Tag Archives: A Writers Fountain

Can You Drown in a Sea of Bubblewrap?


Day 2 of full on speed packing.
The packing isn’t a problem, my concern over the deadline is.
I fear this more than a writing deadline.

I miss writing. Up until this last week I had spent 2013 writing everyday!
My house has got to take priority for a while, there are only so many hours in a day. And I really do have a lot to pack!
I have managed to read at least, I finished the novel I started in April! It was a long book and my second historical novel. I found it a challenge. Plus May was very busy with houses, work and managing lots of spinning plates with little time for reading.

I have also managed to catch up with articles about writing, as yesterday I packed the bookshelves into 12 boxes…
I am a bibliophile – I see that now. Last year I had a break through and learnt how to give books away without a broken heart. Now my rule is it has to fit on the bookshelf… 1 in 1 out… My mother’s system that she has relentlessly attempted to get me to follow over the past few years!

Off to spend the day packing boxes. Drudge!

Wish I was writing x

Camp NaNoWriMo… the Final Countdown begins!


original_morning-sunshine-mug-1 NINE DAYS! Until the doors of the camp are thrust open… pancakes

If you have been following these posts you will feel pretty prepared (or scared) depending on how you handle your pre-camp nerves! I have been busy packing up to move out of my apartment this week, I have still managed some NaNo prep time though.

I have a list of targets to achieve – this may be bitesize word counts or skeleton frames of the 50,000 word novelette you’re attempting or chapters of a book.

If you haven’t already – camp tent


Cabin assignments started yesterday 20th June. Remember if you’re not happy OPT out, they will assign you a new cabin within 24 hours. As I have said before I had a fruitless cabin experience but was too guilty to opt out – I will NOT be making that mistake twice, after my 1st camp I know how essential this support is to get you through the month.

Although I am hoping that working on several smaller projects will be easier than the turgid 50,000 word Non-Fiction Chapter Fest I attempted back in April! tent


Want to get your friends and family involved in your July writing adventure? Fundraise, and have them pledge towards your final word count!

I am going to attempt sponsorship funding this camp as now I know it is as hard work as all those sponsored cycles and runs I donate money to for my much sportier friends! camp_11_postcard1_detail


Go check out the Office of Letters and Light blog, you may find an inspiring read (and there are links to the Camp NaNo website)


And for those who might like to make a donation rather than raising sponsorship, check out NaNoWriMo’s “In Your Pocket” Summer Drive!




Why Writers Need Writers!


WritingIcon21Since January 2013 I have submerged myself into a writing world, with the intention of resurfacing as the writer I once was (or a better, older, wiser version!) What I didn’t bank on was how I would feel, my creative spirit is glad not to be under lock and key and I am meeting some fantastic (and talented) people.

Writing is often described as lonely, much of the work is done in solitude (please, don’t interrupt me!) and for fiction writers we are not even present in the room whilst we are working, we are ourselves shackled to the world we are creating on the page (or screen).

sea_journal_by_druidchickz-d3br0m2  This is why it is even more IMPORTANT that you get out there – find some creative circles and move in them. I don’t just mean the business of networking, I mean the benefit you get on a soul level connecting to other human beings who get what you do, who understand the pressures, passions and desires that drive you to a place of a imprisoned mono-existence.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALast Wednesday I went into the city to my writing class (now just one week left!), I experienced my first real critiquing, especially as it was also my first attempt at writing in this genre.

I had managed to slash my manuscript from over 900 words to just over 500 (it’s a picture book) and I knew there was still something not right about my story. It was too complicated. I had already edited an entire hobby and pages of non-advancing scenes. The group feedback really helped me identify what I need to focus on and what to do next.

jen's hen 140 After (as is generally the case) we went for a relaxed conversation in the pub.* It was brilliant. I think because more of the class needed a drink after a 2 hour intense critique session! So more people came with us. The conversation ebbed and flowed and took us to more interesting places than most fiction can!

I can’t remember the specific muses (dang for not scribbling into my writer’s notebook) but I do remember the glow of adrenalin when I (finally!) got home after spending the whole evening with writers. Some of whom will become writing buddies I am sure.

writepinkI had always planned my writing year – but I hadn’t considered how it would make me feel as a person and what else I would gain other than a ton of work and some publishing contracts.

Creative people need creative people.

It is as essential as hydration is to existence.

* Cocktails taken at a Hen Party Mixology class – not consumed by writers in the pub!

Friday Fictioneers – The Guard

I have managed to get online this morning for a quick catch up in Blogland before the rest of the weekend (which I will spend packing boxes!)
This is my entry for Friday Fictioneers this week.

copyright -Managua Gunn

copyright -Managua Gunn

“How funny, in a modern world we cling onto traditions.” laughed Julia.

“I think it’s nice that loads of countries still dress their guards in uniform.”

“Katherine! You and uniforms!”

“Come on let’s see if we can make him smile!” giggled Katherine.

“Kat, he’s got a gun!” Julia retorted.

“Are you sure? I think he’s pleased to see us!”

Julia loved travelling with Katherine. To think one month ago she was about to give Paul his world wide travel dream. This experience made the split bearable. She couldn’t wait to see Kat’s face when they got closer to the guard!

A Surprise Visit!


I have managed some online time!

Writing Update

I have managed to redraft the picture book manuscript – in its 16th incarnation! Ready for the class to critique tonight. Clare Bell will also give us some advice! I am looking forward to it. I know it is missing some vital composition tools. I have managed to edit (or ‘slash’) 100’s of words! From 997 to 523 That’s practically half of the story gone! imagesCA0GWHZL

I wish I had other ideas to try and write more, but I am blank on plots at the minute.



I have also managed to read and submit 4 reviews for Rhetorical Composition II and have received 2 positive reviews on mine. I am now trying to complete my ‘Check your Progress’ activities *deadline is Friday.

You can read the assignment article here;


On the House Front

I have managed to complete some packing whilst I have been offline too. I still need to organise removals and get my apartment on the market! pin-up-woman-cleaning-up-cold-blue-winter-snow-28623149These are my next challenges and I hope to organise things before I start work today. And lots more packing for the rest of this week. I have started to collect cardboard boxes again! The plastering should be finished tomorrow and we can go in and clean before moving in!


Once I am in and especially once I have SOLD my apartment I can concentrate on getting my life on track. For now as it is an extremely busy time at work, I have dropped some opportunities off the June’s writing schedule. I don’t want to burn out before the summer. I have enough with the final 2 Writing classes in the city, the picture book manuscript, work, houses, packing, allotment, garden etc. etc.

I will prep for Camp NaNoWriMo and enter a life write for the end of the month for publication, other than that there wasn’t much copied on the final fortnight of June!


Happy Writing!




Brioche Rolls and Stories (A note about my absense)


stock-illustration-13135479-hand-drawn-breakfast-icons I have enjoyed breakfast and reading the entries for this week’s Picture It & Write. I have to do my paperwork this morning but hope I have time to complete 1 last prompt challenge activity.

I HAVE to pack my house up as Mr G and I will be moving soon. cardboard-boxI have made WRITING my number 1 goal all year and up until now managed to write everyday!

I have to work on a manuscript this week for the Picture Book Class (Weds.) so I may still manage a daily write, but apart from that I am putting down the laptop and getting out the bubble wrap! Normal service will resume shortly, I am sure. I will pop into Blogland on my phone and reply to any messages you leave but am not planning to create many new posts until next weekend.

old There are whole treasures to be found earlier on along the Yellow Brick Road though, I am going to leave some links to posts of interest here to keep you splashing in the waters of the Fountain. water

Until then Happy Writing & Reading and enjoy your week!












Picture It & Write – On the Market


Sunday evening and time to take a break from the paperwork to join in with this week’s Picture it & Write.



On the Market

My expectations of you

Were fulfilled.

From that very first moment

I loved you,

at first sight,

the way you looked was perfect for me.

Within two weeks I had changed my life.

Two weeks later my life changed again.

It forced you and I apart.

Half a decade or more passes.

This time the journey is made by two

Discovered by two

Chosen by two.

A new you

With different floors and lots to do.

It is time to say goodbye to my ready made


You will always be my first.

And I will always remember you.




Camp NanoWriMo Less than a Fortnight


camp_masthead Less than a fortnight…

before the next Nano Camp starts writers all over the world are busy preparing.nano_09_camp_nano_detail_girl2

I had my first Camp experience this April, I didn’t prepare, I signed up online and applied for a cabin and dusted off the manuscript notes from over 8 years ago. I took a deep breath a few days before, signed up to the commitment of 50,000 words, the most having written before being just over 20,000. I signed onto the forums and enjoyed some post and banter (sadly missing in my cabin!)

At this point;

Grab your Camp Notebook/ Laptop/ tablet etc

Set Up Support Networks

(Yes, I am serious you will need virtual cheerleaders and motivation coaches, understanding family & friends and some support!)quality-mark

I used the forums for support throughout April, but found my main support came from fellow bloggers on wordpress which I discovered throughout the month – The WordPress reader is helpful for this and some people link their blogs from the forum.

There are many bloggers who create Blogs especially to record their Nano Experience, others, like myself, post as regularly as they can with updates and statistics throughout the month on their own blogspaces. Plus if you have your own Blog probably many of your followers will be taking part anyway!

Consider your word count


I believe you can amend it (increase or decrease) throughout the camp, however unless there are genuine circumstances that disallow you to complete the camp write in the manner you hoped I see a decrease of words a cop-out.

I’m not saying you can’t – no one will judge you, but yourself. Neither have I forgotten the brutal slog I had to force myself to complete when my manuscript fell dry at the 30,000 word stage! But I did push, I stopped enjoying camp so much and cussed myself for getting involved in such a project, I had moral arguments with myself about copying and pasting chunks of text to make up the word count. I have never been a cheater and never will – where is the credit and sense of self-belief and achievement if you have faked your way there? During Camp Nano however the shoulder devil and shoulder angel will have many conversations – sometimes (believe me) they will pretend you’re not even there!

My advice if you’re not sure about word count is aim low, at the basic level you want to achieve, write a higher word count in a writing journal or calendar/ diary – when you near completion of the original word count up the stakes. I think this will bring the best psychological results. It is supposed to be a retreat and fun. Allowing yourself time in your busy schedule to write, not cause a mini breakdown because life got in the way of achieving so much in such a short space of time! Let’s be realistic some of us are asking 80%+ plus more of ourselves & our writing time than usual. You will feel the burn some days. camp

Keep motivated by reading other people’s experience (forum, blogs) & use support of friends, family & your cabin crew.

Prepare a short list of rewards & time outs

There will come times when this Nano Write is hard (sometimes it will feel impossible) sometimes the best results will come from a mini step away and this is when your little list becomes Gold Dust! A positive mental attitude throughout camp is a real must – it is a marathon event believe me.

Create a list of time-out activities

Simple short amount of time doing something you enjoy away from the computer (and any other technology if you can help it!-kettles, coffee machines & audio entertainment equipment exempt!)

Here’s my list for example;

  • Short walk
  • Read 1 – 2 chapters of current book
  • 20 mins break – drink & whatever you decide in a different place to your writing space.
  • 20 mins with magazine and a cup of coffee/tea/juice.
  • Sit outside (I didn’t have a garden in April & I still managed it.)
  • Wash up or iron, possibly vacuuming or dusting. A simple chore that doesn’t require too much concentration (maybe not ironing then) but allows your mind space to think. Set an alarm to stop 10 – 15 mins
  • Rearrange wardrobe/ shoe collection
  • Clean some jewellery
  • Sort make-up case or bathroom cabinet

You may add other helpful time-outs like walking the dog, kids to the park, listen to music, relaxation techniques etc. Whatever you choose step away from the Nano Camp for at least half an hour or even return to it later in the day if you have the luxury of time!

You will be amazed how allowing yourself time out helps your writing.wp_000735

Rewards – The Self Bribe

What motivates you?

Again choose some ideas -what motivates you?  Write a personal list in your notebook/ journal etc.

Mine includes;

  • Sweets
  • Chocolates
  • Reading a chapter (book)
  • Reading a magazine article
  • Powerful rock music

cute cupcakes, vectorSome Campers set themselves a mini target or even set up a row of sweets, rewarding themselves every 100 or 200 words. This may work for you once you get to those sticky moments or feel like you don’t want to make the word count.

The most important rule is to write everyday even if you don’t make your word count.

Grab your diary NOW!

With this in mind it is important that you check your life schedule for June. Are there some days you know you are going to be very busy? What tactics can you put into play to meet the write time on these days?

We will look at this more in my next post.

So for now;camp_12_mug_detail2

  1. Gather your support works
  2. Plan your write
  3. Think about your word count
  4. Prepare your rewards and time outs
  5. Check your diary schedule

Related Articles;


Offline – Writer at Work


I am working on my manuscript this weekend cardboard-box(and packing to move house!)

Please enjoy many of the recent and archive posts and pretend I am still online blogging away!
I hope to make it back to Blogland at the end of the weekend.

Hopefully I will be fully inspired by the poetry picnic and book launch, it is organised by small press publishers – Cinnamon Press (who are currently holding part of one of my poetry collections) and they are launching a collaborative poetry book ‘Screen of Brightness’. For more details: http://www.martineau-gardens.org.uk/2013/05/midsummer-poetry-picnic/the latest ventures and have invited poets to read. 35847-royalty-free-image-of-tall-wet-grass-against-a-white_531x331




FWF – Bind


A beautiful prompt of choice this week from Kellie Elmore’s blog. Very touching photos on Tom Clark’s blog – Photos by Matt Black (2011).


There were so many ideas in my mind from many of the images. This one stung me more than the others, so it became my FWF prompt for this week.

Photo by Matt Black - The Dispossession - A couple outside their shanty

A couple outside their shanty, Fresno, California: photo by Matt Black, 2011

(Matt Black Photography)

The anxiety of future leaves them, the pain of hunger, bitter anger over their past and those who benefited from their downfall. Lingering memories of how life used to be, slowly seep away. The shanty town fades to black and grey, just a place. Like any other.

It could all turn around. That was their waking hope. That it could get better. Heal like a rotten wound. Painful process, a long and drawn out surgery to correct the disfigurement of their life. Worth it in the end to look at themselves and not recognise the darkness once born by every muscle in their bodies.

Here, on the floor, a couple of beat up sofa cushions they were able to escape. The heat wrapping them in warmth, their limbs encasing each other with love. Staying connected through entwined fingers, they drift into a world where the makeshift shelter disappears. The strength of their love binds them to a new home. One with windows and doors. They turn it all around, they know all too well life’s too short to not create adventures.

Inside their love they are safe and warm. In their hearts they have discovered a richness beyond bank notes. In their sleep they have escaped poverty and ruin. They know they have to wake up sometime, when they do they will still have each other.

The World is your Oyster – it’s true but who needs Oysters when you can find the world in love.