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Michelle Bir...
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Welcome to the blog.


Here you will find all the updates on how my writing is going, how the quest for publishing is coming along, and details of any new additions to the website. You will also find any announcements, and the details of where you can find my work.



Posted By Michelle Birbeck

Of course, when I say exams, what I mean is exam. I only did one this time around again, English Literature. However, I am so glad that it is over. The course has been interesting, despite my distinct lack of enthusiasm for the first half: all about World War One literature. I’m pretty sure that I’ve learned a few things this year, even if one of those things was that I disagree with almost everything anyone tells me about literature. We spent a good few hours discussing the fact that my tutor thinks that us writer types think about every single word that we write. I disagree. Most of what I write is written because that’s just how it comes out of my head. Sure, I change a few words here and there whilst I’m editing, and when I do that I do take great care to choose the right words, but for the most part it’s just how it happens to come out when I’m writing.

One of the main things I learned, however, is that rules have no place in creative writing. They might have their place when you’re creating a world or characters or working out the mythology of a mythical race you’re writing about, but that’s it. There might be rules that say a story is supposed to be planned, written, edited, etc., as well as rules for how long it should be, how many acts, who your main character should fall in love with. But here’s the thing about literature, if you read a lot then you’ll see that no one pays attention to the rules. Well, very few of them do, anyway. That’s the great thing about literature, though, the fact that it’s also known as ‘creative writing’ which of course means we can be as creative as we want. And you can’t really get anywhere by not thinking outside the box. We’d still be I caves if all we did was stick to what we know.

Anyway, now that the exam is over and done with all that is left to do is wait until August for the results. In the meantime there are a million and one things that need my attention, and though I am exaggerating that a little, it is only a little. My diary has never stopped being overfull and crammed all year, and it shows no sign of stopping now.

So good luck to everyone who’s had exams these last weeks and the weeks coming. I’m now off to tackle that mountain of work.


Posted By Michelle Birbeck

What a month! We’re only ten days in, and so far it is shaping up to be one of the busiest months of the year so far! Which when you consider how full my diary was for January and February, that’s saying something. I’m not sure I’ve stopped all week this week, and it shows no signs of stopping anytime soon. But on the plus side, there are lots of exciting things happening.

One of the biggest things that’s happening this month is my exam for college. It’s my last one at A Level, and after this I’ll have both English Language and English Literature under my belt. I was considering doing psychology, but they stopped offering it at the college, so that’s not going to happen unfortunately. However, university is going well, now that I worked out how to submit my assignments and got the right one! It is going to take me a lot longer to complete my degree than I originally hoped, but when I started it I didn’t have any contracts for publishing, and things have changed now.

Another thing that’s happening this month is the Hartlepool Mail Health Care Awards. You may remember that some very kind soul nominated me for a Carer award for looking after my husband, well, I got a call the other day about the black tie event. It’s on the 22nd, and I have the dress, have booked myself in to get my hair, and will have my nails done for the first time since I got married some ten years ago. I have no idea who won what, but I have been invited to the event, so I have at least been shortlisted. Whatever happens on the night, I am going to enjoy myself immensely and take an obscene amount of photos.

Consequences is moving along nicely now, too. It is with the design department at the moment, so there should be a cover very soon! I shall be announcing that as soon as I have it, and it will be added to the trailer, which you can view here.

Lastly, but by no means least, I am having my first ever interview this weekend. I received a very nice DM on Twitter from the National Association of Writers in Education, Young Writer's Hub, and it was asking me if they could interview me about my upcoming book. So of course I said yes, jumped around the house for a few minutes, and then got all excited. I’ll be posting links and things on Twitter and Facebook once I have them, so keep an eye out!

Posted By Michelle Birbeck

February has been a strange month. I’m not certain that any of it has been real, and even though a lot has happened, none of it has quite sunk in yet. Despite having very little free time at the moment anyway, I seem to have managed to sign up for some more things to take away what time I have. My excuse is that I am writing anyway, so why not help others to do the same?

What am I on about? Word challenges (WCs). They are fantastic ways to get yourself motivated into doing some writing. One of the sites that I follow hosts weekly WCs, but all of them were in the middle of the night or so far into the wee hours of the morning that there was no way even I was staying up for them. When I asked if they planned on doing earlier ones, the answer was that they didn’t have anyone. So I volunteered. One second I was just looking for a bit of motivation to get something done, and the next I was filling out forms and handing over information to join the website and host WCs for them. But hey, I’m writing anyway, so that’s all right.

College is thankfully slowing down a little now. We’re into the second half of our course and spend the lessons sat discussing the literature of Love Through The Ages. It’s safe to say that I am enjoying this subject much more than I did the literature of World War One. Our subject now is much more wide spread and includes the advantage of looking at religion and philosophy, too (a subject I wanted to do at A Level, but unfortunately the college doesn’t offer it).

What I love the most about the second part of the course is the coursework. Not a lot can beat getting to write smut and hand it into your teacher as coursework. However, there is one thing. For Love Through The Ages, the coursework is a simple enough piece, compare and contrast. We have to use a Shakespeare play, and two other books of our choice. We can do whatever we want, look at love in whatever light we want, and then compare and contrast our chosen works.

From the moment I heard that we could do whatever we wanted, back when the course first started, I had my heart set one two things: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Dracula. Adding a third book was an easy choice: Frankenstein.

What better books to read and compare and contrast than three books I have not only read a number of times before, but also completely adore! I get to look at how love is treated when non-human elements are introduced. At how things go wrong and how different these types of love are. It’s safe to say that I am looking forward to spending the half term this coming week sitting and re-reading these books, making my notes and getting started on the work.

Better yet, we don’t just have 1400 words or 1100 words like we did with the first set of coursework. We get 3000, which, whilst still not being as many words as I wanted, is a much nice figure to play around with.

So whilst everything else that has happened during the month still seems just a touch unreal, I can definitely say that the coursework feels real enough, and I can’t wait to get started.


In other news, the business cards for Consequences came this month, and they are so pretty! The picture isn’t the best in the world (I’m in need of a new camera, I think), but you can get a good idea of what it looks like.


Consequences Business Card