Tag Archives: story

Back In Print

TABFF first story.jpg

It’s been a long wait, but I’m pleased to say that my first fiction short story has been published in a national magazine.

Questions From A New Girl tells the tale of Vicky, a rookie reporter who manages to crack the cold case of a missing girl. The story is in the November issue of Take A Break’s Fiction Feast, out now.

I had the acceptance back in May, during the heady days when my toddler still had her midday nap and it was a choice between housework and writing. Sometimes the writing won and I could bash out a stash of words on my ancient laptop.

Now Summer has turned to Autumn and my baby’s naps are a rarity and unexpected. Quite how often I will be able to keep up my workload I don’t know. My mum and husband have helped out a lot with looking after her, and if the pile of plates in the kitchen isn’t too high, I’ll get into my writing space (top of the landing, next to the baby’s room and the upright fan).

When I see that a woman has won a writing award, I’m truly amazed given I know she probably has children and commitments a mile long. The tale goes that JK Rowling wrote Harry Potter while writing in a café with her child sleeping. Unless you have childcare or school-aged offspring, or the miracle of naps, I can’t see how it would work.

It’s nice to see the fruits of my labour from some months back. They’ve changed the name of one of the characters and there’s a few typos (not mine I might add, I used to do copyediting back in my days at the newspaper. I can only presume it was the typesetting done at the mag), but I’m happy it’s all pretty much there. Not only that, but I’m writing about things I want to write about, not council meetings, village fetes and dog poo.

How will I fit in time to write as a stay at home mum? It’s a question all aspiring writers hold to their hearts. Quite honestly, I do believe I know what I’ll be doing when my child is old enough for preschool next year. After skipping off to the nearest coffee shop, I’ll be firing up my laptop.

PS I do apologise if this is rambling, but it’s been a long week with a teething toddler and she’s finally asleeeep, so I’m slightly deliriously happy!

Please visit www.facebook.com/LucyGhose and click the ‘like’ button to keep updated with my writing journey.



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Blog Number Six – Writing Preparations


Today I have been mostly recovering from a mild hangover and picking up the dog’s toys strewn around the field in case it rains.

Next, I have to finish transcribing my diary notes into a plot structure for my sequel book. What do I find myself doing instead? Playing around drawing pigs on the Paint application. But it was for my Facebook author page, so it wasn’t a wasted task. Even if it looks like a child did it.

Getting ready to go on my writing holiday, I have to muck out my writing folder. At the moment, my work bag consists of my laptop and my writing folder, which is starting to bulge. I tote this around every day so I can write in my lunch break. I’m concerned that one day my bag straps will relent. Sending my laptop to meet its smashed fate on the ground. Something must also be done before I end up in a sea of paper.

This is as bad as clearing out my wardrobe or sorting my general postal correspondence. Letters often get squirreled in a drawer, rather than be sorted and filed in an appropriate manner. I hadn’t realised this guilty habit for what it was, until Hubs came to put some of my clothes away and found a stash of letters in my sock drawer.

Post now gets stashed in-between books and DVD’s in the bookcase. But the writing folder has to be sorted, if only to spare me lugging it up to Scotland (I’m thinking of my arms and back here).

What have I found languishing in the purple plastic folder? Some old receipts, an itinerary from the Arvon course two years ago, where I came up with the idea for my piggy book. It changed my life and I will hold on to any keepsakes from it. But for now, it doesn’t need to come to Scotland with me. I make a pile for things to go up the loft. With it, goes an old version of my first piggy tale chapter, and some old print-outs from the crime thriller attempt. Although, after reading Margaret James’ comments in Writing Magazine about not cluttering up rooms with reams of paper, I might just use it as scrap paper. With another book to write, I’ll need it.

What else? I’ve found some useful story plot outlines from my first piggy book. They can stay. It’s helpful to see how I planned the structure. I need the comfort of corset-plan right now. It’s quite scary attempting another book.

There’s a chapter of Piggy Tale I’ve yet to read out at writing club. That can stay. Short-hand diary notes and another half-dozen versions of the first chapter. They can go.

Workshop notes – what does the protagonist desire, what is the obstacle? Do they get what they want? All important stuff to remember. That stays.

Scribbled ideas for future novels. They stay. I might to use them for procrastinating purposes.

Wow, now I have a pile to go on the bonfire and a pile to go up the loft. Don’t mix the two up. My writing folder is now saggy, having undergone drastic liposurgery. I’ve got rid of about eighty per cent.

The sun is out now, so armed with old story drafts I traipse up to the top of the field and burn them in the urn where we have our barbecues. Big Pig wakes up from sunbathing and demands a treat, so I pull up some grass for her.

I’m ready to start putting my writing things back in the folder. I find my David Tennant Doctor Who poster which is definitely staying. He’s telling me to write. Looking very stern. How could I chuck that away? Hush my mouth.

Now the serious business of getting all my plot notes into a proper order. Cue more paper. Argh….

Please visit www.facebook.com/LucyGhose to see photos and read sample chapters of my book. Click the ‘like’ button to keep updated with my writing journey. 

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Writing Blog Number 4 – Pants or Corset?


Life as an unpublished writer is a scary one. I’m in a constant state of reassurance-searching, whether it’s from writing books, fellow Yeovil Writing Club members, my non-literary husband, or Facebook friends.

Lunchtime is usually a frantic affair. Sitting in the canteen, I stuff a sandwich in my face with one hand, and type with the other. Now my autobiography is finished and my half hour break from answering the phone and selling factory goods, is unnerving. I could do what normal people do, go for a walk or just go back to my desk early. Or I could just keep writing.

I’ve decided to start book two of My Dorset Piggy Tale. Given it is a true account of my agrarian lifestyle, I do not have the luxury of starting off with a blank page and letting my narrative meander. I need solid fact to rely on. How does one select memories for use? Good old Facebook, of course. Being a FB status addict has its benefits, in that I can go back to the archives and not only find snippets for the book, but also use them in chronological order. Bingo, there’s a ready-made plot right there.

Leafing through handwritten notes I have made has also proved useful. I’d forgotten that pigs like blueberries and what happened when the dog ate poison. The next step is to mix the two sources. This is not a quick process and in-between full-time work, smallholding, and researching agents, it has so far taken about a week. But I’m in no hurry. I’m enjoying this process.

Reassurance has been found in an unlikely place. It’s like a strong hand to hold as I begin to think about my opening chapters. Being laced tight into a corset and ready to dance.

Maybe it’s my journalistic background, but I work best when I have a fixed subject to write about. I can’t write ‘by the seat of my pants’, I’m no pantster. It’s too scary. Would I drive on a motorway with only one hand steering? No. Attempts to write without a plot structure when doing my crime thriller mean it is abandoned, half-finished on my memory stick.

If nobody wants to publish my book, I’ll get over it. At least I’ve written down my tales. I know the story, I’m OK with that. And maybe my future generations will be interested in what Crazy Grandma used to get up to. At the moment, I know how the story goes, the question is, where and when do I stop?


Please visit my author page where you’ll find photos and sample chapters of my book. Click the ‘like’ button to keep updated with my writing journey. http://www.facebook.com/LucyGhose

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