Finger sandwiches and baby oil – the strangeness of the English language

sandwiches that look like fingersThe English language is a strange affair at times. Meaning is usually gathered from the words we use in the literal sense; the words and the order they are placed in a sentence tell you what the sentence as a whole means. But we don’t talk and write literally, neither do we hear or read, and consequently understand, literally.

I take it you are catching my drift so far? (I’m not really taking anything or expecting you to catch a drift, but I presume you know what I mean.)  Continue reading

A Constellation of Vital Phenomena: A Novel by Anthony Marra

Constellation of vital phenomena. A novelA lesson here in writing only what is necessary for the story and only what is necessary for the sentence.

Not a word is wasted and not a sentence is wasted and it shows throughout the entire book.

This is a delicately and masterfully crafted book. Unbelievable that this is Anthony Marra’s first novel. His writing hooked me in from the beginning and immersed me in his character’s lives effortlessly. Continue reading

The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett

Alan Bennett The Uncommon Reader
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I’ve just finished reading ‘The Uncommon Reader’ by Alan Bennett. It is a charming and amusing story, which begins when the Queen discovers the mobile library in the grounds of Buckingham Palace one day. She goes on to discover the joys of reading, a luxury she has had little time for up until then.

The story is Alan Bennett all over; I could hear his voice while I was reading. I also realised after I was about halfway through the book that it was a discourse on writing as well as reading.

Read if you intend to write

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Inspiring and encouraging your imagination

meditating on a mountain

Writing can be a lonely business. There you are in your own head trying to entice people into the world you are creating for them – and keep them there – and you’re doing it on your own. This is, of course, a necessity as only you have the story. If the story is so strong it just doesn’t want to stay in your head, then all well and good, it will pour out of you and you won’t be able to stop writing.

But what if you don’t have a strong story or plot line? How do you keep yourself in your own head to be able to release the story that is simmering there?

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