Showing posts from February, 2011

I've won an award!

And I didn't even have a winner's speech written. Thank you to the wonderful Kelly Hashway for thinking that Fi's Magical Writing Haven deserved the 'One Lovely Blog Award'.

I shall display it proudly.

Here are the rules for the award:
Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award and their blog link.Pass the award on to 15 other blogs that you've newly discovered.Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.
I'm very lucky to have recently met a whole host of new bloggers through the recent blog hops I've taken part in. Choosing just 15 has been difficult but here it is, my list of award winners: A Writer's RealityAuthor Havenbetwixt and betweenChallenging the GnomeClimbing My Family TreeDeborah LawrensonHelen SmithJanel's JumbleThe Riddle of WritingThe Slight DetourWhat Else Is Possible?Writer UnboxedChewing the PenTristi PinkstonAnglers RestYou all…

Creative Every Day

Today I started a new challenge, well, new to me. Creative Every Day has been running since 2008. It was started by Leah Piken Kolidas "to help infuse my life and lives of others with daily creativity".

You can participate through your blog, your Flickr account, through Twitter or just by leaving a comment on the CED site.

"Creativity is meant in the broadest sense, so it doesn't have to be something art related. Your creative acts could be in cooking, taking pictures, knitting, doodling, writing, dancing, decorating, singing, playing with your kids, brainstorming ideas, gardening, or making art in the form of collage, paint, or clay...or whatever!"

Can I be creative every day? Hell, yes!

Crazed Fan Weekend Blog Hop

I've been invited to join another blog hop. This one is co-run by the Blog Entourage and The Unexpected Mother. Interestingly their blog hop will take place every Friday and Saturday. I doubt I'll be able to join in every weekend but I shall do my best.

Welcome to any Crazed Fan blog hoppers. I hope you enjoy my blog. Have a look around and please feel free to leave a comment.

Happy Hopping!

She Writes B&W Blogger Ball

I only recently came across the term 'blog hop'. Am I the only one who hadn't heard of this before? In essence, it's an online event where a group of bloggers drop in on each other's blogs and leave comments. It's a way to create new connections, boost the number of visitors to your site and generally have a bit of a party.

Today I signed up to take part in my first blog hop for members of the She Writes Books and Writing group. I always enjoy finding new interesting blogs and forging fresh alliances so I'd like to welcome all my fellow She Writes blog hoppers to my blog. I hope you enjoy reading my posts. I'll be dropping in on as many of you as I can. I've even created a blog button (scroll down the right hand column to find it) for any of you who are collecting them.

My blogging tip is to keep a plan of future blog posts so you can look ahead to what you're going to be writing and collect necessary links, articles, images etc that you might n…

5 Things I Love About Writing

1. Creating new worlds

Since I was a child, I have imagined that beyond our experience of the day to day grind there is something else. I saw fairies in the movement of a flower, life in a shadow and a dragon in the clouds. To create a world where those dragons are commonplace, where robots serve us breakfast or magic is at hand is a delight.

2. Exploring 'what if'

There are moments in time where turning a different corner or checking one more time before you cross the road, can make all the difference. I've always been aware of these moments and as a writer, they can be gems, providing fresh, exciting storylines.

3. Meeting new characters

In the novel that I'm writing two of the characters - Hartley and Darkling - have been with me for a long time. Over the years they've become my friends. I've also introduced new characters and getting to know them - their loves, their hates, their histories - is always a fascinating journey because the more I get to know the…

The Lover

In case you hadn't noticed (which I think is rather unlikely), it is St Valentine's Day today. The shops are (and have been for about a fortnight) filled to overflowing with reminders of love and romance. It's not surprising, therefore, that the second episode of Faulks on Fiction which aired this weekend was about 'The Lover'.

At the beginning of the programme, Faulks says that, "Romantic fiction gives us happy endings but the reality is rarely like that." He goes on to say how 'psychological' novels have approached love as a more complex animal which is probably nearer the truth.

His lovers were:
Mr Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen,Heathcliffe and Cathy from Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights,Tess from Tess of the D'Urbevilles by Thomas Hardy,Connie Chatterley and Mellors from D H Lawrence's Lady Chatterley's Lover,Maurice Bendrix and Sarah from The End of the Affair by Graham Greene,Anna Wulf in Do…

Photo Inspiration

As I've gone through my late parents' things, I've come across many many photographs of unknown faces. The gift of these photographs to a writer is that with no details, we can build completely new characters around them. I thought I'd share a few of them with you.


I recently watched the first in a series of television programmes called Faulks on Fiction which discusses the world of the British novel.

The first episode was titled 'Hero' and discussed the development of the hero role through several classic novels. His heroes were:

Robinson Crusoe from the novel of that nameTom Jones from The History of Tom Jones a FoundlingBecky Sharp from Vanity FairSherlock Holmes from the many novels about himStephen Wraysford from Faulks' own novel BirdsongWinston Smith from 1984Jim Dixon in Lucky JimJohn Self in MoneyFaulks believes that the hero can now only be found in films, children's fiction and crime novels. He finishes with these words, "For literary novels, it's over. The hero is dead. End of story". Do you agree?
Thinking of my own list of heroes from British novels, I find: Walter Hartwright in Wilkie Collins' The Woman In WhiteCalhoun Mooney in Clive Barker's WeaveworldJonny Hooker in Robert Rankin's The Da …

Happy Chinese New Year

Image via Wikipedia Another celebration. Yesterday it was Imbolc and today is the Chinese New Year. Apparently a rabbit year is a peaceful one.

I'll be cooking a Chinese noodle stir fry for the family tonight. How will you be celebrating the day?


Image via Wikipedia Today is Imbolc, Pagan festival of early spring. The Christian church celebrates Candlemas at this time of year and I'm sure you won't have failed to notice that tomorrow is the Chinese New Year. This is when the first life begins to appear after the winter chill.

For me, January is always attached to the year before. I spend the month getting back into the normal routine, surviving financially (don't we all?), either huddled in the house or wrapped up in winter layers if I step outside.

February seems like a better time to start planning for and thinking of the months ahead. Already I can see buds on the bushes in the garden, new beginnings pushing through, and the mornings are lighter. I find myself looking forward to longer days and warm nights.

May Imbolc bring you joy and optimism for the future.

A little help from my friends

Today will be spent mainly looking after my children who are off school ill. They're full of cold, curled up on the couch and exuding rivers of snot. Isn't that a lovely image for a Tuesday morning? So with my writing time reduced, I thought I'd share with you some writerly links to sites that offer excellent creative advice.

Magical Words offers an interesting article on describing your setting - Descriptive Passages, Part I: SettingWrite It Sideways asks if you have the strength to say no - Learning To Say "No" To New Writing CommitmentsWriter Unboxed tell us How To Avoid Being Fooled By Bad Writing AdviceFinally, There Are No Rules asks Are You A Renaissance Soul? Use It To Your Advantage.Enjoy your Tuesday.