12 October 2011

Retirees publishing their memoirs

 This morning, instead of trawling through journal articles for my essay like I was supposed to, I went link hopping instead, and found the most wonderful article about retirees publishing their memoirs.

Isn't this great? The article only mentions those that self-published in print copy, (one woman paid $25,000 to get her book out there - which is alright if you have that kind of money hanging around) but think of the possibilities that e-pubbing gives!

What I love the most is that it doesn't seem as if they're doing it to make money, or become famous, but because they want their stories to be around when they no longer are, for their families and for those might be able to learn something from their experiences.

I am definitely doing this - as long as something happens in my life that's worth writing about...

09 October 2011

Flash Fiction Challenge for TerribleMinds.com - The Nature of Dust

The quite frankly hilarious Chuck Wendig has asked everyone to invent a new monster over here, and give it life through a flash fiction piece of 1,000 words or less.
Mine only took 242. Let's hope the thing they say about quality being better than quantity is true...
 The Nature of Dust




Caroline was ready for it to be over. She knew it was coming.

They all did.

Her colleagues, her husband, her children. 

Palm to palm they’d pressed their hands together, separated only by the triple-thick pane of glass that kept the inside in and the outside out.

Unfortunately, she was on the inside.


 No one had believed her when she’d shown them the cuts on her fingers, the deep pocks like pricks of a pin.

“Wounded by dust? You’re joking. Bits of dead skin and dirt - How can that hurt you?”

It didn’t matter how – the fact that it did was enough.

She looked at her bandaged hands with cloudy, unfocussed eyes. The white cotton was marred by green-tinged stains. The wounds were weeping, they itched and stung. It would be hell when it reached the thin skin of her face.



The beaker was rocking, knocking on the table top.

How much more proof did they need that whatever was in there was alive?

On unsteady legs, she got to her feet and pressed her lips to the glass. One by one her family kissed her goodbye.

She couldn’t hear the sobs, but she could see their tears.


It was gaining momentum.


She sunk to the floor, legs curled underneath her body and her arms wrapped round her waist.


It nearly made it.

A silent prayer.


She closed her eyes.



I'd appreciate it if you let me know what you thought!

04 October 2011

Writing Advice

I've found that I've needed a lot of hand holding throughout my attempts at writing, and for this I have always turned to the internet.

In the beginning, I absorbed every piece of information was thrown back by Google, but now I've got to the point where I've grown tired of reading it.

I hope I'm not the only one that sometimes forgets that it is just advice, not rules to follow. 

A million different posts have told me that the key to a successful story is having a likeable protagonist. I don't agree with that. Some of my favourite stories haven't had likeable main characters, just compelling ones. And that for me is the most important thing. I can't stop reading about them because they're just so interesting.

Dr. House from House is the perfect example of this. The whole reason (in my opinion) behind the success of the series is because he's such an interesting character. He's not the typical, constantly positive, smiling doctor that we expect, but a grumpy, crotchety old man who's only selling points are the fact that he's incredibly witty and sardonic and brilliant at his job. He wasn't written to be likeable, but that's okay, because it works.

That's not to say that all of the advice that I've got is bad, a lot of it in fact makes perfect sense. The first example that comes to mind is this advice about creating characters from Mystery Writing Is Murder. It's one of the first posts that made it obvious to me that just because you know everything about your character, doesn't mean that the reader needs to know it all too. In fact, it's probably better that they don't.

Though the advice I would rather not have followed but stupidly did, was the age old adage that you can't force creativity. Pah. Lord knows how much time I've wasted not writing when I had the opportunity just because I didn't feel inspired. By all means, take advantage of when it strikes, but you've got to chug through when you don't, no matter what they say, because otherwise nothing will ever get done.

And that doesn't just apply to writing. Oh sorry, Boss - I was late for the deadline because I wasn't inspired.
Like that would work. So why did I read so often? It makes no sense to me.

There are an infinite number of writing blogs out there, but that doesn't mean that they know what they're preaching about. And what works for them might not work for you.
I suppose you just have to take everything with a pinch of salt.

How about you? Have you ever listened to advice that turned out to be absolute rubbish? I'd love to know!

15 July 2011


My name is Gemma, and I guess you could say that I'm jumping on the blogging bandwagon.
I have no idea what will come of this, but I suppose only time will tell.
I'll be posting twice a week. An original post on a Wednesday and a post of links to articles/posts that I've read during the week that I've found interesting. They'll probably be on something (possibly loosely) related to writing... Fingers crossed that the 'quality not quantity' saying is true!
Now if you don't mind me, I'm going to try to make this thing look pretty. Wish me luck!