Festive Flash News and Author and Book Events

Image Credits:-
All images from Pixabay/Pexels unless otherwise stated. Book cover images from Chapeltown Books and Bridge House Publishing. Screenshots were taken by me, Allison Symes, as was the photo of my two flash collections at the BHP event. Many thanks to Lynn Clement for taking the photo of me reading at the Bridge House Publishing Celebration event. Always tricky doing that kind of thing yourself! 
Weather becoming significantly colder in my part of the world. Lady’s not bothered but is probably wondering why Mum is keen to keep moving rather than let her stop and sniff everything every five seconds or so!

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Facebook – General

Glad to report one of my festive flash fiction pieces will be broadcast on Hannah Kate’s Three Minute Santas show on North Manchester FM on 17th December. Looking forward to sharing the link to the show later. Glad to hear other friends will also be having their stories on here – well done, all!

Now I will record myself on Zoom every so often to check if a story flows as well as I thought and for things like Hannah’s show, I want to make sure I’ve got my timings rights. (Maximum allowed is three minutes). The lovely thing with Zoom is if you set up a meeting with yourself, record yourself speaking, and then end that meeting, Zoom will convert the file to an mp4 for you. You also get an exact timing.

And in playing back your recording, you can literally hear the ebbs and flows of your story. Worth doing and it is also great practice to read aloud for Open Prose Mic Nights as well.

Last but not least, a big thank you for the anniversary congratulations yesterday. Much appreciated! (See below).

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5th December
Hope you have had a good day. Today is my 35th wedding anniversary. Better half and I can’t believe where the time has gone either.

Writing wise, I’m pleased to share the link to the super duper double issue of Mom’s Favorite Reads. Why such a large edition? Simply it is because this is the 50th edition and naturally that had to be celebrated with something special.

I use the theme of Fifty for my article in this issue and I set not one but two flash fiction challenges. One was to write on the subject of fifty up to a word count of 300 words. The second challenge was to write a fifty word story all in, including the title. Do check out the stories that came in – it was, as ever, a joy to be the editor on these.

 

Brrr…it’s cold out there. Nice to have a quieter day today after my trip yesterday. I hope my next trip will be in January when I’ll be giving a flash fiction workshop. (It will be in person ideally but may need to switch to Zoom. Am happy with both kinds of workshop).

Am looking forward to welcoming back Wendy H Jones to Chandler’s Ford Today on Friday. She’ll be discussing Deadly Traditions, a cozy mystery at Christmas anthology, with me. I’ll be chatting about how she found writing shorter fiction given she is best known for her own crime series and marketing books in particular. Long and short fiction writing have their own challenges and joys.

Have not yet started work on my editing for my Flash NANO stories. I suspect I’ll get to this after Christmas. I won’t be that sorry about it as I do give myself time away from something recently written so I can come back and judge it objectively later.

 

Am writing this on way up to London for the annual Bridge House Publishing Celebration event. This is being held at the wonderfully named Theodore Bullfrog pub.

Am looking forward to seeing friends and listening to author readings. I’m taking part in that too but it is such a joy to relax and be read to – how often do you get to do that? Audio books are fab but listening to the author telling their tale live as they want it to come across is special and a treat.

Do support author reading events. They’re great fun and give you a chance to escape the world for a bit as well as being another way to support writers.

Update: Did indeed have a fabulous time at the BHP event. Loved the readings from the different authors and it was fun to take part myself. Hope to write more about this for a further Chandler’s Ford Today post. A big thanks to Lynn Clement for taking the picture of me on my phone as I read a story from each of my two flash collections.

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Facebook – From Light to Dark and Back Again

Delighted to say a festive piece of mine will be on Three Minute Santas on Hannah Kate’s show on North Manchester FM on 17th December. Always a fun show to listen to – and I plan to share the link later. Flash works so well in an audio format.

Flash is also great to share as a reading because you can’t go on for too long yet it makes for a great introduction to you and your writing style. Win-win there!

I am planning to use my Flash NANO stories for a mixture of competitions and for a future collection. Nice to be off to a cracking start there!

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It’s Monday. It’s cold. There is still far too much to do before Christmas but it is time to take a break and enjoy a new flash fiction video. You know it makes sense, to quote Del Boy from Only Fools and Horses. Hope you enjoy Fourteen Days, my latest on YouTube.

 

Loved my trip out yesterday and it is always good to wave the flag for flash fiction. I hope to do so again in January when I’m due to run a workshop.

I took the opportunity yesterday to show how flash can mix up the moods so read a humorous tale and a serious one. Both tales have good emotional impact which is what you want from a story. Even as a kid, I wanted to get to the “happy ever after” in the fairytales but I was also intrigued as to how that would happen.

That should’ve been an early flag to me that writing would be what I’d end up doing!

From Light to Dark and Back Again - by nightTripping The Flash Fantastic - by night

Looking forward to reading some flash tales at the Bridge House Publishing Celebration event in London today. Nice to be back on the train again too. Always good for people watching and I have had inspiration for stories from things seen/overheard.

These things are always a starting point only as by the time I’ve written and edited my tale, my “unintentional inspirers” would never recognize they had inspired a story.

One key skill for any writer is to be observant and from that to think yes, I could use that. For example, I spotted someone hastily writing out a couple of Christmas cards. So my mind is thinking along the lines of who are these cards for and why it is vital my character gets these written now.

It’s a situation most of us can identify with and has the potential to be a funny tale and/or a heartwarming one. But I needed to spot someone doing this to get my ideas sparking.

(Again thanks to Lynn Clement for taking the picture of me reading).

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Goodreads Author Blog – Book Events

Book events are great fun and if you can get to go to any, please do.

As well as showing support for the authors (which is always appreciated), you may well get to hear readings. Also there will be the chance to get signed copies. These make for fab Christmas presents!

A lot of work goes on behind the scenes setting these up but book events are wonderful for bringing writers and readers together.

Any reader interacts with the author simply by reading their works of course but at events, you may be able to ask questions as you get your books signed.

That can give the writer useful feedback. I’ve had readers say something about my stories revealing hidden depths I hadn’t considered when writing the tale.

Was I pleased? Oh yes! Why? Because the readers had engaged with my stories and showed me they had.

We all love books for various reasons but engaging with stories like that is so special. And it is really nice for an author to find that out a book event.

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Book Brush – Reader Hub – Allison Symes

 

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