Welcome to my writing life diary.
Last week I listened to some fabulous writing podcasts and each one made me squeal. I knew I had to share them with you.
The Honest Authors This podcast never fails to brighten up my daily commute. By the time I reach the office I am gagging to write and then spend the rest of the day thinking about my writing. It’s a must for writers who are try to get published and authors who are already published. I think the hosts, authors Holly Seddon and Gillian McAllister are hilarious and their podcast is like having a chat over coffee with two writer friends. This week they have a Q&A on writing processes and a great interview with Alison Barrow.
The Prolific Writer Podcast. This week I listened to this podcast and developed a huge writer crush for USA Today bestselling author Dean Wesley Smith. I love his writing advice and after listening to Dean I wanted to lock myself away and write.
Write or Die Podcast. This is still my go-to podcast when rejections are getting me down. The episode with author Julie C. Dao is amazing, I get emotional whilst listening to it. There’s only one thing to say about Julie – SHE NEVER GAVE UP. If you are feeling glum about writing – listen to this!
Here is my weekly fictional series which records the friendship highs and lows of my two pets; Harry the cat and Po the dog.
When Harry Met Po
Po was not spending enough time with Harry.
He was busy doing other things.
This included socialising in the dog field and ignoring the fact other dogs started to run in the opposite direction when they saw him coming.
Watching cross country skiing on TV and thinking about attaching old dog bones to his paws to see if he could have a go.
Harry wasn’t impressed with his large furry friend so he decided to take corrective action.
Po had been looking forward to getting into his dog bed. He was exhausted.
To Po’s horror, Harry was sat in his bed and refusing to budge. Not even their human owner could convince Harry to move.
After a heated exchange between the two chums, which involved Harry informing Po he had not been giving their friendship enough attention, a tired Po agreed to sit on the sofa with his little feline friend and discuss, at length, their owner’s decision to change cat biscuit brands.
Friendships with cats are hard work, thought Po.
There will be more from Harry & Po next week.
Lately I have been enjoying the little magical moments in my creative life.
One Sentence Game
My writer friends and I like to play a game called, ‘One Sentence.’ We play it on a social media message thread and what I like about the game is that you never know when it will lead to something exciting. ‘One Sentence’ is where you are presented with a random word and then you all write one sentence using that word. The fun comes from crafting your sentence and commenting on those from your friends using a variety of GIFs and emojis. I could play this for hours. It sounds geeky to get excited over a string of words, but you can’t beat a damn good sentence!
Anyway last week, two new characters climbed out of one of my sentences. I got that little shiver of creative excitement as they appeared from nowhere. I made sure my subsequent sentences helped them to take shape.
By the end of our game, I had the first green shoots of a new idea for a story and two new characters.
I bought a gold metallic notebook and the sight of it gave me a whoosh of creative excitement in Poundland. (Just adding that last sentence to my list of things I never thought I would say; the sight of a notebook gave me a whoosh of creative excitement in Poundland).
There is something magical about finding yourself drawn to a notebook in a shop. This one called out to me.
Gasping and muttering, ‘hello gorgeous!’ I couldn’t stop touching it. My mind became crammed with ideas which would go inside a gold metallic notebook.
I then struggled to write inside it as it seemed too pretty to spoil. It’s still blank.
I now get a little pleasure from having a go at writing competitions.
Entering these is very similar to being a parent and attending school sports day.
Prior to both a school sports day event and entering a writing competition, you will have spent hours daydreaming about the possible outcomes. In your head you will have seen your child dramatically win their race and your story leave the judging panel speechless.
As your child stands on the start line and you get ready to press submit on your story, you will be brimming with pride. You might even be a little teary as you give your child the thumbs up and kiss your laptop screen with your beloved manuscript on.
Deep down you know they both have slim chances of winning; your child inherited your hatred of sprinting over short distances, they have spent the morning trying to get out of sports day and they are more interested in the ice cream treat afterward. Your story could be better in places, there’s more lip biting in your story than there is in Twilight, everyone is dishing out smoldering looks and you still haven’t got rid of your nasty addiction to the word, ‘suddenly.’ Plus everyone on Twitter appears to have entered so you are sure the judges will have plenty to choose from.
But for a few seconds, before the race starts and you submit your entry, you wonder whether the impossible could happen ⭐️
As you and your child walk home, clutching their certificate for 5th place (6 ran), you tell them that it is all about the taking part which counts.
The same can be said for writing competitions. It is all about the taking part 😍
Surprise Reading Treats
Last week I found myself in a bookshop, the day before Valentines Day. In my head, I was going to buy my loved one a thoughtful gift. Unfortunately, there was a book sale on so all hope for his Valentines present evaporated. I rushed over to see what was on offer and six minutes later I was at the till holding a couple of novels.
This book was a surprise reading treat for me. I love this author’s humour and even found myself reading out some snippets to my loved one. Obviously, he was unaware of my failed gift-buying trip.
So much joy comes from a good read!
That’s all for this week, readers.
Make sure you are all enjoying the little things in your creative lives!