June 29th, 2015
It’s a funny game, teaching, especially teaching creative stuff like writing. Everyone can tell a story of one kind or another. But how do you take someone from eager amateur to money-making professional? Sure, there’s technique – everyone has to learn the tools of the trade. And then there’s business – whatever your art, you have to know its terrain, the people involved and how best to approach them. But then, there’s all the rest – the creative spark, tenacity, the ability to play like a child, and the will to stay up all night to meet your deadline (if that’s what it takes.) How on Earth do you teach that? Read the rest of this entry »
June 26th, 2015
First , thanks to Mike for last Friday’s blog. Whatever he chooses to call it, I just wish I could write humour half as well as he does!
Summer seems to bring out a spate of literary festivals, big and small. There’s the Ampthill Literary Festival on 11th July; the Buxton Festival from 10th to 26th July; the Ledbury Poetry festival from 3rd to 12th July… the list goes on and on and full details can be found here. Read the rest of this entry »
June 23rd, 2015
Since we did the limerick competition back in May (click here to read the winning limericks) I’ve been looking into constrained writing – any kind of writing that has to fit a pattern or obey particular rules. We all know some of these: haiku; sonnet; iambic pentameter. Even if you don’t know the specific structures involved, most of us have an idea what they are. But what about univocalic poetry, where verses use only one of the eight available vowels, or chaterism, where the length of words in a phrase increase or decrease in a uniform way, like: “I am the best Greek bowler playing?” Read the rest of this entry »
June 18th, 2015
I’m never quite sure what to call this stuff we sometimes write. Comic verse? Humorous verse? Both adjectives sound presumptuous. (You can hear the readers/audience shout, We’ll be the judge of that!) There’s always the more humble sounding light verse – concocted for a family celebration perhaps, with guests well inebriated and correspondingly appreciative. But what will they think the morning after?
Maybe it’s the word verse that’s at fault – it has that quaint, old-fashioned ring and also brings to mind the modern, cringeworthy greeting card. But then humorous poetry has slightly chilling overtones too. I often imagine it in the deadpan voice of Peter Cook’s wonderful E.L. Wisty character, “Good evenin’, I write humorous poetry, you know.”
There are many permutations of these words that we could choose to label our work. And they all seem somehow apologetic. Or a bit of a put-down. Read the rest of this entry »
June 15th, 2015
I’m thinking about article writing again; getting ready to make a first pitch to an editor later this summer. I’m all set to work on text, and there will be pictures (either ones I’ve taken myself or sourced images with permissions and licenses.) But I’ve just been flicking through some old copies of E-Zee Writer, where I stumbled on an article by the always informative Simon Whaley, and it’s given me some great ideas for bonus features that are sure to make me look like a seasoned pro’ – boxouts, side-panels and side-bars. Read the rest of this entry »