Tag Archives: reading

“We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.” —Ernest Hemingway


P1060701Writing for me developed from a love of reading. There were not enough books in the universe for me to devour. Winnie The Pooh, Daktari, A Child’s Garden of Verses, Rebecca, and Wuthering Heights were all beloved favourites. They taught me so much. They taught me that there are all kinds of stories to be told, in all kinds of ways.

The first thing I remember writing was a poem. I used to love writing poetry, but sadly all those pieces are gone. Everything I wrote was contained in one book, and that book is lost forever to me. Yet I still feel those stories surrounding me. Changing form perhaps, but never completely abandoning me.

Those stories were a way to escape for me. I could dive in to other places than the one I lived in. But they were only for me, at least until I met a childhood friend and for the first time trusted the stories to another. There was only one person who ever got to read anything I wrote. I wonder if that was because I had such little self worth as a child. Was I too afraid I would be mocked for what I said in those first efforts? I think so. I still sometimes feel like that today. It is very hard to put out anything I write, especially my stories.

Poetry…now that is different, and I am not sure why that is. That I can and do share, but my short stories and longer works are difficult to put out there. I try not to let that stop me writing them though. Still, like everyone else who writes, sometimes it is hard to get one word out. At those times it is as if I am wearing gloves. Those gloves cut off the flow from me to the outside world. And I can’t get then off me…no matter how hard I try.

I look in awe upon writers like JK Rowling, who have enough belief in themselves to actually not only finish their projects but to publish them for the wider world to read. I am not sure I will ever be confident enough to contemplate approaching a publisher.

In this moment I shall just put down the stories as they come to me. They come from so many places, and until I have them out and on screen, a little niggle makes itself felt. Write it down, write it down, write it down it says to me. Is it possible I have my own Jiminy Cricket sitting on my shoulder ? I should like to think it is possible, just like I believe in the fairies in my garden, who weave their lives in and out of mine.

Sometimes they come when the night is at its darkest. They push open the kitchen screen enough to scramble through before making their way to my room. From behind my closed eyelids I see their bright, shiny sparks and hear their chatter. They run amok over the covers of my bed. One has a tendency to pull the duvet back, until I shiver and sit up in search of it.

Opening my eyes sees then scatter and with their gentle laughter they leave my awake and staring in to the darkness until an idea begins to form. My slumber is lost to me, but the loss is not felt too keenly as the ideas that hovered in my dreams begin to take a more solid form, and I write them down, I write them down, I write them down.

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Favorite Book Challenge

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to
1.       Pick your top five favorite books
2.      Between Jun 20 and 22, write one line of what each book is about and then write one line of why you liked it. Think of it like a twitter pitch for other people’s work. Semi-colons are cheating, but you can use them anyway.
3.      Go to other blogs and discuss the books.
4.      If you do not keep a blog, put your challenge in the comments on the day of the event.

I am taking part int the Favourite Book Challenge that is being organised by A Writer’s Journey.

Why don’t you join me?

So – here are my 5 favourites. (So sorry to the rest of the books I love – I’ll get to you next time. Promise)


1. Born Free – Joy Adamson

That Elsa existed is fact; that she lived across two worlds, both with the Adamsons, and free, is the tale that travels across these pages and crosses into your heart.

The book makes you feel a part of such an important and ground breaking wildlife challenge.

2. A Breath of Snow and Ashes – Diana Gabaldon

Facing the American Revolution, Jamie Fraser, and Claire who travelled from the 20th century to be with him, walk a precarious line to keep their family safe against forces that seem determined to drag them into the turmoil.

A great plot and fantastic characters drag you along with the story until you have to blink your eyes to be sure of where you actually are.

3. All Things Bright And Beautiful – James Herriot

James lives in Yorkshire and practices as a vet with the ever surprising Siegfried, as they deal with delightful animals and their sometimes not so owners before the Second World War.

The flow of the book just reaches out and takes you along with James as he travels the moors and back roads.

4. Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen

Elizabeth Bennet is the feisty daughter in a family of five daughters, all of whom Mrs Bennet is desperate to find a husband for, and her meeting with Fitzwilliam Darcy takes her and her family on a journey into life they never saw coming.

The words, the characters, the setting are beautiful and it is easy to get lost in it.

5. The Last Precinct – Patricia Cornwall

Kay Scarpetta, Chief Medical Officer for Virginia becomes involved in a murder case that turns her not so stable world upside down.

It is page turning, gripping, storytelling at its best.