Thursday, March 2, 2017

In Print Yet Again

What a joy it is to hold a book, turn the pages, and find a piece of your own work.  That is how I felt last week when To Carry Her Home, the Bath Flash Fiction Anthology Volume 1 arrived.

Embedded deep within 144 other works of fiction is my 300-worder Tonight's the Night, and you can read about the issues concerning music lyrics and the need to 'edit them out' in my previous blog.

What amazes me the most is to read astounding work from authors of all ages from across the globe - and there sits my humble wee piece. I feel most honoured.

So thank you Bath Flash Fiction for the opportunity to sit among the big folks. And a big shout out to all other flash writers out there, for some reason you feel like family.

The links for purchasing the book can be found here:

You are in for a treat.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Forget Your Perfect Offering

YouTube link used for informative purposes only

I began this blog intending to lift the lid and take a peek at music lyrics and copyright issues in our writing. This first cropped up for me last year when I, in my innocence, used threads of lyrics from Carole King’s Will You Still Love Me in my short memoirish story, Tonight’s the Night, soon to be released (now minus the song lyrics) in an anthology by Bath Flash Fiction.

But you know me, I begin with one train of thought and then I start to wander, and wonder. So I wondered how other authors, well known authors especially, deal with the issue.

The author who comes immediately to mind is Louise Penny, successful crime writer of the Inspector Gamache novels. Her 9th novel in the Gamache series is titled: ‘How the Light Gets In.’ Such a familiar line from the Leonard Cohen song, Anthem.

Knowing that a few snatches of lyrics in my 300 word story would have cost in the region $500, I scratched my head and wondered how much it cost for Ms Penny’s publisher to obtain permission to use lines from the Cohen’s lyrics as her title and more lines from the song within the novel itself. Listen. Just like I did in 2013 - just 10 rows from the stage. The thought provoking and inspiring lyrics are provided with this YouTube clip:

(link used for informative purposes only)

It turns out our late dear clever poetic Mr. Cohen used lines from a very ancient Arabic poem for these lyrics (or so I understand) and, as the original words were written centuries ago Ms Penny probably didn’t need to get permission to use them (although I suspect her publisher did anyway.)

Thanks to Cohen, Penny and an Arabic poet, because of the lines: ‘forget your perfect offering, there is, there is, a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in’, my blog about copyright and music lyrics has gone its own way and turned into the topic of perfection in our writing - in fact perfection in all we do and why we think we need to strive for it.

So why don’t we forget about our perfect offerings, be true to ourselves, and let the light get in - for isn’t that what we really seek through our writing?

Music and lyrics will still follow me through my life and remind me of my times and experiences through the decades. But using them in my writing now has that extra level of challenge.

These might be useful links for you:

public domain listing

Sunday, October 16, 2016

The Genre Game

I’ve been thinking a lot about genres of late. And those thoughts became very concentrated when, this week, I needed to choose a genre for my 2016 NaNo novel. And further crystalized when I found that mine was not in the drop down list, a list of 19 plus that little luxury - which I dared use - ‘other’.

I suspect there are many novels that get themselves whacked into the literary fiction or mainstream genre because they have nowhere else to go. And I also wonder what wonderful books get overlooked because they’ve been categorized in such a way.

But I digress, I really wanted to talk a little about my newly discovered genre, the one I suspect has been looking for me all my writing career, and that is the novella-in-flash - the genre that tripped me up when I entered the Bath Flash Fiction comp. earlier this year.

It is a startling genre. Nothing like a traditional novella which is described as, and I quote, ‘a work of written fictional narrative prose that is longer than a short story, but shorter than a novel’. And startling in a way that each mini chapter is akin to a complete flash story. And you all know how I love writing flash fiction, how I have neither the patience nor staying power for a blockbuster novel, how I love to capture the essence of a story in as few words as possible, and how I am always in haste to ‘git ‘er done.’ Yes, in a flash - pardon the pun.

I have read (as recommended by Bath) a number of flash novellas now. And they have all startled me. I can think of no better word to describe them. They are unique, punchy, disorienting, curious, questioning, and oft times breathtaking in their delivery. The judge (Meg Pokrass) of the Bath Novella-in-Flash comp. describes them as ‘like stars in the sky.’ So yes, startling in its truest sense.

As NaNo approaches, I have completed the first steps of registering my novel as 3 Novellas (draft cover below), with the intention of submitting the results to the Bath Novella-in-Flash comp. - deadline end of December.


Whatever happens, my mouth is now watering with thoughts of where these works will take me. So NaNo - for my 10th time - I’m ready for you.

Read about Meg Pokrass here:

National Novel Writing Month, as always, is here:

Monday, September 26, 2016

Meeting the Fans

What an absolute delight it was this weekend to meet the people who enjoy my work. The annual craft fair at The Seaside Centre in Beach Meadows turned out to be a real tonic. True, I didn't sit down all weekend. True, my cheese sandwich curled at the edges as I didn't get to that until mid afternoon. But it was worth it.

Many people were able to take home a piece of my hand formed silver and bronze from the Scintilla collection. It was good to meet you all.  It was also incredible to be able to share work from the new, and as yet, incomplete collection Garden of Eden.

Then of course there was the fun experimental work with paper bead earrings. Not the best photo, but it gives you an idea.

So, thank you to all involved in organising this, the 23rd Annual Show - from where I stood it went like clockwork. Thank you to all my clients and those who stood back to admire the work that comes from my head and hands. 

And great big thanks to the talented painter Marg Millard who encouraged me to take part at short notice.  I am feeling overflowing with thanks.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

100 Voices

Launch day Friday 23rd September. Details here

The Cover

Thursday, August 18, 2016

100 Voices Publication Date

Well the publication date for 100 Voices, an anthology, has been released by Centum Press. September 23rd is the date and you can pre-order. The anthology is available in paperback or limited edition hard cover.  My personal author's discount is 100V84 if you do decide to order, please take advantage of the discount.
I'll post a copy of the cover image as soon as I can get hold of one. Until then - it is all here:

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Bowing to the Acknowledgement

There is something thrilling about seeing your work in print. I think so anyway, and for me it doesn't take much.  But when an international arts and literary mag like ArtAscent accepts images of your work for publication, that, to me, is acknowledgement.

The strangest thing for me though, is to see these loonie sized pieces blown up to fill the pages of an 8" x 11" mag.  It was a bit of a wow when I opened my copy yesterday - and there they were. Warts and all. Fingerprints and all.  Because they are totally hand made, impressions of my fingers are all over the pieces.

pages 72 and 73 of the current issue 

The collection is by no means complete - probably a little over one third - the plan is to have all the pieces ready for the autumn,

 Garden #1. Wearable art in fine (.999) silver from the collection Garden of Eden

I've been 'test driving' the pieces around town to make sure all is well, a kind of quality control so to speak, and of course people have commented. A jeweller has described them as organic. And for me that is a real boost. I never refer to them as jewellery, but wearable art. But organic too I will take.

Temptation. Wearable art in fine (.999) silver from the collection Garden of Eden

And so it is back to the sketch book to bring together all the ideas that are bumbling around and then on to to the workbench. Watch this space.

This issue of ArtAscent is available to order here. ArtAscent V20