Saturday, 21 January 2012

Song writing, competition entry and a forthcoming surprise! (Update: Self -published via Kindle eBooks)

Morning folks, sorry my up-date is a little later than usual but I went out for a jog – hey, I know, Spring must be around the corner as I’m only ever a fair weather jogger. Anyway, to business - a fun packed week which has kept me on my toes.

As I ‘tweeted’ last weekend I attended a song writing session on Monday evening. The fabulous Barry Hunt held another of his workshops in Lichfield town centre at The Sparks Cafe Bar. Me and hubby had attended the December workshop and I went alone to last Monday’s, as hubby was working. Well the aim of the evening was to write a song – I’m not one for doubting but even I thought that might be difficult given my lack of experience and the time restraint. But, I kid you not, that’s exactly what we did. Barry split us into two groups, thankfully I was in Barry’s group (huge sigh of relief - as I felt that I brought nothing to the table musically so would be a hindrance to the other group). Task: we had 40 minutes to compile and then perform a song. Our group started to be trying to find some common ground musically – we did deciding upon ‘The Everley Brothers’ as our chosen style. This was the out of the comfort zone moment  - but within two seconds Ian provided a chorus, Barry provided a guitar melody and bingo bango, I scribbled down a list that was to become the first verse, then repeated again to create the second verse. We had a couple of ekes and tweaks but before I knew it we were humming and warbling along to our song. Bang on the button of 40 minutes, it was recognized that the other group were finished too – so, the performances began. Both songs were the bare bones of a song, but both were songs. In fact the other group’s lyrics swam about my head as I drove home – that’s how good theirs was! Please take a look at as I’m sure there’ll be many more workshops in the future. I can hear you – asking why I attended? But the honest truth is, I attended as it was a creative exercise that helps me to tap into my own creative source in a different manner – which in turn  helps my writing. Simple. Plus, it was fun – you can’t have too much of that in life, can you?

I’ve continued with ‘A river of stones’ my list of daily observations (in the right hand panel) noted for each day of January. Please check out for more details. It has been an inspiring activity as every day I’ve found myself seeking out the most perfect thing to note. Some days I’ve had to choose between two beautiful moments, knowing that I can only place one on my daily list. The experience has been like a reverse advent calendar – instead of opening a tiny window to find a chocolate – I’ve searched my daily life for a beautiful moment. It has made me feel quite blessed really that my life, is my life! Sounds mushy, but I have a lot to be thankful for and it is only day 21 of 2012!

Wednesday, at the day job, I handed out to my year 7 class a booklet containing all their murder mystery stories along with a copy of my Christmas story written especially for them. The delight on their little faces was awesome – and provided me with a great deal of satisfaction. Who’d have thought that paper, pen and my imagination could create such
Excitement, but it did. I was quite touched, the next day, to hear their parents had read my story and had given positive feedback. Phew, what a relief! Bless, some have even put it in their memory box!

I entered a short piece into Fish Publishing’s Short Memoir competition on Tuesday evening. It was a piece I’d written years ago and felt that it ought to see the light of day. I sent it to two friends for a quick proofread – both found some typos and errors, which I quickly altered before submitting. It always amazed me that a writer is almost blind to their own mistakes when proofreading their own work. I doesn’t matter how many times I read a piece I never find all the errors. Thank goodness for fellow writers who can perform a read through and highlight the necessary. Competition closing date is 30 January 2012 - further details visit:

I didn’t have any writers groups or meeting last week so had an empty diary after Monday evening – so I used my time wisely, very wisely in fact. So much so, that I don’t wish to ruin the surprise that I have for you all. I know, it’s a bit of a tease but I shall be adding an up-date to this blog in the coming days. So, hurry back to be the first to know how I spent three nights of my week – it’ll be worth it, I promise.  

This week, I have two writing groups to attend: Mad Hatters’ on Wednesday and Grace Dieu Writers’ Circle on Thursday evening. I haven’t a clue what’ll be reading at each – note to self: organize something, anything.

Tuesday night sees the return of The Fizz poetry evening at Polesworth Abbey Refectory from 7:30pm. Guest Poet is Garry Carr – whose poetry gives me goosebumps. Sadly, I won’t be attending but I know everyone will be welcome, there will be an Open mic session for anyone attending. For further details visit:

Remember, you can follow me on ‘Titter’ by searching and following odwyer_author – that way, you’ll be the first to hear my news! Enjoy!

Update: (Drum roll, please) As promised, I can now share with you how I spent all my evenings last week. I prepared and formatted a short story ‘A front row seat’ for self-publication on Amazon via Kindle eBooks. My very first steps into self publication, taken with a short story that won first prize in a writing competition back in 2009. I am delighted with the prospect that this short story has a new lease of life and is available to a larger audience via Kindle eBook download. Should you wish to purchase, please visit:
A title page is being arranged by Amazon, but I have to say the content is unaffected by this factor. Please take a look, leave a review and tell me what you think. I know that the ‘secret writer’ anonymity is blown but hey, amongst my creative friends that detail is fine by me! Enjoy!

 An extract from - A front row seat

The police van had been parked there all night. Likewise, I had been parked in my armchair, not daring to move, for fear of missing the proceedings. From my secluded perch, safely concealed behind lacy net curtains, I’d scrutinized every move made by the Scene of Crimes Officers searching next door. I’d watched them carrying their plastic stack ‘n’ storage boxes, dressed from head to foot in white disposable overalls, armed with costly forensic equipment.
‘He’s copped her one, hasn’t he? As sure as God made little apples,’ says Sandra, helping herself to the bourbon creams – which her portly figure could well do without.
‘Oh, how could he?’ chirps Liz, frantically stirring her coffee with the designated sugar spoon, before replacing it in the china sugar bowl, ignoring the teaspoon resting in her saucer.
‘What do you mean? How could he? His sort would find it quite easy. Mark my words, he’s flipped and done her in,’ says Sandra, repeatedly dunking her biscuit into my best china cup.

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