Taking Stock

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 have had a good week. Enjoyed the Bank Holiday weekend here. More to come this month too. Doesn’t affect the writing. I usually write in the evenings. Do you have a good time of day for writing? I prefer to write when I know I’ve got most of what else I have to do behind me for the day.


Facebook – General

Hope you have had a good day. Lady had a good run round with her Aussie Shepherd friend this morning. I swam 100 lengths in my local pool today in a personal best time. Lady and I shall sleep well tonight! I did think when I resumed swimming seriously I would use the time in the pool to think out story lines, blog ideas etc. Not a bit of it. The mind goes blank. Mind you, that can be relaxing so maybe it is not a bad thing.

Reading Tip (makes a change, yes?): Mix up what you read in terms of format as well as genre. I like to mix up reading paperbacks with reading magazines and ebooks. I mix up fiction with non-fiction. Within fiction, I mix up humorous writing with crime fiction with contemporary with classic etc. It makes for an interesting reading life. That in turn inspires the writing too so win-win here.

May be an image of text that says "Reading can take you places without you having to lift a step."

I like the month of May. More evidence that spring is with us (usually, she says hastily!). My late grandmother was called May. Charming lady. Charming name. Charming month.

Author newsletter went out this morning. Am looking forward to sharing my review of Spring Trio staged by The Chameleon Theatre Group which I went to on Thursday. Post will be up on Chandler’s Ford Today on Friday. The combination of plays was interesting. Good twists too. And as a friend said you can’t beat good local live theatre. For me, it’s a fantastic and different way of taking in stories – what’s not to love there?

No photo description available.

Wow, the end of another month already. Don’t forget my author newsletter goes out on the first of each month. If you’d like to sign up head over to my website landing page at https://allisonsymescollectedworks.com

I have an exclusive story this time as well and I also break down how I wrote this. I know from having read interviews with authors where they’ve done this, you can learn so much from that technique. I hope you find it entertaining and useful. So look out for my latest missive in your inbox tomorrow!

A huge hello to all who have signed up and those who have done so recently.

Completely off topic, my better half recently redecorated the office in which I work. Has done a grand job. I am still sorting out the boxes of stuff I had on my desk. Who knew I had so much clutter on there? Well, me now! Am determined to keep desk decluttered. Wish me luck!

Allison Symes - May 2023 - Springing Ahead

Newsletter advert - share tips etc

Glad to say it’s my turn on More than Writers, the blog spot from the Association of Christian Writers. This time I look at Taking Stock and why doing this every so often can give you the encouragement to keep going. We all need that kind of encouragement from time to time. Hope you find the post helpful.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Facebook – From Light to Dark and Back Again

I was talking about Reading Moods on Goodreads this week and this is where reading flash collections has an advantage. Short story anthologies share this advantage too. And yes I am biased given I have a foot in both camps but the bliss of these is you can mix up your reading mood within the covers of one book! I deliberately mixed up the mood of my stories in my two flash collections as I wanted to give a good flavour of what flash fiction is and can be. Good short story anthologies do the same thing. And as I’ve mentioned before, these books give you a chance to try out the works of authors new to you.

May be an image of 1 person and text that says "Tripping the Flash Fantastic by Allison Symes carefully crafted collection of story worlds"

It’s Monday. Okay here in the UK it’s a Bank Holiday Monday but it’s still time for a story. Hope you enjoy my latest on YouTube – Circles.


Had a lovely time at the ACW Flash Fiction group on Wednesday. I always set exercises for these things and jot down ideas, along with the group, on the night of the meeting. I love live writing like that and everyone came up with ideas to work up later. I am hoping some at least will go and submit their finished pieces somewhere. Now have a few ideas to work up for story submissions. Win-win there!

This is where practicing writing to different prompts helps. It means you’re not fazed by whatever it is you’re set. Even if you haven’t done the actual kind of exercise before, you will know you can write to exercises and prompts because you’ve already got the practice in. It does pay off, honest!

May be an illustration of sugar candy and text that says "Add in "What If?" here and γσu'νe got the best writing prompts of the lot, I think. WHAT WHERE WHEN HOW WHY WHO"

Hope you have had a good day. Loved my trip out to the theatre on Thursday night (which consisted of three plays, more on that in a future Chandler’s Ford Today post). Mind you, there are always moments in a theatrical production which could be turned into a flash fiction story!

Flash focuses on one important moment for a character and in any great play, there are loads of those stand out moments which, individually, could be explored in prose. With a play you have to go on to the next moment and then the next one until you get to the end.

I often outline my character first and that will give me a good idea of the kind of situation they’re likely to find themselves in and from there I can work out what their most important moment is to write about.

May be an image of text that says "Where will your fiction take your readers? This world or somewhere else?"

Goodreads Author Blog – Reading Moods

Does your mood change what you were planning on reading? When life is especially grim, I will often turn to humorous works for sheer escapism. Indeed, I think humorous writing has a major role to play here. Funnily enough, the cosier end of the crime market can have a similar effect.

I have to be in a reasonably upbeat mood to begin with to cope with anything grim reading wise. That decision is backed by the fact I only have so much time in which to read so I want to make sure I enjoy what I do read! For non-fiction, if I’m reading history (as I currently am with 1000 Years of Annoying the French by Stephen Clarke), I find mood matters less.

Regardless of mood, whatever I read, I want to “zip” along and finish my reading session feeling I could have carried on reading all night if it wasn’t for the need to get some sleep!

So over to you then. Do you find you have to be in the right mood to read at all? (Not a problem with me – I will read, it is just a question of what I read). Do you find your mood dictates what you read (as it can do for me)? Or is it a question of working your way through your To Be Read pile methodically?

Screenshot 2023-04-29 at 20-14-37 Reading Moods



This slideshow requires JavaScript.


https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Success! You're on the list.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s