Welcome to my blog - a collection of thoughts and musings on the world of writing, books and all those wordy type things.

Sunday, 31 March 2013

Can You Smell That?

Smell is the most evocative of all the senses, and yet it's the least used in fiction writing. However, if we concentrate on trying to include it, it can make a world of difference to helping place your reader in the scene.

For me, the smell of cut grass always transports me to a warm, summer's day, even if it's cold enough to turn you blue outside. And whenever I smell the 'Jungle Formula' insect repellent, my mind is instantly whisked across time and space back to some fabulous travel experiences in India and Malaysia years ago.

So, next time you're creating a scene, remember all the senses and use them accordingly. Don't overload your reader with pongs but don't forget them either.

Are there any particular smells that remind you of a particular time or place?

Happy Easter to you all!

Sunday, 17 March 2013

How Do You Keep Up With Reading About Writing?

A few years ago we had moved abroad for work, and during that time, for various health reasons I won't bore you with, I was unable to read and gradually built up a stockpile of my writing magazines. And I still have it!

Admittedly it's not so big now but I still have a couple of years worth in hand. I know there is interesting stuff in there so I don't just want to throw them away and 'start afresh' but it does rather depress me a little when I see them sitting there unread. I did think of going through them and just pulling out what I wanted to read but, to be honest, that's most of the magazine.

And that's not even counting the various books on writing I have yet to read!

My main time for reading generally is when I go to bed, to help me wind down but then I like to read a book as I find this most relaxing. I know if I was to start reading about writing then it would kick the brain off, just at the point I'm trying to shut it down for sleep.

I know that part of my problem is the fact I have a chronic fatigue issue that goes with a medical condition, so that can be a disadvantage. Also, right now I'm not getting a lot done outside working on the book and keeping up with the housework but I just wondered how everyone else fits in their reading about writing?

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Tricky Subjects and Being Brave

Yesterday I read an interesting post by Emily Benet about religion. Before you all go scurrying away, hear me out. It really was interesting. And the best thing about it was that it was from the heart.

Her post, entitled Catholics - We aren't all bad told of her acceptance that attending church sometimes feels, well, a little bit bonkers, but that keeping her faith has been helped by the wonderful priest they are lucky enough to have at their church. A man, I am told, who can do a mean salsa. Seriously, if I knew a priest that could do that, I may just start attending in the hope of catching a glimpse of salsa practice between mass!

With the Catholic church in the news at the moment because of the recent vacancy in the Vatican, and yet another dark scandal involving a member of the clergy, it can seem like it is a free for all for a bit of Catholic belief bashing. But I think that's unfair. And I'm sure others do too. Like any part of society, there are good people as well as the bad.

But it does take some bravery to talk about it on a blog normally keeps away from subjects like religion and politics that can often invoke such strong feeling. So, hats off to Emily who had the bravery to write what was in her heart.

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Lost In Austen

There's no doubt about it. It does you good to get away. Having worked a fortnight without a break (including his birthday!), hubby finally managed to snatch a couple of days off, ostensibly initially to take me to a hospital appointment because I'm a wimp, but once that was done we pondered on what to do.

Sat in a supermarket car park, we put a smartphone to good use and five minutes later had a couple of nights booked in an Inn down in Hampshire. Where we are, it's less than a couple of hours drive but far enough away to feel like a break.

I'd been wanting to visit Jane Austen's house again for some time. The last time was many years ago and I knew that there was much more to see now, plus with it being the 200th anniversary of Pride & Prejudice, it just seemed right.

Jane Austen's house, Chawton
I have some more pictures to post of this trip which really turned into a bit of an Austen pilgrimage, which isn't a bad thing, including the church near her now-demolished childhood home, where her father, and then brother were rectors. It was all really fascinating, and relaxing and the latter is really the point.
Yes, I have a book to write, a course to finish and some articles to get together, and novels to edit but it's important to look after your health, and your relationships too. And sometimes it's nice just to escape for a day or two to give the mind, body and soul batteries a bit of a recharge.
Have a good week, and happy writing!