22 Hague Avenue


This is what I wrote in response to Saturdays photo prompt (first draft)…..

Helen watched the happy scene through the window as she stood outside number 22 Hague Avenue. Christmas Eve and bitterly cold, the desire to ring the doorbell was overwhelming. But, she remained rooted to the icy pavement beneath her feet.

Had she made the right choice 2 years ago? It was one of those forced situations in life where the decision had been unbearable.

She watched, transfixed, as the man lifted the small boy into the air. “Bobby” she mouthed as her eyes filled with tears. The boy laughed and giggled. He had changed so much, but that was inevitable, she hadn’t seen him since he was 6 months old. It took all her willpower to keep her arms by her side. A mothers natural urge to reach out and hold her baby. Helen slumped to the ground and silently wept.

She knew John would be a good father. Had been confident that Bobby would have a great life. But she couldn’t help wondering if Johns heart was still broken. Did he still love her and yearn for her as much as she did for him? The thought of him getting on with his life, finding someone else, was tortuous. What would he tell Bobby about her death? Would he tell him about the tragic accident where her body had been so badly mutilated she was unidentifiable by anything other than her dental records.

Pulling herself up she stood silently at the gate. Blowing a kiss towards the window, she turned, and tiptoed down the street to the waiting car.

“Are you ok?” The Agent asked, as Helen got into the passenger seat beside him.

20120728-205852.jpg
Not really sure where this is going, I guess I could go back in time to explain how she got to that point? Or just carry it on with her new life? Fast forward to the future? Any thoughts? :)

The To Do List 30th July to 5th August


It was really weird not having a “To Do List” last week, but, being at Caerleon meant that I had other things to think about ;)

So this weeks list is:

1. Sort out the piles of stuff on my table. It’s an absolute mess now that I’ve spread out all the stuff I brought back from Caerleon lol

2. Go through my Caerleon notes. I made lots of notes in Kate Walkers class, so I need to go through them, see if they actually make sense and follow up on some of the authors she recommended.

3. Read for at least 1 hour every day. I really need to stick to this.

4. Catch up with my prompts. I’m a couple of days behind, mainly because I’m not feeling too great (the whole feet thing is getting me down).

5. Sort out a short story to send to Linda Lewis and send it. Linda is doing a critique for me at Swanwick next month.

6. Catch up with Blogs. Ummmm, I’ve fallen a bit behind :(

7. Write my door piece. lol ;)

20120728-190100.jpg

Hmmmmm….there’s quite a few bits there, but all achievable I think :) Nothing too strenuous, as I’m off to the quacks this morning to see what he can do about my poor little big feet and ankles. I’ve been putting my feet up as much as possible over the weekend but it’s not made any difference :(

What are your plans for the week?

Six Sentence Sunday 29th July


I missed Six Sentence last week because I was in Caerleon, sooooo, here is this weeks offering :)

Sam ran his fingertip across Ruby’s shoulder. Her skin tingled, the goosebumps spreading down her arm.

He leaned forwards and Ruby closed her eyes, expecting to feel his soft lips press against her own. Instead, she felt his hot breath on her cheek and his hand rest on her knee.

“Stay with me tonight?” He whispered.

Ruby’s heart fluttered as Sam’s hand moved up to her thigh.

20120728-195835.jpg
I’m trying my hand at romance, so blame Kate Walker ;)

Behind The Door


Back to the normal schedule today folks :)

I took this picture in Caerleon, it’s actually the door to the flat I shared with 4 other lovely ladies (they know who they are) and I just love the colour :)

20120727-203336.jpg

Soooo, what’s behind the door……?

I’ll post what I write on Tuesday.

Farewell Caerleon


Last night we were treated to a performance by the CWMBACH Male Voice Choir.

20120727-131024.jpg
Afterwards, they joined us in the bar and continued with their entertainment. A great group of lads, with fantastic voices! My feet were killing me by 11, so I went and sat outside on a bench with my feet up. Little did I know that that was exactly where the choir would be boarding their coaches at midnight. So it gave me opportunity to chat to a couple before they left. I’m sure quite a few of them were half cut by that stage ;)

I found out later that I’d missed a very entertaining table dancing session from Jane Wenham-Jones, So if anyone filmed it? ;)

Finally got to bed at quarter to 1 after saying a few goodbyes and slept straight through to 6 this morning. So then it was a quick cuppa, pack up the car, and off I set. Had to stop twice because my feet were killing me, and sat in traffic on the M4 and M25.

Still, it’s good to be home :) I popped in to see my local pharmacist, who says it looks like I’ve had an allergic reaction to the gnat bites (which I was informed last night aren’t gnats, they’re bloody mosquito’s!!!!!!) and if the swelling isn’t gone by Monday to see my GP as I might need antibiotics :( Fingers crossed, I am soooo sick of looking like ‘the elephant woman’ lol. (NOTE TO SELF – Take insect repellant to Swanwick!!!!!)

So this afternoon and evening, you will find me with my feet up on the sofa, perusing all my notes I’ve made this week and thinking about the things I’ve learnt, the things I still need to learn and exactly which direction I want to go in next…..lots to think about, I’ll share soon :)

Hope you’ve all had a good week….What have you been up to?

PS: The normal schedule will resume tomorrow :)

The Last Full Day


I finally got to bed around midnight last night, and had the best nights sleep ive had all week! lol

As i’d decided not to do the 2nd lot of courses i spent the morning with my feet up…literally (wrapped in a cold water soaked towel) and did some writing, and reading. Get me, i should get a gold star.

I did attend the talk this afternoon, which was “A Problem Shared?” and involved a Q & A session with some of our speakers and course tutors.

Pictured from left to right: Kate Walker, Simon Whaley, Alison Chisholm, Malcolm Chisholm, Irene Yates, Lynne Hackles, Stephen Wade and Brad Ashton. Jane Wenham-Jones kept them all in check for the duration ;)

Some interesting questions from the audience but i couldnt think of anything to actually ask lol. Oh well, i’ll probably think of something later ;)

After the panel session most of our delegates went off to the workshops, but i sat on a bench (in the shade of course) and read my book.

Ive decided to go home straight after breakfast tomorrow as my feet and ankles are still swollen and another gnat bite has appeared :( I dunno, what a state to get in. I just need to get home now and sit with my feet up all day lol…..im sure that wont be difficult. Will go to the Drs on Monday if theyre no better *deep sigh*

Tonight, its the CWMBACH Male Choir and then the farewell party. Ive been told i have to wear a dress, so yes, i do have one. There is no way i’ll be getting me feet in those bloody high heels though lol ;)

Ahhhh, So Thats Where I’m Going Wrong


Well, i didnt make the speaker last night, but i did however end up chatting on a bench outside our flat until 11.30….wow, a late night lol.

Today was the final part of the Kate Walker’s course, and we talked about…. SEX ;) Im seriously considering going to Kates course in Fishguard next February, which follows on from this one ive been doing. One of the tasks she asks her students to do on the next course is to give “reasons for having sex?” An interesting concept. Apparently, love usually comes pretty far down the list :)

I decided not to go to my 2nd course choice and chose to come back to my room for some R & R….. The plan was to read, and write for the rest of the day, but i ended up reading blog posts, doing some catching up with e mails and then read one chapter of a book which, im gunna have to reread tomorrow as i kept nodding off lol.

Tonights speaker was Jane Wenham-Jones and this is where ive been going wrong…… To avoid writers bum i need to get one of these, which Jane highly recommends!

After Janes very entertaining talk entitled “The Highs and Hazards of Writing” it was straight into the bar for “Poetry Performance” where some of the delegates read out their poems they had been working on this week. im afraid i didnt watch until the end. My feet and ankles were aching :(

I have managed to keep up with my prompts every day, which im very proud of, but only because ive been up most mornings before 6 lol

Soooo, if you want to avoid writers bottom (and belly) get a ball….. I’ll be ordering mine as soon as i get home ;)

I’m Such A Light Weight


I kind of fell into bed last night *snigger* Two glasses of Pims and i was done in :( So i guess it was inevitable that this morning during our first tea break i had to rush to the shop to buy some Nurofen lol…..so i finally felt human for the 2nd part of Kate Walkers course lol.

Today, Kate was talking about “conflict” which was fascinating! Internal and external conflict to be exact. It made me realise that ive often completely forgotten about internal conflict with my characters. Thats something i will definitely be rectifying when i get home ;)

At lunch i finally met the lovely Della Galton, and we ended up outside having a fag. Im now the proud owner of a signed book :)

The afternoon speaker was Stephen Bowkett, a childrens author who has some 50 books to his credit. His talk, entitled “Adventures of a Visiting Author” was all about his experiences of going into schools to talk to children about being a writer. He was very funny, and some of his stories were uplifting, others shocking. One thing he did say, and he says this to the kids he talks to, is “Books are like Dr Who’s Tardis. Bigger on the inside.” I like that :)

I chose to do my after tea session with Freda Lightfoot. Her workshop was entitled “The Yin and Yang of Character”. I partnered Christine and we ended up coming up with a character and a plot, from just one word. A very useful exercise, as, you know me, i do love a character ;)

Im not sure i’ll make the speaker tonight, my feet have swollen up LMAO…..im trying to laugh, but its not funny really. Im not sure if its the heat, all the walking around or the bloody great Gnat bites!

Still, ive learn a lot, the weather is gorgeous, and the food, toooo tempting ;)

Of course, ive had to buy the odd book LOL ;)

Sorry im so behind with all your blogs, will catch up as soon as i can, i promise :)

A Fun Packed Day


I had a lovely breakfast this morning which included “black pudding”…now, we dont get that at Swanwick ;) So i was really set up for the day and the first part of my course “A Complete Introduction To writing Romance” with Kate Walker.

Kate talked about characterisation and that by creating in depth characters to begin with, a plot and conflict can be formed. Thoroughly enjoyable, i learned a lot :) Kate has a book out at the moment about Writing Romance, so i can highly reccomend that if youre interested in the Mills & Boon/Harlequin avenue.

After a lunch of salad it was time for Stephen Wade to give a talk, entitled “A Man of Many Hats” He talked about his 65 published books, which genres range from biography and poetry to true crime. He read us examples of his poetry and even put on the Russian accent required when reading his poem about the Russian and the dinner lady. A very amusing and entertaining guy, and, husband to Kate Walker :)

 

 

 

 

 

 

His advice to aspiring writers? Wear lots of hats! :)

After a small break it was time for an after tea session. I chose to do “Finding Your Place: Bringing Settings To Life” with Carol Fenton. The session was all about showing us how good description of a setting can add mood to your work. Carol gave us photos we had to write about, and my mind went blank (typical!!!). Some of the other delegates read out some of their descriptions, which were excellent! :)

One of the books Carol Gave us as an Example was Waterland by Graham Swift. I approached Carol after the class and asked her if she knew if there was any truth in the rumour that Swift wrote the book (which is set in the English Fens) with out even visiting the area. Carol didnt know, but we both agreed that if that was indeed true, what a marvellous writer.

And thats what we want isnt it? To be able to write as if we know an area inside out, even if we dont ;)

Tonights speaker is Irene Yates, and unfortunately i wont be attending :( My feet are killing me! lol. So im in my room, with my fluffy slippers on *snigger*

Later this evening there is going to be a pub crawl….ha ha ha, no chance. So it’ll be drinks on the terrace instead, or rather, in my case “drink” ;)

Slumming It


Well, ok, perhaps its not that bad, but, its not what im use to lol ;)

Student accomodation, is, sparse….as you can see…

Image

But, i have a fridge for my chocolate, and an internet connection. Thats the necessities taken care of lol

Its been a good day :) I have sunburn, i know where the local Spar is (i had to find it when we realised we had no milk or teaspoons) and i met up with an old Bookcrossing friend i havent seen since 2006!

Dinner (salmon and salad) was nice. I purchased 4 books from the book room (already!) and put faces to lots of online names ive seen on a regular basis on the SSS.

The evenings speaker was Simon Whaley who’s very entertaining talk was entitled “Sandwiched Between Kate Adie and Nick Hornby”. Its basis, comparing writers to olympic athletes and involved showering the audience with chocolate coins! ;)

Im currently back in my room whilst most of the other delegates take part in a Quiz Night. Im shattered, and that 1 glass of wine i had before dinner has gone to my head lol

Tomorrow looks like it will be hectic, but great fun. Im really looking forward to my course with Kate Walker, oh…..and breakfast! ;)