Blog, Coffee Break Sundays

Coffee Break Sundays 1/20/19

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1/20/19              COFFEE BREAK SUNDAY

My goodness, it’s Sunday again already!  And this time, I came armed with muffins… Oh yes! (Yes, I really did bake these).

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What could be better to kick off a lazy Sunday morning than a cup of coffee and a homemade blueberry muffin? And by lazy, I indeed do mean slouching around all day doing precisely nothing at all.

Is it strange to think that this blogging malarkey is starting to feel almost normal now? Almost. It’s part of my everyday life, and yes it’s difficult to find time to create content sometimes but I couldn’t imagine my life as a writer without this place now.

So, what have I been up to this week? I feel like I have finally got into the groove of this year after a tricky start. I don’t know about you, but I set way too many new year’s resolutions – and most are already in the bin. I think it’s important to set reasonable goals. The idea that you can just change your whole lifestyle by doing this-that-and-this is just so unrealistic.

So this is my new, new year’s resolution:

Set realistic, reasonable goals! (And smash them)

I kicked off this week with a piece of flash fiction called ‘A Distant Land‘, playing with reality and seeking out our world from a different viewpoint. It also brings into focus the issue of pollution and plastic in our oceans, something that we have to take the time to think about and change.

My piece ‘Meet My Fiancée…‘ earnt me my first every badge over at YeahWrite, which I believe is a good thing! Things like this affirm that my writing is improving over time with the help of constructive criticism and that’s just great. I also really love writing comedy, so I hope to bring more of that to you in the coming weeks.

I closed out the week with a visit to the ‘Gateway of India‘ – come travel with me! I have let the blogging side of things slip a little this week (I’m looking at you Fabulous Fiction Fridays!) but I felt that last week was quite blog-heavy, so I’m trying my best to strike the right balance. I’m hopeful that this will come with time!

Well that’s my coffee gone and a blueberry muffin (or two) devoured so I’ll leave you to get on with the rest of your day. Thanks for joining me for another catch-up, I can’t wait to see what the next week brings.

R.J. x

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Photo by Anna Voss on Unsplash

 

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Blog, Coffee Break Sundays

Coffee Break Sundays 1/13/19

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1/13/19                  COFFEE BREAK SUNDAY

Another week has passed, and it sure went quicker than the last! I’m back into the swing of things after the New Year festivities but I haven’t been nearly as productive as I’d liked to have been. Thanks for joining me for another coffee, let’s get to the chat!

My productivity has definitely been down on last week, including on the blog. I took some great steps including purchasing my domain (YAAAAAYYYY!) and approaching new genres, but overall I’ve produced less content and haven’t been able to write as much as I’d liked to have done.

Truth be told, I’ve had an awful virus and the brain fog had well and truly taken over. Here’s to a better week!

That aside, what have I actually managed to achieve? Well, I wrote a couple of pieces of flash fiction. My piece ‘Mirror, Mirror‘ takes on the genre of Magical Realism (before the challenge at YeahWrite, I totally didn’t know such a thing existed) but I’m pretty happy with the outcome. I love how I’m learning so much in this community.

My second piece ‘When We Were Young‘ is one I’m particularly happy with. This is the kind of genre that I really love to read and write, and yes, it definitely is named after the Adele song.

I’ve also continued my Fabulous Fiction Fridays series, so in case you missed that, it featured Still Loved, Still Missed and is definitely worth a read. I’ve probably partaken in more blogging than writing this week but sometimes you just have to do what works for you! Although I definitely intend to focus on writing.

That’s it for this week, except to say thank you so much for joining me and I hope you stay with me for the next week. It really does make my day when I read a kind comment (or even helpful, constructive criticism!) so thank you for your comments.

Well, that’s my coffee gone in record time but I’m sure it won’t be the last.

R.J. x

I couldn’t resist leaving you with a bit of Adele, so get your Sunday off to an even better start with this beauty of a song! Enjoy.

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Blog, Fabulous Fiction Fridays

Fabulous Fiction Fridays (1/11/19)

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Welcome back to the next post in the Fabulous Fiction Fridays series!

Last week we saw how so much can be achieved in so few words through the art of Microprose, and we’ll be going down that road again for today’s post.

I believe that it’s so important that we support and share each other’s work, so without further ado…


This week’s post features Still Loved, Still Missed and their piece of Microprose ‘The First Window‘.
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The raw-boned woman gasped for air, smelled death.
The dust in the stuffy cell resembled the white fog waiting to knock the wind out of her lungs.

The first window let fresh air in.
Life made a mass entry.


This piece is so on-point in its descriptions, making the contrast between life and death so very clear. The stale surroundings of the cell connote death, the woman even smells it. She’s raw-boned, almost like a skeleton, all skin and bone.

The dust is another nice addition to show the passage of time and the dirt present. It takes on a violent form ‘waiting to knock the wind out of her lungs’. The sense of struggling to breath and claustrophobia is perfectly present and written so very well.

We, the readers, are able to gather all of this information purely from the descriptions. This is a real talent.

The revelation of the window brings relief not only to the main character but also to the reader. The tense atmosphere of the first two sentences is no more and a rush for fresh air takes place. A nice, deep breath of fresh air. It’s like holding your breath underwater and then resurfacing to get some oxygen.

This in itself is life. Light and air is life. Banishing the darkness and stale air of the cell, life begins with The First Window.

Great job, SLSM!

You can find the original post here, and SLSM’s blog as a whole right here. Please do check it out! ❤


And, if you would like to see more of my work, feel free to check out my latest piece of flash fiction: Mirror, Mirror.

I hope to see you again next week for another day of Fabulous Fiction.

R.J. x

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Blog, Weekly Wisdom

Weekly Wisdom (1/9/19)

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Welcome to my very first post in the Weekly Wisdom series!

What’s it all about? Well, we’re mid-way through the week and just about to go over that hump. Sometimes we all need a little help and wisdom to carry us through to the weekend. Work, chores, family life – we all have responsibilities during the week that sometimes we just need to take a break from. This is our opportunity to do that.

So grab a coffee (of course) or perhaps a herbal tea, and take five minutes out to read…


Quote of the Week:

Since this is a writing blog, I’ll try to make the quotes relevant and inspirational. Today’s comes from author, Margaret Atwood.

Such an inspiring quote for those times when writing something is more important than writing 'the' thing. #writing #quotes #writers #creativewriting #blog #blogging

– Margaret Atwood

It’s important to remember as writers that there is no such thing as true perfection. We all have our own subjective idea of what perfection is, but there’s no one true definition. It’s so easy to put pressure on ourselves to get perfection, to write the perfect piece. I hate to break it to you, but that’s never gonna happen. The best we can do is write. Writing is better than not writing, right?

So next time that you feel that your work is imperfect and you’re close to shutting down that latest project, remember that the word ‘perfect’ itself is a work of fiction.


Goal of the Week:

It’s no secret that exercise is the friend of both mind and body. It’s easy to stop taking care of yourself when you have deadlines to meet and precious words to write. This week, I want you to go out and join me for a short mindful walk.

 

You may be thinking: Well, I do this everyday, so what? The difference is, I want you to do this in a way that is mindful. You are not doing this just for your body, but for your mind.

Use all of your senses, be there in the moment, put all your thoughts to one side. If you can, find a secluded place where you can connect with nature and get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

I’m not advising that you climb a mountain or become an athlete, just ten minutes is enough to reset and relax. It really will help your creativity flow when you next come to write!

Personally, I try to do this every day (and mostly fail…) but it’s a great practice to adhere to when you need a moment to yourself. Don’t forget the positive benefits on your body, also!


Q: What’s the one thing that you’re going to do for yourself, today?

Leave me a comment, and let me know if you do go for that short walk.

R.J. x

 

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Photo by Jim Abbring on Unsplash

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Blog, Coffee Break Sundays

Coffee Break Sundays (1/6/19)

 

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Welcome to a brand new feature on my blog!

I’m a huge fan of coffee, and will take any opportunity to grab myself a cup. So, with that in mind, every Sunday I plan to recap my week in the writing world and let you know what exciting events (sleeping.. walking.. eating.. sleeping) have been happening in my life! It’s also an opportunity to for me to thank you for reading.

So, thank you! And I really do mean that.

Now, caffeine at the ready…

1/6/19              COFFEE BREAK SUNDAY

Well, that’s my first official week as a blogger done. I’m not even sure if I can call myself a blogger yet. I spend far too much time on Pinterest (once you start pinning, you can not stop) and have received a handful of hits every day (something I’m so grateful for, by the way) so does that make me a blogger now?

I’ve had so much fun creating some short pieces of fiction (The Gift of Life) including trying my hand at ‘Microprose’ (A Child is Born) for the very first time over at YeahWrite and other writing prompt websites. I find that having a set deadline to  achieve something small that you really enjoy doing makes you get into the right gear. It’s so difficult to be productive, and even when you are being productive, are you really doing anything worthwhile? The fact that I can get constructive criticism to improve is just great!

I’ve also posted a couple of other flash fiction pieces. Vanity in Peach and A “Happy” New Year? feel free to check them out if you have a couple of minutes to spare today. I feel that the latter post is especially powerful, remembering those who may be suffering in silence when everybody else is too busy celebrating.

I also had the honour of launching my Fabulous Fiction Friday series, which I hope will lead me to make contact with many awesome people through mutual support. It kicked off with a piece of microprose by Belinda Bekkers, titled ‘An Introduction‘.

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Out of the writing world, what have I been up to? Well, welcoming in the New Year of course. I’m confident that 2019 is going to be a great (and hopefully productive) year! I’ve also drank extreme amounts of coffee, walked many miles, tried my hand at photography (again) and tried to keep my brain in check.

Self-care is really important to me, something you will be able to follow with my Weekly Wisdom posts (coming soon; next Wednesday!) I promise it won’t be a lecture on how to live your life (is there anything worse?) but just a collection of ideas and practices that I personally find helpful.

Well that’s one cappuccino down and as it’s Sunday, the day for relaxing and taking stock, I’m sure there will be many more to follow. Thanks for joining me.

I hope you stick around for the next week of my writing journey!

Question: What do you do to aid productivity when it comes to writing? 

R.J x

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Blog, Fabulous Fiction Fridays

Fabulous Fiction Fridays (1/4/19)

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As writers I think it’s so important that we celebrate each other’s work and support one another. For this reason, every Friday I will be sharing a piece of fiction to my blog that I particularly enjoyed from the past week. Welcome to Fabulous Fiction Fridays! 

This week I tried my hand at Microprose (you can read my effort here) and I was so surprised at some of the other pieces that I came across. It’s amazing how much detail can be put into so few words.


This week’s post features Belinda Bekkers and her piece of Microprose ‘An Introduction’

‘A firm handshake and a velvety, “Hi, I’m Tom.” Twinkling eyes, the same colour as her cubicle wall. A smile quickening her heartbeat. A realisation that trying to avoid falling in love with him was going to be futile.’


It’s a real skill to be able to convey a story like this in so few words. I feel like I know so much about ‘Tom’ already and how the female character [she/her] feels about him. Manly, smooth, familiar. She clearly finds this combination irresistible after going through her internal checklist.

Just a flash of that smile is enough for a sudden rush of adrenaline. It’s interesting how she falls for Tom after such a short amount of time, seeing beyond that initial lust and deciding that it’s futile to even try not to love him. What a hopeless romantic! To give so much depth to a character’s personality traits through actions alone and so little description is really impressive.

I think the act of scanning a stranger when we first meet them to gauge how attractive they are is something that we all do, intentionally or not, and this piece captures that perfectly in an instant. 

The concept here isn’t revolutionary, it’s something that we’ve all experienced but this time it has been taken to a whole new level. A masterclass in taking a simple idea with so few words to work with and making it into something truly beautiful to read! 

Great job, Belinda. 

You can find the original post here, and please do check out Belinda’s blog in its entirety here. Show her some love! ❤ 


Q: Would you like to see more of these posts, supporting fellow writers? 

If you would like to see more of my work, feel free to check out my latest piece of flash fiction: Vanity in Peach.

And remember, this coming Wednesday will mark the start of my ‘Weekly Wisdom’ series, where I will once again encourage good vibes only. Featuring inspirational quotes and ideas to keep your brain in check, join me on a journey of self-love and mindfulness!

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