Saturday, 31 December 2011

Happy New Year

The Monitor's Mission

Writers Talkback One Word Challenge - "Scarlet"

Akram is jostled in the crowd, struggling to push his head up between the knees and elbows that are digging into his small body. He is almost deafened by the sounds of angry voices chanting and car horns signalling their discontent. He grasps the hand of his older brother, desperately clinging on. He knows he must not let go.
The crowd surges and Akram's five year old feet are lifted off the ground as they move forward, nearer to the group with the white peaked caps.
Akram's brother will be in deep trouble with Mama if she finds out he is here. In the past few months since the troubles got worse she has forbidden them to go to Friday prayers at the Ummayad Mosque in the city and they  have stayed indoors much more than usual. But she won't find out - not yet.

Tricolours of scarlet, whiter and black with two green stars in the centre, wave above the heads of the people as shots are fired. Akram's limp, now lifeless body is lifted bleeding onto the bonnet of a car of the Arab League observers,Another innocent, martyred in the  name of united democracy.

196 words

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Christmas Post

Watched The Grumpy Guide to Christmas last night - amusing, if not predictable.
All those so called celebs telling us how much they hate Christmas, but obviously revelling in the revenue that moaning about it brings by talking about it on TV. As Ozzy Osbourne said "When I was a practising alcoholic it was the best time of the year, but when you don't drink it's just another day".
They also talked about sending (or not sending) cards at Christmas and how you always get one from someone who you have never heard of. Me, cynical as ever, thought - that never really happens, it's just you have forgotten or something.
But, another one of those coincidences that aren't  really coincidences happened this morning.
I received a Christmas card through the post this morning... from someone I've never heard of. 
                                                                   Or maybe forgotten. 
I don't recognise the handwriting and I have scrutinised the postmark, which only tells me that it has gone through the Sheffield Mail Centre, yesterday.
So, to whoever sent the card, thankyou for thinking of me. I wish you best wishes for Christmas and the New Year, too. And I haven't really forgotten you, just your details are awaiting process somewhere in my memory.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Poetry 'n Motion

In case anyone missed it on Tuesday 29th November via almost every social networking site available  -
I  won a competition.
At risk of being repeatetive, the competition involved Vintage Inns, Sir Andrew Motion as judge, and one line of poetry.
I have graciously accepted and enjoyed the dining out part of the prize (at the Boat Inn, Sprotbrough) and am now waiting for the other parts - a framed copy of the poem and a signed copy of Andrew Motion's latest collection of poems "The Cinder Path".

Now, I have to admit that apart from knowing he was poet laureate at some time in the past, that was about all I knew of Andrew Motion. My main studying time of poetry was, of  course, before the days of Google at the sweep of a thumb and the click of a button. That's my excuse anyway, but I did feel obliged to read up a bit about the man responsible for my latest 'literary prize'. As coincidence/luck/fate or whatever would have it, a few days after the competition I came across Andrew Motion's 'In the Blood - A memoir of my childhood', in Poundland. Always one to splash out, I bought it without hesitation ... and am glad I did. The story is a detailed and beautifully written account of his family and the countryside he grew up in and a tribute to his mother.
And so I am inspired yet again to record my own musings and memories. If I make it to the shelves of the pound shop, I will be in eminent company and more than pleased.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

The Best Christmas

It did cross my mind not to write a blog about Christmas - before, during or after the event. Which ever way I talk about it I know that I will appear either 'holier than thou' or scrooge- like. I will certainly seem hypocritical. 
However, I have buckled under the weight of my thoughts - which apparently are not so dis-similar to those of many others at this time. 
There's nothing new in feeling a bit pressured at this time of year. Most of us want our family and friends to have the best possible...  everything. 
Best tree. best decorations, best lights, best food and drink, best time together and most of all best presents. Whether this 'best' is  for ourselves or for what others think of us is something that's a bit too uncomfortable to think of. I hold my hands up here - I reckon I'm a pretty good contender for the top prize in this game.

I want my family and friends to have THE BEST, be it mince pie, cracker or party, while talking about peace and harmony and good will to all. I think I have sorted out the difference between wants and needs and believe that I need them to have the best. 

But really what I know would be the best would be to spend time with people who mean something to me (and me to them) without the pressure of "is everyone happy?" when obviously what makes them happy is for me to be happy.

Not difficult is it ? It's not even a case of beliefs or tradition. We can all manipulate those terms to suit our mood, if we want to.
So ...
may your Christmas be merry, happy, joyful, peaceful, or whatever adjective you wish to put with it. 
I will try to make mine "the best" for all concerned.

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Newspaper Blackout

Only six hours left to make an entry in the Writers Online monthly One Word Challenge and I am struggling to produce a poem based around the word 'putrid'. The 200 word story was difficult enough but this seems to be beyond me. ( I have less than 6 hours left really, because I won't be able to stay awake till anywhere near the deadline of midnight tonight)

But then I just happen across the headline in today's news that Alastair Campbell has used the word today at the Leveson inquiry. Then, by luck, fate, chance or coincidence, my wandering mind also rests on the website of  Newspaper Blackout
Problem solved. Wonder what anyone makes of it.

(ironically this is the perfect time to use the highlighted text which I have been trying to lose for the past few posts !) |

Newspaper Blackout Poem

Take one newspaper,
Cross out words. 

Leave only those you like,
and soon you’ll have a poem,
they said.

Created from
running puddles of text 
still visible.
what others declare dead. 
enigmatic ransom notes,
funny and zen-like, 
collages of found art.

Reclaimed Reformed

from a 
putrid press industry.

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

That's my line - all seven words of it

Well, I've told everyone and anyone that I can think of about this so I ought to write it here as well. 
I HAVE WON a  competition  BY WRITING ONE LINE !
I've never quite had the opportunity to say "less is more" but I think in this case I can.

Here's part of the "press release" (yeah, you did read that correctly ... ! )

"Brenda co-authored an eight-line poem inspired by Sir Andrew’s work on Vintage Inns’ latest press campaign, which honours the Great British rural pub. He has been judging the best line submitted each week, so they can be added to gradually complete the verse.

When Brenda entered, the competition stood at six lines completed:

The muted brilliance of autumn leaves
The wind’s deep voice soft-tickling the trees.
The parting notes of swallows’ cresting calls
As dappled sunlight fades and evening falls.
The bonfires’ tongues call to the dying sun
Bright harvest moon ascends, her reign begun.

And Brenda’s suggestion for the next one – chosen by Sir Andrew over hundreds of entries from all over the country – is: Then glittering starlight sprawls across the sky 
 Brenda will receive a framed copy of the eventual eight-line poem, plus a meal for four with wine at her chosen Vintage Inn, but also a signed copy of Sir Andrew’s latest collection of poems, The Cinder Path, which has been shortlisted for The Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry. "

I am, needless to say, chuffed to bits. 
Thanks Vintage Inns
I am inspired to write further - maybe eight,nine or even ten words next time.

(Read more of me promoting myself on Facebook )

Monday, 28 November 2011

'Mega Monday' is here !

I'm not one for quoting statistics, mainly because my memory is so bad I forget the figures in between reading them and writing them down. But I thought a few numbers might wake me up a bit this morning, so sit up and pay attention !

Today is "Mega Monday"  according to the media  and estimates are that there will 3,300 purchases a minute online.
High street shops are struggling with sales down by 2.1%
25% of all our Christmas shopping will be online up 16% from last year
12% of online sales will be made on a smartphone
1 in 3, that's 11 million will use the computer at work to online shop.

Does this mean we prefer shopping online to going to the shops ? Not really, is the apparent response - it depends who we are and where we are and what mood we are in that day.

This sounds about right to me. I went shopping on Saturday and am still feeling that if the only shop I walk into again is our corner shop, then that's fine by me.
I'll probably feel differently on another day but for now I'll stick to browsing online.
But not today.
I don't want to cause internet chaos by taking 3 hours to decide whether to buy an individual Christmas pudding or a large one that can sit in the cupboard till next year as no one here likes it except me ... ...

Happy shopping !

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Keeping an eye on things

This is probably old news to many people, but it's new to me, very interesting, amazing, almost unbelievable and more than a little disturbing. 

Scientists have developed a prototype contact lens which can generate info-vision – the ability to stream information across a person’s field of vision. 
"Do what ?"  I hear you asking. I said the same to myself.
Soon we could be sending and receiving texts and emails, catching up with the latest news and generally social networking without even logging on to a computer or phone.
Images and messages will just appear in front of your eyes. It will one day be able to show directions and TV programmes. 
Yes, honestly.
Just imagine, you might never need that old fashioned Sat Nav ever again and you could watch Corrie and Enders while you are driving too. Get rid of that ancient Sky HD recording thingy that you just got installed. 
After blogging about my new phone just the other day, it seems a little 'previous' to be now talking about doing all the things I have not yet got to grips with in a blink of the eye - literally. I know there are many things that my poor brain can't fathom, but just the concept of this is quite scary to me. The next stage in this ever 'advancing' technology might be to connect our thoughts to this information stream. I find it difficult enough to keep my mouth under control, never mind my thoughts, so I dread to think of the consequences.

Within weeks  a number of people in Britain are to be implanted with a tiny device in their retina which, if successful could be on the market by 2013.It stimulates nerves in the retina which pass signals down the optic nerve to the brain to turn into an image.Robert MacLaren, the surgeon who will lead part of the  trial warned that 'the surgery is still experimental and the device does not work in all cases.'  Well, it's been tested on rabbits and squirrels so far, so that's reassuring.

I'm all for improving things for health reasons and education is by it's nature an ever evolving concept, but I am sure I am not alone in feeling wary of some of this. Or maybe I am just showing Luddite tendencies,  or whatever today's equivalent may be.

Monday, 21 November 2011

"Homeland"- 200 words

 Stars flickered in a sky not yet diminished by electric light. The USA was twelve years old and ended at the Mississippi River. The camp, near the town now called Salmon, was fragrant with cedar needles smouldering on a fire when I was born into the Agaidika tribe. 

They named me Sacajawea and taught me to hunt and trap in the forests and fish in the streams. I skinned deer to make soft leather for clothing. I painted the partings in my hair with red clay, a symbol of peace. I learned early and worked hard for survival.
Captured by horsemen trading with the white men, I was taken from my tribe. Sold, I became the wife of Charbonneau and the mother of Jean Baptiste.
More men came, with strange looking boats and wearing uniforms. They built a place they called Fort Mandan. I was useful for the skills I had learned from my tribe, so I went with them to what they thought was unexplored territory and reached my homeland where my family was killed five years before. 

I died of putrid fever in St Louis, but my spirit soars still, above the Lemhi Valley of my birth.

(One Word Challenge entry for Writers Online )

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Managing Wants, Needs and Time - can you do it ?

I've done it now. 
After being the owner of a variety of mobile phones over the years, which have met their demise by being stolen, lost, put in the washing machine, dropped in the bath and down the toilet, I was sure I was perfectly happy with the basic one that I've been using this past year. 
It has the basics - phone calls (why else would I need a phone ?) texts and even has a reasonable camera. But I've got a camera for taking photos, a camcorder for video, a notebook computer  which does everything I can think of that a computer does, and a laptop for when I need a bigger screen and keyboard.  Why would I need a Samsung Galaxy ? Aren't I just being too materialistic, something that I am quite averse to - usually ?

Well, I think this situation is a bit like when I had a twin tub washing machine years ago when my children were babies. I could do whole loads of washing (including towelling nappies !) in that twin tub, in a couple of hours. What was so good about an automatic one ? I didn't need one. Obviously I found out when I got one. It was the same with a dryer. And central heating. And electric and gas and so on ... and presumably with the wheel.

A year ago I blogged about Twitter on To - witter or not. Now I think about it differently and can see it's power and influence throughout society - 'Arab Spring', NOTW, last summer's riots and so on. Changes and progression in technology are constantly impacting on us as time-saving gadgets and machinery affect us all, even though  time can't be "saved" as such  (I think, unless someone has found out differently) 
We have to differentiate between 'wants' and 'needs', individually and globally and prioritise work and leisure with family and friends and ourselves. We may even find that we have extra time that we didn't know was there.  That's time management.

John Rowles sings "If I only had time"         

Monday, 14 November 2011

The Blogathon Challenge

A colleague at Writers Online Talkback has set a challenge for those of us who need a bit of a push sometimes, to get on with the task in hand and also to give other bloggers the promotion they deserve.
Always up for a challenge (!!??) I have decided to take part.
I am of course, later than I intended in posting this, so don't worry dear reader, this post is going to be short.
So ...
Thanks to  Patsy Collinsfor the idea and the challenge. I am sure we will all rise to the challenge, and some of us may even complete it.

Next post coming up soon. In the meantime, take a look at The Blogathon Challenge in action.

The Blogathon Challenge

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Testing...testing ...

Well, seems I have well and truly messed up with the background colours and goodness knows what on the layout of this blog. Unintentionally and unknowingly of course.
This is therefore a test (similar to the numerous pieces of paper I have with TEST printed on them when trying to sort out the printer) to see if I have managed to put it back to what it was.
Many thanks to all on Writers Talkback for your advice - gratefully received. Not sure whether I have interpreted it correctly though.

So, I'll now press the button ... ...

Friday, 4 November 2011

One thing leads to another, even when stationary

Not been on here for over a whole 2 months but seem to be in writing action mode past couple of days so am making the most of it.

A discussion on Writers Talkback about a member's 10yr old daughter writing some very perceptive thoughts on existance, has made me remember my Big Plan for The Environment. This must surely be a case of the time being right for it to see daylight and be brought to the attention of those that ought to know.
So here it is.
My plan is to have one large motorway type construction running length ways through the whole of the country north/south and another couple going east/west.
The road itself will be a conveyor belt system which cars get onto and park until they get to the point where they can drive off onto the other conveyor belt and park till they are nearer their destination. A bit like a ring road only not necessarily a ring and a moveable belt as opposed to the cars themselves moving. The belt would be powered by waste cooking oil or wind power or maybe even water power on the more coastal routes.
I have not come across any negatives to this invention myself, so far !

I hope to produce an artist's impression of the system, just as soon as I can get the artist to do it. Then I sit back and wait for the offers from Dept of Transport etc to come in .

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Human - Visible

I am the place where light can not reach.
Obstructed by opaqueness 
I occupy all of the space behind.

A reverse projection 
A cross section
A two dimensional silhouette

At certain times, at certain heights
I appear to change and grow,
though appearances can be misconstrued.
I am human – visible.

And in the right conditions Venus I employ,
to join the sun and moon in casting my creation.
Yet no one says who or what else sees me. 
Unattended I am ghostlike,
a representation of a presence,
unnerving the sciophobe.

Monday, 25 July 2011

Happy Birthday to me 2011

Another birthday.
So far, I have resisted the urge to look at what I posted on here this time last year. Not for any other reason except that I'm hoping it was not maudlin thoughts about getting older or being too thankful for what I have that it sounds pretentious (of course just using the word 'pretentious' sounds pretentious anyway )

Have had good wishes from all the people who are most important in my life and however it sounds, that is the most important thing to me. (Am making no excuses for repetition of words today - it's an age thing.) The dogs had to be told, but they are definately excused as, if I remember correctly, I only wished them both happy birthday after the event )

So Happy Birthday to me and anyone else who's birthday it is today and a 'happy day' wherever possible to everyone else. 

Little food for thought courtesy of my mother this morning :
Add the last 2 digits of your birth year to the age you are this year .
The answer is always 111.
No idea why- it just is.

Not telling you how old I am today, but I was born in 1957. Do the Maths !

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Just another unreliable newspaper

As the House of Commons debates the phone hacking scandal and the conduct of newspapers, July’s issue of MaltbyNews is in circulation.(I hesitate to say “delivered to every house in Maltby as it proclaims, as it’s rather a hit and miss affair).
Amidst the national discussion on the reliability of the press and the infringement of liberties of the public, Maltby News’ editor Kevin Hall has chosen again to disregard his so called policy of giving the”right to reply’. Rather than respond in his ‘newspaper’ to the libellous comments and untruths that he has previously published he has produced an issue with neither “Letters to the Editor”, an  editorial comment nor the name(s) of the journalists’ who have written the copy.
The ‘Events Calendar’ notes the Local Development Framework  Public Consultation dates for Bramley and Wickersley but omits Maltby. Two Maltby Town Council News Pages (at a cost of £300) have a competition entry form with last year’s date on. If it wasn’t for the advertising by local businesses (at whatever the charge) and the ‘wrap around’ by Maltby Academy (ditto the charge) then a more cynical person than myself might conclude that Kevin Hall prints in Maltby News what is in HIS interest and not that of the Maltby community.

Monday, 11 July 2011

Write-Place Blog Spot: A change is as good as a blog post

Write-Place Blog Spot: A change is as good as a blog post: "Time for a change of picture of me on here. Surprised myself today by realising that it's 2 years, 11 months and 2 weeks since that last one..."

A change is as good as a blog post

Time for a change of picture of me on here. Surprised myself today by realising that it's 2 years, 11 months and 2 weeks since that last one was taken (yes, well spotted - my birthday in 2 weeks time) How time flies by these days. Over a month since I posted here though I have been blogging at maltbyblogger and at Rotherham Politics so haven't really been silent at all !
The idea was that I write the political type stuff under a separate name and keep Write-Place blogspot for literary/writing  related things . It hasn't quite worked like that though and the 'unpolitical writing' side of things have been neglected. 
So lucky reader, I am now back at the right place at the write-place and this blog may even get a blast of updating of political thinking too. 
Bet you can't wait.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Justice for the common man ... and woman

There's been much in the media recently of injunctions and privacy laws. The PM has said the law should be reviewed to "catch up with how people consume media today" and that  it's unfair that newspapers couldn't name individuals whose identity was being widely circulated on the internet. Twitter and Facebook, emailing and blogging is a major part of daily life for most of us - well, you wouldn't be reading this now if that wasn't the case.
I know from personal experience that views and perspectives that the public take from the media are not always the full story. Newspaper reports are often taken as ‘gospel’ and our local newspapers in particular have a duty to represent all views and rectify false accusations. Once something is written it becomes fact for some people and no amount of further evidence will change their views.

Over the past 18 months there have been many instances of defamation and libel against me and my friend on the letters pages of MaltbyNews paper and those responsible continue to send malicious and libellous emails, cc’ing numerous people into them including Maltby News, The Rotherham Advertiser and the Worksop and Dinnington Guardian. It is not a surprise that our letters about this issue do not get printed anymore as the malicious damage has already been done by the perpetrators.
Kevin Hall, editor of Maltby News is not a member of the group covered by the press complaints commission and so there is no course of action that can be taken apart from a civil one, which obviously is beyond the means of the general public. The police are currently investigating, but as per the Chris Read case in Rotherham, no doubt someone will discuss it with their line manager and come to the conclusion that there ‘is no case to answer’.
It is only by the honesty and openness of everyone, including the media that ordinary folk like me can have the truth told. I'm not a celebrity and don't want to be one. But justice is for everyone, regardless of finances or status.

Thursday, 12 May 2011

May I have your attention ?

Typical isn't it ...
I had a post for this blog all composed in my head and then when I set down to write I got a "Blogger is not in use at the moment" message.
By the time that I had browsed every other Google blog that I follow - and some that I don't - to see if it was a problem unique to me or if it was affecting others, I had sort of forgotten what I intended posting.

However, as I have recently read about easily distracted people having too much brain

I am not too concerned about my memory lapses, at the moment.

So, back to The New Scientist. Maybe some further insights into the fact that I have recently gained weight -it's not fat at or big bones at all, it's the extra grey matter.

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Thought Experiment & Diving for Pearls

Recently read Julian Baggini's "The Ego Trick". 
A brilliant book which looks at the nature of self in an entertaining and comprehensive, easily understandable way.

Definately recommended for anyone interested in exploring what it means to be 'you'.
Read and enjoy below, then buy the book.

Has inspired the following from me (200 words or less and short poem on theme of 'glass'.

Thought Experiment
Imagine yourself as created
all at once, yet perfect and whole.
But your sight has been veiled from the external.
Do your feelings then come from the soul?
As you fall without any resistance
through the void. Each body part separate, untouched.
Then reflect in the glass of experience
and affirm the existence of self.

Ref: “Floating Man” – Avicenna 
cited in "The Ego Trick" Julian Baggini

Diving for Pearls
What you see is what you get.
That’s what I used to tell people, but lately that’s not quite true. It’s seems that there are elements of myself that cannot be seen but are certainly there and almost conscious, almost tangible, but not quite.
I recount my memories and they write down my stories though I don’t really remember some of the events that I recall. They seem pleased when I describe certain things and it’s easier to go along with them than question it. It’s not my problem that they need to search for who I am.
The looking glass has always been my confirmation of that.
So I talk their language and I take their pills and now when I see more than one reflection in the mirror, it is no longer a contradiction but a truth.
They say it’s DID - Disassociate Identity Disorder.
I say, it’s only me.
I am multi-faceted. I know now that I am more than a clichéd thought, because there’s more to me than meets the eye.

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Do you know who is standing to represent you ?

With May 5th rapidly approaching, it's difficult to know where to start in debating the issues that Maltby Town Council have had over the past four years since the elections in 2007.
To keep up to date via blogging became an almost 24/7 task, especially during 2008/2009 (Read here ) so I hope that now looking at things in retrospect, we can gain a better understanding of what we can expect from our elected members in the future.
So, Maltby's candidates for Rotherham Borough Council, 2011 :
Michael Burke (BNP), Michael Conlon,  Christine Beaumont (Labour), Derek Johnson (Conservative), John Kirk (Independent).
Michael Burke was in 2010 hoping to follow fellow BNP member Will Blair, who was elected to RMBC in 2008. Last year he said he'd been getting a good reaction from people and had been asked for more leaflets. In The Dinnington Guardian he says that "People everywhere are concerned about immigration" I have never seen Mr Burke at a Maltby Town Council meeting, which to me is a gauge on whether there is an interest in the town itself. I didn't get a leaflet on behalf of him at the last elections and and so far haven't had one this year either. I feel that a little more than a concern about immigration is needed to develop Maltby's community. 
Michael Conlon 
Apparently independent, though he has reserved his right to not state on the ballot papers what he represents, leaving me (and I am sure many others) wondering about his real intent. Has attended one MTC meeting last year and one meeting of the unanswerable to the public 'Maltby Forum' group where he announced a stream of mis information. He writes abusive language on his Facebook pages and makes false accusations and threats about members of the public. His brother signed his nomination papers yet claims he didn't know Michael was standing for Borough Council. No campaign leaflet through my door as yet.
Christine Beaumont 
Has lived and worked in Maltby most of her life and is governor at 2 Maltby schools. She has served two terms on Maltby Town Council and has always been active in the community. She attends MTC meetings regularly and other local events. She is standing for town council as well as RMBC. Have had two campaign leaflets about Mrs Beaumont.
Derek Johnson
Mr Johnson has I understand, stood for election to RMBC since 2007. Unfortunately this is all I know of him. I've  never received any literature from him and haven't seen his name mentioned anywhere else except on the candidate papers. 

John Kirk 
 The current recently elected Chair of Maltby Town Council after the last chairperson Cllr Karen Usher didn't attend council meetings for more than six months.
Mr Kirk has served on MTC for a number of years and is active in the Maltby community. Haven't see any campaign leaflets for his election to RMBC, as yet.
And there we have it. Five candidates standing to represent Maltby on RMBC, yet only two of them appearing to have Maltby's interests at heart.
Opinions and views highly welcome before election day.



Thursday, 24 March 2011

Tuned In

A short stay in hospital last week made me “Media Free” for a few days – physically and mentally as well as practically – so I feel like I am on catch up with life. I have no chance (or need) of being completely up to date with International or national events, though I try, to a certain extent.

Things are happening, both natural and man-made, around us and across the world that are having and will have a major impact on our lives and on our children’s lives an it is not alarmist to be aware of this.

I have read that there is no more “bad news” than there ever was, in proportion with the population. There aren’t any more murders, rapes and robberies than in times gone by and it only appears to be so because of our access to so much information, instantly. Earthquakes, tsunamis, wars and unrest have been going on since time began but now we document so much evidence, as it is happening. We watch unfolding events thousands of miles away from us, without moving an inch from the armchair. Detailed information on every aspect of every event is relayed to us at such speed via internet, satellite and mobile phones that papers have missed the ever breaking news as soon as they go to press.

I often bemoan the fact that I am on information overload and that the amount of networking and communicating I do isn’t necessary. But it is after all, a choice. We can either read, watch and listen or stay untuned to the events in the world that we think don’t concern us.

I prefer to stay tuned in.

Much of what is happening especially worldwide, is beyond the control of individuals, but “every little helps” as it’s said. The more information I have about others’ lives, the more I appreciate my own. Globalisation is here and global knowledge is life enhancing for us all, whether we realise it or not at the time.

In this, no amount of information can be too much.

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Creative Cafe Project - Cafe Lit

May I  introduce to readers of this blog ...   The Creative Cafe Project                           

the idea of Gill James, children's writer and university lecturer. The Creative Cafe is a network of cafés where artists,  writers and musicians are welcome and where ordinary coffee lovers know that they will be able to experience something a little different as they sip their brew. It is already happening  in a number of towns and aims to create and expand Creative Cafés nationally. A perfect way to develop arts in the community, no matter how big or small the venture becomes.

Please take a look  here  and also at 

I challenge anyone who enjoys music, poetry, literature and art NOT to be inspired by this "vision". 
Is there a Creative Cafe near you ? There isn't one very near to me  - but hopefully there soon will be.

Monday, 28 February 2011

The Second Person

Most books are written in first person I, or third person he/she/it. I have read that only the most creative and experimental write in second person - the "you" point of view. 
So with this in mind (she says) I am reworking a story into second person as I also understand that it is the least used point of view in fiction, and there's nothing like experimental to get the brain cells moving.

Second person requires the reader not only to step into the head of the protagonist, but into his very shoes. 
The writer has to become at one with the reader and convince the reader that the events are happening to him personally and that he is seeing and experiencing these events through his own eyes. writing-in-second-person-point-of-view

It's also said that 2nd person writing can become annoying for the reader.
Good writers shouldn't have a problem with this, should they ?

Here's a couple of "off the cuff " paragraphs written this morning. I will post the other reworked story when it's complete - and if it's not too annoying. 

You probably won’t believe this because you don’t seem to know it yourself.
 Maybe you do but don’t talk about it or rather you don’t talk to me about it. 
So that’s why I have to say this because I know, and even if you think I don’t understand, I have felt what you feel and it scares me too. It's scary when your thoughts appear to have a will of their own and the world around you carries on regardless. 
That’s what we don’t have and that’s why you are afraid, as I am afraid.
For if we don’t have control, then we are nothing. 
Like this morning, and every morning since it happened. 
You are awake and you lie there in your bed and you wonder why you are trapped and encased like a mummy in a tomb where there is no light, because you don’t want to open your eyes. Then you realise that the sheets and the covers are wrapped in a tangle around your legs where you thrashed and fought in your sleep against so many evils. You muscles are stiff and taut and all that moves are your eyeballs behind the lids. You keep your eyes closed for as long as you can, trying to move first your toes and then your legs and arms, slowly remembering that you are a being in the here and now and that the terrors of the last few hours are not with you in this room.

To be continued ... perhaps


Sunday, 20 February 2011

Signing on the dotted line ... ...

When Mr Ed Miliband produced a document of blank pages called a Fresh Ideas Pamphlet for Labour supporters to suggest new policy proposals, it seemed like a good way to get views across.
Now the two Eds, Miliband and Balls, have come up with another form to fill in before shadow ministers do or say anything in public. This involves getting specific approval on the precise words they intend using, especially ones about money.

'The public has a right to expect us to adopt a responsible and thorough approach. We hope this process will support rather than hinder your work in developing a clear and ambitious agenda for a future Labour Government’, they say.

This is all well and good. There has to be a consensus of opinion in these matters so that the party are all singing from the same proverbially hymn sheet and everything is open, transparent and not misleading.Yet there is something disturbing about having all your words and actions vetted before they are put to the public. It seems to be more censorship than necessary discipline and I wonder where this will end.

Our government is renowned for bureaucracy and especially towards paperwork.
Forms have been brought in for the police, teaching, the NHS and many others, which control and restrict how these jobs are carried out. The police are kept away from the public, nurses away from patients and teachers away from vital contact with the children. One further step and we as citizens will be filling in forms about our beliefs and our morals and have vetted what we intend saying to our own families. Freedom of speech will become something from the distant past – if there ever really was free speech in this country. Maybe the census forms this year will surprise us by asking what hasn’t been asked before.

Perhaps the paperwork that Labour politicians are being asked to do will keep them busy and off the streets towards the next election. Maybe we will then have a fresh new government at both local and national levels.