Posts

BRAVE HEART? OR INSPIRED MIND? by Joy Margetts

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  I had the absolute thrill to be asked by Wendy H Jones to contribute a chapter to ‘Creativity Matters : Find Your Passion for Writing’ *, a wonderful new anthology that published earlier this month.   My chapter is entitled ‘Why write historical fact-based fiction?’ and it was easy for me to write enthusiastically about a genre that I have a passion for. I love history and I love fiction, so when a fiction book has a good amount of historic fact included, I enjoy it immensely. For me facts add authenticity to the setting of the story but also inevitably set me off on my own research and reading. (I particularly like checking out the author’s sources!) My debut novel was inspired by historic facts – the Cistercians choosing to build abbeys in remote and beautiful parts of Wales, the life and times of the de Braose family, and the rule of Llewellyn the Great, first Prince of all Wales. Inspiration for my historical writing comes easy as I spend much of any free time that I get visiti

Telling the Truth about Love? -- Mari Howard

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                            Peacock Butterflies Contemplate Love on White                             Buddliea   (author's photo)            Writing is a process. That’s kind of obvious: but the interesting thing about writing, (or any creative process), is the inevitable interaction between the work, and us, the creatives, as we move through that process.      Here’s a blog based on one I wrote earlier (in 2013). Paragraph 2 began: Yesterday, I completed my second editing of the draft of Baby, Baby’s follow-up: a sequel which takes Max and Jenny into the stormy waters of modern marriage, parenthood, and professional careers. I had one last scene to write, and I knew I’d been putting it off. Well, yesterday was the day after I’d completed the first draft of my latest WIP - the next book in the series... and in taking a break before plunging into first edits, I’m doing some desktop tidying-up, and found this.      Working through the draft, there’ll be alterations to make, to brin

The Healing Power of Trees - Katherine Roberts

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When I was recovering from the dreaded lurgy last year, about the only place I could breathe properly was in our local woods beside the stream. I could barely walk up the slightest gradient in town, and cycling was only possible very slowly on the flat. But I'd stagger as far as the woods on my bike, push it a short way off the path, and sit among the bluebells surrounded by green leaves and mossy tree trunks. Before I left, I would hug a tree in thanks for the comfort and healing they'd given me that day. Unintentionally, I was doing what now has an official name in Japan - Shinrin-yoku,  or "forest bathing" .  During lockdown, it seems many more people discovered the benefits of a woodland walk, and there is now scientific research to back up what we instinctively feel. Being among trees has been shown to lower blood pressure, slow the pulse rate, and help stabilise blood sugar. It can also boost self-esteem, reduce negative emotions, and benefit children with ADHD.

A memory of Greenham by Sandra Horn

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Recently, my daughter sent me the link to an article about the women of Greenham. I had never camped there, but had visited a few times for demonstrations and to show solidarity. I had three small children at the time and a husband working somewhat more than full-time, and would not have dreamed of leaving them. I remember an elderly Friend saying words to the effect that clean clothes and brushing teeth wouldn’t matter when the bomb went off. True, but until then, the small mundanities of life must go on, I thought. There were women at the camp who had left families behind; there was also some talk of women who had fled unhappy relationships. I don’t know about that. I just know that they were all much braver then I was, to uproot themselves and live in challenging (to say the least of it) conditions in order to bear witness to the evil of the base and protest against it loudly, disruptively and consistently. I honour them. I have one caveat: a young father took his children to the

Fiction or Non-Fiction by Allison Symes

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Image Credit:  Images created in Book Brush using Pixabay photos. I love reading and writing non-fiction but I came to the latter relatively recently. It was a result of discovering the joys of writing for an online magazine, Chandler’s Ford Today , I dipped my literary toes into the wonderful world of factual writing.  I’ve recently had the joy of being published in print for the first time in non-fiction with my chapter Why Write Flash Fiction and Short Stories in Creativity Matters: Find Your Passion for Writing , which has been compiled and edited by Wendy H Jones of this parish. So another reason to love non-fiction then. I hope to develop my non-fiction “string” to my writing “bow” further. My first love though is fiction (and especially humour, fairytales, fantasy etc) and it always will be. I also became a published author in that form long before anything of mine appeared in non-fiction. But is non-fiction still considered the poor relation to fiction? If it is, I don’t thi

Landscape notes, by Elizabeth Kay

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 Setting is one of those things that is really important, and it can be the starting point for a plot. I have found the photographs I have taken on my travels to be particularly important, as they evoke memories. Extreme landscapes are the best, and in this post I’ll concentrate on ones without people. Next month I’ll do cities. The emptiest landscapes – other than being at sea – are deserts. My first experience of desert was when I was eighteen, and I went to Morocco. In those days it was not a tourist destination at all, and I was captivated by the open spaces and the feeling of freedom it gave me. I grew up in North London, before we moved to Surrey when I was ten, and my earliest memories are grey; concrete, fog, smoke, post-war austerity. I hated it. Ever since, I have sought out landscapes with no obvious trace of human interference. I have experienced deserts in Tunisia, Egypt, Mongolia… and they have all been different.   Cold is as atmospheric as heat, and my holiday to I

National Days and Book Marketing by Wendy H. Jones

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As I write this, it is National Cozy Mystery Day, so social media is awash with Cozy Mysteries, which I have found a great deal of fun. As I was noodling over what to write for this months' blog post it got me thinking how we can use any National Day to market our books. There are a veritable fest of national days to choose from on any given day but I thought I would issue a fun challenge to you. Below, I have chosen two for each day of October. The challenge is to use one of them to market your book(s) for the 31 days of October. This is a follow on from last month's  blog post when I talked about a challenge that others had set up and why I felt they were a good idea. So, here is my challenge and my my thirty-one choices: 1st      World Smile Day     National Hair Day 2nd     National Name Your Car Day     National Custodial Workers Day 3rd     National Techies day     National Boyfriend Day 4th     National Taco Day     National Vodka Day 5th    National Get Funky Day     N