyone, newbies to the veteran writer. It is important to keep abreast of new trends and be aware of where your writing might fit into the market. And most of all there is that family feeling – everyone encouraging everyone else on. Keep an eye out for this one next year 2015. You will find it advertised from March, but you will have to be quick as tickets run out quickly.

The Festival of Writing in York is also a major player in the writing conference world. Once again here you get to learn, develop and share with agents, editors, book doctors and authors. Each willing to share their experience with you. This year’s event is running from Friday 12th – 14th September 2014. The location is wonderful and the courses are inspiring. Book early as places are snapped up.

I better get on to the writing prompts for this week. Use the following to stimulate a piece of creative writing.
  1.   You can’t just leave it there!
  2.     It’s up the tree!
  3.     I just looked at it and it caught fire!
  4.    The earth just opened up and it was there!

Why not try each of the prompts. You select the genre and characters and write a piece that will entice, intrigue, stimulate or terrify.

So go on, get writing. 

Saturday, 31 May 2014

Prompt 'Titles'

A better week, but still hectic. I have caught up with some lovely people whom I've not seen in a long while. Nice to see everyone looking so good and life is treating them well. My father seems to have evened out again and I hope the palliative care team can keep him comfortable and stable for a while longer. He has started to be cheeky again and not always politically correct! It is nice to see him interacting a little more rather than drifting off to sleep during conversations.

I've been working on the garden which is beginning to look pretty good. There is still a lot to do and plants to plant up: Runner beans and Peas. But all being well things will come on pretty well. I've enjoyed time with friends and family and will be, since being metaphorically kicked, to get my two children’s novels out there. So beware agents, they may well be heading your way. I also have to chase up a recent email submission, which I hope isn't lost in the ether, but has arrived with the agent and that she has had a chance to read it.

So down to this week’s writing prompts are ‘Titles’
.
  • Making paper flowers
  • Sunday morning sickness
  • Flying kites

Hopefully the prompts above will stimulate you to think out of the box. How could you use the Title of the piece to develop the writing? Think about how and why you might make paper flowers, or fly a kite or the reason behind Sunday morning sickness. For example: Making paper flowers could be with a child to entertain them on a wet weekend, or a charity challenge to raise funds. Flying Kites could be a metaphor for escape or just children playing together. I’m sure the prompts will motivate you when you put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard. With this anything goes. Poetry, short story, play or anything else you can think about.  


So go on get writing. 

Monday, 26 May 2014

Four Writing Prompts.

Right, I'm back! There have been many things going on with my father who has been in hospital but is now back in his care home. Work has also been very demanding which has all kept me from my writing. I will endeavour to improve my blogging and need to kick myself to get back into my own WIP.

I'm looking forward to my next lot of time off work as I'm having a writing extended weekend. All being well, I will have time to focus, up early write for the morning and garden in the afternoon and back to the writing in the evening. That is what I'm looking forward to. I wish I could do that every day, but the bills need to be paid, so I can’t get off the treadmill for a long while yet.

For this week’s writing prompts I've given you two images, and two written prompts.









In the flower pot.            Told you I wasn't heavy.

The following two prompts should be either used to stimulate a short story or poetry. However if either stimulates something else just follow your thoughts and write it.

1.       Don’t ask how, ask why?
2.       The perils of the shredder.

I hope one of these prompts inspires you for the coming week or so. Why not give them all a try, the more we practice the better our work becomes. And writing less often, as I know impedes our progress.


So go on, get writing. 

Monday, 5 May 2014

To walk in their shoes.



The sun is out and I've been out in the garden, putting right all that I didn't do last year. When I say all, I mean I've started sorting out the mayhem that was my garden. It is beginning to look good once more.  
To aid me with this I've also attacked the two brick built sheds. They have been great places for me to put everything that I ‘might’ need in the future. I've have now been through the tool shed, and the larger ‘Junk’ shed - I'm pleased with the result. 
My lovely garden is on her way back.


For your writing prompt this week I've have commandeered four pairs of shoes.
Each pair of shoes belongs to separate individuals. I want you to create a character that goes with each pair. Once you have written out your character traits, you will put those characters in the one of the following scenarios:
  • Walking in the country on a breezy, but sunny spring day when they encounter an uneasy herd of cows blocking their way.
  • A road traffic incident on a cold, rainy night on a road with no street lighting, no buildings except a ramshackle animal shelter.

You work out how difficult you want these scenarios to be for your characters. Make sure your dialogue is accurate for each character and that it is believable. Why not throw your characters in and see where they take you?


So, go on, get writing.