My Grandmother’s Teapot

This was my Grandmother’s teapot. I can’t recall ever going to to her house and not seeing this little teapot sitting on the kitchen table, alongside her tannin stained teacup. As was the custom among her generation, she always used tea leaves and she always, always, steeped her tea way too long for anyone of…

Drawing energy from others (or a few of my blog discoveries)

As a newcomer to the blogosphere, I’ve been blown away by the willingness of established bloggers to visit my site and to leave me a ‘like’. Along with the warm fuzzy feeling this gives me, the other rather awesome benefit is that it has introduced me to some interesting/informative/fun blogs that I might not have…

Playing with perspectives: The girl in the hood

I’m not sure about you folks, but when I start a story, I usually have a clear idea of what POV it should be from, then invariably I get part way through and wonder if a different POV would tell the story better. Despite thinking about this a lot, I have to say that I…

‘To be or not to be’ should not be the question

As a rule, I don’t like definitions. It isn’t really that I don’t like them, it’s that I don’t find them very helpful. Their purpose seems to be to divide and conquer. In their assumption of an ‘other’, they trap us in unhelpful, unproductive, ‘either or’ thinking. Take the glass half-full or half-empty scenario. The…

Not. Not. Not. Not.

I have notebooks piled up around my study. One of them is my ‘Book of Memories’, where I scribble down random memories that pop up, usually triggered by some current event. Another, my commonplace book, records words and phrases that I like (I’ve talked about my commonplace book before). Yet another captures story ideas, in…

My treasure chest of life

In an earlier post, Fictional words with real-world swagger, I talked about how we can apply made-up worlds to our everyday lives and achieve real-world outcomes. Today, I want to give a shout out to the sentences that take your breath away; not in a oh-my-god-that’s-horrendous type of way, but in the I-have-to-go-back-and-read-that-again type of…

Embracing the bad

Kyle A. Massa’s recent post on his most embarrassing writing fails is a cracking read. But it’s not the writing fails that makes it so good; it’s Kyle’s retelling of events and his ability to look past the cringe of reading back through old writing to find the lessons therein. Those lessons being, if I…

Summer TBR list revisited

One of my summer reading picks was Devotion by Hannah Kent.  Although I finished the book some time ago, I’ve struggled to pull together a review. That’s not because I didn’t enjoy it – quite the opposite, I adored this book – but because I think it is one of those books that is best…

A 28-day month has its advantages

Back at the dawn of the new year, I wrote a post explaining why this blog and why now. TL;DR The blog is my driver for writing more often and getting past the fear that strikes when I think about sharing my writing with, well, anyone! Since that post I’ve managed to post just twice….

Language and power: Margaret Atwood’s ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’

Today I’m going back to my academic roots to take a look at the use of language in Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale. I got on a bit of a roll so it is a long one. Sorry! ‘But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.’ George Orwell, 1946 Language is loaded with…