Facebook – General – and Chandler’s Ford Today

My latest CFT post takes a look back at my writing year and I also share some recently published stories of mine on Cafelit. All have a Christmas theme. I hope you enjoy them and that you have a lovely Christmas.

I must admit I think the picture I found on Pixabay to use as my feature image for this week’s post is probably the loveliest I’ve used ever. I just love the colours in this one.

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Facebook – From Light to Dark and Back Again

A little Christmas scene…

In the middle of the Christmas rush
There was an old man carving a brush
He was clearly an expert in wood
He could make any timber look good
Right by the old High Street church he was
He so wanted to be there because
The God he loved was a carpenter
A worker should be at the centre
Of the scene, as the shepherds had been
There long before the wise men were seen.
The man liked a God who worked with His hands
In the tableau He was in swaddling bands.

Allison Symes – 22nd December 2017

I hope you have a wonderful Christmas. (Oh and I’ve nothing against the wise men incidentally. They would have been highly educated men. It is interesting to see the wide variety of people who were at that first Christmas).

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Fairytales With Bite – Looking Back

Looking back/reviews is my theme for tonight as I cover this in my This World and Others post where I talk about the usefulness of reviews and for my Chandler’s Ford Today post this week where I look back at my writing year.  (I also share some recently published stories of mine from Cafelit, all on a Christmas theme.  Hope you like them).

Do your characters look back at their lives at all?  (You should as their creator!  Have they developed?  If so, positively or negatively?  How does this impact on the story?).  If the characters do look back at their own lives, why are they doing it?  Are they trying to learn from past mistakes and do they actually do so?  How does that “look back” change their behaviour (for better or worse) and how does that change the direction in which they go?

Sometimes Character B can look back at Character A’s life and this can be because:-

1.  They don’t like the changes in A’s life now (and they may be right to take that view!).  By drawing A’s attention to this, B is hoping to get A back to where they used to be.

2.  Character B is comparing themselves with A, especially if A has gone on to be really successful.  (We all do this for real so why shouldn’t our characters do so?!  What is interesting here is how does B respond?  Are they jealous?  Do they seek to improve themselves or try to “do A down”?).

3.  Character B is delighted Character A has changed (and again they may well be right.  Equally they may be pleased because A has worsened and it makes B look better!  B does not have to have noble motives here!).

All three of these points could generate some fascinating stories.  Happy writing – and I hope you receive plenty of books, in whichever format, over Christmas.  Stories are wonderful and Christmas is a great time to celebrate them.  As a Christian, I celebrate what, for me, is the greatest story – that of Christ’s birth in Bethlehem, but whether you share my beliefs or not, I hope you have a lovely Christmas season and New Year.

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This World and Others – Reviews

My latest Chandler’s Ford Today post reviews my writing year and, while on topic, I thought I’d look at how useful reviews can be whatever you write.

Obviously anyone with a book out there, including me, appreciates reviews on various websites as they do help.  An honest one or two line review is enormously helpful so do please put them up.  (And yes, do say what you dislike about a book as well as what you like about it.  Honesty is vital.  Amazon have, understandably, clamped down on reviews they think were written by the writer’s granny or by rival writers who are wielding a hatchet!).

I always carry out an end of year review and tick off the things achieved, carry certain things over (I will always want to have flash fiction work and short stories out there so this is ongoing) and perhaps look at why other things I hoped to achieve didn’t happen.  I then look at whether I can do better on these ideas in the coming year or whether it was the ideas themselves that weren’t strong enough etc.

There will always be things I’m disappointed I didn’t achieve, that’s life, but that’s no reason to NOT have another go in the year to come!