Blog Entries
Monday July 21st
Category: Site News
Tags: This Week

My apologies for being absent from all things WA for so many weeks. I hope to be back on board from here on in.

A truly interesting blog from Jany today - I love the flow of ideas she has created. I have based a piece of writing on a fleeting glimpse or chance remark but I am impressed by Jany’s thoughts and think she has an informative article in the making in this blog.

Taking note of yesterday’s minutes, we have a comprehensive list of challenges for August which are re-posted here:

Jo suggested Erewash, Historic House and First Page for unpublished novels.

Vesna suggested:

http://www.costa.co.uk/costa-book-awards/costa-short-story-award/

 

http://thebohemyth.com/submit/

 

http://www.thezodiacreview.com/#!submissions/ccbt

 

http://www.givalpress.com/

 

http://wigleaf.com/

 

http://www.manchesterwritingcompetition.co.uk/fiction2014/online_entry.php

 

http://shortaustralianstories.com.au/submissions/the-carmel-bird-award/

 

http://overtheredline.com/submissions/

Members are doing extremely well at present and putting me to shame.

VESNA is launching The Fastro Connection on 27 July

VANESSA is launching The House at Zaronza on 29 July

DOREEN is interviewing VANESSA for her local newsletter

PAOLA is actively seeking an agent for Joyriding in Dhaka

RILLA, ALYSON, JILL and PAOLA have made the shortlist of seven in Chris Allen’s I Must Be Off travel Essay competition. He’s posting a shortlisted piece every day till the end of the month, so do get over there and vote for them.

Everyone appears busy with tasks for the magazine, submissions and production.

Glyn has posted this link to his interview with Sharon Zink – it is well worth reading:

http://segorastclementincelebratetheword.blogspot.fr/2014/07/welcome-to-sharonville-sharon-zink.html

A huge thank you to all members who are working hard to get lift-off.

If I have inadvertently forgotten anyone or anything, please forgive me. This is the first writing I have done in months due to feeling unwell and unmotivated so I feel I have achieved something today.

Writer`s Brain
Category: Writing
Tags: prompts - inspiration - observation

Following on Jo`s blog last week about what inspires us to write, I`d like to give any non-writers here an insight into the workings of a typical writer's brain. Well, my brain anyway...

I was travelling by train recently, when it stopped, for no apparent reason - as trains do. Glancing out of the window, I watched butterflies feeding on the flowering buddleia bushes near the track. Then my gaze wandered downwards, to the litter and rubble next to the rails. Amongst the debris lay a dead pigeon, or rather what was left of it: two flattened brown and white wings, neatly folded, and its legs. One of them bore an orange ring, with black numbers. My writing brain immediately took off, trailing a jumble of what-ifs and just-supposes...:

Was someone still waiting for the poor bird to return home? Maybe a pensioner hoping he'd won a prestigious pigeon race? Did the man live alone, and was this his last pigeon? Or did he have a nagging wife who wanted him to give up his hobby `cos it made a mess of the back yard? Would she get her way now?
How did the bird die? Did it fly so low as to hit a carriage window? Or did it tangle with a live wire? Was the train's journey affected by this in any way? Did one particular passenger arrive late for something? For what? With whom? And what consequences did that have?
Will Sam, the man in the high-viz overalls who clears the rubbish from the railway track, just pick up the corpse with a tong and drop it into a black bag, or is he a pigeon keeper himself and will prize off the ring and try and trace the owner? Does it turn out that the pigeon-keeper is  his long-lost war-time pal Bert?
Supposing the colour of the ring proves it was based in, say, Italy? (Note to self: google racing pigeons, homing pigeons, rings - meanings of colours and numbers...). Maybe Sam decides to visit the owner and make a holiday of it. He meets this woman...
And the pigeon itself? Was it a male or a female pigeon? Is there a partner somewhere pining away? Will it accept a new partner - or will feathers fly?

This is the stuff that keeps us writers awake at night, and reaching for something to scribble on in the dark to jot something down, or staggering to the computer in our nighties at three in the morning.  

But you as non-writers can stop this dead. It's so simple: All you've have to say is, "Well, actually, I read a book/saw a film/watched a play/ once about just that: someone finds a dead pigeon and...." Many writers will then throw their notebooks and pens up in the air, delete their hard drive and take up deep-sea stamp-collecting.

Until one of them glances out of a train window and catches a fleeting glimpse of a man digging a hole in his garden. Watched by his wife. Or is it his girlfriend? And why such a deep hole? In the half-dark too...  

Anyone here ever written anything based on a chance remark, a glimpse, or the sight of something dead under a bush?

Monday July 14th 2014
Category: Site News
Tags: This Week.

Firstly, my apologies for being largely absent over the last twenty-four days. I was enjoying a very special time with three of my children and two of my grandchildren in Perth, Western Australia and had little or no access to the internet other than a mobile phone.

 I flew home last night just after the tornado which tore through some of Perth's suburbs! All rather extraordinary and hard to believe that nature can rip enormous hundred year old gum trees out of the ground turning them into kindling wood in just minutes!

On reading through our site it looks as if we have had some serious excitement over on the bragging stool! Well done Angela for being long-listed in the Raging Aardvark Competition. Fingers crossed for the next step!

Likewise, Alyson for her World War 2 story being accepted by The People's Friend, congratulations again! For the moment my lips are sealed on other successes but you know who you are and rest assured, we are proud of you!

As for the July challenges there is plenty to think about. The Word Hut comp has a closing date of 14th August. The Highlands and Islands Comp is closing on 31st July and our very own premier edition of the Writers Abroad magazine has a deadline of August 11th for submissions, so people pick up those pens and get a wriggle on! (Am wondering if that is an Aussie expression or is it used world- wide?)

Jo has shared with us a very informative blog on sites that can inspire if and when a writing slump hits. Can you add to this worthy list?

Dianne has posted some inspiring Muses comprising opening sentences, always a good one and another taking the theme of a letter or an email arriving too late. Plenty of scope with this one!

Seeing as I have been out of touch for quite a while it is very possible I have omitted something so please feel free to add things. Finally, a quick reminder that we have a formal meeting this Sunday 20th July at 11am CET.

Crilly.

 

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Monday July 21st
Recent Blog Posts
Writer`s Brain
Posted by Jany

Following on Jo`s blog last week about what inspires us to write, I`d like to give any non-writers here an insight into the workings of...Read More

Kick Start Your Writing - Prompts
Posted by Jo Lamb

As many of you know from personal experience, sometimes all you need is a picture or a line of dialogue or indeed even a few...Read More

influences on our writing
Posted by Val Cameron

The subject of this week's blog is your favourite authors and to what extent they influence your writing.

Good writing comes from reading widely....Read More

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