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.

The Love of Dance

Tuesday, 31 December 2013

And into the NEW YEAR.

I hope you've all had a fantastic Christmas whether that be quite and studious or outlandishly boisterous. Whichever you have had, I hope you have found time to sit and think, to enjoy and share with one or many. And during this time I hope you have taken stock of your writing and are now in a position to move forward with new projects and can see how your writing has improved over the last year. With the New Year just around the corner, I hope you have the time you need to achieve your goals for 2014 and make good progress with all your writing projects this coming year.

To help you keep your writing fresh I want you to ensure that you write for at least ten minutes every day. That may seem a very small amount of time, but as some of you are new to writing and others of you are either published and just like to visit to take a break from your current WIP this is an easy way to improve your speed and get the work flowing. You can simple write about objects, things you've heard or simply write away the foibles of the day. I find it works quiet well to keep the brain thinking fast especially if I've worked myself in to a corner or am on the way to a dead end. Try it and see. Just ten minutes can make a difference.

I am going to try very hard in 2014 to make sure my blog is posted every Friday, but please forgive me if I'm late, it will be because I am writing and time has run away with me again! I will continue to keep you updated on what is happening with my own writing and I hope you will continue to share your experiences with me. Do feel free to post your thoughts and questions on here and if you have a novel to advertise and share I would be happy to post an article on here for you. Just let me know and we’ll sort something out.

I wish you all a happy New Year and I hope 2014 will be kind to you all. 

Sunday, 15 December 2013

The emotion of friendship.

So many things going on this week, and so little time to achieve it all. I had a big disappointment this week, but it wasn't meant to be, so I will find another way. I have to. I've started to think of new ways around things, which I hope will eventually be fruitful. It will involve a lot of hard work, but I've got some time coming up that I can put to good use. Wish me luck, as I will need much of it.

My father is getting frailer as each few days pass, he has a look in his eyes that is beyond sorrow. A place I can’t find him and can’t help.  I hope in some small way he will find enjoyment this Christmas.

This weekend we had our first Christmas dinner, which was really good fun. This Christmas is all mixed up with family and wonderful friends. Life would be so dull without you all. We have a lot of food left over which will feed us for the rest of the week. I’ll be making lots of experimental dinners!

One of the great parts of this time of year is the getting together of old friends and making new friends or acquaintances in unexpected places. The one that springs to mind for me was the encounter I had with an elderly gentleman I sat next to on a bench three years ago in Watford. I was waiting for my son and Stanley and I got talking. He told me all about his wife and her ills and the wonderful life they have led.  I don’t suppose I could really class him as a friend, more of an acquaintance, but it felt I had known him all my life. We would always stop for a few minutes to chew the fat! He had a wonderful outlook on life which I've tried to emulate in all things I do now. I haven’t seen him around for quite a while now, but have fond memories of his kind heart and generosity of spirit.

This week we are going to use our own experience to draw pictures of relationships, friendships and how those friendships affect us. Think back to three separate situation’s you have found yourself in and use your creativity to change the outcome. For this you will need to work with emotion. Try writing from all points of view and then decide on the POV you feel is best for the piece. Remember to write for the reader and drag them into the picture with you.

So go on, get writing. 

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Christmas on a budget.

It seems to me that December has dashed in like those reindeer flashing above on Christmas night. I blinked and it is already the seventh! On the upside, I have managed to get a few gifts, but there is still so much to do and if the days keep shooting through as quickly I'm not sure I’ll be ready by the thirtieth let alone the twenty-fourth.

It has been interesting to find, whilst waiting in queues, that so many people are really cutting back this year. Likewise I am doing the same. Christmas on a minimal budget is a challenge and I hope I'm winning. Like many others. I've looked in the shops and on-line for some ideas and then re-looked and made lists and remade lists until the gifts worked within the budget, well almost!

So this week’s challenge is to write a short story intended for publication. It will be set in the build up to Christmas – Christmas on a budget. For this you are going to create characters, use all the techniques you have at your disposal and craft an amazing Christmas. Think about how your characters interact with each other and how their individual problems may be linked. It is your job to weave their issues to produce the perfect Christmas. That may not be the traditional Christmas, but it needs to be perfect for them.

So if you want snow, reindeer or hot sun and a suntanned Santa it is up to you to make it real. So go on, get writing.

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Writing task and book launch - 'The Lost Duchess'.

I've had my head down writing and forgot all about blogging last week. Shame on me. I also, in my defence went into London to the book launch of ‘The Lost Duchess’ by Jenny Barden. Follow Jenny’s link to find out more about the author. This was a wonderful event hosted by Goldsboro Books – click the link to find out more. This is Jenny’s second novel and follows on from her d├ębut novel ‘Mistress of the Sea’. During the book launch a trio of actors re-enacted a section from the book, which grasped everyone’s attention. Jenny had been inspired to write by Bernard Cornwell and was delighted when he was able to attend the book launch. These two books had me curled on the sofa, lost in the depths of Jenny’s ability to conjure up scenes that drag you in, play with you and spit you out thinking what’s next? They are, as all writers want – page turners. There is grit, depth, love, fear and over all, a book that makes reading a pleasure.

Apologies for not having blogged over the last two weeks. This week has also been rather difficult – a bereavement in the family has shaken us all. One thing this has shown me is to take up as many opportunities that come my way as I can. Take a chance and see where it takes me. Well, in theory that is great, but doing it might be more difficult, but I am going to try.

I am quite pleased with the new opening for my WIP although I'm not sure if it is now too descriptive, but I guess I will find out later this month. If so I will par it down a little and then with luck will have the happy medium.

For this week’s writing challenge I thought it would be fun to have a look at writing a short story set in a book shop. Think about the location of the book shop, could it be London, the Cotswolds, France or the USA. Is it ultra-modern, quirky, quintessentially English or moth ridden, damp and stagnant? Could this be a book reading, signing, book launch, a hostile takeover or simply a character in love with books, the owner or the building? What could go wrong? What goes right? How does you main character deal with the situation? What season is the story set? What might be decorating the shop? Remember to use all the bells and smells to give the scene depth.

So go on, get writing. 

Friday, 8 November 2013

Write a Picture is back.

It has been a very interesting writing week, a challenging work week and last weekend was full of dancing and champagne, so I can’t complain.

I have been given some very good advice regarding my writing from a wonderful agent and together, well she discovered where and what has been missing in my work. I am aiming to rectify this over the next few weeks and get the balance right. To help me with this I am going to read the opening three chapters of three novels and implement this into my own work. I am hoping to get this done by the end of the month, which is already dashing past too quickly. I only intend to have the first three chapters complete by the end of this period. I have a direction and I'm determined to follow the path, with its twists and turns, hills and valleys until I reach the end. Wish me luck.
 This week we are going back to ‘Write a Picture’, but to make it a little more difficult, I'm also giving you seven words that have to be used within your piece of writing. There are no guidance as to the genre of this piece.

Words: Heel – Bubble-Tea – Beggar – Shock – Jelly – Hippopotamus – Dumpling.  

So go on, get writing. 

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Write up a storm.

I have had another busy week and the writing has had to go up a gear. Which is wonderful. I'm loving the material I am currently working on and feel really positive with the way things are appearing on the page. I know I have an awfully lot more to do, and once everything is written there will be much more for me to do and learn. With that scary thought in mind I'm still glad to be preparing for the next step – however long that might be in coming. I know that all the work and the effort is what I need to do to be able to spend every day writing. I don’t know if it will ever happen, but I will keep working until I can work no more.

With the storms lurking around us all here in England, I think it will be a great time to look at using the weather in our writing. So when the storm comes, take out your note book and write down what happens. From gentleness of a single leaf floating on a light breeze to the torturous scream of a giant oak being split in two. Listen to the wind, see how it changes, rises and falls, the change when it picks things up and drops them off. At the same time write down how that makes you feel. You will use this to show emotion in your characters. Also try to think of how our irrational fear of weather can affect us, or our over confidence that nothing will happen might be proved wrong.

So, you now have the notes, you need to put those into a piece of writing. Select one of the options below and make the weather prominent in your characters’ lives.

1.       Uncle and nephew taking the dog for a walk.
2.       Two couples out on a small sail boat.
3.       Lovers in a tent.
4.       A farmer and his herd of cattle.

I hope you will find some inspiration from this week’s prompts, so go on, get writing.  

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Topic Tin Tasks

I missed a week! Actually, I've almost completely lost October – how has it gone passed so quickly? In my defence for not blogging last week, I had my new laptop and I've been writing. Yes, really writing. I've been editing, writing new scenes and getting back in to the writing place in my head with my muse beside me, pushing me on. It has been great. So I hope you will forgive my lack of post last week.

This week has also be manic, work wise and on the writing side. I think the writing side is going well and pushing onward. My challenge for today is to get the house in order to make my writing space more Susan friendly which means changing things downstairs allow for the changes to writing area. I have edits to type up today and tomorrow I’ll be working on finalising plot lines.

It would be great to know where you all do your main writing. I know now with laptops many of us write on the go, which I find inspiring, but also I get distracted by what is going on around me. I do my best writing in the seclusion of my study area where no one dare disturb me. I've been known to write in the garden when the sun is shining and the rain isn't falling, but once again I can cope with the bird song, but not the lawn mowers, screaming kids and arguing neighbours, unless I need some character studies. Let’s find out where the creativity is created and written down. Please add a comment to this blog, on facebook or on twitter.
This week’s topics have come from the TOPIC TIN. Listed below are four challenges, select one that appeals, or do them all.

1.       Mother said she was sick, well she always does, but today there was something different in her behaviour that got me listening.
2.       It is autumn and the garden needs attention. Write an article for a gardening magazine. Research the magazines, target your article and submit.
3.       Write a ten minute monologue. You need to include the following words. Hiccups – Scissors – Drain – Feast – astringent – Void.
4.       Poem – Cobwebs. With the mornings being damp you can see the strands of the spider webs enhanced by the morning moisture.

So there you are. Four TOPIC TIN tasks for you to get your creative juices flowing. Go on, get writing. 

Saturday, 5 October 2013

A study of behaviour...

Okay, so the good news is, I have a new shiny sleek laptop which can travel with me and I will now be able to focus on the work ahead. Write as and when I wish, however, that isn't possible just yet, the reason being the new Microsoft 365 I purchased is not loading up, product key isn't liked and therefore I have to wait until Monday, they don’t have phone help over the weekends, I think this is something that should be rectified. It is frustrating. My son has suggested that I load my work up on Google Docs and therefore will be able to continue writing; this is until Microsoft help are back. So I'm a semi happy Susan and I hope that by the time I get home from work on Monday, my son will have been in touch with the help desk and solved the issue.

I hope you had fun watching and writing about the differences light can make in your writing. You can do observations to help you give atmosphere to your writing. This week we are looking at what influence our own behaviour has on those around us. How does your mood affect others? For instance, this week has been very challenging for me and I was very aware that my frustrations were being felt by those I worked with – Yes, I was angry. Thankfully this doesn't happen often. It is interesting how this disturbance in the normal behaviour of one can manifest itself in others.

Take a look around the office, school playground, gym or any other place where people meet and interact. Notice how a simple happy greeting can change to a concerned conversation, watch the body language – what does it tell you about the situation. A telling sideways glance can tell you so much about what a person is really thinking when engaged in conversation with a person they would rather be a long bus journey away form.

Take your note book with you everywhere you go this week, make as many observations as you can. I suggest you do this for at least a day, more if you get the chance. Once you’ve completed your notes, think about how you can use these observations to show the changes in the emotions of your characters. Play with different character types and see how different situations can manipulate your characters. It is a fun thing to do and you might be surprised with the results – characters you thought you knew so well, might just surprise you.

So go on, get writing. 

Friday, 27 September 2013

What's in the shadows?

Blimey! It’s Friday and I'm posting my blog. What happened? Well to be honest, I've got a very busy weekend coming up and therefore need to get everything done on time, if not before.

It has been another busy week and thankfully the end of the month is nearly here. Pay-day is just around the corner – roll on Monday. I'm trying to be patient, not easy, so I can buy my new laptop. I have stories I need to write, and work I need to submit. I want to be writing, really writing, so much so that I get so absorbed that I have withdrawal symptoms when I'm away earning money to sustain the body whilst the mind is allowed to create and indulge itself in creativity. Soon, so soon.

As the nights are drawing in and the shadows are beginning to cast their fear upon us, I want you to get out there and watch what happens to the areas around you. Set up a seat, or stand if you prefer, select an area and write down what you see, remember to carefully note down the light and how it affects the area you are watching - shadows. Then move away for twenty minutes and once again make notes on the area and the light, make particular notes of the changes to the shadows. Keep doing this every twenty minutes. Has someone come out and put a light on? How does that impact on your area? Does it create new shadows or extend the ones that were there? Perhaps the new light source has taken away the shadows completely. Remember to take note of the time for each recording.

Once you’ve completed this task, use this information to create a piece of writing that conjures up the differences you have recorded and show the effect it has on your characters. You decide if this is a light hearted, dark and mysterious or even deadly. Whatever you choose, make sure your reader feels it too.

So go on, get writing. 

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Looking beneath the surface...

Well those last few days were rather unpleasant. I will just say that the bathroom and I have become rather a lot closer!! It has been during this time spending longer in rooms than I usually would I've managed to see things that I perhaps had overlooked for a while. You could call it poor housekeeping, well it is poor housekeeping, but it is a fact that we often spend our lives looking but not really seeing what is going on around us. For instance, in the bathroom I noticed that the gloss white paint has turned that yellowish colour of old paint, and looking closer I noticed there are sections that have begun to crack. The plasterboard on the walls have started to expel their tacks, or whatever the nails are that hold the board to the timber beneath. My conclusion is - I need to redo my bathroom.  I have also looked at the other rooms around the house and have realised that the whole house is tired. I feel I may need to get the Polly-filler and caulking out along with a few rather large tubs of white paint.

So your writing challenge is to select a room, it can be a room in your own home, office or somewhere you visit often and really look at it. Do this in stages. Firstly, just glance around and note down what you see. Second, look more closely, what is hidden beneath the surface? Note down the differences. Thirdly, walk away for an hour and then return and look more deeply. What did you miss the first time? Don’t just look on surfaces, or at the floor and walls. Remember to look up. I remember I attended a workshop on screen writing a few years back and they tutor got us all to sit on the floor and look around and observe try to see something that others might not see. I pointed out the small piece of Blu-tac that was pushed into the upper corner of the room which had a small strand of red tinsel still attached from a party since past.
Once you’ve made the notes you will need to go away and describe the room in full, faults and all. Then take that and place a family, couple or single occupant inside and show us how they live.

I'm hoping that will keep you all going for a while. So what are you waiting for?

Go on, get writing. 

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Festival of Writing ... What a weekend!

I've had the most amazing week! And I have to apologise for not blogging for two weeks! I can’t believe the time has gone passed so quickly.

But in my defence, I've been working hard preparing for the festival of writing in York, England. Many of you will be aware that I've been working hard running the one-to-one’s at the festival with my trusty team Ellen Hanns and Mark Clementson find him on twitter @clem1000. It was an amazing weekend and made all the hard work prior to the event worthwhile. With a lot of table juggling, we managed to accommodate thirty-six, agents, editors and book doctors and thirty-six delegates every ten minutes. I have to congratulate all the agents etc.  for their dedication, staying power and support during the odd moment of madness – there were a few, like the one minute warning that was only 47 seconds!

This year we took a couple of hours out to walk in to York from the University campus and partook of a roast dinner which was a very special fast food. We looked around the Shambles and York Minster and walked around some of the city wall. There should be these places all over the country – and the Yorkshire puddings were wonderful. Our walk back had us crossing a cemetery and climbing over a barbed wire fence to escape. It all made for an interesting start to the weekend.

Click on the link ‘Festival of Writing’ to know more about the things you could be part of next year. You might also like to join ‘Word Cloud’ and online writing group with loads of members.

On a personal level I've been energised with the writing vibe again and I'm getting my head down to finish and send work as requested. You may also be pleased to know that I will be buying a new laptop, so there will be no more of the computer crashing every few minutes, seconds or just not turning on at all. I will be sure to be able to write properly.
So, with the thought of the conference still buzzing in my head, I thought it might be a good idea for you to look at your own novel and write a pitch which would engage the interest of an agent. It isn't as easy as it might sound. Play with different approaches. What works for you? Try it out on your family, friends, and random people in the street. Can you engage their interest? If so, how can you hone the pitch to grip them into wanting to read more?

If you have yet to write a novel, you can use the same pitching practice with short stories – how could you pitch the story to a magazine? This will need to be brief and concise to encapsulate the whole plot in a very few words.

So go on, get writing. 

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Engaged in dialogue..

I've got the laptop working today, but I don't know how long for. I'm hoping long enough to be able to start on the new major edits I have for my two children's novels. I must be brutal and go with my gut instinct. Make it sharper and then submit. Scary but a much needed stage. 
I'm going to treat this as a puzzle. I've been jotting down places in each manuscript which need addressing and the chunks that need to be eradicated.  Then remould the remaining text, adding and cutting as I go until the whole book is punchy. Well, that is the plan.
I've had some great feed back from the amazing Beverly Birch, and with all her help, points and direction I hope to end up with two novels that stand up and shout so loudly that they get noticed. I have much work ahead, but it will be great fun - love playing with these characters. 

What a lovely weekend we have been having. Sun, gentle breeze and great company. I headed out last night to purchase ink for the printer, which was much needed and have, at last, printed out scenes and emails that really needed to be added to projects. 

As autumn is just around the corner and I've noticed a few leave falling from trees, along with apples and pears dropping from the trees in the garden, I thought it might be good to think of things that can be harvested and used at this time of year. I picked up apples and picked blackberries from my garden and made apple and blackberry pie - it went down well and I'm now being asked for more!

So for this weeks challenge I want you to think of things that are harvested at this time of year and create a piece of creative writing around it. Choose your characters wisely. Are they children, child and grandparents or young lovers? The combination is up to you, but they need to be involved with the harvested goods and throughout your work need to be engaged in dialogue. Remember to create tension and resolution, along with all the bells and smells that goes to make your writing real.

So go on, get writing. 

Monday, 26 August 2013

The weeks writing challenge.

Sorry for the delay, the laptop issue is back. I thought I had solved it by buying a new power cable but the issue is back. I feel I now need to purchase a new machine. That will have to wait a we while. I'll be back to not book and pen for a while only to type up when the machine allows. Sad times. 

I had to say goodbye to the old apple tree today. The loppers and saw came out and down she came. It is a shame but some horrid disease got into the bark which has caused her to die. She gave such good apples – they will be missed this year. I always feel sad when a tree dies; it is like its spirit has left to find pastures new. That only leaves me with: A silver birch, birch, holly, William’s pear, mock cherry, variegated fir, Mulberry and a Sweet Chestnut.  You could say that I was a tree fan, but I've also got many shrubs and at this time of year they are all demanding attention.

Work has been busy and it set to be even busier over the next month. I hope to rise to the challenge and not disappear under it!

With the English summer coming to an end, still hoping for a September scorcher, but fear a September squelch.

This week’s prompts are to inspire a piece of poetry or short story. Below are four starting points, but you can use this as a catalyst to trigger something or use it as the first opening words.

1.       What was in Aunt Ethel’s under-the-stair cupboard?
2.       Are you really going to eat that!
3.       The cellar door slammed shut plunging them into darkness...
4.       The smile danced on her lips as she stepped out of her towel and under the ice cold waters from the waterfall. 

      Have fun and go on, get writing. 

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Missing out...

This week has been manic! Both in my personal life and work life – I'm so glad it is the weekend. This has given me a few hours to sit back and get a couple of things sorted out – washing, cleaning and I had hoped to mow the lawns but didn't get the chance before the rain came down. Maybe I’ll get to do it on Sunday.

Writing has been a no go this week, but if everything comes together I will get down to it tomorrow and then follow my writing time sheet. I've had to do that to ensure I at least get some time to focus on my writing as well as family, work and at some point sleep.  

This week I've been thinking about things we miss out on in life. It could be something small like missing out on that amazing jacket in the shop window or the missed opportunity of discovering the  love of your life. We have all experienced something like this but have you explored it in your writing. Have you thought of how things would have been different had you not missed out? This recently happened to me. I discovered someone had shown interest in me only to never speak of it to me. It made me wonder what could have been if he had.

So think about times when you’ve lost out and investigate how that made you feel. Note down those feelings. Then think about how it might have changed your life and if it did would it have been for the better? Look at the ups and downs. Remember the fear, excitement, confusion and the betrayal - they could all be lurking there. Write all these down and then create your storyline to incorporate aspects from your lists.

Make it happy, sad, or send your reader on a roller-coaster ride of emotion.

So go on, get writing.  

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Write away ...

Had a lot of things going on this week, but one of the good moments was when work friends, more than just colleagues, were discussing my writing and how they had faith in me. They probably won’t realise just how much that meant to me, but without moments like these it is easy to think you will never get there. Having people believe in you and your ability helps to keep the creativity alive and ready to flow or to continue flowing.

There are many things that can get in the way of writing and most of that is down to workload, family, stress to mention but a few. I've found a good way of helping me out of these moments is to write down the reasons that are stopping you. List them and then expand as to why they are causing you issues. This can help to unload your mind to free it up for the proper writing. I think of it of detoxing the mind. Next time you feel overloaded with problems, try it, it might just help.

Now that you are ready to write, below you will see a selection of objects. Select up to five for you piece of writing. Use the words as required, making them plural etc. to suit your work, but you need to create work that uses all five of your choices. Don’t cheat. Articles, short stories, plays, poetry or monologues anything goes.

Wallpaper – Fly Swat - Candle – Toilet Seat – Cabbage – Spray Paint – Plant Food – Moisturiser – Super Glue – Door Knob – Shingle – Hornet – Sun Burn – Lightening – Credit Card – Tuna Steak – Cod – Point Shoes – Duster – Flood – Ashes – Empty Picture Frame – Coral – Silencer – Peanut Butter Ice-cream.

So there you go. Select five and let your pen or computer do the writing. So go on, get writing. 

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Character flaws or strengths?

This has been yet another busy week at work and on a personal level too. Sorry for the delay on posting this week as issues beyond my control have overtaken. I hope you find this weeks prompts inspiring and remember to feel what your characters are feeling. 

When the heartless one comes into their own.

This week we are going to be looking at people’s perceptions of others: Sisters/brothers/aunts/uncles. What makes them act the way they do? Think self preservation, life’s lessons/challenges and misconceptions. Looking at your characters faults, if that is what they are, may actually bring your characters to life and be your characters saving grace.

Example: The sister/aunt/mother who has been raped, physically and mentally abused, brought a child/children up alone, struggled to find themselves and fight the self-loathing along with the snide remarks from those who call themselves family.

Each of your characters will have their own back story. It is through this back story that we can understand them, but we have to see this through your writing. Think about the people you know. How do they react differently from you? Why do they act this way?  Try to understand their reaction and way of thinking. Think yourself lucky you’ve never been in the situation that has caused them to protect themselves as they do. Then consider how that is a strength and how it can be used, not as a weakness/flaw in character, but to solve or give guidance to a situation.

So whilst developing your characters for the prompts below, think of character traits that may be perceived by others to be flaws that are actually strengths that will come into their own during your piece of work.

1.       Incident at the beach.
2.       Mother’s new partner.
3.       It is best for him.
4.       How could you?
5.       You shouldn’t do it that way.

How you deal with each prompt is up to you, but do think about how you want the reader to feel at the end. Do you want them to like or hate your character? Make your characters emotions touch your reader.
So go on, get writing.

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Sun and Celebrations.

A most delightful week with my son’s graduation – what a wonderful day we had. You will have to excuse me posting a proud mummy picture here – It just has to be done.

I've spent much time in the garden sorting out the flower beds and tickling the tomato and runner bean flowers – just to help the bees with their task. It is nice to see both bumble and honey bees buzzing around the garden working hard. The hanging baskets are/were looking stunning until the fierce rain ripped through them. After two hours of dead heading they are ready to bloom once more and give another good display. The roses around the front door, yes, I have them, look beautiful and the scent welcomes guests on arrival. I only hope I can keep them flowering all summer as there is an important date at the end of August that needs the garden looking it’s best.

 This week’s prompts need you to think celebration. What goes right? What goes wrong? Can things be saved or will things go from bad to worse? Use all your writing skills to create a scene that shows the different emotions that may occur during the celebrations and how your characters interact with each other during these events. Try thinking out of the box and bring in elements you may never have used before. I've popped a few settings down for you to work with, but feel free to set your celebration in a setting of your own choice.

1.       Wedding breakfast.
2.       Uncle Alan’s funeral.
3.       University graduation. (sorry had to include this)
4.       ‘Full Moon’ woodland party.
5.       Old friend returning home.

Remember to use all the senses and have fun with it, after all it is a celebration.

So go on, get writing. 

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Tomorrow I will write!

The last few weeks have been frantic, covering for a colleague and playing catch up on my own work and recuperating from my illness at the same time – not easy. This has meant resting in the evenings so that on the writing front not a lot has been happening on paper, but the mind has been having a wonderful time coming up with interesting opportunities for my characters to endure. Tomorrow, which is Sunday, I will be spending my time in the garden writing. I've so much to catch up on since I last opened up my writing files.

Last week my wonderful son got his degree and a job, can’t ask for better than that. It is a relief and he is looking forward to the new challenges ahead. With the graduation celebrations imminent it looks like we might have a hot sunny day for the big day. We have decided that we are going to be going up the Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth as we've spoken about it all the time and never done it.

 This week’s prompts are below. Use them to inspire a piece of writing. This can be a monologue, short story, play-let or poem.
  • “The button didn't work!”
  • “How do you mean, you can’t stop it?”
  • “I knew it was deep, but not this deep, sorry.”

Make them light, dark or downright daft, but show the correct passion in the work to make it come alive for your reader.

So go on, get writing. 

Thursday, 4 July 2013

A notebook challenge & Topic Tin prompts.

Firstly let me apologise for the lack of blog last Friday. I have been a wee bit poorly and ended up in hospital. That, thankfully, is over and done with now and I'm just doing what the doctors said and resting up. I'm hoping that that will mean that I can soon get back to the normal me and take hold of the reins at work, with my writing and my home.

Throughout this period of illness I had a small inkling as to how losing the ability to walk, use your hands fully and have a ‘correctly’ functioning brain and how this effects everything in your life. I am hoping that the memories of the pain, struggle and frustration that came with it will help me to use this in my character development in the future. With this in mind I've put down those feelings into one of my character notebooks and so that when I require my character to have a certain issue I can read back and remember how it made me feel, and with luck, it will help to make my characters fully rounded. This is something I would recommend every writer does. Sometimes we forget the power of the things that affect us so dramatically at the time and as the years pass those memories dwindle and it is very hard to recapture the feelings. For a writer it is important to hold all those thoughts, feelings and consequences close so that they can be used to enhance their future work.

So, if you’ve yet to start this kind of notebook, go out and buy one especially for the job. You will never regret it. I have three now, all full and often referred to.  This is your first task for this week.
For the second task you have the choice of one of the four options below from the TOPIC TIN.
  1. Write a Chocolate article for a woman’s or a food magazine. Research your market and submit your article. 
  2. Poetry for a Cats/Dogs magazine – research – get guidelines and submit. 
  3. Why do women always want to change men? This can be an article for a men’s magazine or female magazine. Seek out your target publication and submit. 
  4. Shelly say’s goodbye. Short story or poem. Select your market and submit.

Hopefully this will keep you busy for a little while. If you’ve completed one why not try a second or third or do all four if you are inspired.

So, go on, get writing. 

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Write a 'Race for Life'.

It is going to be an amazing weekend down at the Winchester Writers’ Conference and I'm missing it, which is sad, on the other hand it has given me four clear days to write, which makes me happy. If the weather will allow me, I intend to get out and walk, write, garden, write, walk and write until bed time every day. I have so much to do and need to get my WIP working.

With it being the time of year in England that we stage many charity walking events to raise much needed funds for cancer charities – Race for Life 10k, Walk with the Stars half marathon, Midnight Walk half marathon or Moon Walk full marathon. What all these events have in common are the people who take time out to walk to raise funds, but we mustn't forget those who organise, and marshal the routes, come to the aid of those suffering from heat, cold, allergic reactions! Yes that was me last year, but somehow still managed to get my silver medal, but I wouldn't have managed it with out my wonderful friend Fiona pulling me through to the end. I didn't enter this year, and I do regret that, but have challenged myself to do it next year. Please don’t let me forget. I was walking for my mother, my dear friend and many others I know who have suffered, are suffering and will be suffering in years to come. I was in awe of those who could run it, I myself run like a duck, and many of those had been through cancer and survived or were still fighting – amazing people. The atmosphere at these events is tangible. I've popped in a few photos here to show you what it is like, which I hope will give you a feel for what it is like.

I would have added the one
 with Fiona but she might
have killed me!

So the task this week is to do one of the options below based on the subject above.

1.      This is the first time you have taken part in the race for life.
2.       You are a seasoned walker and this time you are going to run the race for life.
3.       You are doing the half marathon ‘Walk with the Stars’ for the first or a seasoned walker.
4.       This is your first ‘Moon Walk’.

I've said select one of the options, but why not give yourself a second challenge and write the same piece with from a different viewpoint. Once you’ve done both versions compare them - which you prefer and why – what makes one stand out from the other?

So there you are, go on, get writing. 

Saturday, 15 June 2013

It is hard to write emotion.

I hope you've had a good writing week and are now ready for your weekly writing prompt. For me this week has seemed very long, but has been productive. I'm beginning to get back in to the swing of my WIP and liking what is appearing on the page. There is still a very long way to go, but it is moving and that is all I can ask at the moment.
I've made some writing decisions which means I won’t be able to attend Winchester Writers’ Conference this year. Instead I'm going to be locked away at my desk writing, which is what I need to do right now. The conference takes place from Friday 21st – Sun 23rd June 2013. It will be an inspiring event and if you are lucky enough to be attending you cannot help but to be inspired. The agents, editors, authors and book doctors are all there to help and guide you forward with our work. Many delegates attend every year to get that amazing buzz which revitalises them for the year, and many of those also attend Festival of Writing in York held in September to get a second boost. The networking at both these events, making friends and reconnecting with like-minded people all goes to increase your working knowledge of the publishing world and make you a better informed writer. Like life, writing is an ongoing process. We are always learning and developing skills and these events help you to recognise any weaknesses in your work and show you how to correct and improve your manuscripts. And to be honest, we all need a little guidance sometimes!
I thought that today we can look at gentleness and the pain of losing someone close to you. I find when writing these kinds of scenes it can be very helpful to call upon times in your own life that bring a tear to your eye, pain in your heart and anger to your mind. These, however, do need to be controlled emotions to come across well on the page. I have been known to cry whilst writing and a friend did get the full force of my anger when I answered the phone to her...thankfully she didn't put the phone down and we are still very good friends. I make sure I have the answer phone on all the time now when writing so this doesn't happen again. 

The prompts are: 

1.       Goodbye my sweet heart.
2.       She was so small.
3.       A happy life? Well possibly.
4.       And why should I care?

How you use these prompts is up to you. I was thinking It would be worth writing each as a scene and see where your emotions take you. Try to feel the power of your work as your write, you might be surprised at what you create.

So go on, get writing. 

Friday, 7 June 2013

From the Cottage Window.

What a beautiful week. I even managed to get time to sit out in the sun! Just sitting, not writing or gardening, just sitting and letting my thoughts drift. Admittedly those thoughts did meander away to different scenarios that I could possibly use in one of my novels.

I have also shared the first three chapters of a Ribbons of Red with someone who has yet to have read any of my work. I'm awaiting her thoughts. I will let you know what she thinks. Scary!

American CrowJack Lacey, another writing friend is about to publish his latest 'American Crow' novel, check out his website  for more details. I'm sure when I get the chance to read this novel I'll be posting a review here. If you would like a sneak preview you can find that on his website too. or click here and follow the link 'Books' read the opening page and then click on 'View More'.

Now lets look at the writing challenge for this week. It was whilst I looked out my cottage window and across my neatly mown lawn, that I watched a queue of traffic waiting to go through the temporary traffic light system at the crossroads. It was then that I noticed a handsome young man driving his four by four with his black Labrador in the passenger seat. The dog was harnessed and was enjoying the gentle caress of its owner. I will leave my thoughts here, but I want you to take the journey further. What happens next? Remember this story is set in the leafy lanes of Hertfordshire, England, with the fields, birds, rabbits, badgers, deer, horses and other wildlife, There are people and cars and tractors, lorries and we mustn't forget the horse boxes.

Try to think of a market for your story and target it accordingly.

So what are you waiting for, get writing.

Sunday, 2 June 2013

'Word Fit' - Just Six Little Words

I good week all round. Working on the plots and thought I had done them well, until that is, I read them to a friend and realised that there were many areas in need of tweaking. I have now rewritten them and just need to type up the new version. I really hope this time when I look back at them they will be fine, I'd like to say perfect, but... Then all I'll need to do is send them off and see what responses they get.

I have to confess that I've spent most of this weekend out in the garden doing some tidying up and making the garden ready for the summer and the fun and games that will take place there this summer. This is dependent on the weather, but I am ever hopeful.

This week we are going back to an old favourite the 'Word Fit'. If you've not done this before this is what you need to do. I will give you six words and all of the words must be used in a short story 1000-1500 words. You do have to option to change the tense and make them plural as your writing requires. And obviously the plot is down to you.

Words: Odd socks - Whisky - black banana  - Scooter - Yellow/pink striped trousers (Pants) - Purple nail varnish.

I hope this will get you thinking. Remember all the items have to appear somewhere in you story.

So go on, get writing.

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Book Review: I'm Dougal Trump - Where is my Tarantula!

I’m Dougal Trump – Where is my Tarantula!
This is the second book from the pen of Dougal Trump with a wee bit of help from Jackie Marchant.
The first book in this series was I’m Dougal Trump and it’s not my fault! 
If you’ve not read the first book, I suggest you do before you read the second. The first book has just won the Heart of Hawick Children’s Book Award.  http://www.hawickchildrensbookaward.org/

But, let us get back to the second book –
I’m Dougal Trump – Where’s my Tarantula? Once again it is full of excitement, challenges and groundings, which Dougal has a wonderful knack of forgetting. Dougal sets up a blog and has kept his site’s password secret, or so he thought. It isn’t long before he is getting threats and when his pet tarantula ‘Sybil’ goes missing there isn’t anything he can do but follow the instructions he is given. This gets him in to even more trouble – if that is at all possible! Can he trust anyone? The fantastic illustrations by Mike Lowery and little side notes throughout the book all add to the pleasure you get when reading. This book is another winner.

So what are you waiting for? Go and get your copy, you won’t be disappointed. 

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Just a passenger.

I’m busily working on my current pieces and hope to get much done this weekend. I won’t however be attached to the desk all the time, as I’ll be out with friends and family. Probably doing daft things!
I’m particularly looking forward to seeing my son down in Portsmouth. There is so much going on at the moment, my head is spinning, but it is mostly good. Can only hope it continues that way.

This week we are looking at what we see whilst we are travelling. There are four situations and within each you are to tell the story of the journey your character is on.
1.       A train.
2.       A Boat/Ship.
3.       A Hot Air Balloon.
4.       A Motor Cycle.

Your character is a passenger and you need to show your reader what they encounter on their journey. Do they notice the scenery outside, are they a witness to a crime or are they more interested in the people inside the carriage or reading the latest best seller? Do they fall off, out or in into the scenery around them. Show us how this journey effects your character and how they have grown by the experience. Where you set your journey is up to you, it could be anywhere in the world, but let us know where by the words you use and please remember to include the bells and smells that makes the writing come alive on the page.

So what are you waiting for? Get writing. 

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Through the eyes of another.

My week has been very busy on the work front, and also on the writing front. There is still too much to do but the manuscript is shaping up nicely and I’m sure that by the end of July I will be where I want to be.
I’m awaiting feedback on a few samples and I’m hoping that when that arrives it will have me going in the right direction. I’m keen to polish and submit now.

This week we are looking at writing from the point of view from different characters. Firstly set your scene. Choose from: living room – corner shop – garden shed - art gallery. Then you are going to populate it with one or two human characters. After that you are going to select one of the following to tell the story from their point of view. Cat – Rat - Gold fish – Gecko. Think about how the scene influences your story teller, are they just watching and relaying the story, or are they in danger or being spoilt. Why not try each of the story tellers in each scenario?

This challenge will help you see things differently. It might be a good idea to get down and look from the same level as your chosen story teller. Think about what they see, and how they interpret that.

So go on, get writing. 

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Playing with words.

I'm loving this new desk placement. I look out across the road, from a top floor window and out across the fields. I guess the only downside to this is that I have noticed I can be easily distracted from writing by the rabbits, birds, deer and foxes periodically crossing my eye line. However, I put this down as a good thing, it gives my thoughts time to work through the scenarios I'm writing. Well that is my excuse and I'm happy with it. Add squirrels to the list!

The writing is actually coming on quite well. I've also realised that one of my children's book ideas, can be rewritten with a mythical link. I was watching a quiz program and they mentioned the creature's name and 'PING!' the idea popped into my head and I now have to dig out that manuscript, pull it apart and rework the plot. Can't wait to get started, but first I have a submission to complete and then I can move forward on the changes.

For this weeks task, I thought it might be fun to make use of a dictionary. I want you to select four separate sections in the dictionary A-Z and choose four words you would not normally use in your writing. Write these words down, along with their meaning, just in case you can't remember and put them to one side.
Then I want you to walk around your house looking out of the windows. (This can also be done in any building) Decide on the view of your choice. Open the window and listen carefully to the sounds and take in the aromas that assail you. Now you need to look out of this window for TEN minutes and absorb what you see, hear and smell. Make brief notes if it helps.Then go back to your computer or carry your note book back to your writing area and write a scene to show what you have experienced. To make it a little trickier, you have to include in the piece of writing the four words you previously selected - don't go and change them, challenge yourself, believe in your creative ability to use unfamiliar words to enhance your writing.

So go on, get writing.

Saturday, 4 May 2013

Things aren't quite what they used to be!

These weeks are passing so quickly, I can hardly keep up! However, this is good, it means that I'm working hard on my own writing and although it is slow, it is slowly taking shape and I will soon be in a position to forward the plots off and see if they are well received. They have to be right and I can't push myself into submitting them before they are correct. Every day, every hour a new tweak - when will it end, when will I be happy? I've no idea, but I really hope it will be by the end of this coming week - focus is what is needed and perhaps a smidgen of luck, okay, a bucket load of luck.

Over the next week I'm also hoping to get a review out of 'I'm Dougal Trump... Where's my Tarantula? This is the second novel from the pen of Dougal Trump ably assisted by Jackie Marchant and illustrated by Mike Lowery. 

Now to this week’s writing prompt. This week we are looking at the musings of our characters. This week your chosen character is going to look in the mirror and for the first time notice that things aren’t quite what they used to be. They can be looking at their faces, body (clothed or unclothed) or hair. How do they react? What will they do about it? How far will they go to change things? Will they ask the opinion of others, this could mean showing the unsatisfactory area, would they be happy to do this? The beginning of your story needs to show the thoughts that are torturing their minds and show us how they deal with the situation.

So, what are you waiting for – get writing. 

Sunday, 28 April 2013

An injection of creativity

What a busy few weeks!
Firstly let me apologise for not posting a blog recently.Things have just gone crazy here. In a good way, but it has meant I've been tied up in knots with other writerly things. At last I think I have a system in place which will enable me to write the blog, do all my writing and have a life too! That is the plan and hope.

Last week I was at the 'Get Writing' one day conference at the university of Hertfordshire run by the Verulam Writers' Circle. It was another good day with many delegates taking advantage of the agents, editors and book doctors at individual meetings. Workshops were amazing and the networking at lunch and throughout the day made for many happy faces.

The next conference I will be at is the Winchester Writers' Conference in June, so if you've not yet had a look at their details, do so, as it is a great creative weekend. They follow the weekend up with a week of workshops for those able to stay on to study with those in the business of writing. I can't express how inspiring these conferences are, from novice to accomplished writer there is always something for everyone.

Now if you are looking for a writing holiday, you couldn't do better than to check out: Philippa Pride 'The Book Doctor' (Stephen King's English Editor) she is running one of her fantastic creative writing weeks. The current course is to be held above Turkey's Turquoise Coast.

The task for this week is to create three characters. Each has a reason to want to change something about themselves or in their lives. They are unknown to each other until they find themselves in the same place at the same time. A chance comment by one gets them all talking. Do they all make the changes, do they all decide to forget it or decide to change something else? These changes can be as extreme or simple as you like. e.g. Liposuction - mind set - partner. There are so many things that we all want to change from time to time.
Think about where you might pitch this story and remember to add all the usual bells and smells to bring the writing alive on the page.

So, go on, get writing.

Monday, 8 April 2013

'The Sea' through the seasons.

The past week I have been quite creative and getting the further development points and plotting down for my YA novel. This is now taking shape and I’m enjoying the new direction it has taken me. It is very much still in its infancy, but developing steadily with a wealth of interesting characters.

I’ve also been working on more elements of my thrillers and they are, I hope, beginning to have a similar theme and elements but are uniquely individual, if that makes sense?
I headed down to the coast this weekend and enjoyed the sun and the sound of the waves gently breaking on the beach and sound of shingle moving, the laughter of children, the calls from parents and the sea gulls screeching for food.

This week I thought it might be fun to use the idea of ‘The Sea’ through the seasons. What do you hear, smell and taste at different times of year? Think about the things that differ season to season.  Try writing a 500-1000 word scene that uses all the elements to make it real.
Once you’ve completed the four seasons, choose your favourite and expand to create a complete piece of work. You might want to use all four sections and submit your work.

Have fun with this and remember to make the reader believe they are there within your work.
So, go on, get writing. 

Friday, 29 March 2013

Character development, writing tips and a One Day Conference.

Firstly let me apologise for my lack of blog last week. I was having an amazing week of birthday celebrations, which meant that I didn’t get an opportunity to get to a computer for any reason, so that also meant no writing. However, I am now really relaxed and looking to get back to my new writing schedule and write, write, write.
As you know my laptop has been playing me up, but I have now tapped her power cable to the desk and as long as I don’t type too fiercely I should, cross my fingers, have any more issues. Still can’t afford a new computer as I had to purchase a washing machine. Long story! I still dream of the new computer. One day, one day.
This week we are going to be looking once again at characterisation. How will your character react in different situations? This will help you to create a more rounded character.
Firstly, create a new character or use a familiar character, but let them lead the way. Place your character in the following situations and see how they react. Use the same character for each of the scenarios. They may sometimes surprise you and do the unexpected! This can often work well within a novel as it could show an unexpected character flaw, which may or may not endear or shock your reader.
1.       Running late for the most important appointment of their lives. On their way there they encounter a person collapsed; there is no one else around.
2.       They are off for a first date with a person they have met on the internet. They are meeting at Leicester Square underground station, but they are waiting at exit 1 they arrived slightly late and there is no sign of the other person.
3.       House sitting for a new neighbour. They go in to check and pick up the post when they notice water running down the dining room wall. As they investigate the water appears to be coming from the loft. They can’t find the stopcock!
Remember we need to show how the character feels, behaves and their thoughts.

Just a little reminder that the Get Writing One Day Conference will be held on 20th April it is a great conference with many agents, editors, book doctors and authors attending. So if you’ve not had a look at their website yet, why not pop over and take a look. www.vwc.org.uk

Another great blog to look at www.imranwrites.com for some great writing tips and much, much more.

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

Saturday, 16 March 2013

It has been hectic here! Machines giving up the ghost and those that choose when to work and when not to. However, I'm getting some notes written and slowly getting them typed up. This does mean that I probably won't get the synopsis out when I wanted too, but that is something I have to accept and strive on through the annoyance that is the world of computers. Writing without one is impossible.

I'm currently sitting in my kitchen with the computer cable propped up in a position that seems to work! The sweet fragrance of home baked ginger cake is surrounding and tempting me into having a slice before it is cool and iced.

There are times when things just don't work out as we expect and that is what I want you to think about this week. Things that are emerging and could possibly go on to be brilliant, but will it turn out that way. Will the bud bloom or be crushed before it has a fair chance. I'm not going to give you any scenarios or other prompts, you need to think of a situation, perhaps one you have experienced or observed and use it. Perhaps take it in a different direction so that the outcome is vastly different to the actual event. Whatever you decide to do make it real. Remember all the bells and smells. 

Here is a link you might be interested in. The wonderful writing circle I am part of is running their annual conference on 20th April 2013 which is packed with agents, editors and authors. If you are serious about writing then you should attend at least one conference a year, more if you get the chance. It is a chance to see what other writers are creating and do that all important networking. Why not check it out? There are still a few tickets available so click on this link and take a look. It might just take you that step closer to becoming a published author. Verulam Writers Circle

I'm off to do some synopsis writing.

Go on off you go, get writing.

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

And so it snows...

Sorry for the delay, but I'm hoping that I will soon be able to purchase a new computer and won't have these issues for too much longer.

With the weather’s frozen fingers taking hold once more, it is a great time to snuggle up with the laptop or note-book and pen and write up your own blizzard.

So that is the challenge for you this week. Below you will see three scenarios which are to be set in a snow storm. Have a go at all three and see where it leads you.

1.       Two horses in a field with no blankets/coats or shelter.
2.       A hearse loaded with a full coffin slides into a ditch down a country lane on the way to the cemetery.
3.       In the hot tub on a snowy day!

Once you've tried each of these, take the one you think works best and develop it into a piece of writing for a short story magazine. It might be worth having a magazine in mind before you start.

So what are you waiting for, get writing. 

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Let's go a little darker.

At this present time the machine is up and running so I'm hoping to get this blog done and posted before she notices I'm on here.
The down side for me this week has been that I've lost two of my synopses and therefore will have to do them again! I hated doing them the first time so what the second time will be like I don't know. At least it will keep me focused for a while. I need to do three as my folder has just vanished. I think I have one in hard copy but the other two will need to be started again from scratch. I suppose the up side it that I was going to make some alterations to them all anyway, but it would have been nice to have some starting point. The slog begins tonight along with the sounds from Magic 105.4. Thank goodness for music.

The prompts I'm giving you today are:

1. A figure staggering forwards screamed. "Get out." She froze staring straight ahead.
2. The scream caught in his throat as the blood oozed across the floor.
3. My grandson's terrified face appeared on my I Pod's screen through Facetime: "Help me Grandma, Help me."

Think thriller, think dark and get writing.

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Looking back or a moment to go forward.

A week of writing small scenes but important sections which, I hope, will enhance the manuscript I am working on. It is often the little details that make the difference to the chapter. However, these are the pieces that make it come alive and aid in developing the characters and the world they are living in. it is important to get it right that is why, working and re-working is always a must. 

This week I'm giving you a sentence to get you writing. From these few words you need to write a piece of writing that will bring out the emotion of the work. Who the characters are is up to you, so is the way the story starts and ends. 

The chair had gone, been removed - it wasn't right it wasn't right at all. 

This piece of writing needs to make your reader feel the emotional pull you want from them, but remember not to make it contrived. Small, tender touches that will mould gently is what is needed. 

I hope you enjoy this writing prompt. So what are you waiting for? Get writing. 

Sunday, 17 February 2013

When it all goes wrong...

Last week we were looking at writing about love and romance. This week we are keeping the romantic theme, but this time we are looking at what can go wrong. This is your chance to get mean and nasty.

Below is a scenario that you are going to write about. Show the complications and fall out that takes place.

Your character has given all the required delivery details to the florist, but unfortunately the assistant has written down some of the details incorrectly and the bouquet goes to the wrong address? Think about the scenarios that this could invoke. How this turns out is up to you, but make it real.

Remember to use the feelings of all the characters involved.  Is the recipient of the bouquet called by the same name as the person it was supposed to go to? Are they married? Do they believe they have a secret admirer? And what is happening to the correct recipient of the bouquet? Are they expecting them? Are they oblivious to the bouquet until they see the sender or hear from the sender? What do they do?  These are only a few thoughts to help you along.

This could end up happily, or in bloodshed, you chose, you write, but most of all have fun with it.

So go on, get writing. 

Thursday, 7 February 2013

With a romantic touch.

Sorry for not posting last week, but this machine has a mind of it's own and chooses to crash when it feels like it. This is the first time I've managed to get on for a week. Thankfully I can send messages to you via twitter so keep a look out for @SKFWriter on twitter.

With Valentines day coming up next Wednesday, I thought it was the right time to think of those wonderful moments of love. Below are a few suggestions for you to attempt.

1. A short piece describing the challenge of your character trying to get their intended valentine to notice them. Remember to add all the bells and smells to bring the writing to life and the resolution  well that is up to you.
2. A short piece describing an old couple trying to celebrate valentines day. This could be light hearted or deep. The couple could have health issues that will effect what they do.  Remember to add all the bells and smells to bring the writing to life and the resolution  well that is up to you.
 3. As valentines day is often thought of as a dreamy poetical time, I thought it would be good to attempt the following: A romantic poem - A humorous poem - or a poem taking a look at love thought the years. 

Hopefully this will give you a lot to get your teeth into. I will, of course, aim to post again next week, but I'll keep you posted on what is happening via @SKFWriter. If you're not following me yet then now is the time. 

So go on, get writing. 

Sunday, 27 January 2013

A passage of time.

Yes, I’ve managed to get on again and post this up. I’m sure my computer is going through the menopause; she is getting on now and only works when she wants to.
An element that can be difficult to show in a piece of writing is the pass of time. There are many ways in which authors show this passage which doesn’t interrupt the flow of the reading.  Some of the techniques include: Starting with the sunrise or sun set and mentioning the position of the sun throughout the piece. Others have included a time check but getting a character to check their watch at varied stages through the work, or starting sections with date and time.  There are many other ways too, but I’ll leave you to look these up and select a few that might help you show the passage of time throughout your writing.
I suggest there are two ways to approach this. Firstly, write a new piece of creative writing or secondly take a selection of work you’ve been working on/completed and rewrite to include the passage of time. If you do the second choice, does it help your work?
It would be great to hear from you, feel free to comment. If you want to share your work on my blog for comment from me or others please forward them to me at the website email address.
So what are you waiting for? Get writing. 

Friday, 18 January 2013

Idea from the bookcase.

There is lots of snow outside my window and the drive home from work was a bit slidy. However, I got home safely and feel much happier now. I hate driving in the snow, it freaks me out.
I’m aiming to get this blog done and up within the five minutes that the computer seems to be prepared to stay on.
So I want to ask if you’ve been writing your journal, and how is it going? Is it helping with your own creative writing?
Today, we are going to go over to our book case, or book stack or indeed the local library where you are going to select the bottom shelf and the ninth book and page 37, line 11 and take that sentence to inspire a piece of writing.
You are free to select the genre and how the sentence you’ve selected has inspired you. Why not try doing this with a friend and share your work. How can you improve it, rework and share.
Do let me know how you get on with this and if you like this type of challenge.
Go on, get writing. 

Monday, 14 January 2013

A task for you.

I'm writing this quickly before my computer decides to power-down on its own. Need to go to the doctor, but the doctor went back to Uni. HELP!

I've just driven through the snow to get home and thankfully only slipped once on the crossroads. A car ahead of me did a little bit of stationary acceleration, but eventually got up the hill. I'd dropped down a gear and hoped that going slow would allow him time to sort himself out, thankfully it worked.

Today's task will be to use the following items to create a few pieces of writing.
These are the words: Stink - Itch - Plastic-bag - Steering wheel - False teeth - Winter white.
Now you need to use these words to inspire you to create:
1. A Poem/song
2. Short story/flash fiction
3. 15 min sitcom.

I know this will be a challenge, but give it a go and see what you came produce.

I'm looking at doing a fortnightly interview with authors, editors and agents. Let me know if this would be of interest to you as a reader of this blog.

Go on, get writing.

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Pick a page ...

Sorry for the delay in posting this week, but I've been rather busy taking my son back to university. The busy part was the preparations for the provisions he wanted to take with him - home baking. I've been making chicken curry, pasty pies, liver casserole and beef stew which all needed to be made and frozen before the journey to Portsmouth. He is now back and the house is very quiet. Which I guess gives me much more time to write. At least, that is what I am hoping.

I've been writing a journal every year since 2000. Many of the entries are awful but some are little gems. When I first started writing many years ago it was suggested to me to keep a dream diary, which I did for a while, but I ended up with very little sleep due to waking and writing and not getting back to sleep, so I'm advocating you do that. However if you don't keep a journal, why not? It is a place to put down  your own thoughts and ideas and to note down funny incidents you have encountered during the day. It is quiet interesting to go back over the old ones and read, you might be very surprised how many of your thoughts can produce a good storyline or plot.

I've titled this post as 'Pick a Page' which relates to a page from your journal. If you don't yet write a journal than that is another task for you to start. Purchase yourself a beautiful not book and start it helps to train your thoughts, focus your life and will in time hold a plethora of wonderful writing ideas.

So, find the first journal you wrote, count in twenty pages read your work. From that embellish and create a piece of writing. If you haven't started your journal writing yet then go to your book case and  from any shelf select the twentieth book and go to the twentieth page and read what is there to inspire a piece of your own writing. Please remember when using another book to inspire you make sure your finished work is original and unique.

So go on, get writing.