All images from Pixabay/Pexels unless otherwise stated. Book cover images from Chapeltown Books and Bridge House Publishing.
Hope you have had a good few days. I think I’ve surpassed myself with a title for a blog post here!
Facebook – General
Cooling down nicely after a very warm afternoon. Lady happily napping.
I use Booklinker to create a universal link for my flash fiction collections. (It’s shorter as well than, say, the Amazon string). Booklinker have been revamping their website and I like the new look. Both of my books are available in various places so a landing page has been created on my Booklinker page for each of these – I like that too. For more information on them check out their FAQ page at https://booklinker.com/faq
Four days to Swanwick – there has to be a countdown! Getting together with other writers was one of the things I missed the most during the pandemic. Zoom helped a lot and still does of course) but if you can get together in person with other authors, there is just something special about that and you all get ideas and useful advice from each other too.
Hope you have had a good Monday. Lady got to see her two best girlfriends today so came home happy (and before it became too hot).
Am so touched comments are continuing to come in for Age Is Just a Number on Friday Flash Fiction. Many thanks, all.
Have started packing for Swanwick. Okay, so far, it is only my toiletries bag but it is a start! No. I tell a lie. I have packed my books to go in the Book Room there (From Light to Dark and Back Again and Tripping the Flash Fantastic). Getting my priorities sorted, don’t you know!
Am happily working on my third flash fiction collection. Am hoping to submit that during the autumn. I’m later on this than I intended but good things, as well as life, have got in the way a bit but I am now back on track. These things happen and I don’t beat myself up on this the way I once would have done. What does matter is getting on with the book when all is said and done.
Talking of books, I have a little something to share with you regarding The Best of CafeLit 11. I hope you enjoy it.
It’s getting hotter again in my part of the world and the week ahead looks to be going the same way. Hope you can keep as cool as possible. Lady and I intend to though I must admit this week for me will mainly be a countdown to Swanwick!
Looking ahead, my Chandler’s Ford Today post this week will be about Short Form Writing. Well, they do say write about what you know! I’ll be looking at the advantages and disadvantages to the short form – yes, am being strictly fair here. There are advantages to novels the short form can’t hope to match. Mind you, the short form is not meant to do so. Its strengths are elsewhere. Link up on Friday.
After that I’ll be interviewing the lovely Val Penny, Scottish crime writer of the DI Hunter Wilson series. Looking forward to sharing that too. It’s nice getting back to interviewing again.
Now I’ve mentioned before I have been known to interview my characters. I use a simple template for this and work out what it is I think I need to know about them. Usually I need to know their major trait, whether they generally get on well with others or not and so on.
I usually discover all sorts of other things as a result of asking questions like that and I get a fuller picture of said character. I find it well worth doing, but it does pay to work out what you think you need to know. I know I don’t necessarily need to work out what they look like. I can figure that out later. I do want to know what they’re capable of doing/saying, especially when pushed.
Hope you have had a good Saturday. Lady got to see a pal over the park today which was a unexpected surprise. She and the Labradoodle had a fab time together. Always nice to see.
One week from today I shall be at the Swanwick Writers’ Summer School. Am looking forward to packing next week. This is my big annual treat and it will be lovely to catch up with many friends, make new ones, and enjoy the workshops. I’ll be posting as usual during that week but at different times. Hope to do a write-up for Chandler’s Ford Today on my return. In the meantime am busy scheduling posts for CFT and going over what I need to take with me for Swanwick.
Benefits of networking: it’s fun; you learn tips from other writers; other writers get what you do and your need to do it; you often pick up useful information from other writers and in turn are able to share information you know (which is lovely as it’s a great way to pay back).
Not to mention coming back from networking events feeling inspired and encouraged – that has helped me so many times. And don’t forget there are all manner of writing events – one day courses to week events, to online ones. There is bound to be something to suit. Worth looking out for.
Facebook – From Light to Dark and Back Again
Many thanks for the views coming in on The Hiss Factor, my latest YouTube story. It was fun to write and I must thank #GillJames for encouraging me to turn my goose story into a story. See below for video.
(I only hope the fox that came into my garden a day after the goose turned up didn’t get to turn the goose into dinner but that’s a story I won’t know the ending of!).
Do you struggle to write in the heat? I find I am more likely to get off to a slower start but once I am into a piece of writing, away I go. It’s a question of doing what you can and staying hydrated, I think.
I’ll be talking about Short Form Writing for my Chandler’s Ford Today post up on Friday. Naturally flash gets a good mention!
You remember the story of the petulant goose I mentioned a few days ago? Well, in the end I had to get a story out of it. Hope you enjoy The Hiss Factor!
I’ve sometimes used a random picture generator to trigger ideas for my flash tales. I don’t describe the landscape in my story but I do give enough of its essence so people can work out where my story is set.
For example, just now I generated a picture of a remote Scottish castle on the beach with the tide out. Here I might get a character looking out of a window wondering if someone will be back in time ahead of the tide. I can use the character’s thoughts and worries here to help a reader to conjure up the right image.
When giving Zoom talks, I will use the pictures directly as illustrations, quite literally, of what can be done using these as a prompt. I find landscapes work better for me because I can then think of the type of character likely to live there, the problems they would face and so on. As ever, I just need a way into my story.
Random generators of all kinds are great for this.
Many thanks for the comments continuing to come in on Age Is Just a Number on Friday Flash Fiction. Much appreciated.
No writer can ever know for sure how a story will go down before sending it in, as even reports from beta readers etc will give a general guide of what they think and there will always be someone who loves what you do regardless. Sadly, there will always be someone who loathes what you do regardless.
You learn to accept you can’t please everyone all the time and you keep on writing to be true to yourself and your characters as you see them. You apply the writing advice that you know can genuinely help you improve. Not everything is appropriate or comes at the right time. When I was starting out flash fiction advice would not have been applicable to me as I didn’t write it. It is applicable now though!
Goodreads Author Blog – Soothing Reading
I read for all manner of reasons. I read for entertainment. I read to escape. (And with the news so grim everywhere you look, this is an important one!).
I read books by friends because I want to find out what they’ve come up with and to support them. Given they write outside of my genre of flash fiction, I expand my reading tastes doing this and ensure I get plenty of contemporary reading done too so win-win here. I read non-fiction to find out things in, hopefully, an entertaining way.
And I read comfort books when life is especially grim. My go-to here is humour. Who doesn’t need a laugh? Another advantage to networking with fellow writers is I also get useful ideas to add to my reading list. There is always plenty of room for more books on there.
I see nothing wrong in having reading materials specifically to sooth. There is plenty of room for the challenging books. I find you have to be in the right mindset to appreciate those. But soothing reading is always welcome. There is never a wrong time for that kind of reading.
Many thanks, @valeriepenny https://t.co/QAeOyLA0KH pic.twitter.com/VhPw839yzP— Allison Symes (@AllisonSymes1) August 6, 2022
liked Allison Symes’s blog post: Soothing Reading https://t.co/zuYPlS9z47 via @goodreads I look at reading soothing books and stories in this week’s Goodreads post. There is never a wrong time for these! pic.twitter.com/7SfsmArbCX— Allison Symes (@AllisonSymes1) August 6, 2022
I had a visit in my garden recently from a petulant goose who scared my dog and annoyed me. Said goose has now waddled off. There are lakes nearby where there ARE geese colonies. In the end I had to get a story from it. Hope you enjoy The Hiss Factor!https://t.co/sOG9yM06o4— Allison Symes (@AllisonSymes1) August 8, 2022