Creativity

The Only Girl: the search for female sound engineers

I was always odd, the resident freak or weirdo in any situation. And then I became a sound engineer. As a woman, that makes me exceptional. There aren’t many of us, so when I heard about Laura Marling’s latest project, Reversal of the Muse, I gave a cheer. It’s about time there were more ladies… Continue reading The Only Girl: the search for female sound engineers

Creativity

Alan Moore on the magic of fiction and imagination

“I traffic in fiction. I do not traffic in lies.” Alan Moore reminds me of an Old English Sheepdog with a wry twinkle in his eye. You just know he’s got a juicy bone hidden somewhere. He’s best known for his comics, like Watchmen and V for Vendetta, and for the fact that he hates… Continue reading Alan Moore on the magic of fiction and imagination

Buddhism

Ox Herding Pictures: Riding the Ox Home

Riding free as air he buoyantly comes home  through evening mists in wide straw-hat and cape. Wherever he may go he creates a fresh breeze, while in his heart profound tranquillity prevails. This Ox requires not a blade of grass. Now you’re starting to get the hang of this awakening business – but don’t get… Continue reading Ox Herding Pictures: Riding the Ox Home

Writing

Writing Isn’t Like Making a Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich

“Every single time you sit down to write – a story, a poem, an essay, a novel – it will be a brand-new experience. No formula works. The mystery that solved your previous story doesn’t speak the same language as your current story. The key that unlocked the sonnet of yesterday won’t work today. Accept… Continue reading Writing Isn’t Like Making a Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich

Creativity · Meditation

Colouring Books: Art Therapy or Mindless Money-spinner?

There’s a new mindfulness craze sweeping the nation: colouring books for adults. It’s supposed to help you relax and be more mindful, but does it work? The idea is that keeping your hands occupied allows the mind to become still. If you struggle with normal meditation, where you have to sit and do nothing but… Continue reading Colouring Books: Art Therapy or Mindless Money-spinner?

Writing

David Foster Wallace on Writing & an old Chinese Tale

“I keep remembering this strange little story I heard in Sunday school when I was about the size of a fire hydrant. It takes place in China or Korea or someplace like that. It seems there was this old farmer outside a village in the hill country who worked his farm with only his son… Continue reading David Foster Wallace on Writing & an old Chinese Tale

Writing

Writing Exercise: Five Favourite Words

Another writing exercise to get the juices flowing! This time we’ll explore five of our favourite words – these could be any word you like or whatever is rattling around inside your head at the moment. Try to choose words that are concrete rather than abstract, words that point to something real, not an idea.… Continue reading Writing Exercise: Five Favourite Words

Writing

Writing Exercise: What’s in a Word?

I’m preparing to rewrite my second novel (again) so thought I’d limber up with some writing exercises, get the old fiction juices flowing. I’ll share the instructions for each exercise and the results, and you can ‘write along’ with me, if you like. Note: I’m doing these exercises longhand and then typing them up –… Continue reading Writing Exercise: What’s in a Word?

Mythology · Psychology

Sympathy for the Devil: the Nature of Evil

Where there is light, there is darkness, but hidden within the dark are the seeds of creation and the key to finding the light. In the last two posts we met the predator and discovered how he works in the story of Bluebeard. It’s time to get our hands dirty and jump into the viper’s… Continue reading Sympathy for the Devil: the Nature of Evil