Posted in 2017 Writing Challenges, Announcements, Blog, News, Writing Journal, Writing Notebook, Writing Stuff

My New 12-Month Plan

Regular readers of this blog may have noticed, back in February I launched several self-published titles via Amazon Kindle.

Subsequently, some of the titles were pulled.

Yesterday, I pulled the remaining two titles.

I am also trying to get Good Reads updated to see if my author page can be closed, the titles removed and my Amazon author page shut down.

Whether I can un-register as self-employed with HMRC or not is a whole other issue.

The titles have not sold any copies. I take the blame for that. I did not have a marketing plan or a group of advance reader’s to review my book. I do not have the time or money to invest in proper promotion and advertising.

I decided to self-publish because I was frustrated with the difficulty getting traditionally published, not because it was something I really wanted to do.

I’m a Pisces, I can never make up my mind.

So I consider this a failed venture, on my part. I’ll take the hit for this.

I’ve done a lot thinking over the past three months and have reached the following conclusions:

  • I want to be traditionally published, by a large publisher or by an independent one
  • I don’t have the confidence, time or money to be an independent author
  • I have been unable to sell the two novels I’ve written so far so will put these aside and start something completely different

So my focus for the next 12 month’s:

  1. Complete the first draft of a new novel, I have an outline for a YA novel, something very different from my usual stuff
  2. I have numerous outlines for collections or sequences of poems, I will choose one and focus on writing and editing it
  3. Pay for a professional critique / feedback
  4. Focus on getting my work published in more magazines, anthologies, e zines, hopefully with some professional sales
  5. Finish my Pinterest site

I don’t feel bad that I tried something and it didn’t work out. Shit happens. Screen wipe. New scene.

Posted in 2017 Writing Challenges, Blog, Fiction, First Drafts, Short Story, Story A Day, Writing Journal, Writing Notebook, Writing Stuff

The Woman Who Just Wanted To Be Happy

2016StADaHeadernodotorg1200x280sanserif-1I wrote my final piece for StoryADay.

An official prompt has not been posted as yet so I dug an idea out of my archives that I had a while ago.

A woman has been unhappily married for thirty years to a man who is violent when he’s been drinking. They have two young children. She doesn’t realise how unhappy she is until she falls in love with another woman. Her husband beats her when she tells him she’s leaving him. Her husband refuses to let her see her children as she struggles to build a new life.

Posted in 2017 Writing Challenges, Blog, Fiction, First Drafts, Short Story, Story A Day, Writing Journal, Writing Notebook, Writing Stuff

The Other Side Of Green

2016StADaHeadernodotorg1200x280sanserif-1I wrote another piece for StoryADay.

I didn’t use the official prompt. I dug a half-finished story from years ago out of my files and re-wrote and finished it.

A woman, bored with her marriage embarks on an affair with an old flame. Her passion for her lover soon wears off and she ends it. He doesn’t take it well and becomes aggressive and violent, hurting her. She manages to get away from him and goes home. Her husband takes her out for a lovely meal and she realises she forgot it was their anniversary. She vows to work harder at her marriage because she does love her husband.

Posted in 2017 Writing Challenges, Blog, Fiction, First Drafts, Short Story, Story A Day, Writing Journal, Writing Notebook, Writing Stuff

Counting Down The Days

2016StADaHeadernodotorg1200x280sanserif-1I wrote another piece for StoryADay.

I didn’t use the official prompt.

I used a poem called Twelve Days that I wrote years ago as inspiration. The poem parodies the Twelve Days Of Christmas a woman discovers her lover is cheating.

A woman sees her lover with someone else. She becomes obsessed with uncovering the identity of the mystery woman. Over the course of twelve days, her relationship gradually disintegrates as she finds evidence her boyfriend is cheating.

Posted in 2017 Writing Challenges, Blog, Fiction, First Drafts, Short Story, Story A Day, Writing Journal, Writing Notebook, Writing Stuff

Three Days

2016StADaHeadernodotorg1200x280sanserif-1 I wrote another piece for StoryADay.

I didn’t use the official prompt. I used a poem I wrote years ago as a kick-off point.

A woman goes to a remote hotel in Spain for three days of solitude to get over a messy break-up. She has a fling with a gorgeous stranger who chats her up at the hotel bar. They spend two days drinking and having sex. On the third days she wokes alone and discovers he’s robbed her and done a runner.

Posted in 2017 Writing Challenges, Blog, Fiction, First Drafts, Short Story, Story A Day, Writing Journal, Writing Notebook, Writing Stuff

Someone There At Night

2016StADaHeadernodotorg1200x280sanserif-1I wrote another piece for StoryADay.

I used the official prompt: Write A Non-Traditional Love Story.

Julie has severe epilepsy and her life is made easier thanks to her assistance dog, Pudsey. She found him in a rescue centre and had him trained, despite her doctor saying he was too old. She relies on him every day. She has a seizure and he helps her get into recovery position and gets her medication. She has a shower and is making breakfast when she has a second, more severe seizure. Pudsey gets her the phone so she can call 999.

 

Posted in 2017 Writing Challenges, Blog, Fiction, First Drafts, Short Story, Story A Day, Writing Journal, Writing Notebook, Writing Stuff

Old Wounds

2016StADaHeadernodotorg1200x280sanserif-1I wrote another piece for StoryADay.

I didn’t use the official prompt.

I used an idea I had age ago to write a story featuring three things: a family argument, a 17th floor balcony and an unforgettable perfume.

A man comes home late, drunk after having a few drinks with the lads after his work. His wife is laying in wait. He cheated once, ten years ago and she still doesn’t trust him. They have a heated argument. She accuses him of sleeping around when she smells perfume on him and he claims it was the barmaid. He goes onto the balcony for some fresh air. She follows, still yelling. They struggle and she falls to her death.

  • A family argument – the couple fight
  • A 17th floor balcony – the woman falls to her death from a balcony and they live on the 17th floor
  • An unforgettable perfume – the woman smells cheap perfume on her husband

 

Posted in 2017 Writing Challenges, Blog, Fiction, First Drafts, Short Story, Story A Day, Writing Journal, Writing Notebook, Writing Stuff

A Quite Voice Calling

2016StADaHeadernodotorg1200x280sanserif-1I wrote another piece for StoryADay.

I didn’t use the official prompt. I used an idea I had ages ages ago to write a story featuring three things: broken glass, nursery rhyme and rain.

A woman is lured out of her house one night by a quiet voice singing nursery rhymes. She is in a trance when she climbs out a window which has been broken and follows the voice into the woods. She cuts her foot on broken glass but doesn’t notice. In the woods she sees her children dancing in a circle with a strange man. She comes out of her trance and sees the man looks evil. She runs towards her children but they vanish with the man.

  • Broken glass – woman cuts her foot on a piece
  • Nursery rhyme – she hears a voice singing these
  • Rain – it starts raining as the woman heads into the wood
Posted in 2017 Writing Challenges, Blog, Fiction, First Drafts, Short Story, Story A Day, Writing Journal, Writing Notebook, Writing Stuff

The Mysterious Death Of Michael Smith

2016StADaHeadernodotorg1200x280sanserif-1I wrote another piece for StoryADay.

I’ve almost caught up after not being able to write at the weekend.

I used a random idea I had for a story years ago: write a story that features melted snow, a dead poet and a betrayal.

A woman calls her boyfriend late one night. It’s been snowing for days and she’s alone because he’s away at a conference. He tells her he’s waiting for the last train home and promises to wake her. She falls asleep after reading some Sylvia Plath poetry. She wakes up. It’s 9am. She’s alone. A bouquet of roses is lying on the floor next to the bed along with her phone. It’s open to a text message from the man she’s been having an affair with. She looks for her lover and sees footprints in the snow leading into the woods. She follows them and discover her lover has shot himself.

  • Melted snow – the snow has started to melt when the woman wakes up
  • A dead poet – the woman was reading Sylvia Plath, a poet who committed suicide
  • A betrayal – the woman was having an affair

 

Posted in 2017 Writing Challenges, Blog, Fiction, First Drafts, Short Story, Story A Day, Writing Journal, Writing Notebook, Writing Stuff

Softly, Softly

2016StADaHeadernodotorg1200x280sanserif-1I wrote another piece for StoryADay.

I used the official prompt: Write a prose sonnet: a story 14 sentences long. You could model your story on a Shakespearean sonnet: three groups of four related sentences, and a final two-sentence ending that perhaps turns the story upside down OR reinforces its message.

Juliet is seven months pregnant. She is awakened early in the morning by her baby kicking. She lies awake next to her sleeping husband, touching her bump and imagining her life as a mother. The baby stops kicks and her bladder strains. She gets up to go to the bathroom and realises she’s bleeding.