First 1000 words of “The End of the Garden”

Since I was last posting I went through a series of Depressive Episodes before I found a regimen of therapy, meditation and supplements that helped. I’ve managed to go a couple of months without SERIOUS suicidal thoughts – actually considering the means etc. I have the odd few death wish thoughts but the’re relatively mild.

In other news I attended a discovery day for new authors held at Foyles, Charing Cross Road where Literary Agents Curtis Brown did a meet, greet and read for authors. The line was through the door and there were timed slots all through the day. I gave them the first three pages of my novel and they loved it. I need to try and get it finished this year and then submit it. They’ve given me a name to submit to so I’m now very motivated to think, act and plan as a writer rather than as a wannabe.

So pleased to present the beginning  of “The End of the Garden” by Yusuf (Smiley) Yearwood. (1st novel on backburner, 2nd novel cooking nicely) Continue reading

Writing 101: Next, I plan to . . .

Congratulations! It’s the final day of Writing 101. We hope these prompts have encouraged you to brainstorm and write in new ways and introduced you to new tools and resources.

As we wind down the course, let’s look forward. What’s next? Some prompts to get you started:

  • Next month, I plan to . . .
  • What does the remainder of 2015 hold for you?
  • I believe that my future looks . . .
  • In the future, I could do without . . .
  • 5, 10, 20 years from now . . .

Thanks so much for joining us this month! As we wrap up the course, stop by the Commons to ask any additional questions and see what fellow participants are up to next.

Coming up soon – Writing 201 Poetry
I’m definitely down for more of the same so have signed up this months Poetry blogging event. Always fun and a great place to meet new friends. Still open to registrations.

October – NYC Midnight Short Screenplay Challenge
Not only does every writer receive feedback from the judges for every screenplay that is submitted, but a special review forum is available for the participants to submit their screenplays for review from fellow writers throughout the competition. Early registration closed last week but you can still join US$55* until the final entry deadline of October 29, 2015.

November – National Novel Writing Month
Hopefully all being well I’ll be ready for this. Again I’m registered and I have a novel I’ve had on the back burner so I’m beginning preparations already.

I’ll still be blogging every day. I’m planning on doing my own stuff as well as the daily prompts in order to keep me writing so I look forward to see all of you soon.

You need not expect to get your book right the first time…


Writing101 – Nobody knew where Silke was

Yesterday, you found inspiration in one word and used it as a springboard for a post idea. Images — including photographs and works of art — can also act as starting points for stories, essays, poems, and personal musings. For this exercise, use one of the images above as the creative spark for today’s post. You might use it as the setting for a story or poem, write about how it makes you feel, or describe a memory conjured by it.


Nobody knew where Silke was

It was a warm winters day in a cold, dark country and nobody knew where Silke was.
They’d searched the fields, the forests and the town but no-one knew where Silke was
Her mother cried, her father fretted, but no-one knew where Silke was
Her brothers drank and fought and blamed themselves but no-one knew where Silke was

Silke walked unafraid

In the deep dark nordic forest, Silke walked unafraid
The bracken and forest litter crunched satisfyingly under foot as Silke walked unafraid
Bloody knife drip drip dripping in her left hand as Silke walked unafraid
No fear in her eyes, nor a quantum of regret, Silke walked unafraid

Pant, pant, pant

The big, bad wolf dragged itself forward. Pant, pant, pant
Confused, agonised, bleeding. Three paws and a stump. Pant, Pant. Pant
Weakened, dizzy, vision blurring. Pant, pant, pant
Tried to protect her cubs from the monster, failed. Pant, pant, pant
Submitted to the inevitable, turned to watch the monster approach. Pant

Skip, Skip, Skip

Silke skipped merrily through the forest. Skip. skip. skip
Covered in wolf-blood, scratches here and there. Skip, Skip, Skip
Riding Hood crimson with eviscera. Skip, Skip, Skip

Knife hidden behind her back, approached the old wooden shock
Knocked on the old woman’s door
Scream of horror. Who let you out? What have you done?
Is that blood?

My Grandma what big eyes you’ve got.

The lonely path of the Missing Planet

As much as we love to write, it’s important to take breaks — to live your life and have new experiences, and to reflect and recharge so you can come back to your desk, ready to hit the keyboard again. Not writing allows you to gain the distance from your words, and thus perspective, which are both needed when it’s time to edit.

Being active every day makes it easier to hear that inner voice.

— Haruki Murakami, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running

Write every day, but don’t put your life on hold . . .

— Vincent Mars, “Writing as a Way of Life

What do you do when you’re not writing? How do you reset and return to this dashboard, refreshed? What do you need in your day-to-day life to maintain balance: Running? Yoga? Gardening? Painting? Cooking? Today, publish your post in any form you wish, as long as you focus on one or all of these questions.

What do you do when you’re not writing? I worry about why I’m not writing. I think about what I could be writing, I worry if I’m really writing when I’m writing or just remembering. I worry if everything I do when I’m not writing is actually procrastination and avoidance. I think about who I am. I worry about what I am. I wonder about what I might become. I worry a lot. I’m getting better art not worrying but I’m not there yet.

How do you reset and return to this dashboard, refreshed? I don’t. Writing refreshes me. I don’t return refreshed, returning refreshes me. How do I prepare to write? I get myself right to write by trying to clear aware the distractions that sop me from writing – chores, paid work, depression; and I maximise the distractions that help me write – the things I need to occupy the inner critic like music in the background and snacks on hand. I’m doing my best to make writing my priority and the first thing I do and the first thing i get done. Like my writing I am a work in progress.

What do you need in your day-to-day life to maintain balance: Hope. And something to write on.

Writing 101 – This just in…

  • Write a 50-word story (or, if you feel daring, a series of 50-word stories). Get inspired by the tiny tales at 50-Word Stories

“The sentient species called humans from the third planet of an insignificant yellow star solar system has just become extinct. Apparently a janitor working at the Large Hadron Collider decided to wait a day before replacing the bulb in the red light that warned when an overload was in progress.”

Writing 101: Feelings. Lots of feelings

Do you ever peek at the comments you’ve left on other blogs? You might find ideas for future posts. Perhaps you left a response on a writer’s post but could have said even more, or wrote the beginnings of a larger discussion.

To read the comments you’ve made, visit your My Comments page, which you can access in the sidebar of your Reader. Look for a comment you can expand on — one that can evolve into a new post, where you can continue the discussion or address a related idea or topic. Practice seamless linking (read point #2 in particular) and refer and link to the comment somewhere in your post:

The other day, I read a post on King of States! describing the internet as a space made of real people. I told the blog’s author, Michelle Weber, how much I enjoyed her take.

For related information, read about expanding comments into posts.

If browsing these comments leaves you empty-handed, revisit the recent comments that readers have left on your blog, and select one that you can respond to.

Feelings. Lots of feelings. Your Fearless writing is powerful!

(My comment on: Life101: Things I’ve Learned)

There were dozens of extraordinary responses to this task and I spent the best part of a week checking through all the responses backwards and forwards over and over. They all affected me some made me laugh, some made me cry, some made me step outside and get some air. Cliches not withstanding – it was emotional.

Afterthoughts after reading this:

  • Tenacity and stamina are the key to all happiness and success I’ve ever experienced. Not knowing when to stop the path to all miser and disappointment.
  • Trust is the precursor to the love. Once you lose my trust you lose me.
  • I wish I could say don’t give up on people but some people are not worth the time

I could go on but I want to be brief. While reading this gem of writing and the other pieces from my fellow bloggers on Writing 101 I was struck but the similarity between our experiences.

Often when researching depression or talking to carers and those who we might call “professional listeners” I’ve been struck by something they often say. “I hear that so often”

The best thing about online communities is the sharing of experiences, techniques and stories. Learning not only how to achieve your dreams and ambitions but also hearing first hand from your fellow writers we are all experiencing the world in the same way.

Some people revel in solitude and feeling separate from the world. The lonely intellectual suffering the fools who surround him. Personally I like to think of us as stars in the night sky. Each one with its solar system of issues orbiting it.

I think that perhaps that’s the only way to comprehend how we can all be so many, so unique and yet have so much in common.

I don’t know maybe I’m just being emotional. I’m going to go get a coffee and re-adjust my game-face,