Friday 30 August 2013

The Bookseller, by Mark book review for The Cephalopod Coffeehouse.

Hi there!

I've joined another regular bloghop, The Cephalopod  Coffeehouse, a bloggers' bookclub, brainchild of the Armchair Squid. As I read so many books, I'm always looking for somewhere to review them - other than the usual suspects, Amazon, Goodreads etc. Armchair Squid's bloghop is for reviews of your best recent read.

Here is the brief:

The idea is simple: on the last Friday of each month, post about the best book you've finished over the past month while visiting other bloggers doing the same.  In this way, we'll all have the opportunity to share our thoughts with other enthusiastic readers.  Please join us:

Best! Definitely! Recently finished The Bookseller, by Mark Pryor, and was so sad to reach the end. It is the first in what is to be a series of Hugo Marston novels, so I have more to look forward to. 

Hugo Marston is the head of security at the US Embassy in Paris. One of his passions is book collecting, which leads to the main storyline of the novel.

Early in the story, Marston indulges himself by buying some first editions from his friend Max, an elderly bookstall owner, a bouquiniste, the owner of one of those green metal shops along the Seine. 

Shortly after Marston's purchase, Max is dragged from his bookstall at gunpoint. Marston tries to intercede, but Max is thrown into a boat. The police don't seem uninterested in investigating, so of course, this becomes Marston's mission.

Then other booksellers start to disappear. Working with his friend, former CIA agent, Tom Green, the team of two soon put together the pieces of a puzzle. There is a surprising answer to a quest which unearths Nazi collaborators, illegal immigrants and drugs -- why was Max a target? Or is someone just after a very valuable book? 

All the characters are well drawn, although Tom Green began to grate after awhile, but to be honest he is a great foil for Marston's slick heroism. There are plenty of red herrings in this plot, and no shortage of action to keep you turning the pages. And there's a sexy, wealthy reporter with great connections to provide the romantic element. 

Where Pryor really excels is in his depiction of Paris in winter. (Makes me all a'quiver for my next trip in December!) Pryor has written my type of book -- the setting is beautifully wrought -- a fully-fledged character. If you haven't already visited Paris, this book will have you lining up to buy your plane ticket. And if you've never seen Paris in winter, this will convince you to check her out.

I found The Bookseller an excellent escapist read -- it had it all for me -- Paris, books, history, intrigue, and a captivating main character and the requisite romance. It is an elegant debut novel for a fabulous new thriller writer -- intelligent, witty, suspenseful as all good thrillers should be. Hugo Marston is in the mould of Jack Reacher and Harry Bosch, another couple of my favourite action heroes. Marston is honourable, yet ruthless when he has to be -- a Texan in cowboy boots and a cashmere overcoat.

Can't wait for the second Hugo Marston novel.

  • What's your best recent read? Share with us...

Tuesday 27 August 2013

Selfie Travel Interview -- tell me your travel stories...

Hi friends!

I'm more than a little under the weather with an end-of-winter flu, so my usual Monday post time came and went. I decided to post a travel post I've had sitting in 'drafts' for such a moment. Relax and read...

How exciting to see Baby Lit!
One of my little routines is to go for coffee at Avid Reader on the weekend -- a combined book store and cafe -- the perfect business! It's a welcoming little cafe in West End in Brisbane (a short walk down the street from where I live). I read the Sunday papers, eat a freshly-baked muffin, then browse the bookshop. Bliss! The first liftout I reach for in the newspapers is the Escape (travel) section.

One of the other things I do when I'm not writing flash fiction or sweating over novel writing, is write travel articles. Such an enjoyable process, collating all those travel notes from exotic and not-so-exotic journeys and pitching to papers and magazines.

Today I thought I'd post about travel by using the interview found every Sunday in the Escape liftout of the Sunday Mail.  I've jiggled it a bit to create a selfie interview, of course accompanied by photos. Once you've read it, would you answer some/all the relevant questions in comments? I'm addicted to all things travel, so I'd love to hear what you have to say...

Home made vanilla ice cream, espresso
 coffee and ice cubes. Ahhh. 

In my case that would be the wonderful world of Oz. My favourite place is the Sunshine Coast, particularly Peregian Beach where husby George (now a popular name again!) and I have a beach house. The beach is amazingly unspoilt, with long stretches of golden sand sparsely populated, so you can always find a private cove. Peregian Village is built in a courtyard square like in Europe, with cafes and boutique shops around the perimeter. The best iced coffee ever is found at my favourite hang out, Baked Poetry Cafe.


Anyone who knows me knows my love affair with Paris. Geo and I have walked, bussed or trained just about every square kilometre, but Paris always delights and surprises. Once you've got all the museums and famous landmarks out of the way, you can really enjoy strolling aimlessly, the best way to enjoy the architecture, the cafes and the history, especially the literary history. We usually travel in the northern winter. It doesn't snow heavily, but sometimes in late winter you get caught by surprise!

BUT if it wasn't Paris, it'd be the medieval hill towns of Italy.


I've got to be honest and state that our food in Australia is AMAZING and it really is hard to beat our fresh produce, seafood, beef and fabulous restaurants, so we've lowered our expectations when travelling and amaze ourselves with Paris street food like yummy crepes filled with what passes for chocolate (Nutella!) and banana or a savoury ham and cheese for Geo. All taste pretty good freshly made. Picking up all the makings for what we call a Paris dinner on the way home from a day walking the streets is awesome -- going from shop to shop picking up a fresh baguette, then runny cheese, duck pate or fois gras,  fresh ham, grapes and a bottle of wine. Why does it just taste so good when you're over there? But that duck (canard) at Bordes de Seine (near Monet's Garden) was to die for! Best regional food in France IMO.

Looking up to the kasbah in Tangier
Five weeks in Dec/Jan -- beginning with a few days in Amsterdam, then 2 weeks in Paris north this time - staying at Euro Disney, but our days will be spent in Paris, returning to the Champagne region and Belgium (Bruges). Then the fast train to Malaga, Spain, with a short stint across to Tangier in Morocco, then Portugal. Not at all exhausting, lol!

Many. On the agenda is an extended tour including Alaska, Canada, the East Coast of the US. Scandinavia is another drawcard...well, anywhere we haven't been is on the bucket list.

Chuisi in Tuscany, Italy. Geo liked the idea of a rustic 16th Century fishing hut beside Lake Trasimeno (Where Hannibal ambushed the Romans), and close to a couple of hill towns we'd read about. Not a good idea in winter! The hut was owned by an Aussie who was cosily warm back home. We arrived after dark to find the only heating was from a little wood stove, but there was no wood cut down to size, so our first task was to ring the agents and the best they could do was drive over with a tomahawk. The bedroom was so cold the ceiling dripped condensation all over us. That said, the position was fabulous and we have lots of fond memories. No bad travel experience ever feels bad when you look back on it. There's a story in that one but I haven't written it yet.

When I travel, I like to go like blazes all day, and really appreciate a hotel at the end of the day to fully chill. I've stayed in BnBs, but don't like being met at the door and asked to report on my whole day before being allowed to head for my room to relax! (This happened to us in the Loire Valley -- horrendous!)

Comfy shoes that feel like runners, but are stylish enough not to be frowned on in Paris, lol!!

That the world is populated with people who are much the same everywhere, and language isn't a huge barrier. We shared a railway carriage back to Chiusi from Pompeii one night and as well as we Aussies, there was an Italian, a German, a Spanish family and a Bulgarian guy, yet we communicated well somehow and it was fabulous! I don't have horror stories -- nearly everyone we've met has been lovely (well, except for that nasty ticket seller in Rome's Termini (main railway station). But Rome's Termini is best avoided! Being chased by totes is pretty challenging, especially when your eyes are smarting from pollution and cars are parked anywhere and everywhere across footpaths and 'pedestrian' crossings! LOL!

But my travel philosophy is that it's not about arriving somewhere new, it's the journey to somewhere new. Enjoy every moment, or if that's not possible, laugh about it later!!

  • So I hope you enjoyed reading my travel post. Please tell me about your travels or your dreams of travels...or do you have any travel questions?

A huge thank you to all the awesome people who posted for August's  Write...Edit...Publish  inaugural blogfest. What a lot of super entries to read. The September linky for MOVING ON will go live early September. Please consider joining this group of enthusiastic bloggers.

Wednesday 21 August 2013

Write...Edit...Publish monthly bloghop - my flash fiction - Interrupted in Paris

Welcome to the inaugural Write...Edit...Publish regular monthly bloghop. As you visit participating bloggers, you will find all sorts of stories and other creative postings. Anyone is welcome to join us! Entries close Friday August 23. If you've missed this one and would like to join in for September...theme -- Moving On...the linky will go up early September. Would love to have you on board!

Here is my entry for VACATION...a flash fiction set in Paris...

Interrupted in Paris
Willow leaned over the parapet of the Pont Neuf bridge, ignoring the wind that snatched her long blond hair from her face. She strained for a better view of the redheaded woman in the orange hat who was yelling at one of the booksellers along the Seine.

Alors, not planning to jump?’ a voice asked in perfect French.

Willow hadn’t expected to be interrupted in Paris—Parisians ignored you, she’d been told.

The guy was a bit older than she was, about twenty. Would have been the perfect Gallic specimen except for his Harry Potter glasses and cowboy boots.

Merde, are you crazy?’ she snapped in her schoolgirl French. ‘Jumping into the Seine would be like jumping into a swimming pool.’

Harry Potter pushed his glasses higher up his nose with a leather-gloved finger and laughed out loud. She liked the sound. It was nice hearing someone laugh instead of yell.

‘Mademoiselle, it would be like diving into an ice rink. Don’t jump in head first. Such a pretty head.’ He slipped off his gloves and handed them to her.

He folded his arms, studied her while she slipped them on. ‘Well?

‘Well, what?’

 ‘Why are you standing on the Pont Neuf this freezing winter’s day, with only that, uh, flimsy thing between you and becoming an ice sculpture?’ He removed his cashmere coat as he spoke. Was this a Paris striptease?

‘Not your business.’ She backed away. ‘No, it’s okay. Keep your coat on.’

‘It’s fine. I’m wearing another underneath, see?’ He indicated a uniform jacket,  with an embroidered ‘B’ on the pocket. ‘I keep a spare for damsels in distress.’

He seemed harmless enough. Willow cracked a smile, then tossed the cashmere over her battered army-surplus jacket. Bliss!

‘Come, Mademoiselle.’ He took her hand.  ‘I’ll buy you coffee. There’s a cafe nearby that the bouquinistes use.’ Bouquinistes? Later.

She searched for the redheaded woman in the crowd, but all she saw was black coats moving through snow like extras in a movie.

Mercy beaucoop.’

A plaisir, Mademoiselle. Bon appetit!’

She spooned three teaspoons of sugar into her frothy brew, gave it a quick stir then gulped down a few delicious mouthfuls. She handed back the gloves.

Mercy. You’re a lifesaver.’ She held out a toasty hand.  ‘Willow.’

‘Jacques.’ He looked like he was about to kiss her hand, but refrained, unfortunately.

She crammed her face full of macarons—raspberry, triple chocolate, champagne drops dusted in gold—oh, the French! Her mother would be appalled at her table manners, but it was all her mother’s fault anyway…


Her mother had run away to Paris after the last blazing row with her dad. Natch Dad didn’t believe his wife could do such a thing, but Willow knew. But why hadn’t mum taken her too? No doubt she thought Willow should finish school. As if she could concentrate! She’d flunked her exams big time—too busy planning how she would solve the mystery of her mum’s disappearance…

‘Now, what brings you to Paris?’ Jacques interrupted her thoughts—again!—picked up his gloves, slapping them against the edge of the table--schlep, schlep, schlep.

‘Mum,’ Willow said without thinking. Whoops! What if he was fully a creepster? Stranger danger alert! ‘Er, it’s school holidays.’

‘Is your maman here?’

‘Uh…I…yes. She’s on a long holiday, er, in Paris.’

‘You mean you don’t know where your maman is?’

‘She has to be here.’ Willow pointed to the door. ‘I think I saw her…I’m not sure.’


‘When you interrupted me today. I think she hangs out at the book stalls.’

‘Why would you think that?’

Willow shrugged. Why not tell him? She had a good feeling about Jacques, and she had a great creep-o-meter.

‘Her life with Dad was pretty damned horrible.  She always said she’d run away to Paris, so I’m thinking she finally did.’ Tears pricked her eyes.  ‘She just disappeared one day. I’d hate to think anything bad happened to her.’

Jacques reached across the table and held her hand.

‘Books are her life. Maybe she got a job selling them here.’

‘I doubt it. You have to stand in line for years to buy a stall.’

‘How do you know? She could be working one, right?’

‘Doubtful. My father officially manages the bouquinistes, but they’re a law unto themselves. They have their own controllers.  I work with Papa while I’m on vacation from the Sorbonne.’  He handed back the gloves. ‘Come. Do you have a photo?’

‘Of course.’


The bitter breeze chased them along the footpath under a grey and heavy sky. Puffs of white blew from tree branches into their faces. Willow opened her mouth and let the snowflakes fizz on her tongue. Jacques wrapped his scarf around her face. She’d be loving this day except for her mum.

At the curb of the Quai Saint-Michel, they paused to watch spluttering bateau mouches surge past Notre Dame like icebreakers. Tourists waved hello, their voices like squawking seagulls.

They reached the line of green metal bookstores. Willow was momentary distracted by retro postcards, Toulouse Lautrec posters, old books.

‘Je m’excuse.’ Jacques addressed a bookseller stooped over a metal box, the hem of his ragged black coat filthy with brown slush. ‘Paul, have you seen this woman?’

The old man squinted at the photo. ‘Alors, Monsieur Hoareau.’ His lip curled. ‘She was a thief. She tricked me into selling her an uncatalogued first edition. Gave me €500. Worth €200,000 at auction I since found out.’

‘The name of the book?’ Willow and Jacques asked together.

‘The Great Gatsby.’

‘That’s her favourite book!’ Willow yelled. ‘Mum’s been collecting different editions for years. Totally annoyed my father.’ She hugged herself. ‘So…where is she now, Monsieur?’

‘Probably at the bottom of the Seine. You don’t mess with the bouquinistes and live.’



I would like a Critique Partner who writes romantic fiction.


I hope you enjoyed my story for the VACATION prompt. Click on the names in WEP's linky in my top right hand side sidebar to read more entries.

Monday 19 August 2013

Murder, Madness and Love by Yolanda Renee re-released and One Bite Leads to Another, a paranormal by debut author Kelly Steel hits the shelves.

Hi my friends!

Thanks to all who visited Revising and Editing and commented on my post and added your input into the discussion.

Today I want to tell you a tale of two books. Both books will set your heart racing.

First there is Murder, Madness and Love by Yolanda Renee, a much-beloved RFW member who will continue to write for Write...Edit...Publish. Her stories always sizzle and she's won prizes for her writing in the past. Her print book is re-released by Curiosity Quills Press TODAY!! 

Yolanda's novel is a suspenseful/romantic trilogy set in Anchorage, Alaska and Washington State. It features a detective who not only loves his job; he is determined to have the white picket fence—wife and kids. The only problem is that he keeps falling for the wrong woman, and when he meets the right one, she's accused of murder.

Buy it here


After a gritty detective becomes involved with a beautiful widow suspected of murder, rumor and obsession obstruct his quest for justice.


Sunlight blazes on an empty canvas.
Arctic winds gather snowflakes on a frosty window ledge as a statuesque form appears. She moves past a table littered with papers. Headlines splash news of murder, but it's the photo of another young woman with features mirroring her own that draws her attention.
A different headline peeks from underneath the Anchorage Times.
Wealthy Businessman Dies in Car Crash ... BLACK WIDOW SUSPECTED!
Graphic images swirl through her head and a tear rolls down her cheek. She drifts toward an easel and a trembling hand dips a sable brush into a palette of paint.
The Westminster doorbell chimes. The brush slips and blood-red paint stains the floor.
Detective Steven Quaid waits. His Tlingit, Indian features carved from granite, mask his Irish passion ...
Will he arrest her this time?
All fingers point to her guilt.
But, is she guilty of this cunning plot? Or, just a victim of circumstantial evidence?
The door opens ...
His eyes lock on hers ...
His heart races ...
Hers skips a beat.

I can't wait to read it! How about you? There are already 16 reviews up on Amazon.

Then I have a quick read for you, a paranormal novella by debut author Kelly Steel.  I've written a review on Amazon, so I will let it speak for itself.

This review is from: One Bite Leads To Another (Kindle Edition)
I haven't read a good paranormal for awhile, so loved this action-packed hot novella by debut author Kelly Steel.

The main characters are Leo and Eve -- Leo is a vampire who loved Eve's grandmother, Evelyn, in the past. The flashback scenes to the previous era work well and are seamlessly transitioned. But will Leo and Eve find a way to be together or will the past repeat itself? I loved that Eve is a witch with an ability to read minds and block others from reading hers. 

What brings Leo and Eve together? Leo 
arrives on Eve's island (Lenuka Island in Fiji), on a rescue mission where he meets some nasty characters. Eve has a twin, Eva, who also appears in the story (and I want to hear more about her!)

One Bite Leads to Another has lust, suspense, adventure, and compelling characters you probably don't want to meet in real life. The author's descriptions are lush, and Eve and Leo's lovemaking scenes are intensely hot!

The novella length is perfect for my e-reader. I highly recommend this book to lovers of enduring love...and the paranormal.

Thursday 15 August 2013

Follow the Yellow Brick Road to Revising and Editing. Is your novel ready to submit?

Hello all who swung by today!

I'm guesting over at Revising and Editing. Please pop over and say hello!

And if you're still considering linking to the Write...Edit...Publish bloghop, you have a week to go. Sign up now and I will send you an email reminder next week. Thank you!

Monday 12 August 2013

Author Helen Lacey shares her childhood travelling the Australian Outback...and the books that kept her company. There's pretty horses too!

Hello friends!

I am delighted to host Helen Lacey today as part of her launch for her new novel, Date With Destiny. Helen is a fellow Aussie, fellow Queenslander, with an interesting story to tell of an early childhood spent travelling around the Australian Outback. What great motivators to write -- travel and reading.

Hi Denise and thank you for having me here today.

I think most of us have people or places that shape us and make us who we are and generally we’re moulded from a young age. I had a happy, although fairly unorthodox childhood.

My parents and siblings emigrated from Wales to Australia when I was two. Once some of the older brothers and sisters moved out and married, my parents and three of my siblings started travelling this wonderful country in a fabulously renovated motor home and did so for several years. 

Because of this lifestyle I didn’t have a conventional education for a number of years. I actually went to a total of seventeen schools over several states, but while we were travelling for those few years I didn’t attend school for any regular length of time. Instead, I had books. Lots of them, compliments of my dad. 

When I was eight and in between schools as we were half way across the Australian outback, my father gave me a battered duet copy of Anna Sewell’s Black Beauty and Jack London’s Call of The Wild. I read the stories from cover to cover, back to back and it instilled in me a lifelong love for horses and had me longing for a dog like Buck all of my own.

Next came Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe, R.L Stevenson’s Kidnapped and several Dickens’s classics. Of course, some of these books were hard going for an eight year old, and I often resisted and begged to go back to the classics I loved like Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty. But my lovely dad insisted and whenever we stopped at a small town he would take me to the local book exchange or second hand book shop. 

It was on one of these trips where I discovered the stories that would enrich my life in ways I had yet to imagine. Little did I know at the time that these books were my education when school wasn't an option. Over the course of several towns we picked up three books – Little House On The Prairie, Anne Of Green Gables and Little Women. Because we travelled and moved around so much making friends my own age was hard and my brother and sisters were a lot older than me . . . but I had my books. I had Anne Shirley and Jo March and Laura Ingalls. These three young heroines changed my young life and set me on my path to become an author. Anne Shirley in particular resonated with the girl I was who never quite fitted in. Not that I was an orphan or had red hair. I was the youngest of eight siblings and had very ordinary brown locks – but the way Anne lost herself in stories and had such fabulously huge dreams, struck me in a profound sense.
I also realized something else – these books also had a romance running through. Anne had Gilbert, Joe March her professor and Laura Ingalls fell for Almonzo. In fact, I realized I had actually been reading romances long before I picked up my first Harlequin novel.

My dad’s gone now, but I am eternally grateful to him for introducing me to the world of Black Beauty and all the countless books I read during those early years that made me what to write stories of my own.   

About Helen:
From Welsh parents and a large family, she lives on the east coast of Australia in a small seaside town at the southern most point of The Great Barrier Reef, with her wonderfully supportive husband, many horses and three spoiled dogs.

Connect with Helen:

Website    Blog      Facebook    Twitter     Goodreads 

 Financier Grace Preston did fourteen-hour days in New York City. She didn't do small towns in Australia. Not since she'd fled almost twenty years ago. But when a personal trauma sent her home-with a secret she couldn't reveal-the last person she needed was her first love.

Local cop Cameron Jakowski had loved Grace for most of his life. But he wanted marriage and family and she didn't. He was small town, while she was big city-and lived half a world away. But for now she was right here-a walking, talking temptation. One he managed to avoid...until he made one mistake. He kissed her. And reawakened the passion that could change their lives...forever.


Buy Links

Mills & Boon UK

Harlequin US


Amazon UK


Powell's Books



Watch this series set at Crystal Point:

I have a copy of my August Harlequin Special Edition,  Date With Destiny, to give away to one commenter. So leave a comment and share with us your favourite books when you were growing up.

Thanks Helen for appearing on my blog today. I loved reading about your literary childhood influences, very similar to my own.

And please, pretty please, don't forget to sign up here for Write...Edit...Publish's blogfest where you can post just about anything. Travel stories would be very apt for the VACATION (HOLIDAY) prompt. Thanks to everyone who's already signed up.

Wednesday 7 August 2013

#InsecureWritersSupportGroup - Are you a Pantser or Plotter? Ideas for outlining your novel.

Hello fellow bloggers!

There are so many terms tossed around in the writing world and today I'm going to attempt to make two clearer -- PANTSER and PLOTTER. Even if we've heard these two descriptions many, many times, they still warrant a closer look. The first time I heard these words was at a creative writing course run by Australian regency romance author, Anna Campbell, just after she'd broken into the big time through Avon Publishing. Luckily, other novice writers must have looked blank, so Anna then explained the terms to us.

At the time of the workshop above, I was definitely a pantser. I, er, didn't know there was any other way to write a novel. I've learned a lot in the ensuing years, but I confess pantsing holds a place dear to my heart. However, I've come to realise that's why I have four unfinished novels. Whether they are over 50,000 words or whatever, my lack of planning means I have to go back again and again and see what I can do to up the ante, up the stakes, fix plot holes...and this may/may not be successful. These novels may well have been published by now if I had spent more time planning and less time writing sucky first drafts. But pantsing is SO FUN!!

Okay, Insecure Writers, what do we do when we get that story idea? (All you clever plotters can leave a comment telling me how foolish I am, then move on to a more scintillating post!)


THE WONDERFUL STORY IDEA (and I've had more than a few...)...then...

IF YOU’RE A PANTSER, THERE’S NO HOLDING YOU BACK – you jump right into your first draft. You many pause to consider your wonderful, likeable characters, have a hazy idea of the plot which will of course equal Stephen King's, decide on your setting - preferably somewhere exotic that you can google – then, kapow, start writing that novel! (It can be done in a month according to NaNoWriMo, or even less in some other novel-writing blitzes! Our local writers' centre offers a novel in a weekend fun-packed writefest). Bit like an enthusiastic carpenter grabbing a few bits of timber and hammering away with a vague idea of the house design. Well, the carpenter may end up with a great looking house eventually, but it might fall down a few times during the process...or it could collapse completely, leaving the carpenter with some raw materials to begin another house...or he/she might walk away from the building business as it's too hard.

One of the reasons writers favour pantsing is that we/they are afraid outlining will stifle our/my creativity. Over time I have been moving towards plotting (thank God all you clever plotters say if you're still with me!) as plotting requires intense creativity which will be invaluable when writing that first draft.

YES! IF YOU’RE A PLOTTER, YOU’LL OUTLINE FIRST – but - complications already - what sort of outline? Like most things, there are several possibilities, but luckily, there should be one to suit all of us!

A great book!
1.      You may write an outline in longhand in ruled notebooks – linear style. This is often the best way to solve convoluted problems as they arise! It’s amazing what pops up when you start writing, sort of like freewriting, and it unleases the powerful tool of the subconscious. It is good to distance yourself from the computer which leads to editing/tweaking before your thoughts are fully formed. Caveman technology (thanks K.M. Weiland for this term) can be amazingly freeing for our muses. Bonus - it keeps you unplugged from the temptations of the internet.

2.       Not a fan of the linear method? You may prefer mind maps which help look at potential problems spatially rather than linearly. Write your central theme/event at the centre of the page, then surround it with clusters of related subjects – then those subjects will develop subjects of their own. You should end up with an exhaustive list of possibilities for your story. Don’t censor – write down everything and who knows what you may come up with? This method helps to break blocks as it taps into both your subconscious and visual mind.

3.       You may construct your outline on the computer, using (most commonly) Word, or clever programs for clever people like Scrivener or the simpler yWriter.

4.       You may construct your outline on a spreadsheet – many writers swear by the versility of this.

5.       You may use note cards which are easy to shuffle around and keep tidily in a box.

6.       Other…???

Some writers fall neatly or messily between the two extremes. Where do you place yourself on the Pantser...Plotter continiuum?


  • you agree with me? Do you have a strong opinion either way - pantser or plotter?
  • Have you developed a tried and true outlining method over time?
  • Any advice to dyed-in-the-wool pantsers?
  • And...did you notice my sign up in the top right sidebar here for Write...Edit...Publish's new monthly bloghop? Thanks to all of you who have signed up already! Pop over to WEP, have a look and consider signing up for August 21's post on the VACATION theme. So many new options...

LIFESTYLE TIP: I've just read that sucking on water bottles gives us wrinkles around our mouth like a smoker's! Advice: Start drinking from a cup or relax the top lip when sipping from your water bottle. 

This post is for Alex J Cavanaugh's IWSG. Click the badge to read more posts.
Thank you to all the hosts!

Thursday 1 August 2013

Creative events - New blog to share our online writing, art and photos...and Imagination Sparks Blogfest

Hello everyone!

Today there are two creative events at my blog - first, I reveal a new initiative, the second, I have my entry for Charmaine Clancy's Imagination Sparks Blogfest.

click on image to go to my new bloghop home

INTRODUCING: Write...Edit...Publish, where you can publish FLASH FICTION, POETRY, NON-FICTION, PLAYSCRIPTS, ARTWORKS or PHOTOGRAPHS to a monthly theme - currently VACATION.

Write...Edit...Publish is my new-look monthly bloghop home to supersede RomanticFridayWriters, which Donna Hole and I sadly closed the door on recently. RFW was great, but it was a huge drain on the writing life of both Donna and myself and the 'romantic' element seemed to scare off many writers. I intended to close shop altogether, until a comment by Nancy Williams gave me the spark of an idea which has grown into my new baby.And many RFW members stated that they hoped something else would pop up to provide an audience and valued feedback for their work


Write...Edit...Publish will be much more host friendly. At RFW, we provided critiques, monthly bloghops, Featured Writers, weekly posts  etc etc -- a truckload of work.

Write...Edit...Publish will remain a monthly bloghop, where participants will create an entry, edit before publishing (if it is a written work), then accept a stated level of feedback and provide feedback to other participants if confident. No different from RFW in these aspects, except for the open genres and no requirement for a romantic element.

At times at RFW, we had disagreements about levels of critique, but one thing that we all agreed on was that our writing definitely improved, and that continues to be my main goal -- to see our writing/editing skills improve to such an extent that publication is possible if not already achieved.

All genres are welcome at Write...Edit...Publish --  all categories. In fiction, from Adult to YA and MG is fine. I have included Playscripts, Artworks, Photography to the categories we had on RFW. Of course, written entries can include your illustrations or photographs.

RFW member Madeleine Sara sent me a comprehensive link on Genres and Narrative Styles. Worth a perusal if you are flummoxed at the freedom you have at Write...Edit...Publish to choose whatever style you want. Fan Fiction is not specifically on the list, but it proved very popular with readers when we explored this style for a RFW prompt.

NOW...the first prompt is VACATION. The bloghop Inlinkz is open now in my sidebar and at Write...Edit...Publish  and eventually at other participating sites, I hope.

Please sign up now if you are interested in posting to the theme this month (as I nervously await reaction to my new initiative...:) You have until Wednesday 21 August  - Friday 23 August to get your post together. I will send out a reminder email close to the due date.

Would love to have you join us!

I am so excited! Did you notice?

I am over at Yolanda Renee's blog spreading the word. Please visit here and say hi...

Now to Charmaine's blogfest!!


In Charmaine's own words: What does that mean? It's easy. We all know at least one good warm up exercise to get our brain geared up and ready to write. That one creative task that gets your imagination bubbling with ideas. I thought we'd share them and try each other's.

Here's what I want you to do:
  1. Register your blog in the link list to show you are going to try and participate. Sign up will be available from now until the end of the blogfest. If you'd like to use the image above to let others know about the blog hop - go ahead!
  2. On the 1st of August (or there about - I'm not strict), post one of your favourite writing exercises that we can all try. 
  3. Read other people's blogs and try some of those exercises.
  4. Around the 8th, do a follow up blogpost to let people know which exercises you tried and what results you got. Visit the other blogs to see how they went with the exercises. (we all have different time zones, so anytime that fits your schedule is good for me)
  5. Get new ideas and make new bloggy friends!
So I decided I'd better get cracking on this so I can try some cool warm ups from you!

I'm a writer who likes to consider Point of View. Changing the POV means changing SO much. 

A crucial question to ask yourself when you're writing your story is:

Whose story is this?
What is the story about?

Sometimes when we write, a minor character pops up and is more interesting than the main character. Some say to kill off that show-offy character,others say to give them their own book, but I say, maybe this story should be about them.  

For the Imagination Sparks blogfest, I am posting a writing exercise from Fiction Class by Susan Breen (fabulous book) which examines POV/story. 

Think about a family gathering: a holiday (vacation), a birthday, a funeral. Imagine a scene...imagine your characters...then write about that gathering in the FIRST PERSON VIEWPOINT from the POV of a child at the gathering.

Writing from the POV of a child will change a story's tone and impact. It can heighten emotion, add honesty. Try this exercise and let me know how you go.

  • Any further questions about my new bloghop, please email me at
  • Please consider signing up to Charmaine's blogfest. Great writing ideas...
  • If you get an email from Grammarly asking you to add a few lines to your blogpost for an Amazon Gift Card, consider it -- I did this last post and am please to announce that my Gift Card has arrived. I have been using Grammarly Lite for sometime.
  • Thank you for your great response to my previous post on e-books' need for editing.