Saturday, 29 November 2008

Tools of writing

Before you begin a novel, short story, essay, poem or whatever your forte is, you gather the tools to do so. Right? Of course, right...the first time. You might start with a blank piece of paper and a pen, or you might have an old typewriter that does it for you and you get the ribbon, the paper, etc, or it might be your old pc or a new laptop with the program that fits your could even be a dictaphone you hauled out of a drawer and put to use for the first time. It doesn't matter, there are certain tools you need to start. Right? Right...the first time. These are your motivators- look, I have it all ready, surely now I can write....

And time passes.

And you realise something more. Almost profound.

Tools have zero to do with it. You realise a piece of paper will do, any piece, any pc will do, any pen, any ribbon...because the words become more important than the tools. Agreed, the right tools make it so much easier and simpler, particularly in this modern electronic age when most agents and pusblishers prefer email submissions (thank heaven), but it is not the factor that drives creativity. What drives you is far beyond how you achieve your goal.

When all is right with your world of writing, your tools are dream prompts, a great photo, something someone said, a piece of music, a tear when your son or daughter said 'thanks mom', or simply the magic that goes on in your mind. You can be walking, driving, eating, sleeping, sitting, watching TV, reading, listening to music, talking, having a glass of wine...and if that tale or verse is trying to get out, it will erupt...and how you record it is beside the point.

My point is this: don't fret when you think your tools let you down. Allow your mind to be the tool, and everything else falls into place when the time is right. And don't fret about that timing either- trust yourself.

Writers write because we love it, because we exist for it, because it is a grand passion, because we are complete when we do so. Follow your heart and your instincts and believe in yourself, and don't ever give up once you discover your grand passion.

Writers, I salute you.

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Gloriously Colourful Ireland!

Autumn trees and grand gates.............
Autumn along a winding road.....

Even ruins are glorious when the leaves begin to turn...

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

The Library of Alexandria

Underwater museum and wonderland...
Alexandria as it was...
What lies beneath...

When one thinks books, knowledge and the ancient world in one thought, one thinks the library at Alexandria. What a wonder that must have been, and what a loss to the world then and now.

Alexandria isn't just known for Alexander the Great, his library and progressiveness (relative and dependent on viewpoint), but also for Ptolemy, Cleopatra and, of course, Mark Antony, and others. It was civilisation and granduer and colour and spice and the stuff of Pharoahs and legends.

Recently the ancient harbour city was rediscovered by archeaologists under water in the Mediterranean...fantastic! Like to Troy, another 'myth' is uncovered as reality. Now that is the stuff of legends.

For future generations and for our present awe and enjoyment, an underwater museum is planned for the site. Above is an artist's impression of what that will look like. Hold all thumbs that one day soon this becomes reality. We need to preserve our past for our future, and what better way than to make it accessible?
Every appreciation is due to everyone involved with discovery, reporting and the creative process that takes us to the next step.

Monday, 29 September 2008


1. Wisdom that is recondite and abstruse and profound
2. Intellectual depth; penetrating knowledge; keen insight, etc
3. The intellectual ability to penetrate deeply into ideas
4. the quality of being physically deep

Definition from WordWeb

Okay, so what is my point?????

The other night, while watching a movie, I came across this:

John Hurt said : whereof one cannot speak, thereof be silent...

U-hum. Sounds great, really profound, resonates with deep thinkers, but really? Isn't he just saying: if you have nothing to add, shut up?

Is profundity, therefore, great language that masks the mundane?

I love profound! Make no mistake! We should, however, be more cautious how we label it. First read between the lines, translate into everyday language if need be, and feel what is actually being said. If it does resonate...we probably have a genuine case of profundity on our hands. If not, the speaker or writer simply desires to show off.

Nobody likes a show off (apologies to John Hurt!)...

Thursday, 28 August 2008

The effect of weather

The weather, our great manipulator! We plan our lives around it only to be taken by surprise at almost every turn. It also affects, I believe, how and when we write.

When the wind blows, creativity goes out of the window!

When the sun shines, laziness enters! On a sunny day we need to be outside, don't we? Especially if one lives in a country where it rains almost ALL of the time!

When it rains (almost ALL of the time)...well, I have to admit that is when I write with the most flair and creativity! I guess that means almost ALL the time...

Last note on weather effect, as personal as above: When it storms, a la wind, hail, rain, etc, that is the greatest time to write! Of course, one keeps expecting the electricity to go out...

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

When lines from poems follow one around

Nursery prayers as a child - now I lay my head down to sleep, and pray the Lord my soul to

School poetry - when fishes flew and forests walked...

And poems that just stick no matter what - do not go gently into that good night...
miles to go before I sleep...
oh, Captian, my Captain...

Many More!

My personal favourite - ...and I, I took the road less travelled, and it has made all the

Friday, 8 August 2008


What is Fantasy?

The easy answer is a fantastical tale that has no basis in reality.

However, words cannot stand alone. One needs to weave them into a sequence that makes sense to the reader, and thus there has to be grounding, the basis for the tale, be it another world, time or place right here on Earth. That basis is drawn from imagination and real life. To explain to the reader that there is no floor in the chamber, well, the reader and the writer both understand the concept you see where I'm going?

A more correct answer is that fantasy is tweaking reality...and therefore allows imagination to soar.

A note here: publishers call this genre fiction and it can be a nightmare to get them to even read a manuscript. I submit to you that there are so many of us seeking to escape for a little while the stresses of real life that genre fiction should be celebrated and made readily available. After all, how fantastical is another world, really?

Do we not dream?

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

Here Be Dragons

Ever heard that?

Most of us, I believe, have! Personally, whenever I read that, be it on a blog, a site, in a magazine or book, I am intrigued. It reveals to me the author thinks on a different path...and thus I read further.

This is a dragon I drew for my letterhead. When it is tiny is a text box, it looks much better!

Creative Time

When are you most creative? When do the ideas flow?

I have frequently awakened at night with a great thought and promise myself I won't forget...and do! Now I write it down and then go back to sleep. From this I think you can tell my creative time is at night.

Getting up early is not something I enjoy, but I do find I edit better in the morning.

Thus: flow for existing work is easier in the morning and flow for new work is greater at night!

I prefer quiet. Do you?

Monday, 4 August 2008

What's in a name?

Why Bards and Tales? The answer is simple: life should be about the stories and the storytellers! Every moment of our lives adds up to a tale, and can be short, long, intense, a journey and, along the way, we hear other tales, be it of people, events, stories from a book, a great movie, a joke...or simply a quiet moment shared.

Bards have the responsibilty to reveal something new, strange, old or of the everyday. These are the tales we love. Ours is the responsibility to listen and in there is the privilege of pleasure!

Speak and listen.

Tell me how you feel when you hear Bards and Tales. Perhaps I shall hear a new word!