I Wrote a Poem Once…

What can I say?

Is there any way to explain such a deviation in form?

Especially from one such as me who has avoided writing poetry since the traumatic unearthing of that dreadful Christmas poem I wrote at age 8? (And no, that shall not be posted here, and yes – thanks Mother for scarring me for life with that reminder of my childhood writing.)

Again, what can I say?

Something awoke in me and demanded to be heard.

Write about what you know, they say.

Write what’s in your heart.

So, I wrote about the war.

No, I’ve never been in a war.

No, it’s not something I have any intimate knowledge of.

But yes, it is something that’s close to my heart.

And will I post it here; probably not.

I’m not brave enough for that.

Disclaimer: I blame NaNoWriMo.

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New Release ~ ‘Tales by the Tree: An Anthology of Holiday Flash Fiction’

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Hello everyone! I have some very exciting news!

Today is the release day of the debut anthology from J.A.Mes Press Publishing Company in which one of my short stories is available.

‘Tales by the Tree’ is a collection of 75 Christmas holiday-themed short stories and flash fiction by a team of 40+ authors, both published and newbies, and it is designed by the wonderful team at Blue Harvest Creative.

All royalties from this project benefit the Mount Rose Elementary School library in Reno, Nevada.

Please do check out this anthology. It is available now on Amazon in both Print and on Kindle (and if I know you in the real vs. virtual world I’ll sign my story for you :P)

My Story is entitled ‘Teething Troubles at Christmas’ and is under the ‘Holiday Humor’ Category.

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World Fantasy Convention ~ Day 1

So had a brilliant start to the World Fantasy Convention today! It started with the sudden realisation that it was Hallowe’en and that I needed a sophisticated outfit which could double as a costume for my favourite holiday. Therefore it seemed only fitting that I went as a Hufflepuff…

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I met some absolutely lovely people, including the wonderful Nancy Holder who wrote some of my favourite ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ books and one of my favourite authors Sue Moorcroft. The panels I attended were so much fun and it was so great to hear from authors who are so passionate about fantasy, and to hear that fantasy is still very much a popular choice with readers.

I think the best thing so far in this convention is meeting the other readers and writers who really understand your passion for the genre. I have many a time been called a nerd by my friends due to my love for the magical worlds that you can escape to when you read a fantasy novel. I met the lovely Daphne M.E. Vanleene (twitter: @laurelleaves), another young aspiring author whose work sounds absolutely amazing, so give her a shout on Twitter!

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And that was only Day 1, and my iPad is already deciding that it doesn’t like wordpress so these blog posts will have to be cut short until I return home to my laptop. Tomorrow is an even longer day. Starting at 10am and finishing near Midnight…that’s going to be tough. Time for an early night I think. Catch you all tomorrow!

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World Fantasy Convention ~ Day 0

Well, today has been a bit of a hectic adventure. After both cars broke down, I ended up getting the train to Brighton to meet my celestial sister and fellow writer K.R. Green so we could head to The Fantasy Convention. That in itself wasn’t as much a problem as arriving at the Early Arrivals Reception with a suitcase, rucksack and leaving with a nice collection of free books that any bookworm would drool over, and proceeding to carry the whole lot back up to Brighton Train Station.

Needless to say I was pretty exhausted…

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But all the free books was totally worth the beetroot red face and screaming back that I sported when finally collapsing onto the floor of my friend’s flat. I mean, just look at the prettiness of these books!

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Umm….but may have a problem getting them all home…

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And this is only Day 0! Tomorrow is when the real action starts.

So, anyone else going to the Fantasy Convention this weekend? It was announced a couple of hours ago that the new Master of Ceremonies is the amazing Neil Gaiman who wrote Stardust. As well as that there are some great talks scheduled and some of my favourite authors are attending.

I’m super excited for tomorrow and can’t wait for these talks!

2 – 3 PM – Genre Fiction in Romance (Hall 4)

3 – 4 PM – Writing Historical Fantasy (Oxford Suite)

4 – 5 PM – Foxed, Slightly Bumped… (Hall 4)

5 – 6 PM – Genre Poetry (Cambridge)

Get in touch if you are going to the convention and want to meet. This is my first convention so I’m both excited and a little nervous!

Teething Troubles at Christmas ~ A Short Story for ‘A Merry Minion Christmas: Assorted Tales from the Realm of the Dark Fairy Queen.’

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Teething Troubles at Christmas.

Genre: Romantic Comedy         Author: Sorcha O’Dowd         eBook Yes

ONCE UPON A TIME

Scarlett was exhausted. She’d been summoned from one house to another all night, dutifully fulfilling her job of exchanging small milky teeth for a shiny fifty pence piece that barely fit in the pocket of her overall. Honestly, whoever thought that being the Tooth Fairy was a romantic notion was, quite frankly, stupid. It was the least romantic job in the world and the fact that she barely reached thirty centimetres in height and therefore had very little space on her person to put a fifty pence piece was to be honest, more troublesome than you’d think. But in the grand scheme of things that was actually the least of her worries, for the teeth themselves were more often than not a complete burden.

Couldn’t the children at least clean the tooth before they put it eagerly under their pillow? It wasn’t the nicest of sights or the most enjoyable of jobs having to pick up the milky tooth, large enough that she had to hold it with both newly manicured hands, when it was covered in ripped flesh and drying blood.

And she supposed no one thought of her welfare when it came to this job. She saw the other young fairies give her envious glances when she flew from the Fairy Queen’s palace in the evenings ready for a night of work. So many times she’d been tempted to yell at them that it was hardly the most glamorous of jobs, and that having to carry such a large number of fifty pence pieces in the oversized pockets of her tiny work coat meant she had agonising back problems when she finally returned home before sunrise and collapsed into bed.

It was also a real killer on her social life. Whilst everyone else in the Kingdom was out partying at night, she was stuck collecting blood covered teeth. Lovely!

“God I’m tired.” She yawned as she finally returned to her room, her eyes drooping and her lips pouting as sleep called to her. She fought the sensation briefly and focused on unbuttoning her coat, giving a relieved sigh as she stretched her back and felt it realign itself with a satisfying crack.

As she clambered onto her bed, and looked out at the sunrise peeking through her bedroom window, she sighed wearily catching sight of the celebrations going on below in the Palace courtyard.

Whilst she’d been out having to fly around the entire planet in the space of twelve hours, everyone here at the castle was celebrating Christmas.

She watched as the fairies danced down below her, the sounds of joyful music filtering through her open window and she felt jealousy rise up within her.

Funny really. You expect the Christmas Fairy and his little minion elves to be working hard on this day, but people tend to forget that the Tooth Fairy is an all-night-every-night job. There’s no Christmas for her, just like there’s no Easter.

Feeling annoyed at herself for her dull thoughts, Scarlett shook her head and reached up to firmly close her open window, feeling a little more cheerful as she shut the sounds of her fellow fairies out of her bedroom and her mind.

Now, where was that book she had been looking forward to reading before bed?

*

Throughout the Fairy realm there was a saying used all too often; ‘Don’t Ever Wake A Sleeping Dragon’. For some reason unbeknown to Scarlett the saying ‘Don’t Ever Wake A Sleeping Tooth Fairy’ hadn’t ever caught on. (She couldn’t fathom why. She’d almost scared a poor servant to death when he’d woken her too soon, and sent him off screaming into the day.)

As this proverb had never been spread throughout the Kingdom, you would think that a fairy would be slightly more alarmed when facing Scarlett’s wrath, screaming and raging at him merely forty-five minutes after she had fallen asleep.

But no.

This fairy was Kyle, and Kyle never looked outwardly alarmed, for that would mean that his annoying (and Scarlett would never admit it, but rather handsome) smirk would have to cease. So instead he merely grinned lazily as Scarlett hovered before him, her face red with fury.

“I had a LONG NIGHT. I was TIRED! TIRED, Kyle! Now, I know that is not something that you would understand seeing as you’ve never done a hard night’s work in your life. But SOME PEOPLE need sleep to function properly.”

“Woah! Chill Scarlett!” Kyle laughed as though the entire situation was a great joke to him, and Scarlett turned away from him in a huff, hating how great he looked when he curved his lips into that gorgeous smile of his. ‘NO Scarlett! Focus.’ She silently scolded herself.

“Well?” She asked, forcing  her voice to remain stiff and punishing as she turned around to face him again, folding her arms crossly. “What was your reason for waking me up at the crack of dawn when I’d been up all night, unlike everyone else in the entire…”

She didn’t see him fly towards her in the space of a second, and only caught up with his movement as his lips quickly dropped to hers and she felt him give her a soft kiss. Soft, but meaningful.

He pulled away as quickly as he’d moved in, and Scarlett opened her mouth to scold him only to find that no words would leave her lips.

“Happy Christmas, Scarlett.” Kyle grinned at her, a twinkle in his eye, and before she could even utter a syllable, he flew and disappeared out the door in a swish of arrogant gracefulness.

“Idiot.” Scarlett finally managed to spit out, even as a shy but bright smile grew on her face, and she literally floated back to bed.

“Best Christmas ever!” She sighed happily as she fell back onto her bed, a content smile on her face as she drifted off to sleep.

THE END

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NaNoWriMo Project 2012!

After a busy month of editing and rewriting my NaNoWriMo 2012 project, I finally have something to show for all those hard nights writing away! Although I didn’t manage to edit my entire novel, finding myself more exhausted after finishing University than I expected, I am still proud with the final product, which I am now editing in full.

It is always exciting to hold a paperback copy of your book, whether it is a published book or just for self. So I’m going to take a moment to show off mine 🙂

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Poppy Field: Innocence (Poppy Field #1)

NaNoWriMo editing…

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NaNoWriMo editing…

I made a promise to myself that after the final day of NaNoWriMo 2012, I would not look at my completed work until I had finished my University degree. Well, I made it! My degree is over and I have spent two blissful weeks reading some of the books that are precariously balanced on my over-flowing bookshelves, downloading yet more Kindle books published by indie authors, and writing short stories and flash-fictions, finally indulging the pounding plot bunnies that have been thumping around in my mind for the last few months. But now, after catching up on some much needed sleep and deserved time of lazing around, the real work begins.

Having a look at the calendar on my wall, I joyfully crossed out in bold red ink the dreaded Dissertation deadline and Positive Psychology exam date, and then flicked to the month of June to see what was looming overhead.

Yep, and then I saw it…that terrifying date.

“30th June 2013 -NaNoWriMo Createspace discount ends.”

The one thing that I both hate and love about NaNoWriMo is that you have to write under pressure. Unless you are one of those amazing authors that I worship who can whip out 5,000 – 10,000 words a day, writing 50,000 words in the space of 30 days is a touch challenge. However, last year I surprised both myself and my cosmic sister, who is also a writer, by thundering through the words at an extroadinary pace, and at the end of November gave a huge sigh of relief thinking; “Well that’s the hard bit done.”

And now comes the editing.

From what I hear from my twitter and facebook writerly friends, editing is the worst part of writing. I’ve always agreed. Over the last three years I have loathed the proof-reading and editing of my University essays, where after too long every comma looks like it is in the wrong place. So I sat down with my freshly printed NaNoWriMo in front of me, preparing myself for the great slog.

So maybe it is just the euphoria of proof-reading and editing something that does not in any way relate to psychological measurements, stress effects on memory or dreaded spreadsheets of statistics data, but I am loving every minute of this editing experience.

Having taken a break of six months between writing and editing my novel, I have come back to it with a fresh mind, and I instantly remembered why I loved writing it so much. By spending time away from my characters and the situations that they face, I can now see them in a new light and find it easy to cross out whole paragraphs of interactions and replace them with some more appropriate.

My only worry is finishing the editing and formatting of the novel before the end of June, but other than that lingering worry, I can honestly say that this has been one of the most inspiring writing experiences of my life.