Friday, 29 November 2013

Word of the week (21)

‘Yes, of course I can change the title, make the hero a heroine, delete this chapter, set that section in a different country, add an alien encounter, weave in a romantic sub plot, turn the cat into a wise-cracking parrot, reveal the end at the beginning, make the sad man happy, write a completely new story …. whatever you want,’ said the flexible writer.

Friday, 15 November 2013

Just what the doctor ordered

I didn’t take to my bed, but for more than a week I had a cold, niggling aches and pains, couldn’t think straight and generally felt under the weather. Keeping warm indoors seemed sensible but only added boredom to my other symptoms. Eventually, I needed to get some shopping and thought a short walk in the fresh air might make me feel better. It didn’t. 

I picked up a few essentials in our village shop and looked around the shelves in the forlorn hope of finding some miracle remedy. Cough mixture? I had plenty at home. Chocolate? I managed to resist the temptation. Then I came to the magazine rack …  

Many years ago, The People’s Friend was one of my main target markets. I bought it most weeks and read it carefully from cover to cover to get the feel of what they published. All that research paid off when I had two short stories and two articles accepted by the editor. But then I wanted to try other magazines and different types of writing, so I stopped buying it so often and gradually lost touch.

As I looked through the latest issue I was pleased, although not surprised, to discover it’s hardly changed at all (except it now has a Facebook page). Yes, I’m sure some people would describe it as an old-fashioned magazine – especially if they remember their mother or grandmother reading it – but the reason it’s survived since 1869 must surely be because it found a winning formula and has stuck with it. I wonder how many of today’s celebrity magazines will last that long?

I spent the afternoon sitting with my feet up, drinking tea and enjoying a good read.


And, not only did I start to feel physically better than I had for days, but the fog in my brain finally cleared and a new story idea began to grow. It’s a feel-good story that I think might be suitable for the Friend … 

Sunday, 3 November 2013

A (short) commercial break

My short story Kerb Drill is published by Alfie Dog Fiction today.

It’s a feel-good, family story about a problem every parent has to face sooner or later: how do you let go of your children, yet still keep them safe?

Available HERE for just 39p!

In a variety of e-book formats – if you haven’t got a Kindle, iPhone or similar gadget you can download Alfie Dog stories to read on your ordinary, old-fashioned computer.