This Isn’t School!

Creative Writing

A few people have said they want to take part in the Let’s Start Writing workshop but are worried as they are busy Monday.  Please do not worry!

I will email you the details on Monday 7th May but you have plenty of time to do them and work at your own pace. You don’t send anything back to me for a couple of weeks so again, plenty of time.

Rest assured you can do the tasks on a day that suits you & there’s space for catching up – this isn’t school! 😊

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There is only one place left so sign up now and I’m looking forward to seeing you there!

Let’s Start Writing

Sign up now to join the Let’s Start Writing Workshop starting Monday 7th January 2019

£20.00

 

Non-Fiction November Recommendations

To Love To Read

It’s non-fiction November and I love it.  There are SO many wonderful non-fiction books, everything from creative non-fiction and memoirs to literary journalism and essays.  There is something incredible about reading something and knowing that it is a true and lived experience.

These are just a few of my favourite non-fiction books that you might want to think about picking up this November…

71UzoY91DTLThe Outrun by Amy Liptrot

I loved this book.  It is a memoir following Amy Liptrot through a point of major change in her life of extremes.  Going from living in one of the most remote and quietest parts of Scotland to a hedonistic lifestyle in London that quickly spiralled out of control and finding her way back again.  It’s incredibly moving, beautifully written and gives an amazing insight into the mind of an addict.  This book will also make you want to desperately visit the Shetland Islands!

51D5+AsHk0L._SX330_BO1,204,203,200_The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson

This book is so unique.  Nelson is also a poet which I think comes across in her work because the sentence structures are so stunning.  This memoir reflects on the woman’s body through the lens of Nelson’s relationship with her body when she is pregnant and her gender fluid partner’s body as they transition.  The text is very fragmented and jumps around time like she is trying to piece all her memories together.

9781408859261The Fish Ladder by Katharine Norbury

This is one of my favourite books of all time.  Katharine Norbury’s memoir is  one of the most beautiful books I’ve read.  It combines memoir and nature writing, following Norbury’s journey to the source of a river in the UK after she has a miscarrige.

This book does broach the subject of miscarrige, although its not discussed in length, I think its worth giving a trigger warning for a very sensitive subject.

91h3nXHn+dLMen We Reaped by Jesmyn Ward

Ohhh this book!  Writer Jesmyn Ward lost five young men in her life in just five years!  In this beautifully written memoir, Ward reflects on her relationships with these men and what lead to their deaths, as a way to look at the circumstances that young black men who live in poverty often find themselves in.  Let your eyes be opened and your heart moved by this incredibly honest book!

coverNo Is Not Enough by Namoi Klein

I am reading this book at the moment.  It is about ‘shock politics’ and how someone like Donald Trump (who she calls the ultimate logo) can become President of the USA.  Although it’s about America, a worrying amount is relevant to the UK at the moment!  It also looks at how we, as societies can stop letting fear taking over and bring unity back. As Klein says, ‘This is a look at how we arrived at this surreal political moment, how to keep it from getting a lot worse, and how, if we keep our heads, we can flip the script.’

51dyNorWnNL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_The Fabulous Woman’s Guide Through Cancer by… me!

Given that it is non-fiction, I kinda feel like I have to mention my book.  Part self-help and part memoir this book moves from diagnosis to getting the all clear, trying to offer everything that I learned along the way.

 

Do you have any non-fiction books that you would recommend?  If so, please leave a comment in the comments section below… I am always looking for books to add to my list of books to be read!

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Happy Reading! x

Today is National Writing Day!

Creative Writing, Writing & Blogging

National Writing Day a one-day national campaign to celebrate the power and pleasure of writing.

For National Writing Day everyone is being asked to share the ‘View From My Window.’ This is just a little activity to give you the chance to express your vision of the world around you, whatever that may look like.  Write what you ‘see’ when you look out of the window.

I am going to combine this with the ‘morning pages’ technique that I talk about in my book, where you just write, without editing or any concentration, just let the words fall out of you for 5 minutes and see that comes out.  If you want to join in the conversation, please do post what you write in the comments, I would LOVE to read it, equally if you want to keep it private, that is totally fine too – just WRITE!

Begin with the line, ‘The view from my window…’

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The view from my window is noisy.  With the types of noise you only hear when it’s quiet.  The sound of a neighbour’s radio, workman hammering on a roof, birds rustling on branches and the distant echo of a train.  Sounds pour through my window, all offering me a chance to see what is outside before I look.

But my eyes see something different.  A stillness.  The sun is made of more fire than light today and even the overgrown hedge branches are trying not to move because of the heat.  Bees aren’t moving, hiding in shady spots like lizards underneath rocks, desperately hoping not to be exposed.

But the brightness.  Like one of my daughters drawings when everything is the brightest, biggest version of itself.  Never one to paid a twilight sky navy it is a clear day, the sky coloured with the brightest blue in the box.

With nothing there and no one moving there isn’t much to look at, and yet, everything in my world is shown there.

Visit National Writing Day for more information about this awesome day!