Category: Uncategorized

A Random Act of Kindness…

‘Being kind without expectation is the truest kind of kindness.’

– Zero Dean

So, the school came together to share good deeds for Kindness UK. Focusing on various acts of kindness within school, the children discussed what ‘kindness’ actually is, and debated what constituted an act of kindness.

Some people pretend to be kind because they have ulterior motives and want something in return, but that’s not kindness, that’s manipulation. Real kindness is always genuine. It could be smiling at a stranger on the way to work in the morning, holding a door open, letting someone have your seat on the train, paying someone a compliment etc.  

I am kind-spirited and compassionate by nature.  I volunteer on a regular basis, give my friends and neighbours cards containing money when they have a baby. It’s not five million pounds or anything, but a gesture, my way of blessing their entry into the world.

At times I let people into queues, I help people in need and sometimes when I’m blessed with boxes of chocolates (Easter/Christmas presents), I give them to my neighbours or people I meet along the way, as I know I’ll eat them.  I am also quite lucky for the sheer number of times I’ve been shown kindness. There’s a recent time that comes to mind that I’ll you about.

A few months ago, I met an author  at a workshop and we got talking about the writing life and thinking about ways to market our work. I showed him the three books I have on Amazon at the moment: Muddy Love, Soulless and Yellowest Orange. He asked me about Muddy Love and right away designed a cover. I was a little dumbstruck, which is a rarity for me because I can talk for England at the best of times!

I hadn’t hinted or asked him anything, and he’d finished it in about twenty minutes while we chatted over Messenger. I was so grateful.  I guess that any act of kindness is never wasted. You always get it back, so it’s good to pay it forward when you can.

Anyway, the draft is below. Please let me know what you think. Do you think it works? Is it better than the previous one with the wolf? How do you think it could be improved? Grateful for your thoughts.

Check out my short stories:


Muddy Love – http//www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01BX70SB4
Soulless – http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B008MZN3L8
Yellowest Orange – http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00AW257H2

 


Interview: M. Henningham, Quarter Finalist – Strawberry Sunset

‘Patient man ride donkey.’

– V. L. Jenkins

Good afternoon, It’s Quain. Today I’m interviewing published author and screenwriter, Michele Henningham. After a long day at school, she discovered her name listed as a quarter finalist in a renown US screenplay competition!

  1. How did you feel when you found out?

–        Shocked! I had to scroll up and down over my name several times to be sure. 

  1. What is it called?

–        Strawberry Sunset.

  1. Do you mind saying a little bit about it?

–        Well, it was a short story I wrote for a creative writing workshop. It received great feedback. They said it sounded like a film so I decided to adapt it into a screenplay. 

  1. How did you know it would work as a screenplay? Did you take a course?

–        No, I couldn’t afford course fees. I swotted up on the recommended texts, examining good and bad screenplays and movies.

  1. I’ve heard about story arcs and 8 beats etc. Is this something you’re familiar with?

–        Yes, I’ve read about them and understand what they mean, but I don’t work that way. As long as my stories have a beginning, middle and end, I think it does the job. Also, the feedback I’ve received on screenplays suggest that I get this correct.

  1. Does this mean the next stop is Hollywood? 

–        I wish! I mean, it’s a great start and all that, but no, it just means I have to keep at it, improve skills, develop more screenplays and enter contests.

  1. You recommend contests, do you?

–        Yes, some, not all. But it’s the best way to gain exposure and useful notes, in some cases. Don’t take the nos to heart, hang on in there, as you may get that life-changing yes.

  1. What can you tell newbies about screenplay competitions?

–        Some screenplay competitions are just money-makers. A few actually ‘read’ your screenplay and give great notes. All readings are subjective.

  1. How many screenplays have you written so far?

–        I’d say about 7 at the moment. I’m working on a freaky feature as we speak.

  1. In closing, how would you summarise your screenplays?

–        My screenplays are based on my edgy stories and filled with credible characters and dialogue that jumps off the page!

Thank you and I wish you all the very best!!

 

A few comments from industry professionals:

 

  1. You have a real flair for character dialogue.
  2. I want to say, right off the bat – I LOVE YOUR STYLE!!!! ;))
  3. ‘Some very vivid characterization and visuals. Dialogue is bloody fantastic. The end point of the story feels proper and fitting as a stand alone plot point. Tons of potential here.’

Check out my short stories:

Muddy Love – http//www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01BX70SB4

Soulless – http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B008MZN3L8

Yellowest Orange – http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00AW257H2

 


10 Inspirational Love Quotes

 

So, what is LOVE? For me, it could be… Did you eat? Are you cold? Put on your seatbelt. How was your day? Anything along those lines. Here’s my top 10. What do you think? Do you have a favourite?

 1.    For it was not into my ear you whispered, but into my heart. It was not my lips you kissed, but my soul.

        Judy Garland

 

2.    What are you doing for others?

        Martin Luther King.

 

3.    When you start falling for somebody and you can’t stop thinking about when you’re going to see them again. I love that. Women are beautiful. They deserve to be cherished and respected.

        Orlando Bloom.

 

 

4.    We’re all damaged in our own way. Nobody’s perfect. I think we’re all somewhat screwy. Every single one of us.

        Johnny Depp.

 

 

5.    The best thing to hold onto in life is each other.

        Audrey Hepburn.

 

 

6.    The better you become, the better you attract.

        Young Minds.

 

 

7.    If she’s amazing, she won’t be easy. If she’s easy, she won’t be amazing. If she’s worth it, you won’t give up. If you give up, you’re not worthy. Truth is, everybody is going to hurt you; you just gotta find the ones worth suffering for.

        Bob Marley.

 

 

8.    Love is a serious mental disease.

        Plato.

 

 

9.    Love isn’t something you find. Love is something that finds you.

        Loretta Young.

 

 

10.         Love is an untamed force. When we try to control it, it destroys us. When we try to imprison it, it enslaves us. When we try to understand it, it leaves us feeling lost and confused.

        Paulo Coelho

 

Check out my short stories:
Muddy Love – http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01BX70SB4
Soulless – http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B008MZN3L8
Yellowest Orange – http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00AW257H2

 


10 Success Quotes to Jumpstart Your Day

S U C C E S S

So, what is success?

In my humble opinion, success is a subjective term, meaning different things to different people. Some may view success in terms of mind and body health, relationships, winning medals and awards, or driving a Porsche 718 Boxster! These are all valid.

I often seek out success quotes to motivate me when my feet hit the floor each day!

Here’s my top 10. What do you think? Do you have a favourite?

 

1. Victory is sweet when you’ve known defeat.

– Malcolm S. Forbes

2. Success is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm.

– Winston Churchill

3. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.

– Lucille Ball

4. You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else.

– Peter Drucker

5. Life is about creating yourself.

– George Bernard Shaw

6. To succeed in life you need two things; ignorance and confidence.

– Mark Twain

7. It’s better to fail in originality than succeed in imitation.

– Herman Melville

8. Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.

– John D. Rockefeller

9. Successful people do what unsuccessful people are not willing to do. Don’t wish it were easier; wish you were better.

– Jim Rohn

10. Stop chasing the money and start chasing the passion.

– Tony Hsieh

 

Check out my short stories:
Muddy Love – http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01BX70SB4
Soulless – http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B008MZN3L8
Yellowest Orange – http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00AW257H2

 

 

 

 


A-Z of the most amazing places I’ve visited

A-Z of the most interesting places I’ve visited.

A = Agadir, Amsterdam, Andalucia, Atalaya, Athens
B = Barcelona, Barbados
C = California, Canada, Cuba
D = Dusseldorf
E = England – default 😉
F = Fuengirola, Florida, France
G = Germany, Greece
H = Holland
I = Ibiza
J = Jamaica – default 😉
K = Kos
L = Lanzarote
M = Madrid, Malaga, Manhattan, Marbella, Miami, Milan, Morocco
N = New York
O = Orlando
P = Paris, Philadelphia
Q = Queens
R = Rome
S = St Lucia, Skyros
T = Tenerife, Trinidad & Tobago, Turkey
U = UK – Default 😉
V = Victoria – Default 😉
W = Wales, Washington DC
X = Got nothing 😉
Y = Yorkshire – Default 😉
Z = ???

Why don’t you have a go from A-Z! How many places have you visited? 😉


20 Random Q & As

Last month, I couldn’t decide what to blog about. I mean, nothing really grabbed me.  Today, the proverbial penny dropped. I thought I’d write about some burning questions people have asked me over the years! 

Here goes:

 

 

1.      That thing that happened in school that pretty much left its mark on you forever.

 

Well, some of you already know this, but it happened on a school trip to Burnham Beeches, we were learning about habitats etc., (I presume) and I nearly suffocated in quick mud. I have since made it into a ‘funny’ story that went on to win a prestigious prize, thus taking the bitter taste out of my mouth!

 

 

2.      Your favourite recipe, even if you’re the worst cook in the world.

 

Well, I cook a mean ackee and salt fish, which is Jamaica’s national dish. Put salt fish to soak in cold water for about 1 hour. Pour off water; add fresh water and boil until tender. Heat oil and sauté onion, garlic, scallions, tomatoes, scotch bonnet and sweet pepper until tender, about five to six minutes. Add flaked salt fish, canned ackee and black pepper. And, I add two fresh cho chos, chop them up and put them in the same pan to soak up the delicious juices. What a dish! Can be served as breakfast or dinner, alongside rice, breadfruit, green bananas and soft white yam.

 

3.      9 things you just can’t handle {gross things like ugly toes etc.

 

Well, can’t handle aesthetically beautiful people with ugly hearts, people who value things over people, selfish people, people who cannot control bodily functions in public, those who pick their noses and eat in broad daylight, worse if they’re adults, people who go to the gym and smell sweaty before they’ve even done anything, and people who make sounds when eating, really annoys me and people with black grime under their nails who are ‘not’ mechanics!

 

4.      One of my most excruciatingly embarrassing moments.

Well, like most of us in our twenties, I was so full of self-belief that I auditioned as a dancer for ‘Imagination’ (famous group in the day) … and I was rubbish! Hilarious!

 

A letter to your 16-year-old self. What advice would you give?

5. Dear Mich, you’re going to go through some harsh things, but they will strengthen you.

The day will come when you’ll realise you had to experience them in order to become who you are today.

 

 

 

6.      Your celebrity dinner party. Who would you invite?

Naturally, I would invite Oprah, Maya A, Denzel Washington, Charles Bukowski, Iceberg Slim and Marvin Gaye.

 

7.      Your first love/kiss, and don’t skip the awkward details.

Well, at school, I was day-old-chips-dry and not in the kiss chase rush. The boys shot right past me for more popular prey.

 

 

8.    7 things you’ve learned from 7 year-old children.

1. Be courageous

2. Every day is a new day.

3. Laugh a lot.

4. Enjoy your friends.

5. Don’t care what people think, speak your truth.

6. Try new things.

7. Get excited! Often…

 

9.     Your earliest childhood memory.

Sneaking in the kitchen cupboard to drink vinegar and undiluted squash. I had chronic asthma too.

 

10.    That thing that really gets your goat.

See 3. People who snore, eat loudly, eat while talking on the phone, picking noses and eating contents.

 

11.   What you’re addicted to, and why.

I’m addicted to creative expression, music and training.

       

12.   That time that you met a complete stranger

Well, the other night, I was meeting the girls for a funky night out uptown and running late. I wore a bowler hat, big black cape with tassels, short black dress, and thigh high suede boots (the flyer said dress funky, so I took them literally). I got to the platform and saw the train pulling in, I tried to get down the stairs while my dress decided to climb up to my waist. The ‘kind’ driver sat and waited, probably enjoying the spectacle. Finally made it down the stairs, onto the train and to Wimbledon. However, the district line was cancelled. I had to dash out to the main road for the bus replacement service. A guy on the bus told me he’d been watching me on the cctv. He thought I looked interesting. I wonder if it had anything to do with the dress?

 

13.   Fashion: Your top 5 favourite dresses/looks/shoes right now.

Well, I ‘ve been working hard at body sculpting and what with the weather being nice and sunny, I’ve got a thing for wearing white. Also, I have an unusual pair of boots from USA with a silver stiletto heel that I can’t wait to wear again! Worn only once… sitting down.

 

14.    What you’ve learned about life so far?

I’ve learnt that life is a series of lessons that force you to grow whether you want to or not. If you don’t make a decision about something, life will make it for you. Also, that people often tell you who they are without saying a word!

 

15.      Brain dump. What’s on your mind right now.

I am increasing marketing efforts with the current three short stories on Amazon. Also, screenplays are beastly!

 

16.      The most unusual job.

The Royal Opera House in Covent garden. I wore 9 inches and had a walk on part in Pelleas and Melisande for two weeks, every night at 8pm. It’s an opera in five acts with music by Claude Debussy. It was first performed 30th April 1902.

 

17.      Bad habits. Share yours and why you won’t give it up. Ever.

I like a glass of wine, prosecco, merlot, and classic champagne cocktails every now and then.

                         

18.      Who people think you are, compared to who you really are.

People tend to think I’m Miss Confident but I can be really shy. I mean, revert to two!

 

19 .     A time when you had star treatment.

A production company sent a chauffeur to pick me up to feature in the first River Island advertisement in the 90s. They sent a Daimler to pick me up and drive me to a hangar in Essex. The advert took place on the steps of a plane. I had to come down them whilst controlling a seven foot Great Dane. It was meant to be a panther but  they couldn’t get the insurance.

20.     A time when you had the most fun on holiday!

I went to St Lucia and had the time of my life. I met some really funny people and did a bootcamp with the legendary Sharron Elizabeth Davies, MBE. A lovely, humble person.

Check out my short stories:
Muddy Love – http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01BX70SB4
Soulless – http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B008MZN3L8
Yellowest Orange – http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00AW257H2


20 Killer Holiday Reads

 

‘If you have a story that seems worth telling, and you think you can tell it worthily, then the thing for you to do is to tell it, regardless of whether it has to do with sex, sailors or mounted policemen.’

–        Dashiell Hammett

       

20 Killer Holiday Reads

 

 

On holiday, I go for fast-paced, gripping and downright unputdownable books. Lounging by the pool (or on a secluded beach) with cocktail in hand and said book in the other is the best way to feel at one with the world! As the holiday season thrusts itself upon us, don’t wonder which books to take with you. See my 20 Killer Holiday Reads to help you make the right choice!

 

  1. Megan Abbott – The End of Everything, 2011.

Who remembers being thirteen? No doubt you had a best friend you saw every day. You shared everything with them, right down to core. Well, that’s part of what happened, but the most sinister part is that the friend disappeared! And how…

 

  1. Joanna Briscoe – Sleep with Me, 2005.

The thrill of the dreaded threesome.  A torrid extramarital affair. Not quite menage a trois but penetrative to the bitter end!

 

  1. Paulo Coelho – The Alchemist, 1988.

The quest of a Spanish shepherd boy, Santiago, on his adventure to discover the soul of the world. Basically, the universe listens and responds to our dreams. Wonderful!

 

  1. Bret Easton Ellis – American Psycho, 1991.

Wall Street businessman and part-time serial killer, Patrick Bateman is a psychopath with a penchant for 80’s music. Thrilling!

 

  1. Gillian Flynn – Gone Girl, 2012.

The perfect marriage on the outside. One day the wife goes missing and all fingers point to husband, Nick. Where is she? Is he guilty? Fantastic twists and turns.

 

  1. James Herbert – The Rats, 1974.

It’s in 1970s London. Rats run amok in the wake of the Blitz. Most memorable scene is where Harry (art teacher) makes out in the bushes and ravenous rats participate!

 

  1. Khaled Hosseini – The Kite Runner, 2003.

The backdrop is Afghanistan. We chart the unforgettable bond between two boys from different walks of life. Amir, the son of a wealthy Kabul merchant, and the other is Hazara, from a despised lowly caste. Extremely gripping!

 

  1. Marlon James – A Brief History of Seven Killings, 2015.

Winner of the Man Booker Prize, 2015. Masterful story crossing three decades. Original language, great rhythm with dark, challenging and engrossing moments.

 

  1. Mendal Johnson – Let’s Go Play at the Adams, 1974.

Barbara, the babysitter wakes to find she’s being held captive. Lovely, innocent children have chloroformed, gagged and abused her. She is totally at the mercy of their new found power. Ain’t no fun when rabbit’s got the gun!

 

  1. Yann Martel – Life of Pi, 2001.

The fantastical adventure of a young Tamil boy from Pondicherry and how he survives after 227 days after shipwreck on a boat with ‘Richard Parker’ a Bengal tiger. Wow!

 

  1. Terry McMillan – How Stella Got Her Groove Back. (Also read Disappearing Acts, 1989 & Mama, 1987).

After a failed marriage and a string of dead-end relationships, Stella takes herself off to sunnier climes, Negril in Jamaica. She meets a handsome young man, half her age… enough said!

 

  1. Toni Morrison – The Bluest Eye, 1970.

Complex, thought-provoking emotional rollercoaster. Investigates ideas of beauty in its relation to black and white notions.  A social commentary very much relevant today and beyond.

 

  1. John Niven – Kill Your Friends, 2008.

Music industry A&R man, Steven Stelfox lives a life of reckless hedonism. Not dissimilar to American Psycho in pace or toxicity of character.

 

  1. George Orwell – 1984, 1949. (Also read Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, 1932).

The original Big Brother that precedes our contemporary Big Brother!  Say no more!

 

  1. Chuck Palahniuk – Choke, 2001.

The story centres around the life of Victor, a sex addict whose mother is in a nursing home. He tries various ways to make money, one of which being to go to restaurants, choke, see who comes to ‘save’ his life by correct application of the Heimlich manoeuvre. Then he manipulates ‘Samaritans’ who ‘save his life.

 

  1. George Schulyer – Black No More, 1931.

Based on black lives in the Harlem Renaissance era. A time when scientific discovery became the solution to race relations. What if everyone was white? Magical writing for period…

 

  1. Lionel Shriver – We Need to Talk About Kevin, 2003.

Essentially about a high school massacre. Eva finally falls pregnant but finds that she struggles to breast feed, the baby doesn’t sleep well, he cries an awful lot. There’s a general lack of connection with the infant. The distance grows, it gets worse. AND worse!

 

  1. Alice Walker – The Color Purple, 1985.

Set in Georgia in early 20th century. A black woman, Celie, survives extreme abuse from her father who marries her off. We see her transformation over the next 30 years of gruelling life.

 

  1. Matt Whyman – Boy Kills Man, 2004.

Based in the gang ruled streets of Medellin, Columbia where young Sonny becomes a child assassin, making a good life for him and family. Unforgettable!

 

  1. Oscar Wilde – The Picture of Dorian Gray, 1890.

A rich, hip young man’s desire to stay young forever is granted. He has a portrait painted and, instead of him aging, the portrait ages showing the evils in his soul!

 

 

 

Check out short stories:
Muddy Lovehttp://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01BX70SB4
Soullesshttp://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B008MZN3L8
Yellowest Orangehttp://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00AW257H2

 


10 Memorable Writing Quotes

10 Memorable Writing Quotes

 

1.        ‘I believe in dangerous writing… unless you’re writing about something that scares you, you’re wasting your time.’

 

 – Chuck Palahniuk

 

2.      ‘ ‘Every secret of a writer’s soul, every experience of his life, every quality of his mind, is written large in his works.’

 

– Virginia Woolf

 

3.      ‘It ain’t whatcha write, it’s the way atcha write it.’

 

Jack Kerouac

 

4.      ‘A good story should make you laugh, and a moment later break your heart.’

 

Chuck Palahniuk

 

5.      ‘You have to just drive over the edge. You haven’t got time to mess about.’

 

– Ralph Fiennes

 

6.      ‘‘Make your decisions strong decisions, bold decisions. If you think it is enough, double it. Get there in an unexpected way. Do things that make your story stand out.’

 

– Jon Gunn

 

7.     ‘If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it. Or, if proper usage gets in the way, it may have to go. I can’t allow what we learned in English composition to disrupt the sound and rhythm of the narrative.’

 

Elmore Leonard

 

8.    ‘‘If I wrote thinking about people’s responses it would be deadly. My rule is, “write first, blush later… ‘

– Gillian Flynn

 

9.  ‘Not a wasted word. This has been the main point of my literary thinking all my life.’

 

– Hunter S. Thompson

 

10.  ‘I do not over-intellectualise the writing process. I try to keep it simple. Tell the damned story.’

 

– Tom Clancy

 

Check out short stories:
Muddy Lovehttp://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01BX70SB4
Soullesshttp://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B008MZN3L8
Yellowest Orangehttp://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00AW257H2


Happy Valentine’s, Mr Cappuccino Baby!

 

 

‘It took me fifteen years to discover I had no talent for writing, but I couldn’t give it up because by that time I was too famous.’

– Robert Benchley

 

Happy Valentine’s, Mr Cappuccino Baby!

I decided to try something hot and sunny for Valentine’s Day. After making a few calls, I packed my suitcase and headed to the airport. I arrived off the coast of Africa somewhere in the afternoon. I dumped my case in my hotel room and headed out to explore the grounds. It was totally awe-inspiring. As I passed the bar and started down a path towards the beach, I felt like I was being followed. Abruptly, I stopped and turned. A man stood there. I didn’t fancy him, but he wasn’t an eyesore either. I’d say a blendering of old school Mickey Rourke and Bruce Willis. But to be honest, I wasn’t doing a ‘How-Stella-Got-Her-Groove-Back’ number, or expecting any stalkeratzi so early in the game. Briefly, we chatted before he invited me for a drink. Why not, I thought! But as we turned around, the path veered away from the bar towards the hotel block.

‘Where are you going?’

‘This way.’ he said, over his shoulder. ‘We drink in my room for Valentine’s.’

I mean, I hadn’t even been there half an hour! Anyway, after scraping my jaw off the ground, I eyeballed long and hard. I knew what kind of ‘drink’ he had in mind. Flinging two bad and toxic words at him, I left him wilting in the sun.

A little parched I headed to the bar for a cocktail or three. There were a few loved-up couples and a few singles sprinkled here and there. About an hour passed before he surfaced, filling the doorway. He pulled up a stool, perched at the bar and ordered. After dragging his stool closer to mine, he wiped his forehead with the back of his hand, and spewed torrents of compliments about my skin. In short, he thought we could get married and have cappuccino babies. What could I say? I felt like giving him one Batman-esque K-A-P-O-W, but thought better of it! Instead, my eyes welled and I erupted in hysterical fits of laughter. Quickly, I knocked back my nth cocktail and exited stage left.

I spent the following day lounging under the bluest of skies. My skin radiated like the black gold of the sun. A faint breeze kissed my neck telling me it was time to freshen up for dinner at the Waterside Restaurant. Afterwards, while Valentining couples got it on, I decided to venture out and walk dinner off. Not once did I feel fear of any kind, but that was to change in a matter of minutes. It wasn’t even that late when it happened, but everyone had gone in for the evening’s entertainment. I was truly alone. At least I thought I was.

Kicking off mules, I enjoyed the cool, damp sand between my toes. I trudged along the crescent-shaped stretch of white sand beach, lined with palm trees and stunning blue water. A magical moment of pure bliss and serenity. When I got to the end, I scanned the horizon and looked back from where I came. That’s when I saw the stomping figure. My heart pounded like no one’s business.

As he neared, I couldn’t quite see his face, but my gut told me it was him. Mr Cappuccino Baby. Trembling with shock, I walked back in the hope I’d pass him and head back to my room. But as I drew abreast of him, he sidestepped, blocking my way.

We stood almost nose-to-nose. My nostrils flared because of the alcoholic attack from his breath. Starey, glazed eyes were framed with deep black grooves, which made him look like Grim’s brother. I breathed hard. There was no one around as far as I could see, and I’d left my phone locked in the safe in my room.

‘What?!’

Eventually, he smiled and wagged his finger, then shot off at an unexpected pace. Awashed with relief, I swallowed and tried to get a grip. As I reached my block, I looked around. Then, suddenly, there he was… marching towards me with something shining in his hand…

 

Check out more short stories:
Muddy Lovehttp://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01BX70SB4
Soullesshttp://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B008MZN3L8
Yellowest Orangehttp://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00AW257H2

 

 

 


10 Things I Wish I’d Known Before I Started Writing!

10

 

Here are 10 things I wish I’d known before I started writing…

1.            Writing is hard… hard… and erm… hard! Make no bones about it, it’s a HARD road to travel for all sorts of reasons! The brain gets tired, you’ve got to work and can’t always summon the muse.

2.            Feedback – Seeking constructive feedback from industry professionals can be costly but worth it!  This is great because it gives you renewed confidence when resending work.

3.            Reviews – Asking for them is like asking a rock to kizomba. It’s not easy asking in the first place, but it’s one of those ‘perks’ of the job.

4.            Bad Reviews – They suck, but you get over it. Every man and his dog has an opinion. Life!!           

5.            CriticsWatch out for ‘armchair authors’ who are a lot like ‘armchair politicians.’ Enough said…

6.            Friends & Family – It’s definitely no shoo-in. Do not rely on it, it might break your heart. 😉 If I had a pound for everyone who promised to write a review, I’d be living in the Hollywood Hills with Cher and Snoop. However, that being said, strangers are more inclined to offer support.

7.            Creative writing workshops – Some say they’re no good, but how else can you test your work? You can’t sit in a bubble and say you’re a writer unless it’s for your eyes only. In reality, after much drafting, rewriting, spell checking, proofing etc., you have to get out there, chance your arm to see if it works. Also, workshops provide a good support network.  We’re all in the same boat! 😉

8.         Negativity – You have to stay positive no matter what. Also, you’re always growing as a writer. So you may look at something you wrote — even last year, and think, crikey.

9.         Hats – You have to wear many hats. So you’re a writer and you’ve written a ton of stories. Then what? Well, there’s this thing called marketing. So you get someone to get the ball rolling because you think you can only do the creative part, right? Wrong! Tried it and learnt an expensive lesson. People so eager to exploit to take your money to shop in Lidl’s. So you do it yourself. Baby steps mind you. Start with a blog and plug yourself into a couple of social media outlets. Then you start spinning plates to keep everything going. Initially, I had doubts about ‘coming out’ (with writing) on social media, but when I saw people getting naked, twerking, etc. I thought, might as well give it a go!

10.         Confidence – You must believe in yourself and defend your work at all costs. I have on occasion had people say the strangest things. Can you believe there are people who swear they know what you’re trying to say! Absolutely ludicrous!

It’s all good fun!! 😉

Check out my short stories:

Muddy Lovehttp://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01BX70SB4
Soullesshttp://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B008MZN3L8
Yellowest Orange http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00AW257H2