All images from Pixabay/Pexels unless otherwise stated.
Book cover images from Chapeltown Books and Bridge House Publishing.
Many thanks to Dawn Knox for supplying her author photo.
Image of me signing Tripping The Flash Fantastic by Adrian Symes.
Facebook – General
Hope Tuesday has proved okay. More raking up of the oak leaves for me today with Lady assisting by looking for sticks in amongst the leaves though she would have preferred to find a squirrel.
Talking of which, I would love to know why every dog I know/have ever known, on spotting a squirrel, always looks hopeful that said squirrel will come and play with them!
Has not happened on my watch. Is unlikely ever to do so. Mind you, Lady is the only dog I’ve had who might be in with a chance of catching one.
Writing wise, I’ll be interviewing fellow flash fiction and Cafelit writer Dawn Knox about her latest book, The Macaroon Chronicles, on Chandler’s Ford Today on Friday.
This will be a two part interview and we’ll be discussing the challenges of writing chronicles, what drew Dawn into writing, and how long it took her to become an established author, amongst other interesting topics.
I love conversations with other writers. I always learn something useful. Given no two writers ever have the same writing journey, it is fascinating to find out what others have found most helpful to their writing or, conversely, find out what they think has to be the worse writing advice of all time etc. Link up on Friday.
I haven’t kept a word count for my kind of NaNoWriMo project but to be fair I never intended to do so. My non-fiction project needed restructuring, which I’ve now done, and it is now a question of adding material to it. Then a massive edit or several! But that’s okay. I’m enjoying seeing the project coming together and this is an interesting experience since I’ve not written non-fiction to this length before.
Am continuing to have fun playing with Book Brush.
Many thanks to Dawn Knox for inviting me on to her blog today. It was great fun to take part. I chat about flash fiction, Tripping the Flash Fantastic, the one regret I have about writing and other topics.
And more news from Dawn and I in a moment….
Bonus Post – Publication News
Talking of further news from Dawn Knox and I…
It has been a busy Monday, as always, but it was nice to discover further publication news! Dawn and I both have stories in the new Bridge House Publishing anthology, Mulling It Over. It is currently out as an ebook but the paperback will be out soon.
Many congratulations to the other authors in this ecletic collection. It is always great fun to be between the (electronic) covers with writer friends!
My story, It Is Time, is one of my colder, darker ones. Appropriate for this time of year I guess!
It was great fun taking part in the Brechin/Angus Book Fest earlier today (22nd November 2020). I shared videos for Judgement Day, Being Yourself, and the book trailer for Tripping The Flash Fantastic. (See further down for all of these).
I also shared some of the recent images I’ve had fun creating on Book Brush! (The phone one which also has From Light to Dark and Back Again on it too works really well I think). (Again see below).
Below is a round-up of my posts from earlier today in descending order of appearance.
Last but not least from me. This is Judgement Day from Tripping the Flash Fantastic. Hope you enjoy.
Am happy to take questions about flash fiction. The irony is I never started out as a flash fiction writer. I discovered the form by accident but it has been a very happy accident!
My story, Being Yourself, on Brechin/Angus Book Festival today.
My book trailer as shown on the Brechin/Angus Book Festival event today.
Many thanks #SarahArchibald for your hard work putting the Festival together online. Great fun to take part! A big thanks for the opportunity events like this give authors especially since our usual events are not possible right now.
It was also lovely to share the posts and share a little of what flash fiction is about. It is the ultimate in the quick read of course but its impact should be a powerful one precisely because of its reduced word count. It lives up to the phrase less is more!
More details about my books can be found here (Amazon Author Central)
Bonus Post – Guest Blog Appearance on Gill James’ Blog
Am delighted to share the link where I am the guest on Gill James’ blog as one of the contributors to The Best of Cafelit 9. See for more (the screenshot is a sample!).
Have been enjoying the first day of the Brechin/Angus Book Fest. Looking forward to tomorrow when I’m due on from 1.35 for about 25 minutes.
Plenty of videos to watch and you could make a good Christmas book present list here.
Continuing to make good progress on my kind of NaNoWriMo project. Really enjoying writing new material for this though I am also looking forward to tackling the editing later on. I like editing. You can almost “feel” your work improving when taking out the wasted words and so on.
Good questions to ask when preparing blog, Facebook posts etc include:-
1. What have I learned as a writer that could benefit others? Posts like that are always useful and I have learned from so many over the years and continue to do so.
2. How can I entertain a reader so they’ll want to come back to read more of my posts? One of my ways is to share a new flash fiction story every so often. Flash being so short works well for this – and who doesn’t like a new story to read from time to time?
“See” you tomorrow at Brechin online!
Facebook – From Light to Dark and Back Again
Monologues can make great flash fiction pieces. I find they work best when kept short anyway so you’re immediately on to a winner there. Monologue with its demand for the focus to be on one character and flash fiction with its demand to keep the word count low make for a good match!
I outline my characters for my stories and, if you don’t usually do that, it would pay to do this for monologue writing. The question to ask above all I think is what it is about this character that they deserve a monologue?
What would fascinate a reader to keep them glued to your character?
A good tip is always to put yourself in your potential readers’ shoes and ask what is in this story for them?
Hope your Monday has been okay. Mine has been hectic as usual but the plus side of that is it will free up more writing time for me later on in the week, which I make good use of!
Lovely watching Lady having a good old fun session with her Rhodesian Ridgeback buddie this morning. (It is a case of watch the show and stay well out of the way! Part of the reason for that is both dogs are still convinced they’re puppies… erm….no… and they have the size to prove not!).
The weekend went from having a flu jab to cracking on with my kind of NaNoWriMo project to taking part in the Brechin/Angus Book Festival. So yes, it got better as the weekend went on!
Writing wise, I’m drafting a future CFT post as well as working on my big project. I’m a little ahead of myself for once with CFT as I have a fab interview to share over the next two Fridays. More on that tomorrow and link up on Friday of course.
(I can always tell how rapidly the year is going thanks to writing for CFT. The Friday deadline zooms and then vanishes week on week and before I know it, another 12 months has gone by. Mind you, I don’t think anyone is going to be sorry about that this year).
Am working also on more flash material which will no doubt see the light of day in due course. Oh and how about a flash two-line story to finish with tonight? Here goes…
To Turn Or Not To Turn, That Is The Question
It wasn’t the odd creaking that terrified Bill. It was the frightened rat who was looking at something behind Bill.
Allison Symes – 23rd November 2020
New Story Video on My Youtube Channel
It has been a busy day on the old video front but given it’s a Sunday evening as I share this, what better than to finish the weekend with another story? I took my The Best Laid Plans which I shared here a couple of weeks ago and created a video for it using Book Brush and then uploaded it to Youtube. Be sure to watch to the end! Hope you enjoy.
I must admit I don’t have a favourite character in my stories, which is just as well I suspect, given I’m inventing people all the time for flash fiction writing. My favourite kinds of character do have things in common though.
They’ve got a sense of humour.
They’ve got guts.
They’re prepared to stand up for what they believe in.
I especially love those characters where coming out with witty one-liners would be appropriate for them to do.
I have a soft spot for thoughtful characters where their reflections show you so much about their personality. Flash fiction works well for this kind of story as they work best when kept short.
Favourite characters from other books? Hmm… hard to say as there are so many to choose from but they have to have some of the above attributes to catch and keep my fancy.
Goodreads Author Blog – The Joy of (online) Book Festivals
This weekend is going to be an interesting one as I’ll be taking part in a Book Festival for the first time. I’ll be “at” the Brechin/Angus Book Festival which finishes tomorrow, Sunday 22nd November. I’ll be “on” at about 1.35 pm UK time and am looking forward to sharing the joys of flash fiction, which is the form in which I’ve been published the most.
Book Festivals and events are wonderful ways of celebrating the written and spoken word. (Bear in mind we do talk about audio books).
The one positive thing about this strange and horrible year has been that many events like this have been able to take place online and that has made them more accessible to more people.
I wouldn’t ordinarily have been able to get to Brechin for one event, much as I’d love to go, as from what I’ve seen, Brechin looks lovely. But I can take part in its Festival online (so a big thanks to the organisers and #WendyHJones for putting me on to this one).
I love going to book fairs and the like even when I haven’t got my author’s hat on. I love seeing the variety of books available and I enjoy listening to author talks too. The latter can still be done.
For the first time this year I’ve made videos of my reading from Tripping The Flash Fantastic and explaining a little about how I came to write the story I chose to read.
What I do know is authors are still glad of reader support and always will be. Whether it’s writing a review or going along to an online event and commenting on videos you’ve enjoyed watching, remember it all helps.
And in helping authors, you’re helping books in general. You’re showing they’re important. That books matter. They so do!
Twitter Corner –
Re Brechin/Angus Book Festival – tweeted on 22nd November 2020
<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>Great fun to take part in the Brechin/Angus Book Festival today. I was on from about 1.35 for 20 minutes or so but the Festival does go on for the rest of today. Grab a notebook and make a Books Make Great Christmas Presents shopping list!!<a href=”https://t.co/5ygkIuokBi”>https://t.co/5ygkIuokBi</a></p>— Allison Symes (@AllisonSymes1) <a href=”https://twitter.com/AllisonSymes1/status/1330510528591093760?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>November 22, 2020</a></blockquote> https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js
Re appearance on Gill James’ blog – 22nd November 2020
<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>Gill’s Blog: Talking to another of our Best of CafeLit 9 contri… <a href=”https://t.co/4MIXeTjl76″>https://t.co/4MIXeTjl76</a> I was thrilled to be guest on Gill James’ blog today. Screenshot is a sample! See link for what led me into writing for Cafelit and what I find more difficult than writing stories for them! <a href=”https://t.co/BiMUZ1oalD”>pic.twitter.com/BiMUZ1oalD</a></p>— Allison Symes (@AllisonSymes1) <a href=”https://twitter.com/AllisonSymes1/status/1330609892701462529?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>November 22, 2020</a></blockquote> https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js
Re Appearance on Dawn Knox’s blog – 23rd November 2020
<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>Please join <a href=”https://twitter.com/AllisonSymes1?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@AllisonSymes1</a> on my blog today and find out more about her new book ‘Tripping the Flash Fantastic’, her writing and what she thinks of custard, cheese and chocolate! <a href=”https://t.co/SSJrZfIr0a”>https://t.co/SSJrZfIr0a</a></p>— Dawn Knox (@SunriseCalls) <a href=”https://twitter.com/SunriseCalls/status/1330803625375961089?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>November 23, 2020</a></blockquote> https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js