Category Archives: Creativity

Clean Air: Act. And a poem and a chat

If you’re not as ancient as me you won’t remember the pea-soupers in London: and I’d only been breathing for just under two years at the time so it’s not exactly a memory for me either, but by 1956 The Clean … Continue reading

Posted in Climate Change, Coronavirus, Creativity, Death and Dying, Listening, One Green Thing, Poetry, Science, Shared Reading | Leave a comment

Shonaleigh Cumbers: Grief is Love with Nowhere to Go; and One Green Thing: clean aviation fuel

Shonaleigh Cumbers is a Drut’syla. To quote from here: She’s a living tradition holder. It’s a tradition you probably won’t have heard of. It’s a tradition that flourished in Jewish families, but that was wiped out during the holocaust. Almost wiped … Continue reading

Posted in Climate Change, Coronavirus, Creativity, Good News, Good Things, Health, Love, One Green Thing, Storytelling | Leave a comment

Wise and kind words for the Coronavirus pandemic by Adrie Kusserow

This poem for these strange times is written by Adrie Kusserow after Mary Oliver’s Wild Geese : it speaks for itself. Mary Oliver for Corona Times, thoughts after the poem Wild Geese, by Adrie Kusserow, ethnographic poet You do not have to … Continue reading

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A Warming Valentine to the World (and vegan vogue)

A friend of mine told me about the speech Prince Charles made at this year’s Davos World Economic Forum who say, in their Mission Statement: We believe that progress happens by bringing together people from all walks of life who have … Continue reading

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Good news to begin 2020; Splosh! (to reduce plastic) and beautiful new year lights

So often good news doesn’t make the news, so here are a few good pieces of news to start 2020 with, from Future Crunch (where you’ll find 99 other good pieces of news, divided into categories). One of the founders of Future … Continue reading

Posted in Art, Climate Change, Creativity, Democracy, Equality, Good News, Health, Human Rights, Living Standards, One Green Thing, Plastic, Recycling | Comments Off on Good news to begin 2020; Splosh! (to reduce plastic) and beautiful new year lights

100 Novels That Shaped Our World; free travel with a book and One Green Thing

Four women and two men have just chosen 100 Novels That Shaped Our World. The choosers are: Stig Abell, editor of the Times Literary Supplement, Syima Aslam, founder of the Bradford Literature Festival, authors Juno Dawson, Kit de Waal and Alexander … Continue reading

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Janet Clare on getting published later on, and Vice’s Broadly.

I’ve been meaning to read this article by an older writer about starting to write later in life and how, after a very long writing journey and the discovery that every writer makes at some point, that all writing is … Continue reading

Posted in Creativity, Cyberspace, Fiction, Internet, Psychology, reading, Rewriting, Things I'd Love to Have Made, Women, Writers, Writing, Writing Courses | Comments Off on Janet Clare on getting published later on, and Vice’s Broadly.

The Benefits of Reading the Old-Fashioned Way; and Splosh!

I found this article about the benefits of reading to children at a young age on Mental Floss a little while ago: April, I think. Anyway I’ve just refound it and it delights me to know that a 2018 study has … Continue reading

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Anne Lamott’s Twelve True Things; and Human Libraries

Anne Lamott, whose Bird by Bird helped me immeasurably when I was writing my first novel, Speaking of Love (I was stuck, didn’t know what to write or how, but Lamott’s Bird by Bird dispelled my despair, took my hand and … Continue reading

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A hug a day keeps the doctor away, and Brooklyn’s new Center for Fiction

I read here, the other day, in an article by a South Korean Zen Buddhist monk called Haemin Sunim, that hugs have health benefits. Here he is and here’s part of what he wrote: Anthony Grant, a professor of psychology at … Continue reading

Posted in Bookshops, Creativity, Mental Health, Psychology, Things I'd Love to Have Made | 1 Comment

Diana Athill, and The Astrology Book Club

Diana Athill (1917-2019 – she died on 23 January) was an editor extraordinary, a novelist and a memoirist. She was also one very wise woman. In her book, Somewhere Towards the End, she wrote: What dies is not a life’s value, … Continue reading

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Make Good Art, a resolution for the new year

In January 2016, I quoted Neil Gaiman’s wonderful advice which is, essentially, whatever you’re doing, don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry … Continue reading

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How Doctors use Poetry, and a blue-green stone

Recently I spent a night in hospital and the thing that struck me about the nursing staff, as I watched them admit new patients to the ward, was their infinite kindness; their ability to explain exactly the same things to … Continue reading

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Creativity and Patience; and walks with Mental Health Mates

Being an artist means … ripening like the tree which does not force its sap and stands confident in the storms … summer [will] come. But it comes only to the patient … patience is everything! from Rainer Maria Rilke’s advice to Franz Xaver … Continue reading

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Literary Villains, Literary Summer Reads and an idyllic treehouse in East Sussex (where you can stay)

Forty of the Best Villains in Literature appear in this article at The Literary Hub (where you’ll find many literary goodies). The villains include the obvious: Mr Hyde, Mrs Danvers, Uriah Heep, Mr Rochester, Dr Frankenstein, Hannibal Lecter and many more. But … Continue reading

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Women writers, and children; and Retro Peepers

I’ve never had children and the reason (apart from meeting the man whose children I’d love to have had well beyond my fertile years) is that I was always afraid that looking after children would eat so far into my … Continue reading

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Writers on writing, and an exquisitely beautiful tea

When our writers’ group met this week one of our number described how the rise of the ‘plotting and typing’ approach to writing was driving her demented. How all the work is done before you’ve typed a word and then you … Continue reading

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RMS Titanic: on this day 106 years ago … & Samira Addo, Portrait Artist of the Year

It’s 106 years ago today that the ‘unsinkable’ passenger liner, RMS Titanic, hit an iceberg and sank in just two hours and forty minutes. For years the tragedy was a matter of private internal horror: people didn’t talk about trauma then and … Continue reading

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Social media and the writer; Modigliani and Akhmatova

It’s wise for writers to have a social media presence these days. Publishers don’t exactly insist on it, but they like writers who have significant followings. (Followers equal interest in the writer and so potential sales, obviously.) But how does … Continue reading

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Teaching kids to fall in love with science (a different kind of love for Valentine’s day); and things to do with rubbish

I was noodling around on the internet wondering what I was going to post about this month when I discovered Arvind Gupta. He won the Padma Shree on 26 January (India’s Republic Day) for his work in literature and in education, … Continue reading

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