Sunday Photo Fiction – 10th August 2014 – The Best Day Of The Year!!

Sunday Photo Fiction challenge is a chance for people to produce a piece of flash fiction, aiming for around 100-200 words based on a selected photo prompt. I hope you enjoy it.

sunday fiction-august-10th-2014

Word Count 232

I love Airshows, the excitement, the rush, the way you can witness some amazing things you probably won’t see again. The people, the food, the drinks, the exhibitions and talks. Yeah, Airshows are the bomb.

I love looking around and having the sense of unity as everyone has their noses to the sky, hands up to shield their eyes from the smouldering sun. The sounds of chatter and music in the distance, both of which you can hardly hear from the whooshing noise of the planes dancing in unison.

The best part about it though, is the fact that it’s free, well free for me anyway. All those lovely bags laying around as the owners watch intently at the sky, the drinks, which are just dying to be drunk whilst their previous owners leave them for a second so they can get a bit closer.

Best time of year for people like me, well what do they expect? Coming for a day out with lots of cash to indulge in gluttony whilst thinking they’re gods gift, going home telling all their mates “it was amazing mate, I saw a Spitfire PR-11 and the Royal Air Force Acrobatic Team and loads more.” Blah blah blah.

All I can say is thanks for showing your support to the sky, and a bigger thanks for showing your support to me. See you all next year!!!

Spreading My Little Writers Wings!

Well I think I am getting on my way to becoming the freelance writer I wanted to be, after a lot of research on what I would need to get myself well-established I think I have achieved most of them. The first thing I was advised to do was look into getting a blog going… And well, I don’t have too point out the obvious, as you know, this is my blog!

The next step on my journey was to find myself some work, so I bit the bullet, faced my fears of rejection and created myself a work profile on both Peopleperhour and Elance. Although this was scary, I am pleased to announce they have paid off. The work is a steady stream and the feedback I’m getting is very pleasing.

Once this began, I then looked and little bit deeper into what else I could be doing in order to get myself more established, everything you read pointed to one thing… Social media! Everything revolves around the Internet now, if you want to know about someone, what’s the first thing you do? You Google them! This is not just what people do when they are bored at home, companies and perspective job opportunities actually use these methods of finding out more about people they may want to employ. Especially if you are a freelance writer, you need a good social media existence. So I created a Facebook page, twitter and LinkedIn account, as well as setting up my own website.

I can really see myself coming together now through my fears of failure by putting my stamp out there and showing people what I can achieve, I don’t feel this is being too eager or that I am getting ahead of myself (which I was terrified of feeling). I just think it symbolises me, as a writer, making myself known to people.

So my blogging friends, I would appreciate your feedback on what I have achieved. I invite you to take a look at the link’s above and let me know what you think of them, how they could be improved… Or any feedback in general really. Good or bad!

Change Microsoft Word Default Settings!

If like me you do a lot of work on Microsoft Word, you will notice that every time you open a new document the default settings are as followed. Font Calibri (body), Font Size 11 with single spaced lines. If also, like me, this really frustrates you as you have to spend precious writing time altering the settings each and every time, whether it be before or afterwards, it can certainly get tiresome. But fear not my friends, I have found a way of changing these default settings on Microsoft word.

Some people may have already figured this out, but for the people whom haven’t, here is a little guide for you to follow. (For Microsoft 2013 only)

  • Open a new document in Microsoft Word and you shall see it is laid out in the usual default settings.

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  • In order to start to modify the default settings you will need to click on the advanced font options button (as demonstrated below)

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  • Within these settings you shall see options to change font name, size and colour. After you have chosen the settings you would like, you must click ‘Set as Default’.

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  • Once you have done this you can then do it with other options i.e. spacing

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  • Just modify and ‘Set As Default’

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You can modify in whichever way you want, I modified mine to the standard manuscript distribution format, Times new Roman – 12 – double spacing. But you could modify it to whatever you want, it is quick and easy to do. I hope this helps you as much as it helped me. Enjoy!

By Liz Daniels

My new freelance writing career

Well it is now 15 January 2014 and I am fifteen days into my new freelance writing career, I have wanted to do this for many years now but did not have the confidence to and now I am sat here absolutely gobsmacked at the response I have received. I only mean my decision in late December that I was going to create a profile on a few freelance writers websites to advertise my services, then on New Year’s Eve I decided it was time to go live with my blog and to move forward in actually trying to find people and companies which would hire me for my writing skills.

Since then, I have completed four deadlines and I have even landed myself regular work with one. I do not know how long my good luck will last, but at this present moment I am happy with what I have achieved. Hopefully this is the beginning of a long career for me and look forward to meeting other writers starting out and see where their journeys are taking them.

I have also really enjoyed creating this blog, considering I have never really been a blog person (whatever that means) before, now it has really become a bit addictive. I am trying to post every day something new for people to read, so if you have any suggestions please do not hesitate to let me know.

I look forward to hearing from everyone.

Thanks for reading

(From a very happy writer)

Moments Treasured!

ChristmasCandleBest time of year Christmas, first thing I do is stand in my little girls’ room and watch as she sleeps peacefully waiting for Santa. As she stirs she mumbles in her sleep.

‘Mummy has he been yet?’

I lean down beside her bed and whisper ‘yes, wake up sleepy head.’ Opening her eyes looking all sleepy, she scans the room expectantly. She jumps out of bed running into our bedroom shouting ‘Daddy its Christmas wake up’ and proceeds to jump on top of Dan as he groans and rolls over.

‘Aww Jenna its 6.30am, give me five minutes.’ He protests sleepily at me, but we both know that will never happen today.

‘GET UP GET UP I WANT TO SEE WHAT HE’S BROUGHT!’ she screeches as Dan rubs the sleep from his eyes.

We run down stairs to see our beautiful tree all decorated and lots of gifts underneath, Kassie runs first to the mantel piece to check the mince pie we always left for Santa.

‘LOOK DADDY HE LIKED it’ she said giddily before heading for the tree.

‘Of course he liked them, he loves minced pies, who doesn’t?’ he answered feeling sick at the thought, Danny had always hated them since a child.

We all sat under the tree to open our presents and I sit watching my little girl open them one by one, never getting over the excitement of opening each package. I watch Dan as he helps her, he looks so anxious as the time goes on, he’s worrying about how todays going to pan out.

‘Look here’s one from mummy to you daddy’ she says handing him the gift before diving back under to open another.

Dan smiles and slowly opens the present, it’s a cook book entitled ‘Cooking for Dummies, Christmas Addition’. He smiles and lets out a little giggle remembering a private joke between us.

‘Just a little help to get you on your way’ I giggle back as he sets it to one side and reaches for another.

We sit like this until 9am, finishing opening presents, playing with toys and watching TV, then Dan gets up and heads to the kitchen, for a few seconds he just stands near the cooker just not knowing where to start.

Kassie follows him and looks up at him.

‘Mummy always does the turkey first.’

‘Oh does she now’ he reply’s smiling down at her, he bends down beside her and they look at each other with warm affection.

‘I know it’s sad without her daddy, but I will help you’ Kassie says putting her arms around Dan and giving him a big cuddle and a kiss.

Dan and Kassie go to my pin board and read my last note.

‘Dear Kassie and Dan

 I love you both so much. I shall be with you always, Merry Christmas!

 Love Mummy (Jenna)’

 xxxx

Cancer took me from their lives, but I know as long as they have each other they will do just fine.

– THE END –

By Liz Daniels

The Joys of starting your writing journey!

ImageBeing at the start of your writing career can be the most exciting time of your life, it can equally be the most terrifying. People may have been experimenting with writing as a hobby for years but when it comes to that moment where you send your first piece writing off, whether it be an article, a blog, a short story or a poem, it is the most stomach churning time you could ever have.

The evil voices lurking in your subconscious saying ‘they won’t like it’ ‘you are only fooling yourself here’ or ‘why would anyone choose you?’ But the problem with this kind of self-doubt is surely if you did not act on the opportunities which come your way, then how can your work ever be noticed?

“If you want to write, you can. Fear stops most people from writing, not lack of talent, whatever that is. Who am I? What right do I have to speak? Who will listen to me if I do? You’re a human being, with a unique story to tell, and you have every right. If you speak with passion, many of us will listen. We need stories to live, all of us. We live by story. Yours enlarges the circle.”

-Richard Rhodes

Start of by doing competitions, whether it’s poetry, short stories or flash fiction just go for it. There are hundreds and thousands of magazines, websites, societies which are always offering competitions for writers and poets. Getting your work out there is the most important thing. After all, what is the use of it filling up space at home when it could be entertaining the masses.

“One of the few things I know about writing is this: Spend it all, shoot it, play it, lose it all, right away, every time. Do not hoard what seems good for a later place in the book, or for another book. Give it, give it all, give it now.”

-Annie Dillard

When it comes to sending your work off professionally that is when it hits you, but you need to remember, every single writer from history to present has been through what you are going through right now. If anything, you should feel a sense of honour that you are now part of the elite writer’s circuit. You are not alone in your doubts. If you get negative feedback learn from it. Use the criticism to improve. After all, first drafts are called that for a reason. Ernest Hemingway could not have put it better.

 “The first draft of anything is shit.”

― Ernest Hemingway

Just remember although you sometimes feel completely alone in your thinking, family members and friends do not quite getting your passion, it is ok. Writers that dream to write and work at their crafts are the best writers they can be. So chin up, get your pens ready and let the writing commence people!

“This is our life and it’s not going to last forever. There isn’t time to talk about someday writing that short story or poem or novel. Slow down now, touch what is around you, and out of care and compassion for each moment and detail, put pen to paper and begin to write.”

-Natalie Goldberg

Fear is good. Like self-doubt, fear is an indicator. Fear tells us what we have to do. Remember our rule of thumb: The more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it.”

― Steven Pressfield, The War of Art

A Great Start!

Well I am extremely happy today, I have managed to get my first PAID writing gig. I am a long way off from where I want to be but I think considering it is only 3rd January, I don’t think I have done too badly! Who else is just starting on their long journey to be a freelance writer? Let me know how your getting on please.

Thanks for reading!

Liz

Favourite Films about Writers!

I don’t know about you but when I have been stuck in front of the laptop all day, and too tired to read, I love just to sit back in front of the television and watch a good film.

But not just any films, oh no! Like most ‘word addicts’ like myself, I love watching films about writers even when I’m trying to have a break from writing. I just cannot help myself.

At the moment I have a small collection that I just cannot get enough of, so I thought I’d share my list with others who maybe interested… and before I carry on, yes I know there are probably thousands more which are brilliant and yes I would like to hear about these also. But for now these are just one’s I cannot get enough off right now.

1. Midnight in Paris (2011)midnight in paris

This is simply a wonderful film, it is a romantic comedy written and directed by Woody Allen. Being set in Paris, the film is about Gil Pender, a screenwriter, who is forced to confront the failings of his relationship with his materialistic fiancée and their conflicting goals. Gil Pender travels back in time each night at midnight to 1920’s Paris, where he meets and befriends some of the famous individuals who were part of ‘The Lost Generation’. The movie explores themes of nostalgia and modernism.

2. Miss Potter (2006)miss potter

I love the sceneries in this film which is directed by Chris Noonan. It is a biopic of children’s author and illustrator Beatrix Potter, and combines stories from her own life with animated sequences featuring characters from her stories, such as Peter Rabbit.

3. The Words (2012)the words

This layered romantic drama follows young writer Rory Jansen who finally achieves long sought after literary success after publishing the next great American novel. There’s only one catch – he didn’t write it. As the past comes back to haunt him and his literary star continues to rise, Jansen is forced to confront the steep price that must be paid for stealing another man’s work.

4. Finding Neverland (2004)finding neverland

The movie details the experiences of “Peter Pan” author J.M. Barrie, which lead him to write the children’s classic. He got to know four children who have no father. Drawing from his time with the kids, he writes a story about children who don’t want to grow up.

5. Alex & Emma (2003)alex and emma

American romantic comedy directed by Rob Reiner and starring Kate Hudson and Luke Wilson. Written by Jeremy Leven, the film is about a writer who must turn out a novel in thirty days or face the wrath of loan sharks. I love the process of this book, seeing how his writing thought process unfolds.

There are a lot more but I shall save them for another post, let me know what you think of them and I would love to hear any suggestions others may have.

Thank you for reading!