Where Stories Begin

Last week saw me running my first afternoon of regular, weekly creative writing sessions at the newly opened Peter Pan Moat Brae, Scotland’s National Centre for Children’s Literature & Storytelling. Which isn’t only for people under a certain age. We all need to free our inner child from time to time, and that’s what my […]

Relationships and the Creative Practitioner

I’ve been working through Benjamin Hardy‘s 30 Behaviours to Make You Unstoppable in 2019 in the hope it will help me find a way to achieve my life goals. I don’t want to be a millionaire or anything, I’d just like to make enough to travel a little, buy the odd book, and replace my […]

On Becoming Unstoppable #3

After last week’s meltdown I feel I’m back on the sea-plane of unstoppability with #8 of Benjamin Hardy’s thirty behaviours:  Become More Playful and Imaginative Hardy begins with this quote from Einstein : “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, […]

Story-a-Week: #1 Maggie’s Chairs

Having decided to try the Story-a-Week challenge, and write each week’s offering about a different character from the novel I’m currently working on, I sat down last Monday to decide which one. That was the easy bit. I chose Ellie, a particular favourite. The hard bit was trying to visualise her in a different context. […]

London Notes #16

On our last day I woke up in bilious spirit, poor D had to raise all his shields, but full tranquility returned the second I walked into the Shape of Light, an exhibition of 100 years of abstract photography at Tate Modern. As I’m sure I’ve told you before, I’ve been taking photographs since I […]

Writing Beyond the Sonnet (& Other Conventional Constraints)

I don’t have the resources (temporal, cognitive…) to write a post at the moment; things seem to have become hectic. But I’ve just listened to a Bookworm episode featuring some members from OULIPO and think it worth sharing. You can listen as you get on with other things, or while taking a tea break, whatever […]

The Madeleine of Banality and Other Titles

The Cal Arts course I’m doing has provided two prompts this week; the first: write a still life poem – pick an object and render it in verbal images as vividly as possible; the second: create a title from the formula ‘The [concrete noun] of [abstract noun]’ then write a poem from that title. The […]

Book Stream

Back on the Bernadette Mayer track today she asked me to: write as you think, as close as you can come to this, that is, put pen to paper and don’t stop. Experiment writing fast and writing slow. So, having spent an hour idly browsing Pinterest, this is what came out of my head. I […]

On the Line

A day late with this, apologies, but here is the last post’s disarranged/rearranged poem as it was written: Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow, Creeps in this petty pace from day to day, To the last syllable of recorded time; And all our yesterdays have lighted fools The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle! […]

Creation Mythology

Today’s exercise doesn’t come from Bernadette Mayer, though she does have a similar one, but from a new MOOC I’ve signed up for. It is Sharpened Visions: A Poetry Workshop and is run by Cal Arts. They do weekly prompts, so I’ll probably intersperse them with Mayer’s. This one asks us to take a piece […]