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Photo Inspiration for August

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This month's photo inspiration is a little different. It's actually an old slide taken in the 1960s.
What do you think? What can you tell about the inhabitants of this home? Who could live here? What would their story be? Happy or sad? 
Who is behind the camera? Why is this slide being taken? 
The room is empty (apart from the person behind the camera). Where is everyone?
Is this a wealthy house? Up to date (at the time)? Well-loved?
What story would this image inspire you to write?

Something Useful for 2017 - Exercise No. 25

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The first writing exercise of 2017 from me and it's August already. How did that happen?

This month's writing exercise is about summer, or rather what summer means to you.

For me, the summer is largely taken up with the school summer break - 6 or 7 weeks when my teens are away from school and my work has to take a sideways shunt to accommodate day trips and refereeing arguments.

I also have to feed them but since we bought a new sandwich toaster, they're sorting their own lunches out by experimenting with hot sandwich fillings. Ingredients to date have included ham, bacon, cheese, bananas, peanut butter, chocolate and jam. I'll let you guess at what combinations they've concocted so far.

So, back to the writing exercise. Summer. What does it mean to you? Does it even register in your busy life other than a change of wardrobe? Do you like summer skies or do you prefer the winter winds?

Write a piece about summer from someone else's perspective:
A single parent …

What I'm Doing This Month - August

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August is always a mixture of a month. On the one hand, it's summer break and my teenage monsters are off school. They're of an age to keep themselves and each other happy (aside from the bickering) but I try to get them out of the house (and away from their computers) most days. They're good company, and with our dog in tow for some of those outings, I enjoy our summer adventures.
The downside is that my work schedule is massively interrupted. I'm lucky to be self employed, working from home and able to arrange my hours around my family, but it means early work before everyone else is up, and working some evening hours too. 
So, aside from the adventures, I'll be juggling my time this month to include: ongoing copywriting work along with some training I'm taking on the subject too,finding new clients for my scriptwriting business plus adding more value to my existing clients,working on my novel, andinvestigating setting up a new writer/copywriting website. On …

Can I? Can I? Yes, I Canva!

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Creating quality images for my blog posts and website has always been a bit hit and miss for me, so when a friend introduced me to Canva I was delighted.

Canva is a "free graphic design tool website". You can create all kind of  graphics on there, such as social media images, letterhead, certificates, books covers, and marketing flyers.

What's more, it also provides royalty free images and photographs for no charge, along with shapes, frames, layouts, fonts and backgrounds. Having said that, if you can't find exactly what you want then you can pay for additional items.

Of course, you can always upload your own images, which is what I've mostly done.

There are a lot of Canva tutorials available, both on the website and posted online by users too, but I found Canva easy to pick up with a little trial and error.

So far, I've created images for Pinterest, photo galleries, email headers, and blog posts, along with my 2017 vision board.

It's free to join, free …

Book Review: Watling Street by John Higgs

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When the Who Do You Think You Are magazine gave me the opportunity to review Watling Street by John Higgs, I jumped at the chance.

British history, especially history from the point of view of the people, has always been one of my favourite topics to read. Add to that, the chance to get a free book and what's not to like?

I initially received a paperback proof copy of the novel  but a few weeks later, courtesy of Higgs' publisher Orion Books, a beautiful hardback copy arrived too, this time full of maps and photographs that hadn't figured in the proof copy.

The colourful cover perfectly captures the contents of this book with its witty combination of the past, national identity and more recent pop culture (the Tardis is my personal favourite).

According to the accompanying press release,

Watling Street is a road of witches and ghosts, of queens and highwaymen, of history and myth, of Chaucer, Dickens and James Bond. Armies from Rome arrived and straightened this 444 kilome…

Photo Inspiration for July

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I haven't posted photo inspiration for a few months now (sorry about that) so I thought I'd return to it with a summer shot.

This is a seaside telescope, all ready for someone to pop in a coin and have a look.

Who do you think might use this? Are they alone? What are they looking for? What do they see through the lens?

Choice Words for July

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I'm on the countdown to the school summer holidays and I know that once my two are at home all day, my writing time will be eaten into by trips out and requests for food, drinks or to watch one of their latest animations or memes. So advice on how to keep writing thoughout those six weeks is always welcome.

Julia Munroe Martin's article on Writer unBoxed, Survival Pack or How to Keep Writing No Matter What is ideal.

And just as a little extra for you this month, Em Lynas' article Who Is Driving Your Story? is well worth a read. Have a look.