Please vote for my story (if you like it!)

I have a little (138-word) ditty called ‘Just Like Enid Blyton’ (see below) which has been longlisted (sixth week in a row!) on https://adhocfiction.com/read/#FlashEbook. It’s quite near the beginning (fifth story): click until you get to ’77 more’. Clicking on the picture below will also take you there.

If you like it – I hope you do – please click on ‘Vote’. Voting closes midnight 11th/12th December. Thank you!

 

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A busy day – five ‘woo hoo’s and it’s only 3pm!

The day started off brilliantly with me finding out I’d been longlisted, with 121 others(!), for my 143-word story ‘Two Peas’, written especially for Ad Hoc Fiction for their theme of ‘door’. To read the story (and if you enjoy it please click on the ‘Vote’ button) please pop along to https://adhocfiction.com/read/#FlashEbook then keep clicking on the ‘xx more’ until it shows ’53 more’. (NB. there are only a few days to do so; the current theme is ‘Feed’ and then votes for that will open October 30th replacing this one.) Thank you!

Secondly, I’ve been interviewed over at TL Clark’s blog, and starts…

Author name: Hello. I’m Morgen Bailey.
Morgen with an E. Not to be confused with the handful of MorgAn Baileys (mostly American), including a rocket scientist, basketball player, Green politician, and transsexual porn star. I get some interesting Google Alerts!

Are you a traditionally published/indie/hybrid author?
I’m both. I self-published seven books between 2011 and early 2018, and my eighth, The Serial Dater’s Shopping List, was traditionally published, the first of a two-book deal, by Bombshell Books (part of Bloodhound Books) in July 2018. (Hello Betsy, Fred, team, and fellow Bombshells!)  Self-publishing means the author has total control but not the support of a publisher or agent. I’ve been very lucky with Bombshell in that I got to choose the (fabulous) cover, and had a blog tour and review promotions upon release. These days it’s generally up to the author anyway to do most of the marketing and I’m hiring two marketeers to help with this.

Thirdly, I’m the judge for the annual Flash 500 Short Story competition! You have until the end of February to submit your stories but it’s never too early to start planning. Lorraine says, “We are looking for stories ranging between 1,000 and 3,000 words, with strong characters, a well-crafted plot and realistic dialogue (where used). Make us laugh, make us cry, but most of all, make us feel!” That’s exactly how I judge too! Click on the link or photo above to find out more.

Fourthly, I’m going to be one of The National Association of Writers Groups’ (NAWG) regular contributors to their bi-monthly ‘Link’ magazine. You can look forward to writing and editing tips, competition advice and more. Click here for more details.

And fifthly (not finally as the day’s far from over…), an anthology I contributed a (very British, based in Cambridge and inspired by Trinity College’s Great Run) story to is available for pre-order from Amazon. See https://www.amazon.co.uk/Cool-Weather-Warm-Hearts-Anthology-ebook/dp/B07G4LK4XQ for details. Clicking on the picture below will also take you there.

 

Six pm Short Story review no.3 – The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Hello everyone. You may have been expecting the writing prompts around now but they’ve moved to 8am every weekday rather than 6pm. This is to make way for the new daily (ish) slot of the ‘Six pm Short Story’. My day job is editing and critique so I don’t read as much for pleasure as I should. I have therefore set my self the challenge (which I first mentioned on Saturday) to read a story (short story or novella) every day… or at least as often as I can. It doesn’t sound like much but I also plan to up my 1,000 words to the 1,667-word average for NaNoWriMo next month. So I figured if I put it in black and white then I’m more likely to achieve it.

Speaking of black and white, I started with Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s three-story collection ‘The Yellow Wall-Paper‘, working backwards from the third story: Old Water (see Monday’s review) then the middle story: The Rocking Chair (or rather The Rocking-Chair to give its official title) yesterday.

The title story stars with.the first-person narrator and we soon learn she is a tortured soul and how no one around her believes there’s anything wrong. I love inanimate characters and it’s fascinating how much  influence a house has on her.

With her husband away much of the time, the narrator keeps herself to the top-floor nursery, which though light and airy, she finds creepy, as would the reader. The views from the house are so inviting yet she doesn’t leave, nor does her husband want her to do so.

Strip away the flowery writing (and proliferation of exclamation marks) and you have a great story. It could have done with a good edit including the correction of any more to anymore when relating to time rather than quantity. Also, had I been the original editor, I would have suggested name changes as there are only five names mentioned and four of those begin with J: John, Julia, Jennie and Jane. The narrator isn’t mentioned, the other is Cousin Henry.

So for the story: an okay read rated 3/5. And the collection as a whole? Strange. I love strange but this was hard work strange. Interesting reading but not enough to bond me to the author, which is a shame. So an overal 2/5.

Six pm Short Story no.1 – Old Water by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Hello everyone. You may have been expecting the writing prompts around now but they’ve moved to 8am every weekday rather than 6pm. This is to make way for the new daily (ish) slot of the ‘Six pm Short Story’. My day job is editing and critique so I don’t read as much for pleasure as I should. I have therefore set my self the challenge (which I first mentioned on Saturday) to read a story (short story or novella) every day… or at least as often as I can. It doesn’t sound like much but I also plan to up my 1,000 words to the 1,667-word average for NaNoWriMo next month. So I figured if I put it in black and white then I’m more likely to achieve it.

Speaking of black and white, I’ve started with Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s three-story collection ‘The Yellow Wall-Paper‘, working backwards from the third story: Old Water.

At a mere twelve and a half 1/4 A4 (A7) pages, it starts with a quite ‘dark and stormy night’ description and three exclamation marked words in the first paragraph of dialogue… four !s in the first two paragraphs… seven on the first page and five on page two. Rather than read on, it became a ‘Where’s the !’? and the results were:

Page 1 = 7; 2=5; 3=5 (in the same para); 4=2; 5=3; 6=7; 7=2; 8=2; 9=6; 10=8; 11=3; 12=18!; and on the final half page there were 8!

And yes, it bogged down the writing so I was less enthused to read the story but I did and my, does Charlotte love her adverbs. (Page 1, second para: Slowly across the open gold came a still canoem sent swiftly and smoothly on by well-accustomed arms.)

Although it’s not erotic in the slightest, it did remind me of Fifty Shades and considering how famous The Yellow Wallpaper is, I’m surprised that this gushy story has been chosen for this tiny collection.

From a technical point of view, the story switches (mid-scene) from the inital main character, Mrs Osgood, to her daughter Ellen… and back… several times. I skim read from about page three onwards, not good for a story of around 2,000 words. There were no section breaks (blank line then left-justified first paragraph) when there was a gap in time (there were several). Although the story was first published in 1911, the language is Austenesque, who died almost a century earlier. Far too flowery for my liking, Old Water, may appeal to historical fans but it only gets one star from me.