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Writing

These Eyes

A while ago, inspired by my discovery of zines, I created a few poetry pieces for a collection, just for my own amusement.  I found one of these today whilst tidying and thought I’d share.

“These eyes
have seen it all,”
he says,
bottle slamming
onto the table.
Drink spilling
in his haste.
Palms over
eyes,
he is still
for just a moment.
Still
but
still remembering.
“These eyes
have seen it
all,”
he says.
“I wish
they hadn’t.”

The poem was called These Eyes and was part of a series of old poems I don’t even remember writing.  I just happened to dig them up in the depths of the ‘Writing’ folders on my computer.  It feels strange to find something I don’t remember writing, like I don’t even know who I was when I created it.  I barely dabble in poetry, which makes it even stranger!  Anyway, I enjoyed cutting letters out of newspapers and bringing the poem to life with some olde typewriter font.  There’s a few other poems I have adapted in the same way that I might share too at some point.

Happy writing,

Emma

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May 9, 2017
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Ten Words Story Contest

ten words

Please note: this competition is now closed!  You can view the winning entry here.


Inspired by the ‘Your Life Story In Six Words Or Less’ post I did last year, I introduce to you the latest competition at Wandering Words!

All you have to do to enter is write your own original story in exactly ten words.  There is no theme – it can be about absolutely anything!

Here’s one I made earlier:

In her handwriting, one word scrawled on my napkin: help.

Send your entries to wanderingwords@outlook.com, with ‘Ten Words’ in the subject line.

What’s the prize?

The winner will receive a £10 Amazon e-voucher, publication on Wandering Words and automatic entry into the Anthology Competition.

The deadline for this competition will be 30th June 2016.

You don’t have to be following Wandering Words to enter, but sharing the competition on social media is greatly appreciated!

Good luck!

Emma

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April 18, 2016
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The Evening of Experimental Writing Prompts: Story Cubes

Years ago, my sister was gifted two boxes of Story Cubes, and I’ve only just managed to “borrow” (steal) them for playing with.  She has the original Story Cubes set (black cubes) and the Actions set (blue cubes).

There are lots of different ways of playing with the cubes (including with multiple players), but I’ve chosen the very basic version of the game: three cubes each for the beginning, middle and end of the story.

So, let’s play!

I merged both sets and rolled the dice one at a time.  This is the order they appeared in (starting at the top, left to right):

The point of Story Cubes is that there is no one definition for each image – they are to be interpreted freely.  Bearing that in mind, here’s my response to the cubes (I’ve highlighted the words that tie in with the pictures):

The boy peered into the room, unable to hide the concern on his face.  His sister was working out again.  Kyle should have been thrilled; their father had been nagging for years for her to get fit, and all of a sudden, overnight almost, Daisy had joined the gym and changed her eating habits.  Lifting weights in the spare room was the latest addition to her new rigorous timetable.  Their father was pleased, of course, and was quick to brush off any worries he had expressed, but Kyle knew his sister better than that.  Shaking his head, he backed quietly out the room and closed the door behind him.

Kyle had sensed a change in his sister – a change beyond her sudden enthusiasm for keep-fit – but he just couldn’t put his finger on the root of it.  The next day, while Daisy was at work, he crept into her bedroom, searching for clues.  Being the younger brother, even though he was now a man, most of his experiences of being in Daisy’s room were her screaming at him to get out.  This feeling stayed with him as he glanced around for information, his guilty conscience making him feel like a tresspasser.  He looked over her dressing table, scanned her desk and finally thought to check under her bed before leaving.  As he crouched down, not expecting to find anything, a small blue box caught his eye.  Cautiously, as though it might contain explosives, he reached into the shadows beneath the bed frame and pulled the box out into the light.  It seemed to fit neatly into the palm of his hand, and he knew what it contained before he even prised it over, the sparkling jewel a confirmation of his fears.  He was alarmed at the discovery of the small box, and sadness washed over him.  He understood it now – Daisy’s strange mood, her anxiety over her weight.  It had been barely twelve months since that tragic day; their father was still mourning the loss, and Kyle could see how his sister’s secrecy had been to protect him.  He knew she’d want to wear their mother’s wedding dress for her special day, but even announcing the engagement would be a big step for the family.  Still, Kyle was surprised by all this.  He’d just figured they’d all cross that bridge when they got to it; he never thought it would affect her this much.

That evening, Kyle had managed to persuade a reluctant Daisy to accompany him to the supermarket.  He needed to get her out of the house; perhaps a change of environment would encourage her to open up to him.

“Talk to me,” Kyle said, when her silence became too much for him.  He reached out to touch her shoulder but she flinched away.  She dropped some apples into the trolley, avoiding his gaze, turning back to the fruit on display so he couldn’t see her expression.  Kyle sighed, continuing to push the trolley up the aisle.  

“I can’t force you,” he added, “but I’ll be here when you are ready to talk.”  Hearing these words, Daisy’s face creased and she finally began to cry.  Kyle glanced nervously at a couple who looked over with quiet concern, but he shook his head at them and waved them off.  Then, he wrapped his arms around Daisy and held her tightly, hoping she couldn’t feel his heart breaking in his chest.


Phew, that was a nerve-racking experience!  I really felt my imagination was challenged, particularly having those two action cubes together at the beginning.  In some ways I felt the cubes were restrictive, as at times I wanted to elaborate much more on certain points, but always felt that I was keeping my eye on the next cube at all times.  In terms of inspiring a story, it was a huge success – even if I had used the cubes loosely as a starting point, I was amazed at how easy it was to build a plot from a few pictures!

For anyone wanting more information on Story Cubes, check out their website.  They are also available to buy on The Book Depository (link leads to the Original set: the black cubes in the photo above).

What story would you have made from these cubes?  Comment below!

Emma

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February 18, 2016
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One Word

One Word

Don’t think.  Just write.

I stumbled upon this great little writing prompt website the other day.  It is a fun way of warming up before a writing session, and takes literally a minute of your day.  The aim of the site is to inspire, even with simple words (the word was ‘club’ last time I checked, though it changes daily).

From the homepage, simply click ‘go’, and up will pop one word and an empty text box.  You have sixty seconds to write about the word before being able to submit your response.

You can also view other people’s submissions from the day, which is fun to do.  It’s always interesting to see how people interpret words and are inspired in different ways (something I’ve always liked about the Flash Fiction Competition).

Try it out here.

Happy writing!

Emma

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February 15, 2016
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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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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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NaNoWriMo 2015

For the past few years, I have dabbled in NaNoWriMo.  The thing I have learnt in this time is that you can’t dabble in NaNoWriMo.  There is nothing more disheartening than starting a new story each year and then putting it on the back-burner by the 10th of the month.  So this year, like every year, I am taking the pledge to reach 50,000 words by November 30th.  The difference between this year and all years before is that I have a blog this time, and hate the idea of having to admit to you all that I have failed.  So, this is it, my famous last words: bring on NaNoWriMo 2015!

The novel I am choosing to write is actually one I have been writing on/off for a number of years now.  I have the advantage of already having some plans and notes written out for it, which should hopefully give me the kickstart I need.  In my head, the novel is complete – the characters all have names and faces, I even have the movie soundtrack sorted (just for fun) – but the tricky part is transferring the things from my imagination onto paper.  Is that not always the hardest part?

What is NaNoWriMo?

NaNoWriMoNaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month, and runs every year from 1st to the 30th November.  The website offers buckets of motivation and inspiration, as writers from all around the world attempt this 50,000 word challenge.  More information about how it works can be found here.  The blog is also really interesting.

Anyone can join – the website is free, and offers the space to keep information on your book, and of course keeps track of your word count if you update frequently.  There is nothing quite like the satisfaction of seeing the word count creep up a little bit each day.

Is anyone else doing NaNoWriMo this year?  Follow my progress here.

Emma

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October 10, 2015
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Photo Writing Prompt: ‘The Woman’

So, this will be a new, occasional feature on the blog: photo writing prompts.  I thought it would be nice to fill in the gaps between each Flash Fiction competition with different kinds of prompts.  You can also check out the 642 Things prompts I’ll be posting too.

If you are interested in your photography being featured as a prompt with a link to your website, drop me an email: wanderingwords@outlook.com

The lady stood in the shallows, her dress fanning around her ankles in the cold, murky water.  One hand pressed tightly around a small shining object, she felt its edges cut into her skin.  But she did not flinch.  Her mind was lost, far away from these shores, as she brought her hand up to her face and slowly, like a flower’s petals, uncurled her fingers to mourn for what lay within.


How will you interpret the picture?

How does it make you feel?

Happy writing!

Emma

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August 30, 2015
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Creative Corner: Letters To My Future Self (These Are My Roots…)

SAM_1865

I have recently completed my first time capsule message for Letters To My Future Self , a book of letters to write to the future you (see earlier post).

The theme of the first letter was ‘these are my roots’, and I decided to set the opening date for 2023, when I’ll be 30.  It seemed like a good age to reinforce my roots, make sure I am still grounded and in touch with my family.

Here’s a little snippet:

My ancestors worked on farms – they were strong and self-sufficient, hardworking in nature.  I’d like to think that I am all of the above, even though there is some tweaking left to do.

I found the one page of paper the book offers wasn’t quite enough, and so I had to source extra sheets from my own collection (which wasn’t the end of the world).  Condensing my roots to less than thirty lines was something I just wasn’t prepared to do!  I’m looking forward to doing some more of these over the next few weeks.

Letters To My Future Self is available to buy on The Book Depository.

Emma

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May 30, 2015
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Creative Corner: Letters To My Future Self

For my birthday, I was gifted a little activity book called Letters To My Future Self: A Paper Time Capsule. The idea is to write messages to the future you about a range of topics, and to decide on a date for the messages to be reopened again.  I have always had a soft spot for diaries/time capsules, so I can’t wait to get stuck in!

Letters to my future self
There are twelve unique envelopes which fold out to reveal a writing space inside.

Click on each topic for a snippet of what I’ve written in each one:

  • These are my roots
  • Where I want to go
  • All the things I’d like to try someday
  • This is what I live for
  • It was an extraordinary day
  • I promise to myself
  • There’s no place like home
  • A pep talk for the future me
  • This is a letter about my love
  • I never want to forget this
  • Two blank envelopes for any extra topic ideas: Places I want to visit

Letters To My Future Self is available on The Book Depository.

Emma

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May 28, 2015
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