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A World in Stories

I have loved this week recapturing the essence of what I know is a good story — but when I wrote it I wasn’t a good enough writer to do justice to it! I just hope I can now!  Eek! And that’s Colourblind my novel about two seemingly unconnected people: a little white girl growing up in Jacksonville in a middle-class family and an aged African American man in Atlanta, mourning the loss of his wife of fifty years… and somehow they share a past. They just haven’t worked it out yet. I feel, after five years, this would be a great follow-up to While No One Was Watching and there might even be room for a cameo appearance, by Lydia, since there is a sense of the supernatural in this story and she might just be needed! So now I am revisiting the story with hopefully new insight and wisdom!

I see all my stories as if through the lens of a camera so I hope when it comes to adaptation to a screenplay it will not prove too difficult.

Tonight I have been looking back at some old short stories of mine, published and unpublished, as I want to select one to use for my class with the intention of developing it ultimately into a screenplay over the next eight weeks. I am drawn to one called Fallen in Voices of Angels,  one of the Bridge House Publishing collections. It’s about a young woman who drifts through New York and stands with people in their final moments: she sees what they see and feels their final memories and joy as they pass over. But she doesn’t know what she is yet, and why she keeps going back to the same places and the same house, in particular, to watch over a little boy who plays on a swing in the yard. She befriends a homeless woman in a park who knows she’s there (no one else can see her) and she helps her realise who she is… was… and who the woman is she visits (her mom) and who the child is. She pieces together how she died; she fell and she comes to think she has taken her own life. She remembers how she was off work for months with postnatal depression when her son was born. But what she can’t work out, is since she was feeling so much better and was in a new job, why would she choose to leave her child? And why now is she stuck?

In the end, we come to realise that she didn’t take her own life: she had no choice but to fall and when she did, she chose to be an angel. She is, in fact, an angel in training until she works it out. She remembers she was working at the twin towers on September 11th. She had no choice but to fall… When she goes to tell the old homeless woman, she helps her understand the final part of her role and how she can get her wings. She now helps the old woman because now her time has come to cross over with her help.

I think this might be the one to develop. What do you think?

I am going to have to re-learn a few things and lose my ‘own writer’s voice’ to write my outline and my treatment and of course the script will have to be the dialogue sections so it’s going to be tricky, but I think the message is good. I need to start with short stories before I can even think about adapting my novel! But it’s exciting!!!

I have so many stories, of course, I might change my mind which one tomorrow!!! But this feels like it could be a good one to start with!!!

 

Wildest deams

 

Anything is possible if you believe…

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Finding Your Joy

I will be blogging regularly… but as it seems such a busy time I am not doing it every day just yet but I will be! 🙂

A lot has been happening behind the scenes… all against the backdrop of the wedding planning! So to kick off with wedding news… I did say yes to the dress yesterday! Watch me do the dance! 🙂  I had always intended to leave it until now, just three months before the wedding day as  I wanted to ‘shed and shred’ i.e. get rid of the last fat from the stomach which I have! I still want to lose a tiny bit more so still working at it until the first fitting in about five weeks’ time. So my plan came together! Of course I always knew it would… because it always does! I just knew when I tried that sixth dress on (three in one shop and then three in the second shop) it was the one 🙂 Oh yes. As I had imagined it. Someone told me that I would never get the dress I had in my mind because you change your mind when you try them on. No, not me as when I have a vision I ask the universe for it and it always gives. The Secret at work.

I realise as I sit here and think about the glorious day ahead, and my lovely life, what memories we are weaving.  It’s not just the memories that will come from the BIG day itself. Last weekend we were walking around the national wedding show — Mum and me — at the Excel in London and then yesterday with Mum and my bestie for the first time in my life at forty-nine years old (!) there I was trying on wedding dresses. I realise that these are the memories that will stay with me forever. It brings up a lot of unexpected emotion a wedding! Makes you realise what you must cherish and hold onto. Let’s start with… everything.

Memories

On the work front I finished (finally) the edits for the Bridge House Anthology last weekend as well (well finished checking the ones that had been sent back) and they are now with the designer. We have the launch on December 1st. This is the night after a big awards ceremony we’ll be attending because our wonderful gym has made it into the final six of over six hundred gyms (!) nominated for best gym in the National Fitness Awards!!! I said it was a brilliant gym, didn’t I?! So I will be on the very early train from Leicester that morning for the Bridge House event!

I also started some more mentoring with Cornerstones, always lovely to have new clients. I also did some more work on Colourblind the rework!

And I am two weeks into my screenwriting course. Not learned a lot of new information yet but it is early days. I guess I am already pretty clued up about how stories work and arcs etc. What I am most looking forward to is learning the techniques to adapt, first short stories, and eventually my novel into a screenplay! So I will share some of what I learn!

So I will be back and blogging later in the week as we begin a very busy time of exciting things and making memories!

Have a wonderful day everyone!

 

Yes to the dress

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The Buzz

I have been up writing for a couple of hours. Before I walk Rosie and go to the gym, I thought I’d pop on for a quick post.

This year has been so busy that my writing has taken a bit of a back seat… and I have to say it felt as if something was missing — like a limb!

It is strange for me to return to a novel I conceived so long ago (as a short story) and probably last edited (the novel version) ten years ago! I always knew Colourblind had legs, but my writing was not good enough then.

I always knew I would return to it sooner or later.

I am feeling a real buzz this morning as I totally rewrite it with what I know now.  You know that feeling when you sense this is going to slowly take over my life. Yeah… that! I love it, it’s a feeling that sits right in your gut and connects you to the universe and everything else and now I feel whole again and remember why I do this.

There lies the passion!

I am so pleased to be riding that Amtrak with Alice (who might now get a new name) into Atlanta… the story is being retold. And what I am finding a really useful tool for the rewrite (that needs a lot of chopping) is to think of it as a movie. Where would it start, what would be the opening scene…

Have a great day!

career_passion

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Writing Groups

Last night the Canvey Writers met for their monthly meeting.

The group was established by yours truly in January 2015 and it’s hard to believe we will be four soon! Last year we launched our special charity anthology for Havens Hospices which to date has raised (with our showcase evening) close to £500.

This year we have been quieter as there is a lot of work involved in that, but I am sure we will come up with something else. We do have a short story prize set up in honour of one of our members who sadly passed this year.

The problem I have is in keeping the ideas flowing and keeping it fresh. Last night, to emphasise the importance of reading, we looked at the books people have loved and asked them to read some extracts and tell us why that book captivated you. I think, as writers, it’s important to embrace our reading and when a book grabs you and won’t let you put it down, then ask yourself why. What has that writer done to achieve that? The exercise of this critical analysis is a great tool for your own writing. So I urge you all to do the same.

So have a think on what book you would have chosen?

I would love to hear from you!

Have a great Tuesday!

Dead Zone

I loved this book, I have always liked Stephen King’s mastery of character, but the premise of this novel is what captured me so much when I first read it years ago. 

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When the Leaves Drop

I love this time of year.  I love the chilled air and the crispy leaves. I love that feeling of the seasons changing, I embrace it. What about you?

It’s been a strange but exciting year of change for me. I am still writing but the focus has changed a little. After ten years or more or less full on then, I guess, we do need times when we make other things priority. Right?

I’ve still had some short stories published and been working on the British novels, but unless you pursue it with undying passion then not a lot happens. Don’t we know it. But life is good and as we approach five years since the release of my debut (yikes!) I am getting itchy feet. I need to see another novel out there. So I guess my mission after my wedding for 2019 will be just that. I am ready.

I think it helps at times to have distance and to rethink purpose. I love that saying that ‘being a writer is like having homework for the rest of your life’. So true. Right now I feel as if there is something I am supposed to be doing but I am not! Like I am not living my dream. Then I have to stop and remind myself: I am a writer but life changes. That is life.

And good things will happen, it just needs ‘life to happen’ to have something to say about it.

So come on the journey with me and let’s see where it takes us next.

So what am I reading? Bereft by Chris Womersley… have been reading a lot this year and enjoying it 🙂 This is great writing.

So… have an amazing week and enjoy the change. Embrace it.

Autumn

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Write to be a Writer

Sometimes I do not spend enough time writing or reading 😦  and somehow I feel incomplete. With my busy life of editing and working with other writers, and all the other things that seem to have taken over my life,  it’s also understandable and I am sure many of you will relate. Wedding plans! 😉

I have sent off my novels (more than one) as I feel it’s time to get something else out there and the other thing I am really excited about that I will be blogging about, is I have finally signed up for a screenwriting course. It’s at City Uni in London, starting in October. It runs for ten weeks, one evening a week and I am really excited. I love that going back to school feeling! Yay! I also feel it is part of my calling. In fact my understanding of the ‘fineries’ of plot and the ‘mechanics of how the story works’ come more from books by screenwriters. I would love to have a go at developing a screenplay for While No One Was Watching. Watch this space!

I took a long break from the daily blogging as I felt it was needed after all this time, I had intended to return in July but then I felt later in the year was better when I had more to talk about.

So, here I am.

And I have something to talk to you about… I have been mentoring a fair few clients since I stepped that up at the start of the year (successfully I hope) and I am now looking ahead to 2019 when I would like to introduce a ‘small group’  of either Short Story Writers or Novel Writers (or both) to mentor. Limited spaces! We will put aside time every week and might also have group chats so that we can support one another. If you might be interested in this you need to already have a first draft or clear idea of where you’re going. You might wish to use this time to write something ready for a January start. So novel, short story collection? I will help with editing, structure, placement: I will help you learn to be a better writer!

I am working out the costs now, looking at running it initially over 10 weeks, maybe meet in London at the end of it. Email me if you want to be on the ‘no obligation’ list for when I have information to send out to you! writer@debzhobbs-wyatt.co.uk

 

Exciting times ahead!

 

Did I tell you I love my writerly life? I am also spending more time just writing next month and I can’t wait!

I will be back again soon folks!

Self

 

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Reflecting on Life

I have had a long rest from blogging every day, my new editing series of tips and reviews of some recent books and authors will start in July 🙂

 

I am having a rare Sunday off after I saw my brother married yesterday at a truly unique and wonderful wedding. Today is a day to relax and reflect on all the wonderful things about life and all the things we have to look forward to. Nothing like a WEDDING to make you feel sentimental 🙂 What I love is that my brother worked for Disney as a Pooh artist and the wedding’s theme was Winnie the Pooh complete with murals he’d drawn, Pooh tables (we were on Piglet… that says it all! Oink!) little branches (sticks) we could write messages on for the couple and play pooh sticks with under the pooh bridge photo booth. We made thumbprints on a special drawing with our names, there were little games on the tables as well as Pooh honeypots for us… games to play outside on the grass, hunny pot cake (amazing: three different cakes), the speeches even had some amazing Pooh quotes as well as the inscription on their wedding rings… about ‘today being their favourite day’. The sunflowers theme was also wonderful. Even an ice cream van came and we all had free ice cream! It was all the little touches. In a beautiful private school with amazing grounds, so we spent quite a lot of time in the drawing room lounging and chatting. We had a sing-a-long to The Greatest Showman… and when they left at the end in a white taxi we lined the route with sparklers! PERFECT ❤

So so lovely. Every detail of it.

We are now looking ahead to our wedding in January!

So what else is new, I am busy working on Dotty again having started to send Chutney off so we’ll see. I am also creating time to read and enjoying some Costa winners (well you know I need to since this is the prize I intend to win!)…

So all is good 🙂

Do send me areas to do with editing, publishing and writing that you might want to see covered in my new editing series… always happy to welcome suggestions. Here are some photos to give you a glimpse and Anna and Justin’s perfect day…

 

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