Short and Sweet?

Short stories. Love ’em or always left wanting more?

The art of writing a short story is a whole skill set in itself, in my opinion. It’s not just a snippet from a novel, or a single-scene padded out with more words. It needs to stand as a whole story, and that takes a twist to your usual writing craft.

I’ll state my position up front: I love ’em! I love to immerse myself in reading and writing them. It’s the challenge of telling everything without needing paragraphs of setting and backstory – yet enough to make your reader grasp the essence of your characters, and to root for them.

I revisited an article recently from on this topic. I’ve posted some of it below, at least the headlines. I follow so many of these guidelines when I know the story I want to tell is shorter than usual. Yes, I believe you need to know that going in to the project – it’s not the same as starting The Great Novel and falling short on word count LOL.

Let me know what YOU think about Short Stories! Continue reading

The Perils of the Penpusher

Dammit. I let another cup of coffee go cold. When it’s meant to be the life blood of authors, how come I’m constantly reaching for lukewarm if not downright cold coffee?!

My only excuse is I got a whole bunch of inspirational bunnies on holiday last week, and I’m scribbling (or tapping?!) away happily on those. After all, if I don’t get the ideas down on paper, they may escape, right? And in the meantime, I forget to eat on time, and the coffee goes cold.

What can possibly distract YOU, when the Muse has you by the short ‘n curlies??

It’s done… *wipes brow*

It’s DONE, friends / readers! I’ve finished my next novel in the Romancing the… series *phew*. I don’t know why this one was more of a struggle than the others. I had some personal things going on at the beginning of the year, admittedly, so I couldn’t give enough time to my writing. But I also found that the plot kept ambushing me with twists and turns and I couldn’t *grasp* that essential VOICE for my guys.


Authors – and readers! – will know how important that is. It took me several false starts before I could establish the characters of Alex and Tate – and many, MANY thanks to the friends and betas who have nursed me through each one. Time was, none of us knew which plot I was going to run with, me least of all! There have been a few gritted teeth moments, I can tell you ;).

Romancing the Undercover Billionaire has now been submitted and I’m fingers crossed it gets accepted. There’s still a lot of work to be done on it, and I have no idea when it may be out. My delays have probably lost me my scheduled slot(s), and that’s fine by me, I take responsibility for that.

But I’ll keep you all posted!!

And over at my group, Clare London Calling, I’ll be posting another excerpt now and then to tease y’all :).


First keyboard crash of the year!

It’s no good – I can’t manage the I/O and K/L and E/R any longer without any guidance!!! The keys have all worn off on my keyboard. So I’ve invested in a new one.

Via Ebay, because unfortunately official suppliers have stopped supplying my favourite Microsoft Curve 2000, so it’s become a shifty, underground, brown paper-wrapped parcel in exchange for cash under the counter, kind of purchase LOL.

But… the writing must go on, right?! It’s my own favourite addiction…  🙂 (though PS, I think we’ll keep a watch on how long this one lasts, right?!)


Author… Alone *sob*

barbie at the pubFeeling odd today! I’ll be writing as usual at the local pub – the only way, believe it or not, to motivate my word count, without home distractions! – but the lovely Sue Brown won’t be joining me. She’s not lounging around instead, she’s working on other fabulous projects, believe me!

But who’s going to stop me from eating 3 desserts for lunch now?????? *mwahahaha*


SPEED KILLS…OR DOES IT? How to Write Fast(er) without Going Bonkers by Ruth Harris

This article is really worth sharing, and it raises many points that resonate with me. I know I *am* a perfectionist, and I don’t like to scramble through my writing when I *know* some of it will either be messy / inconsistent / out of order, or – horrors! – using poor word choices :).

But some of the best, and most effective, times I’ve had in writing have been when I’ve forced my way through that mental barrier and just concentrated on getting things down. I let myself sink into dialogue, I ignore all punctuation (it can be added in later!) and I often don’t even finish sentences – just enough to remind me where that character’s thought and/or action was going.

At least then I have the satisfaction of seeing the end of a project in sight – and before I run out of steam!

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Mind the Gap: life changes ahead!

The most recent update on my life is that I’m leaving work next week. Amicably and with mutual agreement. But totally. *Ulp*.

It’s due to a combination of my employer changing location, and also the structure of the company. I can’t face the central London commute anymore, plus the content of my role would have been less challenging/interesting. Not something that’ll work for me ^_~.

I’m a *tad* too young to take early retirement (*cough*) and so I have to help support the family and house and social life for a few more years. I have lots of plans in process, including more writing – more Clare London goodness, I hope! and the launch of my Accountancy for UK Authors service – Quids & Quills.

So far, I haven’t regretted the decision to leave for One Single Moment :). But I’m going to post here now and then about how it’s going.

*takes deep breath and steps off the diving board …*