I Smith Words is moving! And I’d love to take you all with me…

Greetings to all you lovely I Smith Words followers. You may have heard through the grapevine that I Smith Words has been getting a facelift, or rather, a full blown extreme makeover.

I have so enjoyed your interaction since I formed the I Smith Words blog a few years ago, but you may have noticed my absence from the Blogosphere over the last few months, and that is because I have been slaving away on my brand new project, which brings together the very best of I Smith Words along with a few other subjects I’ve been wanting to write about for a while.

The project I have launched is called LadyFace, it’s a brand new blog that will feature everything from stories to lifestyle, whether inspired by art, literature, fashion or politics. There are plans to feature some kick ass creatives doing some very exciting things, and I will also be delving into the world of modern girl (and boy) power.

One feature I am most excited about will be the bi-monthly short story, which will be accompanied by illustrations from myself and guests. I will also often throw out a literary challenge as I have done in the past here, which hopefully will make up for the Literary Lion shaped hole that I Smith Words will be leaving.

Any of you lovely aspiring writers might also be interested in the journey I started some years ago, to write my debut novel… I will be sharing my tips and discoveries with you along the way.

So whether you’re interested in writing, reading stories, style or you just have an opinion you’d like to throw out there, I ask you to join me in bidding I Smith Words a fond farewell, and to join me over on LadyFace. You can sign up to the mailing list here, or you can stay following me in the WordPress reader as I will export this blog across, although I must tell you one of the reasons I have made this change is because the WordPress reader doesn’t work too well with my move from wordpress.com to wordpress.org, so the newsletter is really where it’s at when it comes to LadyFace.

You can, of course, pop over to Instagram, Twitter and Facebook also, where I’ll be providing details of new posts, and challenges you can get involved with along the way.

Thank you all so much for your encouragement so far, for your beautiful words, for your wonderful stories for the Literary Lion challenges, and your unforgettable kindness in this journey thus far. I am excited as to where it will take us next.

Bisous,

Laura aka LadyFace.

America taught me to dream

This time eight years ago I had just got back from exploring the East to the West coast of America on an Amtrak train. I was there in the midst of Obama fever, I met a nation that was progressive and open-hearted, and on that monumental election day eight years ago, the world saw what I had seen.

This time last year I was in LA and on my way to Vegas to celebrate my 30th birthday. Because of all the places in all the world, America was where I wanted to mark such a monumental year. I fell in love with it eight years ago, and it has since held a special place in my heart. From New York to Chicago to St Louis to San Francisco, everywhere I went was caked in that American positivity we all hear about. And I just found it so infectious.

Because we Brits don’t dream like the Americans do. We Brits are self-conscious in our ambitions, we are cautious in dreaming too hard and aiming too high, we don’t like to put too much faith in our ambitions, but America isn’t so guarded. When I tell a Brit I’m a writer they look at me as though to say “yeah, but what is your day job?”, but when I tell an American I’m a writer they tell me that one day they’ll see my face in the bookshop, that one day they will point out my name in the credits of a film, and that when it happens they will remember me, just as I promise to myself to remember them, however ridiculous and far fetched their dreams may sound.

So today, on November 9th, 2016, when I woke up to find that this country that I love had elected Donald Trump as their president – someone who stands for everything that I feel is wrong with the world – I was saddened.

I am disappointed as a woman that 42% of American women feel it is ok to endorse the most misogynistic politician in our lifetime. I am disappointed that 53% of men have chosen to put arguably the most arrogant man on the planet in the White House, someone who will continue to walk all over this world with no consequence or responsibility just because he has and forever will get away with whatever he wants.

That is, unless we refuse to give up hope.

For the rest of you, I hope. Hillary Clinton said in 2007 that “The worst thing that can happen in a democracy – as well as in an individual’s life – is to become cynical about the future and lose hope.” America you taught me this when I visited your beautiful country for the first time all those years ago, and you will continue to teach me that even in such dark times.

Please, for the sake of us all, keep on dreaming.

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Why engagement is the key to being a better blogger

Greetings oh blogging world. I am back this week with a piece I wrote for the wonderful Belong Magazine…

We all love our little blogger back and forths, and this month I have been exploring just why. Check out the piece on the Belong Magazine blog… here, and if you have any more blogging tips, feel free to share! x

Reading the world away

There is something about reading. Lots of us do it here on wordpress, it’s what has brought us together, and I tried to put into words exactly what it is that I love for Perdiz Magazine last week.

Here’s an excerpt from my piece, but head to the beautiful Perdiz (HERE) to read the full article.

“I was sat on my bed reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory when I discovered my mum was moving us in with some strange man that wasn’t my dad. I stared at the fading bobbled butterflies on my duvet cover for a few seconds, and then I turned back to Violet Beauregarde ballooning into a giant blueberry. Her plight in this chocolate fantasy land made more sense to me than anything the real world could offer in that moment.

That’s the thing about books, and certainly about great books, they make sense. They are written to make sense. As for the world around us, that’s anybody’s guess.”

Well, I’m back!

Hello lovely ones. I have been on a little blogging adventure.

To cut a long story short… I always said once I reached 1k followers I’d move from wordpress.com to wordpress.org. And so I did at the beginning of the year, but I very promptly got lost from the WP reader, so all you lovely followers could no longer see my posts.

I have been struggling through, trying to connect with you all without much success, and because of this I have today moved back to wordpress.com… because (and don’t say I don’t ever do anything nice) I miss you.😉

I still have my blog over at ismithwords.com, which will eventually be my new home, so if you’d like to follow the action there please do visit and sign up to the mailing list, which I send out every few weeks with the details of the latest challenges, stories and general musings.

For now I am coming back to you with the most recent Literary Lion post from my other site, which I am opening up for another month, as so many of you missed out on it before. Please do bear with me if you did manage to see this one, and feel free to have another go if so!

So to this month’s challenge. The word is ‘Boys’. It puts me in mind of Britney Spears circa early noughties. She will forever be the reason I do stomach crunches…

So you now have a month and 100 words to pen your tale. Or more than one tale. There is no limit if you prefer to write more frequently than the challenge as it is now monthly.

Remember to include the tag ‘literary lion’ in your piece. Pingback to this post so I can see your story. Say hello on twitter, and come and visit me on Instagram… I’ve started a separate collective of writers here under the hashtag #literarylion, so come and say hello if you’d like to join the private message group there for some shorter tales.

Good luck, looking forward to reading your pieces. Here is my little boyish tale…

Restroom.

It said Lola 4 Charlie 4 eva. Toilets didn’t require accurate spelling.

Or grammar.

I wondered if Lola was still for Charlie. Or if Lola was now for someone else. And if her ‘someone else’ knew about the declaration on the cubicle door half way up the M40 to Birmingham. And if Lola was for Charlie, then what did Lola get? Was he for her too?

In which case, why didn’t it say so?

Literary Lion. How to swim.

The last Literary Lion was an exercise in the art of brevity, and quite successful it was too… I was so dazzled by your six word stories that I found it impossible to pick a favourite, and so I urge you all to head to the last post (http://ismithwords.com/2016/01/14/literary-lion-six-words/) where you will find the pingback-ed stories in the comments section.

This week the lion has me dreaming of summer, with the prompt ‘Pool’. In keeping with the lion’s new appetite for the unfamiliar, we are asking for stories of 100 words or less. So here’s two weeks to craft your tales, remember to pingback to this post, include the tag ‘Literary Lion’ so we can all read your story in the WP reader, and of course come and say hello on Instagram and twitter.

Or failing that, you can just read my little almost-100 word adventure below…

How to Swim.

His hair clumped in tufts. Jet black and wet from the water. I sat with my feet in the pool, flicking my cigarette ash in the blue aqua, watching the sun shimmering across the delicate droplets on his back. His skin glowed golden under the sunlight, but as the day started to fade it turned a hue of cool blue. I threw my cigarette in and thanked the stars that he was floating downwards. I didn’t want to see the horrified look that was now etched on his face for eternity.

The Beast.

I once tried to write a book when I was twelve. It remains unfinished, banished to the depths of my parent’s garage for the mice to contend with, so I have decided to try again.

Today I have entered the research phase of my newest project, which at the moment I shall call The Beast. This has nothing whatsoever to do with the storyline, but more the general presence of such a venture, as I am sure it’ll prove to be a troublesome little fellow indeed…

I shall be posting every now and again about the nature of The Beast, in the hope that in doing so I create some sort of webasphere pressure, and the words actually get written.

Wish me luck, come and join me if you’re a writer without a cause, or just send me your good vibes, I am going to need them.

Fingers crossed you can even read it one day.

P.S I hope you like my awesome notebook.

P.P.S – I do believe this must qualify for this week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge, as it’s a post filled with optimism… or stupidity, I can’t decide.

Literary Lion. Six words.

The literary lion is in mourning, and so this fortnight’s challenge is Bowie inspired… and rather scarily, the chosen word – Star – seems so very apt.

It was F Scott Fitzgerald that dared to tell the great Hemingway that he couldn’t write a story in six words. Hemingway delivered a literary KO with “For sale, baby shoes: Never worn.”

For the first Literary Lion challenge of this year, I am going to ask you all to create a story with this in mind, in just six words.

As always, remember to pingback to this post, include the tag ‘Literary Lion’ so we can all read your story in the WP reader, and of course come and say hello on Instagram and twitter.

Here is my six word tale…
Starman.

Thought you were here to stay.

The Monday Muse. New year, same old fear.

I wish I could make a new year’s resolution to ditch the arachnophobia and start 2016 as a spider lover. Unfortunately it is not that simple. Here’s a little tale of how my Saturday morning was spent, with a spider. Happy new year.

Five cm.

It was the first time the boy had left the house without me since Christmas. It was no less than ten minutes after his departure – while I was sat indulging in some festive telly – that the eight legged brute creeped across the hallway like it owned the place.

To be fair, it now did.

I mustered up all strength to flatten it with a shoebox. It did a vanishing act. Distressed phone calls were made. I sat for two hours. Staring at the vacant space.

I was bound to my bedroom, all five feet two of my coward body disarmed whilst that five centimetres of audacity paraded around my house at will.

I’d admire their chutzpah, if only I didn’t hate them so much.

Literary Lion. Fa La La La La.

 

Our glamorous little feline friend has had his nose in the sherry, and so he will be back for more prompts and short stories in 2016.

Thank you to everyone who has taken part in the challenge so far, we shall be back and ‘roaring’ to go with some exciting collaborations and guest posts in the new year.

Happy Christmas to all and to all a good night. Until next year…