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.

Wednesday 29 February 2012

W1S1 February & IWSG

So did I achieve my  Write1Sub1, goal this month?

I submitted a magazine competition in which I had to write the first 250 words of a story about a character called Ray...

I've also written a 500 word flash fiction feline tale for another competition, which I may expand and submit elsewhere, as I feel it might not be quite suitable for this particular venue and I plan to write another entry instead.

So how about you?

I'm combining this with my IWSG (hosted by Alex J Cavanaughpost  to say that I'm coping with my insecurities by telling myself 

It will happen It will take time. I'm getting there one step at a time.

Sunday 26 February 2012

Writing For Children Workshop

What can I say it was fabulous!
Vanni (Myfanwy Cook)  has a great presentation technique and researches her markets thoroughly.

She talked about the language one needs to bear in mind when writing the different types of children's books


What essentially children's books must be about. Can you guess?

She also recommended Louise Jordan's book:

The answer: About children . Adults can feature but only as supporting characters

Saturday 25 February 2012

Writing Workshop

Thanks again for all your well wishes. I've had good and bad days this week, but celebrated my birthday several times with different friends and family being treated to my favourite soya lattes at local Costa Coffees.

I am booked on a creative writing workshop run by the lovely Myfanwy Cook who has written commissioned articles on the craft of writing and has had over 90 short stories published in the UK and Australia. I am really looking forward to it. I hope I can do it justice...

Tuesday 21 February 2012

Birthday Break

 It's my birthday week starting today, so I'm just posting to say I may be very quiet this week, but rest assured you are all on my mind and I will return to your blogs soon.
Hmmm I guess I'm a mix of the two (above).

Do you use horoscopes to determine the traits of your characters?

I do sometimes check them out for ideas.

Thanks for all your well wishes, yes I'm feeling very tired still.
Hoping to get to the bottom of it soon...

Monday 20 February 2012

No Excuses!

How many of us complain we have nowhere to write?

Just look at how small Jane Austen's desk was compared to so many well known authors. It made us gasp with mirth at the tiny space.

My own desk is a mess of papers with hardly room to toss a thought about.

Sometimes I like to write freehand in the conservatory in a notepad at others I'll scribble away happily while seated on a train.

I guess it doesn't matter where we write but that we do!

So what stops you from writing?
What stops me is sharing a small office with hubby when he's playing youtube videos or scuffling about the filing cabinet like a giant gerbil.

If I've been quiet it's because I've been poorly again over the past week or so.
Last night I even dreamt I was tired... I'm trying to catch up again now.
I also had computer network adapter problems. I think I've resolved it by downloading the latest drivers so that I don't get the no or limited connectivity anymore (fingers crossed) I'm also trying to find my hobby room under a pile of papers that need sorting and get back to my novel. How about you?

Oh and thanks to everyone who commented on the latest word captcha verification. Maybe our grievances have already been noted...

Friday 17 February 2012

Kreativ Award

Huge thanks to Patsy for awarding me with this Kreativ Blogger Award.

I am always delighted to receive such fabulous accolades from my blogging peers.

I would like to pass it on to
Susan at  
I Think Therefore I Yam
 whose presentation and content of her blog osts is truly creative.

A novel blogger

Creativity released
Innovation shared 

A woman who won an award
For creatively blogging abroad
Spent much of her time
Immersed in design
So her followers would not get bored.

Thursday 16 February 2012

Word Blurrification

I use word verification on posts to weed out the weirdo spam comments. Some that get through can often be quite disturbing.

While it is often humans who post the weird comments, word verification is supposed to show that the comment has been made by a human and not machine.

However, there are times when I imagine Commander Data (Android from Star Trek) would have a better job of deciphering Captcha than I, as with the example below. I imagine him saying: 

"Captain it appears to me to be a simple configuration of shape, colour and letter form cleverly merged together to disguise each letter with visual texture and optical illusion.
The difficulty as I see it, Captain, is that most human eyes are not sufficiently evolved to cope with the contrasting stimuli."

I can read the first word, but those words in the blurry black and white smudge often confound me!

I know many of you dislike word verification. What are your thoughts on the subject?

In other news. I shall be doing a Review of Rachel Morgan's first Creepy Hollow installment Guardian on 8th March. This will be followed by an author interview a few days later, so do come along and join in the fun.

Monday 13 February 2012

Origins Blogfest & Limericks

You can see my RFW entry here
Hosted by DLHammons. On Monday, February 13th, you should post your own origin story.  Tell us where your writing dreams began.  It could be anything from how you started making up stories as a child, or writing for the school newspaper, or even what prompted you to start a blog. How about the first time somebody took an interest in your writing, or the teacher/mentor that helped nudge you along and mold your passion, or maybe the singular moment when you first started calling yourself a writer? 
It all started somewhere and we want you to tell us your own, unique, beginnings.

I could sum the origins of how I started making up stories as:
I spent a lot of my formative years creating stuff that my mother would Xerox for me to keep me happy while she worked. I took to letter writing...

...And produced my own books of stories and practical guides on pet keeping,
as I was a gerbil expert(!) and adored dogs and cats...
...and I excelled at English Language at school, which was very encouraging.
One of my stories was even read out as the best example by my teacher in 1979.
though regretfully I do not have a copy of it...

I always knew I'd be an author, though huge inhibitions and self doubts formed barriers to this fulfilment until recently when I decided to rekindle my passion and see where it took me

and with your help I just may even suceed.
Thank you!

MY LATEST LIMERICKS from Ms.Kane's first line prompt

A bimbo who ran a campaign
To save all the forests from rain
Clucked like an old hen
When accosted by men
Jeering “Hey, me Tarzan, you Jane!”

A fellow who ran a campaign
To ensure he could spot every train
Took his anorak and flask
So that, should it steam past
He could take down the numbers, again.

Saturday 11 February 2012

RFW The Long Cool Aphrodisiac

This Romantic Friday Writers Challenge theme is The Long, Cool Aphrodisiac:
Not all love potions take immediate effect. Some take a little longer to work through your system, but it's a great feeling...

Cool Awakenings by Madeleine Maddocks

The coldest weather of that winter began to set in as his wife, Marcy, packed her bags and left for her mother’s. Andrew wanted to be manly about it all, but his heart gave a little whimper as her car pulled out of the drive. He couldn’t say how long he had stood looking down the road, his eyes red with the afterimage of her brake lights. Eventually, he wandered into the kitchen, which normally greeted him with the smell of his wife’s freshly baked cakes, bread and all those bubbling pans of delicious food. Now it was quiet, clean and lifeless. He coughed as his heart squeezed with emotion.
Answering the call of nature he hurried into the downstairs washroom. The smell of lemon scented toilet gel danced brightly around the room and he another pang of love for his wife swelled. He reached for the toilet tissue, realising that his hand was flipping an empty cardboard roll instead. He fumbled in the cupboard to find a fresh roll.   Why had he never noticed all those little jobs that Marcy did without mentioning? He wandered into the living room. Their favourite programme was just about to start, but he couldn’t laugh at the comedy because his hollow heart still echoed from her departure. He missed her so much, already.
When eventually he took himself up to bed Andrew stared at the vast, empty divan. In thirty years of marriage they had never slept apart. That night was the longest and coldest he could remember, without the warmth of his wife’s body beside him. In the early days of their marriage they had made love with a passion, but these days neither seemed in the mood.
Two long weeks ensued before Marcy's mother recovered sufficiently from her fall so that Marcy was able to return home. As Marcy entered the house Andrew was there by her side with flowers and chocolates.
“I’ve got something else for you” he said, taking her hand and leading her up stairs.
He nibbled her neck at the top of the landing and slid a hand over her breast. She responded with her mouth hot and eager on his own. They fumbled with each others' clothes, pulling off jumpers and trousers with the eagerness of young lovers, as they stumbled and fell into bed. After a deliciously sweaty climax they lay in each others' arms beneath the duvet.
“Heavens!” Marcy giggled “What brought that on?”
“I guess your absence proved to be a long, cool aphrodisiac!


WELCOME to all my new followers
and HELLO to all my existing ones

 Oh wow! I am Featured Writer this week with Erin Thank you!

Featured Writer this week. Madeleine Maddocks captured us all with her perfectly-structured flash fiction. As Donna said: 'She told the whole story in one circumstance. There was character and plot growth and a romantically-satisfying ending.'

Friday 10 February 2012

Voices Blogfest #3 Emotion

My RFW post for The Long, Cool Aphrodisiac will be posted Saturday afternoon.

Thanks to Cassie Mae and Angela Cothran for hosting this blogfest. I've had a fun time.
The final prompt is for an
Emotion Flash Fiction : Emotion is the engine of a story. Pick an emotion and in a flash fiction piece of 250 words MAKE us feel it! We want to connect with your character.

I have decided to stay with my WIP novel and my MC Ginny from 'Once Forgotten' and treat you all to another excerpt, which I've edited down to in 250 words & to make sure I don't give too much of the novel plot away too soon....


Ginny's head felt as fragile as a cracked eggshell, as she lay on the top of the handmade patchwork quilt that had been one of her sister-in-law’s creations, in blues with hints of gold. She could feel the tears on her cheeks like dried, stagnant pools, while a twisting burn gripped her throat. She hadn’t even had time to have her breakfast. The initial shock of waking that morning to find two police officers on her doorstep, with sombre expressions and restless, wary eyes suggested that the news must be unconscionably awful. Her voice strangled right out of her throat as they explained that a man fitting the description she had given them for Bernard, had been found stabbed the previous night. They would like her to accompany them to the mortuary to identify the body.
A frenzy of the most intense emotions had begun circulating around her body.  She felt her head lift as light as a helium balloon. The firm hands of PC White helped her to a chair. Questions had begun competing for answers in her head. Why was Bernard at that particular pub? Why hadn’t Guy been with him? Could it be someone else? 
Nothing since yesterday morning had made any sense. The twisting burn in her throat returned as the stark image of that grey, lifeless face, staring up at her in the mortuary came back into her mind. More hot tears nettled her eyes at the memory.
“Oh Bernard!” she sobbed, "I need you!"

So what emotions are you feeling ?
Check out my interview voices #1
Check out my  #2 Dialogue
I read a very good post by an editor (Sorry I forgot which one), who said never write the words 'feeling' but rather describe the feelings without the initial qualifier (e.g. s/he was feeling or s/he felt), so I took that to heart in my subsequent writing.

Wednesday 8 February 2012

Hearing Voices Blogfest #2 Dialogue

This blogfest is being hosted by: Cassie Mae and Angela Cothran with prizes!
Dialogue Introduction: Have two characters introduce each other using only dialogue—no backstory, no internalisation, just dialogue between the two. Max 250 words

This is a tricky one because producing dialogue without context is pretty much like hearing voices in a white-washed room. However, I've stripped down my piece to the bare bones and eliminated any tags and description, so that you learn everything simply through what is being said and nothing more.

“Come on Caroline. Out with it. What’s on your mind?”
“Why on earth would you think anything particular’s on my mind?”
“Don’t give me that wide-eyed, innocent, all indignant look! That cappuccino needs drinking not stirring for a start. You’ve been staring out the window for the past ten minutes. And I’m pretty sure you’ve no idea what I’ve said, have you?”
“Well you were saying something about work…”
“Just as I thought. Now spill”
“Okay Becky, you’re right. But you’re going to think I’m a terrible person if I tell you.”
“You’ve got to tell me now, before I burst!”
“I met someone and I can’t get him off my mind”
“Well Hallelujah!  It’s about time you found a new daddy for Juliet. How old is she now-nine?”
“Uhhuh. I’ve only met Bernard a couple of times and he doesn’t know about Juliet”
“Bernard, huh? Tell me more. Does he feel the same way?”
“I don’t know. I think so. It’s complicated.”
“Are you sure you’re not just putting up barriers?”
“Not at all. I wish it were more straightforward. He’s considerate, he’s got such kind eyes and he’s handsome. But he’s in an unhappy marriage.”
“Alarm bells are ringing now, honey. Did he tell you that?”
“No he’s extremely loyal and I’ve met his wife. She’s a first class bitch!”
“So you plan to rescue him and live happily ever after?”
“That’s the plan. Now, shall we order some cake?”
“Absolutely! And celebrate your Master Plan with it.” (250 words)

This is an imaginary conversation between one of the MC's in my novel and a friend.
What does it tell you about the characters?
Check out my interview voices #1

Monday 6 February 2012

Characters on the Couch Blogfest #1

This blogfest is being hosted by: Cassie Mae and Angela Cothran with prizes!
Characters on the couch: Have one of your characters answer the following questions (to make this work to your benefit, choose a character who is the hardest for you to write :) Max 250 words (Not including the questions—only the answers).

This is a conversation between my MC, Ginny Hart, and her best friend, Gussie (aka Augusta Fairbank, whose chapters I decided to delete from the MS because I had too many POVs in the story. I was also aware that with both character's names beginning with a G this might also confuse the reader).

So Ginny, what is your biggest vulnerability?

A large glass of wine is my biggest weakness. Okay I'm seriously stalling here. I adore my husband, Bernard. I couldn’t be without him. Will that do? My life at the moment is just how I want it.

What do people believe about you that is false?
Most likely that I cannot manage on my own. That I need my husband to look after me. I could manage, I just wouldn’t want to and let’s face it, he needs me just as much.

What would I, Gussie, as  your best friend say is your fatal flaw? Why?
That I’m not maternal. I’m really not overly fond of the idea of being a mum. I’d hate all that pain and bloating. I dread to imagine the horrors of childbirth. And nappies, Yeuch! Oh, I know Bernard adores children and I pretend to be trying for a child, for his sake, but I’m still secretly popping contraceptives every day to ensure that it doesn’t happen. Why would I give up this life, my life for something that squawked, puked and pooped all day and night? I figure what Bernard doesn’t know won’t hurt him.

What would I, your best friend, say is your redeeming quality?
That I know what I want and go out of my way to get it. I’m resourceful like Becky Sharpe in Vanity Fair and you admire that Gussie, because let’s face it you’re just too nice.  Perhaps I shouldn’t be telling you this, but if you were less meek and accommodating with everybody you’d always get what you wanted, too.

What do you want most and what would you do to get it?
Life to remain exactly as it is. I would do anything to keep it that way, if I've not done it already.
(250 words not including questions)

 So what does that tell you about my MC?
Check out my next entry #2 Dialogue

Sunday 5 February 2012

Brain Drain

Okay so normally my head feels the size of a walnut,

but this week it's been more peanut capacity, which affects my writing creativity.

I've been told it's my hormones and that I should challenge my brain with things other than just my normal creative writing. 


Apparently those who learn a new language after retirement are more immune to normal brain aging, so I've started learning Braille. To add to my moans, I've had a new spectacle prescription, which is making my head unusually mega-squiffy, too...

I'm wondering about those Nintendo Brain Games.
Do you play them?

How do you keep your mind active and challenged?

Wednesday 1 February 2012

Feb Insecure Writers' Support #5

My thanks to Alex J Cavanaugh for hosting this monthly blog hop.

I've read lots of how to books on writing (See Bookshelf blog tab) nevertheless I've found that the comments, feedback, experience and challenge of writing blogfest pieces have taught me so much in such a short space of time.

Practicing my writing plus the advice of others has been invaluable through their own blogposts too with trials and tribulations, methods and vices.

I think we can read all the help books in the world, but practice and experience brings them to life.
I confess that I only began to really learn what it all meant when I began blogging and entering challenges.

Okay on to my goals set in previous IWSG post.

1. To write at least 200 words daily. Not quite, but I have written more lately

2. To search for short story competitions and enter themYes I've submitted some work!
3. Accept that getting published isn't easy and just get on with it! Yes

4. Focus on getting better by reading and writing more. I went to a writing workshop on Thursday, though as I slept badly and had to travel for 2.5 hrs I didn't perform/interact as well as I'd've liked. Also the group didn't stay behind afterwards to chat and share, which was disappointing. People broke off and exited in small groups and pairings instead.

5.Don't obsess over each entry sent. Forget about them once they've been submitted. I'm better than I have been about this.

6. Develop some writing determination. I'm working on this too.

7. Focus on my stories and plots to blot out other temptation/distractions such as blogging. Hmmm, life has a habit of re-routing my best writing intentions with health probs and everyday dramas!

8. Enjoy the process rather than stress about the outcome.  Again, I'm working on this one.

How about you?