Monday, 5 December 2016

Photo Inspiration for December

I came across this frosty bench while walking the dog this morning. What do you think? A meeting place hidden away from the rest of the world? A well remembered picnic spot? What would this inspire you to write?

Friday, 2 December 2016

What I'm doing this month - December

This month I shall be running round like a headless turkey, or rather a stressed out mother trying to remember everything that needs to be done before the twenty fifth of December. There are cards and letters to be written, presents to be bought (half done already thankfully), people to catch up with, schools events to be prepared for and attended, and writing to be done.

Note how writing comes last on the list. I 'will' write this month in the way that my family 'will' enjoy the Christmas season. I'm determined (if a tad frazzled and fraught at the thought of it all).

Oh darn, I have to put the tree up too. I need the husband home to get it all down from the attic first. I also have to figure out how to puppy-guard the tree. I don't want Christmas Day ruined by a toppled tree or a pile of chewed presents (unless it's a present for the puppy of course).

Joy to the world and all that. I think I need a strong coffee and a mince pie.

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Something Useful for 2016 - Exercise No. 23

The Christmas Market in Chester Town Hall Square

Last week, my family and I trundled into Chester on a chilly Thursday night to watch the city lights switch on. The streets were heaving with people, young and old, all come together to share the experience. When the time came, all eyes turned to watch Santa who stood on the walkway where the city clock sits above the main street. He waved cheerily as the steamers of fireworks raced into the sky from either side of him.

I say all eyes. I took a sneaky look at the crowds as they watched. I noticed the three teenage girls hunched together, the toddler doing his best to escape from his parents, and the old man blowing on his ungloved hands. All of them were strangers to me. I didn't know their names or where they lived, or how happy their lives were. I could only imagine.

This month, as the streets and the shops fill with crowds preparing for the festive break, take some time to people watch. Who catches your eye? Who could be the inspiration for a character? What exchange could provide a what-if for a story? Even better, do it from the warmth and safety of a coffee shop that looks out on the masses. What better excuse do you need for a mug of hot chocolate?

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Photo Inspiration for November

One benefit to having a dog is the walks we go on. Since Bailey has been in my life, I've rediscovered the joy of walking for pleasure. I get exercise, I get to meet people and it also presents me with all kind of opportunities to take photographs.

I took this shot yesterday on our morning walk. Above this leaf-laden ground are masses of apples and berries, the bounty of the season. I'm sure that most passing people, if they look up, will see the fruit growing on the trees and bushes but very few will notice the fallen fruit at their feet.

The image of fallen fruit can mean many things - a fall from grace, something downtrodden, or the bottom rungs of the ladder. What does this image inspire you to write?

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Today I met a poet

My morning has a set ritual:
  • Get up. 
  • Get children up. 
  • Do school run. 
  • Walk the dog. 
This happens on every week day since Bailey the pooch arrived at our house.

This morning was a glorious day to get out and about, sunny but just chilly enough to need a coat, perfect for a stroll amongst the autumn leaves.

On the way back, I met a neighbour walking his two dogs. I was trying to take a photo at the time and he commented that he liked to take photos too. We chatted (while I tried to stop Bailey from jumping up at him to be petted and terrorising his dogs) and it turned out that my neighbour is also a writer, a poet. You can find his website here.

What I got most from our chat was how wonderful it is to talk to another writer. We writers are a fractured society. We don't generally gather en masse like many professions. We tend to work alone, only meeting up with like minded souls on occasion. Today was one of those occasions for me. What a great start to my day.