All images from Pixabay/Pexels unless otherwise stated.
Some images created in Book Brush using Pixabay photos.
Book cover images from Chapeltown Books and Bridge House Publishing. Screenshots taken by me, Allison Symes. From Light to Dark and Back Again from the Swanwick Book Room all the way back in 2019 also taken by me. Can’t wait to be back at Swanwick again. I’ve missed seeing friends for the last two years. Zoom has helped a lot but it’s not the same as meeting up in person.
Nice sunny end to the week where I am, busy Zoom week coming up next week, and I share a new flash tale and some thoughts on how a fairy godmother might spend her week. See Fairytales with Bite below for more on that.
Facebook – General – and Chandler’s Ford Today
Delighted to share YouTube for Authors, my Chandler’s Ford Today post for this week. Many thanks for helpful comments in on it already.
I discuss how I use YouTube, share some thoughts as to what else authors can do with the medium, and why I think having a visual way of sharing my work is an advantage. What is also lovely is being able to add audio to YouTube videos. We all know the right music can enhance a film. It can do the same for the videos you create. See the post for more. Below is the video referred to in the post.
Back to the will-the-sun-come-out-or-won’t-it-routine today. My old granddad was right when he said a British summer fell on a Wednesday afternoon. It happened yesterday!
Will be sharing my YouTube for Authors post on Chandler’s Ford Today tomorrow and hope you will find it useful. (Am looking forward to sharing further fab interviews here in August too but it is going to be a joy writing a review for The Chameleon Theatre Group once again when I go to see their show on 29th July. So looking forward to seeing their shows again – a little bit of normality returns at least).
Will be giving a talk on short story writing via Zoom next week and am looking forward to that. Plus I will be taking part in the Association of Christian Writers Flash Fiction Group, again next week and again on Zoom. (It is an excellent word to get out on Scrabble. I did so recently and was so pleased to get it out on the triple word score. It is a feat I am unlikely to repeat).
This is more like it. Sunny and warm here in Hampshire today and Lady got to play with her two best buddies, the Rhodesian Ridgeback and a lovely Hungarian Vizler. These two like to give me cuddles as well as play with Lady (and she doesn’t mind as she gets cuddles from their owners), they’re lovely dogs, but you don’t want to stand behind them when their tails are wagging at speed!
Writing wise, my CFT post this week is about YouTube For Authors, the idea for which came out of my interview with #HelenMatthews last week. I hadn’t anticipated using a visual medium to share stories even two years ago but I have been pleasantly surprised at how easy YouTube is to use. Also proof that networking with other authors can inspire writing ideas!
Busy preparing Zoom talks right now as well and have sorted out the project I want to take with me to Swanwick which I hope to work on while there. (One of the days is a quieter one where you can work on your own material and I found I got a lot done in 2019 when I was last able to take advantage of this).
Also looking forward to going out by train again and getting work done via Evernote en route. On a good trip to London once, I managed to draft three flash stories and part of an article for CFT on a trip that took about 80 minutes.
Also looking forward to being able to put two books of mine (From Light to Dark and Back Again and Tripping The Flash Fantastic) out in the Swanwick Book Room. Last time, I only had the one.
Facebook – From Light to Dark and Back Again
Hope you enjoy my latest story on #FridayFlashFiction – The Unpaid Shift. This story is a result of a writing exercise I set for the Association of Christian Writers Flash Fiction Group. Great fun to write up and I have every sympathy with my lead here for not wanting to work more unpaid overtime. Does he buckle? See the story for more.
When I write a twist in the tale flash story, whatever its mood or genre, I always write the twist first and then work out different, logical ways of getting back to the beginning again. I want to make sure that the opening for the story is as strong as the great twist I’ve come up with and this is where I will use spider diagrams.
I work out different “what if” possibilities from that twist and then go with the one I like the best. It is always the one that makes me react the most whether it makes me laugh or shudder with horror. If it does that to me, it will make a reader react likewise (most of them anyway). Thinking with my audience in mind all the time ensures I cut out anything irrelevant. If it bores me, it will bore them.
Looking forward to waving the flag for short stories and flash fiction via Zoom talks I’m due to give this month. Also looking forward to waving said flag for flash via the Swanwick Book Room in August (and I hope there might be others from the Chapeltown stables there as well).
Looking forward to getting back to live events again but am grateful for the opportunities Zoom has given and continues to give. Flash on a small screen works well (and many thanks for the views and likes over on my YouTube channel too. I’ll be talking about YouTube for Authors for my Chandler’s Ford Today post this week as well).
Fairytales with Bite – The Magical Week
I thought I’d work out what a working week in a magical world could look like for your average working fairy godmother and the like.
Monday = Check client list for the week. Is there an ill-treated goddaughter on the list for visiting this time? (If so find out what her shoe size is and ensure it is unique to her. This will be useful for later. Also check out whether she can grow pumpkins. Not everybody is green-fingered so you may need to bring own stock in). Also get washing out but use magic to peg it to the line and keep any rain off for long enough. You have the magic. You may as well use it to help with the housework.
Tuesday = Pop along to local palace and ensure there are no spinning wheels anywhere. You want to cover all angles on the fairytale front here. That done, put a note in the diary to regularly check this as you know what the local witch is like and would not put it past her to wait until after you have done to smuggle one in.
Wednesday = Get rest of housework done using magic. Catch up with correspondence from those wanting you to turn up and help them. Sort into piles of Deserving and Not Deserving as Probably Being Greedy. Work out a schedule for the Deserving. Work out a schedule for paying a stern visit to the latter and warn them to change their ways. You don’t grant wishes like that. The wishes you could grant to punish them for greedy are not the ones they would want.
Thursday = A day for spreading goodwill and happiness with the aid of a magic wand. Your favourite day of the week.
Friday = Everyone clocks off early on a Friday and you are no exception though you do check all the clocks in your area are set to the right time. For some of your spells, timing (I.e. knowing when it is midnight) is crucial. See if you can sort out that dodgy spell you have on slippers. You still can’t figure out where the glass bit comes from but do know it’s a pain. You’re not in business to give work to chiropodists when people go to them moaning about damaged feet, having spent a long evening dancing in glass slippers.
Saturday = Time for some work in the garden (and to ensure you have pumpkins growing nicely in case others need them). Weeding is done by magic as it is boring but you do like to plant and prune things yourself. Meanwhile your magic wand is having its weekly recharge.
Sunday = Even a fairy godmother needs to put her feet up. Time for tea, gossip with fellow fairy godmothers via crystal ball, and cake. Lots and lots of cake. Magically produced as you are no baker. It is the first thing you use your newly recharged magic wand for. In your view, it’s a great cause.
This World and Others – Places with Meaning
Most of us have places that have special meaning for us. Maybe it is where our loved ones proposed or where we spent our early childhood. So how about our characters?
What places mean the most to them and why? Where would they never visit and why? If they found they did have to go to somewhere they’d previously avoided, how did that work out? Was it as bad as they feared or was everything they had heard about the place wrong? How do they react to the latter?
Is there a special sacred places most of your characters would want to get to and is there an obligation for them to go? How do your characters travel?
As for the meanings, the same place can have different resonances for different characters. One might think Place X is wonderful, another may consider it as ugly as sin. Why do they hold the views they do? Does one of them change their mind and what does it take to get them to do so?
Plenty of story thoughts there I think.
The Unpaid Shift, by Allison Symes – Friday Flash Fiction https://t.co/ZXQroVGqNT See what my alien character makes of being asked to work yet more unpaid overtime in my latest tale on Friday Flash Fiction. pic.twitter.com/udAz2QcvvP— Allison Symes (@AllisonSymes1) July 16, 2021
YouTube for Authors https://t.co/MEKVPHS24y Many thanks to @HelenMK7 for seeding the idea for this post for CFT in her interviews with me recently. I talk this week about how I use YouTube for my flash stories and the benefits of it for authors. Hope you find it useful. pic.twitter.com/eytTvguufn— Allison Symes (@AllisonSymes1) July 16, 2021