Monthly Archives: November 2013

Trainers – Dverse Poets Challenge


A new challenge in my poetry skin –



For Showing Me the Way – Thank You.


I take a snapshot of you

before I let you go,

you have travelled with me

eaten the dust of my sights


Trodden on the stones

and ragged edges

Saved me from falling,

cushioned my sores,


You worked harder than every expected

and I never gave you a second thought …

Until now.


Now I have to throw you away,

You have more holes than fabric

and when it’s wet

you just can’t encase my skin

in the way you need to,


I promise to give you

a good burial in a shoe bank bin

so you can continue your


help someone else.


For now I must part company

But before I do

Smile for me

One last time.

November 2013 Summary


I cannot believe it is already the end of November – it only seems a minute since the 1st… guess life goes fast when you are writing for NaNoWriMo… so how did the rest of the month pan out?

Submissions: 0

I really need to get back onto the action plan and send work out but this month has been all about writing and performing.


Following INKSPILL we had a surge of new followers and the Short Stories Writing Tips post continues to be the most popular on the blog, visited and read by over 20 people a day!

I had a secret wish in April – regarding the number of people who would be following AWF by the end of the year and we are so close. I hope we make it!

Followers 533



I was attempting 3 writing challenges this month; NaNoWriMo, Writers Digest PAD challenge (poems) and PiBoWriMo (Picture books) I only managed to complete 1, Nanowrimo win and now have half a novel (51,370 words) to work on next year or possibly reproduce in a collection of short stories and or poems.


Exciting writing adventures;

I performed at Poets for Peace at the ORT for remembrance day Peace

I did my debut performance at SpeakEasy in Worcester. SpeakEasy

I attended a Stanza meeting. (Poetry Society)

I got lost in Oxford and missed a workshop and book launch poetry event Lost Weekend

I performed at Purple Penumbra at the Old Rep Theatre in Sandwell. Performing

I went to the Writers’ Toolkit Conference event at Birmingham Ormiston Academy Toolkit

I performed at Sunday Xpress in Digbeth on the launch of Miss Halliwell’s new CD Sunday Xpress

I performed flash fiction for the first time at Drummonds 42 Flash event in Worcester. 42 Flashes

I attended a book launch by Maurice Riordan and Andrea France at Waterstones Birmingham. book launch


It has been an amazing month and I have spent sometime every week in my writing skin, sometimes for an entire weekend!


A Birthday Party for a very Special Lady!


My Gran is having a very special party today to celebrate her 90th!

We asked her what she wanted – my brothers and I are planning on taking her out for a day somewhere she wants to go. She has suggested BUNGEE JUMPING as something she has never done!

We are planning to put a clause in that prevents her from choosing an experience that will turn her grandkids and great grandkids grey!

What a woman!

Privileged to share some of her genes!

bday cups

I WIN! I WIN! I WIN! Nanowrimo 2013


2013-Winner-Facebook-Cover 2013-Winner-Facebook-Profile 2013-Winner-Square-Button 2013-Winner-Twitter-Header 2013-Winner-Vertical-Banner nano_13_winner_shirt_ladies_detail nano_winner_main2

A lot of hard work in the past 48 hours and points I thought I couldn’t do it!



Your Average Per Day
Words Written Today
Target Word Count
Target Average Words Per Day
Total Words Written
Words Remaining
Current Day
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Goal Achieved On
November 30, 2013
Words Per Day To Finish On Time
comsoc Copyright © 2013

I Have Nearly Done It! NaNoWriMo 2013


We didn’t make it to the German Market today – we are postponing the trip for next week.

xmas1 snowflakes


Prince William was at the Library of Birmingham today meeting 4 poets – my older brother was there – we could have been too if we hadn’t stayed home…


but, I did get to write down (like chow down) on my NaNo Novel and here are the latest stats:

Your Average Per Day
Words Written Today
Target Word Count
Target Average Words Per Day
Total Words Written
Words Remaining
Current Day
Days Remaining
At This Rate You Will Finish On
December  2, 2013
Words Per Day To Finish On Time
I didn’t think I could do it and now I know I can – nearly 10K today! Blimey!
There is a message about validation doing the rounds and in the remaining hours I am going to try to finish and validate as the system gets overwhelmed on the 30th with 200,000 people trying to do the same. Validation has been open since the 25th.
This has not been an easy challenge and I am unsure that I will bother with the pressure of it again until I actually have a book in me to write.
But it has been fun.
nano ame

40,000 Target Hit NaNoWriMo


nano 40000I have FINALLY done it! JUST 10k TO GO!

Your Average Per Day
Words Written Today
Target Word Count
Target Average Words Per Day
Total Words Written
Words Remaining
Current Day
Days Remaining
At This Rate You Will Finish On
December  7, 2013
Words Per Day To Finish On Time

NaNo GO, GO, GO!


In just over 24 hours NaNoWriMo 2013 will be over – this week I have been really busy and lost the free writing day as I worked an extra day. Today we both booked the day off to go to the German Market and start thinking about Christmas – more about this later – but 1st NANO!

I have been writing for an hour and a half and have managed nearly 2000 words – I am close to 40000 now and then I will be striding through the final 10K!

I am updating in small stages and watching the stats graph grow.

nano ame

Book Launch

Poetry Reading: Maurice Riordan, Angela France at Waterstone’s, on 28 Nov 2013
This Book Launch Event was in partnership with University College Birmingham, Writing West Midlands and Nine Arches Press.
It was a fantastic inspiring evening.wikepediaorg
After reading Flashes last night – tonight I became one! I had to zoom from work to another booking and then from there was attempting a homeward bound journey of about 15 minutes to do a Wonder Woman style change and pick up my writing notepad! Alas, traffic was so congested just after 5pm that I performed a spectacular U turn and headed back to the station.
The same station I missed my train into the city from last time *(Nemesis -every writer needs one!) Ironically this time I was at the station and had a 20 minute wait – and no phone battery! (We all know how time flies on updates.) Instead I bought a much needed sandwich and waited it out on the platform.
This did give me a lovely window of free time in the city before the event – and the German Market has arrived and paved the streets with light for Christmas!xmas 1 tealights (Christmas is something I have been trying not to even think about yet as it is still November… it is now however, nearly December and the sooner I buy the gifts and wrap them the sooner I can think about planning the first Christmas in my own home! And also stop worrying about the budget – more on this in December though.)gm
I did a small bit of shopping and arrived at Waterstone’s Bookshop in time to collect my ticket and glass of wine.
It is a gorgeous building and sadly as my phone battery was all but dead I didn’t snap any pictures for the blog. I will try to find some online and add them to this post.geographorguk   Copyright © 2013
We were on the balcony upstairs – a wonderful use of space. I saw a few poet friends, Cathy, Charlie Jordan and Jo Bell (who I did know would be there because it was on her sharing of the advert that I was reminded of this event – which had been advertised in mailing lists from WWM) however, I was still miffed when she mentioned stalking! 😉 It was a lovely event to talk to other readers and poets and chat I did!
Both Maurice Riordan and Angela France andrea france c peonymoon are well known, published poets. Tonight was my first discovery of both of them. I had already come across Buzzwords a poetry event Angela runs and one for my 2014 list! Tonight I heard her read and my mind sparked off in a million different directions… and I was without my notebook. I vowed then I would need to buy her book, Hide- her 3rd Poetry Collection. andrea France Hide Peony moon
Maurice opened my mind further and much as I liked what he read from his new book, I ended up buying The Holy Land from 2007 instead. Slightly embarrassed when I asked him to sign it. Reading it on the way home on the train I am certainly not disappointed in my choice. If only I could have bought all 3 books this evening – but my impoverish poet’s purse wouldn’t allow it. (I blew my budget before the summer, I’ve neglected doing any accounts since October because I know what I need to try to make back now is already going to take a book deal.) maurice
I enjoyed every minute and was filled with a calm core by the end of the evening. I didn’t even mind waiting half an hour for a train as I had poetry to read (one of the things I hoped to grab from home earlier was a book) – I didn’t realise that the train on the platform was mine – presumed it was London bound, so did sit on a cold metal chair for the first 4 poems!
(I wonder how I have made it this far through life sometimes 😉 )
Brilliant night –
I love bookshops
I love books
I love reading
I love listening
I love being my mind
I always have
and always will
it is about time
I realised it
My soul has been
begging me to take
a look in the
mirror my whole life
I grapple with conviction
at first
for years
I try it on for size
it fits
Then I gain weight
Life takes over
Peter Pan grows up
I leave behind a
A yearning
a hole
Even still pictures
show life
now I know
now I am
Now I will be.

A Great Night of Flashes!


Drum42It was my 2nd time to the 42 event and my 1st time reading Flash Fiction, I found it far harder than performing poetry – every line seemed to last forever and the relief of a full stop was short lived! I have admired the storytellers and those brave  enough to share short stories at Spoken Word events over the past few months, having given it a go I think it is an occasional thing for me. I will still write prose, flashes and shorts, but you won’t find me sharing them at an open mic until 2014!

I learnt a lot from listening to other writers, some of the stories were incredible. It was a fun night.


Andrew Owens was aiming to compare us through 42 Flashes and I think we managed 47! WOW! It was a great night enjoyed by all and Polly Robinson is doing a review of the event online – which I will look out for and post links soon.


Day 26 Nanowrimo – 4 days and 12K …. hmmm

It finishes in 4 days – 4 DAYS!!
Eek, 3000 a day – including today… not going to happen – it is already nearly 11:30pm and I am working tomorrow. I had planned a catch up write tomorrow.
Tomorrow night I am performing at Drummonds 42 Flash Event. I will need to try and do some words on the Nano as well. I have some time on Friday and will need to write until it hurts I think!
It really shouldn’t hurt!
noun: panic
  1. 1.
    sudden uncontrollable fear or anxiety, often causing wildly unthinking behaviour.
    “she hit him in panic”
    synonyms: alarm, anxiety, nervousness, fear, fright, trepidation, dread, terror, horror, agitation, hysteria, consternation, perturbation, dismay, disquiet, apprehension, apprehensiveness; More

    informalflap, fluster, state, cold sweat, funk, tizzy, tizz;
    “she felt a wave of panic”
    antonyms: calm, calmness
    • a state of widespread financial alarm provoking hasty action.
      plural noun: panics
      “he caused an economic panic by his sudden resignation”
    • informal
      a frenzied hurry to do something.
      “a workload of constant panics and rush jobs”
verb: panic; 3rd person present: panics; past tense: panicked; past participle: panicked; gerund or present participle: panicking
  1. 1.
    feel or cause to feel panic.
    “the crowd panicked and stampeded for the exit”
    synonyms: be alarmed, be scared, be nervous, be afraid, overreact, become panic-stricken, take fright, be filled with fear, be terrified, be agitated, be hysterical, lose one’s nerve, be perturbed, get overwrought, get worked up, go/fall to pieces, lose control, fall apart; More

    informalflap, get in a flap, lose one’s cool, get the jitters, get into a tizzy/tizz, run around like a headless chicken, freak, freak out, get in a stew, get the willies, get the (screaming) heebie-jeebies;
    informalget the wind up, go into a (flat) spin, have kittens, lose one’s bottle, throw a wobbly, have an attack of the wobblies