All images from Pixabay/Pexels unless otherwise stated. Book cover images from Chapeltown Books and Bridge House Publishing. Screenshots and post box photos were taken by me. Allison Symes, as were photos of Evergreen – An Anthology. Well, what writer doesn’t want to take picture of their books when they arrive?!
A huge thanks to Wendy H Jones for supplying author and book pictures for my interview with her on Chandler’s Ford Today.
Temperatures have dropped significantly in my part of the world – brrr…. Still it’s time to get out the hot chocolate once again (and I love the mint and orange flavours from Options). Meantime, someone has been busy with our local post box…
Facebook – General
It’s with great pleasure I welcome back Wendy H Jones to Chandler’s Ford Today. We discuss Deadly Traditions, a cozy crime at Christmas anthology, in which Wendy has a short story. Given Wendy is well known for her full length work (fiction and non-fiction) one of my question was about how she found writing in the shorter form. It is a different “beast” after all.
I also asked how she found combining a crime story (normally serious) with a lighter touch expected from a Christmas story (true most of the time. I know there are exceptions). Check out the post to see what she said and do pick up her excellent tips for contributing to anthologies.
Brrr…glad to see Lady running around earlier with her gentleman friend, Bear, a lovely tri-coloured Aussie Shepherd. At least both of them have good coats. They’ll appreciate them right now. (As I prepare this in the evening, it’s already -2 out there. I know – that’s nothing compared to many places but it is on the early side for my part of the world. We usually get this kind of temperature towards the end of the month/early January onwards). As I prepare this round up on Friday evening, it is still saying -2 out there!
Looking forward to sharing my Chandler’s Ford Today post tomorrow where I’ll be talking to Wendy H Jones about Deadly Traditions, a cozy crime at Christmas anthology. See above.
One thing I do regularly (and where Flash NANO has helped a lot too) is to build up a stock of flash pieces and short stories on themes which are open to interpretation. It is then a question of finding the right market/competition come up for these but there will be something. I often draft potential blog pieces too which I can then place as needed throughout the year. Again when I have odd pockets of time, I can draft something here which I know I’ll get to use later. Helps my productivity no end!
Glad to say my copies of Evergreen – An Anthology arrived today. Always nice to open a parcel with your books (or books you’ve contributed to) inside!
Talking of anthologies, I’m pleased to be welcoming back to Chandler’s Ford Today Scottish crime writer, Wendy H Jones, who will be talking about Deadly Traditions, where she has a short story. Link up on Friday. See above.
Once nice thing I will have to do in next few days is ensure I notify the Authors Licensing and Collecting Society about my contribution to Evergreen – an Anthology. I also need to get things set up on my Amazon Author Central page, Goodreads, my book page on my website etc. Those will be pleasant tasks though – it is always nice to update with another publication credit. You can’t know these things are coming (you can only put in your best effort and hope) but it is always a joy when they do.
Facebook – From Light to Dark and Back Again
Delighted my story Numbers is up on Friday Flash Fiction. I used the random number generator and came up with the number 14. See what I did with it via the link!
If you’ve not yet had chance to do so, why not check out the recently released special fiftieth edition of Mom’s Favorite Reads? Link here. I talk about Fifty as my theme for the December 2022 double issue. I also set a double challenge here and people responded excellently to both.
Hope you have had a good day. Temperatures are set to plummet even further here. One lovely thing about writing is it generally is something you can do in the warm!
When I read at events, I like to mix up the moods of what I read. It makes for a great advert for what flash fiction is and can be. I also mix up my use of first and third person stories. I occasionally use second person but find this works best as a short (even by flash standards) tale and not often. It can come across as a bit gimmicky but the odd use of a “you” story can be effective. So much depends on your character’s (the narrator’s) voice here being strong enough to carry a story like that.
I also practice what I’m reading by going over it a few times. I’ve mentioned using Zoom here and I always do for new material which I’ve not read before. Only way to be sure of my timings and to ensure the story flows. What looks good written down doesn’t always read out well and if I stumble over my words, a reader will too. But that’s what the edit is for – to iron all that out. I enjoy that kind of ironing at least!
Fairytales With Bite – Tips for Surviving in a Magical World
You know how it is – you go through some portal or down a rabbit hole and before you realise it, you are in a magical world. Now what? The following tips will be useful.
Don’t eat or drink anything until you are 100% certain it is real food and drink and doesn’t have unfortunate side effects. It is not practical or helpful to suddenly discover you’ve grown several feet (in height or in literal feet – think of the shoe bills!).
Don’t annoy any little old men or women. They’re nearly always powerful magical beings in disguise. You don’t want to get the wrong side of them.
Be humble and not arrogant. It will help you with 2 above.
Expect talking animals. Try not to be annoyed when they prove to be better conversationalists than you are.
Take nothing at face value. If you come across a rather hairy old woman in a night gown, it might be worth checking out if they really are human or not.
Get out of said magical world as soon as you can. Nobody will blame you for running away.
This World and Others – Getting By
Now there are a variety of ways we all get by so this should be reflected in your fictional world. What kind of jobs do people do? If they’re not earning money to pay bills, how do they manage? Is there a barter system and skills are traded?
What kind of employment does your fiction world offer its characters? Are certain occupations reserved for certain species/classes and how did that come about? Are there skills your world has to import and where would they get these from? What can they offer in exchange?
Another thing to think about is what happens to those characters left behind by the leads going off on quests etc? How do they manage?
One interesting thing about The Lord of the Rings which the book shows well is when Frodo and the hobbits return to The Shire. It is quickly made apparent that all have been changed by what has happened. The Shire and its inhabitants are not the same as when Frodo and company left them (albeit in something of a hurry!).
Could you show something of this kind of thing in your story, especially if you want y our hero(es) to return home? Getting by includes making adjustments to resume normal life again too.
Numbers, by Allison Symes – Friday Flash Fiction https://t.co/9G9lbHr2W1 Delighted my story Numbers is up on Friday Flash Fiction. I used the random number generator and came up with the number 14. See what I did with it via the link! pic.twitter.com/cmlnaoDtuu— Allison Symes (@AllisonSymes1) December 9, 2022
https://t.co/HjgqfBhAIR Am glad to welcome novelist and non-fiction writer @WendyHJones to CFT. We discuss Deadly Traditions, a cozy crime/Christmas anthology, in which she has a short story. She shares how she found writing in the short form and tips for writing for anthologies.— Allison Symes (@AllisonSymes1) December 9, 2022