Thursday 30 April 2015

How Things Have Changed
My story 'The Unbroken Bond' has been published each day this week on Creative Frontiers. I hope it is shows what life was like for some girls in the sixties compared to today. It explores the love between a mother and her child. It is something never to be broken no matter how much time has passed, no matter how much heartache has been felt. 






Many thanks to Martin, the editor, for publishing it.

Sunday 26 April 2015

Book Launches
I'm sure many of you will have attended a book launch either on-line or in person and it's got me thinking about how important these are for writers. After all the hard work and the long journey from writing to publication, every writer surely wants to ensure that the book is a success and to present it to as many people as possible. A book launch seems to be a good way of doing that. Through a book launch, we as readers are made aware that there is a new book due out. Social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook are invaluable for informing us of this as well as where and when the event is going to take place. . 

Here are some events which took place in April:

Patsy Collins's 'Over The Garden Fence' on-line launch party was held on 3rd April and the pictures on her blog showed plenty of glasses of bubbly and snacks that we could sample when we attended. We were invited into her garden and the many comments from blog followers joined into the spirit of the virtual event. Patsy also gave us a flavour of the kind of stories we would find in the collection and there was a lovely photo of her garden with Spring flowers in full bloom. 

There is often a theme for the party. I'm sure many of you were tempted to join Samantha Tonge's 'Game of Scones' on-line launch party on April 20th where cakes and scones seemed to be the order of the day. As well as pictures of the book's cover, the photographs of delicious jam topped scones proved too hard to resist together with various other delights including lovely Greek baklavas and even a bottle of my favourite tipple, Baileys.  There were competitions throughout the day, too. As Sam said on her Facebook page, the on-line parties are a special way to make readers aware of newly-published books. Digital authors don't have a physical book to sign as you do if you hold an actual book launch.

  On Thursday evening, I went to the launch of a new short story and poetry journal,'The Lonely Crowd', in Cardiff. I went with two friends, Kath and Gael, from my writing group and you will find an excellent post about the event on Kath Eastman's Blog. I enjoyed hearing the writers read their own work and when I return to the stories and poems in Issue One, it will be their voices that I will remember.

The only book launch I have been involved in so far was that of 'Fifty Flashes of Fiction', the anthology of WorcesterLitFest & Fringe's Flash Fiction competition, last November. I wrote about it in my December 2014 blog and if you click on the link for Linda's Jottings and scroll to the bottom of the page, you will see Linda Daunter's thoughts about the experience too. There is also a photo of her reading her winning entry. The closing date for this year's competition was last Friday and I'm pleased to report that I sent in my three entries by the deadline!

Have you ever held a party or event to launch a new novel or collection of short stories? How did you find it? Do you have any tips or advice for anyone who is thinking of hosting one soon? I would love it if you shared your ideas. :-)

Thank you for reading my blog. You may also follow me on Twitter @JanbayLit or on Jan Baynham Writer Facebook page.

Friday 17 April 2015

Back to Writing
This has been the longest I've been away from my blog. I had a lovely Easter break with a houseful of grown up children and two young grandsons. The Easter egg hunt took place in warm sunshine for a change and it was great fun. However, that was two weeks ago so I've no excuse. I have to get back to the computer and get some serious writing done.

I think I've told you before that I work better if there 's a deadline looming. I've been working (slowly!) on an entry for a short story competition where the closing date is May 15th, a whole month away! It's about a little girl who gets lost during a busy carnival when she and her parents are on holiday. It was inspired by the wonderful spectacle we watched on a recent visit to Tenerife in early March. I've written it from her dad's point of view and have tried to convey the emotional roller-coaster he experiences when she goes missing. After the first draft, it's around 2300 words and the word limit for the local competition for which it was intended is 1500 so it's far too long. I took it along when I met with a writing buddy, Kelly, last week and she came up with an interesting point. If I try to cut a third of the draft in order to comply with the competition word limit, wouldn't I lose the essence of the story? Perhaps it would be better to keep it for another competition and write another one. After editing and looking at the story again, I have decided that Kelly is right and so I'm trying to find inspiration for another story. Of course, this means that the deadline is closer now so maybe that will be just the incentive I need to get back on track. 

Remember NaNoWriMo? Back then, I had a definite deadline, November 30th, I wrote 50,200+ words and achieved my goal by the end of the month. Since then, I have been side-tracked into writing short stories and progress has slowed to a halt. With this in mind, Kelly and I set ourselves a goal. By the time we next meet in a few weeks time, we will spend a minimum of six hours a week writing more of our novels. This could be a day or two mornings/afternoons. This may seem a short amount of time but the idea is that we can still write other pieces too. Watch this space!

I'm pleased to report that my story, 'The Curse of the Turquoise Pool', made the long-list for the Nottingham Writers' Group competition on the theme of 'Water' but sadly didn't make the shortlist which was published on the site today. I'll keep trying!

Have you ever taken too long a break from writing? If so, what was the best incentive to get you back to writing? I'd love to hear what worked for you.

Thank you for reading my blog. You may follow me on Twitter @JanBayLit  and on my Jan Baynham Writer Facebook page.