A big thank you!

Just a little note to say a big “thank you” to everyone who’s taken part in, and visited, this blog over the past 20 months (well, almost 20 months… will be on the 1st December (seeing as we don’t have a 31st November)) because one of you was my 100,000th visitor last night. 🙂

A lot has happened…

So plenty to read, and you do, so thank you again for your support and here’s to another 100,000 of you finding me! 🙂

Guest post: Two Word Story Starters by Roxanne Porter

Tonight’s guest blog post, on the topic of inspiration, is brought to you by Roxanne Porter.

Two Word Story Starters

Oftentimes, getting started is the hardest part. You know where you want your story to go. You even have a good grasp of who your characters are. Or maybe you don’t. Maybe you just want to start writing and see where the muse takes you. Whatever style of writing you chose, whether planned ahead or just stream of consciousness, you need a start. Some place to begin.

With that in mind, I suggest the following: two word sentences. Just subject and verb and that’s it. Often the simplest starts are the best. Think “Call me Ishmael.” So, for your writing pleasure, here are five prompts to get you started.


1. He shuddered.

2. She froze.

3. They cringed.

4. We laughed.

5. It fell.


It fell. I watched it fall, frozen. I knew if, when, it hit the ground it would shatter into a million pieces. I knew the sound it would make, the knife-like crash that pierces your eardrums and signals that something has gone horribly wrong. And yet I couldn’t get myself to move; the tall, delicate goblet spinning through the air in slow motion as the marble floor rose up to meet it.


Too late, I realized my mistake. That was the third glass I’d knocked over this week. She was waiting.


The slap stung and I spun around with a hiss of pain and outrage.

“I can’t keep anything nice around here because of you!” she shrieked, making me wrinkle my nose in distaste. I couldn’t stand her voice.

“It’s not her fault, dear,” he said, picking me up, “She doesn’t know any better. She just likes shiny things.”

I rubbed my cheek against his. I liked him. He always smelled of the outdoors; of grass and trees and nice things. She stank like weeds.

The woman continued to talk but I ignored her, watching as she swept up the shiny shards I’d made. She looked up and glared at me.

I met her eyes, safe in his arms. Then I carelessly lifted a paw and licked it, completely ignoring her.

Maybe now she’d learned who ruled this home.

Thank you, Roxanne!

Roxanne Porter is a freelancer and regular contributor for http://www.nannyjobs.org.  She helps in providing knowledge about nanny services, and jobs to the community, and loves writing on nanny-related articles. You can be in touch with her at r.poter08@gmail.com.


If you would like to write a writing-related guest post for my blog then feel free to email me with an outline of what you would like to write about. If it’s writing-related then it’s highly likely I’d email back and say “yes please”.

The blog interviews return as normal tomorrow morning with food writer and private chef Isabel Hood – the five hundred and fourteenth of my blog interviews with novelists, poets, short story authors, bloggers, autobiographers and more. A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found here. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate further. And I enjoy hearing from readers of my blog; do either leave a comment on the relevant interview (the interviewees love to hear from you too!) and / or email me.

You can sign up to receive these blog posts daily or weekly so you don’t miss anything… and follow me on Twitter where each new posting is automatically announced. You can also read / download my eBooks and free eShorts at SmashwordsSony Reader StoreBarnes & NobleiTunes BookstoreKobo and Amazon, with more to follow. I have a new forum, friend me on Facebook, like me on Facebook, connect with me on LinkedIn, find me on Tumblr, complete my website’s Contact me page or plain and simple, email me. I also now have a new blog creation service especially for, but not limited to, writers.

Unfortunately, as I post an interview a day (amongst other things) I can’t review books but I have a feature called ‘Short Story Saturdays’ where I review stories of up to 2,500 words. Alternatively if you have a short story or self-contained novel extract / short chapter (ideally up to 1000 words) that you’d like critiqued and don’t mind me reading it / talking about and critiquing it (I send you the transcription afterwards so you can use the comments or ignore them) 🙂 on my ‘Bailey’s Writing Tips’ podcast, then do email me. They are fortnightly episodes, usually released on Sundays, interweaving the recordings between the red pen sessions with the hints & tips episodes. I am now also looking for flash fiction (<1000 words) for Flash Fiction Fridays and poetry for Post-weekend Poetry.

My first four eBooks are now available on Smashwords

I’m thrilled to announce that some of my writing is now available via Smashwords. 🙂

eShorts (free)
  • April’s Fool‘ (a competition-winning story about a long-suffering farmer’s wife from forthcoming anthology ‘Calendar Girls’) – story available free of charge from Smashwords (Amazon to follow)
  • Feeding the Father’ (a competition-shortlisted monologue from forthcoming first person anthology ‘It’s All About Me’) – story available free of charge from Smashwords (Amazon to follow)
  • The Dark Side‘ (from forthcoming second-person anthology ‘It’s All About You’) – story available free of charge from Smashwords (Amazon to follow)
Writing guide (initially $1.49 (less than £1))
  • The 365-Day Writer’s Block Workbook‘ (over 1,000 sentence starts split three per day from first, second, third and non-specific points of view and writing-related tips at the end of each week) – from Smashwords (Amazon to follow)
eBooks ($1.49 initally)
  • Story a Day May‘ (31 stories written May 2011 plus background info / hints & tips)

THEREAFTER (in no particular order):
  • a lad-lit novella about a trainee hitman
  • a lad-lit novella about a very personal trainer
  • a general fiction novella about a woman’s death – and her complicated life
  • a first-person anthology (see ‘Feeding the Father’ above)
  • a second-person anthology (see ‘The Dark Side’ above)
  • a third-person anthology about some weird but wonderful men
  • a third-person anthology about some weird but wonderful women (see ‘April’s Fool’ above)

…and anything else that spills out. 🙂

These collections / novellas are all likely to cost $1.49 (less than £1), certainly for the foreseeable future, with any further individual short stories being released for free.

New books as they are released will be listed on this blog’s books/mine page. If you do wander along to Smashwords and download any of these books, I’d be ever so grateful if you left a review. It’s the reader feedback that especially makes my day. 🙂

Thank you.

Morgen with an ‘e’ 🙂

Podcast: Bailey’s Writing Tips ep 042 – back to basics

Episode 42 of the Bailey’s Writing Tips podcast was released today Monday 31st October 2011.

Having spent episode 41 talking about NaNoWriMo I thought it would be an opportune time to cover the basics of writing and talk about ‘show don’t tell’, repetition (not to do it!), dialogue fundamentals and much more.

The episode concluded with a 314-word first-person short story called ‘Lost’ which I will be posting on my Flash Fiction Fridays page on Friday 18th November.

The podcast is available via iTunesGoogle’s FeedburnerPodbean (when it catches up), Podcasters (which takes even longer) or Podcast Alley (which doesn’t list the episodes but will let you subscribe).

Details of the other episodes (interviews, reviews, red pen sessions etc.) can be found here.