november notes

From the crimson feathers of the Japanese maple to the bright eyes lurking in the hedgerows, there are so many things to see in nature’s autumnal colours.

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de-bugging procedures

At first glance, it may look as if the rather snazzy spider in the photo is lying on her back waving her legs in the air. In fact she was dangling a few inches above the kitchen counter, suspended from the ceiling by a thread. It’s probably just as well that I saw her before I put the mixing bowl down and started measuring out the flour to make scones.

She was the second spider I had to ask to leave the house this morning. I don’t suppose either of them really fancied being outside in the rain, but I decided I’d be happier if they left the premises, even if they weren’t.
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a green scream

Undecided what to post today, I had a quick look on twitter, only to find that it is International Translation Day.

It’s actually been quite a while since I did any translation and nothing came to mind immediately as suitable for posting. But I remembered a long time ago using Google Translate to find inspiration for creativity and thought I’d have a dabble and see what happens.
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decisions, decisions, decisions…

We had another Live Lit event last week. The theme was “Once upon a word” and, once again, the decision about what to read proved problematic.

Naturally, given the theme, my mind turned to stories and fairy tales; but fiction isn’t my strong suit and I don’t usually write what I would call narrative poetry.

It’s just occurred to me now that I could have told the story about little Johnny in class when the teacher is explaining the four elements of a good story:
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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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horizontal thoughts

I mentioned yesterday that I recently spent an evening sitting on a fire escape and thinking as the sun went down.

It had been a long, ridiculously hot, day and it was a relief to know that I didn’t have to walk any farther or do anything else until the next morning. The top step was quite a good vantage point and I gazed out over the town.
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l’esprit de l’escalier

Fire escapes are good places to sit on hot evenings and last weekend found me at the top of a rather attractive red and yellow metal staircase with a glass of wine by my side.

I was very tempted to break into song, but didn’t really think the neighbours would appreciate my rendition of Moon River, so instead I read my book. But it was a long summer evening and I’d already spent several hours on a train, so the light lasted well past the last page.

Reading turned to thinking.
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