Blogger and freelance writer from the north-east coast of England
Improve Your Writing by Choosing the Correct Word
Mama Just killed a man Put a gun against his head Pulled my trigger Right Said Fred Did that last line jar? Did it cause you to narrow your eyes, as it doesn't belong there? As someone who was taught certain rigid rules of grammar as a child, I often come across similar intruders in these less formal times.
The Maths Teacher
The midnight silence on Bracknell Terrace was broken by the clip-clop, and occasional scrape, of Sally's high heeled shoes as she and Vic made their way along the empty street. They passed identical houses and assorted parked cars, as they walked towards Vic's home following a drinking session at the Turk's Head. Both were in a state of inebriation.
Show, Don't Tell
I remember once watching an impressionist on television, who apparently had so little confidence in his ability to project an accurate representation of his subjects, he felt obliged to tell his audience whom he was 'doing'. It went a bit like this:
The Quick and the Dead
John Braine (1922–1986), was the author of Room at the Top, and many other works, and he was one of the so-called angry young men of the post-war era of English literature. He also wrote a book called Writing a Novel, a copy of which I picked up for 25 pence in a book sale at my local library many years ago. While I never went on to accomplish what is alluded to in the title of that book, I did pick up some valuable advice within its pages.
When a Product's Radioactivity was a Selling Point
Marie Curie (1867 - 1934) discovered radium in 1898. It is a chemical element with the symbol Ra and the atomic number 88. Marie, and her husband Pierre, won half of the Nobel prize for physics in 1903 (she would win a second prize for chemistry in 1911). To complete this little trivia section, Marie Curie was born in Poland.
O, Sweet Solitude
What a lovely surprise to finally discover how unlonely being alone can be. (Ellen Burstyn) In his book Borstal Boy, Brendan Behan gives a stark indication of how unpleasant enforced solitude can be for some. Alone in his cell inside Liverpool’s Walton Jail, Behan hears activity outside; keys jangling and doors being banged shut. He hopes someone will come into his own cell, stating;
A Public Inconvenience
The silver Astra turned into the car park at the motorway services. Its sole occupant, thirty-seven-year-old Conrad, parked as far away from the building as was possible. He had been driving for two hours, and he needed to stretch his legs. The reason for his drive had been a trip to London to celebrate his sister’s fortieth birthday party.
Learning to Ride a Bike: From Grazes to Glee
Like many of you, no doubt, my inauguration into the world of cycling as a child was a painful one. My friend David was a year younger than me, but already he was tearing around the streets on a small bike with chunky pneumatic tyres. I’d had several attempts at riding on two wheels, but I just didn’t get it.