Skip to main content

Posts

World Poetry Day 2024

Hi everyone. Happy World Poetry Day! According to the “oracle” that is Wikipedia, World Poetry Day has been celebrated every year on 21 March since 1999 when UNESCO set it up with the laudable ambition of “supporting linguistic diversity through poetic expression and increasing the opportunity for endangered languages to be hear.” But of course, you knew that, right? The theme for World Poetry Day 2024 is “Standing on the Shoulders of Giants”. It’s intended to remind us how famous poets from the past have helped make poetry important in different cultures and paved the way for others to follow. What do you mean "Poetry doesn't have to rhyme"?! So, just in case you need a gentle reminder as to who some of those famous poets are, here are some opening lines to poems from a few very famous poets (sadly all male but that’s a whole other blog post) although they are all from Western culture and predates anything written since the mid 1960s. This is entirely due to my age,
Recent posts

10 Ways I Want To Be More Like My Cat

Hi everyone. Did you watch Crufts on TV at the weekend? I must admit to being more of a dog person than a cat person but sometimes I feel sorry for dogs. They seem to have a "ruff" deal compared with cats who, let's face it, often live the life of Riley.  This got me thinking about what it would be like to be a cat or at least behave more like one. Full disclosure: I don't actually own a cat but I have known a few felines in my time.    Who is this Riley dude? I could definitely take him. 10 Ways I Want To Be More Like My Cat 1. Be the master, not the servant. 2. Fall asleep anytime, anywhere, anyhow. 3. Not feel guilty about ending a relationship with someone who thought I was their best friend. 4. Eat when I want to, not when I have to. 5. Rub my head against the legs of a complete stranger without getting arrested. 6. Never lose a staring contest. 7. Sleep all day and stay out all night. 8. Pee in the bath without having to get hammered first. 9. Get free m

7 Steps to Self-Motivation For Writers

Hi everyone. What can you do when the money is running out, you haven’t sold any work since Taylor Swift became more famous than Elvis and you can’t get an agent or editor to take you on for love nor macaroni. The answer is... keep going! To achieve success as a writer, you have to be incredibly self-motivated and at times, that can feel like trying to climb Everest with a large tin of treacle tied to each ankle. Fortunately, there are things you can do to get your mojo working again and here are just a few of them. 1. When the going gets tough, reach for chocolate Or herbal tea, Kendal Mint Cake, listening to heavy metal, walking the hamster or whatever other treat you fancy. Try creating a work/treat/work sandwich. (You can use an actual sandwich if you like.) Tell yourself that you’ll write for forty minutes, stop for your treat and then write for another forty minutes. Repeat as required. 2. Write it fast, write it now When the muse seems to have packed its suitcase and gone of

What Makes A Good Beginning?

Hi everyone. Happy New Year! I hope you had an enjoyable Christmas, if you celebrate it of course, and as it’s now the beginning of another new year, I thought I’d pose the question “What makes a good beginning?” So if you’ve not already had enough quizzes over the festive period, you might like to have a go at seeing how many of these famous novels you can identify from their opening lines. Answers are at the end of the post if you want to put yourself out of your misery. 1. It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen. 2. I write this sitting in the kitchen sink. 3. It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife. 4. Call me Ishmael. 5. The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there. 6. It was a pleasure to burn. 7. Like most people I lived for a long time with my mother and father . 8. Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again . 9. Far out in the uncharted b

Die Hard - A Christmas Movie? Absolutely!

Hi everyone. Along with the Northern Lights, the Rolling Stones live and a golden eagle, I never thought I would see the movie Die Hard . But now I have and although film buffs may throw down their copies of Barry Norman's biography in horror, I can confirm that in my opinion anyway, it absolutely is a Christmas movie. So what qualifies the vest-wearing, Beretta 92F-toting, man-of- few-words Bruce Willis epic to be a fully paid-up member of this Holy of Holies? After all, Home Alone , White Christmas or Love Actually , it most definitely is not. I can't believe you got me socks again. The most obvious answer is that the story takes place on Christmas Eve and continues into Christmas Day and what can be more "Christmassy" than that? The baddies, led by the late great and sweetly sinister Alan Rickman, arrive as an office Christmas party is in full swing and there are numerous references throughout the film to Christmas, including Santa jokes and Christmas music, not

Cameron And Back To Blogging

Hi everyone. So if David Cameron (sorry, Lord Cameron) can make an unexpected return to politics having left it behind seven years ago, then I think it's OK for me to return to blogging after having left it behind seven months ago. Actually it was six months ago but then I've never let the truth get in the way of a good analogy. Go back into politics? I'd rather go back into the EU. Anyway, I'm back with a new look blog and u nlike my previous posts here, the future ones won't be covering art, design and crafting. I'm in the process of setting up a new place to blog about those, which leaves this one for "writing" related issues. So I'll be covering topics which I hope will be of interest to both new and established writers, as well as including more random things such as the occasional film or book review and opinion pieces (rants!) on subjects that are dear to my heart but which I hope will also appeal to a wider audience. When life gets you down

Good News and Bad News

Hi everyone. So the good news is that I have started writing again after not having written anything "commercial" for longer than I care to admit. It's taken a while to get going again but like riding a bike, I guess, you never really lose it although I think the days of me being a regular writer for national newspapers and magazines are definitely over. And as for books? Well, still not sure if that will happen but you never know! The bad news is that partly because of this, I have decided that this will be my last blog post here. I have really appreciated being able to write for a blog, even though the posts have been pretty sparse in recent times. It has kept my writing hand "in" as it were and has given me something to focus on when I couldn't manage to write much else. But now I want to write for other outlets again and not something that feels quite so "indulgent", if you know what I mean. I also feel that blogging in general may have had it&