Wednesday, August 31, 2005

The breathless grind

We met to discuss our 'revising and completing things' exercise today. We'd all struggled with it, especially with finding time to give it the attention it needs. The meeting itself was in the middle of a headless chicken kind of working day.

It made me think of a passage from 'Zen and the Beat Way' where Alan Watts quotes Robert Lawlor's book 'Voices of the First Day'.

"The materialistic industrial societies are increasingly caught in a round-the-clock whirl in which people are trapped, day after day, in a breathless grind of facing deadlines, racing the clock between several jobs, and trying to raise children and rush through the household chores at the same time. Agriculture and industrialism, in reality, have created a glut of material goods and a great poverty of time. Most people have a way of life devoid of everything except maintaining and servicing their material existence 12 to 14 hours a day. In contrast, the Aborigines [spent] 12 to 14 hours a day in cultural pursuit. "

Sunday, August 28, 2005

A puzzle

If it took me three days to choose these words and get them in the right order

morning calm
the sun has not yet reached
the sundial

how long would it take me to choose 80,000 words and get them in the right order? I really ought to stick to haiku but for some reason I've got it into my head that I want to write a book.

Friday, August 26, 2005

What I did on my holidays

Deckchairs on the Prom - Sandown, Isle of WightIf you're looking for a writing holiday in the UK you could keep an eye on this site to see what's on offer in future. It's an experience I can very highly recommend.

Technically B&B accomodation with a few hours seminars a day, in reality it was more like an open house with hot and cold running advice and encouragement.

Apart from the seminars I also got a lot out of having the chance to spend time talking to other people with an interest in writing and hearing about what they're working on. I'll be keeping an eye on bookshop shelves for the work of the course alumni!

As you can see, there was time for a stroll along the prom as well.

Now all I've got to do is put what I've learned into practice...

Sunday, August 21, 2005

The bad news

I go on holiday tomorrow, so I probably won't post again for a few days. Not that anyone is going to be distressed by that news, but someone might read this someday, and wonder why there is a gaping virtual void in the ongoing temporal meanderings. Hmm, not nearly bad enough yet...

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Character building

Once we've finished our 'finish something' exercise... (Oh, by the way, even if you're not a member of the group it would do no harm at all to consider what you've got lying around unfinished. Yes, you. If you've got time to read blogs you can't get away with that old 'no time' excuse!)

... anyway, then our next task is to write a 300 word character study. I'm not sure if this is supposed to be notes that an author would make for their own benefit, with all the backstory and detail that might never get into the actual story, or if it's intended as something a reader would see. I think I'll leave it up to people how they want to do it.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Finding faults

I found a really useful checklist of fiction faults today. It doesn't just identify faults, it also offers suggested solutions, and they're pretty good suggestions.

We've got styles!

This is a fact. I have evidence. At the time of the last Cabbage Soup meeting one member was away on holiday. When this person came back I made sure that the print-outs they got of the short story openings we'd all read at the meeting did not have any clue as to the writers identity.

As I suspected, all authors were correctly identified within the first couple of paragraphs!

Tuesday, August 16, 2005


East Park, Southampton

I'm sure there's some around here somewhere...

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Famous first words

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times... "
"Midway in our life's journey, I went astray from the straight road and woke to find myself alone in a dark wood. "
"Not everybody knows how I killed old Phillip Mathers... "
"It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen. "
"As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect. "

What makes a good opening? How do you convince people it's likely to be worth their while to keep on reading? Many of the great openings seem to be rather grim - or maybe that's just the books I read.

I've heard that you should 'start a bomb ticking' early on, or revise your opening to make sure you start 'as the kettle comes to the boil'. Personally I've always liked the idea of starting with the death of the main protagonist. (I just need to get the rest of the plot worked out... )

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Work in progress

Our next task is to finish something. A previous exercise, a letter to the editor, a short story, a trilogy, a PhD thesis. Anything. It just has to be complete, revised, typed up and in a fit state to go out into the world by 31st August.

It's a lot easier to start than to finish, I find, so I'm going to struggle with this one.

Luckily I have a holiday plotted planned for the week after next, so will have time to get something together. I'll also have no excuse for not coming up with the goods, as it's a writing holiday!

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

New Writing - Seen Through a Window by Jane Coomer

Harry gripped the wheel tightly as the ship plunged into another wave. Ahead, through the bridge window, he watched as the wall of water crashed over the bow, leaving its white spume on the open deck in its wake. It wasn’t much of a storm really, not like the ones he’d seen in the past. Now he was the bosun, in control of the steamer; then he was a hand on a fishing boat, like his father and grandfather before him. As the ship corkscrewed her way across the sea, lurching from one side to another, Harry felt calm and remembered his first trip as a ship’s boy, aged just 11. Not so much boy as cook and cleaner, he thought grimly, stuck below deck in the fumes and heat. Still, he was lucky, the sea was in his blood and he was a born sailor. His friend Tommy was tied to the mast of his boat until he got used to the pitching and tossing. They were tough days then.

While he was thinking about the boat owners who exploited the fishermen, the bar light appeared ahead. A dim light in the dark night sky, flashing every few seconds, disappearing behind the waves as the bow went down, reappearing as the ship hit the crest. As he changed course to head down the river, Harry could see the dark mass of the land, shelter from the storm, but the channel could be dangerous. Staring through the bridge window, he could make out the green and red lights of the buoys he had to guide the steamer through. The swirling waters showed the strength of the crosscurrents in the channel, but it was what he couldn’t see that tested all his skill. Hidden beneath the eddying waters were the remains of ships that never made it, lying on the seabed, jagged wrecks, ready to bring another ship down with them. Harry had done this trip hundreds of times before, but he was no less alert now than on his first trip as bosun all those years before.

As the rain abated, he could see the lights of the port and the berth. Another safe crossing. Harry thought of his wife and four children back home. Tomorrow he’d be back in the ship’s home port and they would come on board to see him. He could see the bow ropes were secured. Time to sleep for a couple of hours before facing the storm again.

-- COPYRIGHT! Copyright on all writing that appears on this blog belongs to the individual authors. If you want to do anything at all with writing that appears here please request permission first. This is the law but more importantly, it's good manners. Authors can be contacted by sending an email to me. Thanks! --

Monday, August 08, 2005

Awful poetry

Someone commented on my posting about why I thought a poetry writing exercise might make people cringe, "...there is so much really *awful* poetry that they're concerned about adding to the morass."

There is a lot of awful poetry about. It's true. And I'd say an awful lot of it is published by respectable publishing houses!

Ok, awful may be a bit strong, but let's face it, poetry has become distinctly unpopular through the simple strategy of being thoroughly unappealing. Poets have been known to moan that people don't buy poetry. No, they don't, for the simple reason that they don't like it. There are some wonderful exceptions, poems like Jenny Joseph's 'Warning', that have caught the popular imagination, but they're few and far between. Most people would sooner read an EU official publication than contemporary poetry.

If you are at all interested in this subject you might enjoy this much longer and more knowledgable rant by Neil Astley. I'd highly recommend his anthologies Staying Alive and *Being Alive as examples of poetry that isn't awful. (I'm hoping the next will be an anthology of elderly curmudgeon poets called Still Alive or possibly Alive and Kicking.)

* "Hopefully, books like this will put poetry back into the mainstream" - Van Morrison Now there's a recommendation!

This fiction thing

I've got to write 450 words of a radio story by Wednesday lunchtime. I've got a few words that look like they might be the start of a story. Plot? What plot? I don't think I've got the hang of this fiction thing yet.


I'd like to thank the members of Cabbage Soup for a) their enthusiastic participation in meetings and b) their permission to let me blog several examples of their work. (There is more to come, but I've just about caught up.)

Thanks too, to anyone else who might be reading this blog (she says, peering curiously into the murky blogosphere) for looking in.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

New Writing - Unfinished Business by Alison Williams

The man in the grey raincoat did his best to smile. He'd just caught sight of an unmistakable figure elbowing his way through the crowd on the platform.

“Max!” he said, as the beaming face drew closer. “Well, now, it must be, what? Two, three years?” He tucked his book under his arm and shook the hand that had been thrust toward him.

“Three years it is. I think I made the right move back then. Been promoted twice, you know! What are you doing these days, George?”

“Oh, you know me – the same old thing!” He felt his smile stiffen, annoyed to find himself almost apologising. After all, he liked his job, it was worthwhile. Worthy, Max would say.

The train arrived and Max led the way on board. George followed, hoping it would be too crowded for them to sit together, but Max had swiftly laid claim to the last free seats. George folded his raincoat and placed it in the overhead rack, preparing to endure a half hour's interrogation.

“Where are you off to today then?” Max asked, after a quick check of his phone messages.

He hesitated as he sat down, not really inclined to discuss his plans for the day, but feeling cornered. He put his book down on the table in front of him and began to explain.

“I’m going to see my...”

An urgent beeping sound cut across his words. Max smiled apologetically and picked up the phone. He was soon deep in conversation.

George flicked through the pages of his book, smiling at a few familiar passages, his mind wandering.

'I’m going to see my... therapist,' that’s what I should say, he thought, with a slight twist to his lips, 'Those pills he gave me just weren’t strong enough!' That should make him back off. But then, maybe it won’t? He’ll probably want to introduce me to his life coach. He gave Max a sidelong glance.

'I’m going to see my... lover, actually, Max.' That would give him a surprise. I reckon he doesn’t think I’d have the nerve. Well, he’s probably right about that. George gave a slight sigh, and gazed out of the window, watching the backs of houses, gardens and washing lines slip past. A white shirt, lifted by a gust of wind, flailed its sleeves wildly, then sagged back, empty.

“Sorry about this,” said Max, “must send a quick e-mail. Need to get some figures to a client.”

“Fine.” George nodded, “Fine.”

Max finished his e-mail just as the train pulled into the station. Outside, they said their goodbyes and turned in opposite directions.

Smiling to himself, George slipped his book into his raincoat pocket and set off towards his publisher’s office. He had made up his mind not to give up the day job just yet, even though he had been offered a substantial advance for the sequel.

-- COPYRIGHT! Copyright on all writing that appears on this blog belongs to the individual authors. If you want to do anything at all with writing that appears here please request permission first. This is the law but more importantly, it's good manners. Authors can be contacted by sending an email to me. Thanks! --

Saturday, August 06, 2005


After we've done the radio story, our next task is to consider revising something we've written with a view to sending it somewhere.

I find it encouraging to look at writers' first drafts to see how much gets changed. It's good to know it's not just me that doesn't get it right first time. At least what I write is usually on the short side though. Revising a whole novel must be a daunting task. According to this article in the Guardian it seems you can't even count on help from editors these days.

What I like about Cabbage Soup is the group pressure to keep writing and keep revising, I've done a lot more than I would have done left to my own devices.

New Writing - Symphony for the Faithfull by Jane Dudley

A review of Symphony under the Spire starring Marianne Faithfull, that took place on Saturday, June 11th at this year’s Salisbury Festival.

Some of you may remember her debut: the sweet-voiced, ex-convent schoolgirl with long blonde hair and doe-eyes singing about little birds. Or perhaps you recall her as the leather-clad star of Girl on a Motorcycle, or as Mick Jagger's one-time girlfriend, or even for allegedly performing a certain lewd act with a Mars Bar! In short: as a child of the ‘60s.

Many performers of that era disappeared into obscurity; some fell by the wayside in despair; some went on to join tribute bands. But others, instead of clinging to past glories, evolved and indeed have become household names [yet they tend to get referred to, somewhat erroneously, as rock 'dinosaurs' – mainly, I suspect, by jealous contemporaries who think it unseemly that persons of pensionable age are still strumming guitars!]

At the end of the sixties, Marianne did fall by the wayside into the grim nightmare of heroin addiction but, unlike many, she picked herself up and re-emerged in 1979 with the startling album Broken English as a raspy-voiced chantress of bleak lyrics. Further albums were to follow and she has since collaborated with the likes of P. J. Harvey and Damon Albarn and so become known to a new generation.

I came to Symphony under the Spire, at the end of the Salisbury Festival, with little idea what to expect; especially as the Sarum Orchestra and Festival Chorus were on the bill! I wasn't sure either what sort of a following Marianne attracted nowadays: festival junkies? Middle-age groupies? So I headed for the Cathedral Close, soon after evensong, and joined the throng of ticket-holders carrying their picnic hampers and folding chairs. [It was a bring-you-own chair affair.] Many had taken the precaution of adding umbrellas - mindful of the clouds that had by now sealed off a clear June sky.

I looked around and saw people of all ages, perhaps mainly 40s and 50s, and many family groups. Some elaborate picnics were laid out; champagne corks popped. No doubt many in the crowd would have come along whatever the event, just to savour the atmosphere in such a wonderful setting. And for those who hadn't already eaten, or who hadn't brought enough in with them, a barbeque and drinks were provided. The disadvantage of these bring-a-bottle type concerts, however, is that you do get people to-ing and fro-ing to the loos or to the drinks table. And young children become increasingly fidgety. The advantage is that you can move about [and many of us, as the evening progressed, had moved in closer to the stage.]

Shortly after 7.30, chorus and orchestra settled themselves onto the stage followed by Marianne's band and finally, dressed in black suit and cream silk shirt, came the lady herself. A slight hiatus as a forgotten script was hurriedly handed in to her, and then: a sudden loud bang. [This might possibly explain why the chorus of some three dozen voices at the back of the stage never really came over very clearly.] Marianne remained unfazed, smiled and shrugged 'Oh well. Nothing we can do about it now!'

The repertoire included both old and new works. The warmest reception was for that old favourite As Tears Go By - which the young Marianne used to sing with cherubic voice and which the mature Marianne sings as though a noose were tightening about her neck. Her voice may not be to everyone's taste but there is no denying its raw emotive power. Its a 'been there, done that and survived' sort of voice; one whose owner has, in the words of the Pink Floyd song, been 'sunk without hope in a haze of good dope and cheap wine'

This concert had been specially commissioned by the Festival and was the first time Marianne had worked with an orchestra. She wasn’t afraid to stop and restart when, on one occasion, band and orchestra were slightly out of synch. And, with a nod to Salisbury, Boulevard of Broken Dreams was amended to include mention of an 'old cathedral town' [yes, I know it should have been cathedral city but poetic licence demanded otherwise!]

By 10.00 o'clock, after a rousing rendition of Ruby Tuesday, the stage emptied. But we were not to be denied an encore. Eventually Marianne and her band returned and launched into one final number - her classic Broken English which, when you come to think about it, rather neatly describes her vocal style!

The threatening clouds couldn’t have dampened the evening if they'd tried and I'm sure the Festival organisers will be happy with what proved to be a great evening's entertainment.

-- COPYRIGHT! Copyright on all writing that appears on this blog belongs to the individual authors. If you want to do anything at all with writing that appears here please request permission first. This is the law but more importantly, it's good manners. Authors can be contacted by sending an email to me. Thanks! --

Friday, August 05, 2005

The Story So Far...

We're into the holiday season now so meetings might be at odd(er) intervals. I haven't yet set a date for the next one.

We're also slowly amassing a pile of half finished work that I think we ought to do our best to complete. Did you ever hear of anyone publishing an unfinished story? Well yes, actually Rene Daumal's Mount Analogue for one. Still, as a general principle it's better to finish what you've started. So even if we have a few gaps between meetings there are things we can be getting on with.

Our next exercise, once I get my act together and set a date for it, is to write the first few minutes of a radio story.

How short is a short story?

Cabbage Soup put this to the test. We were supposed to produce the first two pages of a short story. One of the contributions - mine - was two A5 pages and was complete! Brevity I can do. Others are still working on finishing theirs. It doesn't say in the book that the stories have to be completed, but when I've read the first two pages of a story I want to know how it ends!

New Writing - Seen Through a Window by Alison Williams

The sun doesn't shine through my window at this hour: it illuminates the houses on the opposite side of the street. Red bricks take on a warm glow in the evening light. My house casts a shadow that doesn't quite reach the other side.

Occasionally a car passes, but birds are more numerous. Blackbirds, one after the other, over the fence and away. A jackdaw preens and shifts its feet on a chimney-pot. Starlings sit in ones and twos on telephone wires. A purple leaved shrub, in the gravelled drive leading to number 6, is motionless. The tops of oaks, three roads distant, dark against the sky.

Sitting at my desk beside the window I’ve often been aware of a vague sense of dissatisfaction, or perhaps a lingering regret, without being able to pin down the reason for it. Then one day I realised.

There is no tree, no whole tree - roots and trunk and branches – within the world framed by my window, and I miss the tree that isn't there. I miss it every time I look up from my desk. I missed it even when I didn't know what I was missing. I miss it as much as if I'd seen it torn out, chopped up, loaded into a yellow skip and hauled away before my very eyes.

I don’t talk about it, of course. People would think it was odd to miss a tree that was never there.

Around the corner from the bus-stop comes a man of around 50, neatly dressed in shades of grey. He walks up the driveway of number 8. At the front door he puts down his briefcase, dips in his raincoat pocket for his key, unlocks the door, and disappears inside. I wonder what it is he misses that was never there.

-- COPYRIGHT! Copyright on all writing that appears on this blog belongs to the individual authors. If you want to do anything at all with writing that appears here please request permission first. This is the law but more importantly, it's good manners. Authors can be contacted by sending an email to me. Thanks! --

Thursday, August 04, 2005


At some point we're going to have to do a poetry exercise. I wonder how popular that will be?

Before starting this group most of what I wrote was poetry. Well, haiku mainly, and tanka, renku and haibun and lately some (for lack of a better word) 'normal' poetry. So it's my comfort zone, but I suspect most people are more comfortable with prose. They do say that most people try their hand at poetry at some time but most of them have the decency to keep it to themselves.

What is it, I wonder, that gives poetry, even more than most writing, associations of being a slightly shameful activity, best done in private? Are we afraid that it will be too personal - but isn't all good writing? Are we afraid that, even if we enjoy it, we're just not doing it right? But who makes the rules?

Music begins to atrophy when it departs too far from the dance... poetry begins to atrophy when it gets too far from music.
- Ezra Pound

New Writing - Isaac Asimov: 1920-1992 by Timothy Collinson

If there’s one person I can point to and say: ‘this is who encouraged me to write’, it would have to be Isaac Asimov. Not because he had a particular style that I wanted to learn and adopt; some would say he has very little in the way of ‘style’. Not because of the three-dimensional characters he created; some would say that his characterization was weak. And not because I particularly wanted to emulate a brash American author whose penniless parents emigrated with him from Russia when he was just 3 years old and who had no low opinion of his own brilliance.

But the one thing Asimov did do, was write. And write, and write. He was an immensely prolific author who turned out hundreds of books - something like 470 - and could turn his hand to nearly any subject you could name. Certainly any subject that interested him - and he was interested in so many! Indeed, the word polymath might almost have been coined to describe him.

Perhaps best known for his science fiction another great strength was his ‘popularization’ of science in essays that could explain complex topics in a simple yet interesting and inspiring way. But these two genres were just the tip of the iceberg. His output ranged from multi-volume guides to the Bible and Shakespeare to collections of slightly salacious limericks as an enthusiast of the verse form. On the way he took in detective stories, scientific papers, annotated works from Gilbert and Sullivan to Paradise Lost, compiled joke books, fact books, and quiz books, edited numerous anthologies and much, much more. A bibliographer’s nightmare, lists of his oeuvre commonly run to dozens of pages.

But this wasn’t just quantity over quality. Asimov won top awards for his writing. 7 Hugos (from the World Science Fiction Society) and 6 Nebulas (from the Science Fiction Writers of America). The SFWA also awarded him the title “Grand Master” in 1986. In polls of science fiction short stories, he’s commonly credited with the best of all time: ‘Nightfall’.

And ‘Nightfall’ exemplifies part of what it is that made Asimov great - the exploration of a simple idea or observation that stirs the imagination and takes a good stab at answering the question: ‘what if?’ In ‘Nightfall’s case, what if night came only once every 2,000 years? It’s hard not to finish reading the story without a sense of wonder spreading down the spine. Asimov could take an idea from the science he loved so much and spin a tale that drew you in and convinced the reader that this wasn’t merely possible, this is how it could be.

Other landmarks include the creation of a science fictional mainstay nowadays, the three laws of robotics. Asimov felt that if we were ever to build human like robots that were part of everyday life, we’d naturally ensure that they were as safe as any other tool we might use. Hence:

A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.

A robot must obey orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.

A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

His classic series of short stories in the ‘I, Robot’ collection then explored what might happen if such laws existed. The recent film of the same name just barely resembles something the Grand Master himself might have recognized! Though no doubt he himself would have felt it was only appropriate his name was lent to a blockbuster movie.

A third work that he is often particularly remembered for is his Foundation series. Originally a ‘trilogy’ - though in fact it was first presented as a series of short stories across several issues of Astounding Science Fiction in the 1940s (at the same time he was doing his PhD) - Asimov returned to it after a long hiatus and extended the series into not just a whole series of books, but connecting it up with his series of robot books, a massive future history that once again captured imaginations and showed the breadth of Asimov’s imagination and his brilliance at constructing not just imaginary worlds but an entire universe. Foundation posits the existence of a human empire that spans millions of worlds and fills the galaxy asking the question: what if such an empire should start to collapse as the Roman Empire did?

But this only begins to touch on one aspect of his writing and there was so much more. If nothing else Asimov made the whole business of writing look easy. In his asides to his “Gentle Reader” he would even talk about his writing and the process of putting words on paper. It helped to show that writing wasn’t an arcane skill of a superior elite inaccessible to ordinary mortals. He demonstrated above all that to be a writer, you must simply write.


Copyright on all writing that appears on this blog belongs to the individual authors. If you want to do anything at all with writing that appears here please request permission first. This is the law but more importantly, it's good manners. Authors can be contacted by sending an email to me. Thanks!


Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Radio Talks

I gave up watching tv years ago, but I do listen to the radio. Knowing your target market is supposed to help, and it certainly did with the articles exercise. Unfortunately being a listener didn't seem to do me much good when it came to writing a five minute radio talk! However, other members of the group were inspired, and I've got some contributions I'd like to post in the next few days.

New Writing - Seen Through a Window by Jane Dudley

I could hear their excited voices as soon as the front door opened. Childish laughter, mingled with parental commands, and then a petulant whine from the youngest child. The usual Sunday outing was suffering its usual delayed start. I had been waiting in the car since our return from church an hour ago.

The older child, David, emerged first clutching the travel rug and kicking a football. His father followed with the cool-bag. “Mind the delphiniums!” David’s mother cried out as, inevitably, the ball veered off-course. His father rejoined with “Look here, old chap, what have we told you about playing in the front garden?” But the boy was too fired with enthusiasm to be chastened by such admonishments. Meanwhile, his little sister Carrie, still sulking, had to be coaxed out with dire warnings of being left behind.

“Picnic-time - hooray!” yelled David, clutching his errant football and flinging himself heartily onto the back seat of the Mondeo. I nodded. Soon the car was backing cautiously out of the driveway [always an anxious moment] and out into the broad tree-lined avenue. These trees had once been a mix of stately limes and sycamores until pressure from residents, upset by the sticky deposits shed by aphids that lime trees attract, had caused most of those to be replaced with hornbeams and rowans – trees that were more respectful to parked cars! My gaze shifted gently from left to right as the familiar panorama of a suburban summer Sunday unfolded: cars washed and polished, shrubs pruned, lawns trimmed and watered, dogs and toddlers exercised.

Negotiating the local maze of urban roads and roundabouts, we eventually nosed into the usual queue of fellow excursionists waiting to join the endless M25. Oh how I hated that road! The daily workaday crawl to Croydon: mile upon miserable mile of motorway, with progress punctuated here and there by outbreaks of cones! Resignation etched into drivers’ faces. But, today there should be a relatively quick and merciful exit to speed us a few miles further to the family’s favourite country park.

The late start, however, had taken its toll and both children were irritable with hunger and unresponsive to diversionary tactics such as ‘I spy’ or promises of ice-creams later. By the time we reached the viewpoint car park everyone was on edge and anxious to head off to a choice patch of downland with, hopefully, an unoccupied picnic table. In the ensuing rush, I was knocked aside by David and found myself suddenly head down amongst a pile of spare sweaters.

“Oh” gasped Carrie. She gently restored me to my rightful place and patted my head. “Poor Winnie! Are you alright?” I nodded vigorously then settled to admire the view from the rear window. Now I would have the car to myself. It’s a nodding dog’s life!


Copyright on all writing that appears on this blog belongs to the individual authors. If you want to do anything at all with writing that appears here please request permission first. This is the law but more importantly, it's good manners. Authors can be contacted by sending an email to me. Thanks!


A time and a place

At one of our meetings we discussed where and when we write, and it seems that people are planning plots, conjuring up characters, and drafting dialogue all over the place. On buses and trains, in parks and libraries, walking to work, driving home, in the kitchen, under the covers in the middle of the night... almost anywhere except at a neatly prepared desk with a blank piece of paper on it.