Well, this week has been a pretty quiet week. Stan, as you can see, is doing one of his favourite things.  One of his other delights, when he's not chasing squirrels, is to bring us a stream of  gifts. So far, we have been spared the dead birds although, yesterday, he did present us with a small mouse.

No, Stan has obviously looked at his new mum and dad, (sorry, slaves), and decidedthat we need feeding up. So, almost on a daily basis, we are given pieces of stale bread, sausage, burger and he has even presented us with half a fat ball cake! Please forgive me if I don't smack my lips together and salivate in anticipation.

One morning this week, hubby was sitting on our doorstep dong a bit of DIY. Actually, he was fixing a piece of his windsurfing kit. Anyway, Stan swaggered up the drive and dropped a piece of wood at hubby's feet. How did he know that his minion was doing DIY? Is Stan especially gifted, or just an ooportunist?

This brings me nicely round to the subject of writing. For those of you who follow my Blog, please forgive me. I'm sure I have touched on inspiration before. However, deeper than that, comes the subject of material.

It's all well and good jumping up out of the bath, a tsunami of water cascading all over your bath mat, as you delight in the fact that your muse has just told you to write a ghost story or your next historical romance....But where do you get the material to adorn those pristine lined notebooks?

I have submitted some short stories to different competitions this week. However, I have struggled with one ofthem and might not meet the deadline now. Two ideas were scrapped. I don't necessarily think that they were bad ideas. It's just that I couldn't work through the quagmire of plots and characters in my troubled head.

And that is what separates good writing from bad, or so I've been told. Anyone can write a book. It's true, isn't it?  The bottom line is, taking away the need for good grammar and the other technical stuff, the story has to be believable. Even the airy stories have to ring true. It doesn't matter how well written the piece, if the meat isn't on the bone, it's just going to get left to rot.

I have recently read advice about short story competitions. Basically, you should discard your first three or four ideas because everyone will be writing about those. Does this make you feel disheartened or inspired to dig deeper? I suspect a little of the first and a lot more of the second.

So, this next week, I'm going to be working on my full length mansucript, whilst instructing my muse to sit quietly in a corner and cogitate. She needs to think about the meat.

Or maybe I'll have a quiet word with Stan and see what he can find in the undergrowth?


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