Showing posts with label poetry. Show all posts
Showing posts with label poetry. Show all posts

Wednesday 3 June 2015

A Brief Diversion into Poetry...

I foolishly told the poetry Secretary at the Writers' Club (at the weekend) that I'd attempt an entry for the May poetry competition- to be handed in tonight (Wednesday).

It was rhyming form and there was a given theme.

I remember that I never found poetry difficult when I was a child- because it was playing with words and enjoying the creative process.

When you get older and aren't poetically inclined, like me, all the rules are headache inducing.

But with some technical advice from poet friends who do know, I ended up with two verses, each of four lines, and the ABAB rhyming scheme worked- well it seemed to...

I will get a little feedback next month when the judge returns the results- assuming there are enough entries for the competition to run.

So I've decided that if I ever try writing poetry again, I'll keep to blank verse. :D

Tuesday 2 July 2013

Lowdham- Photos and a Story...

Okay here's a few photos from Saturday at the Lowdham Book Festival- I've yet to master the finer arts of Photoshop Elements 9, so apologies for the light on my glasses.

In the Village Hall
The village hall is the central hub of the festival with a couple of other venues to host other talks, and marquees out on the grass behind the hall. There's always activities for children provided so no one misses out.

I would have liked to have gone to a few of the events in the afternoon, but there was a steady flow of people from 10.30 am onward, so I only left the club stall for the Fringe and a quick look at the second hand book stalls in the marquee.

(I was quite restrained; I only bought one second-hand book.)

Nor did I get to sample any of the cake on sale from the kitchen hatch- it's usually very yummy cake...

When I wasn't answering queries and promoting Nottingham Writers' Club, I was able to talk to my neighbours, Leicester Writers Club and a lady who was selling her fantastic photographs of wildlife and nature.

There were lots of writers with books to sell; including a couple of authors published by Pen & Sword books. Their wall posters stood out well, but of course the Duke of Wellington is very distinguished even in one dimension.

I bought a book (signed by the author) for my OH- who is wonderfully supportive on days like this, driving me to the village hall, keeping everything running at home, then returning to collect me at the end...

So to the performance... 
Talking to the audience while
posing for the photo

There wasn't as many people in the room as last year, but it was a sunny day this time.

In one bar there was music, and in the other the literature.

I was one of three NWC members performing.

Jennifer Appleyard began with the start of her novel, ' Touch the Earth' (Hayloft Publishing Ltd) and from there Viv Apple took over with a selection of her poetry to lighten the mood.

As we had time limitations I'd chosen short pieces. There was a 200 word story on illusion (see below) and the audience were surprised at the last line revelation as I'd hoped.

The 1400 word story that went next is currently being judged in a club competition, so I won't say anymore, but the audience liked it- hope the judge does too!

I finished off with a very short piece that I referred to as 'the underwear story' (for the benefit of any men in the audience who didn't know what shapewear is). It's actually a misadventure tale, but luckily the unfortunate woman survives the experience... :-)

So here is the first story I read. I hope you enjoy it...


Work beckoned.
    Rachel stepped out the shower, patted her skin with soft Egyptian cotton, then slathered herself in ‘Opium’; its fruity, spicy aroma began her transformation and she revelled in it.
    Slipping on the black lacy thong and matching suspender belt she began to slide the sheer black stockings up each leg in turn, and with a light-fingered fix, was done.
    Contact lenses in, she admired the view in her mirror and wished she could wake up one morning to find her pale blue eyes turned this olivaceous shade.
    With deft artistic strokes of brushes and sponges she changed face; a touch of colour to highlight the cheekbones she usually hid, and a black flick of gel liner to suggest the exotic.
    The Teal, Suzy Wong style dress with the seam slit to her right thigh displayed her stocking top and she gained extra height with gold strappy shoes via four inch heels.
    Then with a wielding of heated tongs to create a mass of curls, and a final spritz of hairspray, the illusion was complete.
    Rachel was gone; in her place stood Orchid, wild, alluring and luscious.
    Ready to ensnare the cheating husband she was employed to expose.

 © 2013 Carol Bevitt

 (Photos courtesy of Dennis Apple.)

Thursday 22 November 2012

Thursday's Radio Interview...

Another experience in the book promotion of the One Word Anthology has been achieved- the radio interview.

Nottingham has a BBC Radio and local news studio on the edge of the city, and that's where Catherine (Dalling) and I were this lunchtime.

We had an interview about the e-book on the Gareth Evans programme that airs between 12 midday and 4pm.
Our instructions were to be there by 1.30 for 1.40...

Actually we were there by 1.05, as we weren't sure how long it would take us. We were fortunate that the tram came along just as we were approaching the Royal Centre stop, otherwise we wouldn't have got there until nearer 1.30.

It's not far to walk from the tram terminus- about 5 minutes- so we had time to sign in, sit in reception and chat, and watch the four screens on the wall- we had a choice of BBC News reporting on the flooding around the country, the lunchtime antiques show, and at one end the local BBC news studio presenter preparing for the East Midlands report that follows the main One O'clock News, while at the other end and with sound, the radio presenter Gareth in his studio.

It seems the whole show for today was word related: with questions about words, fun news that was word related; so we were going to fit right in with the One Word Anthology...

We went upstairs and waited to go into the studio.

Then it was time. Introductions were done while the music was playing, we sat down and then it was time to put the earphones on.

Catherine and I naturally alternated answering the questions, and during the next music break we were able to tell Gareth about the contributors who are in Fiji, and Australia and Europe, as well as the UK and Ireland.

So when we put our earphones back on, this community aspect became part of the next question.

We talked about the words used in the anthology- why does the mind always go blank on important things? :)

Then it was time to tell listeners where they could buy the book, and say thank you.

It was the 2 o'clock news and we could leave the studio. Hopefully some of the listeners went and bought the book- or will do in future...

Everyone was pleased with how well it went; and fellow contributors were happy with our efforts. As were we.

The e-book
So here's an edited version minus the music. Interview.
Hope you enjoy it. (Thanks, John.)


Wednesday 14 November 2012

A Learning Experience from Promoting...

Well I've learnt a lot about book promotion this past week, so I thought I'd share a few of the things I've discovered.

Plan ahead

It might help you to make a list of all your potential outlets for advertising your book- flyers that can be left at any local shops, libraries, writers groups and community settings (these do depend upon the genre of your book of course, and permissions).

Local newspapers - worth looking at the free papers that get put through the door; if you can find a local slant to appeal, as with any regional paper you buy. (Our daily paper has a weekend supplement with the Saturday edition and includes books, and local related articles- often by specific writers, so send a suitably adapted press release.)

Check out local radio- if you're in a big (UK) city you'll possibly have a BBC radio station. You may find a show during the day that has a book slot that would welcome local writers.

Flyers with your book cover, author name, where it's available (for e-books) and the price, plus a bit of the blurb. More can go by e-mail nowadays but please don't just send it to everyone on your contact list and every writer you have a contact address for. That is spamming them and they will not appreciate it, or buy your book. You can lose more friends and contacts that way.

Social media- hopefully you have a presence on Facebook and Twitter; so you've made friends who might retweet a message when you're tweeting about your book launch, or giving links to where they can read about and buy your book.

If you've created a page for your book, invite your friends to like it.

For the anthology we started with the important posts - images of the book, the back page, and the gorgeous Lola, trained by the charity we're giving 10% to.

Each day a small related link was posted as a countdown to the official launch, which hopefully kept the book in the back of readers minds, and coming back to find out more each day.

On launch day as many of the writers who could do so blogged, visited, commented, tweeted and retweeted, and posted on Facebook, also sharing. (Be warned it is tiring, so have regular breaks.)

And then there were the launch parties...

Only time will tell how sales from all sources have done, but yesterday the anthology was 17th in the kindle store anthologies list. Of course it's dropped back today as everything has gone back to normal and other anthologies get promoted.

As is inevitable there were the odd typos that slipped through, but they've now been corrected.

If you're just one person promoting a book you can only do so much. And a lot of it can be done online to reach more potential readers, so choose your best methods to get the news out and books sold.

A really important point to remember when approaching local press/radio- especially at this time of year; are there any major events going on, either locally or nationally?
Last weekend was Remembrance Sunday, and this Friday is Children in Need- both big news events, so I'm not approaching local press about the anthology until early next week, and hopefully it won't get passed by.

(It may still be, but why make it harder for yourself spending time sending out press releases that won't get read because there are big events going on with lots of local coverage filling the pages?)

I'll be adding the book cover in my sidebar (somewhere). It's a lovely reminder that I've been published in a book before I'm another year older... :-)

Are there any tips you would like to pass on? If so please leave a comment below.

Monday 12 November 2012

Launch Party Today- Join the Fun...

Today is the day, the One Word Anthology e-book by the Talkback Writers is launched, and you can now buy it from for 99p.

It's available in the following formats e-Pub for e-readers other than Kindle.
- mobi for Kindle.
- pdf for reading on your computer screen.

Buy it now!

10% of the revenue from the anthology goes to support the work of Medical Detection Dogs - you can find out more about the valuable work this charity does in training animals to support and save

30 writers have contributed stories and poems that were written for the monthly One Word Challenge on the Talkback forum - which is part of the
website, run by Writers News and Writing Magazine.

Each month the writers are set a word prompt. They have
200 words (excluding the title) to create a story, and/or poetry up to 40 lines.

Lola, the Diabetic Alert Dog
The winner of the previous month's competition- one for poetry and one for prose- read the entries and choose a winner, both winners then set the word for the new month and will judge the entries at the start of the following month.

The anthology is a selection of the variety of stories and poems inspired by the chosen words.

A big thank you to all the writers involved, I'm proud to be among you.

It really has been a joint effort getting the anthology organised and put together, to now being available for sale.

Special thanks must go to writers: Jay Mandal, who suggested the competition many years ago and started it all.
Brenda Gunning, who collated the pieces and edited them ready for the publisher, Rosemary J Kind - who has the patience of a hundred people (if not more) and the technical expertise.
And finally Marion Clarke who took our assorted suggestions and created
the absolutely brilliant cover.

Early in December there will be an interview with Rosemary and Brenda in Writing Magazine (January issue) where you can find out more about how the book developed.

I'd like to give a big thank you to the WM/WN editor Jonathan Telfer who has supported the One Word Challenge on the forum from the beginning, and rightfully has a few words at the start of the book -we couldn't leave him out...

Okay, that's the official part out the way. Here's my self-promotion bit :-)

You'll find my four stories appearing under both Carol Bevitt and Serena Lake (my other name).

Carol's stories are 'Junk Mail' and 'The Child in Everyone'; while Serena's stories are 'Surprises' and 'After Heat'.

The e-book is also available on Smashwords $1.60 (it's changed to UK currency ) and Amazon; but please buy direct from our publisher if you can, as it means the charity will get more...

Now it's time to party!!!

Find us on Twitter, Facebook and wherever we can spread the launch news, so please join in.


(image from )
Virtual bubbly will be swirling...

Monday 5 November 2012

An Exciting Week Begins...

The countdown to the launch of the One Word Challenge Anthology e-book begins today.

This is a very exciting week for me, as I have four pieces of micro fiction included in this e-book- two are by my alternative writing persona, Serena Lake.

And the very best bit of all, beside the price (99p direct) is that 10% of the cover price of each e-book will go to Medical Detection Dogs, a charity that trains dogs to assist people with life-threatening conditions.

Fantastic cover image by Marion Clarke
But I'm getting ahead of myself...

The book will be available to buy in a few days, direct from Alfie Dog Fiction.

It will also be available from Amazon and Smashwords but there's no definite date yet for those. (But I'll add links and prices when they become available.)

(Buying direct from the publisher will ensure the charity gets more.)

I'm one of 30 writers who have contributed to the anthology, so expect to see other bloggers posting, tweeting and taking about it on Facebook as the week progresses.

As the official launch is Monday 12th November, you're all invited to the virtual launch party I'm holding here.

Lola the Diabetic Alert Dog
A couple of days before, 9th/10th, I'll be bringing you an interview with one of the other writers' involved, Catherine Dalling.

If you want to find out more about the Medical Detection Dogs charity that the anthology is donating to, please look here.

(Lola belongs to one of the writers in the anthology; and the Talkback Writers have followed her progress through initial training to passing her final qualifications.)

More news in a few days...

A little bit about the book

Wednesday 1 June 2011

Poetry and Me...

As anyone who knows me well will tell you, I don't write poetry. (I have read and enjoyed poetry by Byron, Keats, Tennyson and the occasional piece by Robert Frost.)

Now I admit I did try writing it last year. One of our best poets in the Writers' Club held a workshop to encourage more potential entrants to the monthly poetry competition.

I foolishly said I would try. Even more foolishly I promised that I would finish the poem and enter it into one of the 'open' category competitions that had a deadline of two months hence.

The entry went in and the judge made a few positive comments, but I think he was just trying to be encouraging- at least he didn't say it was rubbish...

Now you may wonder why I'm talking about poetry. Well tonight I am in the Chairman's seat at the writers' club, and the guest speaker is poet Carole Coates.

Viv, who arranged the booking, mentioned something about everyone needing pen and paper. I think there might be a practical element later in the evening.
As I will be sat beside the speaker I won't be able to hide, so I think I'd better quickly brush up on my poetry terminology. :-)


I survived.

I enjoyed the readings, and then after the break we did a number of simple exercises. The free writing pieces did actually give me ideas and I'm sure once my brain has worked on the phrase I wrote- " The curse of DNA" I might be able to construct something. Though I suspect that will turn into a story-eventually.

But to be honest, I will never be a poet...

Thursday 7 October 2010

National Poetry Day 2010

Thursday 7th October is National Poetry Day. This year's theme is Home, and I've no doubt that many poets have been inspired by where they've grown up, their childhood experiences and memories- however you interpret 'home'..

I have a number of friends who are poets, and I envy their ability to create often moving verse, that speaks to the reader, pulling an emotional response from us.

Writing poetry is hard- I've tried it. Personally I don't think I will ever be a poet, so I won't inflict my one poem on you (inspired by an old table that was a part of my family life as I grew up. It is now with me).

If you want to listen to some poetry being read then go here and click on any of the red marked links.

Alternatively if you want to discover what's going on in your area then check out the website for National Poetry Day information.

Have fun...