Thursday, 24 February 2011

A Spring in My Step

Well, I reckon spring is just around the corner - and if we're due another cold snap, the garden knows nothing about it!  Although my winter tubs of blooms are still in full flow...

... the hyacinths and daffs and tulips are sprouting lovely green shoots.

My spring bulbs are starting to peep out of the ground.  The snowdrops are in full flow

and the crocuses in the garden and on the lawn are gleaming their magic colours.   
My cats are starting to get a spring in their steps - and SO AM I!!    


It came as a bit of a shock to me this week, that a critique of my flash fiction story, BED OF ROSES, showed an 'average' rating.  I was diasappointed, disgruntled, f-f-furious!  But when I went back in to the story, I realised that my reviewer was absolutely right - I'd cocked up big-style.

I hadn't kept my writing TIGHT and I'd thrown in so many pesky ADVERBS, it was untrue.  So I took the story back and edited it before submitting to a writing competition on Fan Story.  What a difference.  Now I'm like a dog with two tails - I've LEARNED a lot about writing flash fiction.
Well, folks, the upshot of it was that the person who'd critiqued an 'average' had WON the competition - and I came 5th out of 13 competitiors, so in the end, I didn't do so badly...

The moral of this story is ALWAYS LISTEN TO THE VOICE OF YOUR CRITICS - you'll be a better writer for listening to advice instead of blowing a gasket!

If you'd like to read 'Bed of Roses', here's the link:


and if you'd like to read my 3-5-3 haiku poem about spring flowers, just to keep you in 'spring mode', here's the link:


If Spring is really nearly here......then my flowery cup, flowery top, flowery tights and flowers in my sparkly vase might have brought me a touch of good luck!


Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Sonnets that Creep an' a Peep at Roll Deep

Last week I learned how to write a sonnet.

This week I wrote an article called 'The Sonnet Revealed...'  It teaches you how to write a sonnet in a few easy steps.  My CREEPY sonnet (rather an unusual theme for a sonnet, I'm proud to add) is displayed in the article, published online by 'Bookstove'.

It's also been entered into a sonnet competition on Fan Story, the writing community I belong to.
Here are the two links:
Fan Story: Things that go Bump in the Night

The Sonnet revealed...
Hope you enjoy both my pieces.
I bought my son two tickets for a rap band called Roll Deep for his birthday.  He invited me to be the other ticket holder.  I got done up in my best best bling outfit. An' off we went, pubbin' an' clubbin' last Friday, 11th February.  The concert was held in the O2 Academy in Newcastle.  The night ROCKED...

 ...and Roll Deep ROCKED!  We rapped and danced the night away. 

At 61, I reckon that was quite an achievement!

Saturday, 5 February 2011

What a week!

Just back from a long week-end in Barcelona.  Just found out that I'm to be published with one of my fiction pieces in the small press magazine, DEBUT. Just made a wish, blowing out the candles of my belated heart-shaped birthday cake.  This whole week has gone off with a great big BANG! 

I'd recommend a trip there to anyone.  There's something there for everyone.  We travelled by Easy Jet - cheap and cheerful - and found a great little hotel  in the Eixample area.  The Hostal Agua Alegre is the friendliest place.  The staff were wonderful, providing us with a huge map of Barcelona and pointing out all the places we wanted to visit, with arrows on the map to guide our way.  A big thanks goes out to them: if we visit Barcelona again, we'll stay there for sure.

We followed the Gaudi trail.  There are great examples of his work all over this gorgeous city, not least in the area of Eixample, where the Casa Mila, Casa Batllo and the Sagrada Familia can be found on the long, long road, Passieg de Gracia.

After viewing these amazing sights, we decided to trek up and up toward the blue winter sky to the Parc Guell. (that's me, on the left, at the entrace of the Parc Guell) The views from up here in the 'heavens', of the stunning city of Barcelona, are amazing.  The park itself is among the best I've ever visited.  It's devoted to Gaudi's work, with quirky sculpures and buildings to view on a huge wavy-walled piazza.


Park publications are to publish (in hard copy, no less!) my story, 'Me, Bea and Betsy make Three'.  It's about two old Geordie lasses who talk a walk along the coast from Whitley Bay to Tynemouth.  Betsy is a dog.  You need to read the rest to find out what happens!  I'll tell you when it gets published and you can order your own copy...
When we got back from Barcelona, I was greeted with the biggest birthday cake I'd ever had: a great big heart-shaped white beauty, decorated with crimson roses.  Oh, and the taste - mmm...

Me - and my big fat cake!

So this week's been huge for me.  BOOM!