Christmas Fayre

The Sea Scribes attended a Christmas fayre at Heene Road Community Centre in Worthing on December 2nd with plenty of different books for sale, some of which were Christmas themed and would make excellent presents. Our festive stall was well attended but there was so much entertainment going on and such wonderful cakes for sale that many people just smiled and passed by. Friends who already had some of our books came to say hello and say how much they enjoyed our work but how could we compete with donkey rides and a £300 bottle of champagne (in the raffle) ?  It was very festive and a credit to the organisers.

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Another Story

I didn’t realise how much what I was reading influenced what I was writing until this week.

I read a short story to our writing  group and accepted that the ending was weak. That’s what these groups are all about- helpful criticism to encourage improvement.

But, at home, I was reading Philip Dick short stories which resulted in my turning a gentle romance into a fatal time travel story. I read this to the group yesterday and they all complained that the heroine should not have been murdered. I blame Philip Dick.

I’m not sure I’ll rewrite it again. Each time I read it I find flaws. I’ll leave it and investigate scriptwriting courses. It’s time I had a go at something new.

Pantomime

After a discussion with a technician about sound effects I began to realise that producing a pantomime, even if just in audio form, is going to take up more time than I anticipated.

I need to get the cast together for a preliminary reading and then find a date that suits everyone when we can record. I am afraid there are not enough parts for everyone who wants to participate and, because the readers are all so well educated and have lovely voices, some of the volunteers sound alike.

The Sea Scribes, our local writing group, are designing their own website so , as soon as that is up and running I will try to link with it. In the mean time, I have just begun to read “We need to talk about Kevin” and the writing knocks me out. I’ll do a review when I have finished it.

Talk

Have just returned from a talk that eight of the Sea Scribes gave to members of Worthing’s Phoenix Club at their speaker’s lunch. The food was delicious and we were treated to a glass of wine each.

Then we took turns in talking about how to write and publish books. Elaine Hankin had ordered it so that we each had a subject, non-fiction, plotting and character, proof reading etc. and then three of us told how we self published. I go-it-alone, Elaine uses Feedaread and Angela uses Createspace.

We took books as examples and hoped for sales but, although we did get some interested folk asking questions, it was not intended as a selling event and so it transpired.

When I came home I found my play was not going to be used in a local festival and the competition I entered closed yesterday, although I only found out about it today. They asked for a sonnet and if  they don’t want it I’ll post it on here next week.

All good fun!

Education

Just cut down my short story from 3500 words to 2450 for a competition. That was a good exercise.

I was considering trying to go back into education as a student until I found out how much it would cost. I really need a sense of direction if I am to keep writing through the summer.I doubt if I would have the time or the stamina for a degree and I’m frightened to pay for stuff I already know.I’ll keep researching on line courses and perhaps I’ll find one by September.Meanwhile the Sea Scribes and Worthy Words will keep me on track.

Social media

The Sea Scribes group met yesterday and had another discussion about the use of social media. I came away feeling hopeful until I realised I never subscribe to anything on social media that looks as if someone is trying to sell me something. There must be hundreds of folk who feel the same and, honestly, we were trying to sell something, our books!

If we don’t have something to give that people want there will be no point trying a newsletter  or an email list and, personally, I have yet to find someone on line who says ‘ I have read one of your books, can I buy another?’ Sure, people I meet always ask when the next one is coming out but that’s person to person, not social media.

So it comes down to what do we have to offer – advice about how we published, stories about the characters in our books, free chapters, reviews of books we have enjoyed? Is it a mistake to promote ourselves as a group or will it help us to find more readers? Is there anyone reading this blog who has read one of our books? I wonder.

 

New Play 3

The play is now typed out and I have seen the errors. Still, it’s good enough to read to Sea Scribes and I’m sure they will help me to improve it.

I also have a short story on the go for another competition. Thank goodness for Writing Magazine. They keep me going, along with Worthy Words where Wendy gives us homework. This month it made me delve into my past and I found out my memory of fifty years ago is inaccurate. It’s a good job I’m not writing an autobiography.

Looking at photo of our wedding day can be quite a shock. We can never look like that again. Still, it’s better than just having photos on line. I’m glad we have an album.