Friday 9 December 2016

Day 9: Christmas Traditions by Charlotte Comley

What gave you the idea for  Baubles story?
The idea for my story came when I read a post on Mumsnet, a fellow mum was upset when her sister in law sent her a snip of wrapping paper that she wanted her gifts to be wrapped in! I thought of the idea of someone wanting to colour co ordinate gifts under the tree as hilarious. Certainly, the idea of a character wanting to exercise that much control on others was a writers dream. In my first draft I wrote from the point of view of the control freak, however, on my final drafts I decided to change the central character to the person getting the unreasonable request.

 How would you describe your normal style of writing?
I’m quite a dedicated writer who always has more than one project on the go, however, I definitely prefer writing to the editing process.

Have you published other material?
I have had quite a lot of success in publishing non-fiction, I have had articles published in The Green Parent, Yours and other mainstream magazines. I have also had lots of educational resources published. 
Do you have a writing routine?
As I have a history of being commissioned to write non fiction I’m quite strict with my writing time. I decide on a start time, usually 10 am after I’ve walked the dog, and then even if I’m in the middle of hovering I will switch off and write. However, due to the fact that I work part time as an intervention teacher and professional storyteller it is often difficult blocking a couple of hours to lose myself in the words. I am not a massive plotter, but I tend to have a rough idea where the story is going. 
Do you have a favourite place for writing?
I live in a small cottage and space is a premium, so I have a favourite spot on the sofa. I can’t work to music because I find it distracting, but I do like some noise in the room. So my West Highland Terrier often sits besides me watching man’s TV, mechanics and fishing, so i don’t get involved in the programme but it is not absolute silence.

Tell something quirky about you.

I do tend to talk to my characters, I like writing for children and I have lots of stories about Rabbits, so if I was being watched from afar I would no doubt be like Elwood P. Dowd, from the play Harvey. 

An extract from Christmas Traditions 


“She said what?”

Carol already detested her sister in law, so she was marginally surprised that there was another level of loathing on the scale.

He cleared his throat, shifted his weight from one foot to the other, the classic stall. Some of the time she sympathised with her husband’s position. She knew it was unfair complaining to him about his family. She didn’t want to make him choose. So she would take a deep breath, try not to let it bother her, attempted to take the higher road. Except at Christmas.

“It’s just that Nicole wants everyone to use silver wrapping paper so when we take our presents it will be colour coordinated under the tree,” he said.

“Is she providing said silver wrapping paper?” Carol hissed.

“She’s sending you a sample, you can buy it at John Lewis. And she wants to remind you of her ‘no handmade gifts’ policy. Was that the door?” he asked and shot out of the living room like a greyhound after a rabbit.

“Colour co-ordinated gifts under the tree? Is that a thing now?” she asked the dog.

The Westie yawned and scratched at his tartan Christmas jumper. She looked at the partly decorated tree. It was a lot of things, colour co-ordinated it was not.

There was the baby’s first Christmas ornaments, baubles with the kid’s photos in, pictures of every dead pet they have ever owned. Christmas decorations made at school, Brownies and Scouts. Four of the seven dwarves and two Hello Kittys. Not to mention the fake candy canes and gingerbread biscuits.

And no handmade gifts? She’d already made her batches of Nigella’s Christmas chutney, chocolate and peppermint bark and slough gin. The family photo for the Christmas card had been taken in August, and she’d hand made the cards frames.

Sam came back inside with two mugs of tea, “I must have imagined it, no one at the door.” He put the cuppas down. A Christmas garland fell from the bookcase.

“Do you think the house looks tacky?” she asked.

“I’ll grab the biscuits,” he said, heading for the kitchen.



Post a Comment

Search This Blog


Bridge House Publishing © 2010

Blogger Templates by Splashy Templates