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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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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a little background

Years ago, I belonged to a mixed-genre writing group. I was one of the few members who primarily wrote poetry, so I was delighted when another poet – Don, an American university professor – settled in the city for a few months and started to attend meetings with his wife. (I can’t remember what she wrote; it may have been academic writing rather than creative.)

I’ve often thought that poets get short-changed at writing groups as they are expected to give feedback on all the other members’ work in a range of genres, but frequently get no useful comments about their poems.
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the joy of spuds

I lived for many years in Spain and I don’t remember ever having a discussion about potatoes. In the UK, though, I’ve discovered that they are a perfectly valid topic for conversation.

Back in the day, there was a joke about the girl potato whose father forbade her to marry Eamonn Andrews – presenter of Sports Report on BBC’s Light Programme – because he was “only a commentator.”
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a memory

Bank Holiday weekend gives me the opportunity to write an extra blog post.

While looking for something else entirely in my old files a few days ago, I came across a series of short prose pieces; I had forgotten writing them, but recognised them all, as they were based – some quite closely – on free-verse poems I’ve written.

One piece in particular has gone back and forth between poetry and prose a number of times since it originated as a children’s story nearly thirty years ago, being adapted to different forms and lengths depending on how and where I was going to use it.
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things to think about

On the subject of inspiration – and where to find it – there are many variations on the idea that, “If I knew where ideas came from, I’d go and live there.” But I think every writer has their own source, or sources, of inspiration; one of mine is my email spam folder.

I used to get many more unsolicited offers, but now they just get filtered off and I seldom even see them. I checked the other day, though, and it was just as much fun as I remembered.
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not what it sounds like

I’ve been thinking about Lady Mondegreen again this week. And also about music lessons, elocution, and other after-school classes from my childhood.

When I was a little girl, like so many little girls of my generation I wanted to be a ballerina. My best friend at school had ballet lessons but, for some reason, my parents decided to send me to piano lessons, instead.
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