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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.

 

Chelle

Posted By Michelle Birbeck

There are so many places that I like to go in order to write. The most common being my living room and library. The library is what we call the spare bedroom where I keep my books. There are several sets of shelves, as well as a special cabinet for all of my collectable books. In the winter it gets a little cold in there, but in the summer it is a beautiful room. As far as inspiration goes, there is a lot to be said for being surrounded by your favourite authors and books. It certainly gives you a good kick to your imagination.

Another of my favourite places to write is a place called Brunton House. It is a beautiful place in rural Nothumberland. With very little mobile phone reception, no internet, and no real civilisation for miles, it is perfect. In the summer you have the gardens and the fields and trees to walk through, and in the winter, if you are willing to brave the cold, the place looks stunning covered in snow.

Here are a couple of pictures from my last trip up there:




My most recent discovery for writing was North Queensferry in Scotland. It is a small village just off the Forth Bridge, and it was so quiet and pretty. The room that I stayed in had views of the bridge and at night it looked fantastic. I got a fair bit of writing done whilst I was there, which was a relief after spending weeks trying to figure out one particular sore spot in book four.



I am sure that I will discover many more inspirational places as I continue to write. Partly because I no longer go anywhere without a good book to read, and pen and paper to write with. Even if I am just going out for an hour, I always have them with me. You never know when something will just beg to be written, and writing notes on my phone is more hassle than it's worth.


 
Posted By Michelle Birbeck

Well, I have been busy writing and catching up with college work lately, and also planning a few things. I was supposed to be up at a writing workshop at Housesteads, Hadrian’s Wall the other day, but it was cancelled as the organiser was snowed in. Hopefully that will be rescheduled soon, and I will then have some work on display up there.

Also, I had my first rejection letter, which was a rather pleasant experience. She was very nice about everything, and even wished me luck in getting an agent for my books. I have to say, it was a much more enjoyable experience than my imagination led me to believe over the six weeks of waiting.

I have also sent some work off to the Tell Tales site this month in the hopes of being published on their website. Lots more waiting is involved before they get back to me, but you never know unless you try, and try I will.

On the writing side of things, I am busily working away on book four, and finally have a full chapter plan, which I am currently working my way through. As always there are many twists and turns and even a few ups and downs along the way. The story is progressing nicely with its first draft, and I am looking forward to the more exciting parts that are yet to come.

Once book four is finished I am by no means finished writing. There are a few other stories in the series that I want to write, including Poppy’s, Leo’s, Lona’s and Elena’s stories. All of them are such wonderful characters that I have fallen in love with completely, and am very much looking forward to exploring the ins and outs of how they came to be.

Reading has also been on my list of priorities this month, as there are a number of new books being released. Naturally this means that I have to sit and reread the entire series for each so that I know where I am up to when the new books are released. J.R Ward is my current project, as her new book: Lover Mine, is due out at the end of this month. Then we have the final L.J Smith, Night World book, which I am very excited for. It is a series that I have been reading since I was in school, and I am very much looking forward to the conclusion. Next we have the latest Charlaine Harris, Sookie Stackhouse book, as well as the new season on TV.

Safe to say that I have a lot planned over the next few months, and even more after that as I pursue various writing opportunities. Fortunately, I have a lot of time on my hands, otherwise I would be backed up with reading for months to come.

Anyway, I am now off back to more writing, or perhaps some reading. Either way, I have quite the list to keep me going.


 
Posted By Michelle Birbeck

Well, I am at it again, writing away with a million things to do. What can I say? I enjoy writing and whenever the opportunity presents itself, I am there.

In this case, I am writing for charity again. I spotted a tweet by a friend on twitter about a certain eBook benefit that she was organising, and before you know it, I've gone and signed up to do some writing for it.

The first draft of my short story is complete, and I hope to get the chance to go over it a little before the end of the week. Add to that another read through the week after, and it should then be ready to go.

If you want to read the short story, a fantasy faerie piece called 'Going Home' then click here and that will take you to the blog and give you information on how to go about donating and getting your copy of the eBook. You can also sign up there to add some of your work to the collection. The deadline for signing up is 17th of March, so there isn't a lot of time left.

The piece is a celebration of love or life rated Young Adult or PG-13, and for me that was a bit of a challenge. If you've read much of the work that I have done, both original and fanfiction, then you will know that I lean towards the death, doom, and gloom side of writing. Having said that, I really enjoyed widening my horizons and working on something new, especially as it is for such a good cause.

And in case you missed it, the eBook Benefit page can be found by clicking the lovely little link right here.

Once I have worked out a synopsis, and have checked that it's all right to post it here, I shall give you an update with a little more information about what you Can expect from the short story that I have written for the cause.

Chelle


 
Posted By Michelle Birbeck

This week I have been taking my bike up onto the Roman wall in order to attend a Writing Workshop at Housesteads Roman Fort. The purpose of the two days was to write a piece on the theme of boundaries.

If you haven't visited Hadrian's wall, then I highly recommend that you do. Not only do you get the wonderful sense of being surrounded by history that is almost 2000 years old, but the scenery is stunning.



Being inspired by that kind of scenery is not exactly challenging. Stood among the ruins, you can almost see the Roman soldiers walking their patrols along the wall. Which is exactly where my short story idea came from.

Now, I don't know a lot about the history of the Romans, but I know a little. Certainly enough that I can imagine the fierce Roman soldiers roaming the wall in all weathers in an attempt to keep the 'savages' out.

In a way the wall itself is a kind of boundary. It was built to separate the Roman Empire from the north, and it worked. For a time. So for my short story, I thought; what if it was more than that? It wasn't just a wall to keep the two people separated, but it was more of a personal obstacle for one particular soldier?

It seems entirely possible to me that there would have been soldiers who felt that way, and who were not there by choice. Which became the basis of my short story. A Roman soldier that was forced to be there, and who saw the wall as more than just one kind of barrier.

With all of the snow that we have had over the winter, I decided that it would make a beautiful contrast; the pristine white landscape and the conflict of the Roman soldier. There is also something so very tempting about writing for a snow-covered landscape. It’s almost like a blank canvas, but with everything that you need right there in front of you.

The workshop itself was very interesting. We wrote, and we wandered around the fort taking pictures and discussing our ideas, and we also created the ‘stone’ book that will be left behind.

I got to meet two wonderful people who both love writing, and it was nice to sit and talk to them about various things. It was also good to hear their ideas and how different they were despite having the same theme.

The stone book is not quite finished yet, as there are some final things that need adding and changing to the short stories before they are ready. Once they are, however, they should be on display at Housesteads. It is nice to think that there will be people visiting there that will get to see something that I have helped with and written. I may even have to ride up there again just to see it, or drag some of the family along and take a whole boat load of pictures.

One thing is for certain; I will be looking for more workshops of a similar nature. Meeting new people, visiting beautiful places, and doing what I love best are all worthy reasons for travelling up and down the country on my bike. And being able to leave little pieces behind at those places brings a certain sense of accomplishment that is its own reward.

Once the book is on display, I will let everyone know, and I will try and get some pictures of it to post on here.


 
Posted By Michelle Birbeck

Hello again.

Thought I would give you a bit of an update on the wonderful people in my life who help me greatly with my writing.

First up we have Phill. He is my husband, and bless his heart, he sits and reads everything that I write. He helps me check everything over for little spelling mistakes that I have missed, and generally he reads things and makes sure it all adds up. Also, he is my one and only reference point on the subject of all things supernatural. Be it the feeding habits of my vampires or the shifting habits of my Weres, he is the one I sit and discuss it all with. The witches, however, are all mine.

Then we have Cait. She is my editor. She is the one who checks everything over after I am happy with it.

Alice is another person that I have to mention. She is my cheering squad. I can always rely on her not only to get really excited when I have anything new, but also to cheer me on whenever I need it.

Emerald is the second member of the cheering squad. She also gets very excited when I ask if she wants to read my latest draft, and she will cheer me on, too.

Then last, but not least, I have the wonderful Bernii. Purveyor of printed pages for the wonderful Cait to edit. One day I will own a working printer, but until I do, Bernii is the most wonderful person in the world when it comes to printing.

Of course, all of these people also make up my research team. Including my mother, though I rarely tell her why I need random information on Rome or the legal procedures for charging someone with murder.

So, there you have it. That is my wonderful team of people who I could not write what I do without.

Chelle

And I just realised that I forgot one of the most important groups. The ladies from the WC's (Word Challenges) I have to say a big Hello to them for all of their virtual ass kicking and getting me to actually write.