Pong! On an iPad near you now!

August 16, 2012


Pong! A wonderful book for children by Chris McCormack

WordWatcher Chris McCormack has produced a book guaranteed to delight children with its larger than life main character, Pong, who loves racing more than anything.  Illustrated beautifully by Naomi Lunn, the rhyming book tells the story of Pong’s efforts to beat Jake, a boy from Earth with a talent for Maths.

Initially available on the iPad, where it comes with voiceover (provided by WordWatchers’ own Julian Dobbins) and educational interactive elements about space and the solar system, the book will soon be coming out in printed form.

Pong! is available from iTunes for 99p.



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Summer Short Story Competition

August 16, 2012

Summer 2012 Short Stories

Short Stories – Based on a song lyric

It’s that time of year again, when WordWatchers turns its attention to short stories.  Every six months, we compete in our own short story competition, submitting stories anonymously, voting in classic Eurovision style (‘nil point’ for your own story) and then attempting to guess who wrote what.  Given that some of us have been in the group for quite a while, you’d think we’d be able to spot each other’s work… but that’s not the case, especially with people often using the competition as a vehicle for literary experimentation.

Previous competitions have chosen pictures, titles or themes, as you’d expect.  This time, it’s the turn of ‘song lyrics’ – basically, choose a song, extract a few lines to inspire you, and write your story.

Entries were submitted at the July meeting, and we’re currently in voting mode, ready for the great reveal in September.

Tune in again to see who won!


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Potter’s month in writing – July 2012

August 13, 2012

Yikes, it’s August.

Contemplating fictional emotions

This post really ought to be short as I’ve done very little but write, or at least toil in the pursuit of writing this month. So here goes.

First of all a self imposed word count of five hundred words a day resulted in seven thousand words in ten days. Then I hit a big wall trying to explain the main character’s emotions at a key moment in the story. I wrote about the struggle here.

While deliberating the emotional conundrum I decided for a whole number of different reasons that have built over two decades, to move away from Microsoft and embrace the Apple ethos. My trusty NetBook was mothballed and I bought a MacBook Air. This got me to thinking about all the different writing interfaces I’ve used since I first recall writing anything, which was when I was seven. You can read about that here.

As a consequence of the emotional mental block I put aside The Unseen and read The Killing Floor and Persuader. Both books are by Lee Child that I’ve read at least once before. Child’s Reacher character is a great reference and allowed the emotional problem to be calibrated and resolved. So much so I went back and filled in many of the details about the main character that I hadn’t before, because I didn’t know what they were.

WordWatchers had a great social night out with the Reading Writers where I drank too much Guinness and came away with a paperback copy of Love in the Time of Cholera, several book recommendations and a great short story written by Miranda Lloyd.

In fact now I think about it, it was a pretty social month, for me at least. I also had a great night out with fellow WordWatcher Debbie Smith, that started on the subject of publishing strategies and ended as the floors were being swept and chairs stacked on the tables. I had a headache the next day. I’ll let Debbie tell you about her plans for her children’s book featuring Alonzo the very entertaining chicken.

See, it really was a quick one. I’m off now. The WordWatchers are descending on my house this month I need to get me some hummus and maltesers and work out where the hoover is.

Adious for now.

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