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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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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