Some of the books my stories have appeared in - image taken by me.

UNWELCOME GUESTS AND TIME TELLING

WEBSITES

The title of this post shows there’s quite a mix tonight!   On my Fairytales with Bite website, I discuss the Unwelcome Guest and what makes them unwelcome.   I’m not naming any names as to who or what might have inspired me to write this post!

On This World and Others I discuss calendars and how time is organised on your fictional world.  Is it how we know it – based on a 24 hour day following the patterns of night and day – or something completely different, as the saying goes?

FACEBOOK

On my Facebook page, I look at an old Chandler’s Ford Today post I wrote called My Desert Island Books.  See the link below but I base this on the Radio 4 show, Desert Island Discs, and you can name 8 books you would have to have with you on a remote island.  No smuggling in of a Kindle or other device so you could take in more.  As with the show you can have Shakespeare and the Bible.  I will add in, being a generous sort, the complete works of Dickens and, in my view, our finest funny writer ever, P. G. Wodehouse.  So now what would you choose for bookish company if you were stuck on said island for a while?

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SAYING WHAT YOU MEAN

Language can convey meaning and hide it.  For some examples see:-

FAIRYTALES WITH BITE

Tonight’s post looks at what is really meant by phrases that often come up in fantasy fiction, especially the quest type. Oh it also discusses whether you are likely to end up with a companion for said quest.  The answer is a definite no, see the link for why.  Are you with the hero or with the potential companion on this one?

THIS WORLD AND OTHERS

Coded Speech is the title of tonight’s post here and discusses if your characters are smart enough to pick up on the hidden meanings so often contained within what someone says.  What is said is often so very different from what is meant!

FACEBOOK

My author page tonight shares news of my first post with the Association of Christian Writers called Appreciating the Small Successes.  It also discusses how I’ve become insatiable… for reading non-fiction.  Link to my author page below.

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This picture was taken by me as I was walking my border collie, the lovely (but sometimes noisy) Mabel. I used the image in a Hidden Hampshire piece for Chandler's Ford Today. Probably my best photo ever of a sunset.

This picture was taken by me as I was walking my border collie, the lovely (but sometimes noisy) Mabel. I used the image in a Hidden Hampshire piece for Chandler’s Ford Today. Probably my best photo ever of a sunset.

 

 

 

The lakes at the Hayes Conference Centre, Derbyshire. Home to the Swanwick Summer School. Image taken by me.

SWANWICK AND A MAGICAL SHOPPING LIST

FAIRYTALES WITH BITE

I don’t know about you but I have to have a shopping list when preparing for the weekly shop.  That’s fine for everyday stuff but what kind of things could you expect to see on a magical shopping list?  My post tonight has a lighthearted look at that.

THIS WORLD AND OTHERS

I discuss having a to-do list in tonight’s post.  I find these really helpful for planning out what to write (and therefore how best to use what time I’ve got available that day) but I discuss whether characters could have their own version of this.  After all they do their have their own agendas in the story, haven’t they? I also ask whether a character that does have such a list is more scary than one that doesn’t.

FACEBOOK AUTHOR PAGE

On my author page tonight (link below), I finally get around to sharing some of my favourite images taken by me using my trusty phone camera of Swanwick Summer School.  Absolutely beautiful place. I discuss one reason why I love flash fiction and, theme for tonight or so it appears, why I like to-do lists.

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The Hayes Conference Centre, Derbyshire - image taken by me. Stunning place.

The Hayes Conference Centre, Derbyshire – image taken by me. Stunning place.

 

 

WHEN LIFE HANDS YOU LEMONS…

FAIRYTALES WITH BITE/THIS WORLD AND OTHERS WEBSITES

Picking up the pieces is my theme for Fairytales With Bite tonight.  I discuss how characters handle doing this and whether this topic could be used for comedic, as well as the more obvious tragic, purposes.

On This World and  Others tonight, I discuss a similar theme under the heading of “When Life Hands You Lemons”.   I ask how characters react to being faced with this and discuss how, given lemons can become really sour over time if not used, so can characters.  What leads to that?  Can it be prevented?  Food for thought for story ideas there I hope.

FACEBOOK

On my author page tonight, I discuss the Proms, the stifling heat, and the joys of sending a book contract back, all signed and ready to go!  It is strange when something you have worked for and longed for suddenly comes to fruition, it can feel unreal.  Still writing competitions I want to have a try at over the next few months will ensure I get some real writing done.  I find deadlines helpful in that regard – they really do focus the mind!

CHANDLER’S FORD TODAY

I tend to write articles here on writing, publishing and so on but have written some pieces on local events (such as the Medieval Weekend), appreciation items on Jane Austen and Terry Pratchett, away days by public transport (especially train) from my area and so on.  I’ve interviewed local authors and those known to me.

And I should add one reason I love writing for CFT is the great community feel it encourages in its readers as well as contributors (the link takes you to the list of writers, which has steadily grown over time).  Chandler’s Ford is one of those places which sprang up and then grew and grew and grew without any real planning so there’s no real central community.  Hopefully CFT helps feel the gap there a bit.  I think it does.

One of the views on a local dog walk.

One of the views on a local dog walk.

 

 

 

LIVING IN THE PAST

CHANDLER’S FORD TODAY

My post for tonight is part 2 of my overall review of the recently held Medival Weekend, organised by the Road to Agincourt Project. The weekend was a lot of fun but I am so glad I live in an era where literacy rates are generally high. In this post I look at the role of the fletcher and the taverner amongst others.

The King's Fletcher at work, showing off his wares and explaining what he did at a recent Medieval Weekend in Hampshire. Image taken by Allison Symes.

The King’s Fletcher at work, showing off his wares and explaining what he did at a recent Medieval Weekend in Hampshire. Image taken by Allison Symes.

WEBSITES –

FAIRYTALES WITH BITE AND THIS WORLD AND OTHERS

On Fairytales with Bite, I discuss New Chapters and Some Very Old Ones…

This is pertinent as I signed my first book contract today and sent it back to my publisher electronically.  My first flash fiction collection will be published, hopefully later this year, with my short story collection to follow in 2017.  Am thrilled to bits over this.

I also use the FWB post title to ask what new chapters your characters have.

On This World and Others I discuss time travelling given the Medieval Weekend gave me a big look at what life would have been like for most people back then.

 

 

DRIVING AMBITIONS

WEBSITE ROUND-UP

On my Fairytales with Bite website, I look at ambitions.  Ambitions of characters, whether these are achieved and what fosters ambition? There should be plenty of story prompts here.

On my This World and Others website, I discuss can happen when dreams come true.  Do your characters really believe it?  Are they generous in being glad for those characters where this has happened and so on?

CHANDLER’S FORD TODAY

Tomorrow’s post will be Part 2 of my review of a recent Medieval Weekend held in my part of Hampshire and looks at the roles of a fletcher and a  herbalist amongst others.  Links to come tomorrow.

FACEBOOK

Tonight, a huge thank you for the congratulations and good wishes from my fellow writers on the news my first flash fiction collection has been accepted by an independent publisher.  I also send my own congratulations to those who’ve obtained GSCE results today.  I also mention a couple of writing events I’m due to go to over the autumn and winter months though I will say more about both of these nearer the time of each of them.  And I also mention what I’m currently reading.

A closer look at what a medieval scribe worked with. This image comes from Part 1 of my Medieval Weekend review which was up on Chandler's Ford Today last Friday.

A closer look at what a medieval scribe worked with. This image comes from Part 1 of my Medieval Weekend review which was up on Chandler’s Ford Today last Friday.

 

 

THE UNEXPECTED AND KEEPING THE FAITH

WEBSITE POSTS

I discuss the unexpected in my Fairytales with Bite website post today.  I refer to the unexpected joys as well as the unexpected horrors and how characters react to these.

On my This World and Others website, I look at the importance of keeping the faith. Writers are generally good at doing this given almost everyone has to spend years developing their writing before successes come.

The latter is pertinent to me as I will shortly be blogging for the Association of Christian Writers on a regular basis and I’ve heard my first flash fiction collection will be published by an independent publisher.  Am naturally thrilled about all of this as things are happening and my writing is taking off, albeit in a small way, in a manner it has not done so before.

As for Facebook, I talk again about the value of persistence and highlight my Chandler’s Ford Today post this coming Friday, which will be part 2 of my Medieval Weekend review.

A very interesting day!

 

Part of a Medieval Village re-enactment

Part of a Medieval Village re-enactment

 

 

 

BOOKS AND OTHER MAGICAL OBJECTS

I discuss objects to be wary of in my Fairytales with Bite website.  Generally if you avoid lamps, rings (especially those with dodgy inscriptions) and magic carpets, you should get along just fine.

I also consider the importance of books and other literature in my This World and Others website.  I think books are magical in themselves regardless of what is actually in them.  What other object can transport you to different cultures, times, universes and so on and entertain/educate/enlighten you as it does so?

On my Facebook page, I discuss Goodreads, the Kindle and the writing tasks I’m hoping to achieve by the end of the evening.  Am so pleased the Road to Agincourt Project is sharing links to my recent Chandler’s Ford Today posts reviewing their Medieval Weekend and Ships Trail.  I hope they hold the weekend again, I’m not aware of similar events in this part of Hampshire before.  The Ships Trail is a lovely walk to the River Hamble where you are rewarded with stunning views and a glimpse at what is left of Henry V’s ship, The Grace Dieu.

Below are a couple of images I took at the Medieval Weekend and while walking the Trail.

Part of the King's Great Ships Trail, the monarch being Henry V of the Battle of Agincourt fame.

Part of the King’s Great Ships Trail, the monarch being Henry V of the Battle of Agincourt fame.

The beautiful River Hamble

The beautiful River Hamble

The tools of the medieval writer's trade

The tools of the medieval writer’s trade

 

TODAY’S ROUND UP

MY POSTS ON MY WEBSITES

On my Fairytales with Bite website, I discuss what not to ask for when your fairy godmother turns up.  Well it is best to be prepared, don’t you think?  Forewarned is forearmed and all that…

On my Allison Symes – This World and Others website, I discuss anniversaries, including the impact of the Battle of Bosworth given that anniversary is today, 22nd August.  One of my earliest Chandler’s Ford Today posts is a review of The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey, which is one of the few works of fiction to really impact on my views on a person, Richard III.  If you’ve read the novel and feel like posting a comment about my review, I’d be glad to hear from you.

CHANDLER’S FORD TODAY

My most recent post is part of a mini series reviwing a Medieval Weekend recently held by the Road to Agincourt Project.  My most recent writing related post is a notice about creative writing classes coming up in the area, which are being run by Barbara Large, MBE.  Barbara was the founder of the Winchester Writers’ Festival as it is now known and I hope to be interviewing her soon.

One of my writing advice posts was how to spot a real writing competition and I hope the link to this might be useful.  It’s a pity scammers get everywhere but I’ve learned to enter any writing competition with my eyes wide open, knowing exactly what it is I’m putting work in for on the basis it is best to know.  If people aren’t keen to say, I simply don’t enter those competitions.

With some of the anthologies my work has appeared in

HELLO!

Welcome to my Word Press blog where I will link the best of my website posts, Facebook pieces and Chandler’s Ford Today articles.

I write fairytales with bite, mainly as short stories (including flash fiction) and novels.

I have two websites:-

www.fairytaleswithbite.weebly.com

www.allisonsymes-thisworldandothers.weebly.com

The Fairytales with Bite site discusses the world of my stories and I sometimes share some of my flash fiction pieces here.

The Allison Symes – This World and Others website is where I share writing hints and tips.  I also write pieces which can generate story ideas.  For example, I have recently written pieces about historical artefacts and asked questions about how these could be used in your story ideas.  I also put on to this website anything that does not really fit in to the Fairytales with Bite website.

I blog regularly for Chandler’s Ford Today on writing, book, stories, history, local events and have interviewed local authors.  My posts appear  usually every Friday evening.

I am a member of the Society of Authors and Association of Christian Writers.  My favourite authors include Terry Pratchett, Jane Austen, P.G. Wodehouse, Agatha Christie but must admit this year I’ve been discovering the joys of the Kindle.  As a result I am reading more non-fiction than ever and loving that too.

I have short stories published online at Alfie Dog Fiction, Cafelit, Shortbread Short Stories (archived) and Scriggler. com (which is US based).  I have stories published in print by Bridge House Publishing and Cafelit (and am glad to say will be having two stories coming out later this year in each of their annual anthologies).  More details later, as they say.