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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

January is over, and February is now underway. If this month is anything like last month, then not only will it be busy, but it will also be fantastic. So much happened in January that it’s hard to know where to start. The biggest thing, of course, being the acceptance of Consequences for publication.

But that wasn’t all that happened in the endless month of Jan. I had my first ever pictures taken, and though I was ridiculously nervous, they turned out well. I sat the first of my English Literature exams, and though I am on the fence as to how it went, I am looking forward to getting the results in March, if only so that the waiting for them is over. There has been more meetings, phone calls, and e-mails in January than I’m sure my phone bill or e-mail account like, let alone my expenses file.

I learned a lot in January, and even though I was rushed off my feet for almost all of it, it has turned out to be a fantastic month. Of course, February is shaping out to be just fine. In the three short days since the start of the month, I’ve been busy as ever. Updating the Short Stories page of the site, creating and updating my new Facebook page, as well as writing some more on the charity piece that I’m writing.

Survival’ is the working title of the short story I’m writing to help raise money for the Australian floods. Leanne is in the right place, at exactly the right time. Only problem is, she’s with completely the wrong person. What started as a romantic evening ends with her running for her life.

If you want to follow the progress of the charity drive, you can follow them on Facebook or on Twitter.

Consequences. I’m not sure it’s really sunk in yet, the fact that this is getting published. I still have moments where I smile and grin and do the little girly eepp, but it’s not really sunk in yet. It sort of seems like it isn’t really real. Even though it has been written, it’s been edited, and it’s waiting now for publication. Here’s the synopsis:

Celia is used to dealing with the occasional psycho in her line of work. She’s reasoned with them, talked to them, but she’s never been held at the mercy of one before. After the best night of her life, having to fight to survive is the last thing she expects, but it’s exactly what life throws at her. And might just be what death throws at her, too.

It’s being published by Pocket Novel Publishing (links coming soon), which is a new venture working with writers to produce short stories in their own books, giving readers a chance to sample new authors without having to buy whole books or anthologies.

As soon as I have more information on a publication date and website details, I will be posting them. Or you can follow the new Facebook page, where all of the information will be posted.

Here’s hoping that February is just as good as January, but maybe a little less busy.


Posted By Michelle Birbeck

Tomorrow is my first English Literature A Level exam. Since September I’ve been reading and revising and learning everything that I can about the subject. For anyone who knows me, you’ll know that I dropped History at school as soon as I was able. Quite frankly I find the subject bores me to tears. It is not something that I enjoy learning about. So having to learn everything that I could about World War One has been a challenge. Having to then read novels and poetry and plays about the subject, well, there was a point where I seriously considered dropping the course. But that was only a moment, and as tomorrow is the first of two exams, it’s fairly plain to see how that decision went.

I did, however, find a way to turn the subject into something that I enjoyed. Turning the facts into something tangible to do with something that I am completely in love with made what I thought was going to be a bitter pill to swallow into a wonderful learning experience. When everything relates back to my books in one way or another, it makes the world just a little bit more interesting. It may be a made up world, but the history of the real one plays a bit part in it.

So the last few hours, and in fact the last few days, have been spent attending extra classes in college, going over my revision notes, and reading everything that I can that will help me in the exam.

And I am still nervous.

It’s only an exam, it’s something that I am prepared for, and after last year’s English Language course, I am fully prepared for it. However, there is still that little bubble of nerves that is peeking out on occasion just to send me into a panic long enough for someone to stop me.

Of course, I’ll not be the only one to feel like this, and as soon as I read the question, panic for thirty seconds, and then sit and think, I’ll be fine. It’s not like I’ve spent the last few months not doing anything, and I’ve certainly racked up enough revision time to at least have some idea what I am doing.

So wish me luck, because revision or not, I’ll take any help that I can get! So long as it isn’t cheating, of course.