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28 May 2010


But It's Great to Be Back
Yes, apologies for my brief absence. Very special friends finally made it over to see us following a false start due to the Ash Cloud. Needless to say my laughter muscles and my liver needs a rest, but it has been a fab week. And our conversations and catch ups have given me plenty of writing fodder for the development of stories, so all I will say to my now absent friends is watch out when a writer is about! Have you ever played a  game called Cranium? It is great entertainment, especially after a glass of wine or two, and tends to bring out the performer in everyone and by the morning after they have usually forgotten. So if you do have the opportunity,  remember to take notepad and pen to jot down some of the happenings and you'll find that you have some wonderful character sketches to develop. 
And finally our fourth grandchild made her appearance today, a little late but very welcome, well done to Charley, Rich and Ivy and welcome to the world, Sukie Ella! 

Not had chance to do a book review this week, but check out my latest Suite 101 submission on tasty Italian Soups for Spring and Summer. 

Don't Think Just Write

14 May 2010


To a New and Exciting Home
Yep, if you have been following the saga of our search for a new site you will be pleased to know that it is finally at an end. Our old site (on Ning) is now defunct - well it will be by the end of play today. We have moved to Spruz, a great platform because it has many of the things we liked about Ning and much, much more. I have seen more activity in the last couple of weeks because we are now settled, which is great and means that my fellow writers are writing! 

We have some new members, Vanessa and Marit joined us just before the bombshell about finding a new home dropped and have been most supportive. David, Greg and Leanne joined during the move and so will be making their presence felt on the new site.

Many of our members are busy working on projects for the Flash 500 Fiction competition in June and we have had some fantastic, funny, quirky, historical and sorrowful pieces submitted so perhaps Writers Abroad will make an appearance on the short-list again! In the first competition we had three members featured, so it goes to show that feedback and constructive criticism can really shape your writing. 

And I have to mention in despatches that Alyson has got through to the next round of the Brit Writers Award, a very prestigious competition which had over twenty-one thousand entries! So we are all willing her on to being placed and if not - it's the taking part that counts!

I have submitted a book review on The Remains of the Day on Louise Charles, uploaded my latest Suite 101 article on Two Takes on Trifles, found an international market to plug my short story (published first by Peoples Friend) and have tidied up four other stories for re-submission later today. So normal service is being resumed, thank goodness!

Don't Think Just Write

Visit Writers Abroad at their new and exciting home!

7 May 2010


But Now Back on Track and On-line
I've been a bit absent lately so many apologies. As some of you may know I have been looking for a new home for my writers community for ex-pats, Writers Abroad. This follows the decision by our current host, Ning, to ditch free sites from July. Well I must admit at first I found the task rather daunting, after three months of finding my way around our site, I was getting used to it. It felt comfortable, not quite like the old armchair next to the fire, but getting there. So after my initial panic and fit of the abdabs, I sat down and decided to approach it like I would any other project. Research, Plan, Review and Get Going! And this week I have opened up our new home to the members of Writers Abroad who are as I speak, having a play and visiting the various rooms, testing out the furniture and generally getting a good feel of the place. I hope we have as much fun, support and success as we have at our previous home and I for one am looking forward to catching up with my very distinguished writing pals there. 

So with this and the other things that life throws in the path of a struggling writer, I have found it difficult to find the space to do my writing. It has been a little like the wilderness in terms of words, and what words I did have seemed to get blown away or interrupted by this and other distractions. I had such a plan for May to which I shall return to and see what I can salvage - I've already amended a piece of flash fiction (A Slip of the Tongue - short-listed for the first  Flash 500 ) and packed it off to another market. So things are feeling calm again and it's good to be home.
I've also managed to write a book review about The Rain Before it Falls by Jonathon Coe on Louise Charles and just uploaded my latest Suite 101 article on Free Social Networking Sites - well I had to put all that experience down in some kind of writing project!

So onwards and upwards and Buona Fortuna to all my writing pals at Writers Abroad!

Don't Think Just Write