#IWSG Oct: Actually I’m not so sure…

I didn’t post for the IWSG during August and September because it was the school holidays and life was a bit full on.

As a result, I was dropped off the list – that happens if you miss two months as it’s (fairly) assumed that you’ve left the group.

For a while I prevaricated about signing back up; it’s a bit like when your car insurance comes up for renewal and you try to decide whether to automatically renew or to shop around.

Well, I started to write a post about deciding to quit for a while… but then I realised I’d miss those monthly prompts and interactions with writer buddies around the globe. I’d still visit some, but the monthly blog hop was always a reminder and nice way to check in on what’s going on in other people’s lives.

So, I’ve signed back up. Not because I’m insecure (at the moment anyway), but ‘coz I like the support. I guess absence does make the heart grow fonder ๐Ÿ˜‰

I’m interested to see what it’s like being back at the end of the list. I was within the first 100 before and now I’m all the way back at 227, although I can see a few familiar names nearby. Will it be a bit like moving house? I’ve got new ‘neighbours’ now – who’s coming round to borrow a cup of sugar? (does anyone really do that? In my experience they’re more likely to tell me I’ve parked in the the wrong space!)

Anyhow, thanks for stopping by. Feel free to look around, just be careful of… yeah – that was the cat, she likes to pretend to be the carpet >rolls eyes<

Oh, and before you go, don’t forget to visit this months co-hosts; Olga Godim, Chemist Ken, Jennifer Hawes, and Tamara Narayan!

And if you’d like to join this merry band of writers, you can sign up to the list here (we could turn out to be neighbours!)

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I mean business this time!

Things have been quiet here on the blog recently, but there’s a reason for that. It’s called the school holidays.

I realised ahead of time that it would be foolish to think I could concentrate on my novel. That’s not innate wisdom, by the way – it’s learned from past optimism.

So, I stacked everything in a neat-ish pile, and thought about Christmas instead. Huh? you ask. Yes, August is the time to be writing Christmas stories for magazines, and I figured I had more chance of completing short term projects during the Summer holidays.

And I found it was really good to concentrate on short stories in a chunk of time like that, rather than more randomly when inspiration struck. So I think I’ll adjust my approach in future and focus on specific seasonal markets (which is probably what you’re meant to do, but despite paying attention to advice, I still tend to only really ‘get’ it through experience).

So, stories written and submitted (plus one commission! Whoop! Whoop!), the kids are back at school, and now it’s time to pull out the manuscript. I’m near the end of a second draft now. I had the first three chapters assessed, which was really really useful, so I’ll send the rest off too, so there’ll be a third draft looming after that. But… I mean business this time. This is the third novel I’ve written, but this feels like the right one to send out.

Wish me luck and watch this space ๐Ÿ˜‰

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A-Z of Fictional Characters: J is for Jobber

I could easily have gone with Jane Ayre for ‘J’, but that would have been the easy option.

Instead, I’d like to introduce you to Jobber, the heroine of New Moon, the first book in Midori Snyder’s Queens’ Quarter trilogy.

Now, *(small) Spoiler Alert!* back in the day when I first read this, any novel where the heroine was disguised as a boy was a shoo-in. I didn’t even realise when I first started reading this, so when the revelation occurred it was like being suddenly ramped up to warp 9.

(I seem to recall a start trek joke about this, but when I tried to google it, the results were too geeky even for me!)

So, Jobber. Whoa.

She’s gruff. She has no finesse, she’s not pretty. She’s an unkempt, argumentative ragamuffin, and she’s the only fire elemental (apart from the mad queen) left in a world where anyone possessing elemental magic buries it deep if they want to survive.

But everything is out of balance. The queen is paranoid and likely insane. There are rebel factions gathering in the hills, while in the city the street children hide from the authorities and steal to stay alive. But someone is murdering the children with magic, people are desperate and Jobber is the catalyst…

Obviously one of my favourites, Jobber was an influence. A refreshing change and an excellent example of someone with faults, who screws up, invariably says the wrong thing and yet you can’t help but love her.

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Free Stories! – July Storytime Bloghop

I didn’t have anything ready for the latest story-hop, but I’m looking forward to seeing what my fellow hoppers have come up with. I’m excited to see some new names mixed in with some old favourites.

Enjoy these bite-sized speculative stories from around the world, and don’t forget to say hi!

Hell’s Play, by Juneta Key

To The Moon And Beyond, by Fanni Sรผtล‘

Surprise, by Katharina Gerlach

In A Picture by Erica Damon

The Past Tastes Better by Karen Lynn

Revealing Space by Barbara Lund

The Rose Tender by Raven Oโ€™Fiernan

The Last Sleeping Beauty by Tamara Ruth

Freeman by Elizabeth McCleary

The Token by Eli Winfield

Moshe by Chris Makowski

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#IWSG July: So, what has the IWSG ever done for me?

It’s the first Wednesday of the month, which means it’s time to blog about the Insecure Writers Support Group.

You might wonder, sometimes, if the IWSG is for you. There have been times when I have. Why am I bothering? I’d think, I don’t really feel that insecure, and Actually neither do a lot of these other people…

Well, here’s what it has got me: Continue reading

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A-Z of fictional characters: I is for Incy

I couldn’t think of an ‘I’, so I opted for Incy Wincy Spider.

She (or he, depending on your point of view) is, after all, the classic hero(ine). Continue reading

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The story that could!

A year ago this story was rejected by a different magazine. Since then it has been rejected by others too.

My Weekly rejected it initially as well, BUT, the editor told me that although she liked it, it was the wrong length. However, she’d be happy to reconsider if I cut it. So I did, and here we are ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ Continue reading

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