Monday, 30 January 2017

LA LA LAND, PHOTOTIME CHAPTERS, AND GIVING UP ON YOUR DREAMS

Someone reading Phototime emailed yesterday to say they are enjoying it.  *Does a little dance*.  I'm not going to lie, it's spurred me to add another three chapters this morning, and I'm hopefully going to add another two before the days out...and that will equal ten whole chapters.  

So here's a wee taster of chapter 6 to hopefully tempt you to have a little look, and a LINK to Phototime.

I texted Ricky to ask if he was serious about coming over, suggesting he may even get over Esme if he came.
At the thought of her, I felt a pang of guilt. It was my fault Esme left him, and hadn’t answered his texts or calls. She’d even deleted him as a friend on Facebook.


I went to see 'La la Land' on Saturday. Have you seen it?  I absolutely loved it. The music, the uplifting storyline, the feeling of nostalgia - just lovely.  There was a scene in it that especially resonated with me.  *SPOILER ALERT* A scene about when's the right time to give up on our dreams. 

It's hard holding onto dreams when we're writers, or dancers, or actors - or anything creative really. Is there a time when, for our own peace of mind, we must get off the creative-bus at the next stop?  I just wonder, once we feel we've done everything we can to fulfill our dream, should we let our dreams go?  

I'm still hanging on in there on the novel-writing bus (a variation on the creative-bus) for now at least. I've had a few cups of coffee spilled on me, and I've had a few knocks, but I'm still on that bus. 



I'm a dreamer.  Always have been.  Although when I started writing I don't think I ever considered being a published novelist. But I did dream of having my words in print one day.   'My Weekly' bought my first story in 2008, and at the time I considered I'd fulfilled my dream. I was a writer - a real writer.  And the sales that followed made my dream feel even more real.  It felt wonderful to sell my stories. It still does.  But then novels called to me.

So this is me now. Still on the novel-writing bus, trying to hold on.
And as I travel, going over hills and down into pretty deep valleys at times, the seats crammed with talented writers, I realise I may have to get off the novel-bus one day. I love writing stories, so maybe this is my stop, after all.  But I will keep on travelling on that bus for a wee bit longer, as I guess we can never be sure what's round the corner, or where it might take us... 

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

More Phototime Chapters

For those lovely people who are reading PHOTOTIME, I've just added three more chapters - HERE. 😊

And here is a taster of Chapter 3.


The man’s cropped dark hair was flecked with grey, and he was wearing a short-sleeved checked shirt that gaped around his stomach, and squeezed his upper arms. He shoved his hands in the pockets of his bright green shorts and rocked back on his flip-flops.
‘I’m looking for Kate O’Donnell. I’m her son,’ I called.

Monday, 23 January 2017

Finding your voice as a writer

I admit, this old chestnut has flummoxed me since I began writing fiction nine years ago. 

I was told by my super Open University tutor, that I would need to find my voice in writing, but, even now, I don’t think I have.

Maybe it’s partly because I write short stories for magazines, and like to vary my style, depending on the magazine I’m writing for.  I’ve certainly developed a few voices for my short stories, four at last count. No, that doesn’t mean I have multiple personalities. Well I don’t think it does.

My problem with voice has extended to novels. The suspense thriller I’m editing now has a very different voice to Phototime, and in turn earlier novels I attempted had a different voice again.

Maybe with novels, it’s because I haven’t been published. I’m still trying to find a voice that captures the interest of the reader.

So it seems I’m still on a voice-discovering journey – even after all this time. It’s as though ‘the voice’ (no not the TV programme) is a bit like buried treasure I can’t find. And even if I did find it, would I recognise it?

I know I need to find a voice that makes my work unique and stand out. It needs to make the reader sit up, mute the TV, and say ‘Hang on, this is a jolly good voice, by jove.’ And not only that; they’ll recognise it next time. I need the voice to speak to the reader. I need a voice that’s individual.

No pressure there then.

Oh, and HERE’s a blog post with five steps to finding your writing voice.  

And another HERE about knowing your voice. 

Right, I'm off to have a look in the bottom of the wardrobe. I mean that’s got to be where C. S. Lewis found his voice, yes?





Thursday, 19 January 2017

PHOTOTIME - Chapter 2

So, in my continued effort to be novel-blogging brave.😀  Chapter 2 of my novel Phototime  is now up HERE, and below is a teeny-tiny snippet of the second chapter...

Isaac
I’m not going to lie, I got a huge buzz walking out on Olivia before she threw me out. I even sprayed my chest with her expensive perfume, for reasons I can’t quite explain.

Leaving a note telling her she could stick her job and her apartment, was up there in my best moments of all time – almost on a scale with being photographed with Stan Lee at Comic Con... 

Thursday, 12 January 2017

PHOTOTIME by AJ Brittany


I've decided to blog my novel, Phototime on a cozy, shiny-new blog, that I've set up HERE - in the hope to raise funds for Cancer Research, and you are SO welcome to visit.   













I completed Phototime…a comedy, fantasy, that I had so much fun writing, in early 2016. It was lucky enough to be seen by two publishers, who said nice things about it. 



But sadly it never happened. My balloon of hope burst, and I felt pretty deflated, I can tell you. 




So, I'm putting the whole book, a chapter a week, on my shiny new Phototime blog.

The first chapter is already up *gulps*, and I’ll put a taster on here each time I publish a new chapter.

I’m quaking at the thought of it, and have got everything crossed that if you decide to pop over (thank you so much if you do), you enjoy it. 

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Short story inspiration

Happy 2017 everyone.

So, it’s another brand new year.  And, like many of you, I always feel it’s a time for new beginnings. So here I am, AGAIN, attempting to be a good blogger, but this time I feel more determined than ever. 

Oh yes, I do!

Sadly, I haven’t written much since then end of October. The well of inspiration dried up on me, as the ill-health of loved ones took over all my thoughts. 

But I’m determined to get those creative juices flowing again.

But how do you do that?  How do you become inspired?  What triggers a story? How, when our heads are empty of ideas, do we create a short story?

Answers on a postcard please.

In the past, I’ve found inspiration from stories based on real-life. Like a story I have coming up in The People’s Friend that was based on an incident that happened to my father when he was an evacuee in World War II.  I took that incident, and created a fictional world around it, but all the time imagined my dad as a cheeky little boy of nine, as the main character. 

Other times, I’ve heard someone, often a child, say something very funny, and used that to kick-start a story.

Pictures are great triggers. 
This smashing illustration by Ruth Blair was sent to me by The People’s Friend, and I was asked to write a story to fit it.  The story didn’t come instantly, but I kept looking at the picture, and eventually it started to fall into place. It appeared in a December 2016 issue of The Friend.

So, the thing is, I should be able to do it again. But I’ve been struggling.

But then, as I was sorting through some old postcards to scan for my local history blog, one postcard, dated June  29th 1929, caught my attention.

It was of a local river, and I turned it over to see a message addressed to a Miss Parrot.

Dear Poll,
I am having a grand time here, hope you are the same...
This place is very pretty.  I went here the other day. The weather is nice, but very windy. I am writing postcards with no hat on. Simply lovely.
With love,
Bill Brightman.



My mind started whizzing.  Was Poll her real name, or a nickname because of her surname?  Was Bill a friend?  Did he love her?  Did she love him?  Why wasn’t she with him?  Had he got dark hair? Twinkly blue eyes?  Why had he sat by the river? Was he an artist? A successful one? Who else was he sending postcards to?  Did Polly Parrot wonder that too?  Did they end up together, and live happily ever after, or was Bill a bit of a cad?

So I now have my inspiration, and a story itching to be written. I just hope I can get it down.

And I think I just need to try to remember that when that well dries up, inspiration is everywhere.