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, 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.