I never used to write with music on in the background as I found it was influencing what I wrote! Trust me, it is difficult to write a death scene with some lovey-dovey ballad coming out of the radio. Talk about killing the mood… (Likewise, you try writing a love scene to, say, Meatloaf’s Bat Out of Hell. Just doesn’t seem right somehow).
Every photograph we take, every show we present, or every song and hymn that we sing, we bring inspiration, creativity and joy to the community. Our artists have taken risks. They have brought us wonder and beauty of nature.
Another year has almost gone and it is the time when many of us review how we spent our 12 months. As mentioned last week, I reassess my writing aims and set down what I think I would like to achieve in the next year. [Read more…] about End of Year Reviews – Are They Useful?
Image Credits: All images, unless otherwise stated, were taken by Allison Symes
Towards the end of each year, I make a note in my new writing diary as to what I’d like to achieve in the next twelve months. I also review what I’d written for the current year and tick off achievements. Many things are long-term goals so carry over. I’m always going to want to have short stories and flash fiction “out there” no matter what the year is! [Read more…] about My 2017 Writing Journey
Last week’s post was part 1 of my interview with Jennifer C Wilson, author of the Kindred Spirits series and also of The Last Plantagenet? She writes paranormal historical fiction. It’s not often the heroes of a story are the ghosts but Jennifer specialises in this and the books make for a great read. I met Jennifer at Swanwick in 2016. [Read more…] about Stepping Back in Time: Part 2 of Jennifer C Wilson Interview
I first met Jennifer C. Wilson in 2016 at the first Swanwick Writers’ Summer School for us both. We became friends and this year we had the great joy of “racing” each other to Swanwick’s Book Room to put our books out for sale! [Read more…] about Ghosts, History and What Might Have Been: Introducing Jennifer C Wilson
Image Credit: Unless otherwise stated, all images were taken by Allison Symes.
A group of regional writers took part in the Winchester Discovery Centre’s 10th anniversary celebrations on Saturday 25th November. [Read more…] about Winchester Discovery Centre – 10th Anniversary Celebrations
I don’t know how much the arts contribute in terms of income but it must be billions. The same can be said for history. Our tourism industry depends on it and we have a significant historical heritage in our part of the world.
The Bargate in Southampton (think Sir Bevis of Hampton as well as the Roman walls), the remains of Henry V’s ship The Grace Dieu in the River Hamble, Portsmouth Naval Dockyard, Winchester Cathedral (and Salisbury Cathedral with one of the few original copies of the Magna Carta, a quick train ride away from our railway station too. I highly recommend the run if you haven’t done it. The Chandler’s Ford to Salisbury line goes through some lovely country. Seeing the Magna Carta for yourself is something special too I think.). [Read more…] about Pivotal History Moments – Bosworth 1485
On the face of it, times have not been good recently at Fryern. Grovers the Butchers has closed as has our branch of the Nat West. I’m always sorry to see an independent firm go, some history goes with them I feel, but, to my mind, the bank branch closure is a stupid decision. It’s not as if the bank wasn’t busy! [Read more…] about Keeping it Local – Community and Writers
I had the great joy of going to see Murdered to Death by Peter Gordon as performed by The Chameleon Theatre Group on Saturday 28th October. What with the Book Fair in the morning, it was a busy day but a hugely enjoyable one and the show rounded things off beautifully.
How can you tell if something is a spoof? I always look for tautology in the title! It is done for exaggeration (a great comic technique). I can’t think of any other genre where the “To Death” bit would be added. It certainly wouldn’t be in crime fiction, where murder generally is taken very seriously! [Read more…] about Murdered To Death – The Chameleon Theatre Company – Review Part 2
This play Murdered to Death performed by Chameleon Theatre Company in October was an obvious parody of an Agatha Christie murder mystery, right down to one of the characters being called Miss Maple, after the Miss Marple character. Poirot was also referenced, from Miss Maple knowing a Belgian chap, to Pierre Marceau resembling Poirot physically.
The funniest character was Inspector Pratt, who is the most incompetent detective ever. [Read more…] about Review: Murdered to Death by Chameleon Theatre Company
The first Chandler’s Ford Book Fair was on Saturday, 28th October 2017 between 10 am and 12 noon at the Age Concern Centre in Brownhill Road. I hope it will be the beginning of many Book Fairs here.
Many of us miss The Arcade Bookshop which had been our lovely independent book store for decades. Those behind the Fair hoped it would provide a place for local people to browse and buy books with the bonus they were written by regional writers (and many of them local to Chandler’s Ford specifically). [Read more…] about How was the Book Fair for You?
This is just a quick reminder about the Chandler’s Ford Book Fair happening this coming Saturday, 28th October at the Age Concern Centre in Brownhill Road. The Fair will be open from 10 am to 12 noon and there will be a wide range of authors and genres represented. [Read more…] about REMINDER: Book Fair – 28th October 2017
Image Credit: Unless otherwise stated, all images were taken by Allison Symes
Book events can be like buses. None for ages, then two at once! This week’s post is about Richard Hardie’s book signing and reading event at Eastleigh Library last Saturday, 14th October. I was able to get to this event and was promptly enrolled into Richard’s Temporal Detective Agency as a result but more on that later. [Read more…] about Book Signing Report: Richard Hardie and Eastleigh Library
Image Credit: All images kindly supplied by Anne Wan.
This is a slightly strange post from me as I’d hoped to go to Anne Wan’s recent book launch in Southampton but was, unfortunately, able to do so in the end.
However, I share my thoughts below on what a book launch means to an author and the work involved behind the scenes. I then hand over to Anne for her report on her special night.
[Read more…] about Book Launch Report: Anne Wan at Waterstones, West Quay
It is one of those oddities where writers, so often renowned for leading a solitary life chained to their desks scribbling away for all their worth, also know they have to “put themselves out there” and spread the word about their writing. Well they do if they want any sales!
Some writers take to the spreading the word idea readily and get right into the spirit of things by taking along props. I know a crime writer who takes a noose to her events – and you should see what is on her tablecloth. Let’s just say it wouldn’t pass the old Daz advert for being “whiter than white”! [Read more…] about Writers Getting Out and About: Book Fair 2017
In association with the Hiltingbury Extravaganza 2017, the Chandler’s Ford Authors organised a children’s poetry competition. We had support from Chandler’s Ford Library, the Extravaganza Committee and Goadsby’s Estate Agents.
Participants had to write a poem on ‘Where I Live’. It did not have to rhyme, it did not have to be about your house. We looked forward to seeing how children would interpret the title and we were not disappointed. [Read more…] about Children’s Poetry Competition in Chandler’s Ford
Image Credit: Unless otherwise stated, all images were taken by Allison Symes
This year’s Extravaganza was on Sunday 17th September and, despite a cloudy start, the sun finally emerged during the afternoon, which in itself seemed to bring out more visitors.
I was at the writers’ stand with Brenda Sedgwick, Karen Stephen, Catherine Griffin, Maggie Farran and Sally Howard. Many thanks to all who popped by to see us to buy books, talk about creative writing and so on. It was good to see you and share information about writing classes, the Hampshire Writers’ Society and so on. [Read more…] about Overview of Hiltingbury Extravaganza 2017
Yesterday afternoon I had a rather good time at Hiltingbury Extravaganza. There were quite many people and lovely animals (pigs, horses, dogs, owls…). Musicians, dancers, writers, volunteers, and many businesses all helped to make this special event remarkable.
Credit to The HCA (Hiltingbury Community Association) at The Hilt for its organisation for another fantastic Extravaganza community event on the Hiltingbury Recreation Ground.
The Hiltingbury Extravaganza was officially opened by Steve Brine, MP for Winchester and Chandler’s Ford. [Read more…] about Hiltingbury Extravaganza 2017
Gill talked about why she wrote this book (it is based on her late mother-in-law’s life) and shared the difficulties in bringing it to publication. In Part 2, Gill shares what she feels are the joys and woes of writing historical fiction, gives useful advice to those new to this genre, and reveals what happened as a result of the book. This includes the development of material for use in schools. Now over to Gill…
[Read more…] about The Joys and Woes of Writing Historical Fiction – Part 2 of Gill James Interview
Meet the Authors at Hiltingbury Extravaganza
Don’t forget the Hiltingbury Extravaganza is this Sunday, 17th September from 12 noon to 5 pm. Let’s hope for good weather and that all who go along to the Recreation Ground for this lively event have a wonderful time! [Read more…] about Writers at Hiltingbury Extravaganza 2017