Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Diary of a Grinch

Dear readers
I apologise for my recent absence from the blogosphere. What started out as a simple case of the flu turned into something more curious. After a few days of bed rest I started to transform. First my skin turned a bilious green and then tufts of hair sprouted all over my body. Finally an overwhelming need to sing possessed me. However, my songs were not jolly. In fact, they were the opposite. Along with my transformation came a desire to cancel Christmas. I found myself sharpening a stake out of holly, in case any fat men decided to climb down my chimney. Sparkling lights and holiday decorations made me feel ill. The pressure of making presents got too much for me. I realised I had grinchitious. There is no known cure for this condition. It is also highly contagious. I've been in quarantine for the last few days.
There seems to be an epidemic of grinchitious in Dundalk at the moment, which is a good thing. If I have to go into town the traffic and shops are relatively quiet for this time of year, making my life easier. However, the endless Christmas songs in the shops tend to aggravate my condition, so it is six of one and half dozen of the other. If George Michael gives away his heart one more time I will track it down, stomp on it, and then fry it up with some garlic and onions and force him to eat it.
I will try and post a picture of my new appearance soon and I will also start checking out your blogs again and replying to your comments.
Your grinchy friend

Monday, December 22, 2008

Writing Exercise #6

This week I want you to do some research and make up a story checklist.
Pick a short story or novel that you really enjoy. If you can, read through it again. If not, think about the story and what you like about it. Is it the characters? Perhaps the unusual setting or the action driven plot.
Next, I want you to write down the points that make it a good story. How do these points apply to other stories and novels you admire? Pick out the ones that apply in more than one instance.
Now stick your notes on the wall over the desk where you write or into your writing notebook. The next time you start a new story or novel outline, look at these points and try to apply them to your writing to improve your work.
If you want, post your story checklist in the comment section, or share what your favourite story or novel is. Maybe you found this exercise helpful or challenging. Whatever you want to say, I'd like to hear it.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Watch this space...

*start transmission:....*

Blog interruption/stop/Blog author malfunction/stop/Resumption of normal function estimate 24 hours approximately and counting/stop/

*end transmission*

Monday, December 15, 2008

Writing Exercise #5

This week I want to introduce you to a writing exercise I recently discovered. It is called F R E E writing. It stands for Fast Raw Exact but Easy writing. I was a bit skeptical when I read about it first, but I gave it a try because anything that can help boost your creativity is a bonus - right? Anyway, I've been doing it for a while now and I've found it very beneficial. I haven't got to the stage yet where my daily F R E E writing leaves me inspired, but it certainly gets rid of all my emotional negativity and busy-ness in my head, leaving me free to write and let the inspiration come.

Therefore I would recommend you head over to Orna Ross' site to learn about F R E E writing and to try out her tutorial. Try it once. You might find it helpful, or you might not, but you have nothing to lose.

Because of the nature of F R E E writing I don't expect you to post your results in the comment section, but I would really like to hear what you think of it if you tried it out.

Good luck and happy writing.

Sunday, December 14, 2008


Hi folks. Sorry, no Sunday Toon this week. I had the flu and wasn't able to get one done, so I thought I would post these pictures of Docpot's cavalier king charles spaniel Honey modelling her brand new jumper instead. Hope you had a good weekend.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Six Sentences

Check out my story 'Love is Blind' published on Six Sentences today.
Enjoy :)

Friday, December 12, 2008

RIP Pen Pricks Micro Fiction

Dear Pen Pricks,

Yours was a short life - both in publication guidelines and publishing history. Your goal was to publish sparkling works of 55 words. For little over a year you succeeded in that goal, but now it seems you have come to an end. I knew you for such a brief time. Your acceptance of my story thrilled me. I waited eagerly to see my words published in October. However, the sickness hit you in September. You fell silent. Now I keep getting error messages when I click on your links. My searches prove fruitless. Even Duotrope has labelled you as 'website was not functioning on our last visit'. I hope I am wrong. I hope you will rise from the ashes, phoenix like, and feature my story prominently. I hope someone can tell me that I have been mistaken and you have simply moved location without telling anyone.

Until then, I mourn your passing.

Rest in Peace.


Thursday, December 11, 2008

Submission Contest

Ok G.C , Ionafey and Mercedes, are you ready?
Here are the rules:-
1. First rule of the submission contest is that you never talk about the submission contest... hang on, I think I'm getting confused (sorry, couldn't resist!).
2. Ok, all submissions must be new works.
3. Submissions can be any length and any subject matter.
4. Submissions are to be sent to markets listed on duotrope or ralan etc.
and the prize
You can really rub the losers faces in it. :)
All right, competitors. Are you ready? On your marks.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Thanks Laura Jayne!

The excellent blog Pictures Poetry & Prose, helmed by Laura Jayne, has chosen my writing for the 29th November as the piece of exceptional writing for the day. I am so pleased! My blog now wears the award banner with pride (you might have noticed it on the side bar). Check out my entry here, and remember to check out the rest of the blog too. There are plenty of pretty pictures to see, interesting writings to read and a five minute count down to inspire.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Writer Out and About

I'm dosed with the flu this week, so I didn't get very far out and about. However, I grabbed a few minutes while waiting to collect my mother from the church.

I like the freaky photo of the church door! Anyway, my tools this week were:-
1. My car
2. Two ice blocks formerly known as hands
3. Pen & Paper
4. Iphone

Monday, December 08, 2008

Writing Exercise #4

The exercise this week is to do with plot outlines.

Pick one item from each of the following topics and then write a short plot outline for a story incorporating all of the elements: -

1. Genre

Horror, Romance, Western

2. Location

New York City, An Island, An alternate dimension

3. Male Names

Abu, Ben, Chi,

4. Female Names

Daphne, Eithne, Fi

5. Object

Candlestick, Ham Sandwich, Spear

6. Point of Conflict

Betrayal, Competition, imprisonment

I have deliberately limited the choices and tried to make them as diverse as possible so they will spark your imagination. I look forward to reading the story outline you make out of them!

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Saturday, December 06, 2008

And now for a cuteness interlude...

I know this has nothing to do with writing, but my cat Fudge looked so cute that I had to take some photos and post them. I hope they add a bit of sweetness to your day.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Third Times A Charm

I had to post for a third time today because I have MORE good news.
My story 'Clothes Make the Man' was accepted by 52 Stitches!!! Yay! Yes, Mercedes, we're going to be in an anthology together! *giggles and jumps up and down with excitement*.

The Drabbler #12

Good news everyone! The Drabbler #12, featuring my drabble 'She came from Outer Space' is now available for purchase. Pop over to Sam's Dot Publishing and order your copy NOW!

Submission Contest

My submission contest with ionafey is over and I won! It was a close run race with ionafey taking a quick lead. However my tortoise like speed helped me to catch up with her and we ended up in a photo finish, with me winning by a nose. I hereby choose to exercise my bragging rights:
Yay. Go me. :)
I have some more good news. One of my November stories has been accepted by Six Sentences and will be published there on Saturday 13th. I'll put up the link when it is available. In the meantime, you should head over to Six Sentences and have a mooch around. The folks there are nice and the stories are interesting. You might even join in.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

I had a dream

That dream was to travel to Vancouver, BC, Canada To work as an actor and writer

To find out who I am, to experience life in another country and to become more independent
Will that dream ever come true???

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

And the winner is...


Congratulations to Mercedes on winning our submission contest. She also completed NaNoWriMo and got a story sold. Is there no end to this woman's talents!!!

The markets I submitted to were:-

1. The Drabbler

2. The Aeon Award

3. Murky Depths

4. Six Sentences

5. Cool Stuff 4 Writers

6. Flash Fiction Online

7. Alienskin Magazine

8. Dogs Wet & Dry Anthology

9. Flash Me Magazine

10. Assassins Creed

I will let you know how these stories get on, but probably only if they get accepted!

Despite help from Mercedes, I only managed 20 submissions in November. What with two submissions still out there from earlier in the year and one rejection in November, I have 21 submissions out at the moment. My goal for this month is to bring it up to 30.

I've started a new submission contest with ionafey. First to five subs gets bragging rights. The way she is going I think I am going to be eating her dust! I'm a glutton for punishment.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Writer Out and About

This week the sofa refused to yield any latte money, so I was forced to go somewhere a little bit cheaper - hence the library! The building is lovely, but as you can see from the photo below, the writing accommodation was not as nice as last week's location.

Writing equipment for this week:-
Same as last week, except no pennies.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Writing Exercise #3

This week the theme is Character Building.

Here is a sketch of a character: -


Write three things about this person's character based on the sketch.

1. What they do for a living

2. What they like doing best in the world

3. A nightmare they had as a child

oh, and give them a name as well.

As usual, please post your ideas in the comment section. I would love to see them.