Tuesday, 30 October 2012

A touch of jealousy ...

So, I’ve just read that Jessica Stilwell, the mother in Canada that went on strike for a week because her children were so unbelievably messy, has now acquired an agent.  She’s having talks about a book and probably movie stuff too.

If I’m honest I’m not sure how I feel about all that.  Part of me feels a little annoyed, after all she hasn’t done much apart from rebel against her kids a little, and who hasn’t done that?  But she seems to have become a major talking point over the whole thing, striking deals all over the place.  Really, what has she done to get all these offers flooding over her?

I suppose that my feelings here are borne out of jealousy though.  I’d love to have a book deal and movie talks and all that, but I’m still working hard at getting my darn stories finished.  Part of me is niggled that she’s having all this overnight success, but then the other part of me is thinking ‘get yourself in gear girl and get your stuff out there!’  I only have myself to blame for my lack of success if I haven’t really been trying all that hard, so I’m going to use her story as inspiration for my own.

Overall I am pleased for Jessica, and I wish her every success.  I just wish she could send a little my way …

To check out Jessica’s blog go to

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Week 42 - To Do List

I’m a touch late with my to do list this week, but I shan’t dwell on that too much.  The key piece of advice I have picked up this week is to be more positive!  

So, to update from last week’s list:

  • Finish Chapter 1 of module book – I had an excellent session over the weekend getting on with my Othello reading and the background to some of the play.  I’ve been totally absorbed by it and never thought I would enjoy Shakespeare as much as this.  I’m looking forward to the next part.
Blog Posts:
  • Wednesday Blog Hop – I posted a story for the blog hop this week, and I’ve actually had thoughts on developing this one into something bigger. The creative juices are starting to flow.
  • Review latest book read – I have written the first draft of my review and I’m leaving it a couple of days before posting.  It won’t be long though.
  • Weekly to do list – a day late but I’m still going!
  • First draft of competition entry – time constraints have meant that I’ve only done the planning stages for this, but the story is in my mind simmering.
  • 15 minutes of free writing each day – after trying this for a couple of weeks I’m not sure free writing is for me.  I struggle a bit when I manage to sit down to do it, so I may leave this for a while.
A productive week I think, certainly one that has left me feeling more positive about things.

As for this week’s list:


  • Read Othello Acts 2-5 
  • Read Chapter 2 of module book 
  • Watch Othello videos

Blog Posts

  • Weekly to do 
  •  Post book review 
  •  Wednesday Blog Hop 
  •  Think about blogging strategy


  • First draft of new competition entry 
  •  Start to outline novel plan

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Wednesday Blog Hop: Do you believe in folk tales?

It has been far too many weeks since the last time I posted anything for the Wednesday Blog Hop, I'm utterly disgusted with myself.

For anyone who needs a reminder of the format, this blog hop involves one picture and five random words, all of which have to be included in some way in a short piece of no more than 500 words.  There is a week to post your contribution and link it up to Chasing Revery, one of our lovely hosts for this weekly event.

This weeks prompts are:

                                           weather, cemetery, lump, printer, recipe

And here is my contribution this week:

Do you believe in folk tales?

Terri crouched down behind the bushes to keep out of sight, she didn't want them to know she was here. She'd had to wait all week to come back, the weather had kept her away with its continual wind and rain. She peered down into the pool below, the noise from the waterfall filling her ears. There was no sign of anyone yet, but she was patient, she could wait.
She'd heard all the tales of this place since she was in high school, but had thought them nothing but folk stories. That was until the night her and Steve had come this way, looking for a good spot. All the usual places to go had become much too crowded for them these days so they'd had to seek out there own space. It was purely by accident that they'd found their way here. She could still feel the lump on the back of her head from where she'd fallen half way down the hill.
Steve had come racing down after her like some sort of sprinter to see if she was alright and they'd both been stunned to see the reaction from the water. They'd seen nothing until that point, when three huge splashes were heard and three dark figures disappeared under the waterfall.
Ever since then Terri had been captivated by what they'd seen, or thought they'd seen anyway, and was determined to find out what they were.
After a few visits after hours she knew that they would mostly come out at night, and would sit quietly in her hiding place and just watch them. Her friends never knew where she was, they were more interested in hanging out at the cemetery, trying to decide what the occupants had done in a previous life. She was more fascinated by this other world that was thought non-existent.
She brought her flask of tea and her homemade muffins made from her nanna's recipe, and tried every now and then to get a bit closer.
One night she'd left a muffin out on a rock to see if it would attract interest. The only interest there was came in the return of the muffin sailing through the air in her direction. She was pretty sure she knew they were watching.
It had been too long since her last visit and she'd worried they'd moved on, but she didn't have long to wait to be assured of their presence again. They were all out tonight to bask in the fresh evening air, the first night without rain for five days.
Tonight Terri had moved a bit further down towards the waters edge, the closest that she'd ever dare go. She was so intent on watching across the water she didn't even notice the figure watching her from nearby. 

Word count: 467 

Week 41 - To Do List

So, it's (past) that time again for the weekly to-do list.  First, here's a quick update of last weeks list and how I got on with it:

  • Read Othello, Act I  Check!
  • Read Chapter 1 of module book  I have made a good start with this, but it's not quite finished.
Blog Posts:
  • Post update for IWSG (I will have plenty of material for this one I think!) Check!
  • Wednesday Blog Hop  Fail - I had every intention but must do better.
  • 15 minutes of free writing each day  I managed three days of free writing, with 600+ words each.
  • First draft of a 1500 word short story  Fail - didn't even get past the planning stage.
I think that's round about a 50% success rate for my first to do list.  Not bad I suppose but I could definitely do better.

So, here's for next week:

  • Finish Chapter 1 of module book
Blog Posts:
  • Wednesday Blog Hop
  • Review latest book read
  • Weekly to do list
  • First draft of competition entry
  • 15 minutes of free writing each day
 Here's to achieving more than 50%!

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Maintaining focus - an IWSG blog post

It's time again for Alex J Cavanaugh's Insecure Writers Support Group.  This is an excellent opportunity to air your worries and frustrations about writing, gain helpful feedback from others in the same boat and hopefully offer your own support to others too.  To read more about it and to sign up click on Alex's link.

My productivity over the last month has not been great, I must say.  I started off well with a plan to write four short stories over the four weeks in September, but I only managed to get half way through before hitting choppy waters.

I think the trouble I've been having is trying to juggle too many ideas at once.  I've made plenty of notes, a story idea here, a character there.  Every time I try and concentrate on developing one of my ideas, however, my mind keeps wandering across all of the others and I wonder if one of them would have been better to work on.  I then lose focus on the one I picked and end up without having developed anything.  Maybe it's just my attention span?

Anyway, I think the way to move forward is to pick an idea and try my hardest to stick to it.  I could carry it around for a while in my mind, let it simmer awhile until it's ready to go down on the page.  I have a feeling that this is how writing is supposed to work anyway but my mind hasn't done that for a little while.  I need to get myself back into the swing of things.

I hope that next month's entry will be something a bit more positive, but given the dip I was in last week I think this one's not too bad :-)

Monday, 1 October 2012

Week 40 - To Do List

I've noticed that a fair few people that I follow give themselves to do lists each week of the tasks they want to accomplish.
In light of my recent dip, I think my organisation may be a small part of that, so I'm going to take a leaf out of a few of your books and start my own to do list.

I've had a little think about the things I'm trying to juggle in the creative side of my life and have a little list for each aspect.

So here goes with my to do list for this week (oh, and you've probably noticed the title of this post is 'week 40', that is what week of the year we are in now and not me cheating that I've done more than none!)

  • Read Othello, Act I
  • Read Chapter 1 of module book
Blog Posts:
  • Post update for IWSG (I will have plenty of material for this one I think!)
  • Wednesday Blog Hop
  • 15 minutes of free writing each day
  • First draft of a 1500 word short story