About Me

My photo
United Kingdom
I've been creative writing all my life, though with various haitus(es) along the way. IFrom 2010 I started this blog and enjoyed sharing writing and other information with everyone. illness and bereavement supplied the more recent hiatus.

Tuesday 30 November 2010

W.I.P Revisited

Some of you may recall my post entitled Sacrificial Manuscripts, well having written 34,000 words of my W.I.P and having gotten some variable responses from people who have read the first 2 chapters, I decided to follow my own advice and put it away for a couple of months and see whether I still liked what I'd written when I re-read it afresh.

Today I started re-reading and it soon became clear that perhaps what I had written was not as exciting as I had first imagined. I have extracted an excerpt from Chapter 8 to share with you all. I wonder what you make of this scene?

Click on image twice to open to readable proportions:

I have always loved to write (but usually non-fiction stuff) and expected to be able to write a publishable novel or short story almost immedately.

Now I think I just need to keep writing and reading until something clicks.
This is from chapter eight. Check out First Page Blogfest for the opening of Chapter One.

Monday 29 November 2010

Groan if you must!

I wonder have you read Ray Mears' Outdoor survival? I thoroughly recommend that you do
I have and wondered how I could remember his marvellous advice, so I decided to put some of it into a quick rhyme, I dare not call it a poem. BTW The lee side is the sheltered side away from wind.
Okay so this is the first draft, so groan if you must:

THIS WEEK'S THEME: Nature: Plants, Creatures and the Cosmos

Apologies for the obvious or non-rhymes, but it does include all the elements of the week's theme, even if it's not my best poem.

Nature’s Compass by Madeleine Maddocks

Horizontal branches pointing out
Direct all travellers to the South
Watch the ones with a brush-like sweep
They’ll be nodding towards North East
Reed heads bending to the lee
Lean away from the winds, you see.
Make your camp on the flattest ground
Avoid those depressions in the mound,
For they collect the moisture there.
And stagnant pools you must beware
Those biting insects will collect,
While dead over-branches you mustn’t neglect,
For they may fall within the night
And you’d be left with a nasty fright.
Finally camp near a source of water
Oh yes, of course, you really oughta!

Another award moment

I've been lucky enough to be awarded these by Ellie and Michael and Jingle 
and Blogger Formerly known as. Thanks so much guys.

In the midst of a busy few weeks (apologies for not blogging much recently)
I am going to award both of the above to 
whose blog is full of a fabulous variety of writerly things, too.
On Saturday I received my prize book that I won from Joanna's blog, so thank you Jo.
(Apologies to those of a nervous disposition)

Oh and Well Done to all those who had a go at Nano writing. Congrats, even if you didn't quite reach your targets. I applaud you all.

Check out Debbie's blog she's got a giveaway for all those who missed mine. Maybe you can catch hers.

Microfiction Bull

Susan from Stony River sets a weekly
Challenge Picture each Monday,
where a picture paints 140 characters, or even fewer

China shop owner, Isaac was adamant that bulls would not step over his threshold, even though the cattle man called him a big girl’s blouse. (139 characters with spaces)

Saturday 27 November 2010

Gap Year for Grownups Giveaway

You may remember I posted up an interview with the writing duo Annie Sanders and I promised to giveway a copy of their novel Gap Year for Grownups as the Star Comment prize.

Since no-one has left a comment for some while, I have decided to go ahead and award the prize today to Karen at Get On With It .  Some of you may have seen her brilliant short story in Woman's Weekly called 'Private Dancer'. So congratulations to Karen and do send me your address so I can post it on to you.
I would also like to say a huge thankyou to Ellie for passing on The Wholesome Blogger Award.

So I shall have to think about passing this award on soon.

Thursday 25 November 2010

Are you well read?

This could be seen as a huge boast fest. However, I have enjoyed participating in this fest by Jodi at Turning the page for alerting us to the BBC's the BBC's Big Read began the search for the nation's best-loved novel, and asked you to nominate your favourite books.
Have you read more than 6 of these books? The BBC believes most people will have read only 6 of the 100 books listed here.
• Copy this list.
• Bold those books you’ve read in their entirety.
• Italicize the ones you started but didn’t finish or read only an excerpt.

1. The Lord of the Rings, JRR Tolkien
2. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
3. His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman
4. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams
5. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, JK Rowling
6. To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
7. Winnie the Pooh, AA Milne
8. Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell
9. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, CS Lewis
10. Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë
11. Catch-22, Joseph Heller
12. Wuthering Heights, Emily Brontë
13. Birdsong, Sebastian Faulks
14. Rebecca, Daphne du Maurier
15. The Catcher in the Rye, JD Salinger
16. The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame
17. Great Expectations, Charles Dickens
18. Little Women, Louisa May Alcott
19. Captain Corelli's Mandolin, Louis de Bernieres
20. War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy
21. Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell
22. Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone, JK Rowling
23. Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets, JK Rowling
24. Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban, JK Rowling
25. The Hobbit, JRR Tolkien
26. Tess Of The D'Urbervilles, Thomas Hardy
27. Middlemarch, George Eliot
28. A Prayer For Owen Meany, John Irving
29. The Grapes Of Wrath, John Steinbeck
30. Alice's Adventures In Wonderland, Lewis Carroll
31. The Story Of Tracy Beaker, Jacqueline Wilson
32. One Hundred Years Of Solitude, Gabriel García Márquez
33. The Pillars Of The Earth, Ken Follett
34. David Copperfield, Charles Dickens
35. Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, Roald Dahl
36. Treasure Island, Robert Louis Stevenson
37. A Town Like Alice, Nevil Shute
38. Persuasion, Jane Austen
39. Dune, Frank Herbert
40. Emma, Jane Austen
41. Anne Of Green Gables, LM Montgomery
42. Watership Down, Richard Adams
43. The Great Gatsby, F Scott Fitzgerald
44. The Count Of Monte Cristo, Alexandre Dumas
45. Brideshead Revisited, Evelyn Waugh
46. Animal Farm, George Orwell
47. A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens
48. Far From The Madding Crowd, Thomas Hardy
49. Goodnight Mister Tom, Michelle Magorian
50. The Shell Seekers, Rosamunde Pilcher
51. The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett
52. Of Mice And Men, John Steinbeck
53. The Stand, Stephen King
54. Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy
55. A Suitable Boy, Vikram Seth
56. The BFG, Roald Dahl
57. Swallows And Amazons, Arthur Ransome
58. Black Beauty, Anna Sewell
59. Artemis Fowl, Eoin Colfer
60. Crime And Punishment, Fyodor Dostoyevsky
61. Noughts And Crosses, Malorie Blackman
62. Memoirs Of A Geisha, Arthur Golden
63. A Tale Of Two Cities, Charles Dickens
64. The Thorn Birds, Colleen McCollough
65. Mort, Terry Pratchett
66. The Magic Faraway Tree, Enid Blyton
67. The Magus, John Fowles
68. Good Omens, Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
69. Guards! Guards!, Terry Pratchett
70. Lord Of The Flies, William Golding
71. Perfume, Patrick Süskind
72. The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists, Robert Tressell
73. Night Watch, Terry Pratchett
74. Matilda, Roald Dahl
75. Bridget Jones's Diary, Helen Fielding
76. The Secret History, Donna Tartt
77. The Woman In White, Wilkie Collins
78. Ulysses, James Joyce
79. Bleak House, Charles Dickens
80. Double Act, Jacqueline Wilson
81. The Twits, Roald Dahl
82. I Capture The Castle, Dodie Smith
83. Holes, Louis Sachar
84. Gormenghast, Mervyn Peake
85. The God Of Small Things, Arundhati Roy
86. Vicky Angel, Jacqueline Wilson
87. Brave New World, Aldous Huxley
88. Cold Comfort Farm, Stella Gibbons
89. Magician, Raymond E Feist
90. On The Road, Jack Kerouac
91. The Godfather, Mario Puzo
92. The Clan Of The Cave Bear, Jean M Auel
93. The Colour Of Magic, Terry Pratchett
94. The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho
95. Katherine, Anya Seton
96. Kane And Abel, Jeffrey Archer
97. Love In The Time Of Cholera, Gabriel García Márquez
98. Girls In Love, Jacqueline Wilson
99. The Princess Diaries, Meg Cabot
100. Midnight's Children, Salman Rushdie

Jodie's list seems to be different and have these which I have read:
Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson
The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery
A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute
Hamlet – William Shakespeare
Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens

Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy
The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold
Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon
Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons

Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen
Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery

Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy
The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood

Lord of the Flies – William Golding
Winnie the Pooh – A.A. Milne
Animal Farm – George Orwell

Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden
The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe – CS Lewis
Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien
Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger
The Time Traveler’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
Catch 22 – Joseph Heller

Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll
The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame
Nineteen Eighty Four (1984) – George Orwell
Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
7 Harry Potter series – JK Rowling
To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl
Charlotte’s Web – E.B. White
The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom

The King James Bible

So how many is that? I keep coming up with different answers. How many have you read or almost read?  I never thought I was that well read!

Wednesday 24 November 2010


One Shot Wednesday


Maybe next summer                                                   Oh to feel his kiss
I don't think I'm good enough                                      Our eyes meet across the lawn
I just can't do it.                                                          Yet I look away.

Ode to Self Derision
by Madeleine Maddocks

I wouldn't read this,
If I were you.
It's rubbish,
I wrote it;
I know it's true.       

Monday 22 November 2010

What Kind of Writer are You?

Have you been stuck writing your novels?
You know you can write many thousands of words but like me your stories just dry up?

If the rectangle looks blank, just click on it and the video clip will appear.

(This is #7 of Martha Alderson's series, but I think it best introduces the stumbling block where many writers fall.

Obviously I recommend that you see all the series and follow the Plot Whisperer blog). 

I realised that what was holding me back was that I had no idea what direction my story and characters were taking. I wanted to write and started to write, but ran out of steam. I discovered that I needed to learn more about how to structure my novel and what kind of writer I was.

I found that Blockbuster plots has an excellent test that shows you whether you are

a Character- Emotional Development driven writer or a Dramatic Action writer.

I have discovered that while I love dramatic action, I am primarily a character emotional development writer and I need to strengthen my plotlines which means planning them and structuring them. It's that age old question about being a plotter or a pantser and if you are the latter, you need to learn how to plot. Some happily fall between the two and sort of instinctively do both. How lucky they must be!

Saturday 20 November 2010

Writer's Oasis Blogfest

A bit of fun 'Writer's Oasis Blogfest'. Describe where your Oasis would be? (A haunted house with thunder & lightning raging, a beach with sand, shells, lapping waves?)
You may take one
. What would that be? You also have the complete set of Oxford English Dictionaries and Roget's Thesaurus plus five year's supply of paper and pens. What five books would you also take with you and why?

So where would my oasis be? I think I am my best when I'm out in the countryside walking, so I'd need someone with me to take notes, preferably suitably attentive and hunky without being too distracting (unless I was writing a romance !) I just love those fresh crisp sunny days when you feel like you can conquer the world and I love trees and the bird song and the babbling brooks and gushing waterfalls near our home. It just excites my creative juices.

My luxury would be a Costa Coffee Café wherever I needed a rest stop.
My five books: well I guess it would depend on what genre I was writing myself. I like to immerse myself in books written by others in the same genre when I'm composing my own stuff, so at the moment I'm into YA suspence and post apocalyptic stuff. I've been reading Patrick Ness, Meg Rosoff and a new author to me called Sophie McKenzie. Oh and I'd probably add a 'how to book'. I've recently discovered the Plot Whisperer and Martha Alderson.

  • All you do is: Post your entry for the Blogfest theme on your blog.
  • Sign up on the linkey at the bottom of this post [NB: To be fair to everyone playing PLEASE ONLY ENTER LINKS that lead to a Blogfest item.
  • Leave a comment for the blog host (me), below. Thank you 
  • Visit the other blog sites signed up to this Blogfest linkey page and leave comments
  • If you don't feel inspired to join in, do please advertise this blogfest on your blogs for us. Thank You.
  • If the linkey is still active that means so is the blogfest, so you can still enter.
Click on the names to read the other entries:
3. Liz

A HUGE thanks to them for taking part.

Friday 19 November 2010

Blogfest Bonanza

First of all apols for being quiet these past few days. I was asked to redesign our local church website and amalgamate it with my own church site which has taken me 3 days and can now be seen at: http://www.stlukes.buckfastleigh.org/ It's been a huge buzz for me as I'm largely a self-taught web designer. I hardly slept and forgot to eat lunch yesterday I was so engrossed in it. LOL! So if you get time to hop over there do let me know what you think?

Liz is hosting  First Gifts Blog Hop
Do you remember the first gift you ever received from your boyfriend? Girlfriend? Spouse? Life partner? Did you get something sparkly? A mood ring that turned your finger purple? Sexy lingerie? An ugly puppy?  A toaster?  If you've got a story to tell: funny, sad, or in-between then ket us know.

My shiny new boyfriend, Tim and I spent our first date, can you guess where? No? well on the Kennet and Avon Canal. He took me to see the Devizes locks! I worked in the local bookshop that specialised in transport books and maps and had shown an interest in canals and the books relating to them, so naturally Tim thought it would be nice for us to visit the newly refurbished locks before a cream team at Laycock Abbey. He also had a friend with his own railway bookshop along the canal at Brassknocker Basin, Monkon Combe where there were a few shops and a cafe. We found some lovely narrow boats and some sellers of Roses and Castles Canalware.
Now my memory is rather rusty on the details, it being now 23years ago, but  when Tim and I gave one another our first gifts after dating a few times, it turned out that we had bought one another the exact same thing: 

We will have been married 21years in December. Oh and if you are wondering, I was too nervous to eat my cream tea on that first date and later I couldn't eat the evening meal either, so my dear Tim asked me if I was anorexic! The next date we went to see Room with  View with all those men running around in the 'all together'. He squirmed with embarrassment, which was funny, bless!

Okay next, Michael is hosting a Harry Potter Blogfest, which I thought was 19th Nov and is in fact 11th Dec .
I've started thinking of my entry...

11th Dec. In 500 words, I would like you to create a scene with any of the HP characters from any of the seven books. It could be anything you want. Funny, magical, serious, etc. And for an added twist, let's have it set during the holidays. Christmas or Thanksgiving.

Wednesday 17 November 2010

Caffeine Shot Wednesday


Also Haiku's in post below.

Hey if you haven't entered yet there's still a chance for you to win a chick lit novel, so what are you waiting for? CLICK THE LINK AND ADD YOUR COMMENT.

Have you ever wanted to write Haiku?

Did you know that a haiku is a Japanese non-rhymed verse genre?

Haiku means ‘playful verse’ and has five sounds/syllables in the first part, seven in the second and five again in the last part.
While the Japanese count sounds and write their verses in a single vertical line, we use count syllables and three horizontal lines in English.

Traditional haiku should contain a "kigo" (season word) and employ the equivalent to a "kireji", which means that the poem should present two juxtaposed parts in three lines with objective sensory images while avoiding subjective commentary.

THIS WEEK'S THEME: Accidents  http://youknowthatblog.com/


Now it's your turn...