Tag Archives: comedy writing

A crafty weekend

Hello, friendly bloggers, hope your weekend is going well. I’m catching up with writing and doing some knitting – making a tea cosy from some scraps of wool. Reason being, I’ve just finished reading this book.

It’s one my sister, lent to our mom, and she lent it to me. We all like knitting, so it’s been passed around like all good books should be.

If you like knitting, then I’m sure you’ll end up picking up some needles and making something. I’ve made up the pattern, but I’m sure it will end up resembling a tea cosy.

knitting bookTea cosy

It’s got pale pink in there as well. When it’s finished I’ll add three colours of pom poms on top. It’ll be rather jolly to pop on the tea-pot don’t you think? I’m on chapter 9 of the rewrite, which I will have more news on later.

Today, Alan creosoted our front gate and two posts either side of it that had gone wobbly. Now they’re brand spanking new. I cleaned the windows in the greenhouse and sterilised it ready for putting plants and salad vegetables in. So far there are three scented geraniums, an orchid that may or may not pick up and a pink geranium that’s survived the winter and bushing out once more.

I have a story published on Kishboo magazine site. Snowdrops

If you read and like my story could you vote for it please? Good luck to my writing pals who also have stories and poems on there. A real coincidence is that I wrote the Snowdrops story a few years ago, and there’s a Hetty in it. One of the main characters in the knit off book is Hettie as well. It’s not even a name you hear much is it?

 

Have a great week. What crafts are you doing?

 

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Something to make you smile

Hello to all my lovely blog followers. I’ve been a bit skinny on here lately. Not skinny as in super slim. I’ve been to the gym most days though, and me and my gym buddy get each other to do more working out than we would if we went on our own. We do sit ups on one of those bouncy balls.gym-ballLeaning back to look at the wall, then sitting up.

Lift ups on the monkey bars, then I go on this thing like an upside down spaceship. One of these… only turned upside down, then I balance on it. Most of the time.

balance ballHello to all my new followers in America. Hope you’re enjoying the blog. I’m busy re-writing something special for someone special. Can’t say more than that at the moment incase I jinx it. I usually talk about writing more than getting on with the writing, so I’ll let you know soon.

Here’s something funny that happened yesterday. Being of a certain age, me and hubby take a vitamin tablet. You’ve heard of wellwoman and wellman. Those. I had two boxes in my hand, and for some reason, my eyes, saw him with the woman box and me with the man one. He had a tablet on his lips about to swallow it – I had as well. With the awful thought of him swallowing a woman one and me the man one, I did what came to mind and yelled out, ‘Stop!’ Turns out he was taking the right one, and I was as well. Good job he did stop to check, so if they had been the wrong ones, we’d have been alright.

Happy Easter to everyone, and thinking of our friends in Brussels.

Peace

 

The Holt Bookshop

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Proud to say that Redington is now available to buy in a Norfolk Book Shop.

If you live anywhere near Holt in North Norfolk, you can pop in and have a browse. Independent bookshops are a rare find, and I’m so happy that my characters have found their way onto the shelves in there. Hope they behave themselves.

My Mum is on Chapter 5 – The Ghost of Windmill Walk, and she tells me she’s enjoying the stories.

Another delivery of books is due soon, so then I hope to add to the list of independent bookshops to stock my little gem.

 

 

A Giveaway

Sue's bookIf you’re looking for something different as a stocking filler, then how about a free copy of Redington signed by the author – me – to give to someone special. Or you could keep it yourself to slot onto the bookshelf and read when you want something to cheer you up.

BookshelfThere’s my little gem in-between Wuthering Heights and Rebecca.

All you need to do is pop a comment in the box, and then a week from now, my lovely hubby will draw a name from the hat. I couldn’t discriminate between everyone as all my followers are smashing and I know the winner will be someone who will appreciate the book. Let’s face it I didn’t think at one point it would ever see light of day.

Redington books

If you want to read a kindle copy, or buy the book it’s available on the link below.

Buy Redington here.

Now I’m working on a plan to get my real book into the real wide world. Please have a think of leaving a review if you download the kindle version or if you buy the book. Especially if it’s going to be a good one.

Just come back from work, and now off to relax a bit…

 

 

Here’s the proof

The proof has arrived, and it’s looking good, apart from the odd comma needing to be a full stop. Soon sort those out and then I can press the button to say, print…

My bookIt’s really lovely to have a proper book after looking at the stories in print on the web. And the very first story in the collection was written with People’s Friend in mind. That was years ago, but it’s a story I liked so kept it in a bottom drawer.

When editor of Creative Frontiers, which has now closed down, Martin West, read the story, he told me that it read like a People’s Friend story to him. So glad I wasn’t a hundred miles out. Then after that first story, which was published in serial form, he asked for another. A month later I wrote another, and so on. He gave the stories the label of – The Archers meets Midsummer Murders.

The theme was the village, set in mid Norfolk, called Redington. The same characters appear in some stories and new ones are added as the pages turn. I’m so attached to the characters and place now that there will be more to follow.

As soon as the book is available, I’ll put a link on here. Also I’ll be doing a giveaway on my blog to one lucky follower.

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I’ve got quite a few words written of the next romantic novel. I didn’t sign up to the official November challenge as you probably know, but I’ve got my chapter detail headings, and keep adding more and more information under each one. Now the story is beginning to form and hopefully it will turn into something that will make sense, and follow on from the first one. Always aiming for Mills & Boon, I’m trying to get more passion into this one and focus on the two main characters. When I sent Hats to them, they told me that the minor characters interfered too much. They’re right, but my main character is young and she learns to stick up for herself from the older ones.

Lads night out

It’s the lads night out tonight, after a flying visit up the motorway, they’re off to see the dog racing, place a few bets and have some beers. They were in such a hurry that Alan gave them a lift so they wouldn’t miss the coach.

Iwan going outAlan going out

They bundled into the car so fast I only captured a shot as they left. Our Son turned and waved, but my useless camera wasn’t fast enough to capture that. I did take them by surprise as well though.

I’ve just lit the coal fire, which reminds me,

FIRE

Following on from the promotion of FIRESTARTER, latest novel by Patsy Collins, I promised there would be a visit from Alice and Hamish, main characters in the book.

Unfortunately, Alice sent this message earlier in the week..

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Hi again, Suzy Doodling!

I’m really sorry, but I can’t come today after all. Tony has arranged for us to go to an art gallery and then to dinner at Luigi’s. I was sure he said it was tomorrow, but I’d just got my invite to the school reunion and was wondering who else would show up, so I might have been a bit distracted. Not that I was thinking of anyone in particular …

Really dissapointed as I was looking forward to rummaging in your drawers! lol! Reckon you might have had something to go with my mad orange jumper. We’d have mad a fab double act. I’d better go with him though, Tony’s sooooo moody if he doesn’t get his own way.

Sorry to leave you to cope alone with a hunky fireman – poor you, eh? 😉

Alice Xxx

What a shame she can’t pop in, and Hamish has gone out with the lads; never mind, now here’s another text message..

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Hiya, Suzy! I’ve got good news for you. Hamish is busy so I’m coming to see you instead!

Brace yourself!!!

Jeff x

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Oh, there’s a knock at the door now, wonder who that is?

So, it’s Jeff, Hamish’s mate, how are you?

Wellll hellllo, Suzy! Tell you the truth I was wondering what I’d let myself in for when Hamish talked me into coming to see you. Once he told me he was taking me to see some birds and they really were! The kind with feathers on! That’s where he was today – down the sanctuary. There’s bad weather coming in so he’s doing something or other to keep the birds safe. Once he told me about you I wasn’t paying attention to that and I see for once he wasn’t having me on. You’re lovely!

Let me tell you I’m happily married, Jeff, and Alan wouldn’t want any funny business, so watch it. Hamish did call by, but he went off on the lads night out. Shame you missed that Jeff, never mind. Come on in for a chat then, seeing as Hamish sent you, you’ll have to take those muddy boots off though.

Thanks, Suze. I’ll just take my boots off – my very big boots if you catch my drift …

fireman bootsOh, married? Right. Oooops. Still can’t blame a man for trying, eh?

Wow! Look at all that grub! For me? Thanks very much, saving lives is hungry work!

corned beef piesgingermen

Pile it high and give it a try.

How long have you known Hamish?

Oh ages! Since we were kids, but we’ve been great mates since we both joined the fire service. We trained together and we’ve had each other’s backs ever since – on watch or off.

Did you always want to be a fireman?

Pretty much, yeah. I know how you ladies love a hero!

How does your wife cope with you doing such a risky job?

No lovely girl has got that lucky yet. Our mate William is married and I suppose his poor missus might worry now and then, but me and Hamish and the rest of Red Watch look out for each other and though we’re dead brave, we’re sensible too.

I know that look – you’re amazed I could be single and wondering which of your friends is lovely enough to introduce to me, aren’t you?

Oh, you’re not. Oh, OK.

Have more tea and food, there’s plenty left, go on, go on, go on… oh and by the way, do you find people stop and stare when the fire engine goes past in Hampshire?

Well yeah, I’m on board aren’t I? And oddly some girls look at Hamish too. Can’t think why. He’s all broad shoulders and so tall they could get a crick in their neck, all that blond curly hair and … makes me sick! But I’m handsome too in my own way, don’t you think?

Sorry, didn’t quite catch that. I’ll take it as a yes.

Oh, what’s that, you’ve been called away, no, don’t worry, I’m not in the least worried, I’m glad, I mean glad that you’ve got somewhere else to be that’s important, thanks Jeff for popping by….

I asked him earlier for any hints and tips on fire safety, he gave me this link.

Keeping safe over bonfire night

Firestarter_cover

To order the book, click on the cover, have a great week.

A Man in Uniform

Hello, lovely blog followers, and new ones as well. It’s busy here at Jonesey Mansions, Alan’s painting doors, I’ve been for an early morning swim, while he had a routine check at the Doctors and back home for breakfast. Now to update the blog, then it will be time for coffee break and the cryptic crossword, that’s more Alan’s thing, I’ll be reading.

My writing buddy, Patsy Collins is launching her latest novel ***FIRESTARTER*** on 5th November and to help celebrate, I’ve asked Hamish and Alice to put in an appearance. This should be by the end of next week, so now you can see why we’re tidying up and getting everywhere spick and span for the bonfire party.

Oh, hang on, a text message has just come through, I must share it with you…

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Dear Suzy, thank you so much for inviting me on to your blog to talk about firework safety. I’d love to. I know your son is a fellow firefighter and of course you’re a great friend of Patsy’s, so you’re almost part of the family.  Thanks for helping her with the research – that meant I got a good bunch of mates to work and socialise with as well as plenty to eat. Very important for morale, that.

I hear Alice Bakewell will be popping in too. I remember her from school, sweet kid but a bit shy. It’d be nice to meet her again and see how she’s turned out.

Look forward to meeting up with you soon!

Hamish Mustarde

x

*******************************************************

Isn’t that brilliant and hopefully we’ll get Hamish to expand on what he remembers about Alice from school. I plan to make sausage and chunky home made chips; they’ll be wrapped in paper, the old-fashioned way. These firemen like traditional things I’ve heard. And as I’m in the middle of this, Alice has texted back as well. Glad to know they’re keen to meet up. Here’s what she says…

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‘Hi Suzy Doodling!
Thanks for those lovely boots with the furry tops, really cool. Well, cosy-cool, you know what I mean!
Hope this isn’t too cheeky, but I heard about your famous green smoothies and Patsy said maybe you’d make me one. She reckons they’re the opposite of Dad’s wine – that looks great but tastes flippin’ awful. Your smoothies look odd, but taste pretty good and they’re healthy too. Would you?
Oh, btw I heard there might be a fireman or two round your place soon. Maybe I could pop round that day? Not because I have a thing about firemen or anything. You know that’s just a rumour. Mostly anyway. Just thought it’d be a good time.
I could bring cakes. Home made obvs. What kind do you like best? And the firemen, what would they like?
Alice
xxxx

p.s. These firemen … do they have muscular thighs? I mean, I just wondered uh … because if they do, they’ll probably need extra cake.

Alice
x

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Hang on while I send Alice a message back,

Dear Alice,

You’re welcome for the boots, but I have better ones than, for you to borrow. Tell you what, come a bit earlier, and you can have a root around in my wardrobe. From what Patsy tells me, I think we share the same dress sense. There are other things you might like to borrow, and yes, deff bring cakes, but… I’ve heard the firemen like flapjacks and shortbread. They are into the healthy eating, (obviously) it was them who told me about the green smoothies you mentioned. Bring the sprout wine, sounds yuk, but my geraniums need a bit of a pick-me-up, so they might like a drop. So so so looking forward to meeting you, and hope that boyfriend of your doesn’t object to you coming all this way. I’ve heard he likes to keep tabs on you. All for now, Suzy. xx

P.s. Yes, they have big muscles, Alice, from working out at the gym in-between shouts.

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Phew, it’s all go as I said earlier, and I’ve got lots of sticks for the open fire, after knocking down that old shed. A few doors down, the working men’s club has a bonfire, so no need for us to do one, we get to see that, and the firework display is amazing. Then again, when I get the crackling fire going and settle down with ***FIRESTARTER*** the night will go with a bang.

Join me and make Patsy’s rom/com rocket up the Amazon charts….. You can pre-order it here…..

Firestarter_coverDon’t miss this crackling read, fun and frolicks and come back next week to see what Alice and Hamish have to say when they meet up. Now I must get on and make gingerbread, brandysnaps oh, and get the spirulina in ready for the smoothies.

Until next time, keep safe, and get ready for the fire safety talk as well.

Glam gran says, ‘Who’s Hettie?’

Hello to all my lovely followers, new ones and older ones.

I read a great book yesterday, this one – Short story secrets – turning words into money. That sounded good to me, and the e-book is great as well. So thanks Hettie for all the great tips, and I’m going to be writing this afternoon, when I’ve finished blogging.

Hettie is the pen name of a writer who has had over 200 stories published in women’s magazines, and she is an older lady, who is definitely glam; I know that from her beauty tips in the next book. They could have come directly from my Grandma’s scrap-book, and they’re fab. One little clue tells me who Hetty might be, but that person isn’t as old as the lady I’m thinking of… We once had ‘Where’s Wally?’ Now I’m working on ‘Who’s Hettie?’ My spell checker wants to call her Hattie, but I do prefer Hettie. Maybe I’ll be Bessie Baintree from now on, and write naughty stories.

In complete contrast, another book I’ve got on kindle is this one An ugly way to go is full of short stories with laugh out loud moments. Great to read when you stop for coffee, which in my case is quite often. If you like quirky stories, and I do, this is for you. I haven’t reviewed it yet as I’m still reading those funnies.

This book has over 300 reviews and can’t wait to read it soon. I’m guessing St. Eves in South West England is based on St. Ives.

A cover of a book makes a difference, I tend to go for either colourful ones, or classical ones, how about you?

Now Glam Gran’s tip of the week is, drink water. If you don’t like it plain, then add some squash, or a slice of lemon. A glass of water in the morning, and mid-day, and again later on will keep your skin glowing and send oxygen to all parts of the body, which is always good.

green teaI’ve found a new green tea with lemon, it’s lovely, and takes away the bitterness that sometimes comes with green tea. Still losing the weight, but it’s more about stabilising at the mo, and not putting any back on.

Until next week, when Glynis Scrivens will be here, bysie bye…….

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.

Welcome, Keith Lindsay.

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Keith Lindsay

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Keith Lindsay was my writing tutor, when I attended Atherstone College in the mid-nineties. We were an informal group, and some took it more seriously than others. Now the thing that made Keith stand out from other tutors was his love of comedy, and the passion he gave to his way of teaching of the subject. A naturally funny man, but in a quiet modest way, I am bowled over to let you know that here’s here on my blog to tell us a bit more about his writing.

Q1/S. You told us in college, that you co-wrote ‘Birds of a Feather.’ Can you tell us how you got in to being half of the writing duo for this popular series? And are you still involved with the latest re-release of ‘Birds.’

A1K/ I actually co-wrote on Birds of a Feather, it was created and written by Marks and Gran who then proceeded to allow it to be team written; something quite unusual in this country at the time. How did we get onto the team? Well my writing partner Martin and I wrote a calling card script, we didn’t know it was a calling card script when we wrote it, we thought it was a dead cert to get made – ah the naivety.
However, the thing we did do right was to target certain people in the game who we thought might share our sense of humour – we sent out seven scripts and from that mail shot were invited down to LWT, as was, leading quickly to getting an agent and invited down to lunch with Lawrence and Maurice leading almost as quickly to Birds of a Feather. When I say invited, M and G’s letter actually started with ‘do they let you have sharp things in there’.
And no I am not involved in the newer series, nor are we since there technically isn’t a we anymore. It’s good to see it back since Birds was always an inclusive comedy; it wants to make as many people laugh as possible; it isn’t aiming for a certain niche.

Q2/S. How was it, writing with John Sullivan on Green green grass? What would you say was the one thing that stood out about him?

A2K/ Writing with John was one of the most amazing times of my life, I learned so much, I laughed so much and being in the studio listening to real people really laughing reminded me why I’d become hooked on the genre in the first place. And they were real people and they were really laughing, no one was whipping, bullying or cajoling them into it despite what some would say about audience comedy.
You’re asking me to pick out one thing that stood out about one of the greatest comedy writing talents in the sit com world!? How? I could go on for pages, but I’ll try: John was one of life’s observers: he watched, he studied and more importantly he remembered, or he made notes. He once showed me a crumpled slip of paper he carried around in his wallet for years, it said ‘don’t forget Batman and Robin’. Del Boy was based on people he’d grown up with. John was simply wonderful at storing up people, stories, events, ideas for years and then finding the exact moment to unleash them. And that was only part of John’s genius.

Q3S/ Do you write scripts for stand-up comedians, like Ken Dodd, for instance, or John Bishop? If so, do you get any credit for it, or are you like a ghost comedian?

A3K/ I have written stand up material for comedians; Rik Mayall, Frankie Howerd and a Japanese comic called Zen Jiro, and I pray at least he’s still alive. Credit for it? I think not good lady. If you get paid that’s enough, besides comedians like to look as if they’re just making it all up.

Q4S/ What are you working on at the moment? And how many re-writes would you do for a script?

A4K/ At present I have two original sit com scripts doing the hurry up and wait dance at certain broadcasters, a third I am re-writing should either of them turn into a case of ‘what else have you got’ and am about to begin work on a whole new sit com script – something of a lazy bugger you see.

When it comes to re-writes there are a couple of different types: there’s the re-writes you are asked to do by producers, development executives and the office tea boy after you think you’ve already got the perfect script and those can be legion; then there’s the re-writes you do for yourself.
Now I know the received wisdom is that all writing is re-writing but I don’t tend to do too many of the latter for a couple of very good reasons – firstly I make sure that I know my characters inside out when I start writing and I construct characters in such a way that when my story gives them a choice to make it’s really only Hobson’s choice, they can only ever come to one decision because of who they are. Secondly, technically I re-write every day, that is I start over again on page one of the script so that I ease myself back into the situation and character, the writing is then also consistent since I am quite often in a totally different mood from day to day; thus it means that in the end the majority of the script has had anything from two or three re-writes to fourteen or more re-writes on an average first pass.

Q5S/ Has comedy writing changed over the years and If so, how is it different now?

A5K/ I’m pretty sure you knew I would answer yes when you wrote this question – so yes! Comedy has changed because the world has changed – we have access to all human knowledge now, and to much disinformation too, a pity since in less informed times writers would be able to offer us a window on a world we didn’t know, Porridge for example – in 1973 we were totally unfamiliar with the inner workings of prisons, the fly on the wall documentary had not shown us the reality yet. These days it’s pretty hard to show us something new, so that instead of a window writers seem to be expected to hold up a mirror to reflect the audience back at themselves.
And yes I know writers have always done that but there was a time where there was an art to it, as Alexander Pope put it ‘true wit is nature to advantage dressed, what oft was thought but ne’er so well expressed’. It just seems that much of what is considered comedy now is merely framed by the lowest common denominator in terms of characters and lines fed back to the audience. Ok rant over.

Q6S/ What would be your ideal script for the bbc? (That’s not including the ones you have written )

A6K/ Hhhhmmmm, I’m pretty sure they don’t really know themselves if you’re talking about something new and if I knew myself I’d be writing it not answering your questions.
What I do know is what it takes to give yourself the best chance to construct the ideal script and it’s something I try to impart when I run sit com writing workshops: character is everything and a well rounded but fatally flawed comic character is key for a start, then there are the supporting characters who should not be mere ciphers but equally rounded and exist not only in contrast with the main character but compliment him/her too. But I’m giving too much away for free, my agent will pitch a fit.
Let’s just say that I really enjoy running sit com workshops and seeing those wonderful light bulb moments when my guests see the simplicity of the structure from which many great shows have been made.
Is this enough now because my typing finger is getting tired?
http://www.thinkfunny.co.uk/2013/02/learn-sitcom-writing/
http://www.futermanrose.co.uk/lindsay.html
http://twitter@Keithrlindsay

Click on this link to get to the book.

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