This post was suggested by The Writing Reader’s prompt #1753, the first line of Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca. Last night I dreamed I was back in Urishay, a small community of farms and cottages in the hills above the Golden Valley, close to the Black Mountains that mark the border between England and Wales. I was a babe in arms when I first arrived there with my mother and grandmother. It was to be my home for the next 14 years. Our cottage had thick walls of local stone. A stream ran in a deep ravine with two waterfalls behind … Continue reading Home – what does it mean to you?
Many people who have retired from full time employment find renewed fulfillment by volunteering their time and skills to organisations working to improve their local communities. Everything from running a “meals on wheels” service to maintaining flower beds in your local shopping centre can be done by volunteers. Retirement Worries Are you approaching retirement and wondering how to fill your time? Or maybe you are retired already and starting to suffer from “cabin fever”. Have you considered volunteering? There are lots of organisations that involve people like you providing services for others. Some of them are near you. What do … Continue reading Volunteering in Later Life: #atozchallenge
We all like to remember the key events in our lives and to mark the date on which they occurred. The most obvious being births marriages and deaths, or ‘hatches matches and dispatches’, as someone once put it. The anniversary of an event is a useful device for the writer, providing a cue for a flashback to some event that played an important role in creating the character of a protagonist and the motivation for his role in the unfolding plot. “He remembered that day, exactly one year ago, when …” “She knew that, in just two days time, it … Continue reading A is for Anniversary: #atozchallenge
Every author needs to get to know his or her characters well, discovering things about their background that may not be revealed directly in the narrative he or she is creating. The piece that follows is an early exploration of the relationship between the principle protagonist of my novel Transgression and his gay partner. It is written in first person and the partner’s point of view. Those of my followers who have read the book will know that I later changed this character’s surname. And the couple’s pet, in the book, is a cat, not the dog featured here. I … Continue reading Exploring Characters
What do writers do when they are not writing? In my case it is mostly gardening. In fact, if you were to add up the hours I spend on each activity, gardening would probably win out. Which invites the question: am I a writer who gardens or a gardener who writes? Since the spring of 2010 I have spent around four hours a week tending the garden of a local cancer support centre. In April 2011 we moved into a bungalow in a retirement village. At the time the majority of the homes in the development were incomplete as was … Continue reading A Gardener who Writes?