About Me

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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.

Monday 28 February 2011

Micro shoe

Susan from Stony River sets a weekly
Challenge Picture each Monday,

where a picture paints 140 characters, or even fewer

The cobbler lozenge slipped from Fey’s fingers into the shoe. She’d heard about the Elves and the Shoemaker and planned to rewrite history. (140 characters with spaces)


Cinders  knew the cobbler lozenge would resize the shoe and then she could marry the Fairy Prince. (97 characters with spaces)

I’m still feeling weak and washed out a lot and then I get a day when my energy seems to have returned only to feel wiped out again the next day.  While I find I can do  snippets on blogland I then have to lie down again as I feel so tired. It means I get very little done and feel frustrated. I am off to see the doctors again tomorrow, so fingers crossed.

Sunday 27 February 2011

We have a winner!

We had 11 fabulous entries for the Moleskine Contest including 2 poems and now I can reveal the winner...
The winning entry:
So, well done Chantal and do email me with your address so I can post your prize to you.

Now you have a chance to vote for you favourite Flowing Fonts Entry.

Here are the links to the finalists:

Please check out their entries and vote in the side bar for you favourite.

I'd like to thank everyone who entered the contests and to say how impressed I am with the entries.

Saturday 26 February 2011

Nifty Fifty

Today is the Nifty 50 Blogfest hosted by Anstice Potts at Impossible Dreams, in celebration of reaching 50 followers.
The brief is to write a poem, a short scene, anecdote or even a list of your top 50 favourite things; the choice is yours! Whatever you choose, it has to involve the number 50 in some significant way'.

Here's mine:

Shifty Fifty by Madeleine Maddocks

It's not long now
Just a couple of years
Before I reach those Birthday

What age you ask?
You hardly know
I'm heading towards my Big

You hold my gaze
My eyes are shifty
"It's half a century,

Thursday 24 February 2011

The Truth of It

Thanks everyone for suggesting which they believed to be the lie in my first crusader challenge entry. Now I shall put you all out of your misery and tell you the answer:

• one secret: My name was originally Sara Elisabeth (note spelling of second name is also a problem in the UK) and for a number of reasons (but especially the unbelieveable rudeness that I received by those whom I tried to explain how my name was spelled/pronounced) I changed it to Madeleine Sara. I chose the French spelling and pronunication of Madeleine (rather than the US Madeline). My initials now look so much nicer as MSM instead of SEM, don't you think?

• one of your favourite things in the whole world: Costa Coffee 

• one interesting quirk:
Off-the-wall sense of humour

• one lie:
I don’t take revenge on errant spellers of my name using my cold hands.
Some say 'cold hands, no gloves!' They say the best lies have some truth in them so…

• one annoying habit: I have been known to put my shockingly cold, Raynauds hands onto hubby’s warm, exposed neck.

• one of your best character traits: I’ve been told it is courtesy (except when putting my hands on hubby's warm neck of course!)

Did anyone guess it right?
Yes Kangaroobee

I've been whirring about this week trying to catch up on chores etc that I missed out on when I was ill and now I'm exhausted! LOL! Hope you've all had a good writing week.

Wednesday 23 February 2011

Elation Haiku

Theme: Elation
Exams are over
Graduated with honours
The world's my Oyster
Finally rescued
Brimming with such elation
Flushed with gratitude

Filled with elation
My efforts now recognised
Holding an Oscar

Spring is in the air
My heart fills with elation
And second chances

Monday 21 February 2011

Micro Monday Birthday!

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

A cold chill blew along the empty hospital corridors. Nurse Eva's heart sank. Blast! The job offer had been nothing more than a hoax. (137 characters with spaces)

Hey, it's my birthday today!

Sunday 20 February 2011

First Crusader Challenge

The requirementsfor this First Crusader post are:
In 300 words or less, tell us:
• one secret
• one lie
• one interesting quirk
• one annoying habit
                                   • one of your best character traits
                                   • one of your favourite things in the whole world.
The post can be in any format, including poetry (for those poets among us), but must include the random words, “bloviate,” “fuliguline,” “rabbit,” and “blade”.

Most of you will not know this, but a few years ago I changed my name by deed poll from Sara to Madeleine, because I was so sick and tired of people mispronouncing and misspelling my name. You see I was a Sara without the H; in other words pronounced like hair not car and yet when I tried to explain this to others they would look at me askance and then proceed to bloviate as if they knew best about it. I have to confess that my usual courtesy flew out the window with a fuliguline awkwardness and their insensitivity cut me like a blade. Okay so I have been called rather anally retentive about my name, but hey at least I'm prepared to admit it.
        In those early days I couldn’t drown my sorrows in a Costa Coffee, so I just seethed inwardly feeling impotent with rage;  my off-the-wall sense of humour having quickly disappeared like a rabbit down a hole. Eventually I found ways to take my revenge such as adding an h onto the end of their names or placing my shockingly cold, Raynauds hands onto the nape of their warm, exposed necks. So I must send a thousand apologies to anyone whose name I may have ever misspelled, myself.  Of course while I now erroneously get called Madeline, at least amendments come with an apology, which is lovely.

(235 words)
I may have revealed something about me that isn’t strictly true, can you guess what it is?”
Come back later in the week for the answer.

Write1sub1update: I still feel rough with my virus, which keeps coming and going like a pantomime!  'Oh yes she is (getting better) Oh no she isn't!'
So I've not submitted anything this week and I got a rejection letter back for the poems I submitted earlier.
Hope to be better next week and maybe catch up.

Friday 18 February 2011

Friday Round Up

With ONE WEEK LEFT to enter the Flowing Fonts Blogfest There's still a chance to win a £10 voucher.

So far we have 4 excellent entries:

Liz at 8bit words
Dom at Writes of Passage
Donea at Queen of Procrastination
Karla at The Writing Pad

Please visit each of the entries so that you can place your vote for your favourite
 1st March - 5th March on the poll that will appear on the side bar.

There are so far 10 entries for the Moleskine Notebook Giveaway plus a poem.
This contest will also close on 28th February.

Every Friday Angela at My Poetry and Prose Place has an Adopt a book Friday, which is well worth entering cause I won one and it was fabulous!

Colene at The Journey also has a Blogfest in March involving pigs!

The Hating Game 
Talli Roland is doing a great contest to name a character.
The prize is a copy of her book.


You'll also be able to Snoop through those Keyholes, once again, for Alison Stevens' Super Snooper Blogfest
This time there's a prize, so get writing.

There's a Broken Hearts Blogfest hosted by Dawn Embers.

Well we've had enough kissing Blogfests for a while, after all!

There's probably loads of others I have missed so
do tell us about your Blogfest.

BTW the good news is I’ve got more energy back, which is great.
The bad news is that the sore throat isn’t going away at the moment and I feel very, very rough, so may not be able to blog for a few days. Thanks for all your lovely comments.

Thursday 17 February 2011

Writing Etiquette

Hello to all my new followers and Hi to all my established followers.
Do leave a comment to tell us something about yourself and your writing.

Okay so my Away Day post told you I was attending a writing course on Saturday.

I absolutely loved it!  Della was lovely too.

The course was primarily a chance to find out how to get published in the Womag Short Story Market, although we did also discuss novels.

The course covered:
Of course you would need to attend Della Galton’s Workshop to find out more about it all. Or buy her book:

Apparently my editor’s letter was ‘a better class of rejection’ which was interesting.
I can tell you that the Bad Luck option is where you've sent in a story that has the same theme as so many others they've had that they won't publish any more of them for now.

All the ladies attending were of an equivalent standard to me, which was wonderful (because I once attended a writing group where competitiveness and jealously created lots of problems)

We each read out a 1400-2000 manuscript for critiquing. It was all very positive and helpful and I only wish I lived near enough to attend her regular weekly workshops. I got some great feedback on a short story I've already submitted that will need reworking! 

Also she advised us not to bombard editors with several MS's all at once because they can at best only publish a couple of your pieces twice a year and may then just chose a couple and send the rest right back to you. 

BTW Della said she'd happily arrange courses in other parts of the UK if there was a demand. Would you be interested?

Wednesday 16 February 2011

Freestyling Haiku

Theme: Freestyle

I plan to post about my workshop tomorrow, honest!

Monday 14 February 2011

Just Kiss Already!

Happy Valentines Day!

Christina at Write Brained and Stina Lindenblatt  are holding this Just Kiss Already Blogfest.
Is it Getting Hot in Here?
is holding a kiss scene fest.

As you may probably know I've already enjoyed doing an Almost Kiss excerpt for Frankie's Blogfest and so I thought  'What the hell I can go all the way this time, why not?
After researching writing kissing scenes I have produced my excerpt for you below:

Funnily enough my Almost Kiss is a lot more steamy.

So do kiss scenes embarrass you?
Do you like writing them or do you avoid them like the plague?
Check out my Kissing With Confidence post.

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

“Awh honey, I just need a little ickle, kissie wissie from you for the Blogfest ” Maud coaxed.
“No chance!” Henry replied.
(122 characters with spaces)

Saturday 12 February 2011

Away Day

Hello to all my lovely followers and commenters, if you're wondering where I am today (and part of yesterday) I'm attending this course (above) in Bournemouth run by the writing Guru, Della Galton.

I decided I needed my short story/novel writing whipping into shape and apparently this course is 'not for the faint hearted'.   Should I be quaking in my boots?

So have any of you attended this course or something similar and how much did it help your writing success?

Once again, I'm all ears...

Having completed my 4 submissions for January, here's this month's round up so far for the Write1 Sub1 Challenge : I completed a 150 word flash fiction for a competition this week, while last week I sent of 3 poems and 3 haikus to a magazine.
 I'm still feeling rather washed out, so I'm hoping my 'vim and vigour' will be restored by next week.

Thursday 10 February 2011

February Blog Contests

Okay so I have two prize contests happening.
Yes two!

 One to win a Moleskine notebook.
All you have to do is tell me how you'd use your notebook.
So far I have 7 entries including a poem by Old Kitty.

 You're next...

And one to win a Amazon Book voucher, where you must write a short flash fiction using font names. So far I have 1 entry and 3 others signed up. You're next...

So if you haven't already
Get over to those posts and enter.
You still have a chance.

Otherwise do leave a comment if you don't fancy entering and tell me why the contests don't appeal to you. Let me know what contests you do like?

I'm all ears

BTW Lisa Cardo is holding a February Blog contest on her blogsite Writing in The Buff

Colene from The Journey has a fun blog contest

I also just wanted to say a Huge Congratulations to Old Kitty (Jennifer) of Ten Lives and Second Chances for her story success One tenth of a second in  100 Stories for Queensland

BTW If I haven't yet replied to your comments yet, never fear I will be visiting your blogs soon.
I keep feeling off colour which doesn't help the blogging or the writing I'm afraid.

Wednesday 9 February 2011

Habits Haiku

So what are my habits? I like to have a latte in the morning.
I spend too long in front of the computer, neglecting the call of nature and my posture and eyes.
I often start projects and then get side tracked by something new.
How about you?

Tuesday 8 February 2011

Aiming for Perfect Poetry

This week's theme: Aims, Goals, Ambitions

I had a think about how our Aims, Goals and Ambitions can be affected
by other's comments.

This poem is also dedicated to my dear friend Sharon Lucchessi, from California, who is the You in this poem, though of course it refers to anyone who supports a friend on their creative path.

Good critiques are worth their weight in gold, however, some can be crushing and choking.
I hope the metaphor comes across that internal and external validation can shape our confidence like weeds growing on our path of self belief,
the 'parent' plants of which are the critics.

I  read an article by Freida Hughes who said:

 " I regard negative criticism of living poets (whether they are beginners or not) as akin to shooting someone whose feet are nailed to the floor. No one intends to write a bad poem if they want to be a poet. Nor would I wish to crush a fledgeling creative spark that may produce something much better later, when such a spark is often so difficult to keep alight".

Monday 7 February 2011

Monday Microfiction Time

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

Goodness I found this picture one of the hardest yet!

Tucson, Arizona where  a two inverts to a number seven. Only the die-hards shutter their windows in protest! (108 characters with spaces)

Talking of clocks, our visitors always laugh at how many clocks we have in our rooms. We have two in our kitchen, alone and several others dotted about:

How about you?

A time to make music fun!

hosted by Amanda at Bloggin With Amanda                     and Xmas Dolly

And now would you take the stairs or the escalator?

Sunday 6 February 2011

Writers' Platform-Building Crusade and Blogging Challenge

Rachael Harrie at Rach Writes is running the Second Writers' Platform-Building Crusade.The Crusade is a way to link those within the writing community together with the aim of helping to build our online platforms. The Crusaders are all bloggers in a similar position, who genuinely want to pay it forward, make connections and friends within the writing community, and help build each others' online platforms while at the same time building theirs. 1st Feb -30th April

While Lee at Tossing it Out is running A-Z Blogging Challenge 1st April - 30th April.

The idea is to post something on your blog every day in April except for Sundays.  In doing this you will have 26 blog posts one for each letter of the alphabet.   Each day you will theme your post according to a letter of the alphabet. You can post essays, short pieces of fiction, poetry, recipes, travel sketches, or anything else you would like to write about.  You don't have to be a writer to do this.  You can post photos, including samples of your own art or craftwork.    Everyone who blogs can post from A to Z.

I am wondering whether both can be achieved or whether I am biting off more than I can chew?

Saturday 5 February 2011

Write1 Sub 1 weekly check in

Okay so it's not been the best week writing-wise, though I've not had any rejections, so that's got to be a good thing, right?

I've been feeling flu-ish and lack-a-daisical and while I've felt inspired to write short snippets and scheduled blog posts, the stories themselves just haven't really taken shape enough to submit.

So this week I decided to post off some poems to a magazine, instead.

 I also wrote an enquiry to a magazine that the lovely Ellie told me about called Scribble which seems appropriate for me. This time next week I shall be in Bournemouth on a Writing Workshop. I just hope Della Galton can whip me into shape to get those stories published.

Here's hoping your week has been productive / satisfying.
I'm off to finish the ironing next.

As it is wet and windy outside I'll leave you with this anecdote:

On holiday a couple of years ago I was waiting in the queue at WHSmith to pay for my note book when my umbrella slipped sideways under my arm.
To my horror I realised I had managed to 'goose' the customer waiting in front of me and to my utter mortification realised it was also a man!  I gasped a horrified apology, my cheeks burning. He seemed to notice my embarrassment and said: "And I thought it was my lucky day!"

Friday 4 February 2011

Kissing With Confidence

So on 14th February Christina at Write Brained is holding the Just Kiss Already Blogfest.

I've already enjoyed doing an Almost Kiss excerpt for Frankie's Blogfest and so I thought  'What the hell I can go all the way this time, why not?'

And then I thought, 'I've never written a kissing scene before'.

And then I remembered my 1996 M&B fledgling MS, so I fished it out and had a look for my kiss scene...

Okay, so now I am squirming with embarrassment.
No not over the kiss scene but over using the word earnestly

So I decided to research the topic of writing kiss scenes and came across some great posts:

So what did I glean?

  1. Think about which genre I wanted to write my kiss scene in.
    It doesn't have to be a full blown romance /woman's fiction genre, it could be YA or Sci Fi fantasy for example.
  2. Is the kiss invited? Is it successful?
  3. Is it a first kiss? A longed for kiss? A placatory kiss? A stolen kiss? Long and Lingering? Quick and perfunctory? How are your characters feeling?
  4. Make sure you describe it well enough that your readers buy into it emotionally.
    Build the scene.
  5. Think about the setting to provide atmosphere and to hook the reader into the moment.
    Are they alone or in a crowd?
  6. Stimulate the senses, using smell, touch, taste, visual elements, maybe sound if it's not inappropriate or too intrusive /distracting.
  7. Try to avoid the obvious clich├ęs
So how do you approach kissing scenes?
Is there a difference between the way men and women approach such scenes as readers or as writers?

So why not have a go yourself on 14th February
and don't forget to add your entry to Christina's Write Brained linkey.

In the meantime here's a fun nostalgia trip:

Don't forget to hop back here and read my kiss scene on 14th Feb