All images from Pixabay/Pexels unless otherwise stated. Book cover images from Chapeltown Books and Bridge House Publishing. Screenshots taken by me, Allison Symes.
Am thrilled to be in print again in new release, The Best of CafeLit 11. More details below. The thrill of being published does not dim!
Facebook – General
26th July 2022 – Publication News – The Best of CafeLit 11
Am thrilled to say The Best of CafeLit 11 is now out. I have a story in here, Flying Too High. I love collections like these, even when I’m not in them, as they’re a great way to try out authors new to you. You also get a real mix of stories and moods too.
I am also thrilled about this for another reason – I am on the front cover as one of the editors. Each editor had a month or two to work on but naturally did not edit our own work.
You never want to do that anyway. Why? Because you really do need another pair of eyes to assess what you have written. You are too close to your own work to be able to judge objectively. But it is lovely be on the front cover as an editor for the first time. It was a joy to work on this book and to be in it.
Many congratulations to the other writers in this new collection. It is always wonderful to know you have work in a book out! And it will be lovely to celebrate in person with you later in the year – I do hope you can get to the celebration event. Always good to meet up with old friends and make new ones here.
Hope you have had a good Monday. Not bad here. Lady got to see one of her best pals, the lovely Hungarian Vizler. Good time had by both, especially now the air is much cooler.
Will be sharing Zest In Fiction for Chandler’s Ford Today on Friday. I’ll also be talking about Advice to A New Writer for More Than Writers, the blog spot for the Association of Christian Writers again on Friday. Will put up separate posts with links. I know – no blogs for ages and then two come along at once.#
My current story on Friday Flash Fiction, called Tomorrow, is loosely based on real experience though I will say I haven’t done a sky jump. Nor do I intend to – the birds have enough to contend with in the skies without strange women jumping out at them – and I hope that has got you wondering. Story link here.
Am enjoying writing with my French windows open now we’ve got a decent breeze to go with it. Most refreshing. I must admit I did find things pretty hard going on Tuesday when we had a record breaking high temperature in my part of the world.
I felt sluggish and it was hard to focus (except on thinking things like this is too hot, is the dog okay etc etc!). And yes Lady was fine but she is much happier now things have cooled down a bit. I do always drink plenty of water by the way which does help with concentration but on Tuesday I think it was a question you couldn’t drink enough of it to overcome the wave of heat that hit most of us here in the UK.
Will have two blogs out next week. My Chandler’s Ford Today weekly one will be out on Friday as usual. It will also be my turn on More Than Writers, the blog for the Association of Christian Writers, again on Friday. I write for them on the 29th of each month so this means I get every three Februaries off! So must remember to do a double Facebook post on Friday.
So looking forward to Swanwick next month and the Bridge House Publishing event in December. Had been looking forward to going to see our local theatre group’s summer production but they have had to cancel unfortunately. I hope to get along to their autumn show though (and before we know it, it will then be panto time again!).
Writing Tip: Every so often go through your old notebooks and look at exercises you took part in during conferences etc. Revise those stories and see if you can submit them. I’ve done this and had work published that way but I also know it is far too easy to forget what is in your notebooks.
Hope you have had a good Saturday so far.
It’s hard to believe I’m almost at the end of my In Fiction series for Chandler’s Ford Today. Next week I’ll be looking at Zest In Fiction. Where did 26 weeks go?!
I sometimes use the random generators for ideas for topics for posts. The random question and theme ones are great for this.
For example, a random theme I generated a moment ago came up with the idea of sliver of hope. I can immediately think of some fiction ideas for that but for a blog, I could write a factual piece about where a sliver of hope changed the life of a famous historical character. Or even speculate where it might have done had it happened – two sides of the same coin there basically.
A random question I just generated came up with If you lost all of your possessions but one, what would you want it to be?
Interesting question and this could make a great article simply by my answering this myself.
So for non-fiction fans, the random generators can be useful for you too.
Facebook – From Light to Dark and Back Again
Many thanks for the views coming in on my latest YouTube tale, Enough Is Enough. If you would like to subscribe to my channel, you can do so at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPCiePD4p_vWp4bz2d80SJA – new subscribers are always welcome.
I usually post a new tale here once a week unless I’m away, ill etc. Good fun to do too. It is proving to be a great way of encouraging my flash fiction productivity and it is fun to think visually – to work out what videos would best suit my stories.
It’s Monday, It has been a long day. It is definitely story time. My latest tale on YouTube is called Enough Is Enough. Hope you enjoy it.
F = Focus – flash is a great way to sharpen your writing as you must concentrate on what matters to your character – no room for waffle!
L= Liberating, as despite the word count restriction, you can write across genres, in the first, third persons etc.
A = Acrostic flashes can be great to do – pick a relatively short word to use as these work best.
S = Story, story, story – it is all about the story – flash has to be a complete tale in and of itself.
H = Historical flash, humorous flash – have fun exploring genres here.
I’ve talked before about the impact of flash fiction and that’s because it is one of the genre’s strengths. You haven’t got a lot of words to play with so you do have to make a great impact with the ones you have got!
This is why I think about the emotional response I want my story to have on a reader. I then think about what kind of character could fulfil that and the likely setting for them. Then I draft my tale.
When I know what my twist ending is (because I’ve drafted a few possibilities to use at a later date) I will know from what I drafted what the emotional impact is going to be already. I can hit the ground running here (which is another great reason to draft ideas for writing up later!).
Sometimes a story ends up being longer than I initially thought. That’s okay. If it works better at 300 words rather than 100 words, I leave it at the larger number and find a different market for it.
What matters is the story and its impact. You don’t want to dilute a powerful story for the sake of a word count. You equally don’t want a wordy story which could genuinely be cut and sharpened up. This is why I ask myself whether this is really necessary as I go through my draft. I’ve got to always be able to say yes to that.
Goodreads Author Blog – Light Reading
Light reading is something I do all year round. When the world is being especially grim, as it is right now, then that’s the time to turn to books that help you escape. I was not surprised the sales of Wodehouse rocked up during the pandemic. People need an escape and lighter reading can be a great way to have that escape. (Especially if you really can’t go anywhere to get that escape another way!).
Light reading for me also includes reading short stories and flash collections, no matter what their theme. I just love short reads (and getting plenty of value for money by having lots of stories in one book!).
I do wish genre fiction wasn’t looked down on by some. It is snobbery. Genre fiction helps subsidize the more literary works and everyone has different tastes in books anyway.
Do you write directly to screen or have to use a notebook and pen first? I started with the latter but, unless I’m at a writing conference, I now write directly to screen. Transition painless and it has saved me much time which I can use to get more writing done. pic.twitter.com/Qb2SF5dpo3— ACW (@ACW1971) July 23, 2022
Editing on screen can be problematic. It’s easy to “see” words that are there because you thought you put them in but you haven’t. Doesn’t happen when editing on paper. When I edit on screen I specifically look for missing words. It’s the small ones – a missing and, the, but etc. pic.twitter.com/Rnugp7vG7w— ACW (@ACW1971) July 24, 2022
Notebooks and pens (aka old school!) come into their own at conferences. No lugging of a laptop or worrying if the battery will last. Still would like a foolproof method of getting leaky ink stains out of hankies! I’d like to think I’m not the only one caught that way… anyone? pic.twitter.com/AGQ34PwKl4— ACW (@ACW1971) July 25, 2022
It’s Monday, It has been a long day. It is definitely story time. My latest tale on YouTube is called Enough Is Enough. Hope you enjoy it.https://t.co/SvYcRZ8d30— Allison Symes (@AllisonSymes1) July 25, 2022