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Showing posts from 2010

Post-Christmas Investments

Christmas 2010 has now been and gone, and hopefully it will have left all my readers and friends with happy memories.  I hope Santa has remembered you all kindly as he stopped by on his annual visit.

I think he must have remembered me very kindly indeed, as I opened a wonderful collection of presents this year!  I received some special combs for my hair (E-Z combs), a lot of bath things and smellies (which come in useful to someone who tries to bath every day!), some slipper-socks (x3 - thank you Grandma), some pretty candles, some lovely cups, a lot of tasty food and some Christmas earrings from my auntie!

But there were three presents I opened that I was especially happy with and deserve special note. 

The first was from my fiance's sister.  She gave us a beautiful framed photo of her equally beautiful two year old daughter.  I have two nieces and a nephew from my fiance's sisters who I don't get to see as often as I would like, so I am always pleased to get photographs…

The delights of surprise gifts

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Christmas is almost upon us all now.  The presents should for the most parts be bought, wrapped and labelled.  Some of the more prepared of you may even have gifts under the tree, although mine are currently in the spare room with the christmas munchies...

Sometimes presents are not a surprise to us.  In fact, maybe some of us hate getting presents that are unexpected.  It saves disappointment in a lot of cases.


However, some surprises can brighten up even the most nightmarish weeks, and I am happy to say that I have had three!
  The first arrived on Thursday afer a late night shopping trip led us to our favourite chinese restaraunt.  We go there regularly, and the week before I had sent them a christmas card.  They have made the last year, throughout which we have visited them very frequently, and my fiance and I felt that this deserved some acknowledgement.  Upon arrival, the owner happily thanked us for our card, which was sat pride of place behind the bar.  To me, that was more …

Distractions and other shiny stuff

Christmas is almost upon us, with shiny decorations and the promise of nice presents to come, and will be followed quickly by the new year...

Which is why (once I've finished my lunch break) I'm currently updating some of our report files at work for 2011.
It is not very exciting, and has become so time consuming that I may have to complete it next week, but it has to be completed. 

But why do it now instead of doing it later on?  The answer is simple: if I don't do it now it will not get done!

It's a simple story I write for you this morning:  No matter how good the intentions are to complete the task, if it is done in stages some aspect of it will inevitably be forgotten about.

The same applies to writing.  The best method is simply to keep at it, rather than messing around with the internet or television.  When I start well I can write 1000 words minimum, sometimes going much higher.

So in this new year I resolve to put my foot down with myself more when it comes t…

Standing up for the Shark - A mission within a mission

At some point in everyone's life, they take an interest in some form of conservation.  Usually, that interest is due to some sort of animal.

You know the kind of interest I mean: "Save the Dolphin!"  "Save the Tiger!"  "Save the Panda!" and many others. 

Pretty much everyone has got behind at least one of these causes, often more than once.  All of these animals are endangered, they are all cute and (perhaps most importantly) they all have adorable babies!
Thanks to the wonders of the internet, digital television and book publishers, the modern population is more or less up to speed with the wildlife that live and that have lived on the planet.  Conservation icons such as the Lion Man and the late great Steve Irwin have inspired millions with their passion for wildlife and their desire to preserve it as best they can.  It would also be very rude to ignore the contribution and effort of the legendary Sir David Attenborough.  He has become such an undi…

The Trouble with Greetings Cards

  Today I have written hundreds of words, and have a slight headache for my troubles.  Sadly, all of my writing was in the form of Christmas cards...

It's that lovely time of year again, and I'm not being entirely sarcastic by that remark.  I actually love Christmas and the surrounding holiday.  The weeks adding up to it, however, I hate very much.  It's not the constant play of festive music (I like that) or the way the shops get trimmed up (I love that, but I do object to some stores doing it so early).  It's the sudden mass of people who just seem to appear within every shop, shopping centre and high street that you choose to visit!  I'm not a very people person, and I get uncomfortable in large groups of people, so I try and get things like Christmas cards at silly times like September and take full advantage of late-night shopping days.  Online shopping helps a little, but I'm wary even of my favourite shopping sites (Play, Amazon and Discworld Emporium.co…

Meredith is a great name, but sadly it is not mine...

  That's the opening line of my proposed entry (or first entry, if I feel ambitious) for the Write Space competition on the theme of "Moving On."  But more of that in a moment.

   Firstly I would like to celebrate the fact that my little blog has a follower!  A big welcome and thank you for joining me on my own Odyssey, Sam.  I hope your blog helps you to express yourself on your own journey to becoming an author.

Anyhow, back to the competition entry:

Currently, the opening line is the main development, and was devised about an hour ago in the bath!  That is where I get the majority of my inspiration, although nothing has made me leap out of the water and run to my laptop like certain ancient philosophers did (although not to a laptop, of course).

At the moment all the details of this story are sketchy at best, but that does appear to be my writing style on professional works.  If this were a work of fan-fiction the whole plot would be woven into an elaborate mental web…

Competition Entries for 2011!!

Thanks to a very late bus (well, only five minutes or so, but late is late!), I found myself wandering into WH Smiths and spying a familiar magazine...

In September my subscription to Writers Forum - a magazine that has given me a lot of encouragement - came to an end.  Sadly I was unable to continue the subscription at the time due to money issues, and since then one thing cropped up, then another, and another.  It seems on the eighth day, God was stuck for something to do, and so came up with the excuse!  In the new year Writers Forum will be receiving my subscription for sure.

In all honesty, what made me sieze a helpless copy and dash to the counter (where I bought chocolate, which had been the original intention for visiting the shop) was the promise of an article regarding greetings card verses.  That was an industry I had considered trying to enter when I was seventeen, but completely forgot about never got round to realising it.  It may interest people to know that ironically …

Behind every silver lining

There is an old saying: "Every Cloud Has a Silver Lining..."
The purpose of the saying is to remind us all that something good can always be gained from a calamity, regardless of how big or life-stopping it may seem.  A similar meaning can be found in the biblical saying: "Whenever God closes a door, he opens a window."

To me, this saying is all well and good if you ignore all the fiddly details.  What if God's window is on the top floor and a long way away from the door?  Will you find it in time?  What if your great big cloud only has a tiny silver lining?  In the case of the last question, it makes the saying sound pretty dire, especially for those of us (like me) who think too much about everything!

In these modern times, where things genuinely seem to be getting worse with every day, I have found that this particular saying needs some updating.  The original Batman movie, starring the excellent Jack Nicholson as the Joker, introduced me to a much more appr…

New Project Ahead!

Hello Everyone!,

In the spirit of trying to keep the dust from re-settling on my blog again, I thought that I'd share news of another short story competition that I am considering entering.

It is the second competition from Write Space that was forwarded to me by its creator, Vanda Inman.  The competition is to write a 1500 word short story based on the theme "The Lie."  As usual as many entries as they like and there are cash prizes for the winners.

After the poor result I displayed in the last competition I am a little apprehensive, but a little part of me is still floating on my recent (non-profit) competition win and itching to have another go in the professional world.

News on the progress of this project (or lack thereof) will be posted shortly.

Thanks for dropping by,

HC Clarke ***

Excuse my dust

Please excuse my long absence from contributing to this blog.  When I started it up before Christmas I promised that I would add something to it every week, which I hoped would encourage my writing projects.  Sadly there's this niggly little thing called Real Life that gets in the way, and 2010 has not exactly been the year of promise that I hoped it would be.

This year started with the sad passing of my auntie, who had fought with cancer for some time.  This was followed with a severe episode of very painful stomach cramps which became almost constant.  With doctor's appointments and the other joyful distractions that made up my day to day life recently, there has been no time for writing anything constructive.

I have, however, had some positive news much more recently.  The first is that I came third in a non-profit competition last week.  This was a written entry, and was a fan-fiction that I found very emotional to write.  Granted, this was not an official competition with…