One, two, three, four, five…

As writing goes mine has been a bit underwhelming of late, but I’m happy to report I am back on the wagon again. There are plenty of excuses as to why I’ve been walking in treacle, but none of them really stack up! So, before the bow strikes the violin here’s the good news – 2 new books are in the pipeline – one is a contemporary thriller (natch), the other is a literary historical fiction novel which dips its toe into the 15th century! I am loving working on two books and wonder why I’ve not considered it before – after all, multitasking is one of my super powers!

Perhaps immersing myself in two completely different worlds has become my way of travelling during this pandemic! Hey, whatever gets you through right? I’m enjoying having the choice of which book to work on too dependent on my mood, the position of the sun in the sky etc.etc. Sometimes it’s just nice to escape back to the 15th century! I’m at about 6,000 words on both so still a way to go yet. Please feel free to remind me it was my choice to go tandem when I start complaining!

I shall keep you posted on the adventures of both… until next time…

Taming the Beast…

I have taken procrastination to a whole new level. Today my friends I give to you a short poem which I hope will bring a gentle smile to your face – Enjoy…

Taming the Beast by Nicole Fitton

Sitting here my pen in hand

My thoughts and ideas shift like sand.

To write a 1,000 words at least

The only way to tame the beast

Which sits within my head and cries

Type faster girl for time it flies.

I write without a care for time, or food,

Or drink, or love – I’m blind

To anything that disturb’s my flow

Of how my perfect day will go.

So there you have it – I have found another way to talk about writing without actually doing too much of it!

Nativity Anthology

I have to admit to being a tad excited and a little overwhelmed.
Today see’s the release of Nativity, a collection of outstanding stories by very talented authors under the Bridge House Publishing banner. I am very lucky and honoured to have my short story ‘New Shoes For Christmas’ included.

Many of the stories featured take place at or around Christmas time. Mine is a dark tale of birth and rebirth, but like the proverbial box of chocolates there is plenty of choice! It is available  as an e-book, with the paperback expected within the next few days, with the film following… haha only joking about the film,  but hey that would be something wouldn’t it?

I would love to know what you think of the anthology. Feel free to purchase a copy from the link below… reviews would be most welcome 🙂

These are the Days

These are the days that seem to vanish into clouds. Days when each past moment is forgotten and only now remains. Am I talking nonsense? Quite possibly, but as fellow writers will affirm the moment really is ‘the moment’ and on a good day it lasts forever.

I apologise if I have lost you, I am of course talking about writing. It has been the best of days, it has been the busiest of days and I wouldn’t change it for the world.

Now time is precious so I won’t spend hours talking about writing, because the more I spend chatting the less time I can devote to actually writing or reading or doing whatever I’m supposed to be doing which is embarking on another adventure… So here’s a re cap…

Imagine – you have 1 day to go until your holiday, a holiday you have looked forward to, planned for, I mean really planned for. It involves the whole family, boats, lists, internet searches.

You finish work (your day job), you pack the dogs off to their holiday home, you pick up dinner and now its time to pack. But wait, what’s that? A thought, an idea? You shake it off because you don’t have time, not now, not today. Today is all about planning, being organised. The idea refuses to leave and renders you incapable of rational thought. OK, so it will only take 10 minutes to write down, then you can pack and feel smug. You won’t be the one holding everyone up, you’ll be ready…

The reality…

Six hours later, you crawl into bed. You’ve have 4 hours sleep and still haven’t packed. If you could go back and change things would you? Hell no! Because that’s what it’s all about, that’s what’s so glorious about writing and I love it!

So that was my day – how was yours?

Sing That Song Girl…

With The Brits oh, I mean The Bryts (I’m so old school…) held last night, I got to thinking about how powerful and inspiring music can be.

Music connects with me in a way not much else can… except…books!

Music reaches into my soul and shines a light into places that are often left in shadow. Maybe it evokes a memory or a feeling. It plays around with parts of me that don’t surface as often as they should.

Recently I set myself a challenge to create a soundtrack for each piece of writing I either completed myself or read. It has been an entertaining and enlightening experience! My musical taste is eclectic to say the least, and I have spent hours pondering whether a character in one of my short stories is more into rock than jazz! If truth be told I would probably want all of my characters to like jazz, but that’s a whole other blog post!

So, what pieces of wisdom did I manage to garner from my quasi experiment? Above and beyond the obvious fact that both mediums tell stories and the sheer good fun of it all?

I’ve learnt that in order to be brave you must be vulnerable. It could I suppose apply to any art form, but my drugs of choice are books and music. They are as interconnected in me as blood and DNA. They exist to compliment each other not to compete. Buried within the words of both is a truth, shared just with me. The wordsmiths have been brave. They  have laid out their vulnerability for all to see. The least I can do is try to hear and understand.

To Be a Good Writer…

Sage advice from the man himself –

To be a good writer, I believe that one has to read a lot of books. Fifty a year would be a good place to start, but twenty five would work... Stephen King.

I shall be putting this good advice into practice over the holiday season.

Merry Christmas everyone x

What lies within your heart?

Today I happened upon this quote. It spoke to my heart so I thought I would share it.

“At heart write always for yourself, not for family and friends, for admired teachers, for reviewers or publishers; but make sure you write from your real self, not that one besotted by vain glorious dreams of a future self. One day you will realize that the true rewards of writing lie inalienably in the writing itself.”

John Fowles

Photo by Ileana Skakun on Unsplash

Restoration Reflections

After the week I’ve had (I know it’s only Tuesday) all I needed to do was to lie quietly in a dark room and recharge. After a super early start and a 5-mile walk with the naughty dog, I sat down to write. It was to be my quiet time, my time to complete another round in my (editing) chamber of hell. That reminds me, my third novel, I’m pleased to report is being tweaked and polished… Again! As a distraction, I wanted to work on something that did not involve a red pen and lines.

For inspiration, I looked through projects I’d begun and not finished. Works which for whatever reason I’d put onto the back burner but didn’t burn. Maybe secretly deep down I hoped they could be resurrected. After all, where there’s life there’s hope, right?

I spend the first hour or so on the internet doing ‘research’ (OK… randomly doing anything but writing), then set to it.

I had two lightbulb moments –

‘who the hell wrote this dross?’ and ‘some of this isn’t that bad.’

The dross has now gone to the log basket to be ‘recycled’ – the rest? Well, the rest is being restored and will be looking for a home in the not so distant future. Onwards people onwards…

National Flash Fiction Day June 16th

Now in its seventh year, National Flash Fiction Day is dedicated to the celebration of writing in one of its shortest forms (Flash). Flash fiction is usually considered to be a story under a 1000, 500 or 300 words. Anything less is regarded as ‘micro-fiction’ (100 words) or a ‘minisaga’ (50 words).

The roots of flash fiction go back (literally) centuries. In the 1920’s flash was known as ‘the short short story’.

Flash fiction sits perfectly with our crazy busy lifestyles. A 500-word piece can be easily read on the train, bus – in fact anywhere.

The nuts and bolts of what measures up as a piece of Flash Fiction are difficult to pin down, but I’ll give it a go. For me, the art of a good piece of flash fiction lies in what the author does not say. It’s down to you the reader to grasp the meaning and fill in those spaces between the words. It needs to grab you, keep you wondering.

This year I am lucky enough to have my flash fiction ‘Yellow’ feature on the Flash Flood Journal blog in celebration of Flash Fiction Day. Take a peak here

I hope you enjoy it.

Photo by Emily Marie on Unsplash

 

A Life Full of Good Things

A few days ago I received some rather good news. One of my short stories has been shortlisted for a competition. After the initial ‘yes, it really is your story, no you are not dreaming’, came gasps of joy, disbelief and an overwhelming sense of all good things. Buried deep, almost hidden I found strength. Let me explain… Writing can be a lonely experience, the road is often filled with diversions. Great big signposts fill your head – ‘give up’, ‘you’re rubbish’, ‘not good enough’. Writing novels is a long experience and takes an awful amount of strength. As time goes by that strength can wane, as it does those ‘signs’ sitting on your shoulder grow bigger.  Being shortlisted has refuelled me. It has given me strength, provided re-enforcement to keep going.

I do not know if I will win, but I do know that I am now superwoman and can conquer the world once more!