New Year, New Writing

Time seems to pass so quickly, they say it’s a sign of getting older. But, somehow 2014 disappeared, in a flourish I might add, and the new year is already into its fifth day here in New Zealand. That has been just enough time to start getting my writing life back on track, to set a few priorities and prepare to put it all in action.
I’ve been floating around a little over the last twelve months. Writing needs commitment and mine took a holiday. My writing progress has been higgledy-piggledy for the last year, blame too much immersion in a couple of delightfully time wasting online projects. But the time has come to be strong, to move forward with the writing I always intended to do.
The first of those projects is a return to more shaping and crafting, more challenges in the way of writing longer pieces and submitting them somewhere. The first piece is well under way, meandering toward a probable submission to a new New Zealand journal – non-paying, but oh the thrill if it’s accepted.
The other major 2015 project is my proposed local social history book. Research has been on hold for over a month and I need to give myself a shake up and reappear at the library archives.
So there it is, 2015 is officially labelled a writing year for me and I’m rather excited. Hopefully I’ll be more regular in sharing along the way. Happy New Year to you all.

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Blending Your Stories with those of Your Community

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As we know, writing life stories is fashionable at the moment, recording stories from our past so they are not lost to future generations. We may all think we have nothing special to tell but, from experience, what we find everyday and uneventful, others find fascinating.

Have you ever considered blending your stories with those of your community. Social stories give a reader so much information about the past. Take the hotel in the photo above for example. There are many stories I could tell about this building, from my own family and personal experience back to fascinating things I’ve learned about its history.

All communities have buildings that have been demolished, replaced with more modern constructions. There are also buildings that may be in danger of vanishing some time in the near future. If the stories relating to these buildings are not recorded, part of your community social history is lost.

Why not blend your own stories with those of your community. Start writing them down while you can.

What Do Driftwood and Writers Have in Common?

The last few weeks I’ve wandered a few deserted winter beaches here in New Zealand, letting my thoughts wander where they will. As I sat in the car one rainy day, looking over the driftwood on the stony beach, my mind started thinking about the stories of the wood. Each of those pieces had their own story – their own starting point and the adventure they’d taken down the river into the harbour.

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I picked up my pen and started to write, having no idea where my thoughts would take me. I imagined how each piece of driftwood had cast it’s story into the ocean before being washed up onto the beach.

Isn’t that what we do as writers? We release the stories that lay deep within us, letting them free to find their own landing place in the world. Don’t hold of your stories too long. Cast them out for others to read before it is too late and you too become beached in your final resting place.

Make a start today, start writing your stories. There are others out here who would love to read them.

Writing Poetry in the Rainhttp://www.bubblews.com/news/4019664-writing-poetry-in-the-rain

Well, I Did It!

Okay, I know my presence here is not something more than a wee speck of dust that is so easily over looked. That’s my own fault, allowing myself to become far too enthusiastic about far too many things.

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I came on here for the first time in weeks this morning and noticed my previous post here was about the Flash Fiction story I intended writing and submitting for a local competition. Well, I thought maybe I should report, with pride i might add, that I managed to write the story and get it entered it on time.

Now I’m caught up with this whole Flash Fiction genre. I’m hooked. It’s not easy writing a story in less than 300 words. It’s challenging, but I loved every minute of it.

My next challenge is even shorter, 250 words, on the topic of Sugar. Sugar? What story can be constructed with sugar as a theme in less than 250 words? I have no idea, but as I have less than a week to write the story something had better pop into my mind soon!

http://www.bubblews.com/news/3485894-when-one-door-closes-another-opens

Flash Fiction Competition for New Zealand Writers

For all New Zealand writers who haven’t heard, the NZ Flash Fiction Competition for 2014 is open. You have about a month to enter this competition. For guidelines, click on the following link. It’s open to New Zealand citizens and residents.

http://nationalflash.wordpress.com/competition/

I love writing Flash Fiction. I like the discipline of choosing words carefully, making each one count. Not that I’m good at it at all, I simply get pleasure from writing it. This is so different from the daily writing I do here on my blog and other sites, where my thoughts spill onto the page without much precision at all. It’s definitely time for me to be disciplined again. If you’re at all interested in some of my ramblings the link below is as good a place as any to start.

http://www.bubblews.com/news/2886864-the-200-word-challenge-was-simply-a-warm-up

So, my thinking cap is on, my pencils sharpened, paper at hand – I’m ready to write.

Memory Prompts are Everywhere

Quite often people think they don’t remember much about their past, but that could be because they are out of practice. In my experience, the more I write my stories down, the more twice as many memories come flooding in.

If you think about it, memory prompts are everywhere. No matter what you do, or where you go, it’s likely you did something in your childhood or younger life, or maybe a family member did something, similar to what is happening now.

Take this afternoon for example. I’ve just been watching the women finishing in the World triathlon Series race here in New Zealand. This not only made me remember my days as a young competitive swimmer, but also in adulthood as a Masters Swimmer. Then there are the memories of women’s triathlons and fun run and walk events I’ve participated in.

If you really want to write your life stories but don’t know where to start, I recommend you start looking at the things around you. Then, consider whether anything similar happened in your own life. Open your mind to memory prompts and start writing your stories.Image

Myself and two friends, after our first team triathlon effort, about ten years ago.

Coffee, Autumn Leaves and Childhood Memories

While people in the northern hemisphere are delighted by the arrival of Spring, I’m equally delighted at the arrival of autumn down here in New Zealand. I love autumn, it’s definitely my favourite month.

I love the settled weather, the lingering of the last of the sunshine, the colours and the general slowing down as we move into winter.

http://www.bubblews.com/news/2701920-an-autumn-saturday-morning-in-new-zealand

I sat drinking coffee at one of my favourite cafes this morning, writing and trying to recall any autumn memories from childhood. Then a sudden rush of times gone by hit me. I was sitting not too far from a rather vivid autumn leaf memory. You can read about it here.

http://www.bubblews.com/news/2735537-childhood-memories-of-autumn-leaves

So, whether you’re moving into Spring or Autumn, celebrate the moment. Enjoy each season for what it is.