Writing Prompt: A Samurai Warrior

A Samurai Warrior works as a waiter in a Mexican restaurant in a small town in Essex. Why is he there in such an unlikely place and in such an unlikely job?

From whose point of view are you going to write the story?

Fancy you can do it in 500 words? Go on, give it a go.

Feel a poem coming on? Or a song?

Want to try writing it in dialogue only?

No rules. How you write and what you write is entirely up to you.

The important thing … is to WRITE.

Secrets And Story

I was listening to a radio programme on my way home from work one evening. They were discussing code-breaking and the extraordinary achievements of the team working at Bletchley Park during WWII.

There were about 10,000 people working there and all were sworn to secrecy, with something like only 6 people in the world who knew the extent of the work at Bletchley Park in the war effort. This secrecy continued for decades after the war.

Continue reading

Punctuation: The Comma and Its Uses

comma

From the Oxford comma to an omission comma, the little curly punctuation mark is a small, simple thing that can cause so much confusion amongst writers. We probably all think we have an idea when it should be used and yet still puzzle over it at times.

Many people will tell you a comma is used as a natural pause in a sentence, particularly when a breath would be taken when reading out loud. Is that so?

Continue reading

Homophone to Homonym : Dessert, Desert, Desert

Desert DessertThe English language is a minefield where spelling and pronunciation are concerned. It’s no wonder it’s one of the most difficult languages to learn.

We have words that are spelt the same or pronounced the same but have different meanings (homonym) and words that are spelt differently but pronounced the same and have different meanings (homophone).

Just to recap here:

Homonym = Two or more words spelt the same or pronounced the same but having different meanings.

Continue reading

The eyes have it when it comes to conveying complex mental states

Our facial expressions give away more of what we’re thinking than we thought. New research shows that people’s eyes, in particular, are a dead giveaway.

The function behind a facial expression usually mirrors the person’s emotional state. So if someone is narrowing their eyes as if they are scrutinising something they are likely to be feeling thoughtful; wondering about something. If you feel as though you are being scrutinised then you probably are. Be careful that the other person isn’t just screwing up their eyes against the sun.

Continue reading

What Has It Got In Its Pocketses?

Gollum famously spoke these words in Lord of the Rings while looking for the One Ring, which Bilbo – and then Frodo – carried with him.

The ring gave powers to the wearer and spoke volumes about the person who carried it. It was one of the defining things about the characters and told of their quest as well as their character and motives.

Continue reading

Nuts and Allergies

people talking about nutsDo you have nuts?

I saw this sign outside a restaurant recently:

Please advise us if you have nuts and other allergies”.

At first glance they’re talking about two distinctly separate subjects: nuts and allergies. As if they’re expecting you to take the nuts with you to the restaurant and tell them you’ve got them.

Are you allergic to anything?

I suppose it is obvious that this sign should have read: Continue reading

Writing On The Right Side Of The Brain

negative_space.1


There is a book entitled, ‘The New Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain’, which teaches you to see in a different way.

Where drawing is concerned we often draw what we think we see (left brain) rather than what we can actually see (right brain).

For example, one of the exercises asks you to draw the spaces around and between the object you want to draw (negative space) rather than trying to draw the thing itself.

By not drawing the object itself you end up with a drawing of the object by an indirect means, often a more accurate portrayal than by concentrating on the object.

Continue reading