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Writing to entertain and encourage other writers. To keep you informed of events, workshops, retreats and conferences available for writers.

The Love of Dance

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.