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Creative Writing

Start Where You Are

On the eleventh day of Bookmas…

start where you are

Those who have seen my shelves at home will know that I love keeping journals.  I kept a diary when I was in primary school, and have dabbled in all sorts of different journals since then – from scrapbooks and Smashbooks to my current journal (a positive-thinking book full of quotes, published by Knock Knock, link here to those who are interested).

My shelves are sagging under the weight of all my notebooks and journals from over the years!

For Christmas I was gifted Start Where You Are, a self-exploration book by artist Meera Lee Patel.  It is a book about finding out who you are, through writing and drawing prompts, although the pages are so beautiful that I can barely bring myself to taint the pages with my scribbles!  Each page has a thought-provoking quote, illustrated by Meera in watercolour.

My plan is to work through the book throughout 2016, though it is just as likely I will cut out all the quotes and frame them!

start where you are pageI highly recommend checking out Meera’s blog on her website, which offers an insight into her work, and lots of beautiful photos of her life and art.

I personally think that journals have made a huge comeback over the last few years, and there seems to be huge selections of normal and creative journals in most bookshops I visit. Do you keep a journal? Has reflecting on life with pen and paper (and sometimes scissors and glue and glitter!) become fashionable again, or does the blogging world reign supreme?

Start Where You Are is available to buy at The Book Depository.

Emma

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January 4, 2016
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Photo Writing Prompt: Welcome 2016!

On the tenth day of Bookmas…

Balloons

What will your interpretation be?  

What do you see?  

How does the photo make you feel?


Feet blistered and burning, she walks the barren road, her burdens far behind her now; she is invincible, weightless.

I wanted to find a photo that had an element of celebration to it, to mark the beginning of a new year.  The woman could be on her way home from a party, but there’s also something sad about it.  Why is she alone?  Why is she carrying so many balloons, and why are they tied to her arm?  How will you interpret the picture?

Happy writing!

Emma

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January 3, 2016
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Photo Writing Prompt: ‘Empty Chairs’

On the third day of Bookmas…

Keeping in line with the festive spirit, this week’s photo writing prompt is a bit more Christmassy than usual.  The caption also may or may not be inspired by a certain Les Misérables song…

Christmas Table Setting Free Image Download

What will your interpretation be?  

What do you see?  

How does the photo make you feel?


The caption this week is ‘Empty Chairs’ as I see a pretty Christmas spread, but the glasses, plates and seats are empty.  Perhaps the family are yet to sit down to eat, or maybe there is a more sinister reason behind it…

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If you enjoy writing prompts, check out the Flash Fiction Theme Competition, hosted on the first Monday of every month.

Emma

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December 27, 2015
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Flash Fiction Winner: ‘The Gift’

December’s winner of the Flash Fiction Competition is Nicky – congratulations!  Her interpretation of December’s theme, ‘the gift’, was thought to be interesting and original, and was achieved in only 100 words!

Read her winning entry below:


You ok in there? Been a long time since I had any sign from you. Must be getting cramped now. Thinking about being reunited on the outside causes a rush of hot blood to flow across my chest. Can’t wait to feel you on my skin, hold you in my arms, smell you. Our bond is like no other. You’ll take away the pain of those who didn’t make it out. We’ve come this far together. You’re a keeper, I’m sure. I curl up under the sheets, as far as my ballooning stomach allows. Not long now, baby, not long.


The Flash Fiction Competition is returning on Monday 1st August 2016.  Check the Flash Fiction page for more information, including previous months’ themes!

Emma

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December 16, 2015
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December’s Flash Fiction Theme

December’s theme is…

‘The gift’

The rules:

  • Write a piece of flash fiction up to 500 words, linking in the theme somehow (it is up to you how you decide to do this)
  • Pay the £1 entry fee (here) and submit your entry before Sunday 13th December, Midnight (GMT)
  • The winner will be announced the following week and will receive a £10 Amazon voucher

Please read the Terms and Conditions before submitting your entry, which can be found here.

This will be the last Flash Fiction competition until August 2016. I hate to put the competition on hiatus, but it allows me time to focus on other aspects of the site.

Happy writing!

Emma

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December 7, 2015
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NaNoWriMo 2015: The End is Nigh

nanowrimoI have no excuse as to why I am behind on my word count. I could probably say something about how I’ve had a cold, or have been redecorating the house or Christmas shopping, but those things have only made up about 50% of my leisure time. As of right now, my word count is 18,983 – I’m not even halfway towards my target! The truth is that I don’t think strict word count deadlines are for me, and I’m OK with that. I have managed years of getting essays in on time and on the word count, but when the words rely on the fictional world I have created in my head, it seems a lot more challenging.

Nevertheless, I’ve learnt a few lessons about my story this November. So even though I may only reach 25k by the 30th, I’m still going to consider NaNoWriMo a success.

Firstly, I have discovered that I write my best material at night. I had a wonderful evening last week when I said to O, “I’m going to do a late night to boost my word count – will you join me?” So, after stocking up on writing nibbles (Toblerone, cheese savouries and Pringles), we set up for the long haul. O doesn’t actually write, but he played Dragon Age, which offered a good musical backdrop to my fantasy novel! I wrote over 4,000 words that evening, and finished the first half of my novel by about 2am. I’ve been working on my novel for years, rewriting and rewriting the opening chapters , and to have a completed first half felt amazing.

I also realised that even if I had finished the first draft of my novel, that it wouldn’t have hit 50,000 words anyway. In fact, I would have been lucky to hit 35,000. Either this means that The Soul Market was always destined to be a novella, or once it is completed I need to add some more scenes, share it with my friends and find out what is missing.

So I am disappointed, yes, but this month has refueled my passion for novel writing, and in that sense alone I can only consider NaNoWriMo 2015 to have been a success.

Has anyone else struggled with the word count? Any writing tips from budding writers?

Emma

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November 27, 2015
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Photo Writing Prompt: ‘Broken Pieces’

I’ve made a few tweaks to the Photo Writing Prompt feature this week. Rather than listing the number of the prompt (which was becoming a bit mundane), I’ll be setting the tone with a caption.  This week’s caption is ‘broken pieces’.


What will your interpretation be?  

What do you see?  

How does the photo make you feel?


This week I’m posting a photo I actually took myself for once (shock horror).  It is from a photography photo challenge I attempted in early 2010.  There’s a bit of a backstory to the mannequin as well.  My mum was the one who had coloured stripes onto her – she used to stand in the corner of my mum’s room as a teen, as a bit of a unique clothes hanger, I think.  Over twenty years later, we rediscovered her, and managed to piece her back together, before sadly having to pass her on.  I really regret letting her go, but I’m glad I managed to snap a few photos before she went!

Remember, if you want your photography to be featured as a prompt with a link to your website, drop me an email: wanderingwords@outlook.com


If you enjoy writing prompts, check out the Flash Fiction Theme Competition, hosted on the first Monday of every month.

Until then, happy writing!

Emma

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November 22, 2015
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642 Things Writing Prompt: ‘What your desk thinks about at night’

“I’m tired,” sighed the desk.  It tried to stretch its back out, but it creaked under the weight of the contents piled on its top.  Looking across the room, it saw two yellow eyes watching it from the darkness.

“What do you want this time?” asked the desk.  The eyes belonged to an old Collie, whose gaze darted towards one of the shelves hopefully.  “I see – she’s left another food wrapper here, hasn’t she?”

The desk wriggled a little, and the wrapper floated down to rest on the floorboards.  The dog wasted no time in licking the remains of the cereal bar from the foil.  The desk watched, feeling the usual prickle of guilt inside; the dog would be blamed in the morning for stealing the wrapper from the shelf, but it was better than being watched by hungry eyes all night.

Hours passed, and the desk managed to grab a few hours of sleep, before the weight of the table’s contents stirred it awake. The desk shook itself grumpily, sleep deprivation turning its mood sour.

“I’ve had enough,” it said at last, and with one mighty shake, sent everything tumbling to the ground. After the initial thud, all felt quieter than before. The desk looked at the destruction it had caused – pages of books bent, pencils snapped, a photo frame cracked. The desk lowered its gaze in shame, as the other pieces of furniture frowned at it.
“You do not appreciate what you have got,” said the bookshelf, whose every shelf was straining under the weight of all the knowledge it kept. “You are the origin of thoughts and ideas, whereas I merely keep that knowledge safe. I grow dusty, but you will see change every day. Be thankful you aren’t in a secondary school.” The other pieces of furniture mumbled in agreement, and returned to sleep.

I’ll do better, thought the desk, as footsteps sounded on the stairs, and the door was flung open, cautious human eyes searching for the possible intruder who had caused the noise. I’ll do better.


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642 Things To Write About is available to buy on The Book Depository.

This is actually based on a true story – I abuse my desk by piling far too many notebooks and writing sets on it!  If it could think/speak, it would weep.

After writing this, I think I will respect my poor desk more.

I also think secondary school desks must have the hardest life of all the desks – I remember all manner of things being drawn on them, and there was always at least one piece of chewing gum stuck to the underside!

What would your desk think about at night?  I’d love to hear your responses!

Emma

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November 4, 2015
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My NaNoWriMo Playlist

nanowrimoThis isn’t actually just my NaNoWriMo playlist; these songs are my go-to music for any time I am writing at a computer.  Some of these I associate so strongly with scenes from the book, that I would be truly gutted if they were not in the film adaptation (planning ahead).  Sometimes the lyrics touch me, other times the song just feels right, and there is something unknown about listening to it that sparks inspiration.

I’d also like to point out that I’ve seen about 50% of these artists live, and I absolutely love them – these songs are like classics to me, many of them favourites left over from my teen years.  Maybe this also has something to do with why they inspire me?

Pretty much all the songs can be found on YouTube for those wanting to explore them further.  I’ve included a quote with the ones that lyrically inspire me too!

  • Watch Over You by Alter Bridge – “I tried to carry you and make you whole, but it was never enough, I must go”
  • Hello by Evanescence – “If I smile and don’t believe, soon I know I’ll wake from this dream” (eerie… possibly the credits song for the movie adaptation, haha)
  • Relief by Bury Tomorrow – “And so please show me, what I’m meant to believe” 
  • Hollow Crown by Architects – “So far from home I need your voice to lift my lonely state of mind”
  • Fuel Up by Stornoway – “We’re all bound the same way down this long, long road”
  • Smooth (cover) by Escape the Fate
  • Welcome to Oblivion by Madina Lake – “You and me are gonna make it through, cause now we know there’s people like us”
  • House of Cards by Madina Lake – “You’ll be amazed at the secrets I keep”
  • Apologize (One Republic cover) by Silverstein
  • Demonology and Heartache by Atreyu – “I need no reminders, no more reminders, I’ll forget the past and lay it to rest”
  • This Flesh A Tomb by Atreyu – “I would stand, stand by your side, until the sun turns the sky all the colours I see in your eyes”
I also love listening to music from musical theatre and Disney; I like songs to have stories within them, which is why I have such a soft spot for rock music, I think:
  • Part of Your World from The Little Mermaid
  • Colors of the Wind from Pocahontas
  • The Phantom of the Opera

What songs are on your writing playlist?  I’d love to hear some recommendations!

Emma

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November 2, 2015
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3 Ways I Am Prepping for NaNoWriMo

So you may have noticed that November’s Words & Geeks read hasn’t been announced yet. As I am participating in NaNoWriMo this year, I have decided to have a break for the month from the read-along to focus on writing instead.  I’ll post more about my general reading throughout November on Goodreads to compensate, as I have grown to enjoy live updates about my current read.

To mark the impending start of NaNoWriMo, I’ve listed the three ways I am prepping for it:

1.) Reading. I already know that I want my book to have a YA audience, as that is the genre which most interests me as a reader, so reading books for this age group is giving me some ideas about how to tackle certain topics.  I call it research…
2.) Writing out key plot points. I get a bit bored writing when I know everything that it going to happen. By having key plot points as guidance, I can still have fun shaping the spaces inbetween, while keeping the story heading in the right direction.
3.) Collecting inspiration. I am preparing a playlist on iTunes (I’ll reveal this at some point next month), making folders on my computer filled with photos, jotting down book and song quotes onto strips of paper.  I am surrounding myself with ideas and prompts, to get the creative juices flowing.

How are you prepping for NaNoWriMo?  Any tips of your own to give?  Good luck to everyone taking part this year!

Emma

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October 21, 2015
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