Mastodon The Writing Desk: March 2012

26 March 2012

Lost in Your Time, by Elle Amberley

Available on Amazon UK and Amazon US

Rock star or husband – which would you choose? We have all been warned the of dangers of the internet, but do we take notice?

When Natasha clicks on a link, her whole life is turned upside down. A flash from the past, a chance meeting with a gorgeous French rock star...

A chance to start over and forget the pain and misery from the last two years.
But can Natasha let go? Will she accept this new twist in her life?

Will she regain her "joie de vivre"? Or will the sparks fizzle out?

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About the Author

Elle Amberley writes Women’s Fiction, Literary, poetry, short stories and features. Elle writes positive stories with a strong theme of being lost and finding yourself again. Although she tackles difficult subjects in her novels, her characters turn out to be fighters, not victims. Every emotion is conveyed and her style has been described as “lyrical” and appeals to a wide age group. Find out more at Elle Amberley's website and find her on Twitter @ElleAmberley 

14 March 2012

Thomas Wyatt: The long love that in my thought doth harbour

Sir Thomas Wyatt
by Hans Holbien
The long love that in my thought doth harbour
And in mine hert doth keep his residence,
Into my face presseth with bold pretence
And therein campeth, spreading his banner.

She that me learneth to love and suffer
And will that my trust and lustës negligence
Be rayned by reason, shame, and reverence,
With his hardiness taketh displeasure.

Wherewithall unto the hert's forest he fleeth,
Leaving his enterprise with pain and cry,
And there him hideth and not appeareth.

What may I do when my master feareth
But in the field with him to live and die?
For good is the life ending faithfully.

2 March 2012

Writers Go Deeper: Marcel Proust

This is one of the most useful writing ideas I’ve picked up over the years. Your work in progress is storming ahead and you can hardly write quickly enough as new plot twists form in your creative mind. You need to slow down and go deeper. Deeper into the minds of your characters. Deeper into their backstory. Deeper into the information reaching their senses. Proust illustrates the power of this with his madeleine moment:

My mother, seeing that I was cold, offered me some tea, a thing I did not ordinarily take. I declined at first, and then, for no particular reason, changed my mind. She sent for one of those squat, plump little cakes called "petites madeleines," which look as though they had been moulded in the fluted valve of a scallop shell. And soon, mechanically, dispirited after a dreary day with the prospect of a depressing morrow, I raised to my lips a spoonful of the tea in which I had soaked a morsel of the cake. No sooner had the warm liquid mixed with the crumbs touched my palate than a shudder ran through me and I stopped, intent upon the extraordinary thing that was happening to me. An exquisite pleasure had invaded my senses, something isolated, detached, with no suggestion of its origin. And at once the vicissitudes of life had become indifferent to me, its disasters innocuous, its brevity illusory - this new sensation having had on me the effect which love has of filling me with a precious essence; or rather this essence was not in me it was me. I had ceased now to feel mediocre, contingent, mortal. Whence could it have come to me, this all-powerful joy? I sensed that it was connected with the taste of the tea and the cake, but that it infinitely transcended those savours, could, no, indeed, be of the same nature. Whence did it come? What did it mean? How could I seize and apprehend it?  … when from a long-distant past nothing subsists, after the people are dead, after the things are broken and scattered, taste and smell alone, more fragile but more enduring, more unsubstantial, more persistent, more faithful, remain poised a long time, like souls, remembering, waiting, hoping, amid the ruins of all the rest; and bear unflinchingly, in the tiny and almost impalpable drop of their essence, the vast structure of recollection. As soon as I had recognized the taste of the piece of madeleine soaked in her decoction of lime-blossom which my aunt used to give me (although I did not yet know and must long postpone the discovery of why this memory made me so happy) immediately the old grey house upon the street, where her room was, rose up like a stage set to attach itself to the little pavilion opening on to the garden which had been built out behind it for my parents (the isolated segment which until that moment had been all that I could see); and with the house the town, from morning to night and in all weathers, the Square where I used to be sent before lunch, the streets along which I used to run errands, the country roads we took when it was fine. And as in the game wherein the Japanese amuse themselves by filling a porcelain bowl with water and steeping in it little pieces of paper which until then are without character or form, but, the moment they become wet, stretch and twist and take on colour and distinctive shape, become flowers or houses or people, solid and recognizable, so in that moment all the flowers in our garden and in M. Swann's park, and the water-lilies on the Vivonne and the good folk of the village and their little dwellings and the parish church and the whole of Combray and its surroundings, taking shape and solidity, sprang into being, town and gardens alike, from my cup of tea.  (In Search of Lost Time - translated by C.K. Scott Moncrieff and Terence Kilmartin.)

Next time you are 500 words short of your daily writing target, go deeper. Explore the infinite possibilities of your fictional world. 

100 Word Flash Fiction Friday: Amber

Creatures of the ancient forest shared their slow horrific death, trapped in the sticky sweet sap. Their cruel reward for hungry curiosity? To be entombed for all eternity.

Light sparkled from polished facets as she slowly turned the amber jewel, her expert eye quickly searching for the slightest imperfection.  Dark blemishes lurking deep within demanded her rejection.  Unknowingly she returned the most precious of all the gemstones, to continue in her quest for sterile conformity. 

Writers suffering the cursory inspection of their precious originality find consolation in knowing life is often truly stranger than the most finely crafted fiction.

For more flashes prompted by this week’s picture and to find out more about 100 word flash fiction, visit Madison Woods and explore.