I have recently unfollowed someone for using the C word in a tweet. The offender gave a cursory apology but, in suggesting that those of us with ‘delicate sensibilities’ should ‘cover our ears’, rather belied himself. As a writer of court reports, some of them addressing abusive and criminal behaviours and requiring verbatim quotes, I am not unfamiliar with offensive language nor too fragile of constitution to repeat it when required. In fact, in therapy sessions, when clients have no other words for something and use, let’s call it a ‘street’ word so as not to attract unwelcome attention, I … Continue reading Language most foul
Appended to my last post (the text, not the bugle) was a suggested link titled ‘Aww man, we gotta blog?!‘ An unpromising catch at first glance but, being trapped in the middle of an edit for a clinical journal, I was tempted as if to chocolate and made the click. This was it, a blog about blogging for PhD candidates (PhD.umpingground) which neatly articulated my drift of yesterday and collided it with another from my research world. So, writing blogs are for writing, practising writing, practising writing for an audience, marshalling thoughts, expressing ideas, asking questions, learning how to present … Continue reading Writers and writerly things: Part 2
You know those mornings when you’ve missed the alarm and you very slowly become aware of increasing levels of light filtering through your eyelids? Assuming you don’t now have 30 seconds to wash the dog, post a sandwich, and comb your lipstick, this is a moment of dawning. A dangling of consciousness between the loose freedom of unstructured sleep and the linear organisation of strategic necessity. Left foot, left knicker leg, try to get the bra the right way round, remember to remove spotty dog slippers before leaving the house. That kind of linear. Dawning is a moment of minor … Continue reading Writers, writing, writerly things
Dennis Dennis is a case alright. Big, thick-set, yellow hair thinning on top now he’s hitting forty. I’ve known him for years; first when his exasperated mum hauled him into the Centre hoping to get him fixed and him trailing behind with a wicked grin tweaking his mouth in which was stuffed the Mars Bar he’d half-inched from our shop. Dennis was a LAD…continued on Nano fiction page Continue reading Dennis
Last weekend, on the instructions of the RSPB and the BBC so who was going to dare decline, the nation counted its birds. For an hour of our own choosing on either the Saturday or the Sunday we were to sit peering into our gardens cataloguing the wee wing-ed beasties as they dropped in for a visit. Robins – 2 of, Collared doves – 3 of, Sparrows – 4, no make that 5 of, Blue Tits – 2, 5, 3, DAMN keep still will ya! Starlings? Who’s here for Starlings? The instructions were to watch only for an hour and … Continue reading Getting the bird
Or thirteenth equal depending on your glass-half-full-glass-half-empty perspective. The winner was more than worthy, a tight tale with lovely pace and rhythm, and only the requisite number of ‘I’s. Competition over, Prune-Ella is now out in the wild via the Nano Fiction page. Meanwhile, one of my other stories, submitted to the critiquing zoo queue, has had some quite mixed comments. To broadly simplify; half seemed baffled by the concept, didn’t quite see a plot, and wanted parts that I thought were the crucially speculative elements, more spelled out. The other half loved it, got the plot, and bought into the speculation. Both views … Continue reading Prune-Ella gets second equal!
After the snow we had mud and then we had torrential rain but today, just short of the frogs and boils which must surely follow, the day was glorious. Beautiful sunshine, the river at its height, blue sky reflected in large tracts of still water on the flood plain, and swans posing for photographs along the banks. Back in the garden, birds were visiting to take advantage of the food left out for them, and a butterfly – I kid you not – landed on the parasol. I kid you not about that unlikely feature either; every time I went out to … Continue reading and it was all going so well..
The CC ‘I-less’ writing challenge has closed and Prune-Ella is up against 13 others for the grand title of – well, nothing at all really. I must say though, if Prune-Ella did her stuff and flounced the opposition, I would be ridiculously pleased and need restraining from making postcards to send to people I hardly know. Also completed today was the last tutorial of the OU course which leaves just the final assignment due at the end of the month. I have a half formed offering that reads ok but doesn’t grab me. Do I work on it and make it … Continue reading Let battle commence!
There I was, ticking along with the bi-partite job bringing in the money and the sense of having a handle on things while I scratched away at snippets of fiction, then one sniff of ikigai and I’m thinking ‘novel’! How does that happen? How will it happen? I’m pretty familiar with project management and, way back in oooh-you-don’t-want-to-know, determined that my PhD was only going to take as long as I was being paid for so I’ve already got three years in my head. I’m conveniently ignoring the fact that I’m still working full time but I wonder if I should … Continue reading This ikigai stuff is dangerous!
Dan Buettner on how to live to 100+ http://www.ted.com/talks/dan_buettner_how_to_live_to_be_100.html It seems to involve a sense of purpose, a plant-based diet, community, and some form of religion. Three out of four, maybe I get to 90… Continue reading Ikigai: waking up with a sense of purpose