Friday, 23 October 2015

Where It All Began

I often have an early writing session in Costa simply because if I go home I get caught up in housework, paperwork, etc. Little son has to be dropped at the station at 7.20 am, so I’m usually in a blissfully quiet cafĂ©. The other day, my heart dropped when I was joined by son’s school friend’s mother and sister – no writing ☹️

The little girl needed to do her reading before school, so I volunteered to listen. She got out a copy of Five On A Treasure Island by Enid Blyton. I spent my junior school years yearning for a big brother called Julian and writing about treasure, caves and pirates because of that book.
Five on a Treasure Island (Gift Edition)

It struck me as I listened to the familiar words that here was where my writing journey had begun. That book filled my imagination and sparked my love of reading and writing. A true lightbulb moment.

Where did your writing journey begin?

Sunday, 27 September 2015

A Very Different Writing Workshop

The drumbeat transports me through the earth by way of a hollow tree. “You’ll meet your power animal,” the drummer says. Sure enough, a young female deer is waiting for me. Eyes unsure, she finally lets me touch her suede nose.

“Has your power animal a message for you?” The drumbeat echoes in the background, as the doe somehow communicates with me – "Be calm, be gentle, no need to push or hurry. It will all happen by itself." The message feels clearly about my writing, I’ve been feeling impatient with myself of late.

Then, I’m riding on the back of the deer at breakneck speed, through sunsets, over beaches, over a lake and to an island, where I eat flatbreads covered in sage honey with a young North American Indian couple.

This was the start of my day on the Words From Other Worlds – Tracking the Wild writing course in the Brecon Beacons. After this opening meditation in a lovely barn, sitting by a wood burner, we went for a walk in the countryside. Our mission was to be observant of nature, to look for the tracks of animals and notice the birds. We found squirrel feeding spots where acorns littered the ground, listened to the buzzard and raven calling, found tracks and followed them, found badger hair on tree trunks and nuts delicately nibbled by mice.

The weather was glorious and the landscape even more so. When we stopped for lunch, our writing exercise was to focus on one of the creatures and write about them from different perspectives. We stopped twice more, when the drum was again deployed to relax us and allow us to focus on nature, then we wrote about our experiences. My last piece was a very profound poem about my life to date and the way to the future.

We returned to the barn for yummy carrot cake and tea. We shared the poetry and prose we had written. Each participant had something new and different to offer. It was a truly magical day. An added bonus was the plot of a time slip novel coming into my head during one of the meditations.

I think my experiment with different writing experiences is off to a good start.

If you are interested in Words From Other Worlds – Tracking the Wild run by Shamanic Healer, Sarah Howcroft and Poet and Writing Tutor, Susan Richardson, have a look at Sarah Howcroft’s website for contact details.

Have you tried anything new to stimulate your creativity recently? Please tell me your stories below.

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Where did the summer go?

How did we arrive in the middle of September?

I feel as if the summer slipped by without me noticing it. I give below a few highlights of my last few months.

The Romantic Novelists' Association Annual Conference

This year the conference was held in London and I just happened to choose the day of a tube trike to travel. The conference was fantastic as always. A highlight was being shortlisted for the conference Elizabeth Goudge competition with the first chapter of a novel.

Family Holiday in Northumberland

We had a fantastic two weeks in Bamburgh, Northumberland. I had no difficulty reaching my 10,000 steps a day goal with such a beautiful beach to walk. The writer in me found loads of inspiration for stories, not least when men started to abseil down the castle walls to mend the stonework!


Lovely Times with my Little Son

He's almost a teenager and I took advantage of him wanting to spend time with me this year. Next year might be a very different story.

Bewdley Book Week

I went to three events. A poetry afternoon, a history talk and afternoon tea with Katie Fforde and Jo Thomas. I enjoyed all of the events, but the latter was fantastic.

Writing News

My novel was submitted to the Romantic Novelists' Association New Writers' Scheme for critique and now I am busy editing the manuscript to take account of the suggestions made in my report.

Besides the competition shortlisting mentioned above, I also shortlisting in a flash fiction competition run by Sue Johnson of Writer's Toolkit.

How was your summer?

Monday, 6 July 2015

Update on A Year's Worth of Happy Moments

I thought I would update you on my most popular blog post to date - the one about my happiness jar. this blog received lots of interest and comments.

At the beginning of 2014, I read an article by Elizabeth Gilbert, who wrote Eat, Pray, Love and The Signature of All Things. She suggested keeping a happiness jar for the year. Basically, you start with an empty jar and put into it a note of anything that makes you happy or grateful during the year. I always have a daily positive thinking calendar, so used the back of the used pages for my notes.

My blog on 2 January 2015 detailed the things I had recorded during 2014. I am continuing the process and appear to be finding even more things to write happiness notes about in 2015. My jar already looks like this:-

So, am I feeling happier in general or is this process having a positive effect?

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Spotlight on Georgia Hill

Georgia Hill has a new book out on 2 July 2015. To wish her every sucess with her new release "While I was Waiting", I asked her to tell my blog readers a little about herself. 

 Hi Morton. 

 Thanks so much for having me on your lovely blog!

My name is Georgia Hill. I’ve been writing all my life but seriously only for about the last ten years.

It all began with a BBC classic drama called North and South. I love Mrs Gaskell and tuned in, eager to see what had been done with her tale of a northern mill owner and his unwise passion for a spoiled miss from the south. I was hooked from the first episode although admit to hating the mill owner at first. He was played by Richard Armitage, and he brooded for England. My dislike didn’t last long. By the second episode I was in love!

I’ve been here before, with Colin Firth’s Mr Darcy. Only, this time, there was the internet. I found a fan site which accepted fiction and began posting a story, chapter by chapter. Have to confess, many of the men I wrote about owe a large debt to Richard Armitage! A couple of creative writing classes and much study later and I was picked up by a small digi-publisher which published my first book, Pursued by Love. It was the very same story I’d posted on the fan site, although much re-written. 

Then I was taken on by Harper Impulse, which is the digi-first imprint of Harper Collins. They loved my Sequins series, based on a dance reality show not unlike Strictly Come Dancing! I like rom-coms and love writing them but knew I had something else to offer. While I was Waiting is my next book out and I’m very proud of it. It’s my first historical novel and due out on the 2nd July. 

Here’s a brief introduction:

Rachel moves to a rundown cottage in the country and finds a tin full of letters and diaries. They document the story of Hetty who lived and loved during World War One. Rachel gradually pieces together the details of Hetty’s life and, in doing so, learns how to love the man she’s just met. It’s tragic in parts but ultimately life affirming. I’m very excited about it. And, by the way, one of the characters is called Richard!

Georgia x

Good luck with the book Georgia. To buy click any link in the blog or here.

Have you ever found something which led you on a voyage of discovery?