Diary of a Writer – July Prompt

 

A Tinted Lens

Writing Scottish Regency romance – or any kind of Regency romance – means that there’s going to be an alpha male – that’s how it was, folks. So, what does this chap inspire in you? He’s alone. He’s clearly magnificent and although his feathers are down at the moment the photograph was taken, you can visualise them in full glory when he struts his stuff for the harem.

Then we have the fellow below. He’s not so lean, but he’s clearly a fine specimen. He’s also alone. Do the fine feathers inspire?

 

 

 

 

 

Courting the Countess

Bella’s Betrothal

 

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Diary of a Writer – May Writing Prompt – RNA Summer Party and Joan Hessayon Award

Why, you must be asking is that headline picture a writing prompt for Anne?

Name Badges for the 2018 Joan Hessayon contenders

I’ve been a Joan Hessayon contender – and a wonderful, really wonderful evening I had.

MuseItUp published my first Regency romance – actually on 1st May in 2013. Mariah’s Marriage continues to be available for many electronic readers. It’s also in a library near you through the Linford Romance series.

Anne by Marte Lundby Rekaa

I wasn’t the winner, but the whole team made me feel like one. Also, the lovely Rae Cowie came along specially to support me on the night and Jenny Harper and her husband Robin, were there, too. I’ve maintained links with some of the other contenders that night and I bought a copy of my individual photo taken by the talented Marte. I don’t photograph well, so that one is a particular pleasure.

Well, it’s a prompt because I’ve stepped away. Having been a member of the RNA committee for a few years now, it’s time to use my time for writing my stuff rather than  Facebook posts , Twitter tweets and committee reports.

I will miss the warm and talented guys I’m leaving behind, but  there are other opportunities to catch up with them. The first being the Summer Party which is being held in the fabulous Ashmolean Museum, Oxford. You can buy a ticket here and you don’t have to be a member of the RNA to do that. Come and meet some of your favourite authors in the flesh, as it were.

Now, if you live in Edinburgh, you can catch up with me and two of my Capital Writer pals at the Corstorphine Festival. We’ll be chatting with Sheila McCallum Perry, reading a little of our work and signing copies of our books (the other two here). We’re scheduled for Wednesday 30th May from around 7pm, programme out soon. Venue is CYCC, 191 St John’s Road.

Capital Stories a wee selection of our talent is available for the price of 99p. What else can you buy for 99p?

Diary of a Writer – April Prompt

Staircase, Kenwood House

 

 

 

 

 

 

Diary of a writer – April Prompt – My picture this month is chosen to illustrate that well-known phrase, The Devil is in the Detail, although in this case, the Beauty is in it, too.

I’ve chosen it because I’m wrapping up the final instalment of a serial I’ve been writing. As any of you who have been there will know, remembering how you resolved that tricky issue about the cat hair in instalment one, written five months ago, is an even trickier issue in and of itself. Going back and forth in and out of the synopsis is, in my case, as likely to cause confusion as resolve it.

So, here’s to the blessing of a good editor. They would certainly be asking why the third gap in the uprights is missing its top fan shape. Gone home in someone’s handbag? Taken off by scions of the family in target practice? Meant to be like that as part of a wider design? Lots for you to ask, too. Happy writing.

Detail, Adam Library, Kenwood House

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oh, and if you’re close enough, do visit Kenwood House where I took the photo. It’s a gem. The Adam library might be the most beautiful room I’ve ever been in.

Scottish Association of Writers – Annual Weekend School

Margaret McConnell Trophy

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m just back from another lovely Weekend School of the Scottish Association of Writers at the Westerwood Hotel, Cumbernauld. The prospectus is up elsewhere on this blog, so you can see who the speakers were.

I opted for a workshop on Writing Memoir conducted by the entertaining and inspirational Catherine Simpson; one on the Metaphoric Table by script writer and wordsmith, Raymond Burke; a poetry session conducted by John Glenday and a most business-like talk on how to pitch and sell articles by journalist, Dawn Geddes.

I learned that memoir is not a list of dates; metaphors are not the only figures of speech; some people are better at writing poetry than others and it’s a mistake to write the article before selling it.

I chuckled through Simon Brett’s after dinner talk on Saturday, enjoyed the food, company and ambience.

Oh and, I won a competition. The delightful Shirley Blair, Fiction Editor  of People’s Friend was kind enough to place my story, Woman, Invisible, first in the Woman’s Short Story category.

It is also the case that Edinburgh Writers’ Club won the Friday night quiz for the second year running. On a tie-break, we earned a complimentary drink each from the Westerwood Hotel.

And I bought Olga Wojtas’s debut novel from the bookstore.

Miss Blane’s Prefect and the Golden Samover. Can’t wait.

The AGM almost began on time and proceeded in an orderly fashion to mark the departures of President, Marc Sherland and Vice-President, Jen Butler (who graciously presented the prizes on Saturday evening). they were replaced by Wendy Jones as Pres and Gillian Duff as vice-pres. Good wishes Marc and Jen and good luck Wendy and Gillian.

Diary of a Writer – March prompt

 

 

 

 

 

 

So what comes to mind when you think of a stoat? Is it the beauty of their undulating movement? Is it their gorgeous natural colouring?

Have you been forever alienated by Wind in the Willows?

Have you, like me, watched one fight its natural shyness to recover a rabbit it killed earlier and take it back to the kits?

Sometimes the creative process seems a bit like trying to force a trolley-load of ideas through that small space.

No rabbits were harmed in the writing of this post.

CAPITAL STORIES contains four sparkling five star gems by me and three Capital Writing friends. For your kindle.

Anne

Diary of a Writer – February Writing Prompt

I took this picture in Chile. The island is a resting place for sea-lions, but only after they get onto it. Had I a better camera, I’d be able to show you the bobbing heads and leaping bodies in the channel between the shoreline and the island. The sea-lions spend a lot of time trying to get onto that rocky outcrop. Once there, they rest up, enjoy a bit of sun and get hungry. So, it’s needs must, and back into the spray.

Writing life is a bit like that. Occasionally you finish something that really pleases you and then you rest up a bit until the urge overwhelms you and – needs must – you jump in again and write something else.

Capital Stories – a collection of four gems according to WJRH – by Anne, Kate, Jane and Jennifer and a wee snip at 99p.

 

Diary of a Writer – serially challenging

Diary of a Writer – serially challenging.

It’s always a great feeling to press send on a submission and I did that this morning just before enjoying one of these.

The box was a pressie from a local tradesman in the run-up to Christmas. I really do think it pays to ‘shop local’ and when the dividend comes in the form of Tunnock’s finest, who’s going to argue?

The MS is instalment two of the serial I’m writing for People’s Friend. Fingers crossed and tentatively on to work on Instalment three.

Another two hours spent on choosing the canapés for the RNA’s Awards’ Night Party (it’s a long and truly delicious list) and maybe now I should think about the ‘tea’ – as in that knife and fork repast the household looks forward to in the evening.

Having read the lovely Capital Stories created by my fellow Capital Writers, I’m looking round for something. I see my publishers, Endeavour, are advertising Lesley Downer’s

On the Narrow Road to the Deep North – journey into a lost Japan – which I have on my trusty kindle. Maybe that’s after-dinner sorted.

What are you reading? Both the above books are currently 99p.

DIARY OF A WRITER – JANUARY WRITING PROMPT

A Quality Product

Diary of a Writer – January Prompt may seem a little counter productive. Why post a picture of home-made marmalade as it is undoubtedly a labour intensive product and might distract you?

Well. because it’s a good product. There are excellent marmalades on the market. During my short writing retreat in Assynt, I visited the wonderful The Culkein Store where I laid in huge quantities of goody bag and take-to items. Scented candles, jellies, and Three Fruits Marmalade all made it into the car. We’d previously sampled their chutneys courtesy of visiting family and were really excited to make our own choices.

So, I have a large jar of their marmalade against the possibility the home-made runs out, but I’ll still be off to the supermarket to harass the fruit and veg manager over when the Seville oranges are arriving.

It’s also the case that creativity in one sphere aids creativity in others. When the WIP is going well, it’s equally likely I’ll fancy trying a new recipe. Who knows, that baby jacket I have on the pins might even make it off them. Well, let’s not get carried away by fantasy. If I can send off the story my editor was keen to see amended, then it would be a flying start to 2018.

How about you? What activity raises your own creativity?

Diary of A Writer – December Writing Prompt

Creel Christmas Tree, Ullapool

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Creel Christmas Tree in Ullapool was a surprise find at the behest of a family member who’d read about it on-line. The waiter in The Ceilidh Place was keen to tell us how the lights will be switched on as the ferry reverses away from the pier with its lights blazing. He was so excited by the whole project and disappointed for us that we’d be gone from the area before the event.

So if any of you, dear readers, are in Ullapool over the festive period and can post a pic, please let us know where to find it.

I’ve chosen the Ullapool Creel Christmas Tree as this month’s prompt for a number of reasons. Firstly, I was returning from a writing retreat/holiday in Assynt which is one of my favourite destinations. It may well remind me as December madness descends that there is a book in need of TLC.

A Retreating Writer

Secondly, it’s such a wonderful creation: a nod to the area’s fishing history and an artistic rendition of the Christmas tree – which is my all-time favourite decoration.

Finally, no tree was cut down to provide this great talking and gathering point. Yes, we do have a fresh one. Oh Dear!

Courting the Countess

Bella’s Betrothal