Tuesday, 24 May 2011

The dreaming spires

I recently made a visit to Oxford and was captivated by the 'city of dreaming spires', a phrase coined by the poet Mathew Arnold.

There is such an incredible atmosphere there and creativity seems to wash over you wherever you walk. I popped into a tiny newsagent to buy a couple of postcards. The young lad serving was writing music on a scrap of notepaper while he tended the shop. Wonderful!

It was fascinting to hear conversations of the students as they came out of the colleges bursting with inspiration and talking of poetry.

The picture above is the Eagle and Child and is one of the most inspiring pubs I have ever been to. This is where CS Lewis and Tolkien would sit with other writers and discuss their work.

The plaque below is on the wall of the pub, just in the back room where they would sit by the fire discussing their writing.

I felt that I wanted to sit there and let all that creativity seep into my body. I felt the instant urge to write something myself so whipped out my trusty notebook and pen to start scribbling something down.

I started thinking about my own writing group ( Wrekin Writers) and how great it is to be part of a circle of like minded people in a group where you never feel foolish when discussing future projects.

It is so important to be able to talk to other writers, I have gained so much advice and inspiration from them over the years of being a member.

I found it amazing how places can really inspire me as well as people. Maybe one day there will be a plaque on a wall for Wrekin Writers . We have certainly left so much of our creative energy on the retreats that we have visited over the years!

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Things to do

I really managed to clear my Things to do list last week. It's a great feeling to tick off all my bits and bobs of and start a new one.

I started my Freelance Journalism course and managed to submit my first assignment which feels great. I really feel it will help me develop as a more versatile writer and able to tackle other subjects. My mind was a whirl on Monday morning when I received the first tutorial. I wanted to get cracking straight away but had to go to work. An unexpected half day and early finish on Friday was a huge help though and I was able to spend several hours on it, as well as coming up with future ideas.

I also did quite a lot of poultry related writing which has paid off too. My hens are going to appear in 'Your Chickens' magazine in the next few months after I sent a small pitch to the editor who wanted to know more and asked for extra photos too.

I carried out my first Internet interview with a complete stranger, again this is for a Poultry magazine but I felt I may as well tap into my interests despite trying to branch out into writing about other topics. Nothing wrong with writing about what I do know (well, at least until I know something else!)

I was very pleased with how it went as I was dreading asking the wrong type of questions which would show my in-experience but it went very well and I got some wonderful material which I have already pitched as an idea to yet another magazine.

I am still waiting to hear from my three main projects and the submissions I sent early this year. I have my novel, a non-fiction book and a children's story out at the moment. It's awful waiting but at least I am using the time generating even more stuff to send out.

So the beginning of a new week and a fresh Things to do list. Just hope I can tick a few more off this week.