About Lizzie (who is she anyway?)

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So if you’re new “Hello” or if you are already a follower/reader “Nice to see you again”.

This is a new post feature I will be dropping in and it’s all about me.

Alien abduction? No, someone had taken the last jam tart.

Alien abduction? No, someone had taken the last jam tart.

Don’t worry I am not a narcissistic egomaniac – it’s just a way to let you know a bit about my background, what I am working on, what my plans are.

First I have slightly changed the categories on my blog. They are now:

About LizzieHW ~ this includes posts like this one.

my weekly journal “My week, as it was

Writing Room ~ this includes articles about the writing process and my weekly Wednesday guide to Indie Publishing

Tales ~ this is where you can read my work: poems, shorts, twitterings – all for free!

And if you like to read reviews, check out The Slice which will appear the second Sunday every month.

Buy or browse ~ here I will add links to my published eBooks, if you want to buy or browse 🙂

All navigation on my page is to the left – just over there <<< on the left.

If you want to follow my BLOG click on the top icon. If you want to get emails to tell you when I have posted click the one below. I will not be told your email address – I don’t want your tel no or address & I won’t try to send you scam or junk emails [watch for my post on Ethics on 24.06.2015].

Below are links to my Twitter and Facebook feeds. So if you prefer, like & follow me via one of those feeds. All my posts cross-link so you won’t miss any of my blogs. However occasionally I post on Facebook and don’t share it elsewhere (just so you know).

Next are wordpress posts I like – check some of them out!

 

Back to me…    I write books and self-publish them on Amazon because it’s free and easy to do. I don’t have an agent or publisher or PR company hidden in my attic. It’s just me.

I use my real name: Elizabeth Haley-Wood as my author name. If I do ever choose any pen names I will be open about it.

My work varies from poems about nature to stories about aliens and weird sex. I love to write about all sorts of things. And I really love weird stuff so it’s mostly sci-fi, fantasy and a bit of horror, the combined: SF/F/H which encompasses ghosts, time-travel, monsters, hi-tech to low-tech, aliens, alternative dimensions, shape-shifters, space, near-future alternative realities ~ well anything really.

I write stories regardless of the style, genre or length. Some are very short, like a Twittering of no more than 140 characters; a set of Twitterings, poems, shorts, novels – I don’t consider one form better than another. I have heard some writers say it is not worth the effort to write short pieces… ‘Oh I say! One is so, not impressed…’

I live in Yorkshire where I have always lived, though I have moved around different towns. I don’t write restrictively to my county or country but I take a lot of inspiration from what is around me. When I travel I am always listening and looking for interesting people/places/things/interactions that may be woven into a story. I have a conversation captured in Canada between two men (friends) and I have a place in a story for that – it’s been waiting for over 5 years to get used!

 

My projects always shift. Being a writer I can say things like: ‘the fairies captured my dreams and hid them’ or ‘a pigeon dropped by for a cup of tea and cake’ – these are fanciful excuses for not getting on with my work. I don’t have a dog to eat my homework.

But what I am supposed to be concentrating on over the next few weeks are:

Strange Meetings

(almost done) a collection of writings about love, romance, sex in weird encounters.

City of Animals

another collection inspired by, well I think you can guess. Also weird. Not so much sex.

Both of these should be out as digital books via Amazon sometime in the next month (maybe).

 

I have a couple of non-fiction books in early drafting stages which I keep picking up, scribbling over and then putting down in another place. I think one of them will be published in November 2015. I just have to decide which one and set myself some targets!

And so I leave you once again… I am off to get my hair chopped off – my summer cut (even though it’s raining, again).

Lizzie HW

My week, as it was

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So another week gone.

It began with HTML code or rather me trying to fathom out what it is – it doesn’t stand for: Have Tea Most Lovely. And it isn’t essential for a writer to fully understand it but it is one of those weird areas that it is useful to know a little about.

So mostly I have been reading books about the digital world. And it is a strange place. I thought my style of writing was odd!

So at the moment I am looking for some good ‘static iFrames’ for my social media sites so I can embed pages – Yawn!!! Sorry if you nodded off then.

But this is what happens to Indie writers you suddenly realise that your Plan 4 Today is reading about: embedding, web-sites, SEO –  sorry!

Saturday was a welcome change. I took a trip around my local park on a bike. I felt like a nine year old kid again. Except I managed to stay on the bike and not crash-land into the tarmac and smash my face in – bonus 😉

Monday & Tuesday 😦 were rubbish days, doldrum days. The worst part of being self-employed (in any career) when you just feel ‘off’. I wasn’t really ill (for that read: menstrual cramps & pain like someone repeatedly punching my stomach, legs, back – I wish that ass would give it a rest).

So I did some ‘thinking’ which is still working, I think, right? At least I claim that on my tax forms (er, Okay…)

Over the worst… and back into full flow of creativity. I rounded off another ‘performance poem’ an ode to Katie Perry and I finished my short story about a unicorn. It isn’t a pink & fluffy rainbow one because it’s a story for grown-ups. I will simply say – the female character had a satisfactory conclusion 🙂

**** my week ended with my Mum asking: “so any more Tv or radio appearances?” and that’s a way to kill a mood. 😦

~#~~#####~~~~~  bye for now!

 Lizzie HW

some snippets from my eBook: Strange Meetings (a work in progress)

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These are extracts from stories that will appear in my next eBook Strange Meetings which is due out this month:

 

The Fitter

She had slept for a thousand years; or at least a week.

Sleep fell away slowly and she felt like she had been in hibernation, perhaps a winter had passed, with it the dreariness of the snow and ice and cold toes. But as she came awake, she realised she had slept but a night.

Rising with gracefully slow movements, the Princess pushed away the heavy blankets of wool and silk. Her toe had barely reached the floor when the chamber door opened and in poured her ladies-in-waiting. Eager as ever they steered her from the bed to the chair as if she would crumble into dust without their aid.

 

The Orchard

Under the apple-bowed branches, they rolled on bales of hay.

The apple-maid had been his

And he’d taken her, amidst the orchard,

on top of the hay

one afternoon, in May.

 

 

Bride’s Well

I threw a coin in to the well. Why not? It was just a penny. No loss. A satisfyingly soft splash rewarded my simple act.

The simple round stone wall didn’t look aged enough to possess real magic. Surely things had to exist ‘once upon a time’ or at least ‘a long, long time ago’ for such ideals to exert any real belief? The well looked, at most, a decade old. Built neatly with an even top of flat stone on which to perch; below a metre of sturdy mesh prevented accidents. The roof was a round thatch secured by three posts – it looked newly replaced. Still it was a pleasant enough attraction. It was an equal feature to the countryside farm-shop. Set beside a pretty woodland area and a conveniently refurbished barn that offered cakes and candles.

I didn’t make a wish, not even in jest. It’s all theatre isn’t it?

Then – she is there.

Her legs are bare, entwined below a fluttery hem of a floral dress. She is pretty with strong features and she looks at me. I am perplexed and transfixed. I start to walk towards her.

 

~~~~~ to read the final versions of these tales (and more) look out for my eBook; available on Amazon soon…

 

Strange Meetings by  Elizabeth Haley-Wood   / dark fantasy & erotica

a collection of twitterings – dark mini poems

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I wrote these in the form of Twitter – 140 characters or less – but they seemed too dark to be on that format.

I like to keep my tweets happier as out of context a dark poem could make someone feel sad 😦 and I don’t want to do that to my lovely followers.

So here are a few of the darker twitterings:

We charged in. Legs and eyes wide open. Not wanting more than a physical thing. Now one of us is broken, the other is silently screaming.

She sits and knits. The ball of blue diminishing with every stitch. At last something new is coming to replace the empty-ness.

Thank you for the blooms. Three years shared in the same bed. Petals of purple and red. Across my body – now spread.

I didn’t write these to fit together but they do in a tragic mini story.

They are all under 140 characters – the first and longest is 137 😉

 

find more of my writing, in neat collections @

http://www.amazon.com/author/lizziehw

My week, as it was (2nd)

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After the buzz of the previous week, my aim was to settle down and get back on track.

My first task was a good tidy up. I collect ideas because I love to learn so I have a notepad for ‘creative writing ideas’ and another for ‘planning’ plus numerous documents on my computer.

So most of the week was having a Spring Clean. I hate cleaning 😦 but once done, the feelings are good. Lots of things ticked off the Task List and back to being organised. Phew…

I was catching up on all the great content from IndieReCon – if you missed it, some items are still available. There are great tips/info for any writer ~ check them out. I am still wading through the best ones and my head is spinning with all the advice. So I have a folder for the blogs/webinairs/emails and then steadily sort through into: Look at Now or Look at Later, there are also some I delete because they don’t suit me.

It’s hard to dump stuff, especially when it’s free advice from experienced writers but you can’t do it all at once. Those tricks & ideas will still be around in 6 months or a year – you can always find them.

The other big part of my week was getting back into Submissions. I have done about 10 so far and the only one ‘accepted’ was an unsolicited little ditty about a brand of table sauce! They put it on their Facebook page. So getting constant ‘no thanks’ can drop your interest but nobody makes it from their first attempt – George R R Martin took 20 years to realise his dream and Wow! look at how he’s doing…

So I have started again and plan to send some poems off – there are plenty of FREE submission/competitions out there – you’ll find plenty, give it a go! Even if you don’t get anywhere, you have practiced your writing and that should always be No1 priority.

I also lost a day or two because it was a UK Bank Holiday weekend, an extra day off for most workers = party time!

I did and it was fun but took a while to recover – oops!

~ * #  ~ * #  ~ * #

for my eBooks (soon there will be some paperbacks too) ~ please visit my page on Amazon >>

http://www.amazon.com/author/lizziehw

my 1st novel promo: Foreplay / a story about the chase – how to read it now

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So my first Novel eBook is done! Phew, I can put my feet up for a bit. Well, no, I have to start the self-promotion stuff now.

“Self-education is, I firmly believe, the only kind of education there is.” From the extremely creative: Isaac Asimov

And learning about Social Media and marketing is a big deal. Thankfully for me I am naturally of the ‘love to learn’ camp and enjoy tackling new subjects. I have a decent IT background so most of the SM stuff makes sense but there are always areas that just don’t click.

My trick is to read, read, read – look for free or cheap eBooks on the subjects; find all the on-line help; practice and write down points – it’s like revising for exams. I personally find this combination works best for me.

Oh! I nearly forgot – my novel is called Foreplay – a novel about the chase.

It’s a modern love story. No swooning, no weak-willed woman desperately searching for her Mr Darcy – no. It’s about love between friends, family; passion in terms of what makes someone happy (career, success) and sexual love.

But there is a dark twist too. No vampires or werewolves but a similar thread that gives the male lead his personal battles.

Available now on AMAZON, Kindle store. You don’t need a Kindle, by the way, download the Kindle App (free) for your devices: laptop, MAC, PC, tablet or smart-phone.

Here’s how….

1. go to Amazon.co.uk [or Amazon.com]

2. choose the Kindle books option

3. look for the link  Free (Kindle) Reading Apps  ~  click on it (UK)

4. follow the instructions and you’ll be ready to go in no time

Got Amazon’s:  Kindle Unlimited ?

This allows you to read books for free (there’s a free 30 day trial on now UK & USA) then it’s a monthly fee.

Most of my eBooks are in the scheme.

You can also LEND eBooks to a fellow Kindle user – do this via your PC/MAC settings. The book is lent to the selected user for 14 days then comes back to you.

>> want to look at my eBooks? find out more here:

http://www.amazon.com/author/lizziehw

The Gladwell Effect / a short story

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  1. They learn so quick.

“It’s that Gladwell proposal, isn’t it?” she said, rocking the baby in her arms.

“What – what is?” he looked at her over his sunglasses.

“Ten thousand hours to ‘get it’” she stroked the plump cheek as the baby snuggled closer.

“I don’t ‘get it’!” He lowered the paper, folded it and placed it on the table. He took a sip of water. Sun poured from the sky and they had sought refuge under the timber canopy that jutted above them.

“It takes ten thousand hours to learn how to do something sufficiently, to be good, accomplished. Like a violinist. Those kids that practice and practice.” She blew up her fringe as the day’s heat tried to stick it to her head.

“OK. I get that. But what do you mean?” he took off the sunglasses and placed them beside the paper. Carefully, he leaned over his wife’s arms and stroked his daughter’s pink arm. He felt his internal organs soften, melt.

“Her. I mean.” His wife nodded down to their precious child. “If it takes an average of ten thousand hours to be accomplished – that’s what babies do. They learn so quick and we go: Wow! How do they do it? Absorb everything so quick, from nothing.”

“Yes, but it’s the design. Biology, evolution, survival. As soon as they start developing – cells are growing, nerves, receptors, connectors, processors… oh. Ooh! Look.” The baby blew a bubble. They cooed and beamed and their insides turned to cotton-wool clouds. Above the sky was bone-dry.

He continued: “After the immediate rush of growth, it stops. Reversal. Age, deterioration. Brain cells dying. Do you know how much of your brain has gone?” He sat back, arms folded, eyebrows rising as a smile formed across his dark face. He liked the heat.

“Huh! No. And – don’t tell me!” she scowled at him with a smile on her lips. “Ageing is the same process. It’s all time. The trick is what you do with it. Think about, her. So tiny. What does she have to do? No worries about work, paying bills, what time to get up or go to sleep, no clothes to iron or meals to plan or shopping to do – no temperamental car…”

“I know! I said I’d call the mechanics…” his smile reversed and he looked over the yard. The grass was turning brown.

“All she does, is learn. Ten thousand hours of being hungry. Wondering what that feeling is, when it comes and goes, what makes it stop. Then she gets it. Ten thousand hours of us talking, sounds, noises and her copying our faces, our mouths, making sounds of her own – then, bam! She’s talking.” She was so hot! A trickle of sweat had formed at her hairline and was trying to weave its way down her face.

“Yeah,” he agreed, “It’s wonderful.”

The baby murmured. They held a collective parental breath – the baby stayed asleep – they exhaled.

“I’ll put her down.” She stood. She needed to be cool, the baby was like her father, she seemed so content in the heat.

“Hey” he called out softly. “How long is it? Ten thousand hours, in real time.”

“Well,” she frowned, calculating. “An hour a day would be, say thirty years.” She stepped through the patio-doors into the soothing shade.

“Gosh!” Well I still have some practising to do then, eh?” he winked. She grinned and they stumbled into the house (carefully).

2. The trick is what you do with it.

Her legs were stone and jelly. Solid rock that wouldn’t bend and shakes she couldn’t stop.

“Hmm?” the Director stared at her. He was tall and thin and wore a silvery suit with a blue tie. “No legs.” He peered down at her pink tights.

“I, I’m just a bit, nervous.” She shrugged, looking down just to be sure her legs were still there. They were. Concentrating on her pose, she straightened up, stretched as tall as she could, pointed toes out, ankles clamped tightly together. But she felt all angles and pointy, not smooth and fluid as she had seen it happen inside her head.

“It’s in your shoulders” Madame said, pointing with a stiff arm and sniffing as though there was an infection she may catch if she was too close.

Louisa thought they were both rude. She shrugged.

“Ah! I see it” nodded the Director. He clasped his hands behind his back and leaned forward.

“I can learn” Louisa told them, with enthusiasm. “I will – practice more. Every day!” She smiled, holding her hands tightly together, keeping her shoulders back.

“Practice! Practice? You should be doing that already. An hour a day? Pish!” Madame scowled.

“Have you not done your ten-mille?” The Director scrunched up his eyebrows and gave Louisa a penetrating stare. Louisa shuffled her feet.

“She, doesn’t know. Look at her!” Madame exclaimed. Her eyes bulged with disgust.

“I don’t” agreed Louisa.

“Oh? I have to explain?” he was agitated and turned to his companion: “Why don’t they know?” Madame shook her head.

The Director stepped forward, placing his shoes a millimetre from the girl’s and into her face, with a voice adults used for babies, he said: “Now dear. It is a proven fact – all of every talent, is practice. It is in the Learning. No tricks, no shortcuts. No half-hearted pretence of doing a bit here and there, when one feels like it.” His face moved closer, leaning, until his nose almost touched hers and she felt his breath on her mouth. She wanted to squirm away but she dare not. “It is Not, not, a natural talent. There is no magic gifts. Talent is torture.”

Without moving, his voice altered as he directed his next comment to Madame: “Oh, the numbers that still won’t accept it!” Then back to the baby voice, he continued speaking to the girl: “It is simple enough. If you can count. Ten thousand hours. No more, no less. That is what you must do. Come back then, and – we’ll see.”

At home, Louisa told her parents that she hadn’t got a place at the National Dance School. They consoled her as best they could. Their stomachs twisted, feeling her pain of disappointment and their own as their child went to bed without supper. She was too upset to eat.

In her room, Louisa opened the Calc-App on her phone. She tapped in numbers – adding, guessing, subtracting. She chewed the end of a pencil and wrote down the results in a blue notebook. Then she scribbled them out and started again.

Louisa was 11 1/4 years old and she had been dancing since she was 5 (her parents said). It would take years! But she made a plan. And from the next day, she began again. She wrote down all the hours she practiced and if she had to miss a session she would put extra hours on another session. Dancing was all she thought about.

 3. Practice, Practice, Practice.

When she was eighteen and two months, she returned to the National Dance School. She performed with grace, she charmed the Director and Madame, though they had assistants now and were seated throughout her performance and the interviews.

She got a place.

The training was intense but she thrived on the pressure. She learned new techniques and would practice a new step or routine until she perfected it. She was becoming the star pupil in the 18-20 year olds.

When she was eighteen and ten months old, she attempted a lift with a spin and she fell. Her ankle was broken. She needed an operation and rest. It was a serious accident. Her dancing career was over.

Louisa danced in her head but it made her feel sick, knowing the moves she had been able to do. Her parents worried she would fall into a depression. They bought her things to occupy her time whilst she healed: books, comics, magazines, music, movies – at first she rejected these things. Her parents’ insides quivered. They hired a counsellor who managed to help Louisa accept the change.

She did the first jigsaw as a joke (being ironic – she told her friends) because jigsaws were for kids and old ladies. But with hours laying with her ankle elevated, the jigsaws kept her busy. Her parents got her second-hand ones from the local charity shops, friends bought her new ones – they looked for extreme versions that had hidden puzzles inside or had two sides or that had clues but no picture.

After ten months, her ankle healed, though it was sore and stiff. She could walk but she had a slight limp. The hospital sent her appointments for physiotherapy – she ignored them. To Louisa, her dancing was over, the limp would remain as a reminder of that old dream. Besides – there was a new puzzle. It was a 4D version, of constellations.

Her ankle ached in winter, when it rained, when it was about to rain – she didn’t care. She had bags under her eyes, her skin was a yellowy shade, she yawned constantly but she never felt tired. If anyone asked after her health, she would smile and say ‘I am fine’ which satisfied them enough.

4. Becoming ‘perfect’

When she was 23 and four months she made a World Record for the fastest jigsaw completed. It was a puzzle of 2,500 pieces and she did it with her right-hand behind her back (she was right-handed). Of course, as is the way of World Records, someone else did better than her a few months later. Louisa didn’t care.

She did 5,000 pieces with one-hand, or two puzzles (or three or four) at the same time. She got faster and more ambitious. She did one blind-folded, just touching the pieces and seeing the puzzle in her head – the picture didn’t matter, it was all in the shapes, the edges, the curves.

By 28 she had been on TV showing off her tricks. There had been a book about her and they wanted to make a movie. She had a stoop from the hunched posture and her eyes, though excellent at close-range struggled at further than two metres. Her limp had worsened and she often needed a stick.

She didn’t care, she practised and practised.

Her parents looked at their precious child, grown-up yet deteriorating before their eyes. Their insides turned to sludge.

>> by Elizabeth Haley-Wood

if you liked this, find more at AMAZON in the Kindle Store…

http://www.amazon.com/author/lizziehw