Whale Song by Nicola Bourne

Creative Writing, Short Story
Originally published on The Stockholm Review of Literature, Issue 21

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Something’s different. Approaching the beach I feel it immediately. There’s something unknown, like a song caught on a breeze that you can’t quite hear. The wind whips my hair, slapping me across my cheeks. Salt is thick in the air, it tastes as bitter as the cold, but even so, a large crowd has already turned out.

I came as soon as I heard, running from my stall in the harbour, not even considering that I was leaving it wide open. The man in front of me rushes, accidentally kicking a child’s crab bucket over, causing crying from the boy and crabs to slip all over the walkway, unable to tell the direction of the sea. We scurried away from the harbour, to the point where industry gives way to wide beaches flanked by lawns, promenades and the suntrap making windbreakers. And then ¾ she was there. A demonstrative humpback whale beached on tiny pebbles.

There’s no blood. That’s the first thing I think. I don’t know why I had assumed there would be. Actually, I lie. There’s no blood was my second thought, my first was a half-formed thing ¾ a shock, a sharp intake of air, the size!

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Continue reading ‘Whale Song’ by Nicola Bourne on The Stockholm Review of Literature

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Creative Writing, Poetry

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Stars don’t die quietly

they scream light into the blazing sky

with Ares’ sword pointed towards themselves

 

spitting and burning the

truth

they splatter blinding supernovas

into the black padding of the night

 

dying stars don’t wink at the moon but take

pride in their indifference to

Death

and their

Love of the withering

light that burns them up from the inside

constellations of dust and

dents that hold the everlasting dark

 

until they do no more and

_

 

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January Catch-Up

Any Human Heart, Blogs, Creative Writing, Goals, Journey Back to Health, Writing & Blogging

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The Joy of January

I have to confess to usually hating January. It’s cold, its dark, the Christmas lights that were making everywhere look so pretty are gone, money is tight and it’s so cold that I’m left clinging to the radiator like we are shipwreck survivors.

The Change
This year I have changed my whole attitude to January and have been embracing it. After the craziness of Christmas, I’ve been taking this quieter month as a real opportunity to have some downtime and spend more time quietly at home. To take care of my house a bit more, to read with my children. My evenings have been spent snugged-up indoors having a hot bath and reading one of the awesome books or box-sets that I got for Christmas. I have been enjoying the gentle quietness January brings.

Reflection
This time also allows for some quieter reflection of what I would like to achieve in 2018, rather than the big – I wanna be skinny – resolution, I can take time to really think. I mean, obviously, I do want to be skinny but I am able to take the time to really think about how I am going to achieve that. But also consider life goals, work goals, what writing I want to work on, family goals. To really think about the year ahead and what will be best for us all.

Soul Detox
I also decided to have an online detox in January and have been attempting to Marie Kondo the hell out of my life. It’s still a work in progress but if it doesn’t bring me joy… I’ve unsubscribed and unfollowed. I’ve changed my notification settings so that my phone isn’t pinging every two minutes with notifications that I don’t need to see urgently. It’s been really nice to receive emails and notifications that do bring me joy, and it definitely feels less overwhelming.

January’s Close
Now that we are nearing the end of January, I am loving seeing little shoots appearing in the ground and I hope that I too will be able to step into February feeling entered, refreshed and renewed.

January Writing Workshops

The Let’s Start Writing Workshop that I ran at the beginning of January was fantastic and we had such a wonderful time. I love running this course as it’s so much fun seeing people trying something new for the first time and loving it.
And great news – starting on Monday I am running another two courses that you can sign up to…

There are plenty of testimonials on the Writing Workshop page so take a look.  Enjoy the rest of your January and I hope to see you on one of the courses soon.

Nicola x 

 

Registration Open!

Creative Writing, Writing & Blogging

Hello all,

I have great news!  After the successful Let’s Start Writing Workshop that I ran in September, I have decided to run it again in January – perfect for your New Years Resolution to write more or for your to buy for someone else for Christmas – and you can now sign-up for the next Let’s Start Writing Workshop now!

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Read all about it here…

So exciting!

Creative Writing, Writing & Blogging

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I get a lot of questions about writing and where to start.  There is no doubt that starting is the hardest part, so I had the idea to help you do just that!

This September I will be running a free

LET’S START WRITING WORKSHOP

From Monday 11th September till Sunday 18th September I will send you a daily email with a discussion, tips & hints, examples and a small task for you to complete.

You don’t need any previous experience and you won’t be sharing anything so don’t be nervous.  This is just about and for you.  All writing prompts will be Creative Non-Fiction based meaning all tasks will ask you to draw from your own life and experiences, so again, no need to be nervous about coming up with epic novel ideas.

And… September is the perfect time to start because…
Changes in seasons always spark inspiration, classes start in September and (arguably more importantly) it means you have a valid excuse to get involved in a bit of ‘Back to School’ stationary shopping!

Sign Up Here and wait for the first email to hit your inbox on Monday 11th September

If you are worrying about writing, read my last post But I Can’t Write to remind you why you totally can!

This is going to be super relaxed and super fun and I can’t wait to see you there in September! xx

But I Can’t Write?!

Cancer & Me, Writing & Blogging

Unknown-1.jpegThis has gone through your head, hasn’t it? I know it has.  You know that you want to write but then the fear and the doubt creeps in, takes the pen from your hand and tells you to go sit down and stop getting ideas above your station.  I know this because this is one of the biggest things people tell me whilst also telling me how much they would LOVE to write.

It might not just be that you believe you can’t write.  It could be a belief you hold on to that everything needs to be perfect before you write, that you need to ensure you know everything before you start, a fear of failure, or a fear of success, you don’t think the time is right, the environment is right, your house is tidy enough… whatever it is, it all comes back to the little voice in our heads telling us do NOT put yourself out there.

Ultimately you are lacking the self-belief that you can do it – and you shouldn’t be!

And I get it, I totally get it!  Even though I have had a book published, articles published, a short play performed, a First Class Honours degree in Creative Writing, been accepted to Cambridge University and write an award-winning blog, I still have that same little voice nagging in the back of my head telling me that I can’t do it and I’m not good enough!

So if you are feeling it, remember – feeling ‘the fear’ is fine. It’s normal. But you can never let fear control you because then it distracts you, demotivates you and will leave you regretting things you’ve never done.  Take control.  Get those thoughts and fears out.  Dispel them by using them to fuel your writing.

Write about what you are afraid of. What could go wrong?  What’s the worst possible outcome?  But then write about why you are going to do it anyway.  Write a list of all the amazing things you are going to gain from writing. Acceptance. Understanding. Perception. Control. Creative living. A place for your stories and memories. Ten minutes out of your day when it is just about you and your thoughts. The ability to control your own narrative… write down anything that is positive. In fact, do that now…

Write a list, right now, of at least 5 things you will gain from writing…. Go!

Amother idea… Whenever your inner critic comes screeching into your mind, make a note of what they are saying, give yourself some time to reflect on it and then write your critic a letter, giving them some advice on how to be kinder.

Another common thing people tell me when they are asking about blogging or sharing their story is – but there are already so many blogs about cancer / serious illness / make-up / whatever it is you want to blog about, out there!

And I always reply with this… Yes, there probably are BUT only you can tell your story your way. Only you know what it was like going through the things you have been through.  Only you know how you feel about certain books / make-up / parenting.  Only you can write that specific piece of creative fiction.  And if you don’t tell it, you are denying the world from hearing what you have to say.

Don’t worry about what other people are doing – just worry about all the awesome stuff that you are doing.

Sometimes it’s just about giving ourselves permission to write. So take this, here and now, as your permission to write and to allow writing to help and heal you. 

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There is always going to be a day when you start. Everyone, even JK Rowling started at the beginning, having never had anything published, looking at a blank page, wondering if anyone was ever going to give a shit.  Is the first thing you ever write going to be exceptionally amazing – maybe not, but it is going to be a hell of a lot better than a blank page! Seriously, no one is ever going to read that!

 

Happy Writing! x

P.S. I wanna read what you are writing so if you have a blog / book / anything, please leave the link in the comments below so that we can all take a look.

How to write about your cancer experience – the webinar!

Cancer & Me, The Fabulous Woman's Guide Through Cancer, Writing & Blogging

image1Hello all you lovelies!

Did you see the webinar that I did with the fabulous Coaching Emily last Thursday as part of my Virtual Book Tour?  If not, great news, you can see it here…

It was a fantastic experience and the time flew past, meaning that it is actually over an hour but, hopefully it’s worth it.

Once you’ve watched the webinar you will know that there is our unique community supporting people after cancer on Facebook, set up by a qualified coach and health psychology specialist – Coaching Emily herself!  If you’re not already a member, you can request to join the group here…

And if you want ALL the information, then please do grab a copy of the book here.

Only one more stop on the Virtual Book Tour so I will see you there on the 31st March!

Come with me to Los Angeles!

Cancer & Me, Writing & Blogging

Virtual Book Tour Love

Gosh I wish I really could feel that LA heat BUT let’s Virtually head over there and visit Esme Winterflood at her LA Lash Studio on Venice Beach.

Esme is sharing her excerpt from The Fabulous Woman’s Guide Through Cancer where she gives all the tips and tricks for lashes when you are going through chemotherapy.

So head over and visit Esme Winterflood here

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We still have loads more to come with our Virtual Book Tour so make sure that you sign up here to stay up to date with everything that’s going on and remember to pass it on! xx

Did you see the previous Virtual Book Tour stops?

screen-shot-2017-03-06-at-09-25-45.pngTalent Keepers
Guest post ‘Managing Employees Returning from Critical Illness’
Read all about it here!

 
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The Fabulous Woman’s Guide Through Cancer was Nicola Jane’s first ‘Book of the Month’
Read all about it here!

Still to come…

I will be meeting some fabulous women over the coming weeks so stay tuned and pass it on to anyone else who might be interested!

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