But better than never. Day 63 or is it 64 of lockdown and I’m still trying to find my groove. That’s if I ever had one! Last Monday 4th May we saw the start of Phase 2 here in Italy. We’re still lying low, [Read more…] about Hello May. . . A Little Late
Since the beginning of the year, I’ve been making a concerted effort to place my short stories and flash fiction. I have a lot of stories, some polished some needing some work and many that will never see the light of day!
The trouble is the market is flooded and many do not offer any financial reward, some even charge a reading fee. It takes a lot of time to produce story submissions to meet a particular publisher’s requirements with no guarantees of success and selection is very subjective.
So I’ve made the decision to publish them myself. And why not? I’d rather commit the time to producing something I can share with others and under my control then see my work going into an eternal black hole for weeks, perhaps months.
Many of the stories will only take 5 minutes to read, some a lot less. We’ve all got five minutes somewhere, right? In these distracting times, I’m finding that a short read really hits the spot. And instant escapism. They are a mixture of genres, many inspired by writing prompts from my online writing group, Writers Abroad.
“A short story is a love affair, a novel is a marriage. A short story is a photograph; a novel is a film.”
I shall post them regularly on my blog My Writer Within. It’s also a good exercise in accountability; writing, editing and polishing a piece of work. Creating a habit, a habit which I love to partake in.
Do let me know what you think in the comments and if you do something similar, please let me know, I’d love to have a read!
Well, since we’ve been on lockdown here in Italy since March 10 – three weeks now – I’ve not been anywhere. Only to the shops, where I dash in and out again donned in gloves, mask and misted glasses grab what I need and dash out again. But then, you all know what this feels like now, right? We’re all in this together and I’m not sure that we’ll ever go back to the world as we knew it. Maybe that’s not a bad thing… so
Where I’ve been @
@The Desk there’s been a lot in the news about now is the time to get all those things done that you haven’t had time to do before… well for me, working at home has been the norm since 2007. But not since the earthquakes have I found it so difficult to concentrate. The constant need to check the news has been stifling. So I’ve done a ‘List Of Everything’ and am trying to tick off one each day. Other than that my muse seems to be in isolation.
@The Reading Table Same kind of news with my reading, which is always affected when I’m distracted and anxious. It’s not helped by the fact that I hate reading on the Kindle but we have very little option for print books here. I’ve just finished The Strawberry Thief by Joanna Harris. I’ve loved all her stuff and this one didn’t disappoint, though it seemed a little familiar as it’s a run on from Chocolat. Must watch the film again 😛
@The Goggle Box There has been a lot of opportunities to watch stuff we might never have had the access to. Opera was streaming from New York and watched two of my favourites, La Boheme and La Traviata. This week, the National Theatre start streaming some shows which we’re going to have a look at. We watched Bird Box, of all films… about some alien virus which made people suicidal, perhaps not the best choice and started to watch Game of Thrones again from the start. I’ve read all the books but not managed to get through the TV series. So I have done a lot of sofa surfing, but in my defence the weather has been cold, grey, wet and we even had our first snow, just as Spring arrived!
@Home Well, that’s where we are for the foreseeable. A family get together over here in May has been cancelled and so I won’t get to see my son and grandchildren until this is all over… I’m finding that most difficult to accept. At least with the earthquakes we could run away if needed! The animals continue to keep us well occupied and life would be so much more difficult without them. The best news we received this month is that Simon is to welcome his fifth grandchild into the clan in October. That will make seven between us and something positive to look forward to!
Here is Freya, our small donkey sized Italian sheepdog. This was taken one Spring some years ago, just after the daff’s I’d planted had started to poke their little way through!
I wish I had found a vaccine for my toolbox this month. On day 16… or is it 17 of lockdown here in Italy and I’ve found it very difficult to concentrate. In fact, I’ve fallen off my writing stool completely. And this morning we woke to snow. I know it’s Spring but it seems that Mother Nature has a plan.
- Learn a Language – Easy Italian News: I’m always trying to improve my Italian, which is difficult when we’re on lockdown. Listening is one of the elements I struggle with. This does what it says on the tin, is broadcast four times a week and is relatively short and topical.
- Writing Competitions – Patsy Collins regularly posts about competitions, usually related to words – which is the theme of her blog. A very useful site. Remember to comment and let her know that you are there!
- Feedback on Writing – Critique Circle – is a large community of writers of all genres. Amongst other resources and forums you can give and receive feedback on writing – it’s credit based so a very fair system.
Ciao for now…
Just because I’m a writer doesn’t mean I don’t love to cook. And food treats can be a big motivation when you’re trying to get things done. Since moving to Italy in 2007, I discovered some of the things I missed about my home country, often involved food. Don’t get me wrong, Italy has some of the greatest cuisine, it’s just those comfort type foods or more international dishes, that I took for granted before.
I’ve also been more adventurous with cooking Italian style and now often make my own pasta rather than buy it pre cooked or dried. The Italians like to take their time with their food. There is no ‘fast’… though pizza is often thought of in that way.
Today I give you… the good old English Crumpet! I love it hot from the grill and slathered with butter. Sometimes with a lick of Marmite or a poached egg… but mainly butter. As I’m not a make it up myself kind of cook, I use the internet a lot to find good recipes and keep them in an app called, The Recipe Keeper funnily enough!
The link to the best recipe I’ve found for crumpets which are light and fluffy is at The Spruce Eats. You have to be brave with adding the liquid and add as much as you can without it getting too thin. It’s a matter of practice. I’ve just about perfected mine as you can see in the picture. And they are so much better than shop bought! Give them a go… you’ll be surprised.
I’m spending a lot of my social media time over at Instagram. It’s been my favourite platform for more than a year now and I’ve built up some friendships there. I take part in regular monthly author challenges and this week one of the prompts was #manuscript monday where you share snippets from your WiP. So though I might share it here and make a regular ‘snippets slot’…
I’ve used a very small section from my NaNo 2019 project which I’ve loosely entitled, The Rainbow Chronicles. I’m planning a series of stories, probably seven in total and the reasons for that I can’t share at the moment! Mostly because I’m still not sure of my approach. I’m very excited about this project. The main character has been haunting my dreams for a long time now and it’s getting time to weave her story. Her name, at the moment, is Rainbow. As you can see, this is all a work in progress.
So enough of my babblings, here is the excerpt…