Books · Inspiration

Drama

 

The leaves are collecting in the corners of the garden. The animals must be gathering their food for winter. Thoughts of hibernation arise but I am clearing out. If I am to hibernate then it is time for a sort out!

thumb_IMG_E0573_1024Helping to tidy up the shelves and shelves of books in my father-in-law’s house recently, we found a pile of Penguin paperbacks.

For some reason this one caught my eye. Perhaps because it has a play by J.M. Barrie and I keep meaning to visit Kirriemuir where he was born. Maybe it’s because I love the story of Peter Pan.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading these. They are witty and clever, some sad, others funny. As John Ferguson says in his introduction, the plays are a ‘clear and precise study of some particular character, situation or problem.’ You can read my review on GoodReads here.

As I looked up the playwrights I stumbled upon the fact that M. Luce was in fact Margaret Luce, the grandmother of Miranda Hart. I’m a big fan of Miranda’s shows – they’re so cheery!

With drama on my mind and St Andrew’s day fast approaching (November the 30th) here’s a link to a great video to be found on the http://www.scotland.org website. (Did I mention the actress is my aunt! One very proud niece here!)

 

Wishing you all a very enjoyable time during Book Week Scotland!

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Cotoneaster in the sunlight.

 

 

Books · Nature · Thank you · walking

A Year of Writing

 

I set a target to write a blog for a year. Well, I did. Now …

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Eight reasons why writing a blog has been a good thing for me.

1. The discipline to write and post once a week

2.  To connect with new people

3.  To take time to reflect

4.  The garden, photos and writing all link together

5.  To join the Big Bee Count and the Big Butterfly Count and share

6.  To walk the dog – with purpose, giving me time to think about the blog post

7.  To learn eg. – about Lady Bird Johnston and her ‘Beautification Programme’

8.  To read and review books

 

Funnily enough, one of the things I had to learn was to give myself a holiday from the blog!

 

So, what next?

A new target.

This year I’d like to write a fortnightly blog and continue with the other types of writing I love;  writing for children, short stories, poems and so on.

I hope you’ll join me along the way and I’d welcome your feedback!

Time to switch the kettle on, love!

 

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Stunning Sweet Peas

 

bees · Books · Inspiration · Knitting · Libraries · Reading

Connections

Funny how little things link together throughout your life.

At the weekend I had a day of ‘connections’.

I was lucky enough to attend a writing course run by David Gray on behalf of the SCBWI.

What a treat, to take part in a writing course and be surrounded by books! The course took place in the fantastic setting of Dunfermline Carnegie Library, which, linked with the new museum, galleries, reading room, cafe and much more, looks out over Dunfermline Abbey.

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Wonderful view from the Carnegie Library

Afterwards we had a look at the super  ‘Blooming Marvellous’ family friendly gardening exhibition and it even had knitted flowers!

 

I grew up hearing the story of Andrew Carnegie and love the way his gift has just kept on giving. Dunfermline was the world’s first library to be funded by Andrew Carnegie and it opened in 1883.

The library was busy, even on a rainy day, and I’ll definitely be back to spend more time in Dunfermline.

So many things I love all together in one place; writing, reading, gardening, art, museums, knitting (and a cup of tea!) – truly a day of connections.

 

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Bee on the raspberries

 

Books · Nature · Reading · walking

Restful Reading

Reading something you enjoy for just 6 minutes a day can reduce your stress levels by two thirds.

 

So I thought of a couple of suggestions, hope you enjoy them!

  • Read my blog post about Balancing Life  with the Five Ways to Better Wellbeing.

 

 

 

  • Take a moment to read a poem.

 

 

 

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Forget-Me-Nots planted from seed last year!

 

 

 

 

 

bees · Books

Bees and Books

 

Bees, butterflies, birds, insects, flowers, trees, I think perhaps a garden is one of my favourite places to be. thumb_IMG_9038_1024

Now, team that up with a chair, a book and a sunny day – it just can’t get any better! (Okay, maybe we could add in a cuppa there!)

Sitting outside I can see the apple and cherry blossom are looking their best ever this year in the garden we’ve tried hard to make as bee, bird and butterfly friendly as we can.

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I’m so glad we did, especially after I finished reading our latest book group choice; The History of Bees by Maja Lunde.

 

It is a sobering thought to consider a world without bees.

With this in mind, I’ve joined the Great British Bee Count (on until June 30th 2018). Hopefully every sighting will help to inform the national Pollinator Monitoring Scheme.

What’s next? I have a copy of ‘The Bees’ by Laline Paull sitting on my bookshelf, time to switch the kettle on and find that chair in the sun!

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Books · Poetry

Laughter and Literature in Children’s Fiction

Set the scene, the Lady of Shalott floating gracefully down the river. All is calm.

Outside the isle a shallow boat 
Beneath a willow lay afloat, 
Below the carven stern she wrote, 

       The Lady of Shalott. 

 

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The Lady of Shalott features in Anne of Green Gables

Now imagine Anne Shirley in the place of the great lady, one minute drifting along, the next her boat has sunk and she is clinging to a post in the river!

It could only happen to Anne of Green Gables. Even though I read this as a child, the thought of Anne’s escapade and its dramatic conclusion still makes me laugh today.  This was my first introduction to The Lady of Shalott by Alfred, Lord Tennyson and I have remembered it ever since.

Perhaps it is one of the greatest compliments a writer can pay to another, to acknowledge and include the other’s work in their own with the hope of introducing it to a whole new audience.

 

After all isn’t it natural to want to share fiction we love?

 

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Hellebores in the spring sunshine
Books · Inspiration · Trees

Naturally, Fiction.

If I go for a walk I look at the trees. Each one is so individual it seems to almost have its own personality. thumb_IMG_8593_1024

Reflecting on this I wanted to consider the role trees play in fiction for children.

For me it all began with The Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton. I thought of trees as magical, kind, fun – after all wasn’t there a huge slide!

When I looked up trees in fiction I came across this article which suggested a couple of books I did know and some  more to add to my reading list, always a good thing!

It made me think, what did trees mean to me as a child?

Well, they were for:

playing on rope swings,
climbing or should I say scrambling,

using sticks and leaves for games and potions,
collecting conkers to play conkers,
tree bark rubbings,
gathering acorns, using the cups for fairy cups and
hiding behind for hide and seek. 

I’m sure others have many more things they could add to this list!

With all this in mind I hope I can include trees in my own writing. Like everything there are always two sides to a story so it may be that some of the trees behave like the Ents while others are more like Whomping Willows!

Have you taken a moment to look at the trees around you? What’s your favourite tree in fiction?

 

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A Christmas card scene – in March!