Mandy's Musings

Mandy's Musings

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Blog Lucky 7 Challenge

I have been tagged six times in this challenge and kept forgetting to do it!

This morning was the 7th tag so I thought I'd better get on with it!I was tagged by Debz Hobbs-Wyatt @BridgeHouseDebz who selected my short story for publication in 2010. That was the first time I was ever published and will always be grateful to her for giving me that chance! She is one half of Bridgehouse Publishing, http://bit.ly/30rEK a fantastic writer and also critiques manuscripts.

The instructions are:

Go to page 7 or 77 in your current manuscript
Go to line 7
Post on your blog the next 7 lines, or sentences, as they are – no cheating
Tag 7 other authors to do the same

Here is the seven line extract from page 7 of my WIP - Somewhere Beyond The Sea

Was I dreaming? I felt again the stubble of an unshaven face brush my cheek and then the pressure of a mouth over mine. My lungs expanded under the force of a breath from alien lungs. My stomach twisted, I rolled on my side and retched a spume of salt water onto the beach. I coughed and sucked at the chill night air. A hand rubbed my back, another grasped my forearm, tried to control my shaking body. A man’s rough voice in my ear.

“I knew you’d make it. That was the seventh breath I put in you. Seven’s a lucky number...thank god you’re alive.”

I had made it? I was alive? Then I remembered what had happened. Despair flooded through my heart like a rip-tide. A brace of rabbits lay on the sand a little way off, the moonlight glinting in their dead eyes. They were lucky.


Now over to the next seven! (pleased don't feel obliged, guys - just a bit of fun!)

Trevor Belshaw @tbelshaw

Joanna Cannon @JoannaCannon

Rachel Carter @RachCarter

Kirsty Stanley @kirstyes

Linn B Halton @LinnBHalton

Philip C James @PhilipCJames

Russ King @RussWrites


Monday, 9 April 2012

When The Wind is in the West










When the wind is in the west and the string is in me vest,
I sit on the sand by the sea.
When the sun beats down, on me head so brown,
everything stops for tea.

When the seagull has landed I smack it left handed,
from me picnic that it's stabbing with it's beak.
When the damn thing squawks and does funny walks,
I chuck it some pie with leek.

When the tide goes out with a whoop and a shout,
the kids fly kites so high.
When the ice-cream melts, over shirts and belts,
and a train goes whistling by.

When the waves hit me feet, it feels such a treat,
to be paddling there once more.
When too long in the sun leaves me nose well-done,
and me forehead red and sore.

When the sunset falls and the chip shop calls,
with a promise of vinegar and salt.
When I sip brown ale, it's blowing a gale,
time to get out me bottle of malt.

When the caravan groans and the west wind moans,
I snuggle with me missus in the awning.
When with bucket and spade and me picnic made,
we'll do all again in the mornin'.

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Interview with author Rose McClelland



Rose has just had her fab d├ębut novel The Break-Up Test released by innovative new publishing company - Crooked Cat Publishing. http://crookedcatpublishing.com/

















I am delighted that Rose has agreed to answer a few questions here today.



So, Rose, when did you first start writing and why?


It was actually on a rainy afternoon when I younger. My sister Rhoda said that we should write stories for each other to pass the time. Dear love us, there were seven children in our family, clearly we didn’t have enough toys to play with!

Whilst at University, I wrote theatre reviews and film reviews for the student newspaper. This was so I could get the free tickets! I was obviously the penniless student!

I attended a creative writing course whilst living in London. I started writing a novel but it was shoved into the bottom drawer and never resurrected.

Six years ago, I read “The Artists Way” by Julia Cameron. It’s a 12-week course giving tips to unblock your creativity. By week 8, I had started my first novel and kept on going until it was finished. I am now writing book number 4.

How does writing make you feel?

I don’t really have to be ‘in the mood’ to write. I just have writing slots and I write whether I’m feeling good, bad or indifferent. I tend to just get into the zone and get on with it. After I’ve finished a writing session though, I feel pleased with myself. It’s a bit like that virtuous feeling after hitting the gym.


What is your writing day like?

“Writing morning” would be more accurate. I get up, get the coffee on and open the lap-top before I have any time to think twice about it. I’ll write for a few hours, stopping for the odd coffee/ glass of water. Setting small goals and giving yourself a pat on the back once you’ve reached them is important. It’s also good to write about something you really want to write about it, and enjoy it. If you’re enjoying it, chances are the reader will too.

Did anyone or anything inspire you along your journey?

‘The Artists Way’ by Julia Cameron. It’s about getting rid of all those blocks that stand in the way of putting pen to paper. Tiny lurking fears about what people think might be the real reason behind excuses like ‘I haven’t got time…’


Who is your favourite author?

Paige Toon. I love her writing style. I love her characters. I love her plots.

Tell me a little about your new novel.

‘The Break-up Test’ is about breaking up, bouncing back and moving on.
It’s about three women who are in tricky relationships.
A mutual male friend Jamie draws up a ten point test to offer them success.

Sounds intriguing,what’s your next project?

I’m writing my fourth book at the moment. It’s set in the theatre world and is all about the sizzling chemistry and drama that goes on behind the scenes!

What’s the most important tip you could give to a new writer?

Stop worrying about what other people think. Fear is the biggest block to writing. You’ll never please everyone, so start trying to please yourself.

Where do you want to be in three years time?

Good question! I love a bit of visualisation!
Three years time… right…. Can I dream up anything?
I’d want to be living in the same apartment. I love it here and should they have to drag me out kicking and screaming, I am staying put.
I’d like to have received an email from a reader, (someone who isn’t a friend/family member and isn’t forced to say nice things about me) saying that she loved ‘The Break-up Test’ and that it cheered her up and made her feel happy.
And finally, I’d love to have long hair. Like, really lovely, flicking locks, a bit like Jennifer Aniston’s. I know this is impossible because she has fine hair and I have frizzy hair, but a girl can dream, right?

What’s the most exciting thing that has ever happened to you?

Without a doubt it was the morning that I opened my email and I saw the subject header “Publishing Contract”. It was on Monday 13th February and the following day was my happiest Valentine’s Day ever!

Thanks so much for stopping by, Rose and I wish you every success with The Break-Up Test!

Thanks very much for having me!


Meet Amy, Beth and Sarah. All intelligent women with one thing in common – a bad taste in men!

Amy receives seductive texts from Gav and promptly skips round to his house for a mid-afternoon romp. She never planned it that way. Maybe one day he’ll actually fall in love with her?

Beth sits at her desk, her mobile phone propped up in front of her keyboard. Anytime soon it’ll light up like the Blackpool Illuminations, and Karl will finally get in touch about that drink. It’s been five days…

Sarah is seeing Stephen, trying to believe his claim that although he shares a bed with his ex, Kat, they aren’t sleeping together. She can’t believe it’s turned into one of THOSE stories you read about in women’s weeklies.

Then Jamie comes along with his Break-Up Test and turns their lives upside down.

Will Gav, Karl and Stephen suddenly sniff the competition and clean up their acts?

And what exactly is in it for Jamie?

http://www.rosiesrag.blogspot.co.uk/