Slice of Life Story- Raking Leaves, Rehearsing Words

This morning as I raked and removed another carpet of discarded leaves thrashed, bashed and scattered by last night’s torrent of rain, a poem began to form in my head. The writing mind seldom rests...

It further reminded me that so many of our writing ideas come calling when we are not actually engaged in writing.
So there I was raking and rehearsing...

Wintery Days
Shadows And gathering clouds Raindrop on footpaths Spits and dollops Splashing Forming puddles and pools A season of heavy coats Scarves and gloves Sheltering Helter- Skeltering Miserable breezes Unforgiving winds Sniffles and sneezes Ah choo!
Alan j Wright

Slice of Life Story-Delving Into Old Notebooks

I have been mining old notebooks this week looking for examples of observational writing. It is related to a writing project I am currently undertaking. Sometimes as writers we just need to sit and look around us for inspiration. We don't have to create possibilities from scratch.They merely await discovery.

We must hone our observational abilities. Rereading my notebook entries, I am surprised at how often I write in this way. This type of writing reminds me of photography and the painting of portraits. The writer must use words to build a picture in the mind of the reader.

I want young writers to see for themselves that these seemingly ordinary moments, are gold for writers. I see it as an opportunity to shine a light on a moment that might otherwise pass by without recognition. Hopefully, it encourages the inexperienced writer, to be a more astute observer. 

I enjoyed the rereading and the reliving of these experiences. Here are some of my small moments. Moments captured in variou…

Slice of Life Story-Moving from One Writer's Notebook to Another

Mixed feelings swirl around me when commencing a new writer's notebook.  The prospect of filling the fresh pages brings with it anticipation, presenting as a prospect to be enthusiastically embraced. 
To see newly generated words spread out across previously unmarked pages delivers a buzz. The very act of capturing the raw stuff of my writing life, delivers order and a sense of accomplishment to my active mind. The harvesting of words and ideas adds to the energy for writing in this new place. I am like the farmer ploughing a new field.

I make a conscious decision to choose a notebook with different dimensions and qualities to its predecessor. Some writers choose the same notebook each time a replacement is required. I embrace the notion of change along with the unique shape and form of the potential replacement notebook.
I remain keen to shape this new notebook in a way that establishes its difference from previous notebooks. The contents will add further to the individuality. Ther…

Slice of Life Story -Preserving Words

In these times of social solitude, I  have been consciously delving back into books previously read. Pulling titles from the shelves and rediscovering treasure among the pages. It is proving a rich and rewarding experience. Stimulating thought, arousing curiosity and prompting action.
Yesterday, it was Robert McFarlane’s ‘Landmarks’ published in 2016. A celebration of landscapes and language. McFarlane writes with fierce enthusiasm for the wonderful words residing in the natural world. He cites a 2012 national report concerning ‘Natural Childhood’ conducted in the UK concerning the lives of children between 1970 and 2010. The report noted that the area children were permitted to play unsupervised shrank by 90 % across that period. A dramatic downturn in free range play in untamed or wild places. Across successive generations the roaming radius of children has collapsed to mean just the house, the garden if one exists and the pavement in front of the house. Increasingly, adults control …

Slice of Life Story- Covid Chronicles

In these strange and unusual days, we  choose our personal responses, our coping mechanisms, our attitudes. For some, it is a chance to explore, revisit and discover. An opportunity to be creative. Boredom can do that. I recall as a child how a sense of boredom frequently lead to inventiveness. I am constantly amazed by the plethora of videos exploring humour and creativity. Some people (across all age groups) are using the time to explore new perspectives.
I have chosen to view this time as solitude rather than isolation. For me isolation has a negative connotation and I do not wish to succumb to such characterization of my time. I have accepted the need to live like this. In some ways I am fortunate that I can make such a choice. In reality, I have no choice for I am part of a group who live with a compromised health condition. This virus presents as a significant danger to me personally.Even if the restrictions are eased, for me it will be, a quiet winter. I am fortunate to be surro…

Slice of Life Tuesday: T Shirt Stories And Other Glories

Ideas exist in things are words  frequently resounding in my head...
 It's a constant reminder to look carefully at the things that surround my daily existence, for they possess much potential for writing stimulation.
A conversation with a long time friend has given rise to things we collect and tend to hang onto. He told me he had several suitcases filled with old t-shirts he had acquired across the years. His wife regularly implores him to throw them out, but sentimental attachments has made this an unpalatable thing to contemplate. She has suggested he take photos of them and then throw them out. Heaven forbid, he replies.
This has given me the spark of an idea. I have suggested he write a book of t-shirt stories, or set up a photographic exhibition using his favourite fifty tees. It is obvious there is some potential in these archived garments. However, my suggestions have failed to garner much support or indeed action.
On the other hand, I found myself beginning to ponder further…

Writing from the Home Zone

So, yesterday I spent my writing time in our small garden. It was the perfect morning for writing outdoors. Quiet, balmy air, sunshine, no traffic humming in the distance, no machine noise, solitude in the garden.

I also took time to wander about and take photos. If my illustrating skills were better, maybe I could have indulged in some drawing as well. I had an idea... Maybe the photographs could spark some short little poetry pieces. 

That way I could share with others how the place we find ourselves located, can be quite an inspiration -if we sit still and observe closely. If we make a mindful effort to look around at what's in our immediate view. Ideas are all around us waiting to be discovered.

‘Sometimes the easiest way to start writing is not to try to think something up, but simply to write something down- and what better place to begin than with what’s is right in front of your eyes.’
Andy Griffiths, 'Once Upon A Slime'
So, posted below are the first four poems and som…

In A Crisis, Writers Share

Here are some short Videos I have made in recent days to support the planning of teachers as school closures impact and educators search for new ways to support learning in home settings. Feel free to use them if they support your efforts to engage learners. Please let me know if there is anything you would like from me that could add to your efforts at this time. 

A Poetry reading of the poem, 'Mad Hairy Hands' from my latest book, 'What The Poemster Found.'

An idea for writing in different places around the house. Let's begin by looking for inspiration in the kitchen. Food and fabulous words to inspire our writing.

Using my Writer's Notebook to indulge in some important wordplay with proverbs. -Showing the inexperienced writers where inspiration might be found.…

Growing Characters In Our Stories

There is a saying, 'no struggle, no story,' so the characters that present in stories need a measure of conflict and tension to hold the reader's interest. As young writers grow in confidence and experience, this is a critical understanding they must develop. It can contribute greatly to the quality of the plot lines of the stories they write.

A little bit of adversity, or experiencing a problem is important for our characters. It's good for them to wrestle with a conundrum...

When characters encounter a problem or have to overcomes a hurdle, it increases their appeal to the reader. They become more relatable. More human. More fallable or imperfect. So when the writer creates a conflict for a character to grapple with, the writing is enhanced.

The writer can make that conflict happen within a character- doubt, fear, shyness. It can also be between characters- disagreement, feud, need for revenge, a perceived slight. 

Sometimes the story may involve a series of critical eve…