Writing To A Theme and Dragon Duty

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.
Hope you are well. Had a lovely weekend away at the ACW Committee Retreat. Lady not happy I went. Was overjoyed when I got back! Now back to the usual routines, writing and otherwise. Spring weather seems to be more settled now. Am hoping that won’t prove to be a case of famous last words!


Facebook – General

Regular blog posting is a good indication of how quickly time passes by! Can’t believe we’re at the 18th already and it is my turn once again on the Authors Electric blog. This time I talk about Writing to a Theme.

This is something I do a lot for my blog posts here and elsewhere (I set them), to other places where the theme is set for me, including competitions. Hope you find the post helpful.

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After a busy weekend, it has been a busy Monday! Start as you mean to go on, perhaps?

Will be scheduling a story for my YouTube channel so it appears tomorrow. Looking forward to sharing that. Spent a lot of my train journey home yesterday drafting different pieces – will find homes for them in due course. I often do draft potential blog pieces/stories like this because I know I can use them at a later date. I don’t usually edit pieces on journeys like that. I just want to get something written and save the editing for when I‘m back at my desk again. I see journey time as bonus writing time.

May be a graphic of text that says "Making time to write can be difficult. |carve out slots SƠ know will get something done. pays. II III XII I XI A XL"

On way home from the Committee Retreat (Association of Christian Writers). Plan to do reasonable amount of writing on the trains home. Never short of things to draft here!

It was lovely to be back at The Hayes, Swanwick. Due to be back in August for The Writers’ Summer School, Swanwick.

This weekend I stayed in the Main House for the first time. Very nice and I literally got some steps in going up and down the stairs.

Will be talking about Book Recommendations for Chandler’s Ford Today. Link up on Friday.

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Am currently at the Committee Retreat for the Association of Christian Writers. Good to see everyone again. Getting to stay at The Hayes, Swanwick again which is lovely.

Between us the Committee represents Christians writing for the secular market (I’m included here) and those who do write for the Christian market. There are novelists across different genres, article writers, short story and flash fiction people (yes I count here but am not the only one I’m pleased to say).

We are in a way a microcosm of the wider writing world. Not sure what my colleagues will make of being referred to like that (!) but I think it is an excellent thing. The writing world is huge and the variety amazing. With both my reader and writer hats on, I love that.

May be an image of 1 person and text that says "The writing life is addictive but fun. The support of other writers makes a huge difference."

Facebook – From Light to Dark and Back Again

I may be a day late (thanks to being away at the weekend) but there is always time for a story on a Tuesday as well as a Monday! Hope you enjoy my latest YouTube tale – Dragon Duty.


The day after you get back from anywhere is always a toughie as you try to resume your normal routines (whether they be writing, domestic, or in my case both!). This is where writing in the short form is a lovely bonus. If I get, say, 200 words written today, that may be a complete story for me (or I am well on my way to a useful blog post).

Never worry about only writing a “little”. These “little” bits and pieces mount up over time. It’s how I ended up putting two collections (and now a third) together. Also it’s not as if you could write a novel in “one go” anyway. All writing does need building up, you do get to the end. It’s not a race and I would rather write something than nothing.

I won’t beat myself up because I could only write a little rather than my standard amount (and I deliberately don’t work out my average word count. I just write and enjoy the process – mostly. I say mostly because we all get days when we’d far rather be doing something else but I always feel better for getting something creative done and for me that creativity is in the writing).

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Many thanks for the great comments coming in for Making Her Day, my latest tale on Friday Flash Fiction. Much appreciated.
Plan to write and submit pieces as usual this week for FFF and my YouTube channel but will be a day later than usual. Hope to draft both on my way back from my weekend away. I bless Evernote!

Screenshot 2023-04-14 at 17-27-12 Making Her Day by Allison Symes

Writing flash helps with other formats too. I’m not going to be fazed by having to write 500 words for an article, say, given I often write to that word count for stories.

I also know editing is vital no matter what word count you write to as there is no such thing as a perfect first draft. What you do get with that draft is a basic story which needs strengthening but that can be done later. You can’t strengthen the unwritten!

Flash has taught me to be specific with word usage and that is useful elsewhere too.

May be a graphic of text that says "Flash fiction illuminates briefly -it is a great form for a lighthearted piece. These often work best when kept short."

Goodreads Author Blog – Reading Away From Home

I usually take my Kindle with me for trips. Gives me choice. Saves weight. Gives me packing room for other things too.
But for my trip to the Commitee Retreat for the Association of Christian Writers, where I am as this goes out, I left my reader at home. Why?

Because I’m currently engrossed with two different paperbacks I couldn’t bear to leave behind.

One is 1000 Years of Annoying the French, which is funny and informative (written by Stephen Clarke).

The other is The Continuing Times of Isabella M Smugge (written by Ruth Leigh). This is funny and moving.

Plan to continue to make progress on these while away. Do think two decent sized paperbacks is a good limit for books in a case though!

Screenshot 2023-04-15 at 17-43-23 Reading Away From Home





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