I’m thrilled that Rachel from Creatopath has nominated me for the Blog Tour Award. I always love reading her stories for the weekly flash fiction challenges, and checking out the creative ventures on her blog, so thanks once again for the nomination Rachel! This award involves answering four questions about writing. The rules are:
- Compose a one-time post on a specific Monday (date given on your nomination – I was given Monday 27 April.
- Give your nominees the rules, and a specific Monday to post. My nominees can post on Monday 18 May.
- Pass the tour on to up to four other bloggers.
- Answer four questions about your creative process which lets other bloggers and visitors know what inspires you to do what you do.
Here are the four questions and my answers:
Q.1. What are you working on at the moment? At the moment I’m working on a paranormal/suspense novella (or novel, depending on how many words the story needs to be told) based on a flash fiction piece I wrote a while ago called White Manor. It’s about a woman who inherits her family estate and has to deal with some unexpected events involving the house, and learning a thing or two about herself along the way. I started it as part of CampNaNoWriMo this month but haven’t got a hope in hell of actually finishing it by the end of the month now so I’ll keep playing with it and use the next Camp in July to finish the first draft if I haven’t done so by then. I’m also finishing up two short stories that I’ve had sitting around since the start of the year.
Q.2. How does your work differ from others in your genre? My writing voice inevitably gravitates towards humour/satire because I find it difficult to take life too seriously, so even though my current project is quite a dark story, it’s probably going to be coloured with humour somehow. Also, my protagonists tend to be female because a) its easier for me to relate to a woman and b) I think that there are enough male characters out there saving the world/galaxy/universe already, so I see it as my duty to strive towards balancing the equation 🙂
Q.3. Why do you write or create what you do? I love all forms of creative expression, whether its art, photography or film. Writing just happens to be the form I feel most comfortable with because it allows you to create people and places and alternate realities without getting paint all over your hands or having to get wet/cold/hot/dirty to capture that perfect shot. In saying that, I’d happily get out there for the perfect shot if I didn’t have two young children to care for!
Q.4. How does your writing/creative process work? I’m not a very disciplined person by nature, and that combined with a cheeky toddler and 6 month old baby, create a challenging environment for a regular writing habit. The following tools and techniques are helpful:
- Limiting the use of social media. It would be very easy to wile away the hours socialising online, so I’ve purposefully broken my Facebook habit, and don’t have any other social media accounts. Blogging, and socialising with the WordPress community is enough for now.
- Limiting my blogging commitments. As much as I’d love to feed my addiction to flash fictioning and photography by participating in more challenges, I limit myself to two flash fiction challenges a week (Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers, Mondays Finish the Story, and the Daily Post Photography Challenge).
- I like to work on a few projects at the same time, usually of different genres, so that way when I start running out of steam with one story I switch to a different one for a few days.
- Even if I’m writing a story about transgender aliens planning an Elvis convention, I always make sure to research the subject area in order to give the story some level of plausibility.
- I like to start with an overall outline, and then a paragraph or so for each chapter to have some kind of structure to start with. Nothing too set in stone of course, as characters like to do their own thing most times don’t they?
- I use Scrivener, which makes it easy to move between chapters and scenes, and to shuffle things around.
- I’ve become a fan of writing sprints after being at CampNaNoWrimo, and find its a helpful way to quickly dump whatever’s lingering in the subconscious onto a page – its amazing how much you can write down in a 10 minute sprint, before treating yourself to a tea/coffee and bikkies!
- I also use the notes feature on my phone to jot down ideas and inspiration on the run, and then save them to Dropbox for later (I save everything in Dropbox now after suffering the horror of a crashed computer not long ago.)
Well, that’s enough about me – time to pass the baton on to some writers whose work I look forward to reading each week. Without further ado, my nominees for the Blog Tour Award are:
- draliman at Draliman on Life;
- purpleanais at Arawenaragonstar;
- Kathryn Player at Thoughts of a Curlyhaired Essex Girl; and
- Dave at ParkInkSpot.
The theme for this week’s photography challenge – Motion, has so many possibilities that it’s been difficult to narrow down my favourites. But here goes..
This little horse was having way too much fun to care about the cold.
Water flowing past Neptune’s feet – Fontana del Nettuno, Rome.
I came across this little waterfall at a national park in Rio.
A camel, a horse and a cyclist, on their way to a bar..
This is my contribution to this week’s Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers, brought to us by Priceless Joy.
Laura checked her watch. Where is he? He knows that I hate being late. She craned her neck over the edge of the platform.
“Excuse me, could you step behind the yellow line?” A uniformed man wearing an official tone and a whistle around his neck strolled over.
She turned around. “Uh.. sorry Mrs. Amazing, didn’t realize it was you… wow, never thought I’d see a superhero at a train station!”
“Well, Mr. Amazing chose not to fly today. And its Ms. not Mrs.” Her smile and her eyes gave him different messages.
He pulled out his phone. “Hey can I get a pic..er, never mind.” His survival instinct kicked in just as the train arrived.
Mr. Amazing stepped out and walked towards his wife.
“Sorry babe.” He shook his phone in her face. “Had to go back for this.”
“Where is it?”
A look of panic washed over his face. “Oh shit. I left it on the train!”
Millbrae Station was reduced to a pile of rubble.
Here’s my contribution to Monday’s Finish the Story posted by Barbara Beecham. It’s amazing how rusty you can feel after just a week long break from writing, but here goes…
Finish the story begins with: “They followed the buffaloes and their babies along the trail heading into the woods.”
They’d been tracking them for days, staying out of sight to avoid spooking the beasts and waiting for their chance. The plan was to separate a calf from the herd and bring it down. Starving, and with most their weapons gone, they held onto the element of surprise as their last hope.
“Here they come” Jane whispered, watching the beasts wind their way uphill through the trees. The air was heavier here, full of earthy smells which help to mask their own scent. The animals moved cautiously, the cows keeping their young close.
She pressed the knife handle into her sweaty palm, not daring to breathe. They only had one chance at this, and timing was everything.
Dan listened to the animals draw closer, hunger honing his senses. His eyes waiting for Jane’s signal.
She spread her fingers out and counted down from five.
“Now!” she screamed as they charged at the buffalo.
After an insane week of unexpected chaos, calm has returned once more to the savannah. And now I must write like the wind.
Also, does anyone else think that Chewie has had a facelift? How could he possibly still look the same after almost 40 years..
This is my contribution to this week’s Monday’s Finish the Story from Barbara Beecham – thanks once again Barbara for a great prompt!
Finish the story begins with: “The neighbors were not happy about my choice of yard art.”
Sam took a sip of his beer as he looked over at the Man. “But they’d like him even less if they knew what he was.”
“What do you mean?” Tara sat painting her nails.
“Ever heard of the Stone Man from Misty Falls?”
“Yeah.. but the Stone Man’s not real Sam. It’s just a dumb story we used to tell the kids in school to freak them out.”
“What if I told you that he is real.” Sam’s tone made her look up.
“Stop being an idiot Sam! Are you telling me that that thing over there is THE Stone Man? That he can turn your heart to stone?” Rolling her eyes, she continued to coat her nails with Calipso Sunset. “How did this legend fall into your filthy hands anyway?”
He hopped off the chair and sat down next to her. “It starts with your heart, yes, but soon your whole body turns to stone. Let me show you…”
This week’s Daily Post photography challenge is Afloat, a word which conjures up images of floating on warm tropical oceans and gazing up at blue skies, whilst sipping cocktails out of coconut shells.. The reality isn’t as glamorous, but a girl can dream!
The organised chaos of the floating markets at Bangkok.
When the sexiness of Rio gets all too much, head to Buzios to recover your senses..
Being the nearest mainland location to Antarctica, the Beagle Channel is no tropical haven – but its beauty is undeniable.
Here’s my contribution to this week’s Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers prompt. Thanks Priceless Joy for another awesome prompt!
The scene of the crime pierced an otherwise quiet neighbourhood like a gaudy Christmas tree, lit up with the flashing lights of emergency vehicles, news crews, and the flashes from a hundred selfies as the gawkers updated their Instagram feeds.
A crumpled car. A ruined house.
“A horrible accident” report the newsfeeds, filling your hunger for the latest tragedy.
An unfortunate set of circumstances leading to disaster.
But nothing happens by chance, does it?
I was there. I know.
The young family safe and warm in their home, enjoying story time before bed. The drunk driver risking the short trip home. A corner taken too fast. A cat which chose that instant to run across his path.
In the matter of life and death, a few seconds can make all the difference – or make no difference at all.
That poor family you say. What a terrible accident.
But in the matter of life and death, there are no accidents. I know. I was there.
Here’s my contribution to this week’s Mondays Finish the Story challenge provided by Barbara Beecham. It’s a frivolous tale, but I’m working on a dark, depressing story behind the scenes at the moment, and needed some comic relief.. 🙂
Once upon a time in a land far, far away, the god of the underworld was flossing his teeth when there was a knock on the door. “Evening sir, I’m Allen from Bunged Up Plumbing Services.. you rang about a water leak?”
The god of the underworld led Allen around to the back of his house and showed him the view.
“Right. Looks like you’ve got a bit of a problem here sir.”
The god of the underworld turned to Allen. “As you can see, hell is flooded. Winter, as we know, is coming and I can’t afford to let the place freeze over, as that has serious implications for my reputation. So you need to fix it.” He gave Allen the look of death. “Now.”
“Well this looks like a pretty big job, don’t think I could do it right now.. I’ll need to find the leak, give you a quote… could take a few days..”
The next day, Allen was dead.
This week’s Photo Challenge from The Daily Post is Blur, and given my addiction to night photography results in many a blurry shot – here are some of my favourites..
Piazza San Marco- Venice
Cairo, literally a week before the start of the Egyptian Revolution.