They Are Simply Inspirational

Love, Dreamy, Fairytale, GorgeousA lot can happen in twenty four hours! Something has happened…I am sure I will write about it in the future, but for now I am going to distract myself from my excitement, by answering some questions about blogging and writing prompts that were asked by Doctor Tanya, the creator of Salted Caramel, in her series #BLOGGING INSIGHTS. Here is Tanya’s original post featuring this week’s questions:

https://saltedcaramel670.wordpress.com/2020/02/24/blogging-insights-19-writing-prompts/

Here is the song that I am singing today…why not press play and read the answers I have supplied to Tanya’s interesting questions?

 

Questions

Do you like to respond to writing prompts?

Yes, yes I definitely do enjoy responding to writing prompts. I am extremely grateful for the bloggers who put a lot of work into preparing and hosting prompts. I shall explain exactly why.

emptysWhen we first create a blog and start publishing posts on WordPress, it feels like walking onto the stage at an arena with tens of thousands of empty seats. We put a huge amount of effort into mastering how to create a post and we press PUBLISH…and we wait….and we wait. For many of us, it can feel as if we are performing on stage and nobody, just nobody has bothered to turn up to watch our work!

Frankly, it can be demoralising! If we do receive one or two views/likes or a even a comment, it means so much! How do we connect with other bloggers? How do we find the motivation to continue writing new posts when hardly anyone came along to look at our first handful of posts?

parsPrompts completely change the blogging scene. Instead of walking onto a stage at a huge empty arena where nobody seems to know we are waiting for them…instead, we step into a much more comfortably sized theatre. This time, it is more like we are joining a conversation. We find other bloggers have flocked to a particular theme…a word, a question, a picture, a challenge…and as we enjoy what others have produced on that theme and interact with them, they also take the time to look at what we have come up with and tell us what they thought.

In essence, it is much more enjoyable and rewarding. If it were not for the many prompts hosted by other bloggers, there is no way I would have produced so many posts, no way I would have developed my own style and dived into fiction, and no way I would have written a three part novel series and seen them published on Amazon.

Wordpress, Blogging, Writing, TypingWithout all the wonderful prompts on WordPress, I doubt I would have come into contact with so many fabulous bloggers or had nearly as much fun.

I truly think that if someone starts blogging thinking they are going onto a stage and that thousands of strangers are going to be hanging off their every word…they will be severely disappointed. But bloggers who join the party, getting involved in popular prompts and engaging with other bloggers…well, those bloggers are going to have a lot more fun and will probably stick at blogging because they will enjoy it more.

Do you feel that they add value to your blog?

“Value”?….Hmm…I am not so sure how I would define the value of blogs or prompts. My own experience is that prompts encouraged me to write. Writing regularly was the only way to develop my own style, my own voice.

imaThe posts on my blog are a mix of my own initiative, the subjects on my mind and dear to my heart and the posts which are in response to prompts hosted by other bloggers. I think they supply a lot of variety and flavour to my blog – if I do say so myself!

I remember first discovering the prompts and challenges from Rory, the creator of A Guy Called Bloke, which to be honest I was not always sure how to interpret at first. But at the end of the day, Rory was not looking for a bunch of identical responses from the bloggers who participated. He wanted us to enjoy his prompts and to be ourselves. He would ask something like twenty questions, some of which I found odd. But I am so glad I responded to them. It was really helpful in helping me think about who I am and what I had to say to the world.

meaSo, that is one way that prompts have added a sort of value to my blog – they have shown insight into me. Without the posts that are in response to the question prompts from other bloggers, it may have been harder for other bloggers to get an idea of who I am, what I believe in, hope for, how I think and feel, how I express myself.

My blog is an anonymous blog, but under my pen name I feel comfortable with revealing a lot about what goes on in my mind and my heart!. That is so important, for it is from the heart that I write.

What are your favourite kind of writing prompts?

Woman, Girl, Female, Lying, TypingI find picture prompts especially inspiring. I absolutely love the prompts hosted by Teresa Grabs. Teresa’s daily prompts have often supplied us with a picture and a genre and invited us to think up a fictional story or poem. Almost all of her prompts gave me ideas. I was keeping up with them, until work started to sap all my energies. I must admit, I am struggling now! Because I am short on time and very tired!

I love SHARE-YOUR-WORLD, the weekly series of questions, hosted by Melanie, the creator of sparksfromacombustiblemind, as do many other bloggers. Its great fun to answer Melanie’s questions and to read the answers from all the other bloggers who take part. We are all so different…and I love that!

sslaI also love SONG-LYRIC-SUNDAY, now hosted by Jim, the creator of A Unique Title For Me. It is one of the days I look forward to most on WordPress. A musical menagerie with many bloggers contributing a variety of genres and musicians. It is great great fun.

I love these prompts because they have inspired me, entertained me, and introduced me to many brilliant bloggers.

I know there are lots of other bloggers who host prompts. I participate when I can and when I am inspired. I just wish I had the time to write more. This year my working hours are becoming inordinate – 60 hours a week on average. I am relying on scheduling and the stack of posts I had in my drafts folder. But I am managing to keep up with my favourite weekly prompts and jumping at the chance to respond to something really thought provoking or evocative.

Which  ones are you less likely to do?

Light Bulb, Bokeh, Flame, Fire, LightsI tend to opt for the prompts that leap out at me and immediately trigger ideas. Pictures, questions, even adages do that for me more than a single word. I do find picture prompts are especially likely to fill me with ideas for creative writing.

When I first began producing posts in response to prompts, it was for the Word Of The Day hosted by…what were they called? THE DAILY POST! The one word prompts were very helpful. However, as time has passed, I find my time is just so much more stretched! So I am unlikely to respond to a one word prompt nowadays.

If I had more time, maybe I could respond to more prompts, but I am doing the best I can at the moment. I am amazed I have been able to keep up my regularity and see two of my novels plus another shorter book published on Amazon.

________________

This was my response to Dr Tanya’s questions in this weeks #BLOGGING INSIGHTS:

Ashley Is Amazing!!!

Young Woman, Lying Down, Female, PeopleMy rather ridiculous work schedule continues unabated! So I have to admit that due to the lack of time and some mega headaches, I have not been able to write many new posts over the past week.

However, all is not lost! Not only do I have a lot of posts scheduled to be published over the next few weeks (SCHEDULING IS THE BEST FEATURE ON WORDPRESS!!!), my very patient friend has also published Part Two of my LEARNERS AT LOVE Series. Incredible! When it is live on Amazon, I will tell you all about it!

I came home tired on Wednesday evening and found a beautiful surprise waiting for me on WordPress. The amazing Ashley Peterson, the creator of Mental Health @ Home, had reviewed Part One of the series, entitled “We Hide What We Hate About Ourselves”. I can’t tell you how much it encouraged me to see Ashley’s review! Take a look at what she says about the book in her post below:

Book Review: We Hide What We Hate About Ourselves

We Hide What We Hate About Ourselves: Part Of The "Learners At Love" Series by [Finch, Melody]I am very grateful for all of the support and encouragement I have received. I have been making little tweaks to my manuscript over the past couple of weeks, trying to make sure any spelling or grammar mistakes are corrected, and adding a few details that will link to Part Two and Part Three.

Who would have thought that writing longer fictional stories and seeing them in paperback form would be so exciting?

If you have a novel in you, go for it! Please do. Even if only three people ever look at your book, I cannot tell you how rewarding it is to see your story become something real. The hilarious thing is, my friends and family are asking me to sign their copies. They are loving the idea of Melody Finch being a published author.

I am not very technical, but hopefully the link to the Amazon page showing the Kindle version has carried over. Or…if you go to Amazon and type MELODY FINCH, you will see the book available in Kindle and Paperback.

Thank you again Ashley, and all the other gorgeous bloggers who are just so awesome!!!!

Oh Look What Just Happened!

Well…the giving birth was much quicker than I expected! I thought my little bundle of joy would be here by Monday or Tuesday. But, the Kindle version is already live!

I have tried to add a link to this picture, so if you click on it you end up seeing it on Amazon’s website. Will it work? I have no idea! But I’ll get some help over the weekend to do a proper promo post!

We Hide What We Hate About Ourselves: Part Of The "Learners At Love" Series by [Finch, Melody]

Please excuse me while I go and ring my mum…and my sisters…and Jack…and a bunch of other friends who I have been boring for weeks telling them I was working on editing my first novel!

 

 

 

Now I Get It!

I have seen many other bloggers write about their experiences with publishing their book. Honestly, some of them seem like a woman with labour pains, that become more and more intense the further along they are in the editing, proofreading, formatting and submitting process.

birthsAnyway…I just want to say, I get it now! Now I understand what all the groaning and grumbling was about. It starts out a joyful enterprise. Excitement builds, you start to imagine holding your baby, the finished book. But then comes all the awfulness, the pains and aches and exhaustion!

But like many other writers who have survived the publishing experience and finally reaped the joy of seeing their book on a Kindle on in Paperback form…I too am expecting my first ever book/novel to appear on Amazon!! Yayyyy! The cover is rather purple. It was one of Dean’s songs about Annabelle “Strange Kind Of Purple” that prompted that choice. I am looking forward to the ocean cover on the sequel of Annabelle’s story.

purplsFinally hey!!! Like any annoying new parent, I will be sharing all the excitement when my little bundle of joy is live and kicking on Amazon! I reckon Tuesday at the latest!

So if you were feeling romantic, with it being close to Luvvy Dovey Day (also known as why has nobody sent me a bunch of red roses? doesn’t he know I only like dark chocolate? does he even know I exist? day!), Caramel has a sweet and inspiring romance novel for you!

It’s not all sickly sweet! It’s the story of a young woman who has been hiding what she hates about herself for years. Her epic adventure of learning about herself, helps her own healing and moves her to address some of the damage she has caused to those who she loves the most. The LEARNERS AT LOVE Series begins with Part One of Annabelle Riley’s story:

WE HIDE WHAT WE HATE ABOUT OURSELVES

annie

Yes…that is what was decided should be the title of my first novel, which is a romance! Odd hey! Believe me, we debated it at great length, so I hope it isn’t going to frighten people off!

 

THE CARAMEL CRUNCH #4

CARAMEL CRUNCH1

WHEN IT COMES TO THE CRUNCH – WHAT WOULD YOU DO?

Your boss wants you to tell a difficult client or a customer something that is clearly misleading. It feels dishonest, but your boss suggests you find a way to couch your words so that you are not telling a blatant lie.

WHAT WOULD YOU DO?

CARAMEL CRUNCH2.png

What is THE CARAMEL CRUNCH? Well, it’s all about decisions. When it comes to THE CRUNCH what would you do?

One of the definitions of the word CRUNCH is:

a crucial point or situation

 – generally involving a decision with weighty consequences

  • Your response can be a quickie. Please feel free to send a comment to say what you would do, and if you have time or are inclined, please feel free to explain your decision.
  • If you would like to create a post with a longer explanation of your decision, please pingback to THE CARAMEL CRUNCH post. (Or copy and paste a link to your post in the comments section – please feel free.)

If you know anything about CRUSHED CARAMEL, you will probably realize I am a gentle soul, so my questions are not supposed to be terrifying! What I am hoping for really is to see a variety of responses. Afterall, it’s pretty obvious that WordPress bloggers are from a huge variety of backgrounds and cultures. It would be fascinating to learn more about how we as individuals make decisions.

Some of the questions I am going to ask are questions I have discussed with friends when we have been having coffee or dinner. I often find there is no clear right or wrong. It can be so much a matter of our individual experiences and outlook. I find it fascinating how very different some of us are when it comes to decision making.

We all have different outlooks, and may make different decisions. I am really looking forward to learning WHAT WOULD YOU DO?

One Way Street, Decisions, Opportunity

 

 

 

Two Books For The Price Of One

Woman, Girl, Female, Lying, TypingI have received some excellent advice regarding my Annabelle Riley series. Amongst which is that my 240,000 word manuscript (yeah I know!) could easily be made into two seperate books.

That made me take a fresh look at everything. I have been trying to weave certain aspects between both the original story and the sequel, yet at the same time making sure each had an appealing introduction, a compelling body and a riveting conclusion.

Oh and…we have also been discussing the title of the book. I had an idea early on. But I changed it because I did not want the story to sound too depressing. But, in the end everyone I have asked seems to like my original idea. I am going to ask you in an opinion post very soon. I have had a few ideas and I would love to have a bit of feedback on which of the titles is most appealing and fitting for Annabelle’s story.

Anyway…it all takes time! Time is something I am desperately short of at the moment. But we believe Book One, which is now 110,000 words is about ready. I cannot tell you how many times I have proof-read it! Every time I read it, I tweak it.

decisionsI still want to cut some of the long conversations between Robin and Annabelle down. She says the same thing about three times. I feel I still need to cut it down! But some days I have to admit that tiredness has beaten me. It is so much easier with a fresh head.

However, I am still enjoying it. I can’t wait to tackle the sequel. I think those latter chapters were more compelling for me to write. So I am really looking forward to editing and proofreading them.

I am not a perfectionist. But I do want to do Annabelle justice!

Thank You Kim!

tableYesterday, I published the last part of my Annabelle Riley – Learner At Love series.

I wanted to say a very special thank you to Kim, the creator of Writer Side of Life!  It was Kim who supplied the writing prompt that lit a spark in me to tell an epic tale of love, life and mental health.

I had just come back from spending summer with Goldfinch in Australia (their winter). I was so happy when I was with him, and so sad to be leaving him to return to England. My heart was breaking! I was also still grieving the loss of the tiny life that was growing within me before I lost her. I told Goldfinch, that if she was a girl, I would have loved to have called her Annabelle!

There has been a lot happening in my life these past few months. I have a very close family member battling cancer. Then there is Jack! What a development! It has been helpful to me with so much going on to have a little hideaway mentally. When I don’t be overwhelmed with the emotions of that is going on in my life, I can hide myself away in Annabelle’s story.

together1Well, I have finished her story. We finished on a positive note, with Annabelle feeling stronger and excited about her future. Although Annabelle and the other characters are fictional, there is enormous amount from my own personal life that influenced her story. Some of the lead male characters are inspired by men I know. It’s completely up to you to decide who Goldfinch and Jack inspired!

Next time you see a blogger hosting a writing prompt, remember, it might end up being more than a short story or poem. It might well become an epic writing journey and a published book! Keep writing!

I am so grateful to Kim for inspiring me! Kim suggested a long list of writing prompts and several of them appealed to me, but I this chose one to work on:

Free Creative Writing Prompts

I chose a prompt under the ROMANCE section: 3. Who is she waiting for?

kim's prompt
Photo by Thiago Matos from Pexels