Month: May 2019

What Have You Got Against Victims?

When I was growing up, there were a lot of stories about people beating the odds and coming through in spite of insurmountable challenges. In other words, a lot of fictional characters were set up as role models, especially female characters.

As uplifting as these stories are, is it really the role of fiction to set an example? You only have to walk down the city streets to see that not everyone makes it through in the end. Many people get crushed and broken along the way. Personally, I don’t think we need another hero. Those who don’t make it also have a valid story to tell.

Posted by naomilisashippen in About Writing, 0 comments
Do You Have a Writing Uniform?

Do You Have a Writing Uniform?

Lucky underpants? An old Ramones T-Shirt? Pajamas? What do you put on when you sit down to write?

My Writing Ninja Outfit

For some reason, I find myself putting on anything black when I sit down to write. Black pants, black t-shirt, black jumper. The funny thing is, I don’t even like black. It gets me down and I look like death warmed up. But if I have a free day, like today, when I plan to do nothing but stay home and write, black is the first thing I reach for. I call it my Ninja Writing Outfit.

Does anyone else have a writing uniform? What do you like to wear when you sit down to write?

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Shout Out to All the Writing Bloggers

The online writing community offers a lot of support, knowledge and inspiration.

Since starting my blog about a month ago, I have learned a lot from the online writing community and met some lovely people. Everyone is so generous in sharing their knowledge and hard won experiences. In particular, the information I have gathered from blogs, writing groups and Facebook has been invaluable.

As well as all things writing, there has also been inspiration from other sources, with bloggers sharing photos and posting about music.

I think us writers have a really great community, and I look forward to continuing the journey together.

Happy Blogging!
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What’s the Theme Song of Your Latest WIP?

What’s the Theme Song of Your Latest WIP?

Do you have a theme song that keeps you going with your latest work in progress? Mine is “Why Don’t You Do Right?” by Mark Murphy. It’s a song about failure and missed opportunity, but it’s still upbeat and hopeful. So tell me, what’s your musical inspiration?

“Why Don’t You Do Right?” – Mark Murphy

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Weekend Music Share

Weekend Music Share

For my contribution to Weekend Music Share, I have chosen “Makin’ Whoopee” by Louis Armstong, because nothing ever changes.

See the Weekend Music Share site on the link below.


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Mother’s Day

Cute or Cashing In?

When I found this pop up Mother’s Day stall in my neighbourhood at first I thought it was cute. Something the kids had knocked up to celebrate Mother’s Day. On closer inspection, of course, the adults were behind it.

But whether it was created out of good intentions or just to make a quick buck I bought the flowers anyway.

A lot of our holidays and celebrations have been taken over by commercial interests, but it’s up to us to make them special for ourselves and our families.

I hope that you and your family have a happy Mother’s Day. Let’s all stop and take time to appreciate the lady who bought us into the world.

Posted by naomilisashippen in About Writing, 0 comments

Helen’s Nightmare

Extract from “The Sensory Garden.”

“With a heavy head, Helen slept deeper than she had in months. Her dreams took her back to the house in Hyacinth Crescent and into the sensory garden. But it was different this time. Night was falling, and the sky was a thick, dark blue.

As she walked through the garden, Helen could barely see the shapes in front of her. Strange whirring noises came from high up in the trees, and low, growling noises from unseen creatures were all round her. When she turned in their direction, the creatures fell silent, and all she could see was the thick green foliage that hid them.

She walked under a peach tree and picked off one of the fruit. The skin was soft as felt, and the flesh felt ripe and firm. But when she bit into it, her teeth sunk into red, raw meat, and the blood ran down her chin.

Screaming, she dropped the fruit on the ground, and as she watched it land, she noticed the strange green carpet beneath her feet. She bent down to touch it, and as she stumbled, felt something crunch.

As she looked closer at the ground, she saw a bright little eye, then another and another. She saw flecks of red, and claws and beaks.

The ground was covered with parakeets, in various stages of death, or dying, and as she became aware of them, their shrill squawks filled the air like summer cicadas, and the stench of rotting flesh overpowered her.

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Driving Under Water

An Extract from “The Sensory Garden.”

“Helen heard herself scream as the wave of water hit the windshield. She thought about that woman, all those years ago, who had drowned at Chappaquiddick.

Trapped inside the car, with no way to escape the crush of water flooding in, the young woman had drowned. Helen had always thought it must have been a horrible way to die; terrified, cold and abandoned.”

Posted by naomilisashippen in The Sensory Garden Excerpts, 2 comments

The Neighbours

Extract from “The Sensory Garden.”

Meet Helen’s Neighbours.

“Damien’s ute was parked in his driveway, right beside Helen’s car. If she had extended her arm, she would have been able to touch it. Damien was prowling around on top of the ute, and the lid of the toolbox was open. The windows were down and rap music blared from the stereo inside.

From behind the double doors that lead into their back yard, Chester started barking.

“Shuddup Chester, ya fucken looser!” Damien yelled. He picked up something heavy from the tool box and threw it in the direction of the family pet.”

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Extract from “The Sensory Garden.”

” The weight of what John had just told her was like a concrete block, pulling her down to the bottom of a dark and murky ocean. Trendrils of rubbery seaweed floated by, ugly and greenish brown like overboiled vegetables. In the distance, sleek and agile creatures darted in and out of the reef, almost too quick for Helen’s bleary eyes to see. They scattered schools of minnow into a thousand pieces, like a chrystal bowl falling from a balcony onto the hard concrete ground below.”

Posted by naomilisashippen in The Sensory Garden Excerpts, 0 comments