Tag Archives: Alfie dog fiction

Here it is…

coverThe new cover of my latest e-publication. Don’t you just love it? I know I do, and it’s exactly how I wanted it to be.

A collection of 9 stories set in my favourite made up village in mid-Norfolk.

So far, it’s available on Amazon.com and soon will be on the .uk one as well. Here…

Nine stories in all, ending with The Wedding… It’s taken a while, so at last I can get on with something else now. Like the serial for People’s Friend magazine, and a story for the Alfie dog competiton.

Coming next week, interview with Glynis Scrivens and all about her latest book, which I need to get. Edit is a four letter word.

Stories for summer

My latest story to be published on Alfie dog short story website is called ‘Sowing Seeds.’ Its about Walter, and how he tries to avoid the woman next door. She means well, but won’t leave him in peace to get on with his gardening. The story has been published before, but now it’s added to my growing collection on there.

A couple of photo’s to go with the story…

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If you’ve got children at home who’re a bit bored by now, tell them to settle down and listen to the story of Alex. He has a metal detector, and a dog. Together they get up to lots of fun during their stay in a cottage near Exmoor.

Summer Holidays

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The summer holiday story is suitable for 7 – 8 year olds, hope you and they enjoy reading it – it’s fiction, and part comedy part fairy tale, told in the voice of Alex. So what are you waiting for? Get yourself off to Exmoor and join in the fun.

Tales from Paradise PatchHere’s one for younger children. A collection of stories set in Grandma’s back garden. There are five stories in all, and they’re suitable for 4 – 7 year olds. It’s not as quiet as you might think on Grandma’s back yard.

Growing up in the 70’s is a collection of 4 stories, and mine’s one of them that won a competition to be published with black coffey. They wanted funny stories set in the 70’s. The reviews aren’t brilliant on there, but I think the reviewers were a bit harsh. And isn’t that cover funky?

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Now I’ve got a brand spanking new cover for my Redington collection, which will be published soon. I’ll wait until the whole thing is finished before revealing the smashing art work.

Welcome, Joanne Fox

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It’s a pleasure to welcome fellow blogger, Joanne Fox on to my blog today.
Joanne, I always enjoy your stories, which I’ve read in People’s Friend and the other magazines as well, glad you could pop over and tell us more about your writing.

  • Suzy/ Do you remember the first story you ever had accepted in a woman’s magazine? Which magazine was it, and what was the story about?
  • Jo/ Hi Suzy and thanks for inviting me to be your guest today.
    The first women’s magazine to publish me was Woman’s Weekly early in 2006. The story was called ‘The Thought That Counts’. It was about a widower who was worried about introducing his new lady-friend to his sister.
  • How this story came to be accepted was, I had entered it for the Frome Festival Short Story Competition the previous year. It didn’t win anything, but was among a batch of stories forwarded by the organisers to Woman’s Weekly for consideration. I was then extremely lucky to receive a phone call from the magazine, saying they wanted to buy it.
  • In 2007 I entered the competition again – and won! Frome was very good to me, and I definitely recommend putting it onto your writing calendar for next year. Even if you don’t win, you may still get yourself noticed.
  • Suzy/ I know from following your blog, that you sometimes have a writing break, and lovely sewing you’ve been doing as well. What was it that got you back writing again?
  • Jo/ It’s not unusual for me to take a break from writing every few months. Mostly, after two or three weeks of not writing, I feel a sort of tension building up in my head. I think that if I don’t start writing again, I might actually kill someone!
  • I did have a longer break this winter – the longest in many years. It wasn’t planned, but I was really enjoying doing more hands-on creative things. I have the mixed blessing of a day job, so if I stop writing it doesn’t necessarily spell financial ruin. Quite naturally I reached a point where I wanted to be writing once more, and I came back to it refreshed.
  • Writing demands a lot of concentration, and also some digging around in your own life for experiences that you can draw on. Although the ideal may be to write every day, sometimes events knock you off balance, or you just feel mentally tired. I think it’s good to take a break. Try new things. Clear your head. If the writing is in you, you will always return to it.
  • Suzy/ Do you plan your story before you start, or do characters form, and then you let it develop as you write?
  • Jo/ My initial starting point is most often a setting or situation that I want to write about. As I let it roll round in my mind, characters appear, and they really lead the story.
    If I find a story isn’t working, usually it’s because I don’t know the characters well enough. What’s driving them? Why do they feel the way they do?
  • At this point I need to go back and rethink. I might do something like a storyboard, cutting out pictures from magazines that relate to my setting or characters. This helps me to clarify things in my mind.
  • It might be more logical to do the storyboard first, but I do better by getting the momentum going with some writing. I love that first buzz of a new idea. It’s like rocket fuel!
  • Suzy/ How long normally would it take you from the first idea, to when the story is ready to submit?
  • Jo/ If it’s a very short story, say less than 1,000 words, I can often scribble a sketchy first draft in a day. Then it will be at least a week before I send it out, to allow for general improvements, tightening up and tidying.
  • At the other extreme, there have been rough ideas or first drafts sitting in my drawer for years. Suddenly I will reminded of one of them. Perhaps something happens to provide the missing link, or I see a new angle, or maybe I decide to tell the story from a different point of view. Though the story might have been a decade in the making, it’s quite quick to finish it off once I pick it up again.
  • Occasionally I write stories set in the 40s/50s/60s. I enjoy these, and would like to write more historical fiction, but the research required adds on a lot of time. Perhaps this is something I’ll do more of in the future.
  • Suzy/ Harvey must be a great inspiration for your stories. Have you any golden retriever stories in the pipeline? The mirror one on your blog is hilarious.
  • Jo/ Harvey had a starring role in one of my People’s Friend Christmas stories a couple of years ago, and the illustrator did a fabulous job. It’s always exciting to open a magazine, and see how your story appears on the page. With this one, as soon as I saw it, I said, “It’s Harvey!”
  • A good thing about dogs is, they make you go out and walk in all weathers. When you’re walking you’re also observing, and chatting to other dog-walkers. I often find ideas that way, so it’s likely that Retrievers and Labradors will continue nosing into my stories.
  • Suzy/ When you’re in a writing mood, how does it fit into your day? Are you an early morning writer, or late night one, or whenever?
  • Jo/ Unfortunately I am neither a lark nor an owl, as I need plenty of sleep! What works best for me is doing some writing first thing. That’s about 7a.m. in my case. If it’s a work day I may only manage twenty minutes or half an hour.
  • As long as I’ve done some morning writing, even if it’s been a short spell, I can always carry on with it later in the day. However, if for some reason I’ve missed doing any morning writing, it feels incredibly hard to make myself sit down and start. All sorts of mundane tasks take on urgent importance, and I easily can fritter away time.
  • Now I am in writing mode again, I’m trying to be disciplined about that morning writing. It seems the key thing for me. Apart from adding a few words to my current story, it also feels good preparation for whatever else that day brings.
  • Thank you, Suzy. It’s been fun, except for the trials of taking a decent photo of myself in the rain!
  • You look stunning, and so does your garden.

Alfie dog competition

Are you all having a go at the Alfie dog writing competition? Read all about it here. I’m planning my entry and the prizes are amazing so if you’re a writer of short stories, you’d have to be mad not to try it. And, the entry fee is downloading 5 different author stories.

If you wanted to download any of mine that are on there, here’s the link showing you where to find them. Great news is that another story of mine, Seeds of Friendship, will be published on Wednesday 5th August.

Today, we’ve been in the garden, cutting the hedge, so it looks all neat and lovely for a while. Sweet peas are growing and a sun-flower has appeared like magic amongst them. I’ll get a pic when they’re flowering. Pink geraniums are blooming lovely, and our patch of scented pinks make the air smell divine when you pop out to have a relax with cup of coffee.

A few stories have gone out, and one back from take a break fiction feast. It’s a story I like, even though it was written when we had a theme going on in our online writing group. That makes it special, as it wasn’t going to be written otherwise. Now it’s gone off somewhere else. Reading some good books as well, and short stories.

No news on the novel yet, but no news is good news they say. So fingers are still crossed, and toes as well.

Sue in garden
Relaxing while dreaming up my Alfie dog story.

Great author interview coming soon. The lovely Joanne Fox has agreed to be my guest later on this month. So glad she’s back blogging in time to pop over and talk about her writing.

From shabby chic, to sleek teak.

 

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Here’s the before and after pictures of our garden fence. It’s cedar red to be precise, but that doesn’t rhyme with shabby chic. I was wondering what that white thing like a mushroom was in the picture, it’s a bit of washing that popped in there.

As we sat having a cup of tea, looking at the shabby version, we agreed that it looked quite rustic. Along the lines of faded Levi jeans. We almost wanted to leave it, but the fence paint will protect it for a while, hopefully. The red one is going to have another coat, when the weather picks up again. Too cold today.

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If you had lovely flowers last weekend, a tip to keep them looking fresh, is to add a teaspoon of sugar to the water, when you

change it every two or three days. Keep doing that, and they’ll last ages.

I’m going over some old stories that need re-writing. It’s amazing even a few months later, you can spot the flaws immediately. So hopefully with a bit of re-writing, they will appear fresher and be accepted somewhere else.

One of my stories has been accepted on Alfie dog, short story website, that will be published on 23rd April and there’s a new cosy crime  by Susan Wright published on Alfie dog for you to download, if like me, that’s your cup of tea.

Job hunting this week… I don’t mind if they ask you properly. What I can’t stand is when you read a job advert, and they say. ‘We expect you to hit the ground running, and give more than a hundred percent, be focused and a team player, by now I’ve logged off. I’m not an aeroplane I’m a human. Also, there are lots of apprentice jobs where the pay is peanuts, and I’m not a monkey either. Another annoying thing is when a twenty something fresh faced, lovely person asks me, ‘how would you react in a crisis?’ I’d love to say, ‘my children knew how to react is a crisis before you were born.’ But I don’t. There are two jobs (at the same place) I’m waiting to hear from quite near home, and my temp girl is good at finding jobs I like, so fingers crossed something will turn up.

In the meantime, I’m enjoying the time to write and read my books and People’s Friend magazines. Which leads me on to the good news that coming soon, exclusive to this blog…

An interview with everyone’s favorite People’s Friend writer, Teresa Ashby. Look out for that around the twelfth of April, it’s good.

 

The Kindness of Rosemary.

Thank you Rosemary…….

I had a great start to the day, I opened an email to find that my Stardust the Racehorse story is the story of the week on Alfie dog short story downloads website. Now this made me so happy, and I hope you all download and read about Stardust.

Hope you enjoy the story.

My latest writing magazine is here, and lovely to read my favorite authors. Lynne, how could you leave your romantic heroine on a tombstone for 30 years? Could be a Gothic horror now, she’d be a bit worn around the edges, not to mention frizzled up. And Lorraine, how much did you say you earn again!!!! I’m almost a millionaire myself, just need to sell a few more short stories don’t you know. (Hysterical laughter)

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Wendy, I agree that blogging is a two way thing. I first started blogging a few years ago, and followed blogs. Then Patsy was my first follower, and I was over the moon. Now I have lots of followers, and I do follow some blogs, but when people’s blogs I follow, don’t bother to follow me back or comment, I tend to drift off.

My day started with that great news, then got to work, and remember last post, I said I was in a different department? It was sales. Now, I’d call myself a super-saleswoman, because I am, that’s a fact. But when you’re selling something, or trying to sell something that nobody wants, you become a non super sales woman. So, the sales idea was the way forward, as today I heard, the company are collapsing, going in to liquidation, and I am now redundant!! So, nothing I’ve done, I enjoyed the job, but didn’t enjoy cold calling nice elderly people trying to sell something that you can get for free if you’re half with it….

I had a lovely h.r. lady, remember the one who I rang by mistake when I started, and thought she was my son and left her a message saying ‘I love you’ Oh, how embarrassing; she will also be jobless, and has a little daughter. Same goes for all the other smashing young people I got to know in the short time I was there. Still, it will go on the C.V. and now I’m job searching again. Perhaps my writing career will spin off into a full time job… Well, I have story of the week on Alfie, so who knows where that may lead.