Posts Tagged ‘People’

I tried out my new writing place on Friday, and I think it’ll work well.

It’s good to be around other people, but not focussed on them, when I write.  It’s as though they feed my imagination – maybe it’s an offhand comment or a quirky smile or a laugh that reminds me of something; whatever it is changes my writing and the experience of writing.

It also takes me away from the norm, bringing new stimulus into my consciousness, which in turn helps shift around my ideas until the words slot together like a jigsaw puzzle.

I have written in all sorts of places, and it’s the mix that I need to get right…

So now I have a new place to write, I have moved on to a new poem. It’s currently called The Herald but that might change once it’s completed. I’ll worry about that when it’s done!  I want to get the first draft completed before I head off on holiday next week, so watch this space!

That’s all for today – I am still in the write/revise process albeit for a different piece, so it’s all searching for the right word and being irritated when I can’t find it!  Not much excitement yet, but just wait until I get that perfect word!

Happy writing,



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I don’t know if I am typical, but recently more and more posts on social media have been rather dispiriting – posts that ‘other’ people, posts about cruelty, posts that make me feel impotent as a citizen and as a human being.

But it signifies something more than a collective need to gripe – it makes me think we have lost sight of what joins us together.

How can we hope to find peace in our world if we don’t even recognise how interconnected it is? And how, as the species doing the worst damage to the planet, and each other, can we hope to find peace when our collective behaviour is the very thing destroying it?

We know we are made of the same stuff, right? That we all came from the same cosmic source.  So why do we look for difference?  Why do we look to dominate instead of coexist?  I’m not just talking humans either, but our need to dominate all life on earth.

I am always saddened to see pictures of abuse, neglect, despair.  I sometimes feel that it would be better to stop looking.  Stop reading newspapers or watching documentaries.  Stop knowing.

But to do that would mean I stopped thinking about what is wrong, and if I stop thinking about what is wrong, I stop thinking about what I can do to redress the balance.  And if we all did that, we’d never have peace.

I recently posted a Desmond Tutu quote:

Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.

which is going to be my mantra going forward.  Every little good we do is a chance to redress the balance.

Let’s get some weight behind peace.



B4Peace Central

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After yesterday’s internet failure this blog is a little behind and I’ve forgotten some of the things I was going to discuss, so I’ll work my way backwards and hopefully cover most of it…

Yesterday I spent much of the day in London, celebrating a birthday (not mine!).  There is a definite vibe to the city that engages my senses – the juxtaposition of crowded streets and tree-lined parks, of overwhelming traffic and tame squirrels, that really reminds me how important it is to look beyond the surface of a place for the underlying stories.  I see and hear people from all over the world who are experiencing the same sights and sounds as me, but in an entirely personal and unique way.  I always knew this was the case but only since I’ve been writing have I thought about it so clearly.

I’ve also been working on the poetry for the wedding.  I have to write it all up and spend the next few weeks fixing it all because it’s very rough and ready at the moment – but I hope it’ll be a bit of fun for people at the event as they go round from table to table and see all the different verses set out!

The notebook has been a great help with this, not just because I have it with me all the time so I can quickly grab it and write down my thoughts, but also because it engenders a sense of routine about writing which I need when I have so little time to do it!  Plus if I see or hear anything that I think will spur a few ideas along the way I can refer back to it whenever I like – as long as I write it down!

And finally – We’re up to book 52 on the list – Lolly Willowes, by Sylvia Townsend Warner.  It’s a new one to me but sounds like a book I’d enjoy reading so  I may see if I can find it somewhere!

A short one this week, but I have been, and continue to be, so busy I can hardly think straight; this is the only way to keep any semblance of focus to the post!

Happy writing,



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People often said how brave I was to give up work to write, and see where it took my life.  Yet for me, going back to work was a far greater challenge.

Challenges are part of all our lives: we face them every day and it is in overcoming them, or at the very least managing our response to them, that we learn and grow.

I was watching the launch show of one of my favourite time wasters tonight – Strictly Come Dancing – and it occurred to me that challenges expose the very best and worst in us, in a lot of ways.  They can bring out tenacity, strength of will, unknown talents; they can expose weakness, poor sportsmanship, childishness.  In learning about our best and worst traits we can learn how to harness them, if we’re smart.  In experiencing different facets of ourselves, and others, we can explore what I call the human experience.  We can explore life.

From a writing perspective, challenges build us up to face rejection, and feed our subconscious and conscious minds with data that we draw on for characterisation and storytelling purposes.  We build up a mental log of body language, facial expressions and verbal retorts.  We see that responses aren’t illogical, that they come from somewhere inside – and we build that into our characters.

But don’t forget we all respond differently to the situations in our lives; our characters must too.

In other news – we missed book 49 of the list, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes by Anita Loos. Honestly, I didn’t know this was a book; I’ve seen the film and enjoyed the music, and Madonna’s subsequent ‘Material Girl‘ video in homage to it 🙂  It’s something I might look out though – relatively short, an a little dark under the top layer and the basis of an iconic film, what more could you ask?!  Book 50 is Mrs Dalloway, by Virginia Woolf; this sounds a little heavy-going and although Virginia Woolf is on my ‘must read’ list for the future, I think it’s going to take a little too much out of me at the moment!

And finally – I’ve got one possible guest post for when I’m away on honeymoon, but I’m still looking for a couple more guest bloggers so if you want to share your experiences of writing here, please let me know!

Until next time,

Happy writing,








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Another week, another social gathering… I’m not about today as I am visiting family to celebrate my niece’s birthday, so this is a pre-written quick update!

This week, I decided to take up a new work opportunity. It’s something I can fit in with writing and it isn’t too complex, but I’m hoping it’ll give me some inspiration for my notebook – a big part of it will be meeting other people so I’m sure a few character traits will pique my interest!  I have never used a character from ‘real life’ of course, but I have identified common behaviours that have turned up in my writing, and you can’t do that if you don’t observe how people behave.

People watching is a human trait, I think: we all have a level of curiosity (or, if I’m honest about myself, nosiness…) as to what people are doing.  We writers just notice the details more!

I am also looking forward to spending some time out and about with other people. I’ve said before that writing is a solitary thing and to spend more time meeting groups of people will be a pleasant change.  My old job involved meeting new people a lot of the time, so all this time alone really took a while to feel normal.  Luckily I have a big family and a great group of friends to alleviate loneliness but I am still alone a lot more than I ever had been before.

But due to meetings about that, and life stuff that I’ve been working on a lot of the time, the writing is suffering a severe case of neglect this week.  I am not sticking to my timetable, and am going to have to get really strict with myself.  So – I will have finished section one by next weekend.  That’s the target, and that’s that!

In other news – We’ve reached book 37 in the list of the 100 best novels: Hadrian the Seventh, by Frederick Rolfe.  Not sure what to make of this one as I’ve never heard of it or the author, and the reviews are mixed, to say the least!  I will see how long it is before I decide whether to try it or not, I don’t want another Gulliver issue!

And finally – I saw this article about books reminding up of where we have read and re-read them; although I can’t say there are any where I remember the environment to the same degree there are some books that remind me of certain things.  For example, I read Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood in the car (not driving!) when my partner and I were on our way back from a holiday, so although I’m no longer sure where we’d been, or what road we were on, I remember sitting in the passenger seat of the car when I think about it.  Another book reminds me of walking home from school through a beautiful old town, because it was given to me by a cousin when she was interested in Chinese things and I bought her a present from a bookshop there.  Books can transport us through time and space, and not just by the words in them – that’s just another reason for me to love the physical books; I relate to them entirely differently from e-books.

And on that note, I’m off to charge the reader so I can read during my travels!

Happy writing,





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