I’m back! for National Flash Fiction Day


It’s been over a month since my last post and if you read it, you’ll know I got a bit disillusioned with the whole blogging thing, mainly as yet again, I failed to complete the AtoZ Blogging Challenge. I suppose I have to come to terms with the fact that daily blogging is just not something I can do anymore. That doesn’t mean I should quit blogging, and I’m grateful to those of you who have chipped in and said I shouldn’t. I also understand the plight of those who shared that they were feeling the same as I was.

I’ve decided to keep going and amongst other musings, and news, I will be continuing my series in Isaiah. But not before we have a bit of fun with National Flash Fiction Day. I had a fabulous weekend at the ACW Odyssey Weekend and met some ACW folk I’d only known via FB and Twitter, it was also great to be reunited with some old friends. I’ll post about that weekend another time, but for today I’ll be sharing some flash fiction of my own, and some ACW flash fiction too.

Hope you enjoy it… here’s the first offering, from er… me 🙂

 

Foreclosure
by Annmarie Miles

 

Magda arrived in the middle of her story. The beginning was at the gate or down the street, not that it mattered. She struggled through the door, lifting one armful of shopping up and over, sending it ahead of herself. She followed it, bringing another bouquet of bags behind her.

“And the stupid bus driver wouldn’t accept my return ticket, so I had to pay twice.”

I eyed the bags and opened my mouth to complain but what came out was, “Cuppa?” 
“Oh yea, I’m gasping.” Magda walked past me, dropping the bags as she entered the kitchen. “There’s my girl,” she said to her daughter who was sitting in a high chair, sucking on a piece of toast.  

I tripped over a bag and followed her to the kitchen.

“Soooooo, I have something to ask you,” Magda said in her sweet voice. I grabbed a mug and resisted the urge to slam the cupboard shut. 
“I know I said I’d give you what I owe you today, but can you wait until next week?” Magda was eating the baby’s toast. “I had to get Shania a few bits, and I wanted to get stuff for her party. It just adds up. I can’t believe how much nappies cost. That guy will be banging on the door for his £35 and if I don’t give it to him tomorrow, he’s saying he’ll take the telly. So next week, definitely, alright? And I’ll give you something for having Shania again today. I know I said an hour, I can’t believe it took me two hours just to get to town and back.”
“Four,” I said, handing her a mug of tea.
“What?”
“You were gone almost four hours.”
“No way. Four hours? I can’t believe that. Time just disappears.  But wait ‘til you see what I got Shania. EVERYTHING is on sale.”
I walked back to get my tea and glanced at the bags in the hall. 

“Magda,” I said gripping my cup, “we need to talk about this.”
“Yeah, definitely. Talk about what?” Magda was playing peek-a-boo with Shania. 
“I need…”
“Hang on, my phone’s ringing.” Magda rummaged in her handbag. “Just give me a sec. Sorry. Hello? Oh yeah, hi. Really? Brilliant, I didn’t think you’d still have it. And how much? Great. When can I collect it? Definitely, I’ll see you then.” Magda threw her phone back in her bag. 
“Remember that dolls’ house I wanted for Shania?” she said, putting her coat on. “The one I saw online with the shiny red door? Well the guy still has it, but I have to pay him today. I’m going to meet him now. I can’t believe it. She is going to love it. Mammy has the best birthday present for her best girl.” She kissed Shania and ran passed me. “I’ll be an hour tops ok?”

She ran to the front door and as she closed it behind her shouted, “Thanks Mam, I owe you.”

Flogging :(


Flogging – my own term for ‘failing to blog’.

For the second year in a row, I failed to complete the A to Z Blogging Challenge. It frustrates me that I didn’t finish the challenge. I have always loved the challenge but I don’t think I will try it again next year, unless my life is less hectic.

It has made me think about blogging in general. I wonder should I give it up. There’s lots of talk about ‘the end of blogging.’ How anything longer than a Facebook post is pointless, because no one reads online. So I’m wondering… do I continue blogging, or do I throw in the towel? I’m not looking for you to answer that question. I’m just pondering the value of what I do online.

So… I may disappear for while… to work on editing 3 different projects I have on the go.

If you’re a blogger and or a reader of blogs, I’d love you to hear your thoughts on the whole blogging thing. Is it done? Or am I just done with it?

If you want to catch up on Facebook or Twitter, come find me by searching for amowriting 🙂

Belated Thank Yous & AtoZ news


I am so grateful for all the supportive messages both private and public, after my last post. I asked for help, and some of you responded with great kindness and honesty. You really encouraged me. Thank you. I very soon got on track again and at the moment am back to my best result of minus 5 stone. It is a relief and a joy, to be back in control again. But it’s scary how quickly I can be thrown off  course.

I’ve been quiet on here lately as I’m armpit-deep in edits of the book I’ve written about the weight loss. I toyed with calling it, ‘The Fall of the Pound,’ or maybe ‘From Fattie to Fittie (which I think will make a long but great hashtag 🙂 ), but the working title is still, ‘Have mercy upon me O Lord, a slimmer.’ I call it ‘Mercy‘ for short. There is a ton more work to be done, but with the help of Stacey at One Word Editing, I’m getting there.

In the mean time, April is almost upon us and I am gearing up for one of my fave blogging events. The April AtoZ Challenge. This year I’m going to use it to explore some of my thoughts as I work through the ‘Mercy’ edits. I’ll be sharing some practical stuff too. I’m not an expert, but I’m hoping that some wisdom I’ve learned and products I’ve found might help others on the same journey. My theme this year is Clumsy Carb Cutter. And on April 1st I’ll be introducing you to my low carb alter ego – Avocado Amo 🙂

I’d love you to join me on the journey. They’ll be short and snappy, daily posts that I hope you’ll enjoy and lend your thoughts too.

So I’ll see you on Monday 😀

Thanks again, you fabulous lot xxx

oh, and for the next few days on my Facebook page, I’m running a little competition to win one each of my two short story collections, which I’ll mail to the winner anywhere in the world. Click here to pop over check it out

2 weekends of inspiration and encouragement


I had the blessing of scooting off for two weekends, one after the other, on my own!

The first was a weekend in Dublin. I caught up with lots of family, with two dear writing friends, with one of the first Christians ever to make a real impression on me, and I went to a baby shower. It was full to the brim.

I had a bit of a revelation while chatting to my writing friends (neither of whom knew each other – so it was nice to connect them). I consider myself a failed writer – that’s not the revelation bit, I’ve always felt that. BUT, I’ve let it stop me writing. It’s like I’ve been waiting for someone to give me permission to put my heart and soul back into it, as I did in those lovely days before I cared whether anyone read what I wrote.

It was a liberating conversation in the middle of a fab weekend.

The following weekend I was in London, blessed to stay a couple of nights with a good friend, have chats and a hot chocolate with one of my smashing nieces, and join with other Christian writers for the ACW Writers’ Day with Glen and Emma Scrivener. What I took from it, as well as some great books and practical tips, was a confirmation of what my writing pals had told me the previous weekend. Get it writ! 🙂

I asked a question during the panel time. Basically, what if the crushing doubt that writers feel is actually valid in my case? What if I’m just no good?

The answer was like a welcome splash of cold water on my face. Basically it was to stop whinging. Amy Robinson compared my questions and hesitations to Moses when God called him.

But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?” He said, “But I will be with you, and this shall be the sign for you, that I have sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God on this mountain.” Then Moses said to God, “If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?” God said to Moses, “I am who I am.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘I am has sent me to you.’” God also said to Moses, “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ Exodus 3:11-15 

I’m paraphrasing here, but what I heard Amy say was, if God had given me stuff to write, then I should stop finding reasons not to do, and just write it.
Whoosh!!! How refreshing.

So, that’s what I’m going to do. My #NaNoWriMo2017 novel idea has been shelved, and I’m going to write the non-fiction book that’s been forming in me for the last year or so. Will fill you in soon… 🙂

Thank you Amy Robinson! Thanks too, to the other panellists, James Prescott, Glen Scrivener and Emma Scrivener x

A couple of the ACW members have shared their take of the day – well worth a read. You can read them here and here.

Put up your dukes! I’m fighting for my writes!


I’ve no idea what to blog about this week! Actually that’s not true, I’ve plenty of ideas  – just this evening I was comtemplating  writing a short biography on someone I only met about a month ago! I’ve had to put it off though, he’s not sure he’s up for being my ‘blog fodder! 😀 #youknowwhoyouare!

It’s not that I can’t think of anything to write about, it’s just that I’ve been reading all these articles about blogging and not blogging and why you blog and how to blog and what to blog and what not to blog and blog views and readers and followers and unfollowers…. and whaaaaaat? Is it that complicated? I’m not sure if I know how to blog now! 😦

Since I decided to enter the Grafton Media Blog Awards Ireland my nerves have been in shreds. The stress, the tension, what if I don’t make the shortlist? What if I DO make the short list? What if all I’ve done is bring people to the blog only for them to rubbish me? What if I AM rubbish? That’s it I’m rubbish… I can’t write! I’m deleting this blog… and the other one… and everything else I’ve ever written. And here… throw that laptop in the bin… NO burn it! BURN IT ALL!!!!

Those voices that cause the above mental anguish are very loud and very persistent. You know them don’t you? The ones that tell you how rubbish you are at the thing you dare to hope to be good at. And as time goes on it’s getting worse. So much so that each subject I’ve contemplated blogging on this week has been swatted like a fly on a Louisiana porch.
It started like this…

Maybe I’ll write about that fantastic gig I went to last Friday
“No one would read that!”
Sorry??? who said that?
“You did! You said it yourself, you know well no one would read it. You love music but you’re no expert. And who’s gonna want to hear your opinion on music anyway?”
oh.. eh.. well yeah… true I suppose. I could write a post about the weather – a funny one.
“You’re not funny.”
Huh? What?! I AM funny, amn’t I?
“Come on, if you were funny you wouldn’t have added ‘amn’t I?’ Anyway, the weather is old news. You couldn’t possibly say anything that hasn’t been said that would make ANYONE laugh.  Just don’t blog”
Whaddywhawha? Why not?
“There’s no point, just don’t bother”
Oh… ok then :/

The increase in the desire to and love for writing is directly connected with the increase in the power of the voices. Now you know I believe in God but I’m not saying this is some sort of spiritual attack. However, I do believe there is a Devil out there who’d love to destroy me, but most of the time he’s happy enough to annoy me and make me doubt myself. But whether it is external evils, or my own inner ones… it feels like there’s a battle going on.

And it’s a fight I’m willing to take on. This is something I want to do and get better at.
It doesn’t matter if at this stage I’m merely ‘ok’ at all this, or not even as good as that. I can learn and practise and learn some more. And get better.

And in the mean time… bring it on! I’m going to keep up the fight. And I’ve got some ‘suggestion swatting’ of my own to be doing! Starting with the negative ones!