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.
A huge thank you to The Chameleon Theatre Group for kind permission to use their photos in my Chandler’s Ford Today post this week reviewing their performance of Pinocchio. Did I have a good time at the pantomime recently ? Oh yes I did! More below.
Facebook – General – and Chandler’s Ford Today
Am delighted to share my review of Pinocchio, the latest production staged by the Chameleon Theatre Group. I also take a look at some of the traditions of pantomime and the theme of this one. I review the performance, nominate my costume of the show (a first for me when it comes to reviewing shows but it was an outstanding costume – see what you think), and discuss whether this role is the only one where an actor is expected to “act wooden”.
I also flag up The Chameleons’ next performance in April, which will be a series of three plays. As ever, a big thank you to them for providing the photos.
And if you’re not in my part of the world, do take the time to check out your local theatre groups. Expect to find gems. I’ve lived where I do for thirty years but have only known about The Chameleons over the last few years. And I would say taking in shows like this one is another way of taking in stories – you’re hearing them and watching them being acted out. It’s a hugely enjoyable experience too.
Do check out the post on Chandler’s Ford Today. I had a great deal of fun coming up with captions for the wonderful photos!
Hope you have had a good day. Weather significantly milder which has been lovely and Lady got to play with her best friends today so she had a lovely time.
Now a good definition of a lovely time for me is having written something I like which has potential. Another good definition is having edited something to get it to that potential. And then there’s putting down a good book, having had a wonderful read, and not really wanting to leave the characters behind. That is a sign of a truly great story. It also inspires me to always up my own game (and that’s a good thing. We should be trying to improve on what we do, writing wise).
I’ve talked before about making the most of whatever writing time you have. I always do this but right now I’m doing so more! Why?
I do a behind the scenes the job and it is particularly busy at the moment. So I relish my time when I get to write and feel both tired and refreshed after said writing session. How can I be both?
Well, creative writing should stretch you mentally and that is tiring but I also find it invigorating. I always feel better after having written something even if it is not as much as I would’ve liked to have achieved. What matters is getting something down. It is the getting to be creative at all which matters here I think.
Looking forward to sharing my review of Pinocchio as performed by the Chameleon Theatre Group in my post on Chandler’s Ford Today on Friday. See above.
Great fun and I have a soft spot for pantomime given they are based on the classic fairytales.
Author newsletter out today (and welcome to those who have subscribed since my last one, also thanks to those who continue to subscribe – all appreciated I can assure you).
Now when I am blogging, whether it is for Chandler’s Ford Today, Authors Electric, or More than Writers in particular, how do I think of the theme given these are not set by anyone else?
Sometimes the time of year inspires the theme (this is especially true for More Than Writers where I will write something Easter/Christmas related etc at the apt times). I usually draw on the writing journey – my personal one and the journey in general.
One thing I love about creative writing is you never stop learning. This can be from your mistakes. It can be from tips you pick up on the way and I can usually find an aspect of these things to make a good theme to write about. But the important thing here is I am writing about something I absolutely love and this I find is continually sustaining. I also make sure there is something of value to the reader and, as with my fiction, I keep my Ideal Reader in mind, always. It helps with focus too.
Facebook – From Light to Dark and Back Again
Pleased to be back on Friday Flash Fiction with one of those tales I think a lot of people will identify with – forgetting to buy something while out shopping. Hope you enjoy my latest tale, The Milk.
Don’t forget the February issue of Mom’s Favorite Reads is out. I talk about the Year of the Rabbit in my flash fiction column this time. How can I get a flash story out of that? Did others respond to my challenge? Yes I did. So did they. Check the magazine to find out more. Also check out the Meet the Team feature which starts on Page 28.
Don’t forget author reviews are a great way of supporting a writer. They don’t have to be long. Okay, I know I would be found to say that as flash fiction writer, but it is true. Reviews can be a line or two. As well as being encouraging to the writer, a thoughtful review can be a great guide for other readers.
Do I review books myself? Oh yes. Not every single thing I read, I admit, but I make sure I do review reasonably regularly. Being a writer makes me more aware of the need to do it, I suppose, but reviews are never a waste of time. And they are appreciated.
Likewise, useful comments on a blog you’ve liked are also appreciated. It’s another kind of review! Also another way of supporting other writers.
Fairytales with Bite – Favourites and Dislikes
What do you think are the favourite ingredients of a classic fairytale? What are the dislikes?
My favourite ingredients are:-
- Sympathetic lead character I can root for – usually down on their luck or ill-treated or overlooked in some way but capable of greatness.
- A villain I really want to see get their comeuppance.
- Magic coming to the aid of the sympathetic lead character but they also have to put the work in and prove themselves worthy of that assistance.
- And I have a very soft spot for a smart animal character who is often wiser than the humans around them.
As for my dislikes:-
- Cruelty though I know it is unavoidable – you do need the conflict and resolution.. Much as I hate to say it, there usually does have to be some sort of cruelty done to the lead character. There has to be something they have to be delivered from in some way. One thing I’ve always loved about the fairytales is I know the cruelty will stop and there ill be a good ending. Of if only we could say the same about life!
- The animal characters not being appreciated for their wit and wisdom. Too easily looked down on.
- A villain who is NOT a worthy opponent for the lead character (what I don’t want is a character who is just a cruel clown).
- Magic being used as a “cop-out” – there has to be a point to it being used and where there is o viable alternative. For me, it then works.
This World and Others – The Law
How does the law work in your fictional setting? Is there a criminal/civil law distinction as we have? Or is there just one law, such as martial law? How did the laws come about and have any been modified over the years? Who works in the law in your stories? Is this considered to be a good occupation or not by the ordinary people/beings ruled over?
How severe are punishments? Are your characters rewarded for obeying the law of are they ruled via fear? Who brings about changes to the law and how long did it take them?
The above questions I hope would all start triggering potential story ideas. But even if this isn’t your story directly, thinking about these things will give you a clearer idea as to your setting, how it works as a society. and how your characters are likely to interact with it. Your view of the law will depend on which side of it you are on after all!
The Milk, by Allison Symes – Friday Flash Fiction https://t.co/Jjy39mOqo0 Pleased to be back on Friday Flash Fiction with one of those tales I think a lot oo people will identify with – forgetting to buy something while out shopping, Hope you enjoy my latest tale, The Milk. pic.twitter.com/X8uC2Onlml— Allison Symes (@AllisonSymes1) February 3, 2023
Review: The Chameleon Theatre Group – Pinocchio https://t.co/iKMf9iERK2 As well as sharing my review, I look at pantomime traditions and the theme. I also nominate my costume of the show, and ask if this role is the only one where an actor is expected to “act wooden”.— Allison Symes (@AllisonSymes1) February 3, 2023
MOM’S FAVORITE READS LINK – CHECK OUT THE MAGAZINE INCLUDING MY FLASH FICTION COLUMN HERE –