Tag Archives: writing

Short Story – Message In A Bottle

I remember when I was a child and my mum would begin a story and ask me to finish it.  It was a great way to get me to use my imagination and add my own twist to the tale. I used to do the same with my friends and it was wonderful to hear so many different endings.  Sleep-overs were always fun!

Telling a story and then getting someone else to finish it is a great exercise to help you to stretch your imagination. With this in mind I thought I’d start you off with one of mine!

Read through the following story and have fun adding your own ending. I’d love to read your work so please submit it to me at contactmelaniejane@gmail.com. The best one will be featured on this blog and the winner will receive a free complimentary mantra poem in a custom designed frame. Please note that the story should be no longer than three thousand words.

Equipment needed

  •  A pen and paper or a laptop

Message in a bottle

There is something wonderfully relaxing about the sounds of the ocean, thought Saffrey, as she rested her head against her beach bag. She could feel the warm Mediterranean waters tickling her golden coloured toes as the tide crept slowly in.

She’d been lay there all day, soaking up the sun’s rays and trying to switch off from work. Work was her life and passion so it wasn’t easy to take her mind off something that she loved. A smile crept onto her lips as she thought back to the mornings events. Business was good! In fact business was fantastic, mentally congratulating herself on clinching another deal. Not just any deal but an opportunity of a life time. The thought of her artwork being showcased in a Sheikh’s palace gave her an instant adrenaline rush.  If only she could feel the same way about her love life or her lack of one she thought, pulling a face!

Her heavy lids slowly opened and she stifled a yawn.  She could have stayed there all night, she thought, stretching her arms above her head.   The sound of a barking dog, that was coming from the direction of her villa, alerted her to the fact that doodles needed feeding. She knew that her three month old husky would be sat by the front door anticipating her return.

“Okay baby, I’m coming.” She shouted.

Picking herself up she took one last look at the stunning sunset of orange and pink hues. With a smile on her lips she trudged up the beach to the weather worn steps that led to her property. She was just about to open the wooden gate that led onto her front lawn when she realized that she’d left her bag.  Quickly retracing her steps she reached it before the sea claimed it as its own.

As her fingers touched the wet straps she felt a cold object nudge her bare toes and she glanced down. It was a bottle that had been corked and it appeared to have something inside of it.

On closer inspection she realized that it contained what appeared to be a crumpled note. Despite the fading light she could see that something had been scribbled onto it.  Intrigued she gripped the cork between her slender fingers and tugged but it didn’t budge an inch.

Probably just some kid having fun she thought, ready to cast it back into the ocean however curiosity got the better of her. She quickly slipped it into her bag and jogged up the beach before the water reached the steps……

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Shropshire tea anyone?

teacup Welcome to my series of articles that I have created to brighten up  your day.  To get my fingers to do my bidding I need to feel creative.  This doesn’t just apply to writing but also to my day to day affairs too. Over the course of  these articles, I aim to help you find ideas for your own creative projects.

I find that if I stay in the same room, staring at the same walls, my mind is normally filled with non entertaining thoughts.  The dust on the skirting boards spring to mind. These are the thoughts that are not really going to help me to make great strides towards starting or finishing my projects.

However when  I visit somewhere new and immerse myself in a stimulating environment, hey presto, my mind turns into a decorative canvas.  A canvas that is full of vibrant colors and images that transform themselves into ideas and words.

Over the course of these articles I’ll take you on a journey around my beautiful home town of Shropshire.  We’ll also venture to the equally beautiful country that I border with, which is Wales. Travel with me to art galleries and eateries.  As the weather starts to get warmer we will visit stunning waterfalls and magical woods. I’m confident that you’ll  find something that will spark your imagination.

I normally gain much inspiration and clarity of thought from the heather clad hills, woods and vast countryside.  You can often find me sat by a stream or beneath my favorite tree writing my poetry or my latest novel.  However once the winter sets in I’m more likely to be found either in an art gallery or an eatery with a difference.  Being a person who likes to have different experiences I’m always on the look out for new places to visit to add to my list.   One of those places being Willow Eatery in Oswestry town centre.  It’s a quaint, yet modern little eatery that not only delivers excellent customer service with a smile but has a wonderful range of delectable home made food to choose from.  You’ll be spoiled for choice!

Today I decided to sample afternoon tea there and spent 3 1/2 hours indulging all of my senses.  There was a superb range of hummus and carrot sandwiches, clotted cream scones, and the most yummiest peanut cheese cake I’ve ever tasted.  There was also  a great selection of other delectable goodies that were sure to stimulate your appetite.  The good news is that if you can’t manage to eat it all they’ll give you a goody bag to take it away!

cake

The lace table cloth gave it a quintessentially English touch.  I was suddenly transported back in time.  I could see myself adorned in long Victorian attire sipping tea with the gentry.  The beautiful decorative china cups with intricate detail really did add to the experience, and somehow the tea seemed to taste a little smoother.

food

So why did I stay so long in an eatery when I’m normally in and out within an hour?  I have a passion for art so I found it a very stimulating, and vibrant place to be.  The walls were adorned with magnificent pieces of artwork.  The eatery is also part of an art gallery and upstairs you can even watch a local artist in his studio creating his masterpieces.

For those of you who would like to take a slice of Oswestry back with you, then the little gift shop has something for everyone.  You’ll find homemade creams,  jewelry, cards and even sculpted ornaments that have been crafted by local businesses.

The whole experience sparked some ideas for a poem.  Not only did I leave there pleasantly full but also refreshed and eager to put words down on paper.

 

For more information about my writing services or if you have any questions contactmelaniejane@gmail.com

 

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Words Have Power!

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Excited, enthused, vibrant

What words do you use?

Amazing, fantastic, awesome

There are so many to choose

 

Elated, wonderful, magnificent

So many words on my list

I use all of them

So none of them are missed

 

The power of words

Highers your vibration

They energize and revitalize

Give them a standing ovation

 

The power of words

Increases your inner glow

Say I’m fantastic, I’m great

Your spirits will quickly grow!

By Melanie J Molloy

For more information about my writing services or if you have any questions contactmelaniejane@gmail.com

 

 

 

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Just Write!

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Waiting for inspiration to strike

Means that your ideas won’t flow

But to put pen to paper

Means the words will quickly grow

Waiting for inspiration to strike

Means you may never start

Write for the sake of writing

Will tease them from the heart

For when you start to write again

Ideas will dance upon the page

Words will become your servant

The paper, your stage!

By Melanie J Molloy

For more information about my writing services or if you have any questions contactmelaniejane@gmail.com

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Seven Creativity Tips

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Can you imagine how your brain responds when you are sitting at the same desk in the same place year after year, looking at the same walls?  Being creatures of habit we go to the same places, we read the same type of books and we do the same things day in and day out.  It’s no wonder that we don’t feel creative. In fact it’s hardly surprising to find that our naturally creative minds have gone into a hibernation mode.

The brain is a truly magnificent machine. Surround it with beautiful things and give it variety and that machine starts to chug into life.  The result – a creative mind. Our surroundings, and the things that we view through the lens of our natural camera (the eye) have a major impact on our creativity levels.

I come from a family of writers. My grandfather wrote scripts, my Nan created children’s books and my daughter can turn her hand to pretty much anything. If there is one thing that they’ve taught me about writing it is this.  If you don’t feed your mind with things that make it flourish such as surrounding yourself with the beauty of life, then you’ll either never start writing, never complete it or you’ll waste valuable time on being stuck for words. Needless to say I’ve experienced all three.

Let’s put it another way. The environment we surround ourselves with whether that’s our inner environment (the self talk and the pictures in your mind) or the external environment (your surroundings) either makes us feel creative or it doesn’t.   When you surround yourself with things that make you truly happy, you start to flourish and in turn you feel more creative. The great news is that you can change your internal and external environment at any given time!

It’s a bit like putting a seed into a cardboard box which lets no light into it. Just imagine what would happen if you kept saying to the seed, “you can’t do that, you’ll never reach your full potential!” Do you think that seed would flourish and grow? Of course it wouldn’t. Now take that seed, plant it in fertile soil, water it, speak to it with love and watch what happens!  Well that seed was me once upon a time. Until thankfully a couple of amazing mentors took the seed out of the box and stuck it into ideal growing conditions! The ideal growing conditions being a tool box full of treasure! The treasure being  a beautiful place called Shropshire, with winding streams, hills, nature reserves and a patch work quilt of beautiful countryside.  Each day the seed would grow until it finally flourished and prospered.

Which translated into productivity, a constant smile on my face and an endless list of ideas.  I said goodbye to the writers block that had been my constant companion over the years! Which usually resulted from doing the same thing day in and day out. There’s a great saying in NLP. ‘The person who can modify their behavior rules the system.’  Yes, you guessed it. I changed my behavior and by doing so I got different results.

As soon as I changed my environment and started doing things in a different way I managed to tap into the creative part of my brain.

I finally celebrated a milestone! I managed to complete and publish two books on Amazon. I even started another creative venture too. It feels great living my passion and I’m so glad I took the plunge and did it!

How did I go from writers block to writers flow?

1. I redecorated my room and lined the walls full of vision boards.  It helped to take my attention off the ceiling that needed painting and onto something more important – my future!

2. I left the city for a village. Yes I finally said goodbye to my stilettos and hello to my wellies.  The countryside certainly fueled my imagination.

3. I took regular walks in the countryside/oxygen certainly puts the brain into top gear.

4. I look at inspirational pictures in  positive magazines and on face book.  A picture certainly does speak a thousand words and is a great catalyst for that next story. I made the stream my office (in the summer months that is.)

5. Being a creature of habit I finally changed my self talk. Instead of saying I’ve got writers block, or I’m not feeling creative I chose to say:

I have writers flow and words flow quickly and freely to me

I am constantly inspired

I always have the most amazing ideas.

I am a talented person and the world is my muse!

Tell yourself something long enough and eventually you’ll start to believe it! Guess what? I did! That’s when I started to see magic happening in my life!

6. I tried something different. I love the countryside with a passion but I decided to change my environment for the day.  I took the plunge and visited an art exhibition. I came out with some great ideas for future stories  and I enjoyed it so much that I’m now a regular visitor!

7. Whoever said variety is the spice of life certainly has a point! Variety certainly gives our brain food for thought. The result – more ideas to play with!

The moral of the story is, if you are not feeling inspired, if the words are not flowing freely, then try something different. This may mean changing your internal or external environment or even both.  The moment you can do this, something remarkable will happen. You will watch the seed start to push up towards the surface and reach for the light.   You will see your light start to shine as the seed grows into something it was meant to be!

A creator of beautiful things that can add value to other peoples lives!

For more information about my writing services or if you have any questions contactmelaniejane@gmail.com

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Top Tips On How To Write A Novel

Alternative words

Being a writer I often find myself searching for alternative words to use. There are only so many times that you can use the same word, before the mind starts to focus on the overuse of a word, rather than on the content. This can impair the readers experience.

So what is the solution?  You can reach for a thesaurus as well as enlist the help of your friends and family. Another option is to play the word search game.  So how does the game work?

You throw a ball at the next person in the circle, and get them to suggest an alternative word with a similar meaning.  For example: good, excellent, and fantastic. Fun certainly does  raise the energy of the room, and makes you feel more inspired!

 Research shows that being in a fun environment accelerates learning.

I played the word search game recently when my mum came to stay over. By the end of the night, I had an impressive list of words to add to my vocabulary. It was certainly more enjoyable than just having the thesaurus for company!

Creating dialogue

My favorite part of writing a novel is creating the dialogue. I think that dialogue is certainly a skill in itself, and in my opinion no matter how realistic it is, it can be ruined by the over use of she said.

Try substituting she said with she replied,  retorted,  explained,  suggested, and offered.  There are thousands of alternative words that you can use, and it can be good fun to experiment with them.

Variety is the spice of life

If you are in the process of writing a novel you will have discovered that there is a lot of movement in it. In other words,  your characters are not normally going to stay in the same room throughout the whole novel.  Even if they do, then it’s very unlikely that they are going to be stood in the same place from start to finish.

It’s crucial that you let the reader know what your characters are doing otherwise the book can become quite stationary.  They will think that they have blinked and missed something, when they notice that their character is not still sat on the bed but looking out of the window.   The secret is to fill in the gaps of how your characters got to the other side of the room.  Did they run? Did they skip?  This finer detail can help your readers mentally walk through the scene.

When I first started to write when I was seven years young, my vocabulary was quite limited, and extended to walk and run.  In fact,  it was probably still the same up until about ten years ago.  Using the word she walked, or she ran throughout the content can also become quite repetitive -so try varying your use of words!  For example, try she wandered or she sped.  The speed that your character is walking will determine your choice.

The great thing about language is that there are so many fantastic words that you can choose from,  so why limit yourself? The following are some alternatives to walking and running:

Walking slowly:   inched, wandered.

Walking quickly: sprinted, flew, sped, raced.

Happily: skipped, galloped, ambled, hopped.

Quietly: inched, crept, tiptoed.

Can you think of any others?

For more information about my writing services or if you have any questions contactmelaniejane@gmail.com

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That creative feeling

When I write or embark on any creative venture it’s important that I’m feeling inspired. Sitting at my desk or even on the sofa staring at the laptop normally doesn’t do the trick.  I find that my mind is never still and wanders to everything except the task in hand.

So how do I find my inspiration? I sometimes flick through magazines, search the internet or look at other books to generate ideas. However communicating them ideas down onto paper can be a task in itself if I’m not feeling motivated to write.  Motivation, creativity and inspiration go in hand so it can turn into a catch 22 situation.

Don’t get lulled into a false sense of security that creativity is just needed for artistic pursuits, such as drawing, crafts and writing. Creative thinking is also needed to start projects, make changes in our lives and even start new business ventures. So what is the easiest and quickest way to alleviate creative block and get yourself back into creative flow?  The answer is to go for a walk in nature. Research by Kansas University shows that creativity levels are increased by 55% when you take a walk in the good old countryside.

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Image courtesy of Adamr/FreedigitalPhotos.net

You may be wondering how walking through the countryside can do this?  Our brains are magnificent machines and function on oxygen.  A surge of fresh oxygen to the brain cells springs them back to life.  Which means that you will have more energy, more thinking power and many more of those ‘aha’ moments.

With the majority of the population not using the full capacity of their lungs, it’s no surprise to find that creative block is so common. Taking a walk in nature really does get you using your lungs. You can almost hear your brain cells sighing with relief.

Secondly walking in nature puts your brains immediately into a more resourceful state. This means that you will start to emit your alpha brain waves.  This is the brain wave that is responsible for your creativity levels. Walking through a picturesque landscape allows your body to release all of its happy feel good chemicals. This in turn increases your creativity levels. The correlation between happiness, inspiration and creativity is well documented.

Just like delta brainwaves put you into a sleep mode, your alpha ones spring you back into your natural creative state.  Writers and artists have a high level of alpha brain waves and even athletes who are just about to win also have a surge of them too.  In fact every time that you’re doing something creative you go straight into the alpha mode.

Contrary to popular belief, your brain waves can be immediately changed into the desired state at will. This is great news for all of you creatives wanting to get more creative. It’s also good news  for the people who describe themselves as not being the creative type.  I used to say that everyone is born creative and that they just have to find their muse. These days I’m more likely to be heard saying that everyone is born creative and that they just have to learn how to switch into alpha mode. Although I have concluded that both are synonymous with each other.

So why is writers block so common? Most people spend their lives emitting mostly beta brain waves. These brain waves are dominant when we over analyse things, go over problems and don’t allow ourselves to dream.  It’s no surprise to find that some people never find the inspiration to do something creative.  Their brainwaves are not providing the right type of internal environment to help their creative ventures flourish.

Here are some tips on how to automatically put yourself into this more creative alpha state:

  • Meditate
  • Take a walk in the countryside
  • Be mindful
  • Listen to binaural beats
  • Visualize

In the next couple of articles I’m going to show you how to do all of the above.

Thanks for reading and I look forward to speaking to you next time.

Melanie J Molloy

 

For more information about my writing services or if you have any questions contactmelaniejane@gmail.com

 

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