Selkie – Friday Fictioneers

It’s that time again, and here is my contribution to Friday Fictioneers. If you’d like to take part please see Rochelle’s page and she’ll show you what to do 🙂

Thanks for today’s photo prompt from Douglas M. MacIlroy I love this picture!

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Selkie

The animal rose upward. Pointed teeth glistened in the late afternoon sun.

Tilly gasped and reached out.

‘Careful,’ said the old woman. ‘If you touch one, you’ll never be the same.’

Tilly frowned. ‘It’s only a statue.’

The woman smiled. ‘Legend says they’re the guardians of the water.’ She pointed to Loch Lomond, shining sapphire in the distance. ‘They swim during the night, returning to human form during the day.’

‘It’s just a story,’ said Tilly. She touched its metal head.  

The woman got back to her feet and patted Tilly on the shoulder.

‘Yes it is,’ she said.

100 Words

This Zebra is taking on the 5k Race for Life, one snap, pop and crackle at a time !

Supporting a very worthy cause, Heidi is taking on The Race for Life!

heidibusbybrown

Hugging

I’m fundraising for Cancer Research UK on @JustGiving. Please #sponsorme & RT

https://www.justgiving.com/heidibrown69

http://www.justgiving.com/heidibrown69/?utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium=fundraisingpage&utm_content=heidibrown69&utm_campaign=pfp-tweet

I will be taking part in the 5k Race For Life on the 31st May. Any help towards kicking Cancer’s butt is much appreciated and thanks in advance for any help you can offer.

This Zebra is taking a long walk for cancer, what will you do?

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And the Music Played – Friday Fictioneers

Friday Fictioneers is a challenge to write a 100 word story from a picture prompt hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.

 

I climbed the steps of the old bandstand. Years of exposure had turned the brilliant white wood to grey.

‘Some say you can still hear the band play when one of their descendants is about to die,’ I said. ‘But its all rubbish.’

Mal laughed, leaning over the edge of the pier. ‘The music is just there to scare the tourists,’ he said.

I stared at him as a large ocean swell rose up behind him.

‘What music?’

 

Liebster Award!

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Thank you to Alimoongoddess who nominated me.

I’ve been ill all weekend and  been lying on the sofa feeling sorry for myself, so this has been the first chance I’ve had to post.

Here are the rules:

1. Link the person who nominated you to your blog post and let them know you answered their questions.
2. Answer the 11 questions given to you by the nominator.
3. Nominate other bloggers (11) for the award that have fewer than 200 followers.
4. Create 11 questions for your nominees to answer.
5. Let the nominees know that they have been nominated by going to their blog and notifying them

Here are my answers to Alimoongoddess questions:

1. Have you ever had to watch a cartoon over & over & over til you want to just kill off all the characters? Which cartoon?

Re-runs of The Regular Show on Cartoon Network – What the hell is that show all about???? I’m sure the writers are on some kind of mind-altering substance. If not, they should be.

2. If you were at a donut shop right now, what donut flavor would you choose to enjoy?

All of them. Someone has to check they’re not poisoned after all!

3. If you won $5,000 today what would you do with it?

Helium balloons for everybody!

4. What does home smell like?

Right now; Oatmeal and raisin cookies 🙂

5. What was the last book you read & would you recommend it?

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon – Awesome time travelling story set in post second world war and 1700’s Scotland. She creates a vivid and rich image of life for the highlanders. An absolute must read. I also believe the tv series of the same name has started over in America too 🙂

6. If a new constellation was discovered & you were picked to name it, what would you name it?

Rupert.

7. What are you looking forward to?

A cup of tea.

8. What does your last text message received say?

I don’t know my phone keeps dying on me so I’ve thrown it on the floor in a tantrum and the battery has fallen out.

9. What are 3 nonprofits that you love?

Mind – They give advice and support for mental health issues.

The British Kidney Patient Association – They give support and advice for people with serious kidney problems.

Barnardos – A children’s charity that helps with everything from campaigns to eradicate child exploitation to helping families with disabled children.

10. If someone wrote a song about your life, who would you want to sing it?

The Cheeky Girls

11. What is the most recent blog that you discovered (other than this one) that you are loving right now?

A Narcissist Writes Letters, to Himself, https://notesfromanarcissist.wordpress.com/

I’m addicted to this blog right now and keep going on it throughout my day. His posts never fail to make me smile.

I nominate these 11 people to answer my 11 questions: (In no particular order).

1. Creatopath

2. Notes from the Hammock

3. Just another snowflake

4. Michelle Hanton

5. Dusty Corners

6. HAIKU300

7. Kim Tierney

8. Heidi Busby Brown

9. Handikwani02

10. Pam Tanzey

11. A Life in Libraries

Hese are my 11 questions that I pose to these 11 wonderful bloggers:
1. If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?
2. Kindle, yay or nay?
3. If you were to write your life story, what would it be called?
4. Who’s your favourite person?
5. What was your last dream about? (keep it clean people).
6. What book character would you be?
7. Can you move like Jagger?
8. Tea or Coffee?
9. Favourite cake?
10. What was the last film you watched?
11. What were you doing before you started answering these questions?

Make a MAP!

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Happy New Year everyone!

And what a start it’s been. I’m working on a new online magazine, writing stories, editing a book and preparing a new short story serial for publication, my head is spinning.

But in truth I’m never happier than when I’m busy. And as I have the attention span of an infant it bodes well to have a number of projects on the go at any one time.

Last year I worked and the results were mediocre at best. I had periods where it seemed I did nothing but work – completing a script with a co-writer being one of the highlights for me – but there were also times where I didn’t seem to be working at all. Instead I became some kind of sofa monster, guarding chocolate like a griffin guards treasure.

So instead of engaging in the tradition of making resolutions that I have very little hope of keeping, I decided to make a MAP. Not the drawing X’s and staining paper with tea kind – although that would have been fun, but a Massive Action Plan.

A Massive Action Plan is where you come up with your desired outcome and then list a load of ways you can achieve it.

So first I came up with my outcome;

‘Create a portfolio of work that I can be truly proud of and enjoy the process.’

Then I brainstormed as many ways I could think of that would help me achieve this outcome. Now it’s unlikely I will do them all. But if I can complete, say even a third of my list, will I have achieved my outcome?

Absolutely!

So now I have a list of roughly 35 viable things I can do this year to not only increase my output but also improve my chances of publication. This includes, sending a short story out once a month, sending out poetry that has been languishing on my hard drive since the dark ages and working on my fiirst short film.

Now what I need is a plan so I can measure my progress. A list is all well and good. But at the moment it still remains almost a wish list of what I’d like to give a go.

So I go through my list and pick out six things that I’m committed to working on for the next three months. I write them down and come up with small steps I can take towards their attainment.

For example; Make a short film.

  1. Write character Bio’s
  2. Brainstorm with co-writer and outline script.
  3. Begin working on first Scenes.

…and so on.

The more specific your steps, the better your chances of reaching your outcome.

Now I assign each step a date to be completed by. This way I can begin to measure what I’m achieving and by when. If, after two months in, I find myself behind or (in the very unlikely event), ahead. I can adapt my plan accordingly.

It doesn’t matter if my plan changes. Most of the time it does. All that matters is I have a way of measuring my success. This also reduces the chance of me getting to the end of the year and finding myself not even having started, staring at my wish list with a feeling of desperation and craving for cake.

Now I find myself two weeks into January and I’m already two thirds through my list for this month. Not only has my output exploded, but I’m building momentum.

I don’t know if this will work for anyone else, but its certainly given me the boost I needed. I would love to hear from anyone who gives this a go. Did it work? Did you follow your steps? Hopefully we can all creat our MAPS and eventully achieve the ultimate goal…

…taking over the world, (followed by best evil plan laugh!)

Good luck everybody, I hope the new year brings you adventures, opportunities and chocolate…lots and lots of chocolate!

In defense of “Write What You Know”

Great post by lucybluecastle, informative and entertaining!

Lucy Blue Writes

librarianIn a recent writers roundtable over at comic and fiction writer Sean H. Taylor’s blog (Bad Girls, Good Guys and Two-Fisted Action, and if you’re not reading it, you’re missing out), we talked about the best and worst advice we’ve ever received as writers. More than half of us piled on the hate for that cursed pearl so loved by high school creative writing teachers everywhere: Write What You Know. What a load of crap, we agreed. How boring would fiction be if writers only ever wrote what they knew? There’d be no science fiction, no fantasy, no horror that didn’t make you cry and throw up, and very little romance of the slightest interest to anybody but the parties involved. I was part of the lynch mob, I freely admit. I think this idea of writing what you know has produced more soggy, self-indulgent crap calling itself…

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‘It’s oh so quiet…’

…now my youngest has gone to nursery.

The time has come where I find myself with two whole hours of unadulterated silence.

The time that I’ve been pleading, moaning and outright begging for since my youngest was born.

I have the freedom to write – to let my thoughts flow in whatever direction they choose. To create at will and get lost in the world of fantasy. To swim in the realms of the unconscious without having to stop for things like snacks, toilet breaks and the occasional extraction of toddler from washing machine.

So what have I done with this rare and coveted time to myself, you ask?

I’ve successfully cleaned the kitchen, eaten all the biscuits and watched re-runs of House on Sky.  What an achievement, hurrah!

For the last six months, I have harped on to family, friends and poor unsuspecting people at the bus stop, (I don’t drive, cars terrify me), how my amazing book, plus publishing contract, would be complete – if only I had the time.

So you’d think that I’d be on it. Er…no.

Apparently, there are a hundred things I can think of doing instead, such as, cleaning the house, de-cluttering the children’s rooms and staring at the creepy neighbours across the road.

This brings me to my favourite writers quote ever, (only because it makes me feel better about having the attention span of a grapefruit).

I have no idea who said it, but the quote goes something like this…

“I have yet to find a writer who wouldn’t rather peel a banana, than write.”

I admit, I did try to find the author of this quote on Google, but got sidetracked with the obscure but incredibly entertaining answers I got, (give it a go…it’s worth it if you’re bored). Then, I realised that I’d been caught in that familiar trap of reading instead of writing, telling myself it’s all in the aid of work, so I had to come away.

So why do I find it so hard to just sit down and write? Especially, that when I do, I enjoy it immensely and come away feeling happier and all kinds of accomplished, even if no one else ever sees it.

Am I so lacking in confidence that I can’t bear to put ideas on paper? If that’s the case I really should have re-thought that short story I sent to Dark Tales last year. 

Or is it that I am lacking in motivation and just terribly lazy? I’d be inclined to say yes, except for the fact that I’ll do anything else in its place.

So I was left with the hard truth that I’d attached such fear to just getting the work done – not in case other people don’t like it, as you can’t please everyone – but in case I didn’t like it.

I’d set such incredibly high standards for myself that if it didn’t come off as something profound or life-changing, I thought it was utter rubbish and I’d delete it.

Now, I’m not so delusional to think that anything I write is of this standard, therefore as you can imagine, I delete a lot of stuff.

This year I’ve decided to stop deleting and just go for it. At the very least I may grab your attention while waiting at the dentist and looking for something more interesting to read than Gums Monthly. 

So if you enjoyed this even a tiny bit, please feel free to follow, comment and come back again. I will endeavour to write something mildly informative or entertaining as often as I can.

And if you didn’t like this, please feel free not to comment as my self esteem is very limited and I’m prone to bouts of despair.

Many thanks for reading and hopefully we’ll meet again.

p.s. I apologise to any grapefruit loving people out there, I didn’t mean to cause offence to grapefruits, their fans or anything they stand for.