Tuesday, 30 March 2010

My Very Own Forgotten Bookmark!

First, allow me to introduce you to Forgotten Bookmarks. This is the blog of a rare and 2nd hand books shop in New York who post up pictures of the many and various things they find within the books they buy. It is utterly fascinating.

Forgotten Bookmarks did a giveaway recently (they are generous like that) and I won! I received my rather beautiful Collected Works of Leo Tolstoi today and nestled within the pages was a snug little forgotten bookmark listing the major prophets.

FluffyCat, an avid reader, has already settled down to read 'Two Hussars'.

Friday, 19 March 2010

'Watching the Pool' at EDP and my WIP

Having left the world of government with a vow never to use another acronym as long as I live, here I am doing it again. *Sigh*

For non-writer folk (that is, people who don't have dialogue-testing conversations with plants, have more blood in their system than tea and who don't check ICanHasCheezburger every fifteen minutes) EDP is the webzine (web-based magazine) Every Day Poets and WIP is my Work In Progress.

Today EDP have put up my poem 'Summer Holiday: Watching the Pool' on their site. EDP is fun because people can rate your poem and leave feedback and it is always good to hear what other people think, especially people who don't know you. Even if it isn't always 100% positive it is always a good lesson for the future.

Now, on to my WIP, the dystopian novel 'Maynard Hill'. I put up a post last summer about the feedback I had had from my novel. While it wasn't all bad (they liked my writing style and opening) they felt 'disappointed' with the story. Everything they said I could see where they were coming from but I just didn't have the energy to start all over again.

However, when I was researching my article about dystopian films, since published in MediaMagazine, I got excited about the genre again. I can do this! I said to the plant.

So I opened that file I hadn't touched in months and went to work. The WIP is now down from just over 100,000 words to 50,000 words. Talk about killing your darlings. I have basically pruned out the dull bits and I'm going to plot out a whole new subplot which will weave into the story and then take it onwards to an more explosive ending set later in the future. Ka-pow!

I have learned such a lot writing flash fiction and short stories and I hope these lessons will translate across. I have thought so much recently about what makes a story; flash fiction can be likened to one of those sketches that only comprises a few well-placed pencil marks but shows character, movement and theme within that.

Wish me luck.

Friday, 12 March 2010

Stuff In My Study

Nik Perring has started a trend. What is in your study that makes you happy?

These are some of mine:

1) My Leonardo da Vinci action figure (a birthday present years ago), complete with interchangeable pictures. We have Vitruvian Man at the moment. There is also a green cat from Russia and a frog prince.

2) Me with my sister when I graduated from Bristol University with my Masters in Medieval History on a very hot summer's day. If I sound proud of this, I am; I am now so wonderfully over-stuffed with useless trivia my only hope is to become a writer.

3) My 60's Vietnamese Propaganda Lady. The translation reads: The national empires and reaction should not unwise touch this country. I thought about hanging it on the door but I thought it might put Husband off bringing me tea.

4) My collection of fat Buddhas, along with Death, Luggage and a copy of Mslexia Magazine. Someday I will be published in there... someday.

5) My favourite pink Monkey Mug for all that tea.

6) A Canned Kangaroo (a souvenir from my friend) with an American flag, and a fabulous pottery pen holder with a little bird on it. The bookmark is Castles of Wales and I must have got it when I was on holiday there aged 8.

Friday, 5 March 2010

100 Stories for Haiti: It's here!

100 Stories for Haiti: click here to go to their Buy It page

It's here! It's great! Buy it!

Their blurb:

100 Stories for Haiti is a unique collection of stories bound together by paper and glue and massive amounts of hope. This is no ordinary book. One morning a writer woke up and decided, "I must do something." Hundreds of talented authors worldwide sent him their stories and the result is an anthology that anyone can enjoy.

Proceeds go to helping the victims of the Haiti earthquake. So open this book and pick a page. There's nowhere to start and nowhere to finish. If you find one story, one page, one line entertaining: buy it.

What's not to like?

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Cats and Snow Parts 1&2

You may remember Part 1 from my post in December. Well, Part 2 of Simon's Cat 'Snow Business' is here!

Our own snow is that grumpy-grey old-age snow that is clinging on, not wanting us to have Spring.

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Static Movement: Fourth Breeding

Oonah V Joslin just pointed out I'm in Static Movement this month along with her, Jennifer Walmsley and many other lovely people.

My story, Fourth Breeding, is a cat-themed horror story.