Poetry and NYC Midnight

We’re almost halfway through June. How did that happen?

The month kicked off with a poetry at the Button Warehouse. (Normally hosted by Joy Winkler but covered this month by John Lindley). Angela Topping was guest poet, and gave fantastic readings at the start of each half from her various collections. Then the evening was turned over to the open mic, and I ended up closing the evening out with ‘Legs Eleven’ from my collection ‘It’s All In The Blood’. This was probably my favourite performance of the year so far as the atmosphere was fantastic, I made it through the poem without stumbling, and even sold a copy of my book. 

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Getting A Head-start On The New Year – If We Were Having Coffee

Photo Taken For A Photo A Week Challenge (New)

2019 is just around the corner, and like most others here on WordPress, I’m starting to think what this will mean for me and, more importantly, my writing. Christmas came and went, and somewhere along the way my husband presented me with the lovely notepad and pen you can see in the photo to the left. Now I’m pretty attached to my bog-standard black jotter, but I’m always excited by the prospect of new stationery. It’s a fresh start, an opportunity to set out what you want to do on crisp, clean pages, unmarked by last years ink splodges.

I could look back on 2018 and bemoan the fact that I didn’t finish writing my novel, I could grump about not winning any of the competitions that I entered, or I could pout about once again failing to come up with any sort of posting schedule for my blog. Instead, I’m going to see this year out by having a look at the things I did achieve with my writing this year, and how I’m going to build on that next year.

Let’s start with the novel. Yes, I may not have a complete draft, but I do have a lot of writing, a lot of character development, and a vague idea of what I want to happen. Instead of forcing myself into a mad dash to finish this, a technique I know doesn’t work, I’m instead going to set the 2019 target of a chapter a week. They don’t have to be super long chapters, in fact they can be quite short seeing as there are fifty-two weeks in a year and my original aim was to write about thirty odd for Darkened Daughter. Hopefully this will mean I can get a full draft hammered out by the start of 2020 without burning myself out again.

Poetry! What can I say about my poetry this year. At the start of the year I decided to try and enter twelve poetry competitions across to try and shake myself out of the funk I’d found myself in. While I didn’t manage twelve, and the submissions I did send off went into the ether, I feel like this year was the year that I managed to find my voice. I’ve know for a while that my poetry was getting better, but this year it got braver. I’ve been able to tackle subjects in my poetry that I would have previously been to nervous to share. I’ve already earmarked the notepad hubby gave me as my 2019 Future Collection Notepad, and the aim is to keep writing those poems throughout the coming year, and to keep them back with the aim of submitting them for publishing some time in 2020. (Yes, a lot of my plans as two years plans. I’ve learnt that twelve months is not really long enough to accomplish everything I want to.) I will still be posting poems here on Writing and Works, but I will be aiming to get better at not posting everything I write as soon as I write it. I may be easing off the gas with my novel, but by no means am I doing the same with my poetry.

Last but not least, what am I going to do about my little bits of prose? I entered two NYC Midnight competitions this year. The screenplay competition and the flash fiction competition. The screenplay one I flopped in, but in the flash fiction competition I came tenth in my group for the first round (there are about thirty in a group). It wasn’t enough to drag my bum into the second round, but it was a nice feeling to know that my short stories aren’t half bad, and if I put some more work in I could probably climb up a few more places next year. Since both pieces of flash fiction were never published online I also have the option of polishing them both up and submitting to a short story competition at some point in 2019. For a first attempt I didn’t think that was a bad outcome.

Overall 2018 hasn’t been a bad year. It’s not been a flying success, but it’s not been a total failure. It will probably prove to be a good foundation for 2019 and it’s taught me some important bits and pieces about myself and my work. Most of all it’s taught be this: I’m still terrible at endings. Perhaps I might have worked that one out in another twelve months, perhaps not, but for now I’m going to look back on what I have managed to achieve this year and remind myself that just because it wasn’t everything I wanted, doesn’t mean it wasn’t pretty spectacular after all.

Photo Taken For The ‘A Photo A Week Challenge: New

If We Were Having Coffee: Novel Redrafts And Flash Fiction Competition #amwriting

It’s been a while since I’ve written a Weekend Coffee Share post, months in fact, but I’m currently supposed to writing an entry for the NYC Midnight Flash Fiction Competition so this seemed like the perfect way to procrastinate.

Project StatsI signed up late for Camp NaNoWriMo this month. At the start of the month I was debating whether or not I was going to have a crack at it and decided not to because I tend to find that writing purely for word-count goals make it even harder for me to get myself into the right frame of mind for writing. That said, having  a goal in mind does help drive me forward on projects so when I started rewriting my Shadow Dawn novel around the 10th July, I decided that I’d set myself a 30,000 word goal for the month and use Camp NaNoWriMo to help me hit that target. I’ve got more time to focus on my writing this month as  I’m still waiting for the result of my last AAT Level 3 exam which means I haven’t got any studying to do. However, other social engagements are taking up most of my weekends so my current progress has been limited to what I can write during my lunch hour at work. Hence the pitiful looking bar chart above.

As I mentioned at the start of this post, I’m also taking part in the NYC Midnight’s Flash Fiction competition. The deadline for round one is 4am (GMT) so I’ve got the rest of this afternoon to sort out my 1,000 words story and submit it, even if the heat is making it almost impossible for me to get on with anything. I’d rather melt than write at the moment so I’m hoping hammering out a post might encourage me to hammer out a thousand words of fiction in a few minutes time. I can easily write a thousand words in a hour so a first draft should be straight forward, I just wish the weekend wouldn’t slip past me so quickly.

*Note: It’s now almost five in the evening as I’ve been procrastinating from writing this post as well. I really need to learn to just get on with things.*


Tomorrow will mark DVerse Poets Pub coming back off their two week break, something I’ve been looking forward to since their first day of absence. For the last fortnight I’ve been desperate for poetry prompt so I can’t wait until Monday’s Quadrille night.

I’m also trying to work out how to take my poetry to the next level on this poem. When going through the stats on this site I realize that I only reach about fifty views per post most of the while so I’d really like to start bumping that number up. I suppose the upside to that total is that my view total stays quite close to my likes total so I can see that most people who read the poems, go on to liking them. I just need to find a way of getting more people reading them.

Other than that there isn’t much going on this weekend. I hope yours have been slightly more productive than mine and I will now go off and get this flash fiction piece written for NYC Midnight before I find a way to procrastinate right up to the deadline. All the best for the next week and thanks for reading.


Nightmare Before Christmas – Surviving The Weekend

15338643_10155547663678012_4293679249890200497_nGood Afternoon lovely readers. This week we’re still on spiced apple cider instead of tea and coffee I’m afraid. There are six bottles of the stuff still in the kitchen and I’m trying to judge if they’re anywhere close to going off? I don’t suppose you fancy taking one home with you?

This weekend has been something of a trying one and no, I’m afraid I’m not talking about the Tim Burton movie though I will have to watch that at some point in the coming week. This weekend has been a nightmare for some much more mundane reasons.

Firstly, I managed to smash my passenger side wing mirror on Friday evening, we came home to find one of the fish trapped in the tank filter [it proceeded to die the following day], Fiancee accidentally doused the kitchen in soapy water after trying to clean the blender without putting the lid on, and upon pouring water from the kettle into a mug for a relaxing cup of tea to recover from all this, the mug cracked in half.

Things have not been going my way.

But on the bight side, walking in to find the kitchen and my fiancee covered in water was fairly amusing so I might have to count that on the other side of the tally. The blender was on the stop/start setting so it went off again after he thought he’d managed to switch it off.

Luckily, no Christmas decorations were harmed in the process.

Last night I managed to turn things around on the writing front somewhat. I’m finally getting over the stomach bug which struck mid-week and I wrote part three of Solitary Creatures : Monsters Love A Church.


‘Well we’re not dealing with Ancients just yet are we hmmm? We’re dealing with something that’s stirring up the Ancients and that’s a whole different kettle of fish because we both know how uppity those bastards are and let’s be honest, it doesn’t take that much to get them muttering in their sleep.’

‘It takes a massive natural disaster, like the one that killed the dinosaurs.’

‘We that’s a bit of an exaggeration if you ask me,’ Edwin shrugged. ‘They’ve made themselves known now and again in the meantime.’

‘There have only been four recorded incidents of the Ancients showing signs of waking,’ growled Sammy. ‘All of them have preceded death tolls that totalled in the millions. Whatever it is that’s got them uppity is bad news and that isn’t an exaggeration.’

Edwin tutted and shook his head. ‘Sammy, Sammy, Sammy. What will I do with you?’ …[Continued]


Unfortunately it looks like I’ve lost of the momentum that I built with the blog a few months ago and my daily stats are lucky to spike above twenty recently so despite getting down to some writing I’m aware that things are now how I want them to be. I need to get things back on track.

With 2017 just around the corner I’m starting to make plans for what I want to get done in the new year. January and February will be pretty much dedicated to finishing my AAT qualification but for the rest of the year I want my writing and blog to come first. That means using the next couple of weeks to line up some posts for those two months so focusing on my studies won’t turn Writing and Works into an abandoned husk with tumble weeds bouncing through the posts again.

Solitary Creatures looks like it will become a running series for 2017. I feel like it’s got more body to it than Headquarters and there is the opportunity to work some of my older flash fictions into it as I progress. I’m really looking forward to bringing back some works from a few years ago such as a piece of flash fiction from July 2014 called Mist.


“We don’t enjoy being summoned by your kind Grail.” Pulling herself from the mist Merida pressed her fingers to the rickety table-top of the patio furniture and leaned in. “We are not your servants,” she warned.

Grail lowered his morning coffee and pushed it away. It had turned cold the moment the mist crept into his garden. “Why do they always send you,” he frowned. “Is there no one else?”

“No one at all,” said Merida, scowling impatiently. “ The council is less than forgiving when it comes to your crimes.” … [Continued]


Aside from that there isn’t much to tell you this week.

Let me know what your plans are for the new year. Is it time for a revamp on your blog? Are you having another crack as last year’s resolutions? Will this be the year that you finally get on and write that blook/short story/play?

Let me know in the comments below.

Happy Holidays everyone.