Sunday, January 31, 2010

Acceptance is so much nicer than rejection!

So much better news on the writing front today, one of my stories, Quotas, is featured on the Thrillers, Killers 'n' Chillers website! Go take a look and leave a comment maybe! :-)

Friday, January 29, 2010

Ah yes, rejection

Inevitable, I know. Also, it isn't like I haven't seen a thousand of them before. The standard form rejection email.

Thank you for submitting your work to blahblah magazine. Unfortunately we will not be selecting your story for publication. We wish you the best of luck in the future. Yours, blahblah editor.

Still, it's never nice to get a rejection. There's that nervous feeling when the "new email" thingy pops up. That hope. It's similar to how I feel when watching the lottery draw, ticket in hand. Could it be me? I'd like to think I have a better chance of getting more pieces of writing published than winning the lotto though (not that I've given up buying tickets or anything of course; a chance is a chance).

This one was another rejection. Made me miserable for a bit but fellow writers and friends helped cheer me up :-)

So, onwards, submit the story elsewhere, and keep hoping (and checking those lotto numbers...) - maybe the next one will be an acceptance.

Saturday, January 23, 2010


Here is a post with the pictures from the slideshow on the right, in case anyone would like to comment on any of them. Most have been slightly edited or enhanced, some a little bit too much, as I'm still learning! In most cases though the changes were just making them black and white, straightening, cropping, that sort of thing.

I'm not that good at taking pictures yet but I am getting much better as I learn about all the settings my camera has, and most importantly, I really enjoy it!

Friday, January 22, 2010

An elephant never forgets...and neither does the internet

I know it's sad/pathetic/egotistical or whatever but I googled my name yesterday and while several good things came up such as this blog, and various links to Casting Shadows, there were also some links to an old livejournal blog.

Immature, opinionated, self-righteous rants. I wanted to cringe. Actually, I think I probably did cringe. I tried to log in to livejournal to delete them, but couldn't remember my password, so had to get it reset, and for that I had to log in to my old email address and trawl through over five thousand spam emails.

Finally I got the livejournal email and then got rid of those embarrassing old blogs. It just goes to show, however, that the internet never forgets. Beware what you make public as it could easily come back to haunt you! Or alternatively, don't use your real name unless you're absolutely sure you'll be able to live with what you wrote in five, ten or twenty years.

I'm off to google my name again! :-)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Retail and rant therapy

Cheaper than actual therapy, I'm sure. Especially as I have such a good nose for a bargain. Got a pair of shoes, a pair of trousers, a dress, a belt, a pair of earrings and two tops for E25. Go me!

Also, got the chance to rant about various things with a good friend, which always helps. Was nice to not have to spend a day staring at the computer, second-guessing myself over how to interpret an essay question. There will be more of that tomorrow, of course. All the same, it was good to get out, actually do some social-networking rather than sit at home constantly checking my social networking websites.

Perhaps it's even freed my brain up enough to do a little writing? Worth a try!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A short story

I've posted this online before so I thought I would share it here. It's a short story. Enjoy! :)

Silk Gloves and a Single Cigarette

The heady, cloying atmosphere of the function room was too much for her. Carol held up the bottom of her skirt with her gloved hands as she navigated her way over and around the muddy puddles that had formed on the ground from the morning’s rain.

As she reached the alcove she glanced around her surreptitiously before reaching into her handbag and pulling out the solitary cigarette that was stashed away inside, stolen from her sister’s pack early that morning. Seven months had passed since she’d given up, but she considered that this was an occasion that allowed, even merited, a slight stumble from the path of self-discipline.

She lit it with a lighter she’d also stolen, off one of the tables as she’d gone around greeting everyone, thanking them for coming, making the same inane small talk, waiting while they all milled around hoping to get a look at her while they shook her hand and kissed her cheek.

The timid flame flickered in the breeze but Carol shielded it with her cupped hand until she was able to draw deeply on the feisty tingling smoke, sucked it down to the bottom of her lungs as her throat rejoiced with the scratching sensation it created. The past seven months evaporated; addiction returned at once.

I’ve wanted this for so long, she thought as she flicked the grey ash and let it be blown off in smithereens in the wind. I’ve waited so long for this day, I’ve prayed for it.

She inhaled again, wishing she’d taken a whole packet; if she had she would have smoked them all. The relaxation that had kicked in after the first drag was already dissipating.

Better get back to it, she thought with a sigh as she dropped the butt into one of the puddles, wondering if her dress would smell of smoke now, or the greasy chip scent coming from the vent a few feet away. She walked slowly, once again holding the bottom of her precious dress so the mud would not stain it, more because it would only draw yet more attention that she didn’t feel she could handle than because she really cared about a bit of mud.

She hoped to sneak in, relatively unnoticed, but of course that was impossible, as soon as she reached the door her sister was beside her, leading Carol toward a gaggle of his friends and family, dragging her into the centre of things once again. She forced her face into a brave smile. It’s just for one day, she reminded herself. Then the rest of my life can begin.

She cast her eyes across the room and saw him, looking pristine in his best suit, handsome as the first day she’d met him. The outfit brought out the delicate skin tone, the shadows of the room highlighted the arch of his nose and the dimples in his cheeks.

He looked calm and serene, and Carol had to force herself to hold the smile on her face, not to wilt, to crumple and go weak at the knees.

She tuned in once again to the racket of people chit-chatting, commenting on how well he looked, how it had been such a lovely service, how the priest had done such a nice job. She nodded and agreed and tried to say as little as possible in case her voice betrayed her emotional state.

She shook people’s hands, her silk gloves hiding the last bruises he’d given her, the final ones he’d ever give her she reminded herself.

Just the funeral to get through, the oversized photo of him watching over her, then she could burn the rest if she wanted to. Just another few hours, she might need to sneak around the back for another smoke to get through it, but he’d never stub one out on her wrist ever again, never make her scream, destroy her self esteem.

Collective nouns

There are some great collective nouns out there. A murder of crows is probably my favourite. There are some on this page that you might find funny. Well, that I find funny and therefore thought worth linking to.

As I tripped over an extension lead this morning though, I came up with a new one: A deathtrap of wires would be a good start, in my house at least! Any other suggestions?

Monday, January 18, 2010

Some poems

These have been previously published but I still own the rights to them so I thought I might as well share:

Cat’s Eye.

Curled up there in the corner,
You give me the evil eye.
That powerful stare
Is intended to scare
And I feel a shiver down my spine.

Such a hypnotic gaze
From your tiny black face.
Feline finesse, a
Bright light in darkness;
Is the magic little window to your soul.

Published in the Anthology Our Little Friends published by a division of Forward Press, in 2004.


I cannot see beyond the grey,
What out there wants me for its prey?
I hear no music, silence rules here -
I must not let it smell my fear.
When will the grey turn into day?

Though a non-believer, I still pray
To a different god, my own way.
Nothing at all is at all clear –
I cannot see.

When the time comes, to take my pay;
No one to tell me if I may
Go here or there – I shall be freer
Than wind and rain, with music to hear.
But for the moment, life is grey.
I cannot see.

Published in the Anthology The Ultimate Rondeau Collection published by a division of Forward Press, in 1998.

That's all for now though I may post more another time!

Twitter stories

I only heard about these on Saturday. They're stories the length of a twitter post (tweet? I'm still pretty new to twitter) - 140 characters (or fewer).

Apparently they're gaining in popularity. I tried writing a few and submitted them. Here are a few publishers:

Let's see if they like what I sent them! In the meantime, I have two more 3000 word essays to write. Probably between ten and twenty thousand characters going in to each of them, so I suppose the chance to be so concise and succinct is a welcome one! :)