NaNoWriMo and the art to responding to a brief

Asked last week to write about NaNowriMo by The Conversation, I leapt at the chance to talk about this great worldwide (is it too emphatic a word?) phenomenon. Didn’t have long to do it, so it was a busy few days already scheduled to the rim. But, it’s a brief, I’ve been asked to write –Continue reading “NaNoWriMo and the art to responding to a brief”

Ways in to Writing Imaginatively

Suddenly I’m spending time with teens, but they’re not my own two, and I’m talking about writing. Working with the year 12s this past month, and my usual third year university students, I’ve seen close-up what the soon-to-be school leavers will emerge into, just 3 years later when they’re in their early 20s. Bright, withContinue reading “Ways in to Writing Imaginatively”

Anna Karenina: not too many parties

I said in my last blog that I’d be writing about writing parties and meetings, and with the new Anna Karenina film soon out, along with Baz Lurhmann’s adaptation of The Great Gatsby, I decided to take another look at Anna Karenina, before returning to the very great Gatsby. It takes a good deal longerContinue reading “Anna Karenina: not too many parties”

It’s the season for parties

Ebb and flow, emotional highs and lows, focus and implication, dialogue and gesture, a drawn-out event, the management of multiple characters, viewpoints and a plurality of names and faces: these are the elements that challenge. And this is the season for them: parties, dinners, and gatherings of friends and family in parks for music andContinue reading “It’s the season for parties”

Dog Bite (a noun and a verb exercise)

The naming words and the doing words are where all the action is in prose. Look what happened when Blackmore brought the dog-noun and the bite-verb together: savagery.  I love Blackmore’s poem for so many reasons, but today I want to read it in terms of nouns and verbs. ‘Dog Bite’, Elizabeth Blackmore my dogContinue reading “Dog Bite (a noun and a verb exercise)”

Nouns and Verbs

I was woken by a pair of Noisy Minor birds. Earlier that night, I had been reading an article by Andrew O’Hagan about nouns, specifically the nouns for alcohol used by Ernest Hemingway: Vermouth, white capri, whiskey, Asti, grappa, cognac, brandy, martini, barbera, champagne, Munich beer, Glühwien, marsala, chianti, occasionally even plain ‘beer’. ‘Hemingway,’ saysContinue reading “Nouns and Verbs”