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At any given time, if someone were able to see my thoughts in my head, they would see a lot of jumbled up, interconnected, falling over each other thoughts. I feel like I have a lot in my head and that’s why it is so joyful when I can siphon it off onto paper.

I suspect we are all like this to one degree or another, and could all do with a mental mute button every so often.

As a writer, I like to record some of these ad hoc rambling thoughts: not only because they might spark an idea in the future but because they link seemingly arbitrary concepts in a way that only happens subconsciously.

It is funny how our neurons fire up; sometimes I almost think I can feel it, like a million tiny sparks of light linking one moment to another.

I have talked before about the value of the notebook in these times and it’s definitely a useful writing tool.

Of course, some thoughts bubble up that are much more challenging for one reason or another. These situations feed my poetry but it takes a while sometimes to look back at it, and it generally produces work that I feel unwilling to share in open mike events or at readings.

For me, the most difficult to share are about loss. But even with these thoughts my neurons can prod me into an unexpected direction; I guess because the sadness is a direct result of happier times before.

The point really is to say that thoughts can get in the way of what we think we need to do.  But perhaps, if we can treat them differently, they can be a conduit to getting to an altogether unexpected destination.

And maybe that’s where our brains wanted us to go in the first place!

Happy Writing,
EJ
🙂

This is the second week of failure to report.  After my last post I started reading a second book last week; unfortunately I am about 50% into both which is no good to man nor beast when it comes to writing a post!

I have, to all intents and purposes, given up on book 1. I am not being drawn back to it and I am a little disappointed to say that because it’s got such promise as a story. Maybe I will pick it up again in a week or so but if not I’ll tell you about it!

In the meantime I picked a really engaging second book but haven’t had a lot of spare time to read it so no joy there either, post-wise. It’s about New Orleans in 1918-1919 but I’ll tell you more when I’ve finished it!!

I hope to complete that one in a couple of days which should give me time to read another by next week and make up some of the shortfall…

So fingers crossed for whole books next time!

Happy reading,
EJ
🙂

Where’s the Week Gone?

This week has been a bit of a blogging fail – I was a day late for Tuesday, missed Thursdays altogether and I have about five minutes to pull something into a vaguely post-like form now before heading on to the next thing on my to do list.

So I’m taking the easy option and sharing a song with you.

I try not to think too much about the fact that in another part of the world it’s about to be spring, because here and now it’s started to become very autumnal and it makes my head hurt!

The last of the British summer is slowly fading in the falling of leaves and the harvesting of the crops, and we are settling into a new pattern of longer nights, earlier twilights and later sunrises.

But those warm days are not entirely over yet!  This song has the perfect end-of-summer feel for me – it fits my mood very nicely and I can see it becoming a bit of a favourite to get me towards Halloween🙂

Hopefully I’ll be a bit better with my time management next week and get some actual writing-related blogs out but until then, enjoy the changing of the seasons whichever you are heading into – it’s a wonderful time to think about where you want the next few months to take you.

Happy writing,

EJ

🙂

Challenge Tuesday – Oops!

I had a day off work yesterday, so naturally lost track of the day of the week!

Sorry about that, but as the book I have been reading for 2 weeks seems to still be getting further and further from an ending, you didn’t miss anything🙂

It’s an odd book – interesting but not really engaging, so I only read a few pages each day. I don’t want to give up on it but I may need to read two stories at once if I am going to do any more reviews this month…

So I am off to choose a counterbalance story, in the hope of a more interesting post next week!

Happy reading,
EJ
🙂

Stretching the Imagination!

It’s been a running joke with a friend at work that he wants me to write a story for him.  Based on a variety of strange and unconnected discussions this week I began on an animal time traveller story…

It’s a concept that would work well for children, and therefore the story is definitely being written with that mindset; never mind the age of the audience, the story dictates the style!

This is really how I started writing as an adult – children’s short stories either made us as a joke with a friend or made up for my nieces and nephews. I was often called upon to tell multiple sequences of stories, where the same characters appeared time and time again.

I’d forgotten all that really – children’s writing was not the way I chose to go but there’s a degree of freedom in it that you don’t get in writing for adults.  It was a lovely way to spend time with the kids, and they would even make their own tales up for me after a while.

So in my return to writing, having a fun, silly, pressure-free project is a joy, quite honestly: it’s a return to a more organic nature of storytelling which I love. It’s like going back to basics where your imagination is completely free to go wild, there’s no constraint on the nature of reality and you can anthropomorphise anything you like to make the start of your story.

Maybe I’ll stick with children’s stories for a bit – they are the most effective way I have ever found to stretch the bounds of my imagination.

Happy writing,
EJ
🙂

Free Post Thursday – Sharing

Yesterday I wrote about a book of poetry, and it got me thinking about how little of my work I have ever shared on here.

There are a variety of reasons why I don’t and they are all perfectly reasonable – and perfect excuses.

So I am going to share bits – snippets of poetry, a few lines of the books, maybe a phrase or two from the notebook even.  It’s my way of overcoming the barriers I have put between me and you.

Firstly, here is a stanza from a poem I wrote called ‘March Garden’.  It has been through a number of transformations but this is the most recent iteration!

The English summer blooms early this year,

And puffball clouds dance merrily.

The voices of neighbours climb over my fence

And sit on the patio with me.

This poem is about sitting and watching nature around me and is very jolly – most of my poetry isn’t so I am lulling you into a false sense of security!

Would you like to read more?  Let me know in the comments!

Happy writing,

EJ

🙂

I didn’t get through a novel this week, so revisited some poetry instead.  It’s a bit of a cheat really, because I tend to read a few that grab my attention rather than the whole book of poetry, but this one deserves a mention!

Book 36 – Willow, Wine, Mirror, Moon: Women’s poems from Tang China, translated by Jeanne Larsen. This is a book of poetry written 1000-1400 years ago, and is a treasure trove of beautiful imagery and culturally-specific references.  The book is split into sections based on the roles the women had in their society – Women of the Court, Women of the Household, Courtesans and Entertainers, and Women of Religion.  The poems themselves are a mixture but the one thing that binds them together is that they deal with real experiences.  They are a reflection of, and a response to, life as they lived it.

I referred to this book way back in 2012 and have mentioned Jeanne Larsen more than once – her book The Silk Road is one of my favourites – so obviously this isn’t a new discovery.  However, even as a re-read I am struck by the spare beauty of the work.  Simple images convey an enormity of emotions, but there is also a directness, a willingness to address life: loneliness, bitterness, hope, love – these women were constrained by their lives and found an outlet for those feelings in their writing.

This style of work really entices me in, and I have even written my own works influenced by the stylistic methods of these writers; it lives on because of its beauty and accessibility.

I love this poetry and I was glad to rediscover it after a few years, because it fills me with a desire to write.

Happy reading,

EJ

🙂

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