the Apostle Annetta

I’ve just published a new creative writing course on the Udemy platform: Inspirations for Creative Writing provides a range of practical activities, ideas and prompts for poets and other writers. The course has around 90 minutes of video classes, with a range of activities and examples to download. It’s the fifth course I’ve published on the site and I’m proud that The Essential Poet’s Toolbox for Readers & Writers, which has been online for a couple of years, is a bestseller.

One of the things that the Udemy platform does for instructors is provide automatic captioning for the videos; but although this is a useful service, it isn’t by any means a perfect system.
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parked

This weekend has been far too hot and far too busy, which is my excuse for not posting on the blog yesterday and almost failing to post today.

I’ve spent far too long on my feet in the sunshine and am exhausted. But I resisted the temptation to jump in the river and cool off, however green and cool and tempting it looked.
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a little focus

Once more I’m sitting here with a host of possible topics to write about and, once more, it’s proving difficult to zoom in on one specific idea and get a blog post written.

As I said last weekend, “When you’re stuck for something to write, it is often because you are looking vaguely around you and there are simply too many potential subjects.”

Pinning down a single idea is like trying to find the queen among the heaving life of an ants’ nest or a hive of bees, a specific car in a multi-storey carpark, one precise tree in the forest…
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July

It’s really too hot for thought, so I’ve dug back into the archives for something to suit the weather.

Heat swells to stuff the corners
of the room, tucking itself up
to pad the picture rail, deadening
the walls. We lie at the edges
of a king-sized bed, white cotton
smooth beneath us. You reach across
and touch me. Sweat breaks
under the weight of your hand.

butterfly thoughts & mindful musings

I’ve been recording the videos for a new online writing course with the working title “Creative Inspirations”. The course was born from the fact that, at some time in their life, almost every writer looks at a blank screen or a blank page and realises they don’t know how to get started.

For me, this happens quite regularly. Indeed, I could say it happens almost every weekend when it’s time to write a blog post. Sadly, although each class in the course will provide a new activity or insight to trigger ideas, I’m not sure it’s what I need for writing here; I do, however, hope it will be of use to other writers and poets who have hit a bit of a wall.
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irrelevant facts

In yesterday’s post, I touched on how the natural world is changing and how, while words I learned as a child are being lost from children’s vocabularies, there will presumably be a need for new words for the invasive species that are making their way to the UK common.

This got me thinking about how so much of what I learned in school has been superseded.
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naming memories

On a visit to south Wales this week, when I stepped outside the back door, I found the iridescent creature pictured above sunning itself on the rosemary bush. Without doubt, it was one of the most eye-catching beetles I’ve ever seen.

I don’t claim to recognise all the insect life of the UK, but I was surprised just how unfamiliar this one seemed: I was pretty sure that even if my Observer’s Book of Common Insects and Spiders were not stuffed in a box at the back of a storage locker somewhere in rural Spain, it would not help me to identify it.
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