Charles Church Hell, Persimmon nightmare, Writer's Blog

Shouting my small achievement from the rooftops

Success comes in many guises. My daughter and son-in-law might report a successful day yesterday where they and we, we being my husband and I, visited Lakeside Shopping Centre and, of course IKEA, in Thurrock.

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This was, by far, not our collective first visit to the centre but, for them, it was the start of a success of sorts. Two months ago, they were handed the keys to the first home they have owned. Months of saving resulted in a beautiful, brand new, four-bedroomed detached house in a village on the outskirts of Norwich. Unfortunately,  their joy has been marred by an indescribable number of issues, such as damaged windows, the wrong kitchen, forgotten flooring, the list was, in reality, four A4 pages long and minus minor snags! But here is not the place to be moaning about Charles Church and Persimmon, although incompetence and rudeness, accompanied by genuine data protection breaches (with GDPR at the forefront of the nation’s minds right now, indeed) were phenomenally unbelievable.

With eighty percent of their issues rectified after a battling two and a half months, the time had become ripe for adding new items to said beautiful residence.

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Armed with my daughter and son-in-law’s meticulously measured diagrams, we set off on our mission to buy them some housewarming gifts and theirs to buy furnishings of their own. The day was a success in that one larger item of furniture was purchased, some shelving and numerous smaller items made their way to our vehicles and a number of ideas for handyman son-in-law to put to the test when time allows. Success, as I mentioned,  comes in numerous guises.

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My own success yesterday was to receive an email notification of one of my ‘way out of my comfort zone’ short stories – approximately 4000 sci-fi words, which was now published in a Fantasy anthology, following submission to same. The work was one of my assignments for my ‘Comprehensive Creative Writing’ course with The Writer’s Bureau which my tutor, herself a published crime novelist, had suggested was ready for submission.

The resultant success is my inclusion in the short story anthology shown in the link below.

Fantasy Short Stories

I have to shout this achievement from the rooftops as I am told that’s what you do with success no matter how small.

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Thank you for taking the time to read about my success thus far, I hope you are joining me at the start of something far greater – I guarantee the writing is happening during every spare moment. As promised, I will continue to share unpublished stories on my blog from time to time.

I am grateful to all followers, please spread the word if you enjoy my ramblings. The more far reaching my content,  the greater the chance of more success. It’s largely down to you lovely people. Thank you!

tfs

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Places to write, Writer's Blog

Published way out of my comfort zone…in fact out of this world!

I received an email this afternoon advising me that another of my short stories has been accepted for publication. I know that’s not a huge achievement in the grand scheme of things but it was a story I wrote for a module as part of my coursework and I had to step way out of my comfort zone.

I like to write stories with a twist in the tale and stories encompassing subjects I have a little knowledge to draw upon. This particular module was to produce around 3000 to 4000 words on a subject I have never previously written about. I chose to write an alien story. I didn’t opt for scary, more along the lines of strange but oddly friendly.

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I am not sure about any of you but I have never had the pleasure of meeting with a real live alien. I haven’t met any expired ones either but that’s really not important. I found it difficult as the whole story had to be fabricated from nothing, where usually I have at least a small amount of knowledge or insight to draw upon.

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I bashed away at the keyboard over the course of a few days (remember, I do have a full time job and spend much of my spare time dancing so there is much to work around). I edited and re-edited and when I was happy with my finished piece, duly sent it to my course tutor. I didn’t hold out too much hope of a good mark, after all my tutor probably knows lots of aliens! Surprisingly, the assignment was returned to me with a glowing mark and some positive comments, the last of which was to advise me to send it for submission. I didn’t expect that from an other-worldly story.

I submitted it and forgot all about it, expressing my pleasure when it was shortlisted into the second round of reading. I have never thought much about sci-fi as a way forward but, as you can guess from my blog heading, I received an email today advising me it is being included in a Fantasy Story collection in September.

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Maybe the moral here is to stretch my imagination and spend more time out of my comfort zone. I may not get rich on small publications but it is a step closer to my ultimate goal.