Wednesday 26 February 2020


For this short story competition from Parsec Ink, you're asked to write a story of up to 3,500 words on the theme of forging. Good word – I can think of several ways to interpet that!

The contest is free to enter and offers a $200 prize. It's only open to non-professional writers. The entry must be sci-fi, fantasy or horror.

Forging can mean creating something strong and enduring – to forge a career, legacy or relationship, for example. The encouragement of my granparents forged my love of gardening. If you forge ahead, you're taking the lead or making good progress.

Forging can be to make an object from metal by heating and shaping it. A forged banknote is a forgery (fake, fraudulent copy) created by a forger.

Wednesday 5 February 2020

Art imitating art?

 Art is both human creative skill, and the results of that skill. The arts are different branches of creative activity. (Painting is an art, a painting is a piece of art, painting is one of the arts.)

The word can also be used to describe a skill or talent which doesn't produce a tangible result. For example the art of not being around when there's work to be done.

It's the first Wednesday of the month, so time for the Insecure Writer's Support Group post. You can sign up here if you're a an insecure writer, and/or would like to support those who are.

February's optional question is – Has a single photo or work of art ever inspired a story? What was it and did you finish it?

No – not a single one, but many. My grandma was a good amateur artist and my husband is a professional photographer, so naturally I have an interest in these two arts.

In my novel Paint Me A Picture, the main character learns to paint – which saves her life. She and I were both inspired by a trip to the National Gallery. (The cover artwork is by my husband.)

I've attended two writing workshops with a connection to modern art and sold the stories I started at each of them. One of my few historical works centres around a (fictitious) painting, several of my contemporary short stories involve paintings and painters.

I also use photos for, and in, my work. Leave Nothing But Footprints is a romance novel about photographers, and photographers appear in quite a few of my short stories. I also take photos when researching, to remind me of facts, views and feelings.