Tag Archives: UAE

Fab Fiction, Fab Food – At Emirates Lit Fest …

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This year’s Emirates Airline Festival of Literature is getting closer, and one of the events I’m looking forward to attending is The Great British Afternoon Tea, with Nadiya Hussain.

Last week I mentioned the session Nadiya, lovely Sue Moorcroft and myself will be doing on Friday 3rd March, Secret Lives & Summer Love – Contemporary Women’s Fiction. Well, Sue will also be busy, tutoring a 3-day creative writing course – Start Up Writing Class from Sunday 5th, which I’d highly recommend for any budding authors here in Dubai. I’ll be visiting some schools. And Nadiya will, of course, be doing some “foodie” sessions, the first of which, Bake Me a Story – The Gingerbread Guy, takes place on Friday 3rd at 11.30am. I believe the book’s aimed at 6-11 year olds, but that’s not going to stop me slipping in at the back of the room and joining in the fun!

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Here’s how the website describes it – “The Great British Bake Off winner Nadiya Hussain’s Bake Me a Story provides a new twist on fairy tale favourites – by matching them with her recipes so that parents and children can bake together!
In this enchanting storytelling session, Nadiya will share her take on classic tales, with stories including the ‘The Gingerbread Guy’, ‘Jack and the Bean-Patty Stalk’, and ‘Ruby-Red and the Three Bears’.
And what about a demonstration of our favourite baker’s showstopping talent? Nadiya will decorate a Gingerbread Guy on stage and then children will receive a gingerbread man of their own to take home!”

Ooh! I wonder if there’ll be any extras – I am partial to a gingerbread man! But 2.30pm Saturday 4th is an event for which I’ll definitely be putting on my loosest trousers …

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Here’s what the website says – “From the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party to Proust’s madeleines, afternoon tea is one of the most celebrated mealtimes in literature. It therefore seems fitting we share it with one of the most celebrated names in baking: 2015 Great British Bake Off Champion, author of cookbooks and contemporary fiction, Nadiya Hussain.
Join us for an afternoon of tea (or coffee), cake and conversation as you listen to Nadiya discuss Bake Off, Buckingham Palace and beyond in her unforgettable journey from family kitchen to overnight superstar.
If you enjoy a delicious success story, the elegance of afternoon tea, or simply love cake, this is the event for you… whichever way you slice it.”

Well, I do enjoy a delicious success story, an elegant afternoon tea is my favourite meal, and I just adore cake (probably too much, hubby would say but ha! He isn’t coming …) So that sounds like just my kind of afternoon. The diet can wait!

 

Writing in the Sand about Nine Naughty NaNo Ninjas …

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Right, so we’re nine days into NaNoWriMo and I’m a tad behind my target. This is where I start to need some plot ninjas to keep me going through the month. I’m glad I asked some friends to think some up for me, though of course, now they’ve done that, they’re going to want to see them written down somewhere, even if they don’t make it into the actual story. So (and don’t blame me – I didn’t come up with them!) here goes …Poss blog pic - notepad&pencil1 – Somebody in the story gets stopped for speeding, by a policeman who is clearly only interested in extracting a bribe …

Interesting. If I’d set this story in the UAE, where I set most of my stories, I wouldn’t touch this one with a barge pole! But as I’ve set it in a fictional, English, Midsomer Murders – type village, it could definitely provide a useful little plot twist.

2 – Either the hero or the heroine gets framed for shoplifting by a love rival …

Again, one I wouldn’t want to use in a Dubai setting (without time to research all the local, legal aspects of it, which I obviously don’t have, for NaNo). But for the purposes of my story – where things keep going disastrously wrong for the heroine – yes. I like that one.

3 – One of the characters becomes a victim of identity theft…

I’m starting to wonder about my friends! But yes, that has loads of potential!

4 – One of the main characters finds a lost toddler and has to look after it until the police come …

That’s one which could be used pretty easily. It could also start a new story thread, which could be woven back in, later on.

5 – A childhood nemesis returns/turns up to give one of the characters some grief …

Yep, another  possibility. And a chance to throw in a good chunk of backstory.

6 – Somebody turns up, mistakenly (or not) claiming to be the illegitimate sibling of one of the protagonists …

Hmm – that sounds to me like the basis of an actual plot rather than a plot ninja. But I could be wrong – I’m happy to be corrected!

7 – A storm knocks all the power out for an hour and a group of characters are stranded together. Without their hi-tech gadgets, all they can do is talk to each other …

Obviously inspired by last week’s storm. This would be a good plot ninja for writers like me who love writing dialogue.

8 – Include a messy incident involving a bottle of ketchup …

Easy enough. Although it won’t generate a huge amount of writing.

9 – Somebody has a catastrophe at the hairdressers …

Actually I’ve already got something of that nature planned for later in the story, with a bride-to-be in a spray tanning booth.

Some of these should come in useful as the month progresses. Next week we’ll be halfway through this year’s challenge and I’ll be checking in with some fellow participants to compare notes. I hope I’ll have been able to catch up …

Picture courtesy of Morguefile.