Jumping off the page

The brief for this week’s homework from the writing group is to write about a grandparent, creating a fictional account of a factual event from their life.

Easier said than done, I thought. Two of my grandparents died before I was born and the only memory I have of my maternal grandmother is of a tiny woman with greying curly hair, sitting at the kitchen table, warming her hands round the teapot. So that leaves my paternal grandfather; long dead now, but I have plenty of memories from my childhood.

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Perchance to Dream

First of all, apologies for my prolonged absence. Just the small matter of a very significant birthday (suffice to say I’m now eligible for a bus pass), which needed celebrating, with various visiting friends and relatives to share the fun, leaving very little time to think – my usual precursor to writing. I have done no work on the new novel, or any editing of the old one. I wanted some time out to sit and order my thoughts and I felt myself getting rather tetchy when I couldn’t do this because I was too preoccupied planning the next meal.

Celebrations, friends and family are very important so I won’t beat myself up too much about the lack of writing. We all need the stimulation of social interaction to give us inspiration and keep our writing fresh. I mean, where else are we supposed to get all our ideas?  Continue reading

It’s writing,Jim, but not as we know it.

It’s been one of those weeks where, on reflection, I would say that I’ve got no writing done at all. Sure, I’ve written stuff; in fact I’ve been busy writing stuff all week. But I’ve made very little progress with the actual writing of the new novel and there’s been almost no output of a creative nature (by that I mean made up). However, when I think about it, I haven’t been idle.

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The Devil’s in the Detail

Over the past few weekends I’ve been mildly entertained by a neighbour’s attempts to cut down a tree in his garden. The tree was probably deserving of the treatment; it was a straggly old conifer that had overstayed its welcome but the whole felling procedure – and believe me, the production was worthy of Cecil B de Mille – got me thinking about familiar landmarks and how I can use them in my writing to add some individuality as well as colour, texture and even humour. They don’t need to be large or dramatic, in fact, for our purposes, small is definitely beautiful. It’s all in the detail. Here’s a selection of sights that are familiar to me and probably surround us all in some shape or other:

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Beware of the Librocubicuralist

That’s an unnecessarily long word, a bit of a tongue-twister, so what does it mean?

It’s a personal thing. These days, I may describe myself as my partner’s significant other, but I’m also a librocubicuralist. It’s not an either/or situation; I can be both, because the definition of the word is ‘someone who reads in bed’. Though how I’m going to introduce that nugget into my novel is anyone’s guess. I’ll have to file it with runcible, hirsute and discombobulate until a suitable occasion presents itself.

But I digress…..This post was supposed to be about A Literary Ramble.

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Word Association Football

What are your favourite words?  What makes them favourites? Do they have a particular feel on the tongue, or sound in the ear?

Some of my particular favourites: –

Serendipity; Bliss; Sandwich; Wimple; Shiver; Cornucopia; Jelly; Flatulence; Fabulous; Thimble; Blether; Lollipop; Bishibarnibee  (that’s a ladybird, or ladybug in this part of the world); Fluorescence; Blancmange; Doodle; Bowling; Scribble; Bubblewrap.

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I attended a Reminiscence Therapy seminar last week. Part of the morning was spent in an interactive Life Story workshop, where several poems on the theme of memory were recited. Then – pause for collective intake of appalled breath – we were all encouraged to write our own poems.

I don’t do poetry (unless you count a series of humorous poetic monologues in the style of Stanley Holloway that I composed when I was at college), and judging by the reaction of almost everyone in the room, neither did anyone else. However, and this might be a particularly British trait, we all knuckled down without a complaint and produced something.

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