Saturday 2 December 2023

The latest...

Free entry competition / submission opportunity

Thanks to Marguerite for the link to this short story competition for horror writers. The best will be published and win an Amazon gift card.

I've heard from Doug at Witcraft who are currently running a free entry competition.

Send us skilfully written stories that are brief, humorous and engaging, with the emphasis on wit, word play, absurdity and inspired nonsense. No entry fee. Submissions close December 15, 2023. Word limits: 200-1000. First prize A$50, second prize A$20, third prize A$10, payable via Paypal only.

Witcraft are also open to submissions. 

Personal stuff

The family situation I previously mentioned is still ongoing. We're caring for my elderly mother-in-law, who until recently was very independent. She currently requires multiple visits to provide basic care each day. We are getting some help, but as her only other child lives over four hours away and has numerous commitments we're doing most of it. It was hoped that a procedure earlier this week would make a big difference. Unfortunately although it has improved her quality of life she's a long way from regaining her independence. 

Please bear with me if blog posts are lacking in well-researched content, seem thrown together or as though I went out halfway through writing them.

Writing, and the support of writing friends, has been a huge help to me throughout this. Some of the readers of this blog have previously said that feeling connected to other writers via the comments helps them in different ways. For that reason I'll do my best to keep putting up posts.

There isn't anything you can do to help with the family situation (we're getting professional advice and support) but you can help me feel better about largely neglecting this blog by leaving comments to encourage and support each other, and share the news and information I'm not keeping up with.

If you'd like to say something sympathetic, or to cheer me up, please comment with the name of a flower. I'll gather them together into a posie of good wishes.


Marguerite said...

The solstice is fast approaching (thank goodness... so getting lighter and brighter), but have their twice a year competition, deadline 21st December, although I think the shortest day is actually the 22nd this year (my background, astronomy NOT astrology!) The Witcraft looks good :) I had a poem chosen for Fictionette, which for me, is... er?... ironic ;) I think we all know how important our own independence is and trying to keep it as we age. I hope things will improve with time. I leave you with my name (I have wild ones growing in the lawn at the moment), those white Victorian petunias that smell so lovely and some busy lizzie for sheer colour and vibrance :)

Liz said...

It all sounds really challenging, Patsy, and I'm sure we all appreciate the fact that you're managing to post at all.

I don't have any news or info, but will post if/when I do.

Take care of yourself and I'll present you with a virtual rhododendron.

Lindsay said...

Life so often distracts us from writing and related matters. Caring for family is high priority and we all understand that you don't have much time left for the blog because when you do get time, your writing should come first. I hope the situation eases for you all soon.

Like so many of us who read and comment here, I really appreciate your work on the blog and have entered some of the competitions mentioned. (And have even won a couple!)

I am delighted to be a Pushcart nominee although I know there are hundreds of other writers nominated! Stiff competition indeed. I have managed to enter a couple of competitions in the last couple of days and have a story to send to another. I live in hope.

ados said...

Thanks for the competitions, Patsy.
I hope the family situation improves. It's challenging when there are older family members involved.
The People's Friend posted a blog clarifying what they mean by 'gritty'. The link is here for those who haven't seen it.
I'm not sure it is really much different. They still want emotional and uplifting stories...

Sheelagh said...

Thank you Patsy for all that you do to keep us all connected & provide vital info for all us writers.
I'm sending you a hellebores 'christmas rose' for your posy with every good wish for your MILs speedy recovery & resumption of normal life

Maisie Bishop said...

Sending a virtual snowdrop... first sign of spring and hope.
Thanks so much for keeping the blog going at such a difficult time. Hoping things improve soon.

Pamela Gough said...

Looking out of my window - there are still some primulas bravely flowering in this hard frost.

Carolb said...

Priorities temporarily change when life events like this happen, hugs to all of you.
And trails of Honeysuckle to add to your bouquet.

Anonymous said...

To help brighten a bitterly cold winter’s day, I’m sending a bunch of freshly cut fragrant sweet peas.
Thanks for keeping up the blog, Patsy.
All good wishes.

Sue McV said...

A difficult situation for you Patsy. I'm sure we all appreciate the fact that you are keeping the blog going and I'm certain we will keep posting for you and each other.
I had some great news this week when I heard that I am a runner-up in the Best Christmas fiction competition which I would not have known about but for your blog.
Sending positive thoughts to you and your family. And a lovely sunny daffodil to hope for light at the end of this tunnel.

sheelagh said...

@Sue That is brilliant news Sue, very well done, I look forward to reading it anon

Anonymous said...


Marguerite said...

Lovely to hear someone from this blog is in the Best line-up! Well done, Sue :)

Anonymous said...

Congratulations to Sue.

I've taken heart from some wise words from Matt Kendrick on rejections ...


Ruth/Becca said...

Big congratulations @Sue - that's terrific news.

Patsy, I'm wishing you comfort and strength in your caring role, one I am sure many of us are familiar with X

I'm sending you a daffodil from Wales XXX

Eirin Thompson/E.D. Thompson said...

Really hope you get some support with Gary's mum soon, Patsy. In the meantime, I'm sending you some nice bright red cyclamen for the festive season. Big congrats to Sue on your competition success - it's always lovely to hear of someone from this community doing well. Hope everyone finds some inspiration in the deep midwinter.

Marian said...

Congratulations to Sue on the success with Best. I’m looking forward to reading it. Everything is very quiet for me, but I’m trying to get into the Christmas spirit and write my Christmas stories now for submission in a few months! Meanwhile, I’m sending you a poinsettia, Patsy. I know it’s a plant, so not really right for the bouquet, but I love them at this time of year!

Sue McV said...

Thanks everyone for your congratulations on the Best competition. It's certainly a great confidence boost to be placed. Never happened before.

Sharon boothroyd said...

Well done to all who have had acceptances and sales, in comps and in mags.
Patsy, I've heard that a reader has written in to My Weekly, complimenting you on your story. That's so nice when that happens.
I'd like to send you a mix of freesias and roses, as they both have lovely, uplifting scents.
Take good care of yourself.

Patsy said...

Thanks so much, everyone!

It's great to hear your good news and enjoy my virtual flowers. I appreciate the good wishes too. And thanks for telling me about that letter, Sharon. That's really made my day.

Fiona said...

Hi Patsy,
I’m just back from a fabulous weekend in London which is partly your doing!
I entered the Bridgehouse Gifted short story competition (which was listed here) and have a story in the anthology, which was launched at a lovely get-together for the writers near the Strand on Saturday - a great excuse for a pre-Christmas visit.
So I’m going OTT and am sending you the flower stall from the main entrance of Liberty’s, which always looks so amazing and smells wonderful as you walk through.
Take good care of yourself,
Fiona x

Susie said...

The main thing is taking care of yourself and your family. Hope it gets easier or you get more support. It's great that you are still doing the blog but I think we all understand if you have to skip or it's brief. Sending best wishes

Susie said...

Forgot to say, sending you some virtual peonies