Monday, 31 December 2012

My First Year of Writing

The river where I walk Bonnie - taken on a crisp December morning.

I took a break from writing over Christmas, but now is the time to look back at my first writing year.

I sent my first story to a magazine in April.

I had my first story accepted in August.

I have sold nine stories between August and December - 5 to Fiction Feast, 3 to The People's Friend and 1 to Woman's Weekly.

My first story was published in fiction Feast October, followed by two in December.

My first story was published in Woman's Weekly in December.

My first story will be published in The People's Friend on Jan 3.

I have 25 stories 'out there'.

I started my writing blog in August.

Wendy's Story Timeline was invented in December.

I would like to wish you all a wonderful 2013 and thank you all for supporting my blog this year.

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Big Bad Bonnie Trap - She thought she'd got away with it!

For all you dog lovers, as promised, this is our YouTube clip of what Bonnie and her step-brother Bobby got up to while we were out.
Remember: Bonnie is NOT allowed on the settee (see blog post Bad Dog). We had a good laugh when we got home and watched the movie clip  - we were expecting to see Bonnie up to no good but we weren't expecting an accomplice!
Let me know if you enjoyed watching it.

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

My First Blog Award!

Thank you very much, Patsy for my 'Very Inspiring Blog' award. As a new blogger, I am chuffed!

I hope that readers do find my blog inspiring - I try to give hope and useful resources to new writers.

I have to tell readers 7 random facts about myself:

Here they are and very random they are too!

1. I first heard 'The Cure' play when they were teenagers in a friend's back garden and went to school with bassist Simon Gallop.

2. I hate the pitched black.

3. My secret wish is to be on Strictly Come Dancing and wear one of the sequinned dresses.

4. As a teenager I was invited to Brian Ferry's 'party' by his road manager ( I didn't go!).

5. My lucky number is 10.

6. I was a grandmother at 43!

7. I am addicted to Australian Masterchef.

Here are the rules:

1. Display the award logo on your blog.
2. Link back to the person who nominated you.
3. State 7 things about yourself.
4. Nominate 15 other bloggers for this award and link to them.
5. Notify those bloggers of the nomination and the award’s requirements.

I have cheated a bit with my nominations as The Pocketeers contain several people so I've nominated nine others and counted them as five (Never try and expect me to split a restaurant bill!)

Apologies if any of you have been nominated before.

Teresa Ashby

Linda Lewis

The Pocketeers      Fay, Noelene, Patricia, Chrissie, Sally, Carol. Fenella, Margaret, Sally (already nominated) Cara (see below)

Cara Cooper

Julie Phillips

Anne Hamilton

The Bookshelf Muse

Marianne Wheelaghan

Kate Jackson

Joanna Campbell

Monday, 17 December 2012

Bad Dog!

Readers of my blog will be familiar with my step-dog Bonnie. This is her on one of her favourite walks. She thinks she is such a good dog and from the photo, it looks as though butter wouldn't melt in her mouth.... Well, the inventor of Wendy's Story Timeline and I know better.

Let me set the scene. When my husband and I married in 2010, and Bonnie became step-sister to my cat Bobby, I was a little apprehensive about having a large dog who (despite having a hose down after walks) seemed to always have muddy feet. I decided to impose a rule:

No dogs on the settee! Yes that means you, Bonnie.
Clever dog, learnt the rule very quickly - or so we thought. In time, we came to learn that while we were in the room, she would sit in her basket or on the floor by our feet but when we went out or went to bed, we'd find evidence that she had been on the settee - a warm dent in the cushion and  doggie drool!
Not to be outdone, we came up with a cunning plan - we would barricade the settee with cheap plastic expandable trellis when we went out. Last Friday we stretched the trellis across the settee and feeling smug, went to our salsa masked ball . We came home to find our good dog asleep in her basket (or so we thought). The trellis was on the floor, and the cushion had a warm drooly dent in it but Bonnie appeared not to have moved.

So, not content with creating timelines, my husband decided to set a Bonnie Trap to see what really goes on while we are away. The following night we went to another dance. I wonder if you can guess what happened while we were out. I will post the youtube clip in the next post.  
We know you will enjoy it!

Friday, 14 December 2012

Resources for Wendy's Story Timeline and Masquerades

         I hope you find these useful:

  • For world history, disasters, sports, entertainment and more timelinesclick here

  • For major world events 20th Century timeline click here
  • For kings and queens of England timeline click here
If you are wondering why there is a picture of a mask at the top of this post, it's because the inventor of the timeline and I are going to be salsa-ing the night away tonight at a masked ball at Eastbourne Town Hall.

Finally on further good note - another sale today to the lovely People's Friend!

Monday, 10 December 2012

A Big Thank You To Everyone

A big thank you to everyone who visited my blog and downloaded Wendy's Story Timeline. A special thank you also to Teresa and Patsy for mentioning it on their blogs and sending hundreds to view it! Thank you also for all your kind comments - if you use it for a story, please let me know how useful it was.

In the next post I shall be posting some links that I hope will be useful to use alongside the timeline.

I am feeling very Christmassy for various reasons:

  • On Saturday, my choir, Cantatrice, had our Christmas concert in the local church. The building is beautiful and sun streamed through the stained glass windows as we sang a mix of carols and lighter Christmas songs - it doesn't get more Christmassy than that in my book.

  • In the evening we had our ballroon Christmas dance. It was a lovely occasion - even though it was so full, we could only do the basic steps in each dance. We also had the chance to dance our Argentine Tango routine that we've been learning over the last few weeks - it was a bit scary as there were only three other couples dancing with us and everyone else watching.

  • We booked tickets for a salsa Christmas masked ball . (I've decided my husband should wear a Simon Cowell mask!)

  • We put up our Christmas tree.

  • I had stories accepted by both Fiction Feast and The People's Friend (not Christmassy - but it made me happy).

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Wendy's Story Timeline - Here it is!


First of all, let me explain. A while ago, I was writing a short story set in the present day with flashbacks to WW1. In the story, it was important to know in what year a character might feasibly have married, had a baby, become a grandmother etc. I got into such a muddle (I tried to marry off my lead character when she would have been only eight!) so decided to draw myself a time line to work from. This was time consuming, scrappy and only usable for one story.

When I looked online, I could find timelines but nothing specific to my needs.

These were the things I wanted:

  • My character's age to be automatically calculated against each year on the timeline..
  • A column to show major events logged against each year
  • A column where I could record events in my character's life
  • A timeline that could cover any century
  • A timeline that could be filled in for my story, saved and a new one started for the next

This was when I turned in desperation to my husband - who kindly dedicated an evening to creating the perfect timeline for writers. I want to share this resource with other writers and would just ask that you leave a comment or give me a mention if you use it or share it.

To go to Wendy's Story Timeline Click here. You will then need to click file and download to use it. It should be straightforward to use - after all it was made for me and I'm pretty useless at technology! I have filled in kings and queens and some major events but you can fill in events of your choice.

Below are simple instructions for how to use it. (Note: The timeline will show from 1961 but you can open up the timeline to increase the range of years.)

If you have any problems or questions about using this timeline, please let me know and I will try and help.

Monday, 3 December 2012

My First Story Published in Woman's Weeky

I'm sorry if  this post is a little excitable but I have just received my complimentary copy of Woman's Weekly with my story 'Too Much to Lose' in it. It is my first story with them and once again I am sharing the pages with Teresa Ashby - we must stop meeting like this Teresa!

What with this, my two stories in this month's Fiction feast and another sale, I am having a really good week after a fallow period. Writing really is a roller coaster ride.

In a couple of days I shall be posting my useful writing resource. It is for everyone to share. It took a while to work out how to get it on the blog so it could be downloaded but I think we've managed it now.