Image Credits:-
All images from Pixabay/Pexels unless otherwise stated with many created in Book Brush.Book cover images from Chapeltown Books and Bridge House Publishing. Screenshots taken by me, Allison Symes.
Another hectic week, more rain too! Am hoping the weekend proves to be a much needed time to wind down a bit!


Facebook – General – and Chandler’s Ford Today

Pleased to share Anthologies, this week’s post on Chandler’s Ford Today. I look at the advantages of writing for them and share some tips on working to themes. Most anthologies do set these and it is good practice in any case given so many competitions do as well. Hope you find the post useful.


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Looking forward to sharing my Anthologies post on Chandler’s Ford Today tomorrow. This is a classic case of writing about what you love as well as what you know! Link up tomorrow. See above.

Had a fabulous time at the Flash Fiction group meeting on Zoom last night (for the Association of Christian Writers). Great responses to the writing exercises I set. Hope you all get some stories submitted and “out there” as a result.

Don’t forget my monthly newsletter goes out on the first of each month so there is still time to sign up in time for April’s one. Head over to my landing page at – would love to have you “aboard”. I share tips, writing advice, as well as news.

What I have in the back of my mind here is writing something I would love to receive myself in my inbox for this kind of thing. Mind you, I try to take that approach with my story writing too. I try to keep an Ideal Reader in mind, always, while writing what I love to write.

It’s my turn on More than Writers (the blog spot for the Association of Christian Writers). This time I talk about Signs of Spring. This applies to our writing too! Hope you enjoy the post.

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Facebook – From Light to Dark and Back Again

I took part in the Andrew Siderius Memorial competition on Friday Flash Fiction last week with a 100 word story. This week I have had a go at the up to 500 words category. Good challenge to mix up the word counts you write to!

Hope you enjoy The Fairy Godmother’s Guide For Finding A New Client, which is one of my longer titles! Sums the story up though.

Screenshot 2023-03-31 at 19-47-23 The Fairy Godmother's Guide for Finding a New Client by Allison Symes

Lady had a fabulous time with her Aussie Shepherd gentleman friend today. Both dogs have a very impressive thundering gallop when they run! Okay, they can send up some seriously impressive mud as well but one cannot have everything!

There is a useful competitions guide (often covering flash too) in the current edition of Writing Magazine but I think the next one is due out at any time so it may pay to grab a copy of the current issue while you can. The guide takes you up to December.

I’m currently prepping a story for a competition and hope to end up submitting that sometime in April.

Don’t forget to look out for Mom’s Favorite Reads due out again soon. I will shortly be setting my challenge for the May edition. See it as a good way to practice writing to a word count of 300 words maximum.

May be an image of text that says "Flash Fiction"

Damp and grey day here, not that Lady cared. How does the weather affect your characters’ moods? Do they match the weather or do they deliberately go in the opposite direction (if only to cheer themselves up a bit on days like today, say? I find the writing carries on regardless – it is time which is a more relevant factor for me.

May be an image of text that says "Creative writing does just that for reader and writer. Readers can tell when something is written with love and care. You've got to care about what you write to stand all the rejections you are likely to get before acceptances come. Come INSPIRE"

Fairytales with Bite – Humorous Magic – What Could Go Wrong?

What kind of magical jokes would your mischievous characters do and what would be the consequences? In your setting, is magic taken seriously most of the time but with the proviso of something like an April Fools’ Day where folk are allowed to be more playful with their spells (on the understanding nobody gets hurt or made to fall in love with someone they wouldn’t usually fall for)?

I mention the latter as some limits would have to be set to prevent unfortunate consequences which would continue for longer than the period of mischievous magic allowed for. But tricks, jokes – what kind would these be and does your society welcome this as a way of letting off steam every now and again?

If humour is frowned on (it can be closely linked to free speech), how would your characters let off steam? Would there be underground comedy venues? I grew up watching The Goodies. Check out their episode Goodies Rule UK for their take on this – I find this is still funny after all these years. If funny magic is banned, why, who brought in the ban, and does anyone defy it?
Where humorous magic is allowed, who clears up the inevitable mess? There will be someone!


This World and Others – Treating Magical Accidents

That last line leads nicely into this topic. Where magic is practiced, things are bound to go wrong. See The Sorcerer’s Apprentice for one thing! So who would deal with the accidents? Is there the magical equivalent of paramedics, the St. John’s Ambulance Brigade, or any other first responder? Are magical mishaps treated magically or with or traditional kinds of medicine, similar to what we have?

Also, is there any such things as a magical accident insurance company? I could see there being funny stories here, especially with what might go on the claim forms. (Fans of UK comedian Jasper Carrott will remember his routines with insurance claim forms. Hilarious stuff).

Are there particular groups in your setting who would be more prone to this kind of accident, due to either being more clumsy or less experience with magic than other more privileged groups? Would this lead to them being allowed to get more magical experience (if only to keep everyone else safe from them)?





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