Showing posts from November, 2019

Take a Break

There comes a time in every writers' life when you having a bad day/week/month/year and nothing seems to work. It could be due to physical health problems, mental health problems, issues with the family or any other reason.

When these things happen, accept them. Some days you can push yourself, on others you can't.

Just sit back and read this poem...

Stay true to yourself, look after yourself, live to write and create another day.

History In Stories

Do you like history? I do.

I love historical fiction. My favourite remains The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey which crosses history with a detective story. (Worth checking out if you’re interested in Richard III).

One thing I love about flash fiction is because it must be character led, I can set said characters wherever I want. I’ve written historical flash fiction pieces and implied history with other stories. I’ve also written tales which give nods to famous historical works. Even if you don’t know the characters or background to those works, my stories still make sense. They make more sense if you do know.

Even with a fantastical flash tale, I’ve implied the history of the fantastical character or setting. A line or two is enough usually to give a flavour of the setting, which is all that is needed here.

Whatever we write, our characters have a history, though not all is shown in the story we present to a reader.  I have to outline my characters and know some of their history b…

Making Celebrations Personal by Trevor Thorn

One of the joys I have found in writing is when there is an opportunity to write for a small group of people who share a relationship or experience that can be affirmed or fostered by the writing. I have had a recent opportunity to do this for an 18 year old grandson, Thomas, who, until recently, had been amazingly faithful to a somewhat gruelling weekend job at a local pub. That got celebrated by the following verse which was the third verse of five in a song which was singable to ‘While Shepherds Watched’ - and sung at his family birthday party.

He’s practiced at the Pike and Eel With water cold and hot. There he’s washed several thousand plates And knives and forks and pots.

There was a particularly touching back story to writing this particular song. When Thomas was much younger, I had written a similar type of song for his mum when she turned 40. On the evening of his mum’s celebration, Tom was not at all well and while the song was being sung, he sat himself on his own in the middle …

So that you may know by Tracy Williamson

Last night my beloved Hearing Dog had another epileptic fit.
His third this year.
And I feel shattered and sad.
How are things going to work with my itinerant lifestyle when my dog seems to be getting worse in his condition?.
You may say 'he's only a dog' but he is my friend who constantly gives me unconditional love and hears for me every day.
How does he feel when he fits, is he even aware?
And this whole thing makes me think of the mystery of knowing how it is for others...
What is it like to be me?
What is it like to be you?
What does it feel like to be in constant pain?
Or to live a life disconnected from personal contact?
To know the wonder of a new life being formed within you?
To be in the centre of a loving family or group of friends?
To lose through illness or disability the thing that brought you most joy in the world?
When one friend's face lights up with joy as she describes her son's achievement, and another grieves because of her son';s mental i…

Pushing Through by Nicki Copeland

A week ago my husband had a full knee-replacement operation. It’s a major operation and he’s still in some pain, but he’s recovering well.
This has come at a time when we’re already facing a number of challenges (aren’t we all?!). I was feeling quite apprehensive, and that there’s a lot on my shoulders at the moment. But God is good, and as I was praying about it all, I ‘saw’ him standing right behind me. His shoulders were so much bigger and wider than mine, and able to carry so much more. And they were just a little bit higher than my shoulders. I felt him say to me that he’s there, he’s got my back, and while he isn’t going to take the load from me, he’ll carry it with me.
I was so encouraged by this picture, and it has sustained me through the week. It’s not easy to see someone you love in pain. He’s obviously going to need a lot of support over the coming weeks, and I’m grateful that I work from home so I can be available when I’m needed.
I know this is a season we need to go …

Writing across the generation gap by Eileen Padmore

When this 60s photo from the chapel of Leeds General Infirmary popped up on facebook I did a double take.  No, this wasn't from the dark ages – it was my age!  I started nursing in the mid 60s.  It could have been me!  Difficult to remember that times were ever like this, with services broadcast to the wards.

Now this photo of my grandparents taken at around the end of WW1 – a quaint reminder of bygone times – doesn't seem much more ancient than my era.

So what's the problem?  Only that things have changed enormously and are continuing to do so at an unprecedented pace: the way we communicate, language, punctuation, spelling, grammar, culture.  It has led me to reflect on when is the best time to put down the pen, admit electronic defeat, accept my language is too old fashioned and that the young and even those in middle years may not be able to relate.

I have a book of memoirs in draft – memoirs with a twist, because my life has been unconventional and it is only now that I …

Truth and Post Truth

What is truth?If we Christian writers are asked what business we are in, I think we should reply, ‘the truth business.’ No matter what we write, even if it is fiction and therefore not ‘true’ in the most literal sense, we are always trying to reflect things as they really are. This is in itself a valuable ministry, and it is actually a species of witness, for a witness is a person who reflects something as it really is or was.
Our Lord told Pontius Pilate that he had come to bear witness to the truth, in other words, to reflect to human society things as they really, ultimately are. Pilate’s reply ‘what is truth?’ shouldn’t be automatically be taken as dismissive. It’s actually rather penetrating. We know what ‘the truth’ signifies: it means the array of things that are true, the things of God, ultimately unknowable but mediated in assimilable form by Jesus. But it’s worth thinking about what ‘truth’ without the ‘the’ means.
The earliest meanings of ‘true’ and ‘truth’ (in English) were …
Commitment by Rebecca Seaton

Commitment. My dictionary says to commit is to ‘promise or engage, especially oneself, for some undertaking’ or to ‘dedicate oneself to a cause etc. from a sense of conviction’.

In the Bible, it is clear that we should be committed to God, as He is to us. The sense of conviction is also important. Although there are plenty of examples, especially in the Old Testament, of people dedicated to God by others, like Joshua, Samuel and Samson, today’s believer is called to choose God out of their own conviction. As it says in Joshua 24:15, ‘Choose this day Whom you will serve’. The benefits of this are also clearly stated.

Most of us would also consider we have made a commitment to our writing. Often, ACW is a big part of this. It looks different to different people – for some it’s a dedication to achieve a particular word count, for others it’s to cross off chapters and plan particular sections. It can even be about our commitment to events or other writers. Like…

Famous to God by Emily Owen

One of the joys in my life is my nieces and nephews. An added joy is their love of books. This year, for Christmas/Birthdays, they have, almost without fail, asked me for books (I say ’almost,’ because I won’t mention the ‘unicorn that walks’ request, which bucked the trend rather).

It’s my niece’s birthday this week, and she will be receiving a Pippi Longstocking set of books. I was very delighted when she requested books I loved as a child!

The children have enjoyed books all their lives but, as they grow older, they realise that their crazy aunty, who invents songs and stories just for them, and comes up with silly jokes to make them giggle, actually, um, writes books as well.

Recently, my mum overheard a conversation between Josiah (6) and Abbie (nearly 8, see above):
J: 'Maybe we'll be famous because Aunty Memem (me) writes books.'

A: 'Maybe we're already famous because she put our names in her last book.'

(The last refers to the dedication in God’s Calling…

The voice of the Lord

The voice of the Lord is over the waters, the God of glory thunders, the Lord thunders over the mighty waters   
The voice of the Lord is powerful, 
The voice of the Lord is majestic 
The voice of the Lord strikes with flashes of lightening
The voice of the Lord shakes the desert  Psalm 29: 3,4,7,8

These words were highlighted to me in March and how His voice, and the power in us, can be in writing, song or speech.I thought of the written legacy of people in the Bible.I doubt Paul and others dreamt that 2,000 years later we would still be learning from their letters.In our desire to serve the Lord He has given us the Holy Spirit and the ability to help us counteract the sin, anger, negativity and depression that abounds in our world and bring hope.
United Christian Broadcasters celebrate this year 25 years of the Word for Today (WFT) and 10 years of being on National DAB radio. What a testimony of a God who envisioned Ian Mackay to begin broadcasting a Christian message of hope from his …

On Voice by Annmarie Miles

I heard my husband speaking on the phone the other day and he used a phrase that was not his. It was something only an Irish person would say. It’s not surprising really after 19 years of marriage, some of my brogue was bound to rub off. But it got me thinking again about ‘voice.’ I felt in that moment, he was using mine.
I love spending time on voice and dialogue in my fiction. My first novel will be published soon, so rather than having to capture my characters voices in the smaller word count of short stories, I’ve been able to allow them to express themselves, and reveal themselves in their speech. One of my bugbears is speech tags and I’m always wrestling with getting the right amount in. As I mentioned, I love dialogue, and I want readers to know who is speaking, by the voice, rather than reams of he said/she said. I only use the alternative tags, such as; he shouted, she murmured, he whispered etc if necessary. I don’t use them if all I’m doing is disguising overkill in the h…

Beginners Idol? By Kathleen McAnear Smith

Beginner’s Idol? Exodus 20: other gods.
There she was, a young woman standing on a stage streamed in from Chicago to those of us gathered somewhere in Portsmouth. As I’m a Pond Person who loves UK & USA connections, and Liz Bohannon is one of Forbes Top 20 Global Speakers* I thought I might listen very carefully.
“Some of us are stuck in our overwhelming dream,” she said.
I pictured my garage stacked with unsold books.
Liz admitted she had a PASSION, an overwhelming dream of helping women in poverty in Africa.  Stirred by her faith in Jesus and a degree in journalism she had been sure that within a year of graduating from college she would be changing the world.
“ But after a few years of nothing happening,” Liz moaned, “ I was more than just a little  disappointed. Why wasn’t God doing something?” She cried out, “what needs to change?”
Liz laughed at herself, “ I finally realised that for all I wanted to help hundreds of women in Africa, I didn’t know a single woman who liv…

Conquering Insecurity (well, managing it a bit, at least!) by Georgie Tennant

We writers can be touchy sorts.  We wrestle with self-doubt and internal criticism.  We write our words, cross them out, alter them for the better - then wonder if, in fact, we’ve altered them for the worse. We compare our words to those of others and fear ours come up short.

Eventually, (especially if we’re new to making our work public), we press ‘publish,’ or ‘send,’ heart pounding and mouth dry.If we make it that far, we then spend hours, even days, living in fear of Not Being Read (capitals intended).Symptoms of this include: finding yourself unable to leave the immediate vicinity of a phone or computer; coming out in a cold sweat when the number of ‘views’ fails to move in the upward direction on each nervous click of the refresh button; and the overwhelming fear that you have inadvertently activated the digital equivalent of the Harry Potter invisibility cloak.
I know we have a number of new ‘More Than Writers’ bloggers on board (to whom we extend a warm welcome and our thanks fo…