Tag Archives: dapre

Bad things come in threes.

1) Today I woke up with conjunctivitis. Irritating.

2) Yesterday I was diagnosed with chilblains…to match my arthritis. Thus confirming I am officially an old git.

3) The day before that the hard drive in my Mac computer became an ex-hard drive. To paraphrase Monty Python it has kicked the bucket, shuffled off its mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the choir invisible!

So there you have it. Three bad things. Wow, this old saying is really accurate. Er…

4) Last week the washing machine broke down. Springs shattered and smashed the insides. It too has kicked the bucket, shuffled off its mortal coil, run down the curtain etc.

5) Just after that a lump of hard core rock flew from the back of a highway maintenance lorry and bounced on my car as I was driving in the fast lane. Left a nasty dent in the bonnet and an even nastier dent in the wallet.

6) The car key snapped in the ignition. Needs to be repaired. £170, I kid you not.

7) My wife has a really bad back at the moment.

8) Daughter has a cold.

9) This damn ipad turns the numeral eight into a smily face.

10) Dog now has arthritis too.

11) It snowed so much the builders could not work on our house for three days.

12) A recent storm caused two big leaks…the Nationwide Building Society sent an assessor in high heels who would not climb a ladder to check the roof or even climb up into our loft because of Health and Safety regs. She said to get a roofer out (at our cost) and she would study his report with a trained eye to see if it was wind damage or poor workmanship. Judging from a bit of paper rather than going up and seeing for herself. Bonkers.

13) Oh I can’t be bowhere’d writing anymore because this ipad is correcting everything I say with women kind of devilishly inaccurate autocorrect software that I have to go back ancharacter every two minutes…see what I mean? Unreadable.

Okay then. Bad news indeed comes in threes…or fours, fives, sixes, hundreds, thousands, all eternity… You name it.

Bad news actually, and very obviously, comes from the point you want to start remembering it. I could go on but the bad news is in have to go to the Mother In Law’s house today…and she can’t walk after knee surgery. Bless.

Have a good day, y’all.

‘Cuddle Muddle’ is free now on Amazon – 16th & 17 jan 2013

Hi,

If you like quality children’s picture ebooks – especially free ones – I’d like to say that ‘Cuddle Muddle’ is Free on Weds 16 & Thurs 17 January 2013. It can be read on all KindleFires, plus should be downloadable for Kindle For iPad & Kindle For Android as well as Paperwhite.

Cuddle Muddle is a colourful fixed layout story with added text magnification boxes to make reading easier for preschool readers. It is the first book in my Wee Panda Bear Series.

Cuddle Muddle has a simple but engagingly funny plot – ‘Wee Panda Bear tumbles out of bed and needs a Big Bear cuddle, but without her wee black glasses she gets in a cuddle muddle! She hugs a hippo then cuddles a croc – and until sleepy Wee Bear cuddles Big Bear she just won’t stop!’ 

I’ve illustrated the story as well as written it – and hope it’s something you’ll enjoy. Feel free to download and have a free read.

Cuddle Muddle‘ – available on kindle  (UK link)

Cuddle Muddle‘ – available on kindle  (US link)

Cuddle Muddle by Alan Dapre
Cuddle Muddle Page 1 by Alan Dapré
Page 1 of Cuddle Muddle by Alan Dapre
Page 2 of Cuddle Muddle by Alan Dapre
Page 2 of Cuddle Muddle by Alan Dapre

 

 

 

 

 

Writers Block – More ways to beat the block

Pesky apostrophes.
Writers Block affects one person but we all know WB affects all of us at some time or other so maybe Writers Block is more accurate. I dumped the apostrophe in the title of this blog as  it might mess with those little bots that crawl all over our sites from time to time.

So how to cope with Writers’ Block? Never picking up a pen again and becoming a hermit atop a wind turbine is one way, but might make you dizzy and fall off. Another is to search the Net and drag up the strategies of other writers (Hmm – if they had truly cured their WB then I am sure they would be busy writing works of genius, rather than long lists).

I have no block today just an inability to concentrate due to a wee two year old blocking her tin teapot with plastic George and Peppa Pig toys every two minutes.

So how do I overcome Writers’ Block? …

  • I open a drawer and pull out a random object and write about that in a style of my choosing. Breathless Mills & Boon prose about a stapler anyone?
  • I write a list of things I dislike about my main character – and that seems to always generate some positives and add balance.
  • I get away from the typewriter and use a pencil and some post-its – sticking ideas into a small notebook. You can always remove the rubbish ones the next day.
  • I sniff the way forward by imagining what the location of my story smells like. Throw in unusual scents to generate a sense of place.
  • I give characters and places a potted history – no more than a paragraph written on the fly. (Just hope that the fly doesn’t buzz off.)
  • I ask a question – ‘Why?’ and try to think of a situation that gives me an answer.
  • I write a verb and get the computer synonym maker to chuck new words out at me – a different or unfamiliar word may get the character talking or acting in a different style.
  • I turn on the TV and grab a headline (one that is positive) and think about my characters and how they would react to it.
  • I write a note for my character – the sort you’d find left on a fridge.
  • I revisit first lines from books in my house – and play with them. This is best done after a few pints.
  • I time myself and try to write 200 words in 10 minutes – anything. Best shred it after.
  • I think about what my character most needs at the moment. Then I try to get it down, jousting its needs with other key characters.
  • I flip the issue over if it’s a problem that’s stumping me. If a character is too dull I try to make them too interesting but going OTT.
  • I nick ideas from friends & family either by telling them I’m stuck, or by eavesdropping on their conversations. Amazing what you can pick up and play with – just don’t use real names when it comes to publication.
  • I use rhyme – forcing myself to think of simple rhythmic sentences and, often, a narrative will come. Whether it is any good is besides the point.

The idea here is to just get something down … to clear the blockage. If one thing doesn’t work, try another. And if that does not work then, er, do a blog … Works for me!

 

Simultaneous Discovery, Coincidence or just Bad Luck?

Being a published freelance author here at alandapre.com and beyond I have to be alert to trends and what is going around. Or do I?

Thinking back I realise that I have actually had quite a few ideas similar to stuff that has appeared on TV or in books and – rather annoyingly – someone else has got there first. Year back I drafted a grandiose screenplay for the life of Van Gogh, basing it on his letters only to see a film come out (of nowhere) which rendered the idea dead in the water. I know that sometimes 3 Robin Hoods come along at once but there’s only so much Van Gogh one can take. Currently I am looking at the TV output on CBeebies and seeing progs that share a theme or character type that I have been developing. Baby Jake is one such show – the idea of a family of older brothers and sisters (with names in alphabetical order) and an adventurous youngster has long been with me. Pity then I didn’t get the character out in the right format – but it’s been one I have wrestled with for ages so I put him to bed. Or, more accurately, in a bottom drawer.

Still, I am not unduely worried. There is something fascinating and comforting that I am still having ideas that have merit (even though others do them first) for it means I’m not on the creative scrapheap. Besides, there are only 36 plots (or 7 or any number you can think of) so there must be a lot of recycling. A friend of mine believes there is an ideas cloud of creativity that we all tap into and so similar themes and ideas are generated at the same time. You just have to get them quicker than others or not worry about it. At the moment I am happily pursuing a story idea and am writing it damn quick before that cloud dribbles my moneyspinning bestseller into someone else’s earhole.

Okay – enough about coincidences, bad timing, simultaneous discovery – but remember you heard/read about it here first!