Time Traveller

I found the following information originally on Steve Thorn’s site. Thanks for sharing, Steve.

Nostradamus, Mother Shipton and now John Titor. Although two of these people claimed to forecast the future, one of them claims to be from the future.

The Story of John Titor is a strange one. He claims to be from 2036. He travelled back in time to November 2000. He suddenly appeared online and started to document his claims–answering questions and warning us of civil unrest in 2004-2005 and a big war in 2015. Then in March 2001 he said it was time to go home and he disappeared.

Some say that the creator of John Titor did it as a hoax, but it seems that he has pulled a lot of people into his circle and has left those people still trying to prove or disprove what he said.

Take a look for yourself and make up your own mind.

Flash Fiction Submission

Yoohoo! At lunchtime I posted my first flash fiction submission. It’s on it’s way to That’s Life! Fast Fiction Magazine – a magazine filled with short snippets showing different views on life. It’s an established magazine in this country and the rates are good–extremely good, in fact.

I think I need to put a submission chart together. If this story comes back to me then I want to be able to send it back out within 48 hours. 🙂

Manuscript Disposal

Today I decided to have a bit of a clean out. It’s amazing how many copies of my manuscript I’ve accumulated over the years. The early versions brought a hot flush to my cheeks because I could plainly see the errors on each page. Not spelling errors, although there were a few of those too, but general writing errors. 🙁

They say writing cannot be learned, but I believe that’s a heap of hogwash. You can learn the craft and I have learned a lot over the years. Practice brings experience and knowledge, if you are persistent.

Anyway, I was talking about having a clean out. All those early versions have been collecting dust and cobwebs for years, so I wanted to discard them. Now that is an easy statement to make yet think about it. Do you drop your entire manuscript into a garbage bin and walk away? If you do, you’re nothing like me. I tore three complete manuscripts into pieces. Each time I discarded the torn paper, I dropped the paper in my left hand into one garbage bag and the paper in my right hand into another garbage bag. 🙂

I’m not taking any risks. When I’d finished, I still wasn’t entirely happy, so I took half the paper from each bag and put them in two more bags.

It gets worse.

One bag of paper was placed in the big bin which will be emptied into the Council truck tomorrow night. Each Monday, I will throw another bag out until all four bags have been disposed of.

Am I insane? What’s the likelihood of someone (especially a writer) waiting for my garbage to be thrown out just in case a manuscript was in there? Am I being paranoid?

Of course not, I’m being cautious and I’m doing something that will make it easier for me to sleep tonight because I won’t have to worry about some insane person sticking 800 sheets of A4 paper together (which has been torn to shreds) to steal my story. Besides, I’m a writer, I’m allowed to do strange things. 😉

Why write flash?

Here are Five Reasons to Write Flash Fiction. It’s only a short article which uses common sense to explain what you should and shouldn’t do in this “genre” (I believe it’s been given this status now).

On Flash Writing is another article that I found interesting. After reading it I decided that I’m an “editor writer” and I think that accounts for the pace problem in my first piece of flash fiction. Have you tried writing at top speed? It’s hard, but I suppose we can train ourselves to do it.

Update: Flash Fiction

A few days ago I mentioned that I’m trying my hand at flash fiction and that I had three stories outlined. One of those outlines is now a proper flash piece.

I needed a bit of encouragement with the piece though, as it’s not generally what I write, so I sent the story through to the AFWD Crit Group to see what the reaction would be.

The reaction was pleasing. Actually, it was inspiring. The women of the group said it touched them and that the words were powerful. The men had a problem with pacing, but could not deny the emotional side of the story. I agree with the pacing issue and will work on that.

The comments and suggestions given to me by these wonderful people will help me improve the story before I send it out. This one is definitely a “womens piece” so I will focus on women’s magazines to start with.

Legal Issues for Writers

Due to recent events with my collaborative novel, I found myself searching the internet for easy to read (and understand) legal issue pages for writers.

Julie Kenner’s article on legal issues fits that description. Each section is short and to the point, with everyday examples to help settle the information into the brain.

I didn’t find the information I’m looking for there, but that’s beside the point.

Medieval Betrothal

Most wealthy men married when they were over 30. A son came into his inheritance on marriage, so parents often delayed the ceremony as long as possible. Women married earlier, usually when they were about 20, but were sometimes betrothed (promised in marriage) as young as seven.

For the rich, marriage was the alliance of two families. It usually started with a business meeting to discuss the dowry (in medieval times this was a payment made by the groom to the bride’s father). Representatives of the two families agreed on the terms of the contract with a handshake.

Only then did the couple meet.

There was then a meeting to read the contract, followed by the “ring day” (marriage ceremony) in the church porch. It was like a modern wedding service, except that the bride always promised to “obey”, and also to be “bonere and buxom” (pleasant and easy-going). Finally, the wife rode to her husband’s house on a white horse.

Poor people usually married at the church gate, althogh a promise – or even a rush ring tied around the girl’s finger – was sufficient. Witnesses threw grain and sawdust over the couple to wish them a prosperous marriage and then they celebrated with feasting and a riotous charivari (dance).

Flash Fiction

Having finished the rewrite of my novel, I’ve decided to spend a few weeks writing something different.

Flash fiction is ideal for submitting to magazines but I’ve decided that I won’t even try to write fantasy or SF flash; I’m going to write human interest flash stories. This will be like a holiday to me. 😀

Finding a market for these stories will no doubt be just as difficult as any other story, but I intend to approach woman’s magazine with these ones. So that gives you an idea of what type of story I’ll be trying.

I have three stories plotted (roughly) and two underway. I started writing the first one, but the second one was stronger in my mind. It comes largely from my own experience but major details are completely different. However, the emotions are not.

I’m hoping the stories will touch people’s hearts and “speak” to them.