Showing posts from September, 2010

The first day of autumn

I am a child of change. I always have been. Life can be as harmonious and bountiful as you like but if there is no room for change, then I just can't be happy. It's not that I'm ungrateful for the joys I've been given. It's just that I don't like to sit still for long - on to the next project or improvement. That's why I like autumn - it's a sign of change.

Like spring, autumn heralds a turn in the year, a handing over from the summer's long days to winter evenings that wrap us in their shades of darkness. The autumn equinox marks the second day in the year (the first being the spring equinox) when there is a balance between light and dark, a brief harmony before the world carries on towards winter.

Today is the autumn equinox, the first day of autumn, called Mabon by pagans. For me, it's a day of being thankful for what the year has brought me (my harvest), looking to see where I'm out of balance, and finding ways to bring harmony into my l…

End of Day

The cool, sharp tang of the sea
carries on the evening breeze
as the husky sigh of the wind rises
to drown the murmur of shallow waves.

Final echoes of the sun
lay weary on the water,
auburn dimming to grey.

Like dust before a broom,
the clouds disappear,
leaving only the solitary moon
to watch over the night.


I wrote this in July 2000.

Untouched, yet felt,
a guilty glance offered
with the knowledge that
once accepted,
once succombed,
there is no going back.

Untouched, once more,
we talk around the heat
that hangs between us,
levels of meaning
silently entwining,
warm in our minds' caress.

Untouched, we part,
and sigh that friendship
held our hearts in virtue.
Regret is sweet,
and yet I wonder.


Another poem I wrote in 1991.

Laughing with shared secrets,
we sprang across the moors -
boots heavy with peaty-earth,
faces radiant with the winter air
and each other.

The heather was our sampler,
where new joys,
unwrapped in the shivering air,
were offered, tasted and savoured.

Too impatient, our eyes too naked,
we could not see what would become
of our wilderness shared.
The eager cold, goose-pimpling us,
would numb our emotions,
and the the moors would be scorched grey.

The School Gates

Written by me and included in an anthology called 'The Write Moments' in 1990/91.

She left me at the school gates.
Alone, with a multitude of lost faces
I watched, we watched, as she, they, waved,
and the gates closed like a final sentence.

I, we all, turned to the tarmac wasteland,
precisely traced  with circuits of white paint.
Our new parent, hovering, twittering,
bird-like behind immense round spectacles,
gathered us up in her nestling embrace,
trapping our backward glance.

We became a form, as the minutes tumbled by,
of black and blonde, and brown and blue.
Wellies, coats, bags, hooks marked with duck-shaped
stickers, and words,
our names gloriously written in rainbow crayons.

She was forgotten, our home maker.
She did not enter our minds,
was pushed out by new textures, new tastes.
She was not now, but later,
when we charged into the afternoon.
She was waiting where we had left her,
or she had left us,
by the school gates.

Great way to start the week

Image by Getty Images via @daylife On my journey home from the school run this morning, I listened to this song on the car radio. What a brilliant sentiment for a grey Monday morning.

Beautiful Day by U2

Photo Inspiration

Some more shots for you.

Hoarding with Pride

Yesterday I wrote an article on my family history blog called Hoarders Anonymous. It talks about how the habit of hoarding has become a negative concept but that to geneaologists, the hoarded clutter of a relative or family can provide a treasure trove of research clues and information.

The collected clutter left to me by my parents sits under the stairs until I can free up a cupboard for it all. I've already filled one cupboard with photographs (note to self: must buy photograph albums and put these all in order) but I need more cupboard space for old family bibles, my parents' love letters and documentation that stretches back a number of generations. To this end, I started going through the cupboards in our study.

What I found was an interesting mix of craft materials (mainly for the children), the aforementioned photographs, an over abundance of candles (bring on the power cuts - no, don't, please - I need my computer), a graveyard of old gadgets that my husband hasn&#…

Roald Dahl Month

Image via Wikipedia  My daughter has developed a penchant for paperback novels. She can devour one in a single sitting. Not unusual for an adult but this eager reader is only eight years old. It was her birthday this weekend so I treated her to two books that I loved at her age, James and the Giant Peach and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, both by the wonderful writer, Roald Dahl (pictured), an apt purchase because September is Roald Dahl month.

This celebration of Dahl was originally launched on 13th September 2006 on what would have been his ninetieth birthday. 2010 sees this celebration stretch to embrace an entire month of festivities.

 "Roald was a great believer in birthdays being filled with treats, so he would be happy that this tradition seems to be becoming an annual event," said Dahl's widow, Felicity.

Events this September include:

'Fantastic Mr Fox' performed at the Little Angel Theatre, Islingtona staging of  'George's Marvellous Medicine&#…

Muse calling. Come in, Writer!

Where do you get your inspiration? Where does your muse strike you on the head, shouting "Oi! Numpty! Try this on for size."

As a busy mum, my brain is often on multiple tasks, for instance, making packed lunches while getting my children breakfast and ensuring my husband is out of bed. Even in bed, I'll be mentally planning the day ahead.

However, there is one place where I concentrate solely on the task at hand and hence clear some space in my mind - the shower. Whilst soaping up this morning, I had a moment of clarity about my novel, a realisation of what was missing and how that could be solved. What was a two horse race has found itself an additional runner. Bricks have fallen into place and although it may mean that I have to rejig my chapters and plot, I'm confident that this new development will add richness and a new appeal to my novel.

What about you? Where does your muse coming calling?

7 ways to get over writer's block

Step away from the keyboard (or pen and paper). Do something completely different for twenty minutes then return to your writing. This usually helps me reboot my imagination.Re-read what you've written. Of course this only works if you have actually written something already.Look over your notes or synopsis. Try to work out what it is that you're attempting to achieve with this piece of writing. Is your synopsis at fault? Would it be better to change the order of events? Is there a knowledge gap that is preventing you from taking the next step? Are you trying to make your character do something that they just wouldn't do?Write something different. You're stuck on chapter three so write chapter four. Act three is being a pain, so move to act four. Alternatively, if you're a blogger, go write a blog article (perhaps about writer's block). If it's your blog article that's causing your writing muscle to cramp, then revisit that novel or poem that you've…

Season of Bounty

Yesterday I wrote about my affection for the month of September but  autumn in general is a favourite time of the year for me. Like the harvest from the fields, orchards and hedgerows, this season always feels like a time of reward and fruition. As I mentioned yesterday, autumn brought to me my daughter and my husband. This was also when I got married.

In her '52 Qualities of Prosperous Writers' newsletter, Christina Katz wrote this week about being 'bountiful'. She writes,

Bountiful implies that your cup is already overflowing so you simply tip your abundance into the hands of others. No sainthood required!

One thing I'm always thankful for is the abundance of ways in which I can apply my writing. There's this blog of course, the plays I write for Murdering The Text and the ideas I have for novels too. More recently, my writing 'cup' has overflowed and with the help of my husband (who is also my writing partner), we've taken the scenario and cast of…


'Mellow' is the word that always comes to mind when I think of September. The days are still warm, there are flowers in the garden and we have time after school or work to go walking. And yet the way the colours of the garden and countryside have faded and the drawing in of the nights remind us that autumn and ultimately winter is on the way.

I like September. My children return to school and I can reclaim the house from a battleground of toys and abandoned socks. The extremes of summer (the long days, the brightest colours and cloudless skies) give way to a kinder, less challenging season.

I met my husband in September, an unexpected and warmly remembered encounter that set me on this well-loved path. My daughter was born in this month and my father was taken from me too. It has always been a time of change and fresh avenues into the future.

This September is no different. Today I posted off our sitcom pilot script to the BBC. My husband is in the midst of writing a second sc…

Murdering The Text Autumn Newsletter

The autumn newsletter for Murdering The Text is now available online.

With details of our latest play and autumn productions, have a look at the newsletter here.