Into the New Year

Hope the weather isn’t too bad where you are. It’s cold and a bit bleak in the midlands, but we’re still able to go to work. And I’ve been to the gym three times last week. How is it that you can take months to get fit and then after two weeks of mince pies, chocolates and other food, you’re almost a stone heavier? So it’s back to the green tea for a while. Good job I like it.green tea

Do you want to be a pocket novelist? If so, the only way to know exactly what the editor is looking for is to read some. Or preferably, subscribe. I’ve recently become a subscriber, so now I get those lovely handbag novels delivered to my door. The stories are really good, if you like a longer story where you stay with great and exciting characters. Look out for a follow up to Country Matters coming towards the end of March/early April. You can see the opening chapters on my website if you’re interested. Though I’ve edited it a bit since then so it won’t be exactly the same. Another bonus to being a subscriber is getting these wonderful books at half price, and you don’t have to go driving round to find one.

hats-pocket-novelpocket-novel-cover-c-m

It’s time now to clear out your wardrobe. That’s me talking to myself. To say it’s a bit messy would be an understatement. But seeing as I had some new clothes for Christmas, it’s about time to sort and chuck out, or send to the charity shop. But if I’m anything like my mum, she recently tried to have a clear out, and ended up getting rid of one dress, which she gave to me. It was actually mine about twenty years ago and I gave it to her. A red velvet classic. I may do pictures of before and after the closet clearance, but please prepare yourselves as it’s not a site for the squeamish among you.

Digital image
This grey and white jumper is one I’ll keep because I knitted it myself and it’s good with a thin jumper underneath and goes with jeans, trousers or a skirt.

Have a great weekend, and more on the wardrobe clearance soon.

Happy Days

Special people – happy times

 

Sue in deckchair

 

Hello to all my lovely blog followers. Bet you wondered where I’ve been. Here I am after drinking some shrinking pop in the Torbay area. I’ve signed up to a ‘think yourself big’ course. It’s not working so far.

 

me and boysMen in my lifeSophie in deckchairAnn and Sophie.jpg

It was great to catch up and spend time with loved ones, and you notice Sophie found a deck chair at the local open gardens afternoon. We had a day at the races, and the chaps had winners in the first three races. Even if the third one had to be dragged out to start with. After that it shot off and was miles ahead of the other horses all the way twice round the tracks. Lovely atmosphere, and the air show was brilliant as well.

 

Mum and Sophie.jpgHere, Sophie and mum had been in to a summer-house shaped like a lighthouse.

On the writing front, I’m proud to say, I’m now a Pocket Novelist. I’ve had two pocket novels accepted by the lovely Maggie Swinburne at My Weekly, and will post more news when I know anything extra.

I have a few funnies to send out, and also maybe some job news next week. Enjoy the better weather that’s coming soon I’ve heard.

 

 

Glam Gran’s giggle blog

Glam gran I’m not smiling, and that’s not because I’m feeling grumpy, it’s because I’m showing off the make up range Younique, that daughter Ann sells. The lipstick is ladylike, and you don’t have to be ladylike to wear it. The brows are the palest colour and it’s a pencil and then fibres that stay on all day.

She’s really brave and posts up videos and demo’s every day. It’s lovely make up but not cheap, so I get something every couple of months and now I’m waiting for a bronzer.

That picture was one of about twenty that went from bad to worse. Then a family member appeared and I asked him to take a pic. We had one with the light off, one with it on. In the window, in the garden. Then I thought maybe I’d be better sitting on a bag of chippings. He said no, because I’m up here and if you’re down there I’ve got to get down there. Then because of the sun my eyes go all squinty and make me look as if I can’t open them. So to have a photo that looks anywhere human is good. The end product was too much laughter and not anything I can put on here.

The back of the jumper is finished and now I’ve started on the front.

And at last I’ve finished editing the last chapter of the re-write. I’m sending it off tomorrow so please cross fingers toes and everything else that my lovely editor likes it. Now I can get on with another story for the same editor.

My ghost story is on Alfie dog. It’s a Christmas one, to get you in the mood. Well, if you’re writing a Christmas story, you’d need to be thinking about it now, so think of it as a prompt.

Fisherman’s rest story.

Hope to have more news on the rewriting soon. And in the meantime, I’m still going to get the original story published. It’s set in the 1970’s, and completely different to the re-written one, but there’s so much work gone into it, I’ll keep trying to find a publisher. Obviously they’ll have different titles.

Have a great week.

Going places

Hello to my blog followers and all the new ones. One in North Wales in particular, hope you enjoy the blog posts.pony on snowdon

 

I won a book

going places

This lovely anthology from Gill James at Bridgehouse publishing arrived in the post today. And full of many of my favourite authors. Teresa Ashby, Sally Quilford to name but two. Looking forward to reading those.

At Bridgehouse publishing, they’re looking for stories. Have a look here

Also, look at all these submission slots on Gill’s newsletter. I’ll be having a go at some of those.

As if I haven’t got enough to be doing, I’m trying to transfer my writing website to be in the same place as my blog. It’s been a bit of a headache to say the least and lots of helpful live chats. I hope it will be working soon, so if you tried to click onto my website and couldn’t, that’s why.

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For anyone who’s still following,here’s chapter one of the next Redington book. I can only post the first chapter, then the whole lot will be a surprise for you later on in the year.

It may change by time it’s finished, but that’s the gist of the beginning. Thanks for reading, if you did:))

 

 

Fancy a good story?

I started back at the gym this week. On Wednesday morning and again this morning, I went on the rowing machine, treadmill, bike and then the cross-trainer. After that mat excercises and stretches to cool down. I’m lucky to have a personal trainer, who says, no do those planks for a bit longer, and no, not like that, like this. Next week I might swim to mix it up a bit.

gym pictureThat’s not the story. I came home to find out that I’d won Morgen Bailey’s challenge to give the words for a story prompt. What she did with the words is lovely. Exactly the kind of story I had in mind. Details are here.

You can read all three stories here… How lovely to have a prize of 5,000 words edited.

Now I’m working on chapter 3 of Another Year in Redington. Being in Norfolk, they’re talking about the whales and how tragic it is that they’ve been washed up on the coast.

Have a great weekend, and if you want to read the opening of Redington, you can find it here on Amazon.

Thanks to all who have already downloaded or bought it.

 

Glam gran’s blog

Are you a glam Gran?

Most of my blog followers will know that Glam gran is all in fun. I’m more of a muddy boots and mop and bucket gran really. The building site is cleaned up as the job is close to finishing now. They still need me so I keep turning up.

Here’s our little gem in her boat. She’s cruising the med, and going by first class travel as you can see.

Sophie in her boat

 

Thanks to all the lovely people who are downloading and buying my books. Here they are on goodreads if you’re interested.

Sue in kitchenCOFFEE

I’m in the kitchen, brewing a proper cup of coffee. We live near the midland’s best market according to the media. In Nuneaton there’s a lady who grinds the beans and you can choose whichever blend takes your fancy. All glam gran’s know it tastes the best and seeing as it’s winter we need a piece of cake to go with it. Promise I’m back swimming or gyming soon. My cleaning job keeps me fairly fit at the moment.

You may or may not notice that I’m leaving off the hair colour for a while. Over colouring made it go brittle and broken. Normally I have shiny hair and when I looked at the roots it made me realise that my own colour goes better with my skin and eyes. That’s the plan for now. In a few months I may have a completely different idea. I’ll let you know. I may be Granny Grey by the summertime, or not.

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For anyone interested in the next part of chapter 1 of Redington book 2, here it follows.

Janice is in the shop and talking to Ivy about the rumors of a royal coming to Redington.

 

“I think there might be something in it, Ivy. I heard on the radio just before Christmas that he was going to be attending Nursery in mid-Norfolk.” Janice was marking the boxes of mince pies at half price. Nobody would want them now, and the sell by date was the end of the month.

Ivy picked up two boxes of the special offer cakes, and popped them in her basket, she frowned. “From what Edna Bailey was telling me last night after choir practise there are already quite a few names down, and they’ve appointed a new teacher there. She’s moving in about now I think. She’s bought one of the new flats on the edge of the village.”

“Flipping heck, Ivy, you know all the gossip.” Janice patted her arm as she noticed the look of alarm on the old lady’s face. “In a good way, don’t take it to heart. That’s what’s good about having a village shop. We exchange news, better than in here really,” Janice patted her fingers and glanced at the Gazette as she passed it across the counter. “Oh my God, Ivy…” Janice put her hand to her mouth and gripped Ivy’s hand. “Just when I was saying we only gossip in a nice way.”

The headline in the paper showed a picture of the new building site where some flats and houses were finished and others were still being built. Ivy dropped her basket as she read the headline out loud… “Body found on a building site…”

Janice pushed her purple glasses up onto the bridge of her nose. “There’s no news of who it is.” She clasped her hand over her mouth again. “I didn’t even notice this morning when I bagged up the papers. Oh, Ivy, let’s get us a cup of tea. I don’t want to send you off up the street after a shock like that. Here, sit down.” She pulled out another chair from under the counter, and returned her specs to the place she usually kept them; on top of her head.

They were still sitting chatting and not wanting to contemplate who or what was behind the tragic discovery, when Betty stuck her head through the door. “You’ve heard the news?”

“Only just now, I can’t believe it.” Janice got up and walked towards the door. “Who told you?”

Betty put her hands into her pinafore, and pulled a tissue from the front pocket. “One of the gang of builders; he comes in for a pasty most mornings. They were about to lay some cement, and one of them spotted that the earth had been disturbed. Ugh.” She shivered and screwed her face up. “What is this village coming to? A body buried under the foundations of the new houses. Imagine if they hadn’t been alert to the soil being tampered with, that poor person would have been buried forever.”

“Have they any idea who it might be?” ventured Ivy. “It sounds like something from a mafia film; not something that goes on in our back yard. It’s made me feel quite sick.”

Janice put an arm around Ivy’s shoulder. “Come on, I’ll get Richie to drop you off in the van. He’s going out in a minute anyway with the deliveries. It’s been a shock for us all but I’m sure they’ll find out more when they’ve done tests and things.” She called to the delivery boy, who had almost finished loading up. As Ivy settled into the van, Janice whispered to Richie, “Make sure you see her into the house, and then tell her to lock the door.”

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More news from Redington soon. I may set up a newsletter where you can read the first chapter in full rather than bits. Word count is 4,740 and I’m on chapter 2.

 

 

Welcome, Amanda Brittany

People’s Friend Author Interview – Welcome Amanda Brittany.

Amanda storyAmanda BrittanyAmanda interview

It’s a pleasure to welcome Amanda Brittany on to my blog today.
Hello, Amanda, thanks for agreeing to be my blog guest for January. I always enjoy your stories so it’s a real pleasure to chat to you about your writing.

It’s lovely to be here, Susan. Thank you for inviting me.

Q1/ Do you remember the first story that was accepted by People’s Friend, and how many submissions did you send them before they said, ‘Yes.’

A/ I sold my first story to The Friend in May 2012. It was called ‘Holly’s Harvest’ and I drew on memories of being a Brownie when I was a little girl. I’d only sent in three stories prior to that. But don’t be fooled. I’ve had lots of rejections from them since, and lots of rejections from other magazines too.

Q2/ I really enjoyed your recent serial, the one set in Weymouth. The newlyweds from the fifties were great sleuths. Is this an idea you’ve had for a while, and will there be more from the couple?

Mystery of room 4

A/ I absolutely love cosy crime, so I think the story was drawn from years of enjoying those kinds of books. I knew The Friend was looking for longer reads, particular murder mysteries, so gave it a go. Yes, I think I might be tempted to write more with the couple, as I enjoyed writing those characters, and felt they had more stories to tell. Although writing a murder mystery was very challenging.

Q3/ You write lovely period stories with great characters. Have you ever been tempted to elaborate on a short story for a novel length story?

A/ I have written a few stories that I’ve been tempted to expand, but have never done so. The novels I’ve written recently: Shadow Sisters (written with Karen Clarke) and Phototime, weren’t originally short stories.

Q4/ I’ve read your stories in several of the Annuals. How far in advance do you submit these to editors?

A/ Holly’s Harvest appeared in the 2014 Annual. So you don’t really submit for the annual, as such. The Friend’s editors buy your story, and then decide if they will use it for the annual.

Q5/ How does your writing day go? Is there a set routine you follow, or is it something you get down to when you feel in the mood?

A/ I write better in the mornings. On good days, I will write a story or a chapter of my novel. Frustratingly, there are a lot of bad days, where ideas won’t come, or I’m getting in a muddle with the plot, or I finish a story and decide it’s awful. But I refuse to let those days beat me, and find reading magazines or novels really helps. Or just taking myself out and about, doing something different, or listening to people. I’ve written many short stories that have been triggered by a single sentence I’ve overheard. On days when the writing doesn’t flow, I will edit or rewrite old stories, so I feel I’m being sort-of productive. It’s SO easy to procrastinate.

Q6/ / what advice would you give to writers who submit stories and keep getting rejections? Apart from stop doing it)

A/ Ooh, NEVER EVER stop doing it! I read somewhere that the only writers who don’t succeed are those who give up trying. And never forget when those horrid envelopes drop on your mat, that the most prolific writers get rejections too.
There are ways of upping your chances of success, although I’m sure they are all pretty obvious really:-

Read the magazines you hope to sell to (or the style of novel you are writing)
Attend magazine writing workshops.
Find a fabulous writing buddy, or writing group. It doesn’t matter how good your writing is, another pair of eyes is so helpful. Sometimes we are too close to our own writing to spot the the most most obvious errors. Did you see what I did there?
Read books on writing for women’s magazines, and books on writing generally.
Follow helpful blogs on writing.
Don’t be afraid of constructive criticism. (Develop a thick skin!)
Keep up to date with magazine requirements.
Attending a writing course really helped me, but I don’t think everyone needs one.
Write from the heart, and really get to know your characters.
And obviously – Never give up!

Thanks for sharing your writing life with us, Amanda, and good luck with the books.

To follow Amanda and her writing, click on the links below.

TWITTER: https://twitter.com/Mandymand

FACEBOOK PAGE: https://www.facebook.com/amandatimoney2

BLOG SPOT: http://www.writingallsorts.blogspot.com