Monday, 31 August 2009
What I like though are the elements of it that you can create as random. It's always easy to say that I'm not interested in certain things when the honest answer is that I don't always try them out. So the more random influences swim into my vision, the more likely I am to enlarge my interests and widen my knowledge.
Years ago I remember the jazz singer Cleo Laine saying in a radio interview that she didn't like olives but every so often she tried them again in case she'd changed her mind in the meantime.
Since she's still enthusiastic and lively at 80 her mind is definitely not closed to new influences.
Sunday, 30 August 2009
Saturday, 29 August 2009
The room I liked the best was the library. Not just because of the books most of which were collected many years ago but because it was a room I could imagine spending many hours in. It felt comfortable with window seats, which I've always wanted and never had.
New to me about the family - Alleyne Fitzherbert, diplomat and traveller took his title St Helens from the family house in Derby and Mount St Helens in America is named after him.
Thursday, 27 August 2009
Wednesday, 26 August 2009
servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has
forgotten the gift."
Tuesday, 25 August 2009
Monday, 24 August 2009
Sunday, 23 August 2009
Saturday, 22 August 2009
they really want to be...whether they'll admit that or not."
Friday, 21 August 2009
Thursday, 20 August 2009
It's an acronym they chose for the group after someone pointed out that the words for 'Poet,' for 'Essayist,' and for 'Novelist' in most European languages have the same initial letter (P-E-N).
'In time of division between countries, International PEN is one of the rare institutions to keep a bridge constantly open' Mario Vargas Llosa
Wednesday, 19 August 2009
and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones
which open for us."
~Alexander Graham Bell
Tuesday, 18 August 2009
Monday, 17 August 2009
A trip to Shrewsbury on Saturday (Flower Show and a look at the town) produced 3 that I saw, apart from the usual book chains.
And a bus trip to Buxton last week took me past the shop that calls itself the biggest bookshop in Derbyshire. www.bookstore-derbyshire.co.uk/
Sunday, 16 August 2009
Wednesday, 12 August 2009
Tuesday, 11 August 2009
Because of the challenges her clients have faced in producing words to go on their websites, Kirsty has prodded me into producing this No Nonsense Guide.
What it contains:
- An easy 1,2,3 step method of thinking what you need to write to attract visitors.
- A structured way of writing text that will work not only for your website but also for other forms of online and offline communication with your clients.
- Strategies and tips to help you at each stage of the process that takes you from no words to ones that speak to your clients about what you can achieve for them.
The No Nonsense Guide to Effective Writing for the Web is a basic guide that takes all the fear out of writing for you.
Whether you're a beginner who doesn't know where to begin, or a more experienced writer who's got stuck, this book will move you on to writing effective and results driven words.
For more information go to INSERT WEBSITE ADDRESS
Monday, 10 August 2009
I've just read Rachel Ray - the story of a girl falling in love and sticking to her love despite opposition and the possible desertion by her lover. When they showed all the Palliser Series on television I raced through the books because I found them enthralling... and with regard to the political shenanigans, not much different from today's politicians.
Thinking about this blog I found a great site run by the Trollope Society. www.anthonytrollope.com
What astounded me even before I wrote for a living was how disciplined Trollope was, writing for 3 hours before breakfast and going to work and completing all his books while working for the Post Office. That's definitely a rebuke to all would be writers who can't or won't find the time to write.
Sunday, 9 August 2009
Saturday, 8 August 2009
Friday, 7 August 2009
Thursday, 6 August 2009
Wednesday, 5 August 2009
Like Jane Austen though, he found enough in the events of daily life to construct stories about real people. People who cared, hurt and resolved the situations they found themselves in. His novels were always so well constructed though never tied up in neat endings. Life isn't neat and people don't always behave to plan.
It's a loss to think that there are no more of his unassuming but wise books to look forward to.
Tuesday, 4 August 2009
The audience was what you might expect typically of a classical concert. Older, middle class and traditional. Behind me were a couple talking about the music now being performed at the Cadogan, which includes jazz and Rodgers and Hart. According to the woman speaking that meant that the Cadogan were 'dumbing down' to fill the place.
My instinct was to turn round and protest about Rodgers and Hart being less a work of art than the Britten quartet we listened to. Anyone who can encapsulate human emotion that captures the imagination and love of the listening public in the way Rodgers and Hart did in a 3 minute song can never be accused of 'dumbing down'.
No less than the match of the words and music in a Schubert song, a 'popular' song such as My Funny Valentine has wit, sophistication and real understanding of those quirky attributes that tie us to the ones we love.
'Dumbing down' Huh!
Monday, 3 August 2009
My first thought was 'Oh no'. How do I inject some basic commonsense into this. I'm the first to encourage anyone to have a go at writing but I know from my own efforts that the first few pieces are often derivative.
It's a natural stage to go through and none the worse for that but we do need to go on from writing like someone else to writing like ourselves. In the long term that's what will work for us and what will give us the most satisfaction. I know that if I were trying to write like somebody else, I'd never know if it my own writing that was successful, or the writer I was copying.
My advice to anyone is the same regardless of what they are writing. Look at the market and understand it to see where or how you can fit in. Unfortunately, that's how most of us will be viewed by agents and publishers.
The true original will always rise to the surface because of the power of their writing. But we need to understand the reasons for rejection and deal with them. Sometimes they are nothing to do with our competence as writers, but more with the needs of publishers.
Here are two websites that are excellent sources of information for writers.
If you have the urge to write, then giving up shouldn't be an option. But I believe in giving yourself the best chance possible so arming yourself with skill and information is always a good thing.
Sunday, 2 August 2009
I thought it might be useful to summarise some of what they said.
- It's about the audience. Just as any business writing should be targeted to the audience's needs, so is any media coverage.
- Be interesting and most important. . . understandable.
- If you can't write the introduction to the story in a couple of sentences then it's a rubbish story. Like writing a clear, crisp elevator speech that reaches the heart of what you can offer people.
- What's the connection? To current events, what people need and how you can help them.
- Think about where is best for your idea/information to be seen. Many people think about only the top programmes and media. You might have faster coverage in industry magazines than in national newspapers.
- Journalists are now more prepared to use PR releases as they stand because there are fewer staff in newsrooms.
- Weekly newspapers are now in effect daily newspapers because of their online versions so are looking for more content all the time.
- And last but definitely not least, be passionate about what you have to offer. Enthusiasm sells faster than formal pieces.
Saturday, 1 August 2009
The breeze in the courtyard leaves and returns,
Life is like that, so why not relax?
Who can stop us from celebrating?