Story ideas still start on paper. Image via Pixabay.

NURSERY RHYME NONSENSE

FAIRYTALES WITH BITE

Nursery Rhyme Nonsense is an opinion piece from me.  For me, and for my stories to work, the fantastical world has to be believable.  This is where I find things like nursery rhymes bizarre.  Take Hey Diddle Diddle for instance. I’ve never seen a cow jump over the moon and have to wonder what the writer was on at the time when coming out with that!  Equally, I want to know if the cow has some form of jet propulsion (and not from its rear end!).  Things like that jar with me which is why, though I do enjoy nonsense verse, I can only read it in small doses at any one time.  I think I am a bit too prosaic!

THIS WORLD AND OTHERS

I’ve had issues tonight with titling on tonight’s post, which is not an issue I’ve had before.  My Fairytales with Bite website is absolutely fine.  My post tonight which I called Autumn Changes, turned up on Facebook as being Unreliable Characters, my post from yesterday!  The Weebly helpline was very good but the Facebook developers’ tool link they sent me is beyond me to fathom out.  I am not technically minded (unless you count knowing what a 1500 word story should look like in terms of the number of pages it should be on!).  Have got round the problem by just sharing a link to the general blog page on This World and Others as that lists the latest post first.  Hope I don’t get this issue again tomorrow.  It’s an odd one. Have not known it happen before.

FACEBOOK PAGE

Am delighted to say I’ve got proofreading work to do on my flash fiction collection, From Light to Dark and Back Again.  I also hope the events going on at my local library are well supported.  I never want libraries to become a thing of the past.

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Two formats for reading and Chandler's Ford library stocks both. Image via Pixabay.

Two formats for reading and Chandler’s Ford library stocks both. Image via Pixabay.

 

The virtual library. These days ebooks and emagazines are available at libraries. Chandler's Ford library are running surgeries about them. Image via Pixabay.

RULES FOR FAIRY GODMOTHERS AND UNRELIABLE CHARACTERS

It has been a wonderful writing week for me.  Firstly, I judged the Greensleeves annual short story competition run by the Southampton Writers’ Circle, who made me very welcome.  The stories were all great and all are capable of being published, following some further editing.  I prepared critiques for the stories and these went down well.  They’re planning on inviting me back!  This whole thing came about as a result of networking at the Swanwick Writers’ Summer School earlier this year.  Now I am not the world’s most natural “networker” so I am especially pleased about this.  I very much hope I will see the stories again, published, in due course.

FAIRYTALES WITH BITE

Rules for Fairy Godmothers lists those do’s and do not’s every fairy godmother worthy of her wand must know.  There is everything from not zapping just because you can to not being surprised your client doesn’t do exactly as you tell them (none of them ever do).  Can you add to the list?  My own favourite here is rule 7.  What do you think?

THIS WORLD AND OTHERS

Unreliable Characters are something I love in fiction and in the recent Greensleeves competition I was pleased to come across excellent examples of these.  In each of the stories, I guessed at the ending after reading the first page or so but am glad to report I was wrong in every single one of them!  I love stories and characters that misdirect me like this.  It is partly because they keep me reading to see if my guesses are right or not.  It is also because, just as in life you get unreliable people, fiction should reflect that too.

BOTH WEEBLY WEBSITES

I update my News Pages on both websites every Friday with publication news and so on.  (Am conscious I should have mentioned this before!).

PUBLICATION NEWS – ALFIE DOG LIMITED

I’m delighted to say Alfie Dog Limited have accepted my short story, The Delivery, and this will be up on site in early December.  I plan to post more details and links nearer the time but am very pleased about another acceptance.

CHANDLER’S FORD TODAY

I’m glad to report my lovely editor has been updating author side bars and intros and now This World and Others is listed in mine.  Previously it had been just my main Fairytales with Bite website.  I’m looking forward to being able to add Author of From Light to Dark and Back Again,  my flash fiction collection currently being produced by Chapeltown Books, in due course.

Anyway tonight’s post shares events at my local library.  There will be a Books of 2016 discussion event and, separately, ebook and emagazine surgeries for those wanting to know more about these.   I hope all of these events go well and those going to them are both entertained and find them  useful.  My library recently linked up with a local school as part of the Story Shuffle Project, which is linked to the retelling of the legend of Sir Bevis of Hampton (Southampton’s legendary hero – think James Bond on tapestries, the very first comic book!!).

feature-image-cf-library-events-nov-2016

 

 

Imagine the wealth of fairytales and other stories in here. Image via Pixabay.

WHAT I LOVE ABOUT A FAIRYTALE

As well as being amongst the first stories I had read to me when I was a kid, fairytales have long been a favourite of mine for other reasons.  Some of these I list in tonight’s Fairytales With Bite post.

FAIRYTALES WITH BITE

What I love about a fairytale lists some of the qualities that ended up attracting me to the idea of having a go at writing my own fairytales.  For a start, I love the fact that humans are not necessarily the smartest creatures in your average fairy story.  And the talking animals often make more sense too…  what’s not to like about that?

THIS WORLD AND OTHERS

Writing and Murphy’s Law lists some of the things that happen to most writers thanks to Murphy’s Law.  Do you recognise any of the items on my list as having happened to you?!

CHANDLER’S FORD TODAY

My post tomorrow will be about some events going on at Chandler’s Ford Library.  These include a discussion group on the Books of 2016 and ebook surgeries.  More info with links tomorrow.  Am cheered up by seeing the library reach out to different people with different events – long may it continue.

FACEBOOK PAGE

Tonight sees me share what I haven’t got around to writing up yet – my Christmas list!  I also reveal why authors are lovely to buy for – not one of us can resist, say, a brand net notebook!

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One way through to the magical world but is it all sunshine and flowers? I doubt it! Image via Pixabay

One way through to the magical world but is it all sunshine and flowers? I doubt it! Image via Pixabay

 

One joy of blogging is the ease of publication... Image via Pixabay

FLASH FICTION PERKS

FAIRYTALES WITH BITE

Flash Fiction Perks shares what I think are some of the advantages of flash fiction.  Can you add to the list?  (I do love a list… but then you will have gathered that by now).  Flash fiction can be a great way of writing humorous incidents which, in themselves, would not be nearly long enough to make a standard story.  And there are plenty of markets and competitions out there.  What’s not to like?

THIS WORLD AND OTHERS

Fiction Feedback shares what I look for in a good story adjudication.  I know, I know – another list! – but I hope this might help those trying to decide whether to go for a critique on their work or not.  (And where you can get word of mouth recommendation from another writer as to how good Publication X’s feedback is, so much the better).

FACEBOOK PAGE/A VERY BIG THANK YOU TO SOUTHAMPTON WRITERS’ CIRCLE

I had the great joy and privilege of judging the Greensleeves short story competition run by the Southampton Writers’ Circle this evening.  A huge thank you to all for the warm welcome and kind comments.  Look forward to seeing your stories in print in due course!!

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Whether you write flash fiction or other kinds of story, brainstorming sessions are invaluable. I have, less often, used them to generate ideas for non-fiction work. Image via Pixabay.

Whether you write flash fiction or other kinds of story, brainstorming sessions are invaluable. I have, less often, used them to generate ideas for non-fiction work. Image via Pixabay.

 

 

 

Well, what IS your story? Image via Pixabay.

WHEN A CHARACTER TAKES OFF…

FAIRYTALES WITH BITE

When a Character Takes Off discusses that lovely moment in a story when you know it is going to work.  The characters are right, the plot falls naturally into place and so on.  One thing I learned a long time ago was that if someone makes something look easy, they been working for years to get to that point.  Anyway, the post discusses what you might need to know about a character to ensure you do get to that take off point.  Some writers need a lot, others not so much immediate detail.  Where do you fit in here?

THIS WORLD AND OTHERS

Signs of a Good Character lists five signs you can be certain show that the character you’ve invented has “life” and will work. Can you think of other signs to add to the list?

FACEBOOK PAGE

I share how Mabel, my border collie, is faring (doing well I’m glad to say) and the downside of owning a Kindle.  I’ll be judging a short story competition tomorrow night and am looking forward to meeting everyone involved with that too.

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The ultimate Book Circle - now where to start?! Image via Pixabay.

The ultimate Book Circle – now where to start?! Image via Pixabay.

Beautiful books. Image via Pixabay.

QUESTIONING YOUR CHARACTERS

FAIRYTALES WITH BITE

Top 10 Questions to Put to Your Characters lists some basic questions you could consider when thinking about drawing up your characters.  I don’t write full character biographies (though I can understand those writers that do.  My worry here is this process could be so much fun, there would be a danger I feel of not actually getting on and telling the story!).  There are, of course, many other questions you could use but my list tonight could prove to be a useful place to start.

THIS WORLD AND OTHERS

Getting Things Done discusses the approach  your characters might take to…er… getting things done (!).  Are they go-getters?  Are they slow but steady plodders who get there in the end?  Do they learn from their mistakes?  Do they aggravate other chracters?

FACEBOOK PAGE

I discuss Andy Murray’s latest win, my  next Chandler’s Ford Today post and blatantly go for the sympathy vote for my poor border collie, Mabel, who was ill over the weekend.  Glad to report she is on the mend but none of us were impressed with the weekend we had, Mabel especially.  Two trips to the vet, temperature taken each time (she loathes that) but she did get her own back on the vet on the second trip.  While he was listening to her chest with the old stethoscope, Mabel heard another dog in the kennels bark and of course Miss Mighty Mouth has to have the last bark so she let rip.  Right down the vet’s earhole of course. Made a lot worse by him still using the stethoscope!  (Had she known what she was doing here, I wouldn’t have put it past her to do it on purpose regardless of whether she heard another dog or not!  Our sympathies to the vet – Mabel couldn’t possibly comment!).

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Books help you wind down. Was glad of them after a stressful weekend. Pity this option is not available to my border collie. Still lots of cuddles did the trick there! Image via Pixabay.

Books help you wind down. Was glad of them after a stressful weekend. Pity this option is not available to my border collie. Still lots of cuddles did the trick there! Image via Pixabay.

 

 

Fairies are definitely not twee and you do not want to come across one that has had a bad day due to Murphy's Law affecting her. She will take it out on s

MURPHY’S LAW FOR A FAIRY GODMOTHER

Sorry – shorter post tonight.  Weebly are carrying out essential maintenance works so have only been able to update my Fairytales with Bite website.  Still I hope you enjoy reading Murphy’s Law for a Fairy Godmother.  I love writing posts like this.

FAIRYTALES WITH BITE

Murphy’s Law for a Fairy Godmother actually lists five laws.  Can you add to this list?

FACEBOOK PAGE

I discuss why writers get more joy from reading other people’s stories than anyone else on the planet.  I discuss the “guess the influence” game and urge support for your local anthology writer(s).  The fact I am an anthology writer has EVERY bearing on this!

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What is a fairy godmother supposed to do when she turns up to support a client and there isn't a pumpkin in sight?! Fortunately NOT a problem here. Image via Pixabay.

What is a fairy godmother supposed to do when she turns up to support a client and there isn’t a pumpkin in sight?! Fortunately NOT a problem here. Image via Pixabay.

 

 

 

A magical night out at a classical music concert. Image via Pixabay.

YOU KNOW IT’S TIME TO HEAD TO THE HILLS WHEN…

I do enjoy a good lead-in title, as you may have guessed by now!

FAIRYTALES WITH BITE

You Know It’s Time to Head to the Hills When… discusses what you should do in the event of a fairy godmother, fairytale witch or wizard convention happens in your neighbourhood.  Clue:  you don’t hang around and watch!  And if you ever hear anything that sounds as if it might be four horsemen saddling up, I wouldn’t worry too much about renewing your life insurance policy.

THIS WORLD AND OTHERS

In a complete change of mood from my post on Fairytales with Bite tonight, for this website I discuss musical moods.  What music do your characters like?  Does this reflect on their basic traits (are they generally melancholy, upbeat or what have you)?

FACEBOOK PAGE

Finally got a flash fiction piece off (which I’d been meaning to do by Wednesday but life has a habit of getting in the way at times so I learnt long ago always give yourself more time than you think you’ll need for a competition deadline.  You honestly won’t regret doing that).  Also delighted to share a link to one of my favourite poems, When I Grow Old I Shall Wear Purple by Jenny Joseph.  Let’s just say I’m already making plans and carrying out some of the things listed now.  Which do you do?

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Part of one of Beethoven's compositions. Image via Pixabay.

Part of one of Beethoven’s compositions. Image via Pixabay.

 

 

Stories come in all kinds of formats including tapestries! Image via Pixabay.

YOUR DAY IS ABOUT TO WORSEN WHEN…

FAIRYTALES WITH BITE

Your Day is about to Worsen When shares tell tale signs you are about to go through some very hard times indeed as a character in a story.  For example it is never good when a wizard suddenly turns up on your doorstep, tells you that you’re about to go on a quest and, by the way, you can’t refuse as the powers of evil are already pursuing you!  Can you add anything to my list?

THIS WORLD AND OTHERS

Why I Love Flash Fiction shares some of the advantages I think there are to writing these stories.  For example by their very nature, they have to be short and that helps put a good pace into the story.  What other advantages can you think of?

CHANDLER’S FORD TODAY

Just to say my post tomorrow is a review of All My Sons by Arthur Miller.  More details tomorrow but I discuss some of the history of the play too.

FACEBOOK PAGE

I share the Amazon link to Baubles, Bridge House Publishing’s anthology for this year.  my story, Helping Out, is in there.  I also discuss what’s coming up in my next Chandler’s Ford Today post and what fiction work I’m currently getting ready for a competition.

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Bookshops are vital to encourage literary - image via Pixabay.

Bookshops are vital to encourage literary – image via Pixabay.

 

 

Looking into the past... Image via Pixabay

REMEMBERING

FAIRYTALES WITH BITE

Remembering discusses how getting our characters to remember makes them more  real to a reader and helps them to see where our “people” have come from.  The more a reader can identify with a character (and we all have experience of remembering important things, personally and nationally), the more they will want to read about them after all.

THIS WORLD AND OTHERS

The Art of Remembering continues the remembrance theme and asks what important events do your characters recall and why? What events have hit their world and still have an impact?  There could be some very good stories on this theme.  Good luck!

Looking into the past... Image via Pixabay

Looking into the past… Image via Pixabay

ADDITIONAL

Incidentally I do have a News Page on both of my Weebly websites.  This is usually updated every Friday with news of my latest Chandler’s Ford Today posts but I do post other news items such as publication news and so on.

CHANDLER’S FORD TODAY

My post tonight is a review of the Arthur Miller play, All My Sons, recently staged by The Chameleon Theatre Group.  The play and the performances were brilliant.  Remembrance is a vital thread to this play too.  I not only review the play and performances but also share some of its history, including its links with McCarthyism.

BRIDGE HOUSE PUBLISHING – BAUBLES ANTHOLOGY

It has been a busy week but it is a “good busy”.  Baubles is now out on Kindle.   My short story, Helping Out, is in there.  The book will be available in paperback shortly.

Bridge House have also set up a Baubles Facebook page.  This book is the first time I’ve been involved with a book trailer and I think it looks great.

Love the cover for this. Image supplied by Bridge House Publishing.

Love the cover for this. Image supplied by Bridge House Publishing.