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When a book chooses you

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  Photo by D A V I D S O N L U N A on Unsplash It began as just a regular bimble, nothing unusual.  Then we bumped into a friend from church, who was running, which was unusual for him, especially when he said where he was running to. He was running to Mordor.  Yes, that really is what he said, and no, he's not been delusional. In fact, I've started running there myself too. Let me explain... We've taken on a virtual quest through a company called The Conqueror. You can go anywhere. From John O Groats to Kilimanjaro. From the Great Wall of China to The South Downs Way. And you get medals too! An excellent added motivation to exercise.  And with 1,1067k to go before my next medal, I'm going to need that motivation! And what else will help with motivation? The book. Of course! As I began this challenge, I decided it would make total sense to read the novel. I read the Hobbit, a few years ago and it took me ages. It was a bedside book, so I only read a few pages at a time

Life’s Rich and Unexpected Tapestry

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It’s February 6 th at nearly 6.30 in the evening. I’ve been writing, interviewing and editing all day and only now have I got enough headspace to write my blog for More Than Writers. When I started, nearly three and a half years ago, my mind was simply bursting with ideas. As I’ve shared before, when Wendy H Jones asked me if I’d like to join the MTW writing team, I was beside myself with excitement. In that heady first year, I’d usually written and scheduled my blog a week or so before it was due and any time a call went out to fill a gap, I was there, eager as a springer spaniel puppy in the prime of its life. Good Lord, I was enthusiastic! I feel quite tired thinking about it. Since October 2019 when I published that first blog, so much has changed in my life. I’m a full time writer with three novels under my belt. I’m writing a book of Pride and Prejudice short stories due out later this year. I still do freelance work, as well as critiquing, editing, public speaking and some tu

Disappeared

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Image by J Prem from Pixabay I am haunted by the story of the missing mother, who disappeared along the banks of the River Wyre in Lancashire over a week ago. The police theory is that she may have fallen into the river. Her anguished family are traumatised by the endless hurtful speculation on the internet. Therefore I will not add a hashtag with her name to this post. I am praying that she will be found. To not know her fate is far worse than knowing, however terrible the truth may be. The story of her disappearance haunts me because I too once knew someone who disappeared without a trace. She was a friend of my sister’s, and I met her many times at my sister’s church. We went on a walking holiday in Switzerland in 1991, and Pat and her husband were part of the group. They emigrated to New Zealand some years ago to join their family there. Pat began to develop Alzheimers’. One afternoon in January 2017 she went out for a walk around the block, wearing a lanyard to identify

The Mysterious Case of the Missing S

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In the film, ‘Love Actually’, it’s 2003 and Jamie, the character played by Colin Firth, sits outside a picturesque country house in Portugal with a typewriter, seeking inspiration for his novel. Disaster strikes when the beautiful housekeeper, Aurelia, played by Lucia Moniz, tidies away a mug doubling as a paperweight only for a gust of wind to carry his work into the pond. Desperate to make amends, Aurelia dives in to rescue the ruined pages. Frantically grabbing the pulped sheets, she shouts, “this better be good. I don’t want to drown rescuing some stuff my grandmother could have written. What idiot doesn’t make copies?” Apologies to grandmothers for the unwarranted slur. Jamie assures her it isn’t worth saving. A literary tragedy? No way. In a fiendishly clever plot twist, the calamity is the spark for Jamie and Aurelia to fall in love! As heart meltingly beautiful as this is, the writers among you are thinking, ‘who cares, what happened to the novel?’ We are not told. For the sc

Unexpected Things You Remember People For - by SC Skillman

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I was sitting in my local Costa the other day in the Royal Priors Retail Centre, Leamington Spa, and suddenly I had a flashback: a vision, if you like. About four years ago, in the very corner of that same café at which I now gazed, I had displayed my books upon the table. I had reserved the space for a book-signing, as I do occasionally at craft fairs. An attractive display of books, promotional fliers and cards, reviews and price stickers awaited interested prospective readers along with a dish of free chocolates. As I sat there, hoping to attract the attention of those who passed by, I realised something about cafes. They are places people go to for the following purposes: to relax with a nice cup of coffee, snack or meal; to take a break from shopping; to meet up with their friends for a chat. Essentially, they go into such places to spend time apart, to rest, to gain some space in their day. The clientele drifted past me, eyes searching for the table they were going to occupy, ign

How Do You Tell a True Story, Example: The David and Bathsheba Love Affair? By Bobbie Ann Cole

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  Whenever we tell a story, true or fiction, we need to be kind to our reader by taking a position, whether or not they are going to agree with us. It is the only way we can be clear.   Jesus always did this, to the amazement of his listeners and the dismay of Pharisees, Scribes and Elders looking on, who loved to show off their knowledge by examining, ‘on the one hand…’ and ‘on the other hand…’ until they had accumulated armfuls of possible hands without reaching any conclusion. This is exactly what I am about to do now with the David and Bathsheba story, my purpose being to illustrate just how hard a task this can be. And to ask you your view of this story, at the same time. WHO SET UP WHOM?     Just what was going on? Who were the goodies and who the baddies? The author perhaps gives us a clue in verse 1: In the spring,  at the time when kings go off to war, David sent Joab  out with the king’s men and the whole Israelite army.    Do you, like me, detect a note of repro

(W)Riting Injustice

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  Picture Credit: Pixabay  Last week was the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (WPCU), which traditionally falls between 18th to 25th January. This year it took as its theme; Be-Longing: Praying for Unity amidst Injustice. I was privileged to conduct one of the short worship services for WPCU in a local Anglican church and in my reflection focused on how the words “Justice” and Injustice”, can have many different interpretations depending on the context of how and where they are used. That reflection is the basis for this month’s More than Writers blog.   According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word Justice has four specific meanings firstly; it is behaviour or treatment that is morally right or fair, secondly; the quality of being right and fair, thirdly; the administration of the law in a way that is fair and morally right and lastly; to describe a judge or magistrate. Injustice is defined as being a lack of justice or fairness and secondly, an unjust act or occurrence. Bu