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Recent posts – Page 149

  • The Importance of Sharing

    I don’t care what T.S. Eliot says: January is the cruellest month. The first month of the year brings all the freezing cold weather of December with none of the excitement of Christmas. Hatches are battened down; friends go into hibernation. And five weeks is a long time to wait between pay slips...

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  • Noise Abatement

    A few years ago, before I ever really cared about quiet, I heard somewhere that it was Ivor Cutler who had started the Noise Abatement Society. I mentioned this interesting titbit to my aunt, whose household is a musical one, and who Likes A Perty. She said (I paraphrase, but not much): “Doesn’t...

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  • Writing When Real Life Gets in the Way

    We've all heard the one about the writer's brain being like a muscle: if you don't use it, tone it endlessly and give it what it needs, you suffer a sort of flabbiness of the cerebellum and the place you are destined to suffer is on the page. As I run up hills, I prefer to use the analogy of the...

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  • The Fear

    When Thomas Keneally guested on Desert Island Discs in 2007, he described the act of writing as ‘an exercise in controlling fear – the fear is that you are not a writer.’ I recognized the emotion immediately but struggled to match it to the person expressing it. Thomas Keneally has written over...

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  • Bringing History to Life

    "History leaves so much out. It leaves out the most important thing: the detail of what being alive is like." So said the novelist J.G. Farrell, when asked why he wrote historical fiction. I want to reach for these words whenever I try to explain to others and myself the messy pursuit I have...

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  • Fuel for the Fires of Inspiration

    The struggles of writers who have produced art out of suffering and persecution are well documented and celebrated, and rightly so. Less high profile is the struggle of writers who try desperately to produce art out of their normal, workaday lives. These writers (and I count myself among this...

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