Have a Great Day!

If  all the talk is to be believed, this evening is the moment our world comes to a sticky end!  And just as I’m coming to the end of the first draft of my current novel as well.  Talk about timing….

According to American preacher, Harold Camping, this evening heralds the second coming of The Lord, which will see all of us expelled from the planet.  Apparently 2% of us will be knocking at the pearly gates – whereas the rest of us are going straight to a somewhat warmer location (I’m crossing my fingers for Barbados).

Mind you – 89 year old Camping also made a similar claim for the 6th September 1994, and that didn’t happen – obviously.  So you’ll excuse me for taking this, ahem, prediction, with the proverbial pinch of salt and carry on with my novel.

And if it does happen to come true?  Well, I’ll happily share my factor 15 with you.

Happy writing.

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Hangs her head in shame…

Apologies, as I have rather ignored my blog of late.  No excuses really – oh, OK, yes there are.  Just been crazy busy with work – all of it writing and not had the energy to come and update.

I’ve had to create a make-believe world where small animals speak and get up to various adventures – so I’ve been immersed in this wonderful world and been indulging my inner child.  Well, those who know me would probably say not such an inner child, as I definitely have a tendency towards the immature on occasion.  And why not, that’s what I say.

I’ve also been busy on the short story front and have just sent off a batch to various editors – so here’s hoping.  I’m still waiting for my latest to be published in Take a Break which should be due any time soon.

A good writer friend of mine has seen her latest book in print this month – and has another out next month.  How prolific is that!  If you fancy a look you can see all of her offerings here – http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/g/june-gadsby/

So, till later in the week.

Happy writing.

Jacki x

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Busy Busy Busy

Well, the final edit of the novel is finished and has been sent to the publisher.  So all I can do now is wait!

The best thing about having finally put this one to bed is that I can get on with the next one.  I’m about half way through the first draft so it will be good to get that finished and then begin the ‘real’ work of editing!  I’ve also got a long list of short stories I need change from rough note form into the finished article – phew, at some point I’ll get a day off.

And to top it off, I’ve just had a great idea for what is essentially a non-fiction book which I’m really excited about…..

But if you write you know what it’s like.  Once an idea is there begging to be put down in words, there’s no getting away from it so the only thing to do is give in.  Ah, I’m at the mercy of the dark demons in my head!

Well, it’s just a quick one today – I need to have a short short story (300 wds)  written by tomorrow morning so I’d better get on with it.  Sometimes flash fiction is even more difficult than usual – but it’s a great exercise for making sure that every single word fights for its place on the page.

Till next time,

Jacki x

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No Shortage of Writing Material

Phew!  My head is currently brimming with ideas for stories, but I’m having to just note them down as I’m ploughing all my efforts into my last edit of the current novel.  And I’m nearly there – hooray!  I finished it back in November but then put it aside for a couple of months to gain that necessary distance.  It’s exciting knowing that it really is nearly done now.

On another note – I think my next short story may be in the next issue of Take A Break Fiction Feast, so grab a copy if you fancy a read.

So, on the subject of writing stories for magazines, it can be a great way to earn a few extra pounds and get your name in print.  Some of the other popular mags that accept unsolicited stories are Woman’s Weekly, Yours and The People’s Friend.  They all have pretty strict submission guidelines so make sure you adhere to them.  It’s also advisable to read a few copies of each magazine to see their particular style as each is quite different.

Be prepared for a few rejections, but keep at it.  These magazines need writers; and lots of them.  So make sure your stories are as polished as possible and get them sent off.  It’s a great feeling to see your name in print.

On the down side, many of them require that you only apply by snail mail.  So be prepared to spend out a bit on printer ink, paper and postage.  And don’t forget to include an SAE for their reply.

Good luck and have fun.  After all, we all write because we enjoy it.

Jacki x

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Happy Valentine’s Day

In keeping with the date, here’s a short story I penned a while back.

Valentine’s Surprise – a short story by Jacki Huntley

Roses are red,
Violets are blue.
Who in their right mind,
would look twice at you?

Imogen sniggered as she re-read the words she had written. It was incredible, she thought for the umpteenth time, just how many people wanted to send out nasty messages. And the run up to Valentine’s Day was one of her busiest times of the year.

She’d fallen into this lucrative little sideline completely by chance. Whilst chatting on an internet forum, she’d shown off her rhyming skills by posting a few poems about some of the other users. Then, before she knew it, everyone was begging her to write more.

Never one to do something for nothing, Imogen had started charging for her work. Nothing extortionate: just a pound for a basic ‘Roses are red’ or similar, two pounds for a limerick, and up to a fiver for a longer, three verse poem.The nastier and more vicious the rhyme, the more people clamoured for her services. And of course, Imogen was happy to oblige, never giving a thought to the distress her words might cause.

It had all started a couple of years back, and the word had spread, as it does in cyber space, and she now got orders from all over the world. She’d had to set up a paypal account to receive payments, and business was so brisk she was starting to worry that the taxman might take an interest. As far as she was concerned, it was money for doing nothing. She didn’t even need to allocate any time to it, as she just accessed her emails at work and kept the window hidden beneath her legitimate tasks if anyone came close.

Of course, Imogen took extreme care not to let anyone know about her little business. Especially not to her boyfriend, Rob, who she knew would thoroughly disapprove. He was such a goody goody, and always concerned about other people’s feelings. But he did have a very well paid job and wasn’t adverse to spending plenty of his earnings on her. And he wasn’t too bad looking, either. Much better than some of the ugly mugs she had been out with in the past. She had a sneaky suspicion that he was trying to pluck up the courage to ask her to marry him, and she’d already made up her mind to accept when he did. After all, a rich, all right looking guy who adored her, but who was, in her opinion, a bit on the thick side, wasn’t too bad a catch.

She checked her paypal account, smiling at the four hundred odd pounds she had already notched up that month. Smiling, she planned a shopping trip for the weekend to spend some of the cash.

Bing! Her email signalled a new message. She clicked it open and grinned at the new payment notification. She really needed to get on with composing rhymes as she was getting a bit of a backlog. Imogen’s eyes narrowed to slits as she began to think of the vicious words she could conjour to cause maximum distress.
But as she started to type, one of the supervisors entered the office. With irritation, she had to turn her attention to the job she was paid to do. She’d be sacked if Mrs Smithson caught her answering personal emails again. Against company policy and all that rubbish the woman had bleated numerous times, silly cow.

Later that evening, Imogen went to Rob’s, as usual, where he cooked her dinner, as usual. Afterwards, she sat on the floor so he could massage her shoulders whilst she watched EastEnders.

“What are we going to do this weekend?” she asked him. “I want to go shopping. Why don’t we go to London?”

If she worked it right, she might not have to spend her own money.

“All right,” he agreed, good natured as always.

Imogen smiled.  He was such a pushover.

“But I’m playing football with the pub lads on Sunday.”

Her face darkened, but she was careful to force a smile as she turned to face him.  “That’s fine. Is it a match?”

If it was, she knew he’d expect her to come along as he loved her cheering on the sidelines. She crossed her fingers, she hated football.

“No, no. Just practice. But you can come if you want.”

“Don’t be daft. You don’t want me there. We’ll spend Saturday together, and you spend Sunday with your mates.”

And I can get on with my orders, she thought. There’s quite a few piling up.

They took the train to London, then the Tube to Oxford Street. Imogen allowed Rob to give his credit card a good outing, and soon he was clutching a plethora of carrier bags. She deliberately slowed down every time they passed a jewellers shop, pointing to anything which happened to be next to the ring display. With a smug feeling of satisfaction, she noticed his eyes flicker over the rings each time.

As planned, Rob spent Sunday with his mates, and Imogen spent most of it lying in bed watching TV, then a few hours trying on her whole new wardrobe of clothes, followed by making up more nasty rhymes. But the weekend passed at a stupendous rate, and the next thing she knew Monday morning had arrived and she was back at work. It was Valentine’s Day, and Imogen was warmed by an internal glow as she thought about all the sad recipients of her vicious messages and the money they had earned her.

There was a commotion at the door, and a lady barged her way through, struggling to keep hold of two bunches of flowers. One was small, the other enormous.

“Trina Lewis and Imogen Brown,” she called out.

A small, mousey haired girl scuttled forward, a look of complete shock on her face.  “I’m Trina,” she squeaked.

The woman handed her the small bunch and a card. Trina tore it open, scanned the words and burst into tears.

“He’s asked me to marry him,” she managed between her sobs of joy.

The whole office erupted in cheers.

“Go on, Imogen. Open yours,” someone shouted.

Head held high, Imogen accepted the huge bunch of flowers, which must have cost a fortune, and took the bright red envelope. She ripped it open, unaware of everyone crowding to read over her shoulder. Recognising Rob’s writing, she read the words she herself had penned, not twenty four hours previously.

‘I didn’t have the courage, to tell you to your face.
But you really are a despicable member of the human race.
I’ve known for quite a while now, just what I need to do,
So enjoy this special Valentine’s gift,
Your boyfriend dumping you.
************THE END*************

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Life as a Writer

Is great – but can be very introspective! When writing I get so into my subject that the real world ceases to exist for a while. My characters become so in depth that they become real to me – but hey, surely that’s the only way to bring them alive!

On a less surreal note – I have finally dragged myself into the world of Facebook and Twitter. Today, I made my first tweet!
And I’ve got a follower, another writer, so I wish him the best in his efforts!

Tomorrow I plan to get some real articles on here – time to spend a few hours sorting out my blog. But for this evening, it’s back to my novel. It’s pretty much finished, bar the last, final edit, but on my last read through I suddenly came up with another thought – which will probably add another few thousand words. So it’s head back to the grindstone. And just when I thought it was ready to send off to some publishers…………

Till tomorrow.

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Hello world!


Welcome to my blog. I’m Jacki Huntley – freelance writer.

Getting published in the world of writing seems to be a bridge too far for more and more people. There are so many folks out there with the will to write, but everywhere they turn there seem to be barriers to getting your penned words in print.

But fear not, fellow writer, because it is possible. I’ve managed to do it and you can as well, although I’ve by no means managed to attain all my goals just yet – I’m still learning, yes sireee!

So, the whole reason for publishing my blog is to, a) get my writing out to as many different people as possible, and b) hopefully give a bit of encouragement to everyone else out there who feels their enthusiasm waning with every rejection letter which drops through the letter box (or arrives in your inbox).

I’ll go through some tips that have worked for me to find outlets for my writing, and I’ll share with you my failures as well. Yes – I know exactly how it feels when your precious manuscript, story or article gets passed over. And I know what you need to do to pick yourself up again after each and every rejection, because you have to in order to keep yourself in the game.

I’ll post some of my short stories as well – and of course, welcome comments from anyone.

So – pop back at regular intervals, because I’ll be updating as often as I can.

And if you are in the market for a freelance writer, then please drop me a line.

Happy Monday!

Jacki x

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