Monday, 17 September 2012

Making the most of every day

We had a wonderful weekend. Saturday morning found us striding around Attingham Park in Shropshire. We even had a close encounter with some deer. I’ve often seen them in the distance at Attingham, but never this close.

Hubbie then headed for Chirk Castle. I had forgotten the breath-taking view and the glorious gardens. This year I have seen much fewer bees and butterflies, now I know why – they were all at Chirk. Who can blame them, it is a wonderful place.

On Sunday morning we went walking in the Wyre Forest. The weekend weather was perfect and I enjoyed the simple days with my family.

It reminded me of some lines from one of my favourite poets David Whyte:-

“this is the good day
you could
meet your love,

this is the black day
someone close
to you could die.

This is the day
you realise
how easily the thread
is broken
between this world
and the next”

Extract from The House of Belonging by David Whyte.

My step-father is being investigated for a suspicious tumour. The church organist from my mother's church literally dropped dead last week. These events remind me of the importance of these family weekends and of “striding out” whenever we can.

Promise me that this week you will do something you have meant to do for a long time and then tell me about it in the comments below.

Monday, 10 September 2012

Why I attend a regular writing class.

I attend a term time writing class at No 8 Community Centre in Pershore, Worcestershire. It is run by Sue Johnson, who featured on my blog in August 2011. Her website can be found here.

Pershore is a lovely place to visit and shop, with its Abbey and large park. Ellie Swoop and I joke that we would like to retire to the town, as it is so flat, has good bus links and everything you need for day to day living in its streets.

Carved tree in Pershore Park

The regular class has several benefits for me. The attendees change regularly, apart from a few long term stalwarts (including me), and this means that the class and the content of the writing is forever changing too. Writing is such a solitary activity that it is great to spend a couple of hours in the company of like-minded people each week.

The discipline of making the commitment to attend seems to stimulate my brain to produce more writing during the rest of the week. Added to this the pieces I write in class usually lead to poems, flash fiction and longer stories.

Do you attend a regular writing class or group? Does it have the same effect on you?

Monday, 3 September 2012

Where Has The Summer Gone?

So what have I been up to?

Writing-wise, there was the wonderful RNA conference (I still have more sessions to share here), the return of my critiqued RNA New Writers’ Scheme manuscript and lots of fun writing. My critiqued novel made me think about my direction as a writer and I am now on a track that feels more like me. I shall be concentrating on time slip novels, so that I can indulge my love of history. I appear to have been writing three novels at once during the summer, with the odd poem thrown in!

Quilting-wise, I have branched out into bags and have started quilting my big quilt.

Family history-wise, I have researched several families for friends over the summer and begun writing up some of the lines I have already researched on my own tree.

It’s back to school on Wednesday – that is if I manage to sew on all my son’s name tapes in time. He’s starting a new school and that has meant even more sewing.

I have seen the change in little son this summer. At nine he is growing more independent, no longer my baby. We have done lots of fun things together and I have relished the time with him. We have painted pottery, visited RAF Cosford air museum (twice), made clay dinosaurs at Hartlebury Castle, taken daddy on holiday to County Durham for two weeks (he badly needed the break), eaten numerous pancakes at our favourite cafĂ©. We spent a lot of time at the swimming pool, as D was training for a distance swim – he achieved 4 kilometres or 160 lengths in a two and three quarter hour continuous swim. One very proud Mom!


It has been a happy time. Pictures above - top Tunstall Reservoir, Wolsingham, middle taken on walk from Low Force to High Force, Middleton in Teesdale, bottom High Force Waterfall.

Lovely to hear that Donna Douglas featured on my last blog is doing so well with her book, The Nightingale Girls.

What has been the highlight of your summer?