Showing posts with label news. Show all posts
Showing posts with label news. Show all posts

Friday 1 January 2021

The Future Beckons...

This is my last post here, as you may recall two months ago I announced my new website was live. You can read that post here.

My new website logo...

I hope you'll continue to follow my writing at with its new blog, and where you can sign up on the home page to receive notification of new posts by email.

You won't be bombarded with emails. I'll be aiming for 1 or 2 new posts a month, unless there's particular news to share.

I'll be adding content during the year as the website develops, and a mailing list option later in the year... 

Meanwhile, I'm archiving Carol's Corner, as there's content I don't want to lose, so my domain will continue to bring visitors here, for now. 

I'll slowly export a selection of content for future use on either my website or my site, depending on the topic covered.

Thank you for joining me at Carol's Corner in the past decade, and I look forward to your visits and comments on my website in the years to come...

Walking into the future...

Images courtesy of

Thursday 5 May 2016

The Workshop Exercises - Success...

For many years I've been a member of the Talkback forum over on the writers-online website, and the monthly one word writing challenge is not only fun, but also good for honing structure and effective word choice. You only have 200 words for the story.

It was while I was putting together my previous blog post, about the workshop, that I realised that the senses scene would work well for the April challenge, as the word was jeopardy. 

My new character, Elizabeth, was most certainly in jeopardy. So I rewrote the piece, paying particular attention to her surroundings and added another 100 words to finally come in at 198.

It was posted with a day to spare before the month end. But the wait for the competition to close, and the prose judge's decision and comments were worth it.

Here's what the April judge said- I know they won't mind me sharing their comments on my entry:

The Darkness Beckons
A great build-up of atmosphere and tension in this story. I was imagining a Dickens era setting, but I think it works equally as well in a modern day setting. I am curious to know why Elizabeth could no longer rely on “the niceties of society”, what had brought her to the warehouse, what choices she had previously been denied…. I think you should write on!

What awaits at the
other end?

And even better, I was co-runner up 'for the great sense of atmosphere'. 

(Imagine grimy windows, neglect, abandonment, vermin and a very dark corridor.)

Needless to say, Elizabeth has gone into the development corner of my brain, marked up as #6. She may move up the order, but it really does depend on how long the story will be; it could be short, or longer, which is partly why I'm not revealing that scene... 

At the moment she seems content to have made her presence known and isn't going to pester- unlike a few of my waiting characters. It will be serious when she gets a file box for her story.

Meanwhile I'm getting the hang of the second draft process with Hugh and Sarah's story, so it's all positive at the moment.

image courtesy of Tuomas Lehitinen &

Sunday 13 March 2016

Nursing the Computer Along...

After a couple of stable days I'm getting the occasional issues again.

Nothing major, more annoying than anything. So I've made sure that all my photos and documents are backed up so I don't lose anything if it should suddenly conk out.

I just realised that I have a lot of bookmarked websites that it will be useful to save too, as I lost a few useful saved sites when my previous computer finally went...

So this week I will be researching what's available to replace my desktop.

Which to choose?
I'm also going into a busy spell for the next six weeks.

While everything is still working I intend to get back to the chapter two rewrite, having taken a break to get a couple of short stories out and on the way- and to get to know a minor character that needs to appear at chapter two or early on in chapter three.

I have a stack of competition entries to read for the writers' club national competition - I'm one of five readers; and while the Chairman is away I'm in charge too, so there's lots to do before the AGM next month.

There will be an online item later in the week too, but more about that on Thursday.

Any recommendations on the best computer brands? And what's your experience of Windows 10?

Image courtesy of Ventrilock &

Thursday 25 February 2016

Newspaper Research...

I'm very pleased I didn't need any newspapers to write my short story- it's now on its way, and after the final editing came out at 1,799 words, so 1,800 as the magazine requires. When I eventually get an answer (around 16 weeks from receipt) I'll let you know if it's a yes or no.

So with that story out of the way I'm free to get back to my longer works in progress.

At the moment I'm checking a few facts- dates of events that cannot be manipulated; such as the date the Treaty of Amiens was actually signed. It's only a background detail but if it was signed later in the year then everything in the story has to be shifted too.

This is where old newspapers come in useful.

Old newspapers are being digitised and added to the British Newspaper Archive each year. It's a partnership between Find My Past and the British Library, their aim is to digitise 40 million newspaper pages "over the next 10 years".

It's possible to search for free, but if you want to access the page and save/print the details there is a charge, but they do have a number of subscription options which is helpful.

Old Newspapers...
The last few days I've been checking for ancestors, and today discovered one of my grandfathers was fined (in December 1940) for "a black-out offence" the previous month - shows how seriously it was taken.

I did eventually discover in the Morning Post when the Treaty of Amiens (between the French and the English) was actually signed- 25th March 1802. Admittedly the article was that date the following year, looking back on events, but another article elsewhere confirmed the date too.

So the 25th of next month it will have been 214 years ago, and we can still read the views expressed at that time...

From 1850 onwards there's a lot more available than 1710-1830's, but those early newspapers and sheets that survived would probably be very delicate anyway.

While the annual subscription seems like a lot of money, when compared with the time and cost of travelling to places to scan through film, or maybe even microfiche in some cases, it doesn't start to look too bad for my needs.

As with any research there's the risk of distractions, so I'm limiting myself to an hour or two in the early or late evening, and I bookmark anything relevant in folders in my account, so I can come back to them again.

image courtesy of Naypong &

Saturday 23 August 2014

A Small Success...

All is going okay at the moment on the 'getting son ready to go off to university'.

I've managed to grab a couple of hours writing today, and chapter four (draft 1) is almost finished.

Friday (yesterday) was a good day, as I received an email with some good news.

You may remember that last August I had a 200+ word story on the Cafe Lit website, called 'A Tight Squeeze'.

Well my story will be appearing in the Best of Cafe Lit 2013. I will be joining fellow blogging writers, Patsy Collins, and Helen Laycock, who also made the cut.

The full list is here so see if you recognise any of the other names.

Considering there was a year's worth of stories to choose from, I was pleasantly surprised that I made it into the best of list - 29 writers.

Small steps, I know, but it's a good way to begin the autumn... :)

Saturday 16 August 2014

Short Break and University...

I'm going to be busy for the next week or two, so there may not be many blog posts-if any.

One of my triplets got the results he needed to go to University next month, so we're going to be helping him prepare for the move from home.

Meanwhile I'm still writing as and when I can, so keep a watch of my writing totals to see my progress - just added 735 words to chapter 4 before my writing session was disrupted this afternoon.

Sadly no holiday away from home this year because there's so much going on.

But as soon as this slightly chaotic period is over, I'll get back into routine.

In the meantime have fun.

Wednesday 19 September 2012

Update on Publishers and the Agency Model...

If you've been keeping up with the controversy surrounding publishers who adopted the 'Agency Model' for retailers selling e-books, it appears that The European Commission (who began investigating a number of publishers over possible contravention of EU regulations) has made an initial finding.

For anyone who's missed the ongoing saga, the agency model is where the publisher sets a price that retailers must sell that publisher's e-books for; this prevents retailers from offering their own discount deals. I've been posting about this agency issue since late 2010.

Earlier this year the same publishers were faced with an agreement with the US Justice Department concerning the future of the agency model. But even this is still ongoing as this Bookseller item explains ' Publishers and Apple want delay in settlement agreements' claiming, " “The government is seeking to impose a remedy on Apple before there has been any finding of an antitrust violation.” ".

So to the EU.

The Competition Commission in the UK earlier this year stopped their investigation as the EC decided they would take action on potential breaches of legislation. And obviously they would have a bigger shovel to hit publishers with compared to the UK by itself...

"The publishers and Apple have agreed for two years not to "restrict, limit or impede" retailers from reducing the price of e-books or offering discounts. They have also agreed not to enter into any e-book agreement that contains a the most favoured nation (MFN) clause for five years." (Bookseller article)

This does not apply to Penguin, who have not reached an agreement with the EC.

"The EC is now road-testing the agreements and has called for observations to be submitted within one month, otherwise they will become binding shortly thereafter." (Bookseller article)

So the battle is far from over, but by early next year I'd expect to see a few pricing changes.

Sadly I don't think it will bode well for e-book royalty rates for writers contracted to those publishers. And I wouldn't be surprised if it becomes even harder for unknowns to be taken on by the big firms, even with an agent.

This may be the time for independent publishers to see a further leap in interest and more submissions...


Friday 22 June 2012

Best, Fifty Shades and Zombies...

I regularly trawl the book related sites to keep in touch with the world of literature. Some months are quieter than others, but fortunately the summer months are usually busy.

So I thought I'd highlight a few things- just in case you'd missed them, or have got bored of my office saga and my spells of self promotion. :-)

News of short stories in Best magazine comes from writer Vivian Hampshire. Apparently there are no guidelines yet, but 800-1,000 word stories are wanted. Though studying the magazine's current style will be essential to target your stories. One story a week isn't much, but it's better than no stories at all; and fiction has been appearing in the seasonal specials I'm told

Best's website is being revamped as is the magazine, so perhaps details will appear once it's all completed.

* * *

Fifty Shades of Grey by E L James and her other two books in the trilogy have been setting sales records.

"James, a London-based former TV executive, is now the first author ever to see three of her books sell more than 100,000 printed copies in just one week. She has also broken the weekly sales record for a paperback novel after the first book in the trilogy sold 205,130 copies in seven days, beating the previous record of 141,000." (Guardian books.)

You can read the rest of the article here.

Now I don't begrudge any writer success, good luck to her.

The book apparently has page turning quality- but from something a non writing reader told me this week, turning the page to get back to the story might be part of it.

A few months ago I received a regular newsletter from the publisher promoting their upcoming books and these three were prominently displayed.
There was already lots of discussions about the book on the web so I clicked through to the publisher's website and took up the opportunity to read the first few chapters of the first book.

I was not impressed- it needed a good editing- so I didn't bother looking at the other books, or buying them.

That was probably part of the problem. I'm a writer who has been taught to edit out inconsistencies, cliche's and all those other bad things drummed into us on how to improve your manuscript before you even think about submitting it to a publisher or agent.

If you're not convinced, then do see Sally Quilford's enlightening reviews of book one starting here, though I've been told by an acquaintance that (the second book) was nothing but erotica and BDSM- how true that is, I can't say...

* * *

Finally if you happen to know any fans of Charlie Higson's The Enemy series of books, there's a competition for a chance to appear as a zombie extra in the trailer of the fourth book, The Sacrifice.

"Would-be zombies must be over 16 and have to send a photo of themselves and 50 words, or less, describing why they would make a good zombie to by 26th June" and filming is set to take place on the 30th June.

So you need to be quick- not something zombies are usually good at, or so I'm assured by one of my sons who is a fan of the books.

Have a good weekend. I'll be sorting boxes.

LATE NEWS: A Harlequin/Mills and Boon opportunity is coming in a few months, see here.

Wednesday 14 March 2012

Carol's News Round-Up: March/1

This is it, the first of my new posts covering interesting writing or book related items.

It was International Women's Day last week (8th March) and writer Linda Grant used her Twitter account to discuss the (continuing) need for feminism. She received a very large numbers of tweets and retweets in response, sharing their experiences of sexual discrimination over the years, that proved why the feminist movement was needed.

They are now available to read on a website called A Thousand Reasons. For anyone interested in social history, or wanting an insight into the lives of women in the 20th century, then read the responses- I thoroughly recommend it.

If you are in the UK and want to hear Linda Grant speaking about this, then listen to (14th March) Radio 4's Woman's Hour on the BBC 's Radio IPlayer. Linda's piece is 24 mins 30 seconds into the programme.


The latest trend in the range of social websites is Pinterest. It enables you to pin a pictures from your computer or elsewhere on the web to a virtual pin board, so you can share an interest with other users.

And just to prove it is book related, you can even show book covers...

Now, it's a great idea, but this is one of those times when you really do need to read every term and condition carefully, rather than just clicking 'I accept'. Their copyright section is based in the USA, and they operate with reference to the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act- so if you've not seen it then look here.

In Pinterest's indeminity section by signing up, you are agreeing to pay all costs if someone should take legal action for any infringement (despite there being a system in place for notifying of copyright infringement and removal)- as the other section clearly says you're agreeing not to infringe any third party rights, and you have the right to post the images etc.

So if you intend to use Pinterest, make sure the images are yours, or you have permission to use the images and give credit where it's due. I know most of you reading this already know that, but just in case there's anyone who doesn't...

Two quite hefty subjects to start with, but I promise I'll try for shorter items later this month...

A New Type of Blog Post Coming Today...

As those who know me well will tell you, I find useful or interesting news items on books, words or related publishing aspects, and relay them to my writer friends, who may also find them of interest or useful.

Since I joined Twitter I've found a lot more digital sources of opinion and information.

So as part of my rethink, on how I'm blogging and using other social media, I've decided to have a blog post specifically for writing/book related news/issues. Just in case you've missed the pieces on your own travels.

I will probably do this twice a month- dates to be decided- and give you the links to help.

I hope you'll enjoy this and find it useful, and perhaps contribute your thoughts in the comments section, or just say you've enjoyed-or not- reading it...