All images from Pixabay/Pexels unless otherwise stated. One image directly from Pixabay. Book cover images from Chapeltown Books and Bridge House Publishing. Screenshots taken by me, Allison Symes, as were the pictures of my local post box with additional festive “toppers” as I believe they are known.
Will shortly be taking a few days off for Christmas so my next round-up on my website will be a week today, Friday 30th December. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas. Back soon!
Facebook – General – and Chandler’s Ford Today
It is with great pleasure I share Festive Flash and Other News for Chandler’s Ford Today this week. I share two new flash tales as part of this and have a look back at my writing year.
I share the links to the recent fun and fabulous Three Minute Santas show hosted by Hannah Kate on North Manchester FM and the link to the Flash NANO podcast I was on with Wendy H Jones as an episode of her excellent The Writing and Marketing Show a little while ago. It has been an interesting year and I hope 2023 proves to be equally or more interesting, writing wise. Hope you enjoy the post.
Hope you have had a good day. Finally got around to doing some present wrapping – yes, I know! Plan to finish tomorrow (probably just in time for my Christmas food shop delivery!). Trickiest one to wrap for? My dog – because she is with me all the time. Managed it though!
Just to flag up I will be taking a break over the Christmas weekend from social media, my blog posts etc. I hope to have another blog round up out on Friday and then again on 30th December. I hope you have a lovely Christmas and that there are plenty of books for you under the tree!
Am looking forward to a social meet up on Zoom next week with the good people from the Association of Christian Writers Flash Fiction Group. Three of us had stories on the Hannah Kate Three Minutes Santa show recently (North Manchester FM). Well done, everyone!
I’ll be sharing a couple of new flash stories as part of my Festive Flash and Other News post for Chandler’s Ford Today this week. Link up on Friday. See above.
Am loving joining in with the carols on Classic FM though so far I have resisted the temptation to sing the alternative words to While Shepherds Watched. (While Shepherds washed their socks by night, All seated on the ground, a Bar of Sunlight soap came down, and they began to scrub. My late mum always sang that version with glee! I will almost certainly sing the alternative version on Christmas Day itself and think of Mum).
Talking of treasured memories, give some thought as to which memories your characters would treasure and why. Have they remembered things correctly? What actions do their memories encourage them to do and what are the consequences? There are story possibilities there. Also, I find a character sharing with me a s a reader a fleeting thought tends to make that character seen more real to me though the memory they share should have bearing on the story.
Couldn’t resist re-sharing these pictures of my local post box. Well done to whoever made these. I’ve been seeing a number of pictures like these throughout the UK – very cheering!
Facebook – From Light to Dark and Back Again
Am looking forward for a social catch up with members of the Association of Christian Writers Flash Fiction group next week.
Am already starting work on a potential fourth flash fiction collection (my goal would be to have a first draft of that ready by this time next year, God willing). Would like to try to enter more flash competitions next year too.
Hope your festive preparations are going well (and it would never surprise me if there are several flash fiction pieces inspired by such preparations! I hope you have fun writing those up!).
Hope there are plenty of flash fiction collections amongst this lot!
Quick shout-out to say the submissions button is back on Friday Flash Fiction. See link
Must admit I don’t know if I’ll get to submit anything this week given my usual writing day for this is Sunday – and something else is happening on that day!
But you can still treat yourself to a great read of the stories on there. Regular submission of work is the best way I know to increase your chances of having acceptances – and this applies no matter what you write.
Submitting regularly to FFF has got me back into writing the 100-word drabbles again which is great. They were my way into flash fiction writing in the first place so there is something pleasingly symmetrical about this!
One of the great joys of writing flash fiction at this time of year is in sneaking in some festive references. For example in my Every Little Detail from From Light to Dark and Back Again, I refer to someone checking a certain list “(twice mind you)”. That’s a nod to the song Santa Claus is Coming to Town (and my favourite version of that is still the one by Springsteen). I love reading passing references like this in stories by other authors – it’s great fun to get these in and, for me, a fabulous way to play with words.
Fairytales with Bite – Fairytale Season
Now December and January is the time for the old fairytales to be revisited by people like me. Pantomime is a fabulous way to enjoy the tales again too. I often visit my local amateur theatre company for their annual panto – always great fun.
Fairytales and pantomime are a great match up because you need outstanding characters. You need a hero/heroine, a baddie, magical support (usually the godmother or the genie), evil to be overcome in the end, and for a happy ever after ending. Generally the fairytales do deliver here! And it helps if you already know the stories well because you appreciate the gags more. Or at least that’s what I’ve found to be the case!
My plan this fairytale season is probably to visit my local panto (they’re doing Pinocchio this time) and to catch up with some “alternatives”. I’m a huge fan of the much missed Terry Pratchett and I love his take on the origins of Santa story with his Hogfather. I think it could be argued A Christmas Carol is a kind of fairytale (albeit aimed at at a much older audence than normal) and I’ve already had the joy of rewatching my favourite adaptation of it – by the Muppets!
Of course you can’t beat reading the original stories – and they are definitely not twee and/or just for kids!
This World and Others – Festivals
Does your setting have festivals at certain times of year? Are there stories to be shared, which only come out at this time? Special food and drink? Is everyone expected to join in? Are there special shows/services, pageants etc?
If your world doesn’t celebrate anything in particular. Why is that? Terrible history and everyone wants to forget it? Could you explore the dangers of not commemorating something? Or look at a time where there had been festivals but there are not any longer? How were the festivals removed? What happened to those who wanted to continue with them after they’d been stopped?
A festival can also show something of a culture as well as of its history so how does your world does this? Is there a culture which dominates the others, whether deliberately or by histoical events ensuring that this culture is the “top one”? A festival is also brightly coloured and light is heavily involved so how does your setting do this?
I love Christmas. My Christian faith means it does mean a great deal to me and I love the carols and festive music. On that note, may I wish you a Happy Christmas (and maybe give some thought as to how your fictional people would greet and treat others when it comes to their festivals).
Am delighted to share Festive Flash and Other News for CFT this week. I share two new flash tales and look back at my writing year. It has been an interesting year. I hope 2023 proves to be equally or more interesting, writing wise. https://t.co/p5L80dF9Yu— Allison Symes (@AllisonSymes1) December 23, 2022
Festive Flash and Other News https://t.co/p5L80dnyzU It is with pleasure I share Festive Flash and Other News for CFT this week. I share two new flash tales and look back at my writing year. It has been an interesting one. I hope 2023 proves to be equally or more so, writing wise— Allison Symes (@AllisonSymes1) December 23, 2022