The ramblings of aspiring author, Madeleine Sara, her dreams to become published and her trials and tribulations along the way. Plus other writerly nuggets of wisdom!
Apologies for my typos, I get very cold hands with Raynauds and sometimes there's a persistent kittie on my lap, nudging my hand as I type.
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.
Post a passage in which your MC (or your favourite fictional character) shows their bravery. It might be in the face of physical danger, or peer pressure or personal sacrifice. It might be epic bravery or bravery that goes unnoticed by anyone but us, your devoted readers. Bravery is not the absence of fear - that is recklessness. Bravery is overcoming fear, or doing what is right despite the fear. Your entry can be as long or as short as you want, although spare a thought for those who want to read all the thousands of entries!
When? Friday 28th- 30th January
Dom will choose 6 finalists for a public vote sometime after 12pm EST on Sunday 30th Jan. Voting will be open for 7 days.
Here's my 1, 046 word entry in two parts. As always you can click on the images twice to view better: Part 1:
As Susan Jeffers says: Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway! So I chose this idea as my theme.
ERICA & CHRISTYhave a fun blogfest about HOT, HOT COFFEE mugs. well, just one mug. Simply post a picture of your very favoritest mug. The one you'd choose to drink from every time if it never needed to spend any time in the dishwasher. The one you secretly eye whenever your significant other, mother, brother, best friend, [insert other] grabs it from the cupboard and you hold yourself back from snatching it out of their hand and shouting, "Give it back! It's mine. All mine!" Or just one you like almost that much.You don't have to share anything about the mug, but if you'd like to share the story behind it, well, that would just be an added bonus. Most of my mugs hold a special significance. I usually buy one while taking a vacation and have started a collection.
Okay, so this one was difficult for me because I love my tea and I love my coffee.
Now you are probably going to call me really anal, but I have to have them in different dedicated mugs.
I like strong tea (not stewed) with a reasonable amount of unsweetened soya milk in it and it's got to be hot. I cannot abide cold or luke warm tea.
Also I cannot abide chunky, clunky mouthfuls of mug between my lips before I taste the tea, so there's the dilemma. Bone china mugs are wonderful for tea, break easily and get cold quickly in the winter, so what's a girl to do?
Then hubby gave me this mug: It's not pretty to look at (well for me anyway) but it is just the right shape and thickness to keep the tea hot and yet feel comfortable against my lips. I guess I'm pretty protective of it and wouldn't want to share it with anyone.
Then there's coffee. I love proper Italian ground coffee. I can no longer drink instant (yeuck!) and I like it Latte style, espresso strength in warm/hot sweetend soya milk, (otherwise it will curdle and it is yucky then) but although hubby bought me a lovely Pisces mug, I actually prefer the tall latte glasses you get in Costa Coffee.
Finally, the mug I wouldn't want anyone to touch purely because it is so special, is the one my friend, Sally, painted for me (depicting the first rag doll I ever made whose name is Miss Chevious, Veronica to her friends). I was so touched.
I have set up a special BLOG AWARDS page, so I may proudly display all my lovely awards and thank all those who have honoured me with them. It is always very special when someone singles me out to receive an award. I am truly chuffed to bits Thank you.
Thanks to everyone for their well wishes. The stomach bug/migraine-thing only lasted a couple of days and then I pulled my back. It's something I've done before many times and this time was a doozie!
I should add that I have seen oestopaths, chiropractors and physiotherapists over several years and I have been neglecting my exercises, so I've porbably only got myself to blame. Though I would like to know why it keeps happening.
I found it agony to lie down, sit, stand or walk and the accompanying muscle spasms sent the air blue with the choice expletives that issued from the depths of my agony.
With a cocktail of 4 different pain killers and anti-inflammatories I was prescribed managed to sleep. Zonked out would best describe it.
Apparently an X-ray would not determine what is wrong but an MRI scan might, however, these are costly, the waiting lists long and I might not be considered eligible on the NHS...
As I lay resting I realised how much dusting needed to be done and how many movement cracks there were down the bedroom walls.
It took me a good 5 mins to get up from a lying position and one morning I awoke with my knees bent. Weird!
Hubby bought me some Therma pads, which feel lurvely
I really missed my blog.
I winced at the thought of not being able to read and comment on the latest fests and posts.
I missed not being able to join in the Haiku Wednesday.
I didn't achieve this week's Write1Sub1 target.
Though I did submit 2 things in week 1 so I guess that helps.
I was delighted that my blogging friends left some lovely comments and I even got some new followers while I was away, so Thank You.
Life the Universe and WritingWhat's Your Process? Blogfest Blog about ANY part of your writing process: how you create characters, how you plot your novel, how you organize your rewrites, your whole writing process from start to finish, anything. Even if you're a complete pantser, tell us your pantsing process. Do you write chronologically? Jump around? Edit as you go, or just dump it all on the page? Let us know! Hopefully, we'll all be able to see how other people write, and pull out a few new gems to help us with our own creations! Sign up below, and pass the word around. The more of us there are, the more we can learn from each other.
Okay the above images will start to give you an idea of the theme of My Writing Process. When I started blogging I came across numerous posts from aspiring writers who spoke my language:"I find myself writing a first chapter or three or four, then everything dries up".
I thought"Hey, yes I know that feeling".Then I learned about 'Plotters vs Pantsers' and I realised with a creeping guilt that I must be a panster.
Finally, I had an epiphany moment when reading an article about the children's author
Liz Kessler who said: "Using a notebook, I spend lots of time writing up vague notes, then when I realise I've got too many ideas I start typing them up on my computer"
The notebook has to have the right feel for the book she's writing next.
I also remembered seeing J K Rowling on TV showing us glimpses of her notebooks filled with sketches and material for the characters and everything that will provide the background for her Harry Potter novels:
Click on Youtube clip below to see them:
Tolkien invented his own maps for his Middle Earth worlds.
Also, Philippa Gregory always researches her books for 2 years before writing and must fill up lots of notebooks.
This says much about how AA Milne imagined his world of Winnie the Pooh
So I have stopped being a pantser and have started following these successful authors' advice and I am taking the research and notebook stage to heart, before plotting how I'm going to write my novels.
How about you?
NB: I have scheduled a few posts this week and apologies if I'm being quiet at the moment, I have done my lower back in and have had some stomach bug over the weekend that hasn't quite gone, so I'm trying to take it easy now.
I used a memory of an educational TV programme, which explored an inner city, multi-racial, primary school teacher discussing skin tones with the children as part of an ethnic awareness/inter-racial harmony project. Having discussed the browns and tans of the other children, she referred to the pink skin of the ‘white’ child as flesh colour, which in the context was inappropriate. Yes is the dictionary term used for the colour of some animal flesh once skinned, but not all flesh is the same colour, now is it?
I hope when reading it that you see where I'm coming from here.
This poem is my first attempt at Imabic Pentameter.
I have scheduled a few posts again this week and apologies if I'm being quiet at the moment, I have done my lower back in and have had some stomach bug over the weekend that hasn't quite gone, so I'm trying to take it easy now.
Susan from Stony Riversets a weekly
Challenge Picture each Monday,
where a picture paints 140 characters, or even fewer.
Photo prompt courtesy of her blog.
Mikio always grabbed his parasol instead of his sword when the bullies were about and it only made them taunt him more. (119 characters with spaces)
Mikio felt confident that his 007 Parasol would be a match for any Samurai sword.(67 characters with spaces)
I have done a few scheduled posts again this week and apologies if I'm being quiet at the moment, I have done my lower back in and have had some stomach bug over the weekend that hasn't quite gone, so I'm trying to take it easy now.
SHOWINGinvolves the use of details and descriptions in order to create a sensory experience for the reader, with metaphor that constructs an analogy between two things or ideas and simile, which indirectly compares two different things by employing the words "like", "as", "than", "as though."
The Stythiansstood at the top of the stairs holding their long, black staffs that would seal Aleona’s fate. Their tattered, filthy cloaks billowed in the fetid atmosphere of the docking station. Faceless and forbidding their presence added a menacing air to the already stifling atmosphere. Zedric felt certain he might gag as the humidity smothered him. He could barely hear Aleona’s silk attire flapping about her in the current of hot air that was being pumped into the atmosphere by the Stythians’ noisy machines. Those machines alone enabled them to breathe. Zedric knew that prolonged exposure would choke the life out of normal human souls; the heat and the stench almost suffocating them as they loitered. Kneeling at the bottom of the steps, he looked up at his beautiful wife and swallowed down a lump of remorse. He held up his hand as if she might take it in her own and whisper those forgiving words he so longed to hear. Even though her hands were bound tightly behind her back, Aleona’s posture remained upright and she did not bend towards him. His eyes met hers. Her cold, penetrating gaze pierced his heart like a frozen arrow. The tenderness and warmth replaced by a cold darkness.
“I had no choice” he pleaded, his cheeks moist with tears. “You made it impossible for me not turn you in, Aleona” He choked out the words as though the taste of each syllable left the bitter taste of poison on his tongue.
Still she did not speak or soften to him. Her white-blond hair glowed like a halo from the only source of light, an ironic contradiction to the terrible things she had done in the name of freedom. Eventually he heard her words hissing on her breath like a venomous snake.
“This is the sacrifice you are prepared to make?”
Her words blanched his conviction making his complexion turn paler despite the heat and humidity. His thoughts raced as the silence stretched out between them. She would understand once she boarded the Stythian ship and she would be safe. Of course he believed she would have a better chance than the rest of them. He bit his lip. He had to believe this were true. He could not go back on his word now, the Stythian’s would not allow him to break the bargain. All those lives for just one, but this was not just any one.
“You know I love you, don’t you” he said, placing emphasis on each word, so that she would understand.
She snorted “You call this love!” The snarl in her voice sent another cold stab to his heart stirring up a lethal concoction of fear and guilt that beat like a death march.
The Stythians moved forward, their immense height casting a shadow over them that snatched away all hope and indecision. “Your time is up!” their collective voice boomed in one accord. “Come now she-thing.”
TELLING involves narrative summary. Being told what is happening rather than the reader feeling it for themselves. The author spells everything out, populating the narrative with statements, rather than letting the reader experience it. While it is possible to include some description in the telling, it is fairly stark and factual.
TELLING: Basic narrative summary: It was hot. The Stythian watched them in the stifling billowing air. Zedric looked up at his wife Aleona and held up his hand beseechingly. “I had no choice” he said “You made it impossible for me not turn you in, Aleona” She looked at him with pure hatred. The pumped air making her hair and clothes billow about. Her hands were tied tightly behind her back and she glared at her husband.
“You know I love you, don’t you” Zedric said, holding her gaze. “You call this love!” she snarled back.
The Stythians moved forward impatiently.
“Your time is up!” their collective voice boomed in one accord. “Come now she-thing.”(111 words)
TELLING with some description: NB: When I did my OU Creative Writing Course and wrote like the stuff below, my tutor would constantly berate me with 'Show not tell' and I would think 'But I just did!' It is hard to describe a scene without telling what it looks like, which involves some description. I guess the real showing is in making the reader feel it too?
The Stythiansstood waiting at the top of the stairs holding their staffs, their tattered filthy cloaks billowed in the fetid atmosphere of the docking station. Zedric knelt at the bottom of the steps looking up at his beautiful wife. Remorse wracked his features, as fear coursed through his body. His personal feelings conflicted, once again, in his mind with his ultimate duty.
“I had no choice” he pleaded “You made it impossible for me not turn you in, Aleona” he said holding his hand up to her in a beseeching gesture, such was his need for her forgiveness.
Aleona looked down at her husband with ill-concealed hatred, her hands bound tightly behind her back. Her white-blond hair and silk attire flapped about her in the current of hot air that was being pumped into the atmosphere by the Stythians. It enabled them alone to breathe. Both Zedric and Aleona knew that prolonged exposure choked the life out of normal human souls; the heat and the stench almost suffocating them as they loitered.
“This is the sacrifice you are prepared to make?” Aleona demanded.
He could not answer her, such was his own internal battle. He hoped that once she boarded the Stythian ship she would be safe. He hoped she might have a chance, but he did not know for sure.
“You know I love you, don’t you” he said finally, holding her gaze.
She snorted “You call this love!” The snarl in her voice was answer enough, though not the one he would have wished to hear.
The Stythians moved forward impatiently.
“Your time is up!” their collective voice boomed in one accord. “Come now she-thing.” (278 words)