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My Blog SCRIBBLE AND EDIT reflects my love of creative writing, design, literature and film. Check out my Poems & haiku, Romantic Flash Fiction; Blogfest Entries; Blog Awards and other prose and Flash Fiction. Do bear with me, as I will reciprocate with those genuine commenters on my blog.  BTW I sometimes withhold comments for challenges until later. Comments about the post are much appreciated. Thank you.
Comments based on others' comments can lead to misunderstandings that spread like whispers!

The only SURE way for me to follow you back is if you leave a comment. However, if your Blog has a black background and white writing then it makes my eyes squiffy...

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Tuesday Challenge


You can probably see immediately what's wrong with this piece of dialogue inserted below:


Officer, I need to see the knife.”

“This case is closed.”

“I still need to see the knife.”

"You can need all you like"

"Let me see the knife, please"

“Did you hear me ? The case is closed, now leave it alone.”

Putting aside the relative merits of the dialogue itself, you're probably immediately struck by the fact that this scene has no points of reference for the reader. Apart from knowing there are two people (one of whom is a police official) plus a knife, there are no properly defined characters and the environment is entirely featureless.

It made me think again about the importance of showing rather than telling in creative writing and that without vivid description it can be like putting the reader into an empty room where they can only hear voices yet are unable to see who is talking, where they are or what’s happening. Adding description that draws on the senses and paints a picture with metaphor and simile would enrich this scene immeasurably.

So your Tuesday Challenge, should you wish to take it, is to enrich this scene by putting some flesh on the bones of the dialogue.


HERE'S MINE 'off the cuff' so to speak:
“Officer, I need to see the knife.” The young man seemed to fill PC Huish’s tiny office by just stepping inside the threshold. His body cast a long shadow across the desk like a stone age monolith against the sunlight, as he briefly glanced around the room. Crammed with over-filled filing cabinets and piles and piles of paperwork that fluttered and rustled in the breeze of an electric fan it had a chaotic atmosphere.

P.C. Huish shielded his face with his hand, peering over the rim of his tortoiseshell glasses. His unprotected eyes seemed reptilian and piercing as they stared up at the young reporter. “This case is closed.” He said keeping his tone even and firm.

“I still need to see that knife.” The young reporter persisted, his craggy face etched with dogged determination.

Huish's expression betrayed an admiration for the young man’s persistence, but he wasn’t prepared to capitulate to a rooky upstart like Craig Muldoon. “Did you hear me?” he repeated “The case is closed, now leave it alone.”


Admittedly the dialogue in this piece requires editing. It evolved from something similar that I read that sparked the idea of what else was missing from the writing.


Monday, 30 August 2010

Flashing By: Microfiction Monday

Flash fiction is fiction of extreme brevity. There is no widely accepted definition of the length of the category.

Micro Fiction is provocative fiction that requires tight analysis and editing. Taking an idea and distilling it into a micro-cosm of its original self is the challenge. The form is strictly prose.
(Is it the prose equivalent of a Haiku in poetry, using a traditional 5, 7, 5 syllable structure, perhaps?)
  • In a few words the story thread must hold the plot together.
  • By playing against expectations you must let your narrator tell the reader one thing to lead him in one direction, while the text leads the reader somewhere else.
  • Use a directive last sentence that gives narrative insight or opinion.
  • Make re-reads inviting.
  • Close with a phrase that sends the reader back into the story:

Susan, at Stony River, hosts Microfiction Monday
"Where a picture paints 140 characters, or even fewer."
My thanks to Ellie for leading me to this exercise via her blog.


I've never tried this before, so here's my attempt:

'The driver chatted about his home in Belpre, oblivious it seemed. The Coolville turn-off loomed closer. Flashed by. A word in edgeways was an impossible destination'. (139 characters)

or:

Temperatures were 104°F in the shade. Coolville looked inviting. Maybe he should take Roxy there. She had assets, Frank grinned lasciviously, but not class. (133 characters)

An unrelated Haiku (apols for the pun!):

Agony Aunt by Madeleine Maddocks

She thrashes wildly
Pain evident in her eyes
On seeing her niece


Does it work?

EPILOGUE:
Decided to visit Coolville on Google maps and immediately happened upon this:
Spooky cool perhaps?

Haiku

Coolville looms ahead

Speeding along the highway

Eight miles, then we’re there

Saturday, 28 August 2010

All Good Things

They say all good things come to those who wait.
Well I waited...

Perhaps not as patiently as I some, but I waited...
And it arrived today in the CPL magazine.

I am delighted (and ridiculously chuffed that my story rubs shoulders with others written by the likes of such award winning novelists as Andrew McGowan). The illustrator Rasoul Hudda even got the pose my cat adopts exactly.

Let's hope it is a portent of things to come!

Friday, 27 August 2010

With Due Reference

I absolutely love my reference books. Yes they are hefty tomes; heavy and awkward, but using them is like dipping into a wonderful Ice Cream Sundae with many layers, textures and flavours. Each word sending me on a journey to discover its many and varied meanings.

I recall a number of my course contemporaries, from all over the UK, slopping bucket loads of muck on the idea that a writer would want to own, much less use a proper, published dictionary, favouring Internet searches instead. These same people apparently wanted to be the future authors of tomorrow. Where was their love of words and books?

The Chambers DictionaryWhen the O.U. recommended the Chambers Dictionary for our Creative Writing course I wondered why this particular lexicon? No-one on the forums had a clue, it seemed. Maybe someone out there in cyberspace knows?

I’ve been the proud owner of a 1988 Chambers since 1988. (If you looked up the word Éclair it said: ‘a long cake of short duration’. However, more recent editions have revised this description). Recently I looked up the word ‘arcane’ in it, (my mother’s rule of thumb to confirm if a dictionary is good) but the word wasn’t there! I was crestfallen. I now have an Oxford Dictionary of English which I love and which does have the word arcane:
Oxford Dictionary of English


Of course there’s the Computer Thesaurus, which is very useful. I really don’t deny it, but isn’t it bland and limited? For example:

The definition of Piqued in synonym checker comes up as:
So where I wondered was the definition relating to a person’s interest being aroused? Huh?

Also, Beware Spellchecker, it's littered with mistakes.

I wonder,what’s your favourite dictionary tipple?

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Guilty As Charged

My heart went out to Tracy Chevalier in Mslexia magazine and Sally Quilford in Writer's Forum magazine on the trials and tribulations of being a short story competition judge.

Like so many others I am guilty of falling into the trap of writing stories with cheerless, heartbreaking themes having homed in on the assertion that stories should have conflict at their heart. So I can readily empathise with the judges who long for something upbeat and heart-warming to feast their depleted hearts and minds on. (I would say the same is true of watching today's TV dramas and soaps)
 FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The funny thing is that I'm usually good at seeing the funny side of things, but when it comes to writing short stories I suddenly become deathly serious and sombre. A good dose of touching and funny wouldn't go amiss in my repertoire. Show us the love! The judges cry.

How about you? Do you write with humour or are your stories equally grim and grisly?

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

The Body in the Library

Today was one of those mornings when everything seemed to go smoothly from finding the only parking space in the free car park that no-one else spotted, to depositing (!!) a cheque in the bank and then getting a copy of a very touching magazine article I’d read at the hair dressers last week as a source for a story plot.

Then I popped into the local library and I’m so excited…

… I’ve booked on a half day workshop at our local library for tips on Crime Writing with Myfanwy Cook at the end of September that I thought might be a bit of fun.

I have never read any of her writing and couldn't find any of her books in the library. Maybe the others had snapped them up?  
I’m wondering what a crime writing workshop will be like?

See follow up post: http://scribbleandedit.blogspot.com/2010/09/with-murderous-intent_28.html

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Baptism by Prologue


I admit I was never a fan of Prologues in novels. They always seemed an unknown quantity and rather an annoying digression before the real story began.

The more I read, the more I realised that a good prologue is so much more.

Having just written beyond the FPP in the novel I’m writing, I realised that it was exactly what I needed for it.  So I researched it some more and considered the criteria. As I understand it then a Prologue should:

• Start with a compelling first line, from an unnamed character's viewpoint

• hook the reader in, cutting to the chase and introducing a vital story question

• sketch in some backstory quickly and economically

• convince the reader to keep turning the pages to find out the answer, without giving too much away

• never be an excerpt that is repeated later in the story


Then I had a go and ‘Hey Presto’

A grin split across my face like a cleaved melon!

It seemed just perfect!
I am so excited, I'm beside myself...

Are you averse to the idea of prologues? Do you include them in your novels?

The best article I read since on the subject was by Adrian Magson in Writing Magazine who contributed to my change of heart. It’s got some very good information about when Prologues are appropriate and what should be included in them.

Monday, 23 August 2010

On Being Bumptious


I read a 'How To' book, bought secondhand a few years ago: ‘How to Write a Block Buster and Make Millions’ by Sarah Harrison that suggested that agents and publishers like bumptious authors. That comment stuck in my mind like a bookmarked page ever since.

    It’s fair to say, however, that most people actually seem to find such an attitude off-putting. Such apparent brashness being cautiously viewed as showing false modesty or lack of humility. It’s like treading a fine line between being positive and being boastful, I guess.

   For my part, the idea that others might not like what I’ve written is a truly terrifying, unpleasant prospect and one I know I share with many an aspiring author. Fear of criticism, failure and rejection all crowd around, nodding sagely. However, I try my best to rise above such dissenting voices. I try to be proud of my literary offspring and let my enthusiasm flourish.

I write because I love to write and I want others to enjoy what I write, too. Doesn’t everyone?

They say laughter is the best tonic…

            One of my writing group contemporaries and I decided that we should set up a self-help group called The Delusions Of Grandeur Club.

               Then it occurred to us that our husbands would have to start their own support group Spouses of the DGC. Suddenly I realised that maybe they’d already done so and I suggested:

 “What if they’re texting or emailing one another this very minute with the words: ‘She thinks she’s written another masterpiece, again!

… We laughed until we cried. I guess if we can see the funny side we can’t be all that bumptious after all!


So do you think authors should be bumptious ?

Epilogue: Bumptious authors = believe in yourself 100% and share your passion thus communicating your belief in your writing to others.

Saturday, 21 August 2010

Freewrite Freedom

It’s like surfing your mind with the thoughts spilling out onto the page like waves. Somewhere amongst the foam and buffeting surf boards will be your story idea.



A FREEWRITE is whatever flows from your mind through your pen in 10 -15 mins. If you have a topic heading, maybe a Competition Challenge Theme, then you can use it as a Word Association Cue as your 'Focused' Freewrite prompt.


Random thoughts are allowed, it’s part of freeing up your writing senses. Let the words flow freely, you can switch from subject to subject without worrying about spelling, grammar or punctuation.                                        FreeDigitalPhotos.net

• Find a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed or distracted.


• Have a clock visible or an alarm clock set for 10 -15 mins. Or just write, until you’ve exhausted the ideas for that topic, it doesn’t really matter too much.


• Make sure the notepad and pen you are using are the right proportions for you to write smoothly and comfortably.


• Then just begin writing whatever comes into your mind, even if you write ‘I don’t know what to write’ at first.


It certainly transformed the way I prepare for writing poems and prose pieces now.
I’ve inserted my own short piece of prose, as an example for you to see how it works for me:


Does Freewriting work for you?

Friday, 20 August 2010

Cheshire Cat Grins

One of my cat stories, (referred to in an earlier post that had been rejected by one editor),
has since been accepted by email.
The Cat’s Protection's official supporter’s magazine,
The Cat, are publishing it in their Paws for Thought section.
It’s a small triumph and I’m thrilled!


The story is based around Borage (only a few months old here) and Tarragon (11 years old) She's not amused by the small interloper, who took the place of her beloved Comfrey!
(I gave them different names in the story)

I'm counting off the days, until I get my copy of the magazine:

In the meantime, for those of you who have never heard the poem
by Roger McGough The Cats' Protection League, enjoy!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_pRlMrFkoHg
Hilariously funny, isn't it?

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Noteworthy Advice


Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within (Shambhala Library)Natalie Goldberg’s 'Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within' gave me some really commonsense advice about note books, plus many other writing advice gems. I have always loved stationery, the look of fresh, crisp blank pages waiting to be used and the smell. Yes I have been known to stick my nose in books and sniff, (though some chemical paper treatments leave an acrid taste on the tongue and back of the nose!)
Unfortunately, since I hated my handwriting and wanted my notebooks all to look  perfect and beautiful, naturally the idea of sullying such perfection with my banal scrawls presented a huge barrier for creativity. 

Inhibition Central, you might say! Yet while a smart, pristine note book demands reverence and pride, a scrappy old school rough book can be scrawled and scribbled in without any qualms.

Now why didn’t I realise this before?

Since I read Natalie Goldberg’s advice, (which I’ll let you read for yourselves it’s so brilliant and also has more sound advice about choosing notepads in it) I now buy cheap spiral bound A6 sized notebooks with elastic fastenings and use flexi grip ball pens attached to them for writing down my novel ideas. I can carry them around with me wherever I go. It has helped free my writer-within and keeps all my ideas in one place.

So do you use scraps of paper, expensive moleskin notebooks or scruffy notepads?

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

A Positive Light

Since my father was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s (Vascular Dementia) and PCA, in 2005, my life turned upside down. As the years progressed and we had to put him in a nursing home, depression consumed me, slowing down everything I did. I really felt that we’d let him down. They call it a Living Bereavement. The fact I live 2½ hrs drive from my parents' home also doesn’t help.
Amazingly my father’s recent, remarkable recovery from pneumonia has really pulled me up, too. (We had the local Priest saying prayers and reading Psalm 23 and the staff kept bringing us cups of tea, so we knew it must be serious and that he might not pull through).


It’s like a ray of sunshine
appearing through the dark clouds and shining down on us!
As though Dad was saying:
I’m not ready to go and I’m not unhappy with life such as it is, so here I still am’



It’s allowed me to feel a lot happier and to be able to get on with doing some of those chores and activities that I had always been putting off until I had more energy, as in maybe tomorrow I’ll feel up to it. It was like I was wading through treacle. Being Canadian, my Dad would say: 'As slow as cold molasses'. I know there will be more lows to come, but for the moment I'm enjoying the up!
I now feel more creative again, which is a relief. Thanks, as always, for listening.

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Waiting Game with Walter Mitty



After I write my short stories and poems I then badger my hubby to read them aloud to me. I find it’s a good way to hear the mistakes and check the flow of dialogue and ideas. Naturally he agrees to this with a resigned stoicism. Bless!


Then I begin re-editing and polishing the work until eventually I decide it’s done and ready to print off. Popping it in the postbox, I walk away with a hopeful, excited flutter running through me.


Then I wait.
All the while, as the hours stretch into days, then weeks and months I try to get on with my life, while every day stretches out like its own personal month and I try to tell myself to forget about the manuscripts. Just be patient. As I wait, I day dream like Walter Mitty, imagining how awesome it will be when the manuscript is accepted.

In quieter moments, I pluck the possibilities: 'accepted', 'declined', 'accepted' like petals in a game of 'He loves me, he loves me not! '


Naturally I want everyone to love my literary offspring as much as I do, while knowing full well that although this would be awesome, it isn’t always possible.

What do you do?

Monday, 16 August 2010

Not Everyone's Cup of Tea



The Ode Less Travelled: Unlocking the Poet Within
As small children my Mother gave us a love of Nursery Rhymes, Limericks and Verse, but it’s fair to say that school subsequently poured cold, murky water over my enthusiasm for Poetry. Stephen Fry put it so aptly in his foreword to Ode Less Travelled: ‘the dread memory of classrooms swollen into resentful silence, while the English teacher invites us to respond to a poem.’ (An inane grin of recognition still sweeps across my face when I read that line.)
Poems seemed obscure, elitist and altogether from another planet to me, until Pam Ayres came along in 1970’s to put a fresh take on verse. Then in 1990’s the BBC brought the Nation’s Favourite Poems into the fore and I was reminded again how much fun could be derived from them; that a mood and message could be put across to others in such a succinct way.


I only really started writing poetry in October 2009 when my course started. I recall an acquaintance adamantly asserting that there were no rules to writing poetry, so anything goes! It made me ponder the countless How to Write Poetry books there are available with a wry smile.


Happening upon Frieda Hughes’ Times Online Do’s and Don’ts of Poetry also helped immensely.


Oh and I also found the wonderful Living Iambic Pentameter website, which was a revelation:


Admittedly I'm still a novice at writing poems. They are more modern than romantic and I usually try to inject a measure of irony into them. However, I do enjoy writing them.




So do you like poetry? Write some yourself even?

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Writer's Rut



We’ve all heard of Writer’s Block, but what about getting stuck in one style of writing that isn’t suitable for other genres?

One of the first styles of writing I tried in the 1990’s was Romance, where the adjectives and adverbs skate and tumble across the page for a quick, pithy read.

 
“She spat venomously”  “Otto added coldly”    “implored Clara, nervously”

So it was rather a shock, when I attempted realistic fiction/chick-lit, which has a very different perspective. (Apparently some University Creative Writing Courses discourage the use of adjectives and adverbs, encouraging the students to use metaphors and similes to strengthen sentences instead).

I began to realise that my prose was littered with such literary no-no’s. The adjectives packed my stories like commuters on a train screaming ‘Amateur!’ at me. Naturally I felt like something of a dinosaur, having let my writing skills get stuck in a rut.

The course book for the A215 Creative Writing Course made me realise that it’s the difference between telling and showing:
Creative Writing: A Workbook with Readings
TELLING: Her colleague had a nasty cold.
SHOWING: From across the desk she watched Jason blow his nose for the fourth time in as many minutes. He gazed down at the glistening snot in his opened handkerchief. “I’mb going ‘omb” he said, wincing with each word as though his head was about to split open.

True, the second way is a lot more wordy, but it would seem to show a greater richness than the first, allowing the reader to feel the experience.
And what of my Romance novel, you ask? It was kept for 6 months by the leading UK romantic fiction publisher. They told me that while I 'wrote competently' they were returning it because it wasn’t quite right. By then I decided that perhaps I didn’t want to write romance, even though I’d actually started writing a second romance novel. Was it cold feet? A lack of conviction? I'm not sure, anyway life took over and my writing took rather a back seat, until now. I still have the MS in my files and one day, you never know, I may revisit and revamp them.


Have you, maybe, had a similar revelation about your own writing methods?

Friday, 13 August 2010

Cardinal Sin or Golden Rule?


FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Either I’ve committed one or broken the other. I’ve been sending out poems and short stories to competitions and challenges over the past couple of months. Then for some reason I decided to re-read one of the stories I submitted the other day. Yikes!

Put what you’ve written away and don’t look at it for a while
and then when you revisit it you’ll see all the glaring mistakes for editing and polishing.

I was utterly mortified! I’d like to think the others I sent out were more polished, but haven’t summoned up the courage to revisit them again yet. Fingers crossed my other creative babies do better out there in the big wide world of magazines and newspapers.
How long do you wait between writing a competition piece or a magazine submission and sending it off? Do you put it away for a while and look at it again later to check it's ready?
It didn’t take me long to realise I hadn’t followed the ultimate advice to:

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Nail on the Basement Wall

By the way the book I was referring to in my last two posts is Stephen King's 'On Writing'.
I leant it to a friend and never got it back! I really admired the fact that Stephen King didn't dwell on rejections, but used them to fuel his determination to one day succeed as a published author.

They say don't tell people you want to be a writer, tell them you are a writer.

So now I don't say I'm trying to write a novel, I say I am writing a novel! I hope you feel as inspired by him as I did.

Do you keep your rejection slips or throw them away?

Plop goes the Ego!


I sent off some quirky stories about my cats to a cat magazine and waited excitedly for the letter, email or perhaps even a phone call to say that not only did they want to publish my stories, but perhaps I could write a regular slot
FreeDigitalPhotos.net

~ In my Dreams!~

When the standard rejection letter arrived with the comment: "We don't publish stories written by the cat", a few weeks later, my ego prolapsed right through the floor of my self esteem with a plop.

Frustration and indignation coursed through my veins since all my stories were from MY viewpoint. I wondered if it was their polite way of saying "These are rubbish!"

But No! I told myself, family and friends had enjoyed them, after all.

So I hung my rejection slip on the proverbial nail-on-the-basement-wall and sent each story out again to two different magazines.

My ego-prolapse continued when I received a 'No'x2 from a 'Womag' that the two chic-lit style short stories I had submitted to them were "not quite suitable for their requirements." I decided to shelve those short stories for a while and review them at a later date.

Now my submission-ego has a little more humility and perspective and I'm determined to remain positive.

What do you do when a story is returned?
Do you send it out again or put it away?

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Creative Writing Courses Are They Worth The Money?


I took a 6 week course of one day workshops locally in 2004, which was enjoyable and gave me some useful experience and validation as a writer for the positive comments I received. After this I had 16 articles published in the International hobby magazine ‘Doll', but  I couldn't help feeling there was something preventing me from completing my novel manuscripts.

In 2009 I started the A215 Open University Creative writing course.

  • The course book and CD’s provided me with a wealth of useful exercises, information and practice through guided activities, which I found inspiring and stimulating.
  • The course has facilitated my developing discipline of writing every day and for writing to deadlines and focused my thoughts about making my work more tailored to the publisher I have in mind.
  • I loved the freewrite exercises which have been excellent for engendering ideas for prose and poetry. I found I enjoyed writing poetry and I really never ever thought I would!
  • I would have appreciated more on writing synopses, as this seems as important as free writing for submitting one’s work to publishers, but found more information on this elsewhere.
  • I believe I have definitely improved my creative writing skills. However, assignment results were frustrating for many of us and if, like me, you get an unapproachable tutor it is particularly tough. So it’s not advisable to take this course with the aim of getting good results, but rather to use it as a tool for exploring different types of writing and to discover where your own personal strengths lie. 
    I decided that each disappointment was like Stephen King’s rejection nail on the basement wall mentioned in his book ‘On Writing’. The moral being to keep on trying/practising and chalk  each rejection up to experience.
     
  • One of my aims for taking the course was to learn how to juggle numerous subplots within a novel. Sadly, I felt the course materials did not really tackle this area to my satisfaction. However, from Internet searches I learned more about it. Something I can share in a future post.
 Though my writing confidence took a few knocks along the way, I definately feel that the course has set me further ahead on my writing journey.

Have you done a Creative Writing Course? Did it help you?

Excellent News, my Dad is out of the danger zone with his pneumonia. Thanks for everyone's well wishes and prayers.  Thanks again for listening

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Sad News

Sorry everyone. My lovely, lovely Dad has been diagnosed with pneumonia and is very poorly so I may not be adding to this blog for a while, as I'm setting off to be with him in a moment.


He was diagnosed June 2005 with Vascular Dementia and (like Terry Pratchett), Posterior Cortical Atrophy; although tragically, it seems, his condition developed many years before without us realising.


He can no longer read and his brain cannot process what his eyes see. He has been admitted to hospital twice in the past 18 months and this was traumatic and devastating, as sadly he was neglected and ill treated by ignorant and overworked staff. He now resides in a nursing home where his basic needs are met but he sits for what must seem interminable lengths of time, without much stimulation.


He is almost 76 years old. He can no longer walk, dress, toilet or feed himself and most of his speech is incomprehensible Wurzel-Gummidge-eze: "Remee, remeye, remoo" or "123, 23, 23, 123" He has a beautiful singing voice and during ‘Songs of Praise’ everyone stops to listen to him sing.


As you can imagine, it is heartbreaking, as well as touching that my Father still responds to us in his own way. I too, often refer to my Father in the past tense because Alzheimer's has stripped him of the man he used to be. You can imagine that hearing the Queen Song that uses the words (I think it goes) 'I'm just the shadow of the man I used to be and it seems like there's no way out of this for me', brings an ache to my throat and tears to my eyes.


I visit my Dad and I tell him I love him very much and he replies "Thank you, that's nice" in his typical modest way. It's a part of him that is still there. I tell him "Mum will be so jealous when I tell her I've been to visit you today!" and then I add (so he won't become anxious and fretful later) "So she'll probably come and visit you herself!" and he raises one eyebrow and smiles at me in that shared jokey way we've always had.


When I was feeding him a few months ago, he looked ready to fall asleep mid-meal and I said to him "You're not falling asleep on me now are you?" Then he nodded his head in an exaggerated parody of nodding off and smiled mischievously.


It always horrifies me when people say that their loved one isn't there anymore, because my Dad is still there inside and he needs all the love and attention we can give him in those interminable days that stretch out in front of him.
Thanks again for listening.

In the Beginning

From a very early age I've written lots of stories, one nor two poems and even created my own home-made books (see pic). I always assumed I’d be a writer even though my stories claimed I'd be a ballet dancer!

However, in my teens I became incredibly inhibited. I hated my handwriting and my self confidence was at an all time low. I also concluded that poetry was too obscure and elusive. (Pam Ayres reignited my interest in poetry and I soon realised there were other poets that I also enjoyed). It took me years to become re-acquainted with my own writing self-belief although I would write privately from time to time. Nevertheless, writing seems as compelling as breathing or eating at times for me, so it never went away.

Having had my writing ego stroked by friends and family I recently took an OU Creative Writing Course and to my HORROR found there were elements of my writing that required developing and polishing!
Okay, so I naively thought I'd sail through with a 1st.

Admittedly the course has been invaluable, though not without its ups and downs, which I will share with you in the next post. My ultimate aim has been to submit stories and poems to writing competitions and magazines that are worthy of publishing! Fingers crossed and thanks for listening.

Have you always wanted to be a writer? Did you write stories from the first day you could hold a crayon?