Yesterday I talked about choosing what to read at a Live Lit event. There are hundreds of pieces of writing to choose from in my files, and such decisions are made even more difficult by the fact that some pieces exist in several different forms.
Not only is there an almost infinite chain of drafts and re-drafts preserved from the writing process – and all too often not properly labelled, so I end up wondering which is meant to be the final version; there are also versions resulting from adjustments made to what I thought was a polished piece, when I need to cut a few lines or words so it complies with competition rules, or adjust the length to suit the time allotted for a reading slot. And, as I showed with yesterday’s fairy tale, the same idea may occasionally be shaped into different final forms such as a short story and a poem.
At times, then, even when an open mike event has a specific theme, the options are numerous and decisions are difficult. Which is probably why my attention was caught by the sign in supermarket the other day.
After giving it some though, I reckon a world “free from choice” might be simpler, but I don’t think I’d like it very much.
I mentioned recently that I sometimes need to ‘top up’ my supply of words by reading voraciously just about anything I can get my hands on. It doesn’t have to be anything of any great literary value; indeed, I think what I’m really looking for is not so much words as such, it’s colloquial and fluent usage and phrasing that can perhaps be repurposed so that not all the clients I work for in a particular sector end up with the same wording on their websites and marketing collateral.
Since then, I’ve been wondering generally about vocabulary knowledge and learning: how many words do we know? Do adults continue to learn new words and, if so, how many? Continue reading “words and birds”
When I don’t know what to write, I usually find a picture to post. So, not having got up early enough this morning to take any worthwhile pictures of the first snowfall of the season, I went browsing through recent photos and came across this image taken a few weeks ago at the re-vamped New Street Station, Birmingham. At the time I was struck by how inappropriately labelled the area was. The sign says “Yellow Lounge”, and yet there is very little yellow in view and it looks nothing like I would expect a lounge to look. Continue reading “passing time”
The first good reason for visiting her more often is that she is really quite elderly, having celebrated her 90th birthday earlier this year. The second, far more selfish reason, is that I always find ideas when I do visit. Not necessarily ideas for poems, and not necessarily useful ideas, but usually there are oddities and slantwise perspectives that amuse me.
Today I have been hearing a faint alarm sound every 30 seconds or so; I knew it wasn’t the foghorns on the estuary – not least because it has been a gloriously sunny day – and it didn’t seem to be a phone or an alarm clock. When I asked if she had any idea what it might be, my mother denied all knowledge. Eventually, though, we managed to work it out. It’s her new “solar mole repeller”.