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.

Sunday, 30 September 2012

W1S1 and IWSG September ~ Limerick

Insecure Writer’s Support Group hosted by Alex J Cavanaugh. Time to release our fears to the world – or offer encouragement to those who are feeling neurotic. If you’d like to join us, click on the tab above and sign up. We post the first Wednesday of every month. (This month we are posting on Tuesday as well.) I encourage everyone to visit at least a dozen new blogs and leave a comment. Your words might be the encouragement someone needs

So did I achieve my  Write1Sub1, goal ? Well,  I recently realised that writing without worrying about it is so liberating.

I submitted a 250 word Flash Fiction story for an online competition, though that particular one didn't get shortlisted/ chosen, I'm afraid.

However, I have written another two 1,000 word crime suspence stories and did not allow my inner critic a look-in and it worked!

I wrote them as writing exercises and enjoyed the finished results. Had I written them as stories to submit then my brain would have erected barracades and filled its moats with murky croc infested water and not allowed me past the gate.

Do you over cook your stories?
Usually I over-think my stories while I'm physically writing them so that  my brain seems to seize up with the effort. Now I start the first paragraph, then leave my writing to do some chores. In the meanwhile my brain starts playing around with the ideas in a much more relaxed and creative way, so that when I return to writing the story I have a much better idea of what to write.

I've also re-written a poem and submitted it to a competition

and finally September 22nd was World Rhino Day ,so following Mad Kane's excellent example I have written my own Limerick for it:

A writer with rhinoceros hide
Can endure the most cutting aside
As the critics attack
Every barb cuts their back
Yet they stay resolutely dry-eyed.

I've been transferring my Cloth Figure Website that I started 10 years ago to Blogger here

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Kaleidoscope of Emotion Flash Fiction

For those who would like to read
and perhaps leave a comment,
y 250 word Flash Fiction entry
entitled #240 Kaleidoscope of Emotion

has been posted for the
Lascaux Flash Contest.

CLICK <HERE  or see below

The prompt for this competition was:

by Madeleine Sara

Joe’s words left a kaleidoscope of emotions swirling around Emily’s sensibilities. The pain could not have been any more excruciating than if he had smashed her body through the car windscreen at speed. She swallowed as though her neck was made of tightly corded rope and her breathing quickened. Normally she was a good driver, but Joe’s words were creating their own road map through her mind, like the voice of an irascible SatNav that could not be silenced. Her foot pressed harder on the gas pedal, making the houses and mail boxes hurry past like bewildered onlookers. She just wanted him out of her life.

Anger raged in red hues like a rutting stag, while jealously slinked its way around her body; slithering green like a snake through smoky blue clouds that fogged her mind with depressive thoughts of suicide and despair. He had uttered that oh-so clich├ęd line “I don’t love you anymore. I’ve found somebody else” from those once beloved soft, pink lips that seven years ago had promised “I love you, ‘til death us do part.”

“You can drop me off at the corner” Joe said, breaking into her thoughts, as he unfastened his seat belt in preparation. He leant over the seat to grab his bag. Her foot automatically leapt on the brake pedal as the ginger tabby ran out into the road in front of her. Joe’s yellow skin was the colour that stayed in her mind; from damage to his liver, they said.

Monday, 24 September 2012

Whisked Away! Discovering Bookshops

Hubby whisked me away to The City of Bath for a romantic weekend.

We visited some of the places that we went on our first date 25 yrs ago...


and found some new places.

Sadly Whiteman's bookshop where we met and worked is no more, but I'm delighted to say we found this wonderful independent bookshop Mr B's Bookshop which more than made up for it. We just had to purchase some books, too...

Including this witty and apposite set of poems, which describe Bath how it is with wit and wisdom. Joyce and Edie in Bath, visiting the Assembly Rooms and tasting the special waters.

I bought some bed sock wool for my next knitting project.

On the last day my expensive, new shoes leaked in the rain making my socks soggy... Today after much persuasion at the shop we got a refund!

and now I've got lots of blogging to catch up on.
Did I miss much?

What did you get up to?

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Blogfest: Genre Favourites

Alex J Cavanaugh is hosting another Blogfest Today
Genre Favourites Blogfest, September 17, 2012
One Blogfest, four favourites!
List your favourite genre of:
           Movie            Music             Books
And a guilty pleasure genre
from any of the three categories!

Here's my entry, now posted in the correct month (blush!) after a blogger glitch last month,
hence the first commenters comments.
Okay this is a toughie as I love my films, music and novels, but I love many different genres.

Music. I love Classical especially Bach and Mozart. I love harp, cello and brass instruments best. I also love what I'll refer to as the Bach and Mozarts of the Pop world, such as Queen whose range and talent is awesome. Songs I can sing along with on the tenor register.

Books I am very much drawn to literary fiction/ realistic fiction mainly written by women.
While I love Sci-Fi films, I don't tend to enjoy the general writing style of Sci-Fi fiction novels. I also enjoy Children's books and YA. The author whose entire works I have enjoyed every one of would be Andrea Levy.
Films I love so many genres it is hard to choose: Costume Dramas, Sci-Fi, Action thrillers where one person is outwitting the many
FreeDigitalImages.Net                        and the occasional romance.

Guilty pleasure genre would likely be real life accounts in novels and films of those who have won out over adversity, such as Rabbit Proof Fence.
Oh and About A Boy I can watch over and over and still enjoy.

How about you?

Saturday, 15 September 2012

YA Book Review ~ Medeia Sharif


This novel was written by the lovely Medeia Sharif
I was attracted to it because of its original subject matter. I wanted to learn what it was like to be a Muslim American Teenager trying to sustain her fast during Ramadan, while coping with normal teenage commitments and concerns, such as parental and cultural restrictions, boyfriends versus friendships, spiteful rivalries, the desire to be kissed and braces on her teeth!

I confess that the opening pages made me feel slightly alarmed, in this modern age of eating disorders and obsessions with body image, but as I read on I realised that the MC, Almira Abdul has a genuine weight problem and while not obsessed by it, would like to be as 'hot' as her fitness conscious mum.

It has an easy flowing voice that instantly draws the reader in and is replete with raging hormones, teen dramas & preoccupations. Almira Abdul, is a normal teen who is struggling to be socially accepted within the culture she now lives, while trying to embrace the culture into which she was born.
Almira admits she has allowed certain aspects of her religion to lapse, but as a normal self absorbed teen she is focused on the desires and expectations shared by her peers inevitably immersed in American culture.
I enjoyed the journey and would thoroughly recommend the book. I was also left with the distinct impression that this young, Muslim teenager was beginning to mature into the religion and culture into which she was born, by the fact that she enjoyed visiting the Mosque with her family (something they had done rarely) and striving to achieve the Ramadan fast. So while her expectations and desires appeared superficially American, her grounding was in the culture into which she was born.

This novel also reminded me of the meaning of breakfast!

I shall be donating my copy, which I have tried to keep in pristine condition,
to our local library to encourage its
greater exposure.

Have you read Medeia's book?
Are you a YA writer/ a Fan of YA novels?

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Poetry Project Interview ~ Classical Poetry

The Poetry Project is hosted by Kailana at The Written World and Regular Rumination  Check out the links for the other particpants.

July – Meet and Greet Questionnaire (see below)
August – Poem by a Pulitzer Prize winner
September – A classic poem
October - 
Halloween poems
November – War rememberance
December – Holiday Poems/Mid-Year Reflection

January – Poems by Christina Rossetti
February – Poems about love, hate or heartbreak
March – A new release poem/book of poetry (2012/2013)
April – What could have made you appreciate poetry more when you were younger? How would you raise a poetry reader?
June – Read a poem from the list that started it all.
July – Shakespearean sonnet

Why do you want to join for the Poetry Project?
I love poetry and I love blogging and I like to support other blogs that celebrate poetry and poets.Do you have a favourite poet?
Yes Matt Harvey, Pam Ayres, Stevie Smith, Roger McGough’s Cat’s Protection League, 
I Like Jenny Joseph’s Warning, This be the verse by Philip Larkin, Allan Alberg’s Please Mrs. Butler; Vicky Feaver's The man who ate stones

Hopefully this will go longer than a year. Do you have any suggestions for themes?Poetry inspirations? What first caught your inner-poet’s imagination? How to on haiku, Tanka etc.

What are your experiences with poetry in the past? Have they been positive or negative?

I hated poetry at school. It seemed utterly incomprehensible. Then I discovered Pam Ayres (see below) and as I grew up I heard many other poets whose poems seemed more accessible and when my cat dies in 2009 I wrote my first proper poem.
I'm not really a Classical Poetry fan, I'm afraid, though i loved Chaucer and translating his verses from Old English and of course Shakespeare.

Tell us about a poem or poet that has had a profound effect on you. If you can't think of a poem, how about a song? Or a line from a story?

Pam Ayres’ I wish I’d looked after mi' teeth  It's hilarious. Have you heard it before?

What frustrates you about poetry or the way we talk about poetry?
I used to think that poetry was too intellectual. Now I realise that poetry is accessible but rhyming every line, for example, does not necessarily a poem make and taking the free verse form much too literally, although neglects to take into account the structure required. Well written poems can express so much.
Tell us something about yourself that has nothing to do with poetry!

I enjoy creative writing in many genres and love blogging.

Do you love poetry?
Check out this poetry competiton

Monday, 10 September 2012

What's Your Chocolate? Blogfest

Do you love chocolate? Does the very word make you drool with anticipation? Join the “What’s Your Chocolate” Blogfest and tell us all about it! Post about your favorite chocolate – what it means to you, where and when you indulge, a favorite memory – anything chocolate-related.

Suggestible? I'll say I am.
I only have to watch the film 'Chocolat', or read the book, for my cravings to start. (It's how I broke a tooth recently, searching for something to satisfy my craving, but that's another story...)
Just reading this makes my mouth feel all deliciously chocolaty, as I imagine my tongue coated with a rich, dark creamy layer of pure enjoyment.
So, can you imagine how it was when I decided to knit a piece of chocolate cake and how much I wanted to eat the piece my mouth so desperately craved?

A rich cup of freshly brewed coffee with a piece of dark chocolate on the side (70% cocoa at least) is also a real treat. I've always loved dark chocolate and at Easter, while my brothers had their collection of milk and sickly white chocolate eggs, I had one dark chocolate ege amongst my milk chocolate selection.

I confess I'm not a great Hot Chocolate drinker, maybe because it's disappointingly sickly with that awful gritty after-taste, without any tantalising taste bud-seducing caress.
I'm sure Vianne's hot chocolate would be something far more delicious.

I have acquired a taste for the best chocolates such as Thornton's, though occasionally I yearn for the Marathon (bizarrely renamed Snickers) or Crunchie bars of my youth. There was also an Amazin Bar which was half dark and half milk chocolate and contained raisins. I just adored this, but it didn't last as apparently no-one else did. Anyone else remember these?
Tesco once had a divine chocolate yoghurt in the 1970's that was a rich paradise of milk and dark chocolate flavours that made my tongue weep with joy! That, too obviously wasn't liked by the masses and was sadly, discontinued.

How about you? Do you like Chocolate?

Friday, 7 September 2012

RFW ~ I Should have Kissed You Flash Fiction

This week's Flash Fiction/ Poetry Challenge set by Romantic Friday Writers:

In this challenge, RFW are looking for the hesitation, uncertainty and consequences (however temporary or permanent) of the missed opportunity to kiss.  Our lips should feel it, our tongues to taste it, our bodies and minds to be so involved in the anticipation that we have to kiss our hand (or our uninterested significant other) just to be fulfilled.
Feel free to write any outcome to I SHOULD HAVE KISSED YOU concept: Young lovers, first dates, re-entering the dating game, a last good bye, a romantic effort to save a flagging relationship.
You choose the circumstance, age of lovers, degree of relationship, genre. Remember, the focus is on the hesitation, feeling it all the way up to the moment of the Kiss that doesn't happen, and then... 
Click the Romantic Friday Writers link, join the linky and have some fun!

With Regret by Madeleine Sara

For how long I stood alone, watching the aeroplanes, I cannot say, but the realisation that I had made an irrevocable mistake, crawled over my heart like the spectre of hindsight. My mind pictured Jessica’s face, steeped in sadness, as she headed towards Gate 17 to her new life, without me; wearing her long, wool coat that clipped her waist so provocatively.
Of course we had argued when she mentioned it a month ago. She had accused me of not supporting her success; her career. She would have followed me to the ends of the earth, she said, if I had asked her. I simply hadn’t wanted my wife to take that job so far across the oceans from Somerset to New York. Regret tightened my throat like a knotted handkerchief; a cruel reminder. Why hadn’t I swallowed my fear, my pride and handed in my notice and gone with her?
      I should, at least, have made our parting count; breathed in the intoxicating scent of her, to store in my memory bank. I cringed inwardly recalling those awkward, formal pecks on each cheek we granted one another before we were interrupted by the Boarding Call. If only I had looked on her with the love and longing I felt; lost myself in her beautiful brown eyes. Instead I gave her a glance full of steely accusation, laced with pain. Now Jessica and I were destined to take this with us and hold it in our hearts forever.
 I should, at least, have told her with my touch, light against her long, swan-like neck how much I wanted her to stay. I should have let her know as our bodies crushed together in intimate longing. I should have told her with the gentle caress of our soft, warm lips as we kissed goodbye, as we should have done.
 Then Jessica’s voice was beside me, there in the airport. ““I love you David. I couldn’t leave without a proper goodbye”
I should have kissed you, properly!” I breathed, overjoyed. My heart was alive with hope and gratitude. Pulling her to me, I pressed my lips on hers. Our kiss taxied for a brief moment; gentle, tentative, then imperceptibly deepened as yearning hunger sent shivers in full flight down our spines, lifting our hearts higher with love and forgiveness. 
“I’ll catch the next flight” Jessica said, breaking the kiss, breathing heavily.
“And I’ll hand in my notice and follow you soon” I replied.  
(411 words)

Relationships are part of life and are included in every genre. True romance just steps up the ante a little, focusing on the couple and describing their feelings and intimacy.
So did you feel the true romance of this piece? Well it received the one of this week's RFW, awards. Thank you.

I will post my review of Medeia Sharif's YA novel,
Bestest Ramadam Ever next week.

RFW said: I felt the romance between Jessica and David. Many contributors wrote of the regret of missed opportunity in the throes of young love, but David takes the initiative. Obviously a close couple, he's changed his mind rather than live with a lifetime of regret. He's going to act - he's going to follow Jessica to her new job rather than look back years later. Madeleine Maddocks' perfect flash fiction piece, followed the guidelines to a 'T'. Congratulations Madeleine! 

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

IWSG Sept and Write1 Sub1 August

For this month's IWSG hosted by
Alex J Cavanagh,
 I have been striving to exorcise those doubting demons
and just get on with writing/ having a go at blog challenges and generally getting things out there!This goal has ultimately been
helped by the support and inspiration of the Write1Sub1 team

Last month, I forgot to add my eBook Ultimate Sacrifice, to the Write1sub1 mix.

This month, I have submitted a poem for publication,
and written/submitted my first complete suspense thriller short story
 Plus my cat short story has been processed and the Writers For Animals anthology will soon be ready for publication, the proceeds for which help animal charities. In the antholgy I believe Old Kitty's story will also be included. Yay!

My 'Ray' story opening that received the ePen prize from Writing Magazine was not actually published in the magazine. Boo hoo! One of the other competition winners' stories was used instead, which was disappointing for me, as I would have loved to have seen it in print.
Maybe they will include it some other time.
In the meantime I am reminded of Neil Gaiman's Fraud Police comment:


For all you short story lovers out there, don't forget to check out this link:
I get bad neck and shoulder ache and that affects my computing/ reading my Kindle for PC stuff. I really must get a proper Kindle, though I prefer real books.

Monday, 3 September 2012

Piquing your interest ~ Be Inspired Meme

My thanks to Suzanne Furness of The Word Is...for tagging me
This Be Inspired meme gives the recipient the chance to share some information about their current projects
by answering some questions.

I'm going to just answer just one of the questions
and tweak it a little
(for full set of questions see below )


Q: Tell us anything that might pique our interest
about your writing process?

I have gone from being a panster, who starts writing a story and then very quickly runs out of steam, to someone who tried to outline and plan. I have heard many authors say:

'Always finish your writing day with something still left to write'.         AND

'To be a good writer you must read, read and read some more'

Recently I have been doing just that, by using my local library more and treating myself to books on a regular basis (usually instead of clothes and shoes etc.!)
I've been writing short stories (and usually I get an idea but the ending is often elusive), this time I wrote the first paragraph only, then made myself leave it, do some chores and think about it.

And boy does this seem to have worked a treat! Those creative juices that I had previously mopped up by writing until my idea was exhausted are instead set to work on making the story I have just started work better.

I would like to pass this meme on to Ellie Garratt and Dominic De Mattos who have both recently returned to the Land of Blog.

What is the name of your book?

Where did the idea for your book come from?

In what genre would you classify your book?

If you had to pick actors to play your characters in a movie rendition who would you choose?

Give us a one sentence synopsis of your book?

Is your book already published?

How long did it take you to write your book?

What other books within your genre would you compare it to? Or readers of which books would enjoy yours?

Which authors inspired you to write this book?

Tell us anything that might pique our interest in your book?