One writing exercise that came out of my trip to Swanwick Writers’ Summer School last year was to write to my 20-year-old self with advice based on knowing now what I didn’t know back then. This was fun, really made me think and I thought at the time this could make a good CFT post because I can throw it open for you to join in. What would you tell your 20-year-old self? I am only talking in general terms for this but my list is below. [Read more…] about Advice to My 20 Year Old Self – Allison Symes
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.
I loved the cyber launch for From Light To Dark and Back Again held at the beginning of the month. Thanks again to Chapeltown Books and Cafelit for hosting the event. I was co-host. This post looks at how I prepared for the event and what I learned from it. I hope it will be of use to other writers. The images used in the post were those I used during the launch itself.
[Read more…] about Cyberlaunch Lessons by Allison Symes
After the success of last year’s event, Hampshire Music Festival are running their World Music Festival again on Sunday 14th May. The event consists of a number of workshops to experience drumming from around the world. It is open to the public and suitable for all ages (from seven years old) and abilities. [Read more…] about Hampshire World Music Festival 2017
Would you fall in love at first sight – with a house?
When my second Harriet Quigley mystery was published, blogger Geranium Cat said, in what is still my favourite review:
Not listed in the Dramatis Personae at the start of A Crowded Coffin is the Attlin family’s farmhouse, although you feel it should be there; once known as the Angel House, Locksley Farm Place dates back centuries, perhaps to a Roman villa on the same site. The author conveys the sense of the house’s age and antiquity seamlessly… and the reader is left with an impression of great solidity and warmth which permeates the whole book…’
I’m delighted to report there will be a Storytelling Festival between 10th and 22nd April 2017. The Festival will be marking the first year of the Write Now development programme at The Berry Theatre, designed to encourage writers. [Read more…] about The Storytelling Festival – Allison Symes
In my review of the Thornden Community Wind Band’s Christmas concert, I mentioned that their next concert would be with the 14th Eastleigh Scout and Guide Band (The Spitfires). Ruby Barefoot commented that he would add the date to his diary. Well, Ruby, I hope you managed to get tickets because this was a concert not to be missed. [Read more…] about Thornden Community Wind Band and The Spitfires in Concert
My post last week was the first part of my interview with Martin Kryle, former local Liberal Democrat councillor and published author. His book Jottings from the Trans-Siberian Railway, edited by Barbara Large , is now out.
Reviews are crucial for all writers and one for this book reads:- [Read more…] about Jottings from the Trans-Siberian Railway – Part 2: Martin Kyrle interview
A cyber launch is basically a Facebook online party celebrating the publication of your book and promoting it. There are usually quizzes with prizes, giveaways, special offers and so on. The only requirement is to be logged on to Facebook at the time of the event. [Read more…] about What is a Cyber Launch? by Allison Symes
Last Friday I watched three short comedy performances at the Chandler’s Ford Methodist Church performed by the MDG Players and their friends from Romsey. Unlike the previous performances I’ve seen, this was a variety of plays with different characters and plots, with different styles of comedy. [Read more…] about Review: An Evening of Entertainment with Chandler’s Ford MDG Players and Friends from Romsey
Martin Kyrle, one of the authors of Jottings from the Trans-Siberian Railway, is best known locally as a former Liberal Democrat Councillor. He served on the Chandler’s Ford committee for 50 years. He wrote his new book based on notes he kept as he travelled and long term friend, Michael Roberts, took the photographs. [Read more…] about The Trans-Siberian Railway: Martin Kyrle and Michael Roberts
The United Kingdom is a fusion of four old countries that have fought wars together and with others. It has had kings, princes, invaders, usurpers, pretenders, bishops, priests and parliamentarians who have fought among themselves. Going back into archaeological time and pre-history and even in legend there have been conflicts of people and ideas of which we know little. No wonder that the country is littered with old castles, battlefields, abbeys, forts and earthworks. [Read more…] about Ruins, what to Do with ’em?
The joy of reading includes the discovery of genres new to you, leading to a wealth of new stories to enjoy. I have just finished reading my first graphic novel – Blood and Valour by Matt Beames (story), Marcus Pullen (art) and Guy Stauber (covers).
[Read more…] about Blood and Valour: Comic Book Review – Allison Symes
I went to see a West End theatre production recently. But I didn’t have to travel to London or pay a small fortune for my ticket; it was at Thornden Hall and the ticket was only £15.
This was one of the National Theatre Live productions – live theatre beamed to cinemas around the country. [Read more…] about West End Theatre in our own Backyard
I love interviewing authors and reading interviews in publications like Writing Magazine. There is always something to learn from how other writers work.
One interesting comment about my recent joy of radio post came from Chippy when he discussed Desert Island Discs and felt it was a good show because it wasn’t just about people plugging things. The best interviews are those that encourage the interviewee to reveal more about what motivates them. [Read more…] about The Joy of Interviews by Allison Symes
I love radio. I rarely watch TV these days. It has to be something special to make me turn the box on and that’s usually a Doctor Who!
(And yes I am sorry Peter Capaldi is going – I’ve liked an older Doctor being in charge of the Tardis. That’s nothing against David Tennant, Matt Smith of Christopher Ecclestone, all of whom were great, but for a Time Lord meant to be over 900 years old, having an older actor playing the role fits). [Read more…] about The Wonderful World of Radio by Allison Symes
Spring is here. Do check our Upcoming Events Chandler’s Ford page to find out more about local events. If you would like your events included, please send your posters and details to Chandler’s Ford Today via email or Twitter.
(We’ll do our best to include events, but unfortunately we can’t promise we’ll be able to publish everything you send due to our workload.) [Read more…] about Chandler’s Ford: Spring and Summer Events 2017
I am thrilled to announce my debut flash fiction collection, From Light to Dark and Back Again, has now been published by Chapeltown Books. It is available in paperback and in Kindle format via Amazon and, of course, directly from me but more on that later.
The stories range from 100 words tales to 500 words to 750 and there are one or two which just creep in as flash fiction, being just under the 1000 words limit. This is generally recognized as the cutting off point between flash and standard short story lengths. [Read more…] about Published – My Debut Flash Fiction Collection
I’m not total philistine; I have read some of the classic novels. However, Treasure Island is on the list of the many that I haven’t. So I was doubly excited to go to see Thornden’s Schools’ production of Treasure Island on Friday (10 February). Partly to top up my “blagger’s guide to the classics”, but mainly for the chance to see another of the school’s productions. [Read more…] about Review: Treasure Island by Thornden School
JANE AUSTEN FESTIVAL AND THE SARAH SIDDONS FAN CLUB
One of my favourite authors is going to have a Festival in Southampton in 2017 thanks to the Sarah Siddons Fan Club winning a Heritage Lottery Grant to co-ordinate such an event. [Read more…] about In the Footsteps of Jane Austen and Sarah Siddons by Allison Symes
I went to see the Chameleons’ production of the pantomime, Robin Hood, on Thursday January 26th. The production was excellent and the pantomime had all the key ingredients you’d expect.
Humour, topical jokes (at the expense of D.J. Trump Esq), songs (sung with gusto and great enjoyment) and a wonderful story. There was the “oh no we won’t” moment from the audience and the usual dressing up of women as men (though not the other way round as well here). Robin was actually a man in this production! (And played by the excellent Paul Jones who got into the traditional thigh slapping with considerable enthusiasm). [Read more…] about Robin Hood and the Chameleons – Review by Allison Symes