Images from the magical world... Image via Pixabay

WHEN YOU NEED MORE THAN A MAGICAL WAND (TO KEEP YOU OUT OF TROUBLE)

I had fun with one of the titles tonight!  Care to guess which one?!

FAIRYTALES WITH BITE

When You Need More than a Magical Wand (to keep you out of trouble)… now what could that possibly be about?!  I list those moments when your magical character(s) will realise a magical wand is not going to solve the problems they are in at that time.  As ever, can you add to the list?

THIS WORLD AND OTHERS

Judging by Appearances is something most of us have been guilty of at times (and certainly from my experience I have always been wrong when I’ve done this).  In fairytales, of course, it is common for the ugly or mild-mannered one to either be the most powerful magical being around or turn out to be the hero/heroine.  But there is nothing to stop you getting your characters to judge each other.  After all, isn’t all human frailty demonstrated in stories?  So why shouldn’t this one be as well?  I could see great comic and tragic stories coming out of this.

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A bit of a news update on this.  I share news of how I’m getting on with my proofreading.  I also share my views on Grammarly (a free add-on for Firefox) and on predictive texting.  I also list my favourite Chandler’s Ford Today post of the year.  A little early for that?  Maybe but I’m not sure the one I listed will be surpassed.

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Writing in many forms...  Image via Pixabay

Writing in many forms… Image via Pixabay

 

 

Imagine the wealth of fairytales and other stories in here. Image via Pixabay.

WHAT I LOVE ABOUT A FAIRYTALE

As well as being amongst the first stories I had read to me when I was a kid, fairytales have long been a favourite of mine for other reasons.  Some of these I list in tonight’s Fairytales With Bite post.

FAIRYTALES WITH BITE

What I love about a fairytale lists some of the qualities that ended up attracting me to the idea of having a go at writing my own fairytales.  For a start, I love the fact that humans are not necessarily the smartest creatures in your average fairy story.  And the talking animals often make more sense too…  what’s not to like about that?

THIS WORLD AND OTHERS

Writing and Murphy’s Law lists some of the things that happen to most writers thanks to Murphy’s Law.  Do you recognise any of the items on my list as having happened to you?!

CHANDLER’S FORD TODAY

My post tomorrow will be about some events going on at Chandler’s Ford Library.  These include a discussion group on the Books of 2016 and ebook surgeries.  More info with links tomorrow.  Am cheered up by seeing the library reach out to different people with different events – long may it continue.

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Tonight sees me share what I haven’t got around to writing up yet – my Christmas list!  I also reveal why authors are lovely to buy for – not one of us can resist, say, a brand net notebook!

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One way through to the magical world but is it all sunshine and flowers? I doubt it! Image via Pixabay

One way through to the magical world but is it all sunshine and flowers? I doubt it! Image via Pixabay

 

Fairies are definitely not twee and you do not want to come across one that has had a bad day due to Murphy's Law affecting her. She will take it out on s

MURPHY’S LAW FOR A FAIRY GODMOTHER

Sorry – shorter post tonight.  Weebly are carrying out essential maintenance works so have only been able to update my Fairytales with Bite website.  Still I hope you enjoy reading Murphy’s Law for a Fairy Godmother.  I love writing posts like this.

FAIRYTALES WITH BITE

Murphy’s Law for a Fairy Godmother actually lists five laws.  Can you add to this list?

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I discuss why writers get more joy from reading other people’s stories than anyone else on the planet.  I discuss the “guess the influence” game and urge support for your local anthology writer(s).  The fact I am an anthology writer has EVERY bearing on this!

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What is a fairy godmother supposed to do when she turns up to support a client and there isn't a pumpkin in sight?! Fortunately NOT a problem here. Image via Pixabay.

What is a fairy godmother supposed to do when she turns up to support a client and there isn’t a pumpkin in sight?! Fortunately NOT a problem here. Image via Pixabay.

 

 

 

A magical night out at a classical music concert. Image via Pixabay.

YOU KNOW IT’S TIME TO HEAD TO THE HILLS WHEN…

I do enjoy a good lead-in title, as you may have guessed by now!

FAIRYTALES WITH BITE

You Know It’s Time to Head to the Hills When… discusses what you should do in the event of a fairy godmother, fairytale witch or wizard convention happens in your neighbourhood.  Clue:  you don’t hang around and watch!  And if you ever hear anything that sounds as if it might be four horsemen saddling up, I wouldn’t worry too much about renewing your life insurance policy.

THIS WORLD AND OTHERS

In a complete change of mood from my post on Fairytales with Bite tonight, for this website I discuss musical moods.  What music do your characters like?  Does this reflect on their basic traits (are they generally melancholy, upbeat or what have you)?

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Finally got a flash fiction piece off (which I’d been meaning to do by Wednesday but life has a habit of getting in the way at times so I learnt long ago always give yourself more time than you think you’ll need for a competition deadline.  You honestly won’t regret doing that).  Also delighted to share a link to one of my favourite poems, When I Grow Old I Shall Wear Purple by Jenny Joseph.  Let’s just say I’m already making plans and carrying out some of the things listed now.  Which do you do?

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Part of one of Beethoven's compositions. Image via Pixabay.

Part of one of Beethoven’s compositions. Image via Pixabay.

 

 

WHAT A FAIRYTALE HERO/HEROINE DOESN’T WANT TO HEAR

FAIRYTALES WITH BITE

Lines a Fairytale Hero/Heroine doesn’t want to hear lists those words that will tell your characters here their quest is almost certainly doomed.  Can you think of others?

THIS WORLD AND OTHERS

Further Signs You’re a Writer includes my thoughts on anguishing over edits, how real your characters seem to you and whether you prefer them to those you come across making the news.  Again, can you add to the list?

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I am delighted to say Baubles, Bridge House Publishing’s 2016 anthology, will be out on 15th November.  My story, Helping Out, is in there and for the first time I’ve contributed an image to the book trailer.  I share the links to said trailer via my FB page.  Hope you enjoy.  I think the front cover of the book looks stunning.

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Baubles - the new anthology by Bridge House Publishing. My story, Helping Out, is in there. 2016 has been my most successful year for acceptances to date and I hope I can build on that. Image supplied by Gill James of Bridge House Publishing.

Baubles – the new anthology by Bridge House Publishing. My story, Helping Out, is in there. 2016 has been my most successful year for acceptances to date and I hope I can build on that. Image supplied by Gill James of Bridge House Publishing.

 

Blogging - a hugely enjoyable part of what I write. Image vix Pixabay.

QUESTIONS NOT TO ASK – OF A WRITER

FAIRYTALES WITH BITE

Questions Not to Ask – of a Writer lives up to its title and lists five bugbear questions any writer will hate being asked.  Okay, scrub that, make it four questions and one statement.  The latter is for my poet friends and I’d be very surprised if they’d not heard this particular comment in their time.  My pet hate is point 3!  See what you think…

THIS WORLD AND OTHERS

You Know You’re a Writer When…. again lives up to its theme. I list 1o points of interest but amongst these are three different opportunities for writers to become insufferably smug if they so wish!  I put my hand up and plead guilty to points 3, 4 and 7 especially.  Which would you plead guilty to – there will be at least one?!

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I talk about border collies (mine!), fireworks, and my border collie deliberately going out into the garden tonight to look for said fireworks even though she hates them.  Have no idea why!  Am glad the diffuser we got this year seems to be helping her.  I also discuss what’s coming up in my next Chandler’s Ford Today post (a review of a play I’ve recently seen) and plug a CFT writers’ get together this coming Saturday.

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The lovely Mabel. Image taken by me! So much happier when there are no fireworks about - and that goes for Mabel too.

The lovely Mabel. Image taken by me! So much happier when there are no fireworks about – and that goes for Mabel too.

The Kindle. Has expanded my reading (no more worrying about how many books I can take on holiday either!). Image via Pixabay.

THINGS NO CHARACTER EVER WANTS TO HEAR…

FAIRYTALES WITH BITE

Things No Character Ever Wants to Hear gives a short list of statements guaranteed to chill the blood and sink the confidence of any character.  This is particularly useful information for any character about to be sent off on a quest (and who have no idea why they were chosen.  This list gives reasons!).

THIS WORLD AND OTHERS

Appreciating the Arts was a post inspired by some wonderful comments which came in as a result of my recent Chandler’s Ford Today post on My Top 10 Classical Music Greats.  Some fantastic pieces of music have been added to that list – and there is always room for more, hint, hint!  In this post though, I discuss what role the arts has in your fictional setting and ask how accessible the arts are to your characters?  This could be useful in helping you flesh our your world and could give useful pointers as to how your society works.  Is there an elite that keeps the arts for themselves?  Are there some arts only the “commoners” enjoy and so on?

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I discuss response to my CFT post, fireworks (loathe them – because my border collie does, which is reason enough!) and share my thoughts on Ben Macintyre’s The Last Word.  I’m currently reading this on Kindle and it shares some wonderful insights as to the development of the English language.  There are some fantastically funny examples of pidgin English too.

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The world of the imagination should play a role in your stories. I can't imagine any world without some form of the arts. Image via Pixabay.

The world of the imagination should play a role in your stories. I can’t imagine any world without some form of the arts. Image via Pixabay.

 

Where almost all stories spring from these days. Image via Pixabay.

MAGICAL COMPETENCE AND GOOD STORY CRITERIA

FAIRYTALES WITH BITE

I discuss what any magical being needs to be able to do in Tests for Magical Competence. Even the lowliest sprite can achieve the items in my list.  Of course the ones you’ve really got to worry about are those who are not only magically efficient, they are magically formidable!

THIS WORLD AND OTHERS

I discuss the criteria for what I think makes for a good story in Criteria for A Good Story. Some of my items are interesting characters, a story that I remember (for good reasons!) long after I’ve read it and where the outcome really matters.  Do you agree with my list?  What could you add to it?

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I discuss what’s coming up in my Chandler’s Ford Today post for this week and why I think autumn is not my border collie’s favourite season.

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CHANDLER’S FORD TODAY

Due up on site tomorrow will be my Top 10 Classical Greats.  More details tomorrow.

A truly beautiful library but do the books in it meet my criteria for what makes a good story. I would hope so! Image via Pixabay.

A truly beautiful library but do the books in it meet my criteria for what makes a good story. I would hope so! Image via Pixabay.

One of my favourite book images. They really are magical. Transportation into other worlds and around this one in a few hundred pages. Brilliant! Image via Pixabay.

WHEN A CHARACTER KNOWS THEY’RE IN TROUBLE

FAIRYTALES WITH BITE

When a Character knows they’re in trouble is another of my “sum it all up in the title” posts! A short, sharp list of points for a character to ponder – do you agree with what I’ve come up with?  Can you add to the list?

THIS WORLD AND OTHERS

Reviewing Characters is another sum it up title!  I appear to be on a roll with these tonight!  But it occurred to me it would be no bad thing for writers to review their characters every so often.  Are the characters still coming across the way you want them to do so?  If not is this because they’ve developed and do you need to change your story to handle that development correctly?  Characters should change and develop of course, it’s the classic sign they “live” (and as a result so does the story), but a check to see the character is still “up to the job” is no bad thing I feel.

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I was really pleased Andy Murray won in Vienna.  I discuss my thoughts on that and the creative arts in my FB page tonight.  A strange mix?  I don’t think so.  Sports people can be creative in how they play after all (AM is a great example of that.  Some of his shots take my breath away in a “how the hell did he do that” kind of way).  I also love the fact that there are so many forms of creative arts, so much so there is bound to be at least one to suit most people!

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When I'm not at my desk, I'm likely to be in the swimming pool or walking the dog (never both at the same time!). Image via Pixabay.

When I’m not at my desk, I’m likely to be in the swimming pool or walking the dog (never both at the same time!). Image via Pixabay.

Story Shuffle Project: Choosing what to read. Image supplied by Eastleigh Borough Council.

EXPECTATIONS OF A FAIRY GODMOTHER

I’ve written lists tonight for both of my website posts.  I do love a good list!

FAIRYTALES WITH BITE

Expectations of a Fairy Godmother lists ten things an experienced fairy godmother should expect during the course of her career.  If you can think of any to add, I’d welcome comments!

THIS WORLD AND OTHERS

Why Annoying a Writer is Not a Good Idea gives 10 reasons why this is so.  Again, if you can think of others, I’d be glad to get your comments!  This post was inspired by a Facebook photo doing the rounds earlier this evening.

CHANDLER’S FORD TODAY

I’ve written a quick update post tonight on the Story Shuffle Project.  This project is a great way of encouraging local school children to create their own stories and use their local libraries.

The idea is they write a story which, for this project, will be based on the tales of Sir Bevis of Hampton, Southampton’s legendary hero – think James Bond on tapestries basically!).  The stories are then digitised and put into the Shuffle app.

The children are given a code and have to visit their local library to use this code to unlock their own stories and gain access to a wealth of other books and stories.  From a writer’s viewpoint there is nothing not to like about this – creative writing and library use, wow!

I do hope all who use this project have a great deal of fun with it.  Tonight’s update shares further images sent into CFT about this.  I think the app looks great.  See what you think!  (And I hope ideas like this spread – great use of technology, stories, history, animation etc).

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I share news of my CFT update and must thank Eastleigh Borough Council for supplying the images.  They support the Story Shuffle Project because of its role in encouraging creative writing and reading.  I must also thank my lovely editor for re-arranging the feature image.  She is very creative on this sort of thing!

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Story Shuffle Project: Code Setter. Image supplied by Eastleigh Borough Council.

Story Shuffle Project: Code Setter. Image supplied by Eastleigh Borough Council.