Saturday, 25 December 2010

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

ETMA 1 Part 1

In 500 words, write a mini portrait of a character, in either the past or present tense. In this story, note, there needn’t be any significant plot; concentrate instead on describing both character and place, and on conveying a particular mood – and state this mood as the title of your story. (For example: Happiness: Jane had short red hair and ...)

Sarah got up from the sofa after another sleepless night and let her unshaven legs carry her to the bedroom. She looked out of tear sodden eyes into the room that she and Dan had once slept. It had been a month since she’d been widowed and a month since she’d seen their room. It looked grey despite the fact that they had only recently painted it a warm terracotta colour. Dark dankness swallowed the warm glow that had once occupied this room. The floor creaked below her aching feet as she leaned against the door jamb, its sharp edges pressing deep into her bony side. She caught her reflection in the dusty mirror and held out a moisture starved hand, pressing against the glass as though it might lead the way into another world. Her roots no longer matched chocolate brown tresses and the ends were withered and lifeless. She looked older than her forty years but she felt like a child who’d lost her way. The room stood still, and she echoed its sentiment as if cemented to the spot. A tear threatened her eye as she stepped over Dan’s pile of washing to pick up the crime thriller she had leant him. Holding it close, as if it were her last link to him, Sarah sunk down onto the unmade bed and opened the book to where he had turned the corner of the page down. She hated when he did that but she left it as it was and replaced the book in the position it had been left in.

A flicker of an autumnal ray made its way through the slit in the blinds and the warmth lit up her pale and tired face. Sarah’s eyelids hung low as if protecting her from the light of day as though she might disintegrate under such brightness. Her body lost itself in the empty double bed as she curled herself into the foetal position and hugged the bear that perched on her pillow. Her mobile called out for the fifth time that morning. She didn’t rush to it, what would be the point? It wouldn’t be him. She only kept it charged so she could call his voicemail whenever she missed the sound of his voice. It would be her mother again and immediately she felt guilty. She would call her back later and tell her she was fine; she’d be back to working in the shop as soon as she had time. Sarah wiped away yet more tears, as if her tear ducts had sprung an endless leak.

Sarah rose from the bed and trudged bare footed into the living room. She cranked up the heating; she wasn’t especially cold but Dan always liked it warm in their flat. She could hear the noise of continuing life outside and felt her heart ache. Sympathy cards lined the work tops just next to his mail and his unwashed coffee cup. Everything would just stay as it was.

A few cliches aside it did rather well with a 40 out of 50.  It was based on the strength of this piece that I managed to get a Good Pass.  I think a lot of us were more in tune without part 1 - not sure why but I agreed with the comments made.  I will publish part 2 in my next post.

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

The results are in:

So for those who didn't see my facebook on Friday (drunken status updates ahoy) I scored a 72 for my first assignment. I am soooo pleased with that. I scored a 40 out of 50 for part 1 of the TMA and 32 for part 2. I shall post both in separate posts so you can see my work. I know I keep saying it but it will happen. Work is winding down for the year and all that hard work in the first 6 months WAS worth it as I was awarded the MVP (most valued person) at my work do on Friday. I think it was fair to say that between becoming an Auntie, scoring a 72 and getting the MVP, last week was pretty brilliant

Friday was definitely about the champers:

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Crimbo has come early

I had the best news EVER yesterday.  My beautiful neice made her way into the world making me an Auntie for the very first time.  I am super proud and cannot wait to meet her.

So I am on form today and am raring to go with Block 3 of my course.  I am eagerly waiting the result of my first TMA (scores due by Friday) and all I can do for now is get on with the rest of the course.  I spent the weekend visiting friends in Hove and mooching the shops in Brighton whilst sampling the tastiest mulled cider.  Between this and the X-factor I had little time to post anything at the weekend so for that I apologise.  I would quite like to post up some of my work on blocks 1 and 2 which my fellow students are giving some great feedback so keep a look out this week for that if you're interested.

I just finished reading A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens - I really enjoyed it and it left me feeling very festive.

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Finally settled!

This is the first lunch break at work I have had where the hour didn't get gobbled up by present searching, coursework, bill paying, flat hunting, various other things that I have possible blocked out for stress inducing reasons.  I'm better now I am happy to say.  Everything from that knot in my stomach to that crater on my face - all gone!  Not sure whether it's the Kalms that I've been taking or the lack of crap things happening of late but I actually feel quite relaxed.  I got my first TMA into my tutor last week (more on that in my next post)  and we FINALLY have internet (can I get an Amen!! - it was definitely a miracle we got it in the end).  O2 were useless blaming everything but themselves for the delay.  There was one saving grace though - in their Glasgow branch.  A very nice man called Clive.  He is definitely on my Crimbo card list and my list of people who to call should I ever decide to move again (never again!!!)

Womag 2 Weekly is closed for short story submissions until January so I have until then to pull another shorty out of the bag.  Sadly I am yet to report a short story sale.  I remain optimistic as I still have some with The Weekly News (sending good thoughts your way Jill! - as if that's all it takes :S).  This will give me time to work on the novel also as I have become a member of Chapter2Weekly which the lovely Suzanne Jones has founded for us novel wannawriters or in my case finishers.

That's all for now.  I promise to come back soon with more about my OU course (which I am LOVING btw)

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Important - Please read!!

Help Talli Roland's debut novel THE HATING GAME hit the Kindle bestseller list at and by spreading the word today. Even a few sales in a short period of time on Amazon helps push the book up the rankings, making it more visible to other readers.

No Kindle? Download a free app at Amazon for Mac, iPhone, PC, Android and more.

Coming soon in paperback. Keep up with the latest at

When man-eater Mattie Johns agrees to star on a dating game show to save her ailing recruitment business, she's confident she'll sail through to the end without letting down the perma-guard she's perfected from years of her love 'em and leave 'em dating strategy. After all, what can go wrong with dating a few losers and hanging out long enough to pick up a juicy £2000,000 prize? Plenty, Mattie discovers, when it's revealed that the contestants are four of her very unhappy exes. Can Mattie confront her past to get the prize money she so desperately needs, or will her exes finally wreak their long-awaited revenge? And what about the ambitious TV producer whose career depends on stopping her from making it to the end?