Writing Tools

Writing. Or Freedom from Deadlines

You may start with a blank page, a blank notebook, a blank post-it note, but filling it is as simple as beginning with a single word. Any word which gets you started.

You may start with a blank page, a blank notebook, a blank post-it note, but filling it is as simple as beginning with a single word. Any word which gets you started.

Freedom from deadlines isn’t what it’s cracked up to be. Having finished my uni work and handed in my assignments, I now feel as though I have no purpose. It’s not just for now. I always feel like this after hand-ins. So, I’ve been searching for things to do. I know I have a novel to work on, but I need a little break first before commiting myself to another large piece of writing. Continue reading

West of No East by Bobby Nayyar

Image courtesy of Bobby Nayyar at Limehouse Books

Image courtesy of Bobby Nayyar at Limehouse Books

West of No East by Bobby Nayyar packs into a small book many of the issues facing people in multicultural, contemporary Britain today. It tells of difficult relationships, be they marital, friendships, work or parental. Difficult economic times increase pressures on already fragile relationships. Clashing cultures add extra heat into the mix.

Continue reading

Black Country to Red Earth – Video Of Me Reading A Story

Last week, I attended a public lecture ‘Black Country to Red Earth’ given by Candi Miller in the International Centre, University of Wolverhampton on Thursday 19th April 2012.

Stories galore for telling and reading.

Stories galore for telling and reading.

It was a great evening of sharing information about The San Peoples of the Kalahari Desert, who are considered to be the oldest race in the world. Some of their storytellers were filmed telling stories, including Beesa Boo who told the story of The Spider Man. Continue reading

Writing Exercise

IMG_3104If you’re stuck for something to write about, take a look around you. Describe what is in your favourite room in the place where you live. What’s there? Is everything where it should be? If not, why not? Describe the colours, the textures, the sounds around you. What do these remind you of? Did you choose them yourself, or are they a glimpse into someone else’s taste? Why? How do these things make you feel, and why? What is your favourite thing in the room? Is it an item, a colour, a texture, a material, a smell, a piece of furniture or a piece of jewellery you keep in that room? Or is it the view from the window? Why is it so special to you? What memories are connected with it?

Out of all these things, choose something to write about. For example, about the memories connected to your favourite item from that room. If you choose to try this exercise, try writing as many words as you like, until the piece feels ‘finished’ to you. Then shake it up a little and try writing it in a different tense, or changing the point of view.

 

 

Good Advice Is Rarer Than Rubies by Salman Rushdie: Review

‘Good Advice Is Rarer Than Rubies’ by Salman Rushdie is the first short story in a collection of ten. It tells of one of the British Consulate’s Tuesday women, Miss Rehana. On the last Tuesday of the month, young women travel long distances to try to gain entry into England and be with their fiancés. The lala at the gates asserts his authority and power over them, even though he is only guarding the Consulate entrance. Most of them are accompanied by one or more male relatives, but Miss Rehana is alone because she is an orphan.  Continue reading

How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff: 100 Word Book Review

This review is the result of a writing exercise: write a book review in one hundred words or less.

Boston-born Meg Rosoff‘s multi-award winning debut novel has wide appeal. Wise-cracking fifteen year old Manhattan girl, Daisy comes to visit her English country cousins.

Through Daisy’s eyes, Rosoff explores many voyages of discovery: of self, sexual love, new ways of life, and of learning to cope with the unknown. We see a magical, idyllic age, suddenly become tarnished by harsh and brutal times when war breaks out. Rosoff keeps us page-turning with minimal effort. Her descriptions like ‘I made jam sandwiches for breakfast and they tasted hoepful’ are delicious!

If you liked Mark Haddon‘s Curious Incident… you’ll like this!

Mirror, Mirror: Alternative Point of View

I am sure the Queen will appear again soon, with her illusions and delusions of grandeur. I have never seen anyone so vain before. There is no denying it, the nasty old witch is the fairest in the land. But I cannot help wondering what the King would say if he were to discover that his wife is a six hundred year old hag who finds her youth and beauty in potions and spells.

It is not only the Queen who suffers from the disease called Vanity. Her husband also comes to admire himself. ‘How handsome are you?’ he asks as he struts around, preening like a peacock. Ugly duckling would be closer to the truth.

I lost count long ago of how many women have looked into my frame and dreamed of being the most beautiful. Oh, if only I could tell them what I really thought of them! ‘Tis a pity I am not allowed to speak to anyone but my mistress.  There is much I could have told them. But it is probably just as well…

Things can get so tedious and predictable sometimes. Methinks ’tis time for a change. Here comes my Queen.

‘Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?’

My shimmering pane, have I got news for HER, today!