I Am Woman Campaign – Anthology – Volume 2

FRIDAY 05th OCTOBER 2012

What is the ‘I Am Woman’ Campaign I hear you ask?

THE MISSION STATEMENT:

The ‘I Am Woman’ Campaign is about using our voices to help other women. To raise awareness of women across the planet who have in effect ‘lost their voice’ or had it taken away…either through, fear, abuse, illness or war. We all have a voice, whether that be through our blogs, social networks or talking to people in our daily lives. We must speak for them until they can do it for themselves.

The campaign has a blog, which you can follow here, that is ran by three women; Margot Bloom, Victoria Watson and Louise Stark.

This week they launched their second anthology, a collection of fictional short stories, flash fiction and poetry that have been  written and submitted by women who have a voice in support of women who have lost theirs.

I am delighted and honoured that my submission Breaking The Rules was chosen for inclusion in this anthology! After seeing the request for submissions back in April, I jumped at the chance to be involved.

You can download I Am Woman Campaign Anthology – Volume 2 from Amazon for £3.99 here.

All proceeds (no deductions) are donated to their three charities, which are:

– Breakthrough

Women For Women

– Women’s Aid

So download your copy now! Not only are you supporting these charities, you get to sit and cosy up with some fab stories from women in support of a great campaign.

Love Missuswolf xxx

My Claim to Fame

THURSDAY 12th APRIL 2012

Good Afternoon Ladies and Gents.

I wanted to share with you my little claim to fame from back in the day…

When I was 13years old, I was a member of the Radio Times Magazine and NewsRound’s ‘Press Pack’ gang.

Yup, I was one of those eager teens who scribbled away at assignments in a desperate plea to win. The prize now escapes me (probably as I never won – sob!) However, I did come close. Twice.

On both occasions I got to spend the day down at London’s BBC studios in the Blue Peter Garden (eeks! I even spied Andy Peters) as well as in the NewsRound studio, where I had to audition in front of a camera delivering a news report. This involved learning lines and spouting them professionally to the camera gulp!

Although I didn’t win, I really enjoyed the experience and it is something I will never ever forget.

Sadly, I can’t find the article that I wrote for submission – it would be interesting to look back and see what my 13 year old head was thinking.

Not only did I get featured in the Gateshead Herald wohoo! (article pictured – yes hideous photo alert! Check ooot my fab t-shirt) I also got the joy of having to stand up in School Assembly as the Head Master proudly announced my achievements (cue my face flushing obscenely crimson and wishing the cold tiled floor would give way beneath me, letting me fall freely away from this, cringe! argh!)

But It was my little slice of fame which I achieved through writing.

Maybe one day history will repeat itself and I will end up in a Studio with someone reading lines from my book in front of a camera. One can but dream – back to reality and eating my Morrison’s chicken (yum) and scoffing the last of my Easter Eggs before I iron my work shirts.

For anyone who wants to read what was written in the article, I have typed it (yes sad I know) below.

Enjoy!

Love Missuswolf xxx

GEMMA SCOOPS HONOURS AT BBC (Oooh I do sound like royalty!)

Young newshound Gemma Gray could soon be swapping the classroom for the newsroom after scooping a top prize in a national reporting competition.

The 13 year old pupil from Brockwell Middle School in Cramlington was named as one of four finalists in the nationwide search for top young reporters by the Newsround Press Pack team.

With over 100,000 members, Press Pack is currently the country’s largest young journalists club run by the Radio Times.

In January, members were set an assignment on holiday attractions. Gemma’s story on rollercoasters was shortlisted and she was invited to BBC Television Centre in London for an audition.

Although pipped at the post, Gemma’s report will now be featured along with the three other finalists on Newround’s Ceefax Page 517.

Courtesy of Gateshead Herald March 26 1997

 

Good Housekeeping Competition

WEDNESDAY 04th APRIL 2012

Good Morning lovelies!

This title could be misleading as it makes me sound like I am in a competition in the upkeep of a house – which I clearly am not as I am a wee bit lazy. I’m always exhausted after six days of ten hour shifts so that by the time my days off come around the last thing I want to do is clean/wash/iron – UGHL! (I think once I move from my flat to a house I will magically become a domestic goddess but right now I would rather read/write/watch tv/sleep/sunbathe –  well the latter  was last week by no means this week!)

Back in December I was on a wee trip out with my mother as we so often do on my days off, pottering around the shops. We hadn’t planned to, but we ended up taking a detour to a local supermarket on the way home where we both spotted the Good Housekeeping magazine on the shelves – with a competition to win the chance to have your novel published.

(Subscribe to Good Housekeeping here)

 

At this point, I didn’t consider what I was going to write, I just bought the magazine and was safe in the knowledge I had until 31st March as a closing date.

I went about my day contemplating what I could write and then it struck me – I had always planned to write a novel in the New Year based around a woman who loses her job, yet sprinkle it with a comical element. It was slightly based on my own experience and was to include all the daft things I have said and done.

That’s when the lightbulb struck.

Rather than write two novels – one for the comp and the one I was going to write anyway, I thought I may as well go full steam ahead with my Novel Project 2012 and submit that for the competition.

And submit I did.

I sent my entry in on Thursday last week – which consisted of the first two Chapters of the novel which I had given a spring clean since they were first written back in the dark first few days of January. A snippet of Miss Pooshoe has been unleashed to the world and I await to see how far she gets.

The prize is an advance of £25,000 to have your novel published – woohoo! That would come in handy (especially towards the house that will make me a domestic goddess 😉 )

However we have to wait until the end of May to find out…..so until then, I retreat back to my sofa/garden chair (delete as per appropriate weather) and books.

Love Missuswolf xxx

 

 

A Vogel – A Bedtime Story….. Competition Update: Good Deed Gone Bad

SATURDAY 28th JANUARY 2012

Afternoon All!

I awoke from my fitful sleep this afternoon after a busy night shift to find a letter from Mr Postman that was addressed from A.Vogel.

Curiously, I racked my brains and whilst slicing it open, it occurred to me that I had entered a short story competition back in October for their ‘Bedtime Story’ comp.

Unfortunately, I did not win but never mind; I gained lots of pleasure in writing the story and it now means I can publish it on here for your goodselves.

So, grab a cuppa and get cosy on the settee on this lovely bright Saturday afternoon….

Good Deed Gone Bad

Katy spun on her heels, failing to keep her balance, allowing the mosh pit mud to jump up and smack her in the face.

“Ow!” she grunted lying face down, “That wasn’t meant to happen.”

There was a splutter of laughter from her three fellow festival goers as one stooped down and scooped her up in his arms, “Are you ok little lady?” said Brandon.

Katy nodded dazedly, rubbing her forehead, smearing the mud into her hairline, “I think I’ve just bruised my ego,” she mumbled, thankful that the couple of bottles of beers now pulsing through her veins had softened the fall.

“Sit here,” said Tess, pulling up a discarded empty beer keg beside them.

Katy willingly obeyed and flopped onto the keg.

It was late August and she had taken a trip to the Starlight Music festival, an event designed for new bands to exert their talent and local bands, who had made it big,  to bask in fame and return as headline acts. Katy had agreed to accompany her best friend Tess and her handsome brother, Brandon, to support their cousin’s band ‘The Time Machine’ that had secured a slot this year. The Festival was a two day event and they had decided to camp over.

The other addition was Paris; Brandon’s hideously beautiful yet annoying American girlfriend, who, despite the swamp pit, looked effortlessly glamorous, managing to pull off the mud smeared image so fashionably. She was at the same University as Brandon, where he had been only too eager to volunteer his services as her British Tour Guide.

The bass from the centre stage boomed across the field, signalling the start of the next band.

Paris grabbed Brandon’s arm and squealed, “This is them! This is The Time Machine, I recognise this song! Come on let’s get closer!!” she started pulling Brandon in the direction of the music. All around them, people started congregating towards the stage.

Brandon looked at Tess, who urged him to go on, “We will catch you guys up,” she said.

Katy stood up, “It’s alright Tess, I’m fine,” she linked arms with her “Let’s go down with them, after all, this is the main reason we came.”

The foursome trudged along, issued with another bottle of beer by Brandon from his rucksack. The music grew louder, the crowd grew deeper and the atmosphere was in full swing. People were dancing, singing and sliding all over in the mud bath.

“They are really good!” Katy enthused as she took a swig of her beer. They weren’t as close to the stage as they would have liked but they still had a pretty good view. Katy could see Marvin, the lead singer and also Tess’s cousin, standing centre stage, one hand wrapped around the microphone, the other hand waving in the air at the crowd.

She grabbed Tess’s free hand and they jumped up and down to the beat. Paris had draped herself around Brandon, preventing him from throwing any serious dance shapes, having to succumb to an apologetic side to side movement instead.

The faster pace on the drums and the increase in the guitar strumming signalled the climax of the song.

The crowd cheered in appreciation, Tess and Katy screamed, Brandon clapped his hands and Paris let out a huge wolf whistle.

“They were excellent!” exclaimed Katy, balancing her bottle of beer whilst fumbling in her bag.

“Not bad for their opening song,” Brandon nodded, “Don’t like his outfit though, it’s a bit on the feminine side.

Brandon was referring to Martin’s pink shirt that was tickled by a black and white checked dickey bow tie and framed with nerdy black thick rimmed glasses. Although not an outfit of choice, Katy pointed out continuing to fumble in her bag, it suited the image of the band; a quirky modern day Fifties Geek Chic.

“What are you looking for in that Mary Poppins bag of yours?” Paris said, eventually irritated by Katy’s continuous scrapping.

“I can’t find my phone, I know it’s in here somewhere, I put it in before we left the tent. This bag is just so god damn big it takes me forever to find anything.”

“Here, let me look inside for you,” Tess offered, taking the bag from Katy’s shoulder.

Whilst the Time Machine started up their second song, Tess started taking things out of Katy’s bag one by one, until she could no longer hold anything else, “Paris, just have a look at what’s left in there for me.”

Paris peered in the bag then rummaged around with her hand. No phone to be found.

A disheartening thought struck Katy, “Oh no! Maybe it fell out when I went splat on my face before!”

“I think it probably did, we have had this bag inside out and it is not there,” Tess reasoned, “Do you want me to go back and look for it?”

Katy shook her head, “It’s probably long gone now, and no doubt someone will have picked it up and played the finders’ keeper’s game with it.”

They agreed to listen to the rest of the Time Machine’s set list before retracing their steps back to their tent, half in hope of discovering the phone.

As they edged nearer to the beer keg that Katy had sat on, she noticed something glittering in the mud. It was the sparkles on the back of her pink phone case!

“I don’t believe it!” she gasped, running over to pick it up. She rubbed the screen clean against her hoody, “Look, as good as new!”

The others smiled in relief and they continued back to their tent.

Once there, Brandon lit a fire whilst Tess retrieved some more beers from a cool box. Katy and Paris set up the camp chairs and they all cozied themselves around the fire.

“Let’s have a look at what pictures you have taken so far Katy,” Paris purred, holding out her long tanned arm.

Katy begrudgingly passed Paris the phone. She wasn’t bothered about her looking at the Festival photos; she just didn’t want her trawling through the rest of her life that was encased within the phone and spouting out any unnecessary opinions.

“Wow, you have some good photo’s, ughl but I don’t like this one,” she held it out for all to see, “I look so fat!”

Tess and Katy rolled their eyes as Brandon put his arm around Paris and cooed, “You could never look fat sweetie.” It made Katy sick the gooey baby that Paris turned Brandon into.

She continued flicking until she said, “Oh I didn’t know you had taken any videos.”

Katy paused from sipping her beer, “I didn’t think I had. Maybe I recorded by accident when it was in my pocket”

“Well there is one here, let me just see what it is….” Her voice trailed off as she watched intently the images that came on the screen, her blue eyes getting wider in horror, the sounds coming from the phone echoing of fumbling and scuffling.

“What is it honey-pie,” Brandon asked, noticing the change of expression on his beaus face.

Paris remained still and silent, her mouth dropped until she finally threw the phone on the floor, just missing the fire and let out a blood curdling scream.

The others looked aghast, Katy picked her phone up as Tess screeched demanding to know what was on it and Brandon fussed over Paris.

               Katy pressed replay.

“What the hell…”

The phone must have landed on its side when it fell out of Katy’s pocket during her stumble and somehow knocked the record button into action. She could clearly see the beer keg on which she had sat on in full view, the distant murmur of the crowd humming in the background.

Then an image appeared, beyond the beer keg, wedged in between a couple of family sized tents pitched perfectly nearby. Katy could see a young teenage girl bent over, sorting out her wellington boots. There was a hooded figure slowly creeping up behind her. At first he looked like he was just going over to speak to her; however he suddenly raised his hand, in which something glistened brightly in the sunlight. Without warning, it came crashing down on the girls back. Her mouth formed a perfect ‘o’ – projecting a silent violent scream before her back arched in pain, collapsing in a heap. The man then calmly picked her up and carried her off amongst the tents.

Katy too let out a scream, hers full of volume, unlike the poor victims. Brandon and Tess looked at her in shock.

“Oh my god, we have to tell the police! Someone has been stabbed and they may be seriously injured, or dead!”

Tess stood up and snatched the phone from her, “Let me see….” She too had the horrific expression creep across her face as it played. Brandon stood over her shoulder to get a glimpse.

Katy started pacing up and down, “How come it recorded for that short space of time, why didn’t it keep recording, we could have seen more…”

“I have the same phone, it’s easy to accidentally press record, see how the button is on its side? However, it’s on a timer and after thirty seconds it stops itself, unless you press another button to keep it going,” Brandon said.

Paris was mute; she had curled herself up into a ball, rocking back and forth with tears streaming down her face.

“Surely someone must have seen this – if not the attack, then the killer carrying the girl through the tents? Won’t they have thought it odd? Plus she would have been bleeding everywhere.”

“I don’t suppose anyone would think it odd her being carried by a male,” Brandon said, “I picked up Katy when she fell, girls are falling over all the time either too drunk or slipping in the mud. No-one would have battered an eyelid at that.”

“But the blood” Katy whispered.

“I know this is a sick thing to think but maybe it’s a joke, that they are in a group of friends and it was a prank,” Tess suggested, ever the optimist.

Katy shook her head, “That is sick! We need to find the police and show them. We need to check around those tents to see if we can see anything as to where they might have gone!”

“Don’t you think that’s the Police’s job?” Tess responded

“I do, but I want to check. How can something like that happen and it goes unnoticed?”

Paris still hadn’t said anything.

“Let’s go and find the Police,” Brandon said calmly, taking control. They all started following his lead, Paris slowly getting up from her seat, her hand in her mouth trembling. Brandon placed his arm around her and they went in search of a security tent.

They came across one nearby which was staffed by a steward in a high visibility jacket, speaking hushed into his radio. Brandon walked over to him, “Excuse me,” he said politely, “We need to speak to a Police Officer.”

The steward looked around irritant, “I will be with you in a moment.”

Katy looked around at the tent; understaffed and disinterested sprang to mind. There was a Police Officer base, but that was empty. The steward took his time with his conversation. Katy felt her impatience rising uncontrollably, “I’m going to look myself,” she announced.

Tess grabbed her arm, “You can’t! Where are you going to go?”

“The tents where it happened, I want to see for myself the scene, see where the trail of blood is. Follow that. There has to be a trail”

Paris was quietly sobbing into Brandon’s sleeve, whilst he tapped his foot before finally losing his patience, “This is an emergency, someone may have been murdered”

The words hung in the air, like sharp icicles ready to drop at any minute.

The security guard eventually turned to them, a look of bewilderment spreading across his face.

“Now you listen!” Brandon said exasperated, shoving the phone in his face, “Watch this. Someone on this site has been stabbed and we need to help them.”

The steward took the phone and watched the video. He then turned to his radio and spoke calmly, but sternly, requesting a Police Officer returned to his tent immediately.

To give them their dues, the Police were much quicker than anticipated, a tall Police Officer appeared as if he had been just outside. He introduced himself as PC Davies.

Before the steward could explain, Katy jumped in, her words tumbling out uncontrollably, her voice wavering as she explained how she lost and found her phone, jumping in with unnecessary comments about the band they watched and her falling over. She went to grab the phone from the steward who beat her to it and handed it to PC Davies.

He watched with a vacant expression, his face a blank canvas, not wanting to give anything away.

“I will radio control to see if we have received any other reports and get an incident created. I need to alert my Sergeant so that we can search the site for the victim and get the scene cordoned off.”

From then the world went into a fast spinning washing machine cycle. Other police officers turned up at the tent, interviewing the four of them, obtaining their own statements. Katy gave hers first with it being her phone whilst Brandon took them to the scene. Katy had wanted to go but Brandon had refused, saying they needed to speak to her first, his desperate attempt at getting her to stay away from the scene.

Tess and Paris stayed in the tent, watched over by one of the Police Officers who ensured they had a steady supply of cups of tea, subtly watching their mental health.

Brandon trudged through the mud with PC Davies, showing him exactly where the phone had been found and which way it was pointing. PC Davies then started clearing the area of people, taping it up as a crime scene. By now, forensics had arrived and a couple of Detectives from the Major Investigation Team. Brandon had not been allowed to go near the scene and was unable to confirm if there was any blood, as Katy had asked him to. A crowd had started gathering, shouting their speculated curiosities.

Brandon watched over helplessly, before being escorted back to the security tent for interviews.

Once all four of them had been spoken to, PC Davies gave them a brief update.

“We have checked with control, we haven’t received any reports from any knife wound victims or anything similar. We also haven’t received any reports from potential witnesses, through default, you are the only witnesses. We are speaking to the occupants of the tents beside where it occurred and they appear to not know anything at this stage, not even the girl. Why don’t you all go back to your tents for the night and get some sleep, we will speak to you in the morning?”

The four of them trooped back to the tent back in silence, in fear of speaking the unknown.

Brandon lit another fire; Paris feigned a headache and scuttled off to bed. Tess agreed to have one drink with him and Katy before going to bed.

The one drink turned into the threesome sitting by the fire until late.

Katy felt lost without her phone, which had been taken away as evidence. She feared that they may try and wrongfully incriminate her and that was another reason for her being unable to sleep.

“My only hope is that they find the girl and she is alright. I can’t believe no-one else has seen anything and that no-one has been reported missing, injured or either,” Tess said quietly.

“PC Davies said they had checked the hospitals as well and no-one had been admitted with knife wounds,” Brandon offered.

A heavy silence hung thickly in the air, before Tess let out a yawn, “I’m calling it a night.”

Katy and Brandon sat for a little while longer, Katy staying more out of comfort, she felt safe with him. She really wanted to stay in his part of the tent tonight even though it was highly inappropriate. He caught her sullen expression and rubbed her arm, “It’s ok now Katy, it’s in the hands of the police.”

She wished she shared his positivity. She forced a smile, “Thanks Brandon, I think I will try and get some sleep.”

Once tucked up in her sleeping bag, with Tess curled up in the same part of the tent, Katy lay awake, her mind replaying the day’s events. She was about to close her eyes when she saw a flicker of a shadow against her side of the tent. She sat up with a start; alert, adrenaline pumping, her heart jumping into her mouth. She wanted to scream for Brandon, but her voice had been swallowed to an ocean depth so low that even summoning enough submarine power could still not raise it. The figure seemed to be getting bigger, getting closer to the tent.

Katy tried to move, but a paralysing liquid circulated her system.

Then she saw it.

It was a flash of a blade that inched its way along the cloth of the tent, piercing the fabric like it was piercing skin.

The warm summer air bled into the tent, panic bandaging Katy as the same hooded figure from her mobile stabbed its way into her tent.

The killer had returned to retrieve the incriminating evidence.

But it was too late.

Once the killer realised the mobile phone was no longer in her possession, she would be a mirror image of the scrupulously recorded video.

Katy bitterly accepted her fate as she recognised the familiar glisten in his hand.  

Somewhere, the words ‘Payback’ were whispered, as the hooded figure cold bloodedly sought his revenge.

A. Vogel Bedtime Story Competition

SUNDAY 23rd OCTOBER 2011

A.Vogel have a competition to write a short bedtime story between 1500 and 3000 words.

I have been working on this the last couple of months. This was the one where I wrote a thousand words in a very creative half hour on a very ‘wild’ Friday night.

I have been tweaking it the last couple of weeks and I am very surprised at the direction those first thousand words have led me in; to a conclusion of a short story consisting of 2995 words that I am bit wary whether it meets the criteria of being ‘suitable’ for a bedtime story.

Unfortunately, I can’t share Good Deed Gone Bad with my Littlewolves until the competition has finished. The closing date is 28th October with winners to be announced early 2012. A nice little incentive for writing follows below:

 

 

The Prizes are:

1st = £500

2nd = £300

3rd = £100 (2 prizes)

It would be lovely to win however I certainly enjoyed writing the story and again, needed a deadline to write for.

This has been emailed off today….

Love Missuswolf xx

 

Submission to 4’33 Audio Magazine

WEDNEDSAY 12th OCTOBER 2011

Four Thirty Three is the new Audio Magazine where authors can read their own stories, broadcasting and podcasting short stories up to five minutes log. It has to be 1,000 words maximum. They’re looking for edgy, engaging stories about modern life – stories which work well when read aloud.

Today, I have submitted ‘Ladies Who Lunch’ my first ever piece of homework from Geek Club Term One and I thought it was quite fitting as it was the first piece of writing I had read out loud at the class .

Love Missuswolf xx

Best! – Short Story Competition

 

FRIDAY 30th SEPTEMBER 2011

The time has come! I managed to tweak the final version during a quiet spell on night shift last night. I juggled with the 1000 word limit, going over at first, then under, then at one point I hit spot on 1000. I think the final version was 998 and it is this copy that I have wrapped into an envelope; along with my four tokens that I have had to collect aswell as the entry form, and is now whizzing along to the Best! Magazine Offices.

The closing date is the 4th October and then the winner will be announced in November. Unfortunately, as much as I would love to share the story with my Littlewolves, I am unable to until the competition has finished so you will just have to wait a few weeks to read ‘Breaking The Rules’.

Love Missuswolf xx

Best! – Short Story Competition

Famous women’s magazine ‘Best’ is running a Short Story Competition with a deadline of 4th October…so I better get writing Littlewolves!!

Although the generous Prize of £1000 is pretty tempting in its own right,  this is an opportunity to get my backside into gear and write a short story over the next couple of weeks!

I have had to collect four tokens over the past couple of issues (thanks mum!), which I have to send off with an entry form and my final masterpiece(!)

The word limit is 1,000.

My task this evening…if i choose to accept it…is to read the past few issues of Best! to gauge what kind of audience the magazine is aimed at. I have three short stories that they have previously published to read (and assess!) to get a feel of what style and topics they like to feature.

Now just to brainstorm ideas ….

UPDATE FOUR HOURS LATER!

I have done it! I have written a (very rough) first draft start to finish! I was starting to panic that I would not have an idea as I seemed to be getting no-where for ages.

Then suddenly, a flash of inspiration from an advert on telly would you believe! It sparked a chain of thought and forty five minutes later, the story has been born and has learned to walk. Yey!

Although I won’t tell you what advert it was as it will spoil it.

I just need to redraft it a few times prior to submission…

Love Missuswolf xx

Submissions

SUBMISSIONS

I have found a blog that has already provided me with useful advice on writing; including dealing with rejection and understanding copywright. It is fast becoming my new bible; Womagwriters blog.

From this, I have found a link to a new magazine called Vintage Script, that publishes fiction and non-fiction on the theme of History. I have submitted a revamped version of Fur Die Strase from Geek Club so we shall see how far we get. The magazine don’t offer payment as yet but it’s a publishing credit, which I am trying to achieve.

I wait with baited breath…..

I have also found a link to Australian That’s Life Fast Fiction Guidelines and I have submitted an attempt from Geek Club for their consideration. However I am not overly confident about this one either. I suppose the only way to learn and get published is to bite the bullet, jump in at the deep end and persevere.

Fingers crossed.

Love Missuswolf xxx