Image Prompts


Being the visually inspired person that I am, I like to take photos, especially ones that can inspire me to write. The great thing about taking pictures to use in your writing is that, like the idea day, you can have a photo day.

I’ve been taking pictures for years (have over 6,000 on Flickr) and now, what with the iPhone365 project, I’m taking at least 1 photo a day. It wasn’t until I read Leslie Thomson’s A Kind Of Vanishing, where she talks about using photography (in the back of the book) in her stories, that I suddenly made the connection.

So here are a few photo’s that I think could inspire stories……

20120323-082556.jpg This is a pic of my grandparents back in the 1920’s.

20120323-082646.jpg Yes, that really is my foot lol.

20120323-082721.jpg My daughters two friends a few years ago.

20120323-082754.jpgGreenwich Maritime Museum.

20120323-082833.jpg The Orient Express (hubby’s 40th birthday treat).

Ooooo, the ideas are flowing lol. Now do you see why I never suffer from writers block? Lmao!!! And you’ll probably understand why I suffer from insomnia πŸ˜‰

do you ever use photos/pictures to prompt stories? Successfully?

I managed Thursdays prompt about midnight, which turned into a story about a guy who leaves his wife and kids (mid life crisis) only to end up the envy of all his middle aged friends, but desperately miserable. Yesterdays prompt was swimming against the tide which I also turned into a mid life crisis story. This time, a 45 year old Dr who falls for a sickly 19 year old pregnant girl. Hmmmm, not sure where that’s going lol. Today’s prompt is write about an ending. Oh gawd, it’s all doom and gloom at the moment πŸ˜‰

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I’ve Cracked It!


*drum roll* I have my name in print!!!!!!! *takes a bow* πŸ™‚

Ok, ok, I’m embellishing the truth a tiny little bit lol. It’s not that brilliant lol, but, I can now say that I am officially, published *snigger*

Remember my tips for coming up with character names? No? Ok, it’s here, The Naming Game I decided to send one of the tips off to the Writers Forum Magazine and they only went and published it lol. They’ve called it “New Faces” lol

Soooo, this month I have a letter in their “Writers Circle” section. The really funny thing is though, is that my writing tutor at The Write Place, Elaine, also has a letter in the same section of the same issue lol.

I’m not gunna let fame go to my head, it won’t change me πŸ™‚

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It’s a great feeling, having your name in print for the first time ever and I know that some of you who read my blog have had stories and even books published, but, for me, this is huge lol. Perhaps one day I’ll become blasΓ©, but at the moment, let me revel πŸ˜‰

What’s the first thing you had published (ie your name in print). And if you haven’t had anything published, why not? *wags finger jokingly* πŸ™‚

I’ve had a busy few days really. Went to my writing class Wednesday night and had to read out a story I’d written. It’s soooo nerve racking lol. But I did it, and got some good feedback. Then last night I went to the 2nd session of Peter Jones How to Do Everything and Be Happy workshop, which was great fun πŸ™‚

I didn’t manage to get the saxophone prompt done, in fact, I was so busy I didn’t do any writing at all *shock horror gasp* and I don’t even know what tomorrows prompt is because I’m sitting in bed writing this lol. I’ll make up for it tomorrow of course πŸ˜‰

Epiphany + A Blog Award


I had one of those moments. A moment when an absolutely blinding idea pops into your head, so big and exciting you grab for your note book.

I was watching daytime TV, something I don’t do very often, but I’d been out and left the TV on for Georgie (my Yorkie). Anyway, whilst sipping my cappuccino an item came on that just grabbed me, and within minutes I’d come up with the whole plot for my Nano novel for 2012 πŸ™‚

I was that excited by the idea I wanted to start writing then and there….but no, I will wait for November πŸ™‚

Do you ever have one of those moments? I have to say that this is probably the first time since I’ve been writing that an idea has struck me so hard πŸ˜‰ I might start to work on the synopsis before November, and I’ll post it here….then you can all tell me that really, its a crap idea lol πŸ˜‰

I’ve been nominated for a Kreativ Blogger Award by the lovely Ava at journeyofjordannaeast *blush* Thank you honey πŸ™‚

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Soooo, list 7 facts about yourself and pass this award on to 7 other bloggers who you think deserve it.

I’m gunna run out of things to tell you about me at this rate lol πŸ˜‰

7 More Things About Me

1. My favourite coffee is Costa.

2. I always name my Sims character Angel Child.

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3. I suffer from psoriasis 😦

4. I own a bike.

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5. So far this year (since 1st January) I have watched 65 films/movies.

6. *whispers* I love the Twilight films (haven’t read any of the books lol) and I’m Team Edward πŸ˜‰

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7. These are my favourite pair of shoes πŸ™‚

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So now I have to tag 7 fellow bloggers don’t I……hmmmm….let me see…..I nominate….

Sally Jenkins
Janet at Postcard Fiction
Laura at Quill Weilder
William at Stadler Style
Julia at The Writing Aficionado
Richard at Village Drummer Fiction
Mr Brain Splat at Brainsplats

If you get the chance, please do go and check them out….great Blogs πŸ™‚

Yesterday’s prompt about the single bed conjured up soooo many ideas that I didn’t know where to start lol. I did though, finally…..Decide on a first person POV about a guy who’s left the marital home because his wife tells him she’s having an affair *cringe* 😦 Oh well, I guess I’ll just have to make something nice happen to him if I carry on with it πŸ™‚ Today’s prompt is the saxophone sound of midnight which seems a bit familiar……

The Minor Details


I think I’ve talked about imagery before, but yesterday I was reading about detail.

It’s the small things that you add to your writing that brings it to life. Such as:

The reflection of the clouds in a puddle

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The waiter, with a mole on his cheek where a black hair protrudes.

The colours of autumn leaves (they’re not all brown).

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A cream vase filled with red and blue anemones.

The bubbles on the inside of a bottle.

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Cable knit jumpers.

The crumbly texture of carrot cake.

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A white damask tablecloth with a gravy stain.

The blood red velvet petals of a rose.

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I bet you didn’t even need the pictures did you? πŸ˜‰

Yesterday’s prompt about the family meal turned into the start of a story about a man having a heart attack in a restaurant, at a family meal. I couldn’t help it, I was in one of those moods πŸ˜‰ Today’s prompt is a single bed. Hmmmmmm πŸ™‚

Flash


Well, I didn’t win the Flash Fiction World Competition (my entry is here), nor did I even get placed. I’m not bitter (much! Lol), no seriously, I’m fine about it….but, I did find it interesting, what the owner of the site, Vic Errington, had to say about Flash Fiction competition judging.

“I said last time what all writing competition judges say: choosing the winners is a very difficult thing to do. There are always more stories good enough to win than winning places available. I actually considered adding fourth and fifth place winners, but bankruptcy is something I try to avoid.
Many stories are incredibly enjoyable to read but they don’t, in varying degrees, adhere to flash fiction ‘parameters’ and conventions. One scenario that I found in some great pieces of writing is that the story was not a ‘complete’ story – the main expectation of flash fiction.
When readers, after reading an FF story, say that they want to know what happens next, or that they would love to learn more about how the characters developed after the event of the actual story, then, despite the obvious talent of the writer, it isn’t flash fiction. The story needs to stand completely on its own, leaving the reader satisfied and fulfilled.
A flash fiction story should not contain social comment (unless it is part of plot-related dialogue,) or narrator’s thoughts and opinions. The plot is everything in FF. Didactic narrative diverts the reader from the plot and goes against the ‘minimalism’ of true flash fiction – the stripping of everything extraneous to the plot itself. Some great pieces were let down by this.
Many of the stories I read developed brilliantly until the ending. A twist is great, but not strictly necessary. What does have to happen though is that the ending/resolution must say/do something that has a marked effect on the mind of readers – something that teaches them, gives them an aha! moment, makes them ponder long after finishing the story, or even makes them laugh out loud.
In choosing the three winning stories I looked for those that come the nearest to perfection in relation to the points I make above.”

Ok, interesting, back to the drawing board then lol. Entering competitions is as much about luck as it is about talent. Even if the story is perfect, if the judge doesn’t gel with it, you’ve got no chance πŸ˜‰

Today is World Storytelling Day which doesn’t appear to mean much here in the UK, I’ve never heard of it 😦 There are events going on in some countries, so check out their website for more info. The theme this year is tree’s….so in honour of that, here’s a picture of my favourite tree lol.

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I use to climb it as a kid, but now, they’ve put railings round it….happy memories πŸ™‚

So let’s celebrate World Storytelling Day…..Tell me a story….. I know it’s not orally as such, but, it’s as close as I can get to joining in πŸ™‚

I’ll go first……
Once upon a time there was a woman. Career minded, successful, living the dream, but single. Her little brother lived overseas (think, I dunno, running a farm in the outback of Australia) and he was in trouble, financially. She agreed to take 3 months off work to go out there and sort him out (shes a bit of a control freak and works in finance). She meets the man who is bankrupting her brother (the villain). He’s GORGEOUS, rugged and single. She ends up torn between her brother and what could be the love of her life (who turns out to be a rather nice chap and was only carrying out the instructions of his evil step father).
An idea from my note book that will probably never get written….not too sure if I’m really any good at romance πŸ˜‰

Yesterday’s prompt about the eve of the wedding turned into a story about a young guy, marrying his girlfriend because she’s pregnant….but he doesn’t love her. His mum realises something isn’t quite right and talks him into cancelling. That’s as far as I got, but I’m thinking she’s probably going to try to stop him seeing the baby….very Jeremy Kyle lol πŸ˜‰ Today’s prompt is write about a family meal. Ooooo, that’ll be fun πŸ™‚

I just realised, it’s Storytelling Day every day on my blog πŸ˜‰

Stealing?


I was reading on Saturday about the idea of stealing from other writers…..noooo, I don’t mean plagiarism I mean, stealing an idea, stealing a character.

Take Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys, which is most probably the most famous example.

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The novel is a prequel to Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre. The story of Mrs Rochester, before she became the mad woman in the attic.

My favourite example though is Mary Reilly by Valerie Martin. It’s tells the Jekyll & Hyde story from the viewpoint of Dr Jekyll’s maid, Mary. A wonderful book (and film btw) that I found fascinating, after having read the original Stevensen book.

I would love to use a character that another writer created, and tell their story successfully. But who? Where do I start?

How about Miss Haversham, the story of her ending up in that big old house in her wedding dress. Or Mrs Dalloway’s wild teenage years? And what actually happened to Holly Golightly, now that would be fun! πŸ™‚

What famous character would you like to steal?

How many times do you come across a minor character in a book who intrigues you? Who you’d like to know more about?

Today’s prompt about a diner turned into a story about a waitress who bumps into her male childhood playmate πŸ˜‰ Tomorrow’s prompt is on the eve of the wedding which I kinda already did a few weeks ago….. Hmmm, will need to think about that one

Reading


Philip Roth said that reading was a way to keep the circuits open and to think about the piece he’s working on while getting a little rest from the actual work in hand.

Sooooo, the question is….should I join a book club? I’ve been thinking about this for over a year now, but never actually done anything about it. “Mount Toobie” (sorry, slipping into BookCrosser mode there), my to be read pile is huge, verging on thousands, which is what has always put me off….but.

My writing style is very similar to my reading preferences. I tend to read what I call “real life stuff”. No fantasy or sci-fi. I’m not even keen on crime either. I like emotional character driven stories, about people, their lives, and how they overcome obstacles. Which, is kinda what I write about.

But does that allow me to grow as a writer? Am I missing out on the opportunity to “broaden my horizons” so to speak? Also, would joining a book club/reading group give me an insight to what readers want from their books?

Jack Heffron says “Don’t try to write a short story until you’ve read fifty of them, preferably a hundred. Don’t try to write a novel until you’ve read fifty of them, preferably a hundred. The same is true for scripts, essays, poems and so on.”

I do copy writing I like into my note book. I collect pieces that I think are powerful. I did at one stage start doing book reviews, but now I just use Goodreads.

Are you a member of a reading group/book club? Do you feel your writing benefits from it?

Whilst compiling this post an update email hit my inbox from Kitty Hietala’s blog which I found very interesting.

Here’s a pic of just one of my book shelves lol.

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I wasn’t really inspired by today’s prompt, the emergency exit. I ended up writing a story about 2 young girls running out of the ice rink because the boy one of them fancies comes in. Today’s prompt is eating at a diner so I’m hoping I’ll be a bit more inspired today πŸ˜‰