November 2015
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As we get older, and our time without commitments becomes less, we find that we have to pick and choose. No longer can you pop off to London on a gig whim. You have to plan, you have to make arrangements, you have to work out how late you can stay.

So yeah, . . . → Read More: Special:


Back in the day, I never used to pre-order records. It was all about the ceremony (in my head, anyway) of popping down town on the date of release – finding the store that had the record, getting back home and playing it. To me, it was a big deal.

Obviously, thats not . . . → Read More: Pre-release:


Hi. Me again. You may remember me from the bygone times when I used to update the blog. Well, things have been busy – you know how it is. It doesn’t mean I don’t think about you.

So, way back when, I mentioned my 3 tasks for the year.

1 – Get . . . → Read More: Update:


The original release buzz passed us by, but J watched (and rewatched) “How to Train Your Dragon” a month or two back, and since then he has gone dragon crazy. Obviously, with the release of the sequel this summer, we were going to be taking him to see the new one, but we hadn’t . . . → Read More: Toothless:


One of the things that we don’t talk about here is the feckless administration in charge of the Northampton Borough Council. We had a disastrous Lib Dem administration leading up to 2011, when they were replaced with a Conservative administration that promised to sort out all of Northampton’s issues. Shortly after the election, there . . . → Read More: Museums:


Last week’s assignment was to write a short story using prompts & character traits picked from a list. I wanted to write my story ‘For the Love of Yew’ but after 3 days of trying to wrestle it to fit the brief, I gave up and produced this instead (with a nod to Yew for good measure):

Continue reading Cheek:


And back to dialogue, my half hearted nemesis. This week I felt I warmed up a little more with dialogue. We tackled two scenarios, conversation between 2 strangers on a train and a monologue and covered some protocols about proportion of dialogue to description.

Continue reading Verbose:


The homework from the previous week’s creative writing class was about locations: ultimately to write a descriptive piece about a location with an optional extra to write a tagline plot for a list of locations. But the one trick pithy pony that lurks behind my left ear ran away with the idea of taglines…

Continue reading Pony:


I said I was going to get more involved in local politics. I did say that, didn’t I? Did I mention that this was going to be the easiest one of my goals to complete, based on the fact that last year, I did bugger all with local politics? So, all I had to . . . → Read More: Election:


Once past last week’s homework, the lesson focused on visualising/fleshing out characters and dialogue. Being utterly self centred, I’ve never written a character really, it’s just been me in a succession of good wigs and more appropriate underwear (the high instep and Lulu obsession always gives me away). So I’m in new territory here. We were given photos of people: I hated mine on sight, and a form to complete on their life & character. I inwardly rolled my eyes and went with stereotype – an old man holding a tiger cub and an oriental lady sorting pearls were given unimaginative names and scant background details.

“For our next exercise, we will write a conversation between them. Nothing but their words, no ‘he said’ or ‘she said’, etc.”.

I hate dialogue – it gets in the way of a good story (I’m really not embracing the notion of being a writer, am I?) I like my characters to flesh out detail in their thoughts or to detail an uncomfortable silence or to daydream but not actually speak. Or if they must, to speak economically…

“You have 10 minutes. Go!”

Two minutes later I had finished. Which was good as I got to quietly indulge in my fourth favourite activity…people watching.

Continue reading Dialogue: