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Literary Vending Machines

August 18th, 2017

First, thanks to Elise for last week’s blog. It just goes to show how different writing for film or TV can be from writing a novel. In the former, you have to be able to produce something visual for your audience whereas when writing a novel you are providing the structure and the ideas which will allow your readers to use their own imagination to understand and visualise your story.

I read an interesting piece this week in Writing Magazine about vending machines having been installed on 35 French railway stations. But these aren’t your standard machines offering drinks, sweets and crisps – instead they provide short stories. If you get to the station and have forgotten your book, or don’t want to fiddle with your mobile phone, you can press a button and print out a story. And you’ve even got a choice of length – do you want a one minute read, a three minute read of a five minute read? (Don’t worry, if you’re train is delayed you can always go back for another as they’re free!) Read the rest of this entry »




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Meter In Poems Or A Poem About Meters?

July 14th, 2016

water-babes-2.blogThis week really is going to be a miscellany! A few days ago I received a letter from Scottish Power asking me to contact them to arrange to have a Smart meter fitted. I can’t say I’m particularly excited by the prospect as I’m already pretty thrifty with my power consumption (just ask my long-suffering husband as he sits shivering in his thermals and three pullovers). And my idea of entertainment isn’t watching what happens to the meter when I turn on the kitchen light and the kettle at the same time.

I’ll go along with it, though, as it means no more taking readings from our very inaccessible electric meter or getting an estimated bill. But I’m certainly not as enamoured of the old system as Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy. She’s been writing a poem in praise of traditional meters as she feels that memories of them should be preserved as they are phased out over the next few years.  At least even she admits that it may be one of her more unusual projects!  I’ll keep you posted. Read the rest of this entry »




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Spring is Here! Time to Polish up Your Poetry

May 21st, 2014

I think it’s safe to say that we’ve definitely seen the last of the wintry weather for this year, and we’ve had some beautiful weather in Manchester this week. With a lovely long weekend to look forward to and (fingers crossed) more sunshine on the way, it’s the perfect excuse to get out and about and find some new ideas.

If you’re a poet, this is the perfect time of year for you. You only have to look at some of the classics to see how inspiring the natural world can be. Think of famous poems like Wordsworth’s “Daffodils” or Shakespeare’s “Sonnet 18”. Reading them conjures up images of sunny days, brightly coloured flowers and green grass, and it’s obvious that these poets were hugely influenced by their surroundings. If a walk in the country on a spring day doesn’t help you to come up with even a few new lines or verses – nothing will! Read the rest of this entry »




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