Showing posts from July, 2018

Does “More than” include Multimedia?

Regular readers of this More than Writers blog will have read about Scargill House , where some members of the Association of ChristianWriters (ACW) congregate for an annual weekend of inspiration about writing. I am fortunate to have been there for the last three of these weekends and also for a water-colour painting weekend last summer. The ACW weekend took place three weeks before the painting weekend. Thoughts from the former were still trundling around in my head when I should have been sleeping on the first night of the latter. I was half awake, thinking about the theme of the writing weekend – Dodging the gatekeepers. The gatekeepers had been presented as being those circumstances or people, who try to prevent us from making an impact through our creativity. They do not even need to be external influences. My thoughts led to an idea for something I wanted to paint, but did not believe I was skilful enough to do justice to. (I hadn’t done any water-colour painti

The Heatwave

For those of you who haven't noticed, we've had a heatwave in the UK. Some people have been out enjoying the sunshine and the heat, some have wished it could be hotter (yes those people do exist), while others, like me, have been melting. Really warped people have used it to get a tan and spend time outdoors in what they laughingly call 'fresh air'. [spine shivers] People are different. Comedian Paul Merton wrote a small piece giving advice to those who want to be comedians. Amongst his advice is a statistic that made me think. As a panelist on Have I Got News For You, he reaches about 5 million people weekly with his humour. In Paul's words that means that 60 million people in the UK have no idea who he is. Then there are the comedians that Radio 4 listeners will know, such as Milton Jones, John Finnemore and Lucy Montgomery who have even less exposure, but are still known by tens of thousands and unknown by the vast bulk of the population. It's the

On Criticism

How do you handle criticism?  I don’t handle negativity well and have never understood how anyone can be a troll.  Why the hostility?  Answers on a postcard… hang on, maybe not.  (Might need more than a postcard!).  Say it on a postcard, then again maybe not.  Image via Pixabay Being a fairytale fan, I always did like how the biggest of the Billy Goats Gruff tackled trolls but the method used was not Christian, forgiving, or available to most annoyed writers! How do your characters handle criticism by others in your stories? Getting depth into a story means it needs layers and well developed characters are key to this.  How they react to being criticized will reveal so much about them to your readers.  I build my characters up a piece at a time.  Yes, you can have layers in flash fiction.  There is always more to my characters than appears at first reading!  Do your characters think things through before reacting to criticism?  Do you?  Image via Pixabay Firstly I have a

The Missing Element - Where's the cream in my raspberry turnover? by Tracy Williamson

My friend Marilyn and I are on holiday at the moment and  have indulged a little in various naughty offerings! However, above all other temptations, the best is the  raspberry cream turnover sold by Morrison's.  It is yummy, even nicer than the cakes in all the fancy bakeries and tea rooms that proliferate in this seaside town. At first we resisted temptation, but Morrison's is literally just across the road from where we are staying...Three days passed then we  cracked.  On the pretence of getting some milk I ran down the road and soon found myself paying not just for a litre of semi skimmed but a pack of two delectable looking raspberry turnovers. We thought we'd be very good and share one between us instead of a whole one each.  So I got out the plates, cut one turnover in half, made the tea and we sat down to enjoy.  Marilyn took one bite and said in a heartbroken tone, 'where's the cream?'  I thought she meant it had less cream than usual so I tried my

Any elderly carers out there ....? by Eileen Padmore

This is my third blog.  The more observant will have noticed I am not averse to tackling tricky subjects like dead goldfish or the less than beautiful face of Jesus Christ.  This time I'm going to write about the caring role - or rather, the less talked about side of that role - from a third age perspective. I'm well qualified.  Half my forty years of marriage have been spent as main carer for elderly grandparents and parents - and I claim relevant professional experience as a former member of a multi-disciplinary elderly care team: my remit to facilitate hospital discharge and prevent readmission. We are all living longer, with many predicted to score a century.  An emerging demographic sees elderly folks attempting to care for those in extreme old age.  I retired a decade ago, and all of that time have cared for parents in their eighties then nineties.  Dad died five years ago at ninety-six and now Mum has achieved the same age. I count it a great privilege (

The Shape of Things to Come

From almost the beginning, Christianity has had its very own science fiction, fantasy epic genre: End Times Prophecy. As we all know, it’s a heady concoction, brewed from the apocalyptic teachings of Our Lord in the Gospels, the Book of Revelation, the Book of Daniel, and 2 Thessalonians chapter 2. And as we also all know, it all culminates in a mysterious and terrifying key figure, Antichrist: the crucial contribution of 1 John chapter 2. Countless writers, from Justin Martyr in the second century to Hal Lyndsey and others in our own times, have tried to turn this welter of prediction into a coherent programme of events and to work out, if possible, who the terrible figure of the Antichrist will be. Embed from Getty Images If you and I had been Bible-believing Christians living in the sixteenth or seventeenth centuries, and maybe even later in some parts of these islands, we would have had no doubt whatever about the identity of Antichrist. On the Reformation view, his current


Today is my Grandma’s birthday, and she’s going to have a surprise. I think it’s fine to write about it in this blog, even though the blog will post before her surprise has happened. After all, if my Grandma checks Facebook/the internet, I’ll be the one getting a surprise! Grandma thinks she is going out for lunch with a few members of the family.   What she doesn’t know is that, in fact, almost her entire family will be there, including all her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. All the family are different.   Some more chatty than others, some funnier than others (or so they like to think), some more active than others…you get the point. But we all want to be there to celebrate Grandma. It made me think of ACW.   When I joined, I thought it would be nice to connect with some other Christian writers.   What I didn’t know is that a whole community would be there. I know we are all different.   We write in different styles, different genres. Some of us are more

Godly assignments

  “ For this commandment which I command you today is not too mysterious for you, nor is it far off. 14  But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may do it.”        Deut 30;11 & 14 My June contribution was written before going on holiday in the belief that having reached 250 reasons to bless the Lord I’d continue that assignment on holiday.   But that didn’t fit in with the lazy, hazy, days of sun, sand and Sangria, and I felt guilty on my return.    I consulted the Lord but didn't feel stimulated or inspired to make the thousand.   I’d no idea that next day I’d have a new assignment to join with hundreds of people investing prayer and money in a friend now in US for ground-breaking DNA cancer treatment. Her grapefruit size tumour shrank to an avocado before she contracted sepsis and pneumonia. Hearing that I'd a revelation about resurrection life and faith to believe for it.  Within days she was awake ea

A Call to Work

I’ve been working hard on getting some stories ready to publish. And, as much as I love it, it is hard work. My Writer's Survival Kit I’ve been wrestling with point of view (POV) a lot. I’m working on a story that starts from the perspective of a young girl. She doesn’t know all that has happened, and some of the stuff she does know, she doesn’t understand. So, I’ve been trying figure out how to change the POV if I need to, without distracting the reader. Someone asked me why it matters, what difference it makes who the story comes from. This person is an avid reader, but not a writer. I launched in to my speech on the work of a writer. I’ll share it with you, but before I do, I must tell you… it’s not something I came up with myself.  I picked it up from a combination of sources. You’ll recognise a few of them as I go, but here’s how I put it together. It is the writer who must do all the work. The reader should have no work to do. It’s my job as the writer to craft a

What Inspires You? By Georgie Tennant

When I was in Year 9 at school (“the third year,” for those born a little earlier than me), I had an English teacher called Ms Griffiths. Already harbouring a deep love for the subject – writing especially – she fostered it and grew it.  She made us learn stanzas of “The Raven,” off by heart – I loved the way it sounded as it slipped from my tongue.  She made us stand on desks and recite, off by heart, the speech of Marullus from “Julius Caesar,” unable to stop herself from guffawing with us, when one of the boys declared, “You blokes , you stones, you worse than senseless things…”  When she wanted us to write creatively, her balance of challenge and encouragement was just right, and I can still remember some of her effusive, praise-filled comments on final versions of pieces I had spent painstaking hours, re-writing to perfection. She even took me to local poetry festivals, fanning my love for the genre into flame. In short, she inspired me.   She was part of my early writin

When writing is therapy By Claire Musters

I know there is a huge variety within this group; writers who produce fiction, others who write poetry for pleasure, still others who are copywriters – there is no end to the differences in our experiences with writing. But I know one thing we have in common: a real love for writing; a need to do it. I have found that need become much more personal in recent days. I do feel called to write out of my life experiences and what God has taught me, in order to help and encourage others. And yet I now have a file on my computer that I am pouring myself out into. I have an inkling God will use some of it, in a very different format, in the future but, for now, it is proving cathartic and therapeutic for me.  You see, we lost a dear friend recently. A young mum in our church family died after a fairly short battle with cancer. It has rocked our church, due to her age and the young family she leaves behind. But it has also brought us closer together in renewed unity and support.

Waiting for the Likes, by Liz Carter

I’ve always spent far too much time worrying about what people think of me. When I started writing in earnest, this tendency in me simply upped itself even more, leading to epic proportions of me analysing every word said about a blog post, every ‘like’ and more critically every absence of ‘like’ (or why did they like it but not love it? Or why the laughing face? Does the angry face mean they’re angry with me or agreeing with what I’ve written about some injustice or other? What about shares? Why no shares? Aaaagh! So many emotions in these innocuous little emoticons for us to get ourselves knotted up in.) As writers, and as people, it’s so easy to invest too much in our perceptions of what others are thinking, isn’t it. Even when we are feeling particularly confident and happy with a piece of work, we still descend to shivering-wreck state when we are waiting for comments. In the last few weeks some very kind people have been reading my book in order to endorse it (or no