Inspiring and Relaxing …

… the perfect break. I’ve just come back from a short break downwhere we walk and read. That’s walk lots with a little reading whilst we break, or walk a little then read for an hour or more surrounded by beautiful or inspirational scenery. This time, for me, it was as much inspiring as breathtaking.

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A path through unsullied snow

I know, it’s been a long time since the last post. That’s because of a whole range of real life issues, one of which was cutting open my hand due to this annoying nerve problem. It is an example of one of the hiccups that have to be factored into Pain Management: prioritisation. ‘I-want-to-write-a-post’ becomes ‘I-really-need-to’ and doesn’t quite make it into the ‘I-must’ category as it is pushed out by stories, essays and commentaries I am actually writing whilst in added pain.

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HWS Meeting October 2015 – great stuff

Despite feeling awful due to a rather nasty infection, I attended the October meet-up of Hampshire Writers’ Society at Winchester university last night. Once more, I am really please I pushed past the pain and illness to attend – I’ve mentioned the society and recommended the meetings before, but I really have to stress that it’s worth anyone in or around the area to attend the meetings. Why? Simply because of the quality and range of speakers that Barbara and the committee bring in.

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Developmental Shorts: The Soul Destroyer

It’s been a difficult week, one in which progress on my MA has been slow. The Shipton Shorts Awards ceremony was at the weekend and, unfortunately, the very helpful lady who was organising the catering had an accident, ending up in hospital. She’s out now, with her arm in a sling, and we were lucky to have plenty of others step in to help (thanks, everyone!) but that, coupled with a number of other hiccups and over-commitment, meant the Pain Management suffered somewhat so pain returned with a vengeance. I am now working hard at recovery and I gave a choir a voice lesson last night – which is great fun – so things will be back on track soon.

More on Shipton Shorts, later, as the evening was good fun and we constructed the bare bones of a potentially quite complex story. And more on the problems associated with reworking a work, too.

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Developmental Shorts: Alone. Again.

I’ve put up a piece of flash in Developmental Shorts, Alone. Again. To me it was a lesson in the length of a story as it consistently refused to be truncated much below 500. It was so tempting to keep adjusting it, altering it and editing it that it also became a lesson in not tinkering with a story once it’s failed to fly: leave your babies alone!

[Featured Image: Lonely Day by Ben Raynal (c),,
flickr, Creative Commons ]

Added another (shorter) story

I’ve added another short story, one that is a bit more experimental in many ways. It’s I fall asleep, only 2,100 words in this instantiation, but has been changed and altered several times, major scenes removed. Reasons for writing it were plentiful: to express the owner’s feelings about their cats and sickness; to attempt an animal PoV without excessive anthropomorphism; to explore the reincarnation/magical cat perspective; to try and lead a reader into suspecting but not being too certain of the PoV character’s construction.

It is easy, I feel, to write something expressing a clearly animal viewpoint from the start. It’s disappointing to the reader, I think, to leave the PoV resolution so difficult to determine until a revelatory sentence right at the end of a story – it means they have to reread it again with a different perspective. I’m not sure this succeeds in what I was trying to do as one reader, at least, enjoyed it but thought it was a straight historic piece: perhaps that reader got something out of it anyway. Other readers picked up on the cat PoV from very early on.

Ultimately, I guess, it’s for the reader to decide.

[Featured Image: Egyptian Mau Cat (C) Andreas Photography,,
Flickr, Creative Commons]