Monday, 27 October 2008


It's a fair call to assume that going to a writing workshop will inspire new ideas and new writing. But what about other times? I have always been amazed by how many people ask writers where they get ideas from, as if it's some big secret. Sure, I found inspiration at the workshop I attended on Saturday, and in fact, have an idea for a whole new novel. Another crime one that could find a home in another of my study's drawers perhaps.

But more than that, going to such an event inspires me to write, full stop. Whatever ideas are most pressing, seem more interesting when I scour my journal, or, yes, something that came out of the day.

So, today I am writing. A short story that was originally inspired by a fight my next door neighbours had back in May. The story has been half written, half notes, in one of my journals since then. Although I haven't finished it. The ending seems elusive. mainly because the story took a slight turn that I had not anticipated. But it's all good, because I have faith that the ending will come in the next hours/days/weeks.

Still on insipration, the poem I mentioned a while back was inspired by another writer's excitement about their own idea...when they asked a question about my past, it brought back a memory that seemed worth writing about. The poem I wrote before that was also inspired by something someone said, and focussed on something from my childhood.

As for the new novel idea, now I am torn between what to focus on next year. The non-crime novel I was planning to write, the crime novel inspired by this recent workshop, or a rewrite of the crime novel lining my drawer? And, while I think I know the answer, do let me know if you happen to come across a three-sided coin.

Thursday, 23 October 2008

Crime workshop

I am very excited about this coming Saturday, as I have been invited to a crime writing workshop with Jarad Henry. Every year, a local writers' group, the Lazy River Writers have a writing workshop on the last Saturday of October. I am lucky enough to have been to the last two workshops as well, last year's with Sheila Hollingworth and the year before that with Liam Davison.

But this year is that little bit more exciting. Because it is crime. I am a fan of crime fiction. To read and to write. I love Robert Crais and Harlan Coben, and have a crime novel of my own keeping one of my drawers good company. I've never quite 'got' how a short crime story might work effectively, so hopefully I'll come away with a better feeling about that, and some ideas for one or a handful.

And it will be nice just to spend the entire day thinking about writing.

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Getting back into it

I wrote a poem today. Probably not a very good one, but it means I am getting back into it. Yay.

The best bit about it was that the idea came to me, in complete form, at about 4.30am as I lay in bed. Sure I should have been asleep, and probably I should have written it down then. But, I can't really use my bedside lamp at the moment, so I figured it could wait til morning. A risk, I know, but I did remember it.

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

A great day

It is a great day when the forthcoming issue of page seventeen goes off to the printer. As it has today.

Quite a few bits and pieces were only finalised in the last few days, so I am very pleased to be sticking to the original schedule. It's great to know there is so much support out there for the mag, which is why I was able to send it off on time, ready.

Now it's time to look forward to the launch.

Which will again be at the Queen of Tarts cafe in Belgrave. From 2.30pm on Saturday 8th November. Special guest Lee Kofman.

Copies are available at a reduced rate at the launch, or by pre-ordering. See the website for details, and print out a pre-order form or use Paypal. Or even better, come along to the launch and meet some of the writers who help make this mag a success.

Tuesday, 7 October 2008


I got to do some writing the other day. Unfortunately it was assignment writing, which just isn't as good as the real thing. But on the plus side, having written two assignments means I'm going to be able to get stuck into some stories sooner rather than later.

Of the ideas waiting in my journal, there is one that I am particularly keen to get stuck into, inspired by a fight my next door neighbour had one 3am. It was one of those times when I couldn't be bothered getting up to write notes, but when I woke in the morning, the words were still in my sentences. And when that happens, well, you've just gotta go with it.

Although maybe I'll rewrite one of the stories waiting for my attention first...just to help me get back into the swing of it.

Friday, 3 October 2008

Writing cycles

One of the great things about being a writer is that all the different stages of a piece of writing create a cycle. First stage might be to come up with an idea or to get straight into the writing. You might then leave it a few days and then possibly even workshop with other writers. One or more rewrites later, you might have something ready to send out. If you're lucky, you'll hear back within a couple of months (or less), and either chalk it up to a success, or send it out to someone else.

One of the reasons I like this cycle is that it means something can happen while I am not actually writing. Whether this means I spend some time rewriting a story, or allocate time to send pieces out, or, even better, find out an editor loves one of my stories or poems so much they want to publish it.

Despite my recent lack of writing, and even to add that I have been rather sporadic about sending work out, I had two pieces accepted in the last month. A poem and a story. The story acceptance was received only a couple of days ago, and was from a publication I have been keen to be published in for some time. This has inspired me to get on with the study I need to finish before I can get back into writing, and to finish it quickly. At worst, it needs to be finished by about Oct 20, but maybe I can get it done sooner and start scratching away at some of those ideas waiting in my journal.