Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Guest contributor: Celeste Chapman (2)

Story by Celeste Chapman (aged 2 1/2 years):

Dolly and me had a shop and Dolly grew big and I was small. The shop was pink and sold soldiers. Dolly grew small again and I grew big. Then a dinosaur came and 'ommed' a rabbit and he was bad and he stomped away. Dolly cuddled me and I went home and went to bed with a blanket and a cushion and eyes shut. I went to sleep. The End.

Friday, 23 September 2016

Speaka da Toddler? Part One

I have, through many hours of research, cracked toddler speak. To many, it sounds like relentless complaints about the temperature of custard or hysteria about the washing of a favourite toy. However, there are basic linguistic rules that can be followed to understand your toddler!

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Baby Writing Challenge SUPER//OVERTIME//MODE Story Fifteen: "White Castle, Black King"

A lot darker subject than I usually tackle this time.

I should explain.

I'd been casting around for the angle for the story I was writing for a friend of my wife. The random genre picker gave me "historical fiction" which narrowed the field down to the whole of human history, which wasn't especially helpful.

I listen to an excellent podcast called Lore.  It's tag line is "Sometimes the truth is more frightening than fiction". That's a understatement. I listened to an episode about an American gentleman called H H Holmes and it shocked me so much that I had to stop listening to check that the narrator wasn't winding me up. He wasn't. Knowing what I know now, I am absolutely astonished that the world has forgotten him.

I won't spoil the shock for you. I've put some schematics for perusal after the story. Just bear in mind that everything, save the fictional narrator, is true. You won't believe me, but there it is.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you "White Castle, Black King".

Friday, 16 September 2016

Baby Writing Challenge SUPER//OVERTIME//MODE Story Fourteen: "Lost and Found", a toddler and a baby equals less writing time. I've tried writing with the toddler around. She - bless her golden heart - wants to 'help'. Apparently, if you mash the letters on a keyboard that makes words and if you do that for long enough, that makes a story. She seems to have the basics of fiction writing sorted then!

Thankfully, there are enough naughty kids in my classes this year that they can do all the tidying up of my classroom in their detention, while I write (in five minute bursts between naggings).

Super Overtime Mode Ho!

The next story in the sequence was prompted by the words 'celestial' and 'chaos', after the human hurricane who is my toddlerThe word was suggested by my sister-in-law,  now famous through her work in drug development.  The random genre picker gave me 'lost world' as a genre and it is here that I have a confession to make.

There was literally no way that I could think of a story about finding lost dinosaurs, cavemen, etc that I could tell in 2-3k words that wasn't massively cheesy and also rubbish. I've managed to sneak round that by being very, very literal. 

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you - 'Lost and Found'.

Friday, 2 September 2016

Silver Medal

Hooray! My story that won second place in a national competition has been posted online in Writing Magazine's Winners' Showcase (and there's even some very flattering comments from the judge right at the end!). What a lovely start to the weekend!