I spent most of yesterday writing and typing up a short story for my OCA exercise re, marrying 2 notebook ideas together. I’m not gunna publish it on my blog as I think it might be good enough to send somewhere for a short story comp. it’s really annoying that these competitions request that your story cannot have appeared anywhere else *pout* 😦

Anyway, so I have a completed short story….now, a title lol.

I never start with a title, I always write the story and then when it’s finished I think about what to call it. Most of the stories I’ve written don’t ever have titles (do you think they mind? Lol), but I like to ‘name’ those that get typed up 🙂

I have pages and pages of title ideas in my notebooks. I tend to find them everywhere. Something that I overheard someone say, the chapter heading in a book (non fiction), the title of a piece of art, 2 or 3 words from a poem or quote…..I have hundreds lol. So when it comes to naming a piece, I go back through my lists and pick something appropriate. Unfortunately, sometimes I come unstuck lol…. My last Nano novel was/is called Deliberate Act which I thought suited it perfectly. But then hubby pointed out to me that there is a film called that……oh dear, will need to rethink that one then 😦

Yesterday’s prompt, the one about nearing midnight inspired the story of a woman waiting for a phone call. Her son is on a life support machine, but, how should she feel about that when he’s a rapist and murderer? Lol….. I really will write something happy one day, I promise 😉

Today’s prompt is write about a summer garden

I’m really proud of myself that I’ve kept to my ‘goal’ of writing everyday 🙂

Tonight I’m going to see Lesley Pearse give a talk. I’ve never read anything of hers, but I’m always interested to hear what an author has to say 🙂


That Spark

As I’ve now submitted my assignment, I can move onto the next part of the course……which is about inspiration (haven’t I already been thinking about that recently?).

Red Smith (who? Lol) once said “Writing is really quite simple, all you have to do is sit down at your typewriter and open a vein.” Yuk!!!!! lol….surely no such drastic measure is required? 😉

Many writers (famously including Charles Dickens and Margaret Drabble) believe that during afternoon walks, their stories shape themselves in their minds. Hmmmm, they obviously didn’t live where I do lol.

I’ve also read that doing mundane tasks can help you sort out the ideas going on in your head into some kind of order. Hmmmmm, sorting the washing doesn’t do it for me either lol 😉

Reading, watching plays, watching films, listening to people tell anecdotes of their lives, overhearing a conversation in a cafe, walking through an art gallery and listening to the news, can all spark an idea (and have all worked for me!)……and that’s why you should always carry your notebook 😉

As I’ve said before (yawn yawn) my favourite form of inspiration is images, but I guess now, I have to add ‘writing prompts’ to that list.

So, my next exercise is to choose an item from my notebook, one that jumps out. Then find another idea that I can marry it with. Then……

–List the words and phrases that spring to mind as you think about the two items
–Summarise the two items, and create free writes of both
–Look for links between them that you can use

I have an idea, festering away already 🙂

Then, polish my notes into a draft (short story). So that’s what I’ll be doing today, along with today’s prompt which is nearing midnight.

Yesterday’s prompt, about the tent, ended up being about a couple who are camping, in the back garden 😉

Daily Routine

I was reading today about the benefits of having a writing routine. A friend of mine recently made herself a timetable so that she could see where her time each day was going.

I had considered myself quite lucky…..I don’t work (yes, ok, I cook, I tidy, I do laundry, but you know what I mean) so I have plenty of time available to write….. But…..Ian Rankin said Friday night, that when he was unemployed (and his wife was supporting him) he had all day every day to write. But, actually, didn’t write that much lol. He found that he wrote more when he was working and his free time was more limited. I know exactly what he means. You find every excuse under the sun, not to write, as there’s always something else you think you should be doing 😦

So, perhaps the answer is having good routines in place?

Judy Reeves says:

1) Make writing part of your daily routine, a commitment to write every day for a set period of time (however brief that period is).
2) Make an appointment to write, just like you would for the dentist or Dr….and stick to it.
3) Set your daily writing time at a time that suits you (a time that’s practical for you, taking into consideration chores, school runs and dinner times etc).
4) Vary your set time to catch yourself in different moods.

I think, for me, the best way to do this would be to allocate a time every day and add it to my iPhone diary on a weekly basis. I could then set myself reminders so that each day I get a message to tell me to write lol. I could change the time weekly to vary it.

Today’s prompt is you’re in a tent and all I can think of is Tracey Emin lol 😉


Just got back from a very cold and breezy Brighton. The reason for my visit? This man 😉


Ian Rankin being interviewed by Lesley Thomson as part of the First Fiction event, organised by Myriad Publishers and the University of Sussex.

I’m not really a fan, I have to say, but hubby has read a couple of the Rebus books and I wasn’t going to turn down the opportunity to hear what such a famous and successful author had to say. I am so pleased we went. Mr Rankin is absolutely charming, very down to earth for an author who is worth approx 25 million lol. He’s very inspiring and has a great sense of humour….so all in all, really great trip 🙂

I managed to come up with something for the red headed woman prompt. A woman has her hair done in a hairdressers, a bit of a disaster lol. Today’s prompt is write about saying goodbye and I’ve managed to come up with a very dark tale about a stalker who causes the death of the woman she loves. At the graveside she commits suicide so that they can be together *snigger*

I’m really stuck on yesterday’s prompt about time…..I will get it done today 😉

Oh, The Relief!

Yesterday, I finally finished my assignment and sent it off…..I was getting so stressed over it lol. I’d chosen to write a story which, really, I should have given up on a long long time ago. Probably even with the initial idea to be honest lol. I didn’t enjoy writing it, and I definitely didn’t enjoy editing it lol 😉 Ok, ok, lesson learnt, never, ever write (or rather, try to) historical fiction again lol 🙂

You can read my Reflective Commentary at my other blog, and as you’ll see, it’s made me a bit, I dunno, whats the word? A bit bleugh about my writing. Which brings me nicely to……

My class Wednesday night. I was sooooo nervous!!! It was the first time I’d ever read out a piece of my work to a room full of people. They seemed to like it, not much criticism. Elaine liked my dialogue, so I came home with a smile on my face 🙂

So a rollercoaster of emotions over the last couple of days, and then this morning I read this quote by Kirsten LambFiction authors are brokers of passionate emotion” and that, it’s the way an author makes us feel (powerful, hopeful etc) that keeps us buying their work. *deep sigh* I’d give my right arm to be considered a ‘broker of passionate emotion’ lol…..not gunna happen if I can’t even write decent metaphors though is it 😉

Yesterday’s prompt, about a red headed woman didn’t inspire me to write anything, so I’ll be playing catch up with that one tomorrow.

Today’s prompt is ‘An immobile time not marked on clocks’ after Charles Baudelaire…… Wikipedia here I come! 😉


Got sent the link to this really interesting Guardian article yesterday. All about what inspires artists/creative people. Of course, I immediately scrolled down to see what the writers had to say 😉

I’m not too sure what inspires me, but I know what I need to write…..silence lol. It was the same when I was at school. My reports always said ‘easily distracted’ *snigger* and nothing’s changed 😉

I’m up to date with all the prompts 😉 The one about the window made me think about a recent episode of Sherlock called The Hound of Baskerville. Ok, so perhaps there is something that I know of that inspires me….images 😉 There was a scene in the episode where one of the characters was by a window at night, the the garden security light kept coming on. When I’ve lived in houses with large windows into the garden I’ve always been creeped out when the security lights come on and the whole garden is flooded with light. Anyway, my story was based on that image 🙂

Yesterday’s prompt about a sideways glance, I wrote about a woman on a tube who ends up getting stalked 😉

Today’s prompt is she was a redheaded woman so that’ll be fun…. But first……I need to get my OCA assignment done lol