Thursday, 3 November 2011
The drama is set to Everything by Lifehouse, and even though, thankfully, I've never been in remotely like the situation of that woman, it still makes me feel guilty about things that I have done in the past that have been bad for me, bad for other people, or just plain stupid.
Today's prompt - Fighting your demons.
The video is here and I really recommend it! And a write up about the drama is here if you're interested.
Tuesday, 1 November 2011
For those with a slightly black sense of humour, the “101 uses for...” series of books attempts to find things to do with, traditionally, a dead cat. But in this book the author has decided to use meerkats – one of the nation’s favourite animals in recent years.
The book is full of pictures of meerkats being used as book stands, fairground rides, clothes pegs, tent poles, spy cameras, and, rather disturbingly, as stockings. Unlike the cat books, the meerkats were coloured in, standing out from the black and white line drawings and taking away some of the fun of trying to spot the dead animal.
101 Uses for a Dead Meerkat by Massimo Fenati
£9.99, published by Boxtree.
Tuesday, 25 October 2011
Yes, I'm boring today, sorry...
Monday, 17 October 2011
When I'm angry I like listening to loud songs that I can practically shout the lyrics too, and preferably ones that I can put on in the car and turn up really loud. I can't think of any examples off the top of my head, and when I Googled 'angry songs' it came up with a list, most of which I didn't know.
The two songs that I did know from the list of about 50 were Alanis Morissette's You Oughta Know and I hate you so much right now by Kelis.
I think today's prompt is 'hating someone'.
Monday, 10 October 2011
There are so many places I could go to get inspiration from this song. I could do a freewrite based on a picture from the advert; the title of the song 'wherever you will go' reminds me of the passage from Ruth in the Bible where she swears to stay with her mother-in-law wherever she goes*, so perhaps I could rewrite that in a different setting; I could use a cup of tea as the prompt; write something about being happy; the list just goes on and on.
* But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the LORD deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.”
When Naomi realized that Ruth was determined to go with her, she stopped urging her.
Friday, 7 October 2011
Starting quietly with a series of apparently minor disturbances at a village church, Beyond This Wilderness draws in the reader before launching into its main tale of an evil which was thought long buried.
Set in a tiny village on the Welsh border, the book opens with a series of letters between the parish priest and the bishop of Shrewsbury concerning a strange series of break ins happening in the village church.
This leads into the main part of the book - a 'testament' from a former vicar of the church where he reveals what the curse that lies behind the break ins is, and explains why the teenagers who have been found in the church have been acting so oddly.
The 'testament' is written in very old fashioned language, making it less easy to read than the letters at the beginning, but the Victorian phraseology and language make the story seem more real and pull the reader into the events on the page.
Published by Twin Books in 2011, Beyond This Wilderness has an RRP of £10.55.
Tuesday, 4 October 2011
Pitiful creature of darkness / what kind of life have you known? / God give me courage to show you / you are not alone.
Today's prompt: Being alone.
Friday, 30 September 2011
The song which uses the text of a column written by Mary Schmich in the Chicago Tribune in 1997. She wrote it as what she would say if she was to give a graduation speech, and it was then picked up by Luhrman and the rest, as they say, is history.
Today's prompt: What is the best or worst piece of advice you've ever been given? What happened when you followed it? Or if you didn't follow it, what would have happened if you had?
Tuesday, 27 September 2011
Crematorium, on Friday,
October 7, 2011, at 12 noon.
Dress code is fancy dress
After all, the same newspaper that yielded this obituary also turned up
Monday, 12 September 2011
The faithful Google image search turned up this image of prizes at a funfair. Why anyone would want to win a Crazy Frog is beyond me - unless they want to dismember it sloooowly, or use it at as guy on a bonfire perhaps...
But I digress. Today's prompt: The funfair.
Monday, 5 September 2011
I'm not married, so you can't see any pictures of my wedding day, but I found this fabulous picture of a bride in the Kremlin gardens. There are so many things to prompt me to write in this picture. Wonderful as the bride's hat is, it's the two ladies in black who intrigue me most - the one looks confused and I have no idea why the other is looking at her dress like that. Imagination, it's time to fill in the gaps!
Sunday, 28 August 2011
Just off the top of my head I'm going to say I don't really like the Lightning Seeds, but I've only heard one song of their that I know of, and that was Three Lions, which I really didn't like.
The Google image search pulled up this picture and my overactive imagination looked at all the hats and though, 'hey, it's a cowboy convention!'. So today's prompt is: what happens at a cowboy convention?
Tuesday, 23 August 2011
I think I'm going to plump for Never Forget, because it's a fantastic feel good song and I always remember going to a concert, finding my seat was really close to the stage, and singing along with Never Forget, waving my arms in the air, and leaving with a really good buzz.
Today's prompt then, is to write about a concert, from any point of view - stage manager, artist, someone in the crowd, security, car park attendant - and to include all five senses in the piece.
Friday, 19 August 2011
The song is written by Stuart Townend and Keith Getty, and I'm not going to say anything else today except to share some of the lyrics and this link to the song.
[...] Till on that cross as Jesus died, the wrath of God was satisfied - for every sin on Him was laid; Here in the death of Christ I live.
There in the ground His body lay, light of the world by darkness slain: Then bursting forth in glorious Day, up from the grave he rose again!
And as He stands in victory sin's curse has lost its grip on me, for I am His and He is mine - bought with the precious blood of Christ.
[...] No power of hell, no scheme of man, can ever pluck me from His hand 'til He returns or calls me home, here in the power of Christ I'll stand.
Sunday, 14 August 2011
When I did an image search it brought up the expected pictures of cute toddlers and chubby babies, but this picture leaped out at me. I don't know if it's the expression on the woman's face, or just that it was different, but I'm going to use her as a character in a story.
Tuesday, 2 August 2011
What I wrote wasn't anything I'd plan to edit or send off anywhere, it was purely for fun, but it did the job of getting me writing large amounts on a regular basis again, which is something I'd been getting very bad at over the last couple of months.
I actually enjoyed it so much, and the support from the NaNo forums, that I've signed up to do it again in August.
Meanwhile, I got my final result from my OU Creative Writing course, which I passed comfortably, and which I'm very pleased about. I've signed up for the advanced course which starts in October. It should be interesting as it covers different areas of creative writing that I haven't really looked at before, like screenplay adaptions and so on.
I hope you're all having a good summer and I'll try to be more regular with my blog now!
Tuesday, 19 July 2011
Today's prompt is a choice - include something pink in a story that's essential to the plot, or have someone propose a toast.
Monday, 11 July 2011
I love cats so I was really fascinated by this book telling the true-life story of Oscar, one of the resident cats at an old people’s nursing home in America.
The book follows Dr David Dosa, one of the staff, as he realises that Oscar seems to have an uncanny knack for knowing when patients are about to die and making sure that he sits with them at the end of their lives. His behaviour is so accurate that the staff even rely on him for a second opinion on occasion.
The book also looks at the condition of dementia, which many of the patients suffer with. A fascinating story with some lovely moments which cat lovers – and even some people who don’t like cats – will really enjoy.
Making the Rounds with Oscar by David Dosa
£7.99, published by Headline Review
Tuesday, 5 July 2011
Since I've already had the school disco as a theme, today's prompt is going to either a children's party or wanting to be a pop star - or both!
Wednesday, 29 June 2011
My usual Google search of images didn't turn up anything particularly inspiring unfortunately, so instead of using the songs I'm using the artists as a prompt today. J'Lostein is a fantastic singer with a beautiful voice and a unique style. On her website she makes a joke about looking as if she eats babies, and it's true that her appearance is almost a complete opposite to her style of music.
So today's theme is 'Appearances can be decieving'.
Tuesday, 28 June 2011
But I found another interesting prompt challenge to try later - the 100 Themes Challenge. I don't plan on doing all of them, but if I'm stuck I might dip in and out.
The themes are:
5. Seeking Solace
6. Break Away
10. Breathe Again
22. Mother Nature
24. No Time
25. Trouble Lurking
30. Under the Rain
35. Hold My Hand
36. Precious Treasure
42. Standing Still
44. Two Roads
50. Breaking the Rules
52. Deep in Thought
53. Keeping a Secret
56. Danger Ahead
58. Kick in the Head
59. No Way Out
61. Fairy Tale
63. Do Not Disturb
67. Playing the Melody
72. Mischief Managed
73. I Can't
74. Are You Challenging Me?
76. Broken Pieces
81. Pen and Paper
82. Can You Hear Me?
84. Out Cold
86. Seeing Red
89. Through the Fire
92. All That I Have
93. Give Up
94. Last Hope
96. In the Storm
97. Safety First
Sunday, 26 June 2011
I like the melody, I like the orchestration - including the wonderful violins in the last choruses, and I like the almost poetic nature of some of the lyrics. The opening lines conjur up a wonderful picture, and the song starts with the sound of rain, bringing it even more to life.
I listen to the sound of the rain fallin' down my window
Prayin' for a gentle wind
To bring my baby back again
Thursday, 23 June 2011
When I googled the song name one of the first pictures that popped up that wasn't Disney-related was this one. I presume this family is at an aquarium, but what if they were in a submarine, or an underwater city?
Today's prompt is to write something about an entirely different environment to live in, whether that's on the moon, under the sea (hey, there's another Disney song!), in a sub-zero place or in a floating city in the sky.
Monday, 20 June 2011
If you're one of the people who rated it, thank you! If not, then please go and read it and let me know what you think.
Thursday, 9 June 2011
Advanced creative writing develops your writing ability by widening your generic range and developing your knowledge of style. The course works on the forms introduced in the Level 2 course Creative writing (A215) – fiction, poetry and life writing – and supplements these with dramatic writing, showing you how to write for stage, radio and film. You’ll explore how these scriptwriting skills might enhance your prose style, improve your writing across the range of forms, and further develop your individual style and voice. The course offers guidance on professional layouts for the dramatic media, and is a natural progression from A215.More here...
Wednesday, 1 June 2011
Tuesday, 31 May 2011
In a non-fiction vein I've got into podcasting as well, and written two podcasts for 365 Days of Astronomy - End of an Endeavour (broadcast May 31) and The Universe in your Phone (broadcast May 28).
My goals for the second half of 2011 are:
- Edit, edit, edit...
- Start submitting the short stories I've been writing to magazines.
- Finish the OU creative writing course and sign up for the advanced course.
- Do NaNoWriMo with the story I almost started for my last assignment (provisionally entitled Flux).
Monday, 23 May 2011
My final assignment for my OU course is due in at the start of June, so I'm working on that at the moment. I'm torn between whether to do the whole thing in fiction or whether to throw in a bit of autobiographical travel writing as well. And then I came up with an idea for a new novel, so now I'm wondering if I should use that instead. Decisions, decisions!
And some news - my poem Jazz Night, which I originally wrote as part of the OU course, will be published on Every Day Poets on June 17. I'll post the link here when it appears.
Tuesday, 12 April 2011
Aside from finding the usual plot holes, inconsistencies and things that just don't work, I've also been trying to pull out bits of the story to use in my latest assignment for my creative writing course. The current assignment is to do a piece of biography - and Richard Munslow is a fascinating subject for that.
Now I've just got to condense the month's worth of research and writing into something a couple of thousand words long!
Friday, 1 April 2011
I'm really glad the book has gone on sale and that I could contribute to it. The disaster in Japan is one of those things you feel helpless about - you want to help and you don't know how. Without wishing to sound clichéd, it was a privilege to be able to join in with the project and do something that will hopefully raise a decent amount of money which can be used to help the people who have been caught up in the devastation in Japan.
If you like short stories and you would like to help support the relief work in Japan, please buy the book:
• Lulu - £6.99
• Smashwords - $3.99
• Kindle - £2.86
• Createspace - coming soon...
Wednesday, 23 March 2011
Zen is a teenager living on a generation ship which is travelling to a new star system where humans will create a new home.
Zen looked at the picture of herself and her family. Her dad looked out of place, his blond hair and blue eyes standing out among the Japanese features of the women in his life. For the first time Zen caught herself wondering what her life would have been like if her grandparents hadn’t decided to be part of the generation ship mission.
She went over to her bunk as the deceleration warning sounded. As she strapped herself in she noticed something white sticking out between the bunk above hers and the wall. She reached up and tugged at it, then frowned as she looked at the object in her hands. It was about the size of a small display unit, but it was made of thin pieces of... Zen hesitated for a moment, trying to remember the word from her history lessons. Of course, it was paper, and the item was a book.
Carefully, she opened the front page. It was covered in writing; some in English and some in Japanese kanji characters.
‘Oh!’ the exclamation was entirely involuntary as she recognised the name at the bottom of the page. The book was a diary, and it had belonged to her grandmother.
Monday, 21 March 2011
This week I had good motivation though - I had to complete and edit my submission for Write for Japan and send it in by Sunday 27th. Knowing that there was an end date, and that after that there would be publication (the writer's Holy Grail), and that it was all for a good cause did wonders for my motivation.
The sad thing is, now that the story is done I'm feeling unmotivated again. Must find another deadline to work towards...
Wednesday, 16 March 2011
All the authors are writing stories on the subject of destruction and/or hope. I don't know exactly what form the stories will take, but I'm looking forward to finding out. My story - Generation Three - is a sci-fi one set on board a generation ship, taking the human race to find another world after the Earth became uninhabitable.
And changing the subject completely, my poem Jazz Night has been accepted by Every Day Poets!
Monday, 14 March 2011
In other news... I'm getting involved in a project called (provisionally) Write for Japan, which is hoping to produce a book of short stories to sell for charity to help with the aid and rebuilding work for victims of the Japan earthquake. I'll keep you posted...
Thursday, 17 February 2011
One of the things I like to do is check out the #FridayReads hashtag on Twitter*. You get a huge variety of ideas from other people's suggestions. A lot of them might be things you don't fancy, but every now and then something will catch your eye that proves to be a real gem.
So what am I reading at the moment? Well I just finished a Star Trek YA book called The Edge (good read, nice plot, and easy to settle down with), I'm in the middle of an intriguing historical mystery Death of a Dancer by Caro Peacock (great descriptions of Victorian London and good characterisations), and my pile of books to read includes a fantasy, a Christian romance, local history and a diary-style how-to guide.
* On Twitter you can flag up certain subjects, talking points, ideas, etc, by using the #. Every Friday lots of people will pick a book and tweet about it, adding #FridayReads to their message. Other people can then search for the list of messages with book recommendations by searching for #FridayReads.
Monday, 7 February 2011
I've mentioned EDF before because I submitted a couple of stories to them last year, but this week they're running a competition to write a flash fiction of up to 250 words based on a 10 word prompt. I've just submitted my entry for the competition, entitled 'Purity', and I hope I'll be able to submit another as well before the competition closes on Sunday.
If anyone would like to have a go at the competition, the details are here.
Wednesday, 26 January 2011
When I was younger I would read He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, and She-Ra Princess of Power, then Thundercats, and from there I found Power Pack, which was the support strip.
From there, because the strips I was reading had Franklin Richards in them, I found the Fantastic Four, and my love affair with all things Marvel began, backed up on TV by Spider-Man and X-Men. For some reason the DC heroes never caught my attention as much. Superman and Batman just weren't as exciting.
But anyway, this week I figured out two very important things when writing a fanfic about a Marvel character - red headed girls are essential to any good story (Mary Jane/Spider Man, Jean Grey & Mystique/X-Men, Pepper Potts/Iron Man, and my personal favourite Firestar/New Warriors etc.), and you can't go wrong with a name beginning 'St' (Stark, Storm, Stane, Stern, etc.).
Thursday, 20 January 2011
I've signed up to WriYe, which is essentially like NaNoWriMo but with a more structured feel and it lasts a year. That has sort of helped get me writing again, but my total words for the year stads just shy of 10,000 at the moment, which is really pathetic when you consider I'd written that much in a week in November.
Of course it's the quality that counts and not the quantity, but even the 10,000 words I've written this month don't necessarily feel that I'm writing good fiction. In fact, the best things I've written were two made up newspaper reports about the same ficticious event written in different styles - one like a women's magazine and the other like a tabloid like The Sun. That sort of kick started my writing again, but I'm still not feeling particularly inspired.
I think I've just discovered the point where writing becomes hard work.