Killer lines

Hello, well I guess you all know a few of these from your favourite novels or poems. I’d love you to send us a message with your favourite one, and the reasons for it’s resonance. My favourites change constantly but today I think it’s this one…because my day job is not inspiring me as it should.

‘After all, tomorrow is another day’ ā€“Margaret Mitchell, Gone with the Wind 1936

Now tell us yours?

 

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Just another post?

So we’ve been doing this A to Z Challenge. You know, the one where you post each day (excluding Sundays) in April and each post represents a letter of the alphabet.

Or have we?

We didn’t actually sign up to the official blogging challenge. We are rebels and are posting for a challenge that we never signed up for. Naughty corner for us!

If this were sports we would be yellow carded or suspended for a few days, but thankfully this is blogland and hopefully people will forgive and not seek justice against us. šŸ˜¦

So the letter J has to be for our e-book Just Get It Out There (see this time I distracted you from the theme of the post. You thought it was about justice for our rebel blog challenging. Oh, no)

We launched our collection of short stories, flash fiction and poetry nearly 1 month ago and on Smashwords we have had a grand total of 108 downloads!

So we’re not setting the world by storm, but we have had 108 people take time to download our little book and that is about 100 more than I expected so a big WHOOOOP for that.

If you have taken the trouble to download the book, thank you, we LOVE you all. If not you can redeem yourself NOW. It is really simple. All you do is click the link HERE and pick how you want to read our book.

Yes, you have options.

You could read it online on your PC or laptop; download the .mobi file to read on your lovely Kindle or Kindle App; you could plump for the epub file to read it on your iPad, Nook, Sony Reader; or you could view it via the PDF format.

Did I mention that Just Get It Out There is FREE?

So many options and NO COST.

Go on. You know you want to.

Posted in A-Z Blogging Challenge, e-book, Just Get It Out There, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Inspired to Write

Over on my main blog I’ve just published about my first guest post onĀ Dodging Commas. I have been approached before ( if that is the right way to phrase it) but this is the first time I have had the honour of contributing to someone else’s blog.

The theme was ‘Inspired to Write’ and is about who has had influence on my writing. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience even though I did find it a little daunting as the deadline approached.

Thanks to Stef for asking me and you can check out my post:Ā I want some moreĀ on her FABULOUS blog Dodging Commas.

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Holidays

Artwork in black and white

Hello, well there goes Easter, bring on the Diamond Jubilee, what gives you a clue that I like holidays.

I’m not fussy I like a beach as much as the next person but it’s the law of beaches that I have at least two books a day. I like cities, but that requires at least two ‘places of architectural interest’ a day. I enjoy walks in the countryside but that can involve at least two stops at country pubs, not always conducive to completion of the task in hand i.e. getting to the destination. Mainly I guess you’ll see a trend I enjoy being away from work.

I decided a while ago after a very stressful day trying to think of every week as an opportunity to have a ‘holiday’ How? I hear you cry, ‘Well…’ I respond keenly…make sure you do what you do on holiday. OK stripping off to bikinis may not be the best idea when in a city centre bar (Or maybe it could be fun??) but you can do the other ‘holiday’ things.

1. Take photographs.Ā I adore street art and once you start looking around you there are plenty of beautiful things, flowers on a roundabout, people laughing, ancient architecture or for that matter modern architecture.

2. Stop off at a cafe for a drink, OK it may not be Spanish vino but a coffee in a book store with a friend, or alone to people watch can be just as relaxing.

3. Eat out, speaks for itself I guess but don’t put this off just because you are on your own. It just gives you a chance to treat yourself for an hour after work.

and finally…

4. Relax…I know it’s hard sometimes but get away from your desk or wherever you work. Spend a few moments deep breathing and think of three things you love about your life. I’m hoping at this point you will be able to put things in perspective and walk away for five minutes or more to realise that the person shouting or bullying or boring you may not be so bad, they may need some positive thoughts. Everyone has a bad day…maybe today is theirs.

I say all of this in the spirit of helping, I know it’s not easy.

Why this photograph? I found this inside a portaloo in a Spanish city centre, who would have thought my trepidation of going for a wee in a foreign portaloo would have been quashed by such an amazing piece of art…see joy is there to be found just not always where you expect!

Posted in A-Z Blogging Challenge, art, Holidays, Photography, Writing | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Greaveburn

Hello, just a quick one today as I’m hoping to actually work on my novel draft, my word count is stalling and I need some positive action.

Greaveburn is the up and coming work by Craig Hallam a co-member of this blog. He is the Craig of the previous blog under letter C of the A-Z Challenge. Find out more about him here:

http://craighallam.wordpress.com/

Here’sĀ Craig’s pre-publication blurb for Greaveburn:

A GothicĀ SteampunkĀ tale about the grey area between good and evil.

Greaveburn is an isolated city, stunted in its growth by apathy and greed. Abrasia is the young heiress to Greaveburn‘s throne. Her father is dead, murdered, and she is alone. Keeping her from the throne is Archduke Choler, a man who’s paranoia will be the end of him. Darrant, Captain of the Guard and only true protector to Abrasia has been killed by his friend Steadfast, a coward who follows the orders of Archduke Choler blindly. And beneath Greaveburn‘s cobbled streets, Professor Loosestrife and his assistant Wheldrake kidnap and murder in the quest to further his scientific monstrosities.

How will these men’s love of Abrasia mould their fate? Will Steadfast redeem himself of his friend’s murder? Can Wheldrake end his master’s secret massacre? And will Darrant come back from the dead to protect Abrasia from the man who’s plotting to kill her?

COMING SOON! From Inspired Quill Publishing.

Keep an eye out for his novel, it will be worth reading, we promise.

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Flash Fiction

I hadn’t heard of flash fiction until about a year ago though I don’t get out much.

I didn’t know that there was a growing movement towards this short style of writing. When you study creative writing, the number of exercises that start with: ‘In 300 words write a story about …’ you get a lot of practice writing really short stories.

For our FREE e-book – Just Get It Out There (see I did it again, shameless!) we set ourselves a challenge of writing a 500 word short story. Four of them made it into our book and I think we all had a great time writing them.

Flash fiction doesn’t leave you with space for superfluous words. You have to tighten your writing and get to the point, which has to be a good thing.

Writing in this style helps longer pieces as well. When editing I find myself cutting, cutting and then cutting some more. If you don’t need the word in flash fiction then why do you need it in a longer story? You don’t.

I was reading through the May 2012 edition of the Writers’ Forum magazine and there was an article on the first National Flash-Fiction Day, which is 16 May 2012. There is a website at http://www.nationalflashfictionday.co.uk/Ā and competition for entries of between 150 and 500 words.

The closing date is 10th April so you don’t have much time and you have to be a resident of the UK to enter. The winners will be included in an anthology.

The site also has details of flash fiction writers, some outlets and magazines for your stories and some events happening around the country. If you write flash fiction I recommend checking it out.

Thanks for reading and happy writing!

Posted in A-Z Blogging Challenge, e-book, Just Get It Out There, Writing, Writing advice | Tagged , , , , | 14 Comments

e-book: The Apology

When I first heard that Amazon were bringing out an e-reader I thought: why are they bothering? It’ll never catch on.

People like the feel of a book, they like the smell and texture of a brand new book fresh out of the box. There is something about bending the spine back and flicking through the pages. It’s yours and you can do what you want with it.

Could you really have the same reading experience with a gadget? Really?

When I joined the social networking world back in September last year, I was slowly re-educated. Twitter and the blogosphere was full of people who were embracing the e-book revolution.

I’ve *met* so many people who’veĀ eitherĀ published an e-book or who are in the process of publishing their e-book. Everywhere I clicked there was more positivity and I have to say it gave me a lift.

I even bought a Kindle.

And then published an e-book with the Steel City Writers: Just Get It Out There (see how seamlessly I plugged the book?)

So I want to take this opportunity to admit that I was wrong. The e-reader has changed the game completely and is here to stay. I’m reading more e-books than paper books and I find the Kindle easier to hold – what can I say, I’m getting old and the Kindle is a lot easier to hold than a 600+ page David BaldacciĀ thriller šŸ™‚

Where are you on the e-book revolution?

Thanks for your time and if you’re reading this blog on your e-reader, bless you!

Posted in A-Z Blogging Challenge, e-book, Just Get It Out There, Writing | Tagged , , , | 10 Comments

Dieting can be good for your writing.

I started dieting in May of last year. I suffer from migraines and there is an increased risk of early onset diabetes from the medication I take. My Doctorā€™s told me a few times to lose weight and I finally accepted that it was time to do as I was told.

The doughnuts had to go. So did the fatty diet. I did eat a lot of fried food and full fat EVERYTHING.

Iā€™veĀ tried counting calories and done the Atkins diet a few times, but after early weight loss I always put it back on. For this diet I was determined to lose weight and keep it off. The prospect, however small, of diabetes was a good carrot to dangle.

I saw an advert on television for the new Pro Points plan from Weight Watchers. I downloaded the iPhone App, signed up and was off. Any diet that lets you eat a Curly Wurly a day (only 3 points!) had to get my vote.

A Cadbury Curly Wurly candy bar, shown split i...

A Cadbury Curly Wurly candy bar, shown split in half. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Iā€™ve changed my dietary habits for the better. I eat a lot less fat and a lot more fruit and vegetables so thatā€™s got be a good thing. I even manage to exercise! A brisk thirty minute walk in my lunch-break when I can have some time to think about my latest stories.

I reached my target weight by November. Two and a half Ā stone (35 pounds) lighter and a lot healthier. A leaner, meaner me!

How has this helped my writing?

I set a goal and achieved it.

I will focus on the positive. I can set other goals and achieve them too. I WILL finish writing my book. The editing is making slow, but steady progress and I am over 60% of the way through it now.

I WILL keep writing and I achieved one of my goals when the Steel City Writers published aĀ FREE anthology: Just Get It Out ThereĀ in March. You can download a copy via Smashwords.

I WILL spend more time reading. More goals will follow.

This is just the start. Dieting has been good for my life and my writing.

Thanks for reading our A to Z Challenge post for the letter D.

Posted in A-Z Blogging Challenge, e-book, Just Get It Out There, Writing | Tagged , , , , , | 7 Comments

Craig

Hello, well as Craig is currently out of Yorkshire and as I know the world beyond can be a scary place, or if it isn’t Craig can make it feel so with his creepy tales of suspense and steampunk, I thought I’d write his blog for the letter ‘C’

Craig – well what can I say he seems to fit 48 hours into every day, not only does he have a rewarding and worthwhile admirable job, he has a novel out, has secured an editor and publisher for his next novel. He keeps us inspired with his blogs, tweets and general geekyness aswell as that he is studying numerous courses and succeeding, no handing in homework too late! He did lots to get our ebook finished, we used his expertise, he becameĀ our resident guru until we nearly caught up.

Blimey, I hate him…no I don’t…he’s just an inspiration and all his work makes us feel humble in his presence, but you know what’s really annoying, after all that…he’s a blooming nice bloke too! ARGH!!!! Don’t you just hate it when that happens!

His short story collection, Not Before Bed is available from Amazon in print and for Kindle right now:

Click the pic to take a look!

And watch out for his novel, Greaveburn, being published in Summer this year!

Posted in A-Z Blogging Challenge, Writing, Writing advice | Tagged , | 3 Comments

Biographical

Hello thank you for dropping by this is my first blog from my Swype tech phone.It’s clever, so clever that i’m struggling to keep up but I’ll persevere. Just a short note then if that’s ok with you. Maybe biographical is pushing it, it’s more confessional. I have a confession I want to write some cheeky x rated work maybe in another name but I’m not thus farĀ because some story lines may be based on memory but others pure fantasy and who will know which is which and will I be judged?AsĀ a writer I need to cash in on the boom created by the confidentiality given by e readers so much more acceptableĀ than dog eared magazines from the top shelf. I will achieve my ambition,Ā  I just hope I won’t let anyone down

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