I’m later than I meant to be getting down to work because today’s dog walk took even longer than usual. Several of the fields around our village have been cut and baled and our Dalmatian Duke insisted on stopping to wee on every one of them! (It was a big field and there are a lot more bales out of shot, all duly marked by Duke).
The first hurdle – and how I fell at it.
I started writing this blog after reading “The Author Blog: Easy Blogging for Busy Authors” by Anne R. Allen ( Anne’s blog) which is crammed full of useful advice for newbie bloggers such as myself.
Unfortunately I’ve fallen at the first hurdle because one of Anne’s pearls of wisdom is about being consistent. Blog regularly, she advises.
Ah yes, I thought. I can do this. So I set up a schedule (I’m very good at setting up schedules. Keeping to them, however, is another matter) and decided I would blog fortnightly. I then entered the fortnightly publication days in my diary.
I chose to post fortnightly (a) so that I wouldn’t clog up your inboxes and (b) it would give me some breathing space to get on with my life… and, of course, the day job.
But that is where the problems started. Life , the day job and the local farmer’s hay making (see above) got in the way which is why, according to my schedule, I am now two postings behind. So, if you’ve been waiting impatiently for the Daily Prompts from May 16th onwards, please accept my sincere and grovelling apologies.
To make up for it, I’ll put the Daily Prompts from May 16th – June 15th at the end of this post. And if you’re new to this blog and wondering what on earth I’m going on about, check out the post (Writers’ Prompts. A limitless supply of story inspiration) on how to use the prompts.
I’ve written a pantomime. Oh yes I have!
In my post of 25th March The Path Less Travelled and why it (sometimes) pays to take it I described the fun I was having writing our village pantomime. This year, we’re doing The Fladdams Family – the Panto, which is based, very loosely indeed, on the TV programme The Addams Family.
I have finished it. Almost on schedule. And if you’ve ever wondered what goes on during the creative process of writing a pantomime, take a look at a (totally unedited) page of my notepad which sits beside me when I’m writing. It’s either a snapshot of the creative mind at work – or the ravings of a madwoman. You decide.
A new serial.
Yay! I have a new serial coming out at the end of the month. My eight part murder mystery entitled All The Birds of the Air starts in the People’s Friend on June 23rd.
This serial is the result of an approach by People’s Friend’s Fiction Editor, Shirley Blair, asking if I’d be interested in writing a crime serial for them. Now I’d love to let you go on thinking this is an everyday occurrence for me and that editors are regularly contacting me in this way. I wish!
Usually it happens the other way around. I get an idea for a story, write it and then spend the rest of my time and energy trying to persuade an editor to buy it. So after I said yes to Shirley I found myself in the unusual situation of looking for something to write about.
This was where my ideas box came in handy. It’s an old document box, crammed with tattered files and dog eared notepads, most of which make as much sense as the one in the picture above.
But then I found a notebook from a creative writing class I took at my local Further Education Centre many years ago. I enjoyed the class very much except for those times when the tutor would set us a challenge to write something really clever which we then had to read out to the rest of the class.
I was, and still am, absolutely rubbish at that sort of thing. My brain freezes and I sit there doodling while the rest of the class scribbles away furiously. That particular day, the brain freeze was obviously a full on glacier because this is what I wrote:
Who killed Jock Dobbin?
That was it. Apart from a weird drawing of what I think was supposed to be a cat and a reminder to myself that my son had cookery in the morning and not to forget the sultanas. (He’s all grown up and sensible now and buys his own sultanas.)
But the line intrigued me and I started thinking about a man called Jock Dobbin who dies suddenly. His death is put down to natural causes until a series of anonymous notes begin to appear around the village. These notes are all based on the rhyme “Who killed Cock Robin?” and that, of course, gave me the title as well. Then I started thinking: “What would you do if a total stranger left you everything in his will?”
All the Birds of the Air was such fun to write and there will, I hope, be a sequel. But that depends on whether the readers of People’s Friend enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. Fingers crossed.
Today’s writers don’t have to hunt around in dusty old boxes for inspiration. At least, not the ones who follow this blog. So here, better late than never, are the Daily Prompts, as promised for May 16th – June 15th. And I promise I’ll be back before June 15th with the prompts for the rest of the month. I’ve already put it in my schedule.
16. Write about being bullied.
17. When you fear the worst and the worst happens, there comes that moment when you realise there is nothing left to fear.
18. My brother/sister had this really annoying habit….
19. Write about what you didn’t do.
20. Opening line. Where were you last night?
21. Dark behind it rose the forest (The Song of Hiawatha. HW Longfellow)
22. Once, when nobody was looking…
23. The end of the day.
24. You are in a hotel room. Alone.
25. Actions speak louder than words. (Proverb)
26. Buried treasure.
27. Write about a time you felt abandoned.
28. Something you bought mail order.
29. You’re taking an exam you are totally under prepared for.
30. You walk into a bar and a sudden silence falls. But no one will meet your eye.
31. Slipping in and out of the shadows.
1. Married in the month of June/Life will be one long honeymoon.* (see below)
2. It was the family wedding from hell.
3. Write about an anniversary.
4. ‘I’m playing all the right notes, but not necessarily in the right order”. (Eric Morecambe)
5. Write about a balcony.
6. If you won the lottery, what is the first thing you’d do?
7. The first time I saw my baby brother/sister I felt….
8. Write about being the last person to be picked for a team.
9. “Last night I dreamt I went back to Manderley…” (Or Myrtle Avenue, or wherever)
10. He walks into a room and there is complete silence. All heads turn in his direction. Then he smiles and walks up to her. “Hi, I’ve been looking for you….” (Feel free to change he/she etc)
11. I love you because (Do you remember the old Jim Reeves song?)
12. Ann Frank was born this day in 1929. Write about keeping a diary.
13. “It wasn’t my fault, Mum, honest. It just….”
14. “There are two ways of spreading light. To be the candle or the mirror that receives it.” (Edith Wharton)
15. A funny thing happened to me on the way to…..
- Footnote: I got married in June and, on the off chance that my husband reads this, yes, it has been one long honeymoon! (Most of the time, anyway)
2 thoughts on “Dog walks, hurdles and a murder mystery.”
I love the diagram of thoughts! Often the only way to present anything at the early stages of writing is in the anything-but-left-to-right format. Mine usually resemble many legged spiders, or possibly an Indian Attack (as in the old cowboy films).
Will be looking forward to reading your PF serial…
LikeLiked by 1 person
Thank you, Penny.