Thursday, 22 April 2010

Earth Day

I celebrated Earth Day today and encouraged my work colleagues to sign up to a few simple things to help save our beautiful planet.

I know that there is a great big volcanic dust cloud trying to engulf us at the moment, but down here we still have to appreciate how lucky we are to live in such a wonderful world, crammed full of stunning landscapes, plants and wonderful animals.

My five steps to help look after our Earth

Save paper - print on both sides if you are just writing a rough draft.

Save water - Take shorter showers and don't leave the tap on.

Turn all your lights off once a week for as long as you can.( I did this a
few months ago for 'Earth Hour' and it was quite magical. I picked up a book
and read by candlelight.

Pick up a piece of litter if you are out walking, you never know what you may
find, could be your next story, as long as it goes in the bin in the end ( the
litter that is - not your story)

Recycle everything - That includes your writing!

Happy Earth day everyone!

Sunday, 18 April 2010

A writer is never off duty!

Do you ever find that as a writer you are never off duty?

I attended a wedding this weekend. It was perfect in every way.

The bride was beautiful, the groom was witty, the setting was perfect, and the guests were the most lovely people to share time with, but as a writer - I couldn't switch off.

The minute we came up the drive and saw the very impressive Somerford Hall, I got a touch of the Jane Austin's!

As we sipped Pimms on the terrace, We had a conversation about 'Hello Magazine' and when we had eaten out meal, I found myself gazing out of the window watching the rabbits chase each other and got a touch of the Beatrix Potter's.

Then, when the guests started to drift off, we had a break before the evening session, and I got a touch of the Diane Perry's. It was magical. We walked through the estate, and watched the sunset, all the time, my mind thinking about stories and articles, inspired by my beautiful environment.

The tree below is quite obviously the residence of a very important fairy!

As we walked back to the hall, the light was fading outside, but from within, the hall was glowing in candlelight and music pulsated over the park. The band were playing 'Don't stop me now' by Queen.

How very appropriate!

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Another Kingdom

Yesterday evening I entered another Kingdom. A magical Kingdom where I was allowed to watch in silence as the inhabitants enjoyed their life to the full. I stood on the edge of their world, looking into a way of life that is so very different to our own.

No, I was not dreaming of fairies and unicorns - I was watching badgers! Five badgers!

I took an evening walk through the woods which are always beautiful at dusk. The rooks were nesting, and I made a few pheasants flee, squawking as they were disturbed by my footsteps cracking on the dry twigs.

Then I could see something larger in the near distance. Instantly, I could tell it was a badger. Within seconds another followed and they started to play fight ( hope it was play anyway)

Next, badger 1 and 2 ran past me just as badger 3, 4 and 5 came out to join them. They wrestled, they snuffled in the soil and made the most curious noises.

The wonderful thing was that they seemed to be oblivious to me. I think one gave me a look as I trod on another branch, but I did my impression of tree and it went back to what it was doing.

It was incredible, for me to see one of the most elusive creatures on our planet. In the past I have seen more dead on the roadside, but now, I have been able to alter my tally by seeing five of the most lovely creatures we have living in the United Kingdom - the very magical meles meles!

Sunday, 11 April 2010

Dividing your time

The other day I was talking to a work colleague who had started to write again after a long spell away from the pen. I was so pleased until he sent me an email a week later saying that his writing would have to take a back seat as he had a new hobby.

The new hobby was a pony! He had recently acquired a little mare and felt that he wanted to put all his effort into spending some time with his new found friend.

I know only too well, how animals can dominate your time, but it is possible to do both. I divide my own time between my animals and all the other things that I love doing. So I sent a swift email back saying that the new addition to his family may inspire him to write, as my animals do.

I think that goes for any hobby as if we have knowledge and experience on a subject, we can write about it too. It could turn into a short story, an article, a novel, anything you want, because YOU are the expert.

He returned my email saying that he wished he had taken a notebook with him on a previous visit to see his little pony, he had indeed been inspired by his new experience of keeping a pony and wanted to keep an account of it.

So there you go, another writer hopefully brought back from the brink of NOT WRITING!

Time management is so important in our life, and many writers are advised to give up TV or make other sacrifices in order to get some writing done. However, I believe it is possible to divide some time between it all, and on some occasions, let them all come together!

A good example is my love of TV and watching period drama's. I was watching Bleak House a few years ago. An 'extra' came on. He didn't say anything, but for some reason, I took notice and used his character or rather just his appearance, as he was not allowed to show his character in such a brief appearance, but it was a great way for me to find a character for my writing while enjoying TV.

I suppose it's about having a notebook to hand at all times, but still enjoying your life and doing what you want while you are writing.

Oh yes, I am writing this blog while watching Charlie and the Chocolate Factory!

Now where has my Oompa-Loompa gone?

Happy Writing!

Friday, 9 April 2010

What a difference 1/2 a day makes

I took half a day's leave today, and I am so pleased with how much I achieved in such a short space of time.

I left work just after noon. Then had lunch with my Mom, got my twice yearly shearing from the hairdresser, did Tesco's, and still managed to get home to spend some time in this magical sunshine that we have all been waiting for.

I let the hens out into the garden and took my notebook and camera.

As they scratched for bugs, I scribbled notes. As they flapped and chuckled, I took photos of my sun-kissed daffodils. And when they stretched out to bathe in the sunshine, I managed to write down the idea of a mini series for young children.

Not bad for 1/2 a day off work!

Monday, 5 April 2010

A lovely surprise

Eleven people got a lovely surprise yesterday, and I was one of them!
Julie Phillips fellow member of Wrekin Writers and inspirational blogger awarded me one of the Beautiful Blogger awards. It was a lovely surprise, and I feel it an honour to receive such an award.

Julie's own two blogs (Julie's Quest and Article Antics) are always so inspiring and really help to encourage anyone in their writing career, whether they have enjoyed success or just starting to write, she inspires us writers to keep on writing and never giving up despite the rejections we may receive!

I certainly feel in very good company when I see the other worthy recipients. The way it works is that now I also have to choose ten winners. A difficult task when Julie has already picked some of my favourite bloggers all ready, but there are so many worthy people out there, whose blogs I love reading, so I will enjoy making my choices.

Thanks Julie, something like this is a real confidence booster. I hope that when I make my awards it will do the same.